Rewilding Immersion Program
A Feral Living Experience
When: April – September 2016
Where: Portland, OR and the surrounded rural and wild areas.
The Rewilding Immersion Program is a six month-long program that teaches the fundamentals of rewilding: philosophy, earth skills, community development, and regenerative land management.
What do we mean by “rewilding”?
Rewilding is a movement to return people, places and our other-than-human neighbors to a wild existence. This generally translates to living a lifestyle similar in function to the way our ancestors lived before the innovation of agriculture and more recently, industrialization.
Why a “feral living” experience?
When a domesticated animal returns to the wild, we refer to them as “feral”. No longer domestic, but too changed by their domestication to be considered completely “wild”. Eventually feral animals will once again become “wild” as they evolve through time with the wild. While our aim is to live wild, we recognize that this will happen in time, through generations of rewilding.
This course covers the ecological, anthropological and psychological principles of rewilding. You will learn the history of civilization, the ills of agriculture and the benefits of indigenous horticulture, and how to structure a new mythology. You will learn to articulate the invisible hierarchy and understand how to free yourself from its shackles. You will begin to understand the mental trauma and psychosis inflicted on us everyday and how to overcome them through grief, praise, ritual and ceremony.
Earth Skills (aka ancestral or primitive skills)
We teach Earth Skills from a rewilding perspective. You can learn wilderness survival skills in the U.S. Army, tracking with the U.S. Border Patrol, and you can put your knowledge of ethnobotany to work for Monsanto, but we all know we would not call any of these people rewilders. This class will give you the framework with which these skills become an asset to rewilding.
We have what we call the “From Scratch Philosophy”. Many programs teach earth skills using steel, plastic and other industrially made tools to “short-cut” the time it take to do things more “primitively”. We have a philosophy here that no “primitive” skill should be short-cut through modern tools. We start from scratch and build our way up from there without the aid of modernity. We teach primitive skills in the original way they were taught: primitively. This however, does not mean we are primitive purists (maybe a little: no plastic allowed). While we teach earth skills from scratch, we also teach how to make tools through metal-smithing. After all, going feral in modern times means that we may take with us the materials and technology of the modern world- just not the industrial system that produces them. This means we can forge our own steel knifes and axe blades, but you won’t find us forging five gallon buckets out of petroleum products. The future primitive will have things like glass, copper, steel and other metals. Like the Amish, each community will be able to choose which level of technology they want to live by– we teach the gamut so that you will be able to make and use these tools before deciding if they are worth all the trouble.
Foraging, Gathering and Horticulture (And Permaculture)
Hunter-gatherers were largely manipulating the land in favor of biodiversity and food production; they just did this in a way that looked invisible to agriculturalists. We now understand these methods through research and experimentation. To really live as a hunter-gatherer, you must know how to tend the wild. Our program teaches the fundamentals of tending the wild, going beyond more urbanized concepts like permaculture.
Animal human unions existed long before the marked genetics of domestication. We do not abandon the animals who have been domesticated along with us– we aim to rewild with them. This means that working with animals is an intricate aspect of the rewilding economy.
Hunting, Trapping and Fishing
During our program we will be hunting, trapping and fishing for a lot of our food. All students must have appropriate licensing for the State of Oregon.
Creating a livelihood from earth skills and rewilding. No program would be complete without giving you skills to make a living from after ward. We help you find a focus on what aspects of rewilding you will be able to encourage after you leave the program.
The program culminates with a month-long, neoprimitive hunter-gatherer project. We will head out with our gear, our knowledge and sense of place and our friends to enjoy nature and live as wild as we possibly can.
2013 Registration: CURRENTLY CLOSED
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