Wild Soul Wilderness Journey

March 22 – 26, 2017 | Gila Wilderness, NM

Join Sacred Wildness for a soulful & wild wilderness journey this spring!  This is a 5 day sacred journey in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico, one of the largest wilderness areas in the US. Together we will practice community and solitary Earth Ceremony, reconnection and engaging with the Voice of Nature, and embracing the transformative and healing gifts of the Wildness within and around you. This is a special opportunity to spend intentional time on pilgrimage and retreat in nature, learn new outdoor skills, connect with soulful community, and explore your own wildness and soul gifts.

We begin with a guided backpack  as a group to a secluded wild place, where we will set up camp and gather medicine from the Earth for our heart and soul for the next 4 days!  Each day will include solo and 2016-12-21-08-19-10-2group practices, day hikes, and time for solitude and journaling. On day 5 we will close our sacred time together on the land and hike out to trailhead as a group for our final goodbyes.

This journey is appropriate for beginners to backpacking and outdoor adventures (well seasoned packers welcome too), but you must be able to walk 5-10 miles and carry a pack safely. While this is not a competitive sports
event (you do not need to move fast), we will be on uneven terrain, and in the elements.  There is an expected level of challenge with outdoor excursions, please be prepared!

You will be responsible for your gear, food and water purification. (You will be provided an extensive gear list.  You can easily rent most of the gear if you do not currently own backpacking gear.)

We will meet at 10 am on March 22, 2017 in the Gila, 2 hrs from Silver City, NM.  We will return to vehicles by 4 pm on March 26, 2017.

Looking forward to gathering with you for this Sacred Wildness Journey!


Register by March 15, 2017
Cost:$350 ($150 deposit by March 1, Paid in full by March 15!)
Contact Darcey for Registration/Payment
Registration Form – participant-registration-formwswj-docx
Liability Release Form –releasedoc
Medical Form –medical-form-wswj

Your Wildness Guides

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Darcey Blue French

I am a rewilding woman, Earth Medicine guide, shamanic herbalist & crafter of wild plant medicines. Earth is my Beloved, I am a devotee of all that is wild & sacred on this beautiful, inspirited Earth. I am here to guide to the healing wisdom and medicine that the Sacred Wild in nature hold for you, and the wisdom of spirit that is expressed within and through each of us, as medicine keepers for these transformative times.

I am here to plant the seeds of a new way for our People and our Wild Communities.

I have studied plant medicine & shamanic lifeways and practices for over 14 years in the US and in in Peru. I am a Mesa Medicine Carrier, NOLS Certified Wilderness First Responder, Earth Medicine & Nature Guide and Shamanic Herbalist. I have been exploring the wilderness since the age of 10 on my first backpacking trip, drinking wild water and gathering wild foods,  sleeping under the stars, & building fires.

Corey Melker

Avid wilderness explorer, backpacker, guide, lightning strike survivor and Voice of the Mountains.  Corey has backpacked over 3000 miles and leads wilderness trips in Arizona and the Southwest.

I founded my own Meetup group dedicated to backpacking and epic adventures. It was great because now I could go backpacking as much as I wanted! One other thing that was a huge motivating factor in the founding of my Meetup group is that I wanted to share my knowledge with others. I recalled how intimidating it was as a pure beginner, and I knew how disheartening it could be to go look at gear at REI and have someone try to sell you a $600 rain jacket when my budget was $50. Basically, I knew I could help make the process easier for others.

As the months progressed, the gear evolved, and the miles of trail under my boots began to add up. I had structured my life to focus on the backpacking and make that my priority. I wanted to see it all. In just a handful of years I had accumulated approximately 2,100 miles of backpacking experience throughout Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and California, mostly in wilderness locations.

On June 27, 2015 I led a group of backpackers on a hike up on Arizona’s Mogollon Rim. After a great lunch break under a gorgeous blue sky, the skies had darkened and a storm began to develop. We sheltered from the storm and that’s when it happened. A lightning bolt, estimated at 800,000,000 – 900,000,000 volts (it was a big one) struck a tree, went from the tree to another group member, and then passed through me. We lost the one group member instantly and I was incapacitated, conscious, and drowning (lung were filled with mucous).

It took roughly 2 hours for responders to reach us. During this time I had completely left my body on two individual occasions. It would take another 30 minutes for the helicopter to come get me out and get me to Flagstaff Medical Center, and another 2-3 hours before the seizures and convulsions stopped when I was able to drift into sleep. The recovery was intense, the pain unimaginable, and the weight of the loss was significant… but I was determined. I had to get back to the wild, and roughly 75 days after being struck, the blood-clots were gone and I was back on the trail.

I have since backpacked roughly an additional 1,200 miles putting my total trail miles in near 3,300. I have seen a lot…but not enough. I know how fragile things can be, how fleeting life can be, and for me it brings a greater sense of urgency to getting out and seeing the natural world. Over my miles I have experienced a ton and that experience has given me a distinct knowledge of the natural world and wilderness. That experience is what I want to share with the world however I can, because frankly, engagement is crucial and I cannot save the wilderness on my own.” -Corey Melker