The Guides

For each program there are several people that help out. Some have been trained from the same lineage and some offer skills that aid in logistics like cooking, cleaning, wilderness first aid and rescue. Those present are there to assure that the program goes as smoothly and safely as possible. 

Aaron Mitchell, MS, LMHC, NCC

Aaron is a Co-founder of Awareness Healing Arts and is a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Washington. He is also adopted Tlingit and his ancestry comes from both Osage and Euro-American cultures. He has been mentored in the spiritual and healing traditions of certain indigenous cultures for over 20 years.


Aaron has been on several Quests of his own. He has a deep understanding of the profound effects a Quest can have on one's life.  "I went on my first quest back in 1997. I wouldn't say that the quest changed who I was so much as I discovered a truer more geniune self that truely cared about everyone and everything. What I think is great about the Vision Quest, is it meets each person exactly where they are in life. It's never too much or too little but exactly what is needed in that moment in time." 


"Since my first Quest, I have known that it was a life purpose to bring the Vision Quest to people of all cultures, religions, and backgrounds. I wanted to make sure that I honored the ancient lineage and maintained the true essence of this important tradition. After many years of preparation, I've been given permission to offer this powerful experience for folks."


Karen Tomkins 

Karen has a deep connection and love of the natural world. With a background in ecology and naturalist studies, she is passionate about reconnecting with the wildness of the human spirit, and cultivating deep and meaningfull connection to the earth and to self. She has experienced the Quest to be a powerful means of this reconnection and sought to be trained in this Vision Quest lineage so she can help support others in their own path of transformation. She brings a love of mystery and a soulful curiosity of the human experience.

Anna Mitchell, LMT

Anna is a Co-founder of Awareness Healing Arts. She has spent over a decade in healing and learning from indigenous ceremonies. She too, has been on a Vision Quest and she knows the enormous amount of courage that it takes to face your true self. She also knows the great rewards that come from such an experience.


It is in her vision and deep caring nature to help and support others on their path. She brings the wonderful aspects of openness and genuine sense of compassion to wherever she goes.  

E. Matthew Hansen

Matt is a co-founder of EarthFire Outdoor Education, a Utah-based nonprofit educational foundation. His life-long love of nature led him to study the “survival” skills and philosophies of the Earth’s indigenous cultures with Tom Brown, Jr., among others.


His founding of EarthFire and involvement in Vision Quest facilitation is in response to the experience of his first Vision Quest and he has quested many times since that 1993 experience. Matt studied quest protection with Karl “Bear” Povisils (Quest: Earth Philosophy) and Malcolm Ringwalt (Earth-Heart) and has facilitated Vision Quest programs since 1996.


He works as a forest entomologist and lives in Logan, Utah with his wife and daughter.

Bill Howard

Over the course of my life I have been called to serve mostly in the role of protector. I was also called to seek the physical and spiritual skills of the ancients. My path has lead me to military service, religion, martial arts, and various other searches. Finally, in my 40’s I stumbled across the teachings I had so longed for. They combine the physical, the spiritual and so much more. Now in my 50’s I wish to share what my teachers so unselfishly shared with me.


Maybe, just maybe, this sharing will help lessen someone else’s effort.

Malcolm H. Ringwalt, MA

Malcolm is a guest instructor with Awareness Healing Arts.  He is the Founder and Director of the Earth-Heart Institute of Vision and Healing (since 1985). He is a highly intuitive healer and teacher who has helped countless people progress along their life’s journey. His teaching and counseling reflect his understanding that psychological health and spiritual growth emerge from the heart of silence and inspiration.

Malcolm guides people into their timeless spiritual core by putting them on the path of their own heart. He runs vision quests, advanced quest-related programs, spiritual growth retreats, and personal intensives and counseling at locations nationwide. He also does extensive work with clients and groups over the phone.

He never loses sight of the spiritual perfection of his clients, and he sees their healing as the result of their realization of this spiritual truth. He uses his finely honed intuition to help clients untangle the web of false beliefs and “undigested” experiences that form the block between them and their spiritual perfection. As these blocks are removed, the eternal truth of who we really are is revealed in all of its radiance and power.

He has been on his spiritual path for over 45 years, has a Master’s degree in counseling psychology, and is an advanced clinical hypnotherapist. More importantly, perhaps the only thing that matters, he has been graced by the presence and teachings of several powerful spiritual teachers who have guided him to his own knowledge.

In addition to his Earth-Heart programs, he also teaches the Philosophy courses with Tom Brown Jr. at The Tracker School, and is on the Board of Directors of The Medicine Waters Nature Conservancy. 

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