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Jeremy Thres: Questing Guide

Jeremy is a charmingly modest man who wouldn’t sing his own praises, so I’d like to do it for him.  He is one of the MB50 Core Team of facilitators and guides.

Jeremy ThresTo give you a flavour of Mr Thres, it may help to describe where he lives: a rambling cabin on Dartmoor, at the very end of a long track off an old, little-used lane.  His cabin is strewn with outdoor clothes, deer antlers, and wise books.  I don’t know Dartmoor well, but I’ve realised that it’s a haven for eccentrics and folks who follow their own path: Jeremy fits perfectly.

For many years, Jeremy’s main work has been guiding small groups on vision quests and other processes where you spend time alone in Nature.  The land you work with is vitally important in such work, and he is deeply rooted in the Dartmoor landscape.  As soon as I met him, I realised how great it would be if Jeremy could lead such groups at Hazel Hill, and after several years of pondering, he began to do so in 2006.

There are many aspects of Jeremy’s approach to guiding groups and processes which I value: for example, he engages deeply with the people and place he is working with, and is brilliant at shaping rituals and traditional wisdom to fit the current situation.  He has a light, gentle approach which he somehow combines with an ability to be quite rigorous and disciplined when this is needed. 

The School of Lost Borders in the US has played a major role in the resurgence of contemporary rites of passage, conveying the essence of these rituals that have been kept alive by more earth cherishing cultures and lain dormant in our own, bringing traditional rituals like the vision quest to the rest of us.  This is one of the places where Jeremy trained.  Like them, he has a great talent in transmitting the essence of a tradition, and adapting it to a current context.

The vision quest is a rite of passage, used especially for the shift from adolescence into adulthood, found in many cultures. It can serve to support and inform a shift in whatever stage of life one is passing through, but it feels good to offer one more specifically tailored to meet the needs of those moving into their mature years and ripening to elderhood. Jeremy and I are evolving the Wisdom Quest to serve that need.

So how will our Wisdom Quest differ from a typical vision quest?  We can’t be fixed about this, as we will respond to the needs of those who come, but here are a couple of its likely features.  Facing your dying to enrich your living becomes especially important at this stage of life, where it takes on a deeper significance.  Likewise, harvesting the gifts of your life to date, shedding any anger and resentments, moving forward more lightly, may be relevant at any age, but especially entering elderhood.

I have helped guide both teenagers and elders, and there are striking differences and similarities.  In both cases, the past is not enough to guide the future: people have to find a new sense of who and why they are.  But for adults becoming elders, this can build on decades of life experience (mistakes and successes!).  And it has to include facing old age and dying.  By coming to terms with the end of life, you can hugely enrich the present. 

Jeremy and I are co-leading a Wisdom Quests at Hazel Hill Wood July 3 – 8.  This is open to men or women.  Jeremy works with a maximum group size of ten people, so early booking is advised.  Click here for details.