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Ancient Earthways ~ a 7-day wild plant & animal medicine journey
Wild mountain meadows near Breitenbush, OR
Detroit, OR
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Ancient Earthways ~ a 7-day wild plant & animal medicine journey
Join us on pristine private wildlands for seven days of deep connection to the powerful wild plants and animals of the Cascade mountains.  Reclaim your relationship to your plant and animal allies, learn the ancestral skills of tending the wild landscape, and open yourself to the healing wisdom of the living Earth.  

Journey deeply into the ancient practices of embodied ethnobotany, wild animal tracking & communication, cordage/basketry, and deep ecological awareness with a dedicated group of earth-loving people in an elegant mountain-meadow wilderness camp.

Gourmet backcountry meals provided (along with a side of your  wildcrafted cuisine!)

July 15th - 21st, 2019
Monday Morning 11am - Sunday Afternoon 4pm

Early Bird Deadline - June 15th!  Deposits are due before this date to reserve your price and spot.


Our unique wilderness journeys are held in secluded wild areas, yet only require a 1/4 mile walk to access our elegant backcountry camp.  Our camp includes a large open-air tent with canvas floor and central fire, a medium-sized open-air kitchen tent for our cooks and participant-dining, clean/private outdoor pit toilets, and beautiful areas for personal camping, swimming, and solo/group exploration.

Our wilderness kitchen serves three locally-sourced, organic meals/day - with both vegetarian, meat, and special diet options.  We have ample clean water, as well as tea & coffee available.  Participants can bring their own tent, or sleep in the large open-air tent.


JOURNEY OVERVIEW:  (see below for program details)

"Inner Wisdom of Wildlife" ~ wild animal awareness, animal medicine, tracking, and trapping.  
Mornings, 8:30am - 12:00pm

"Embodied Ethnobotany" ~ ecological awareness, plant communication, wild crafting & tending.  
Afternoons,  2:00pm - 5:30pm

"Weaving a New Way" ~ ancestral fiber arts (basketry/cordage) and creative integration through storytelling and song.  
Evenings, 7:30pm - 9:30pm

(Program will end Sunday at 4pm, but there is an optional stay Sunday night - no food provided - inquire within.)




With great fortune, Meghan Walla-Murphy has been able to combine her passions for wildlife tracking, writing and people into vocations of habitat conservation and public awareness.  As an educator, ecologist and author of books, essays and articles, Meghan strives to help people connect to their external and internal landscapes.

She has been tracking animals avidly for more than two decades, which adds a depth and breadth to her work in habitat connectivity and outreach. She has co-authored a book on tracking with carnivore biologist Dr. James Halfpenny as well as a book on the historical ecology of salmonids in the Russian River. Meghan has traveled extensively in the US, Brasil, the Congo, and Southern Africa to learn from diverse teachers who use tracking for research, land stewardship, and education.

This seemingly esoteric, yet ancient art has given Meghan the skills to read a landscape and better understand ecology, which she then applies to help solve conservation and social justice challenges in her community.

For more information or to contact Meghan please visit her website-


Tamara Wilder became fascinated by ancient living skills in 1989 when she attended the Glass Buttes Knap In and Rabbitstick Skills Gathering.  

She was "hooked" and quickly began incorporating the practice of skills into her daily experience. Ever since, she has been dedicating her life to enjoying, learning, researching, experimenting with, writing about and teaching Paleo Technologies through a variety of programs, workshops & demonstrations on a range of skill topics at a plethora of locations through her company Paleotechnics: Arts & Technologies of Earth Peoples.  

Her main offerings are Ancient Living Skills Overview Programs for grade schools and home school groups all around Northern California, and also as part of longer adult programs such as the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center's Permaculture Design Course and the California School of Herbal Studies' Roots of Herbalism / Foundations of Health Course.

A co-author of the book Buckskin: The Ancient Art of Braintanning, the handbooks "So You Have a Dead Animal", "Sharpening", "Sustainable Harvest" & "Using the Whole Animal" and numerous chapters in books Woodsmoke, Primitive Technology 1 and Primitive Technology 2, she has long been instructing at Ancestral Living Skills events around the western states for the past 30 years.

More info can be found at her website


Justin is the director of Nature's Heart Retreats, a Eugene-area meditation and mindfulness teacher, Permaculture educator, and the owner of Native Foods Nursery, a native plant nursery in Dexter, OR.  From an early age, Justin's love for Nature synergized with horticultural and mindfulness practices, evolving into deep connection to and care for the ecologies and people of the Northwest.  

Justin sees our sense of belonging and interconnection with nature as essential to our psychological health, societal health, and to the future of the places we love - and biosphere as a whole.  He believes we can reclaim that belonging through the doorways of wild nature itself, in particular the plants, animals and elements that comprise a native landscape.

In this journey, he shares his love for and knowledge of plants with his love for meditative inquiry and deep listening.  He holds space for the land, the wilderness camp, and the beings of nature with deep reverence and respect - guiding participants into themselves and into the teachings of the Earth.




- Ecological awareness exercises
- Wild plant Identification
- Plant spirit meditations
- Intuitive plant communication
- Harvesting/wildcrafting
- Wild medicine/food making
- Wild-tending/habitat restoration

Learning Goals:
- Ecological understanding of Cascade mountain ecotones, those present at the site, and several key native ethnobotanicals within each.
- Visual recognition and basic botanical understanding of at least one dozen key ethnobotanicals present at the site.
- Direct, experiential, creative connection to at least three student-chosen ethnobotanicals present at the site - through engaging all senses, creative exercises, meditative awareness/inquiry, and intuitive plant communication.  
- Understand and practice techniques for locating, tending, harvesting, processing, and consuming/using at least six teacher-chosen ethnobotanicals present at the site.  
- Ecological understanding and practical experience related to restoring, introducing, and planting native ethnobotanicals in a wild setting (nursery plants provided).  


-Ecological Awareness exercises  
-Wild animal identification
-Animal medicine meditations
-Learning tracks
-Learning traps
-Small animal processing/Gratitude Ceremony
-Wild-tending/habitat restoration

Specific Learning Goals:
- Ecological understanding of Cascade mountain ecotones, those present at the site, and several key wildlife within each.
- Visual recognition and basic biological understanding of at least one dozen key animals present at the site.
- Direct, experiential, creative connection to at least three student-chosen animals present at the site - through engaging all senses, creative exercises, meditative awareness/inquiry, imagination and embodiment, and intuitive animal communications.  
- Practical understanding and physical practice of techniques for observing wildlife and their patterns, tracking their behaviors/territory, making basic traps and tools for harvesting, and processing (as a group) at least one small animal from the site during the program.
- Ecological understanding and practical experience related to restoring/managing the ecology of a site to increase the carrying capacity and ecological abundance for wild animals. (native plants provided).

WEAVING A NEW WAY ~  (evenings)

- Harvesting and processing materials/supplies
- Weaving willow baskets, cordage, and possible other crafts.
- Telling stories/insights and song from personal communications from plants and animals of the site.
- Guided group sharing and integration.
- Additional nighttime explorations and adventures...

Specific Learning Goals:
- Gain an understanding of the ecology, growth cycles, and harvesting regimes associated with the ancestral craft supplies (i.e. willow, nettle, etc).  If possible, include observation of the plant(s) and the physical practice of harvesting and processing.
- Gain confidence and embodied skill in the crafts of basket-weaving and cordage.
- Gain an understanding of value and fundamental importance of storytelling and creative vocal expression in the maturation of the individual and the maintenance/evolution of healthy earth-based, community-driven culture.  
- Gain confidence and embodied skill in the crafts of telling ones story, reflecting others insights, and liberating the creative, intuitive, and spontaneous potential of the voice in song and poetry.
- Integrate the learnings of each day and deepen connection to the community of participants.

SUGGESTED DONATION:  (see below for registration avenues)

Six full days of instruction, gourmet meals, & camping accommodations.  

Sliding Scale:  $490 - $690 before June 15th ($50 more after)

$490 - Subsidized donation
$590 - Sustaining donation
$690 - Supporting donation

*Deposit of half the retreat amount is due to reserve your spot.

**Payment plans available (inquire within)

***This cost includes camping accommodations, meals, and instruction - this cost may seem high, but we are dedicated to honoring our instructors who have spent decades honing their craft by paying them a living wage.  In addition, we do our best to support local farmers and ranchers by providing, fresh, regenerative and healthy food for you all week. Thank you for your support as we strive to diversify and strengthen our local economies.  

WORK-TRADE POSITIONS:  The positions below provide partial trade program.  They require firm commitment and follow-through and hard work.  Apply through the Google Form links below.

1) Group Camp Set-up #1 (half trade)

2) Group Camp Set-up #2 (half trade)

3) Skilled Kitchen Assistant #1 (half trade)

4) Skilled Kitchen Assistant #2 (half trade)

5) Head Chef #3 (experience required, full-trade)

6) Skilled Ancestral Skills/Wildlife Tracking Assistant  (experience required, full-trade)

7) Outreach/Promotions Assist (half trade)

***If you are unable to work-trade or meet the suggested donation amounts, we are still open to working with you!  Please contact for special scholarship opportunities.  Scholarships are prioritized for underrepresented and underprivileged groups.


We encourage all attendees to have previously been overnight tent-camping.

All attendees must be able to make the 1/4-mile off-trail hike to camp.  However, arrangements can be made for help carrying gear - let us know if we can help!

REGISTRATION:  There are limited spaces at the wilderness camp.  Reserve your spot through one of the following avenues:

*Deposit of half the retreat amount is due to reserve your spot.  Full payment due 2 weeks prior to the event.

1) PAYPAL (preferred - no fees).  

Please send donation via PAYPAL to  (send using "friends and family" option to avoid fees. Make note "Ancient Earthways")

ALSO - please fill out the following Google Registration Form (

2) CREDIT/DEBIT CARD:  If you need to use a card, you can use our Brown Paper Tickets online ticketing site, but there is a 2% fee.

3) CHECK:  Send check to Nature's Heart Retreats at 81868 Lost Valley Ln, Dexter, OR 97431.  


We offer the option of payment plans for special circumstances.  Inquire at for more details.  

CANCELLATION POLICY:  Cancellations must be made in writing to  Note, there is a $50 non-refundable registration fee.

The remainder of your payment is:

100% refundable if more than 90 days prior to the event;
50% if more than 60 days;
25% if more than 30 days;
No refund within 30 days of the event.

We will serve three delicious, organic meals/day.  Please let us know of any dietary requirements, and feel free to bring your own supplementary snacks, if needed.  Also, please bring your own utensils and dishware!  

Filtered water will be pumped and provided for the camp.  Please bring your water bottle!

Backpack and small day-pack
Backpacking tent (optional - participants are welcomed to store personal items and roll out sleeping gear under the common meditation tent)
Clothes for cool and warm weather (IMPORTANT)
Hiking Boots
Rain jacket, and light rain-pants
Sleeping Bag (warm) and Sleeping Pad

Personal dishware & utensils (IMPORTANT) - plate, bowl, fork, spoon, knife.
Special foods/medications (IMPORTANT - storage available in kitchen)
Fruit Donation (for breakfast/snacks)

Sunscreen, Sunhat, Lip balm, and Sunglasses
Personal toilitery items needed to feel comfortable in wilderness
Headlamp or flashlight + extra batteries
Biodegradable Toiletries (toothbrush, paste, etc.)
Water Bottle

Towel (optional - if you want to swim/bathe)
Journal (optional - if you want to write!)
Pocket Knife (optional, but handy)
Wrist watch w/ alarm (optional - there will be bells if you are within ear-shot)
Special objects for altar (optional)

We will meet in Idanha, OR at 11am to carpool to the site.  The retreat will be held at an undisclosed private location 30 minutes farther South.  Registered attendees will receive detailed information prior to the event.


Wild mountain meadows near Breitenbush, OR (View)
Detroit, OR 97342
United States


Other > Spiritual

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


Owner: Nature's Heart Retreats
On BPT Since: Mar 07, 2019
Nature's Heart Retreats

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