Update from the abyss

Update from the abyss…

In March of this year, we ran two camping based programs at Hawk’s Nest NSW – Soulcraft Intensive and The Way of Council and the Art of Mirroring with Animas guides Rebecca Wildbear and Doug Van Houten. Against the background of the unfolding Coronavirus pandemic, the programs provided a space for deep communion and reflection on our relationship with our world and with each other. We were grateful to be able to go ahead before we all entered strict lockdown.

During the “pause” we have been taking some time to nurture our not-for-profit organisation. We are now incorporated as Soulcraft Australia & New Zealand and have been listening in and dreaming up clear and equitable structures and processes so as to be able to take our work forward with flow and responsiveness. We are currently exploring the possibilities for 2021 Australian programs – face-to-face if possible and otherwise online. Updates will be posted here and on Facebook. Drop us an email us if you would like to be added to our mailing list.

Animas Valley Institute currently has a couple of online offerings: Art and Soul with Doug Van Houten https://animas.org/events/art-soul-online-july-2020/ and Radical Dreaming: Weaving Mythos and Revolution with Rebecca Wildbear https://animas.org/events/radical-dreaming-weaving-mythos-and-revolution-online-july-aug-2020/ .

AVI is offering free Council in the Commons…We might sit on a ledge overlooking a vast serpentine chasm of deeply carved redrock or dabble our toes in the cool rushing waters of the River of Dreams or perch near a portal to the Underworld. Perhaps we’ll gather beneath the branches of the World Tree and listen for Earth’s deep imagination pulsing through the roots…. https://animas.org/council-in-the-commons/ .

Bill Plotkin’s weekly Soulcraft Musings are also a precious source of nourishment and inspiration for these transformative times https://animas.org/books/bill-plotkins-soulcraft-musings/ .

Here at Soulcraft Australia & New Zealand we encourage you, dear nature loving soul seeker, to continue to engage wholeheartedly with our wild world and the depths of yourself, calling forth dreams, visions and actions to play your part in reweaving a vibrant and healthy planet. From Palika Rewilding

“Without knowing this — what our ecological niche is — what beneficial relationship we provide to the tapestry of interwoven, interdependent, collaborative, shared body of us — there is no possibility of a long term, healthy, social structure convened in right relationship with the web of life.” From Corona Virus: Portal for Big Existential Questions https://medium.com/@palikaji/corona-virus-as-portal-and-question-clarifier-cf065ded8f8d  .

With wild love and tender hope,

Soulcraft Australia & New Zealand Inc. Committee (feathered, furred, scaled and green shooted)

Art: Holy Ground [Collage] by Doug Van Houten

Interview with Sage Magdalene, Animas Valley Institute guide

Alexx from Low Tox Life interviewed Sage Magdalene, Animas Valley Guide – a conversation filled with nurturing, inspiration and invitations to deepen our relationship with the wild others  https://www.lowtoxlife.com/show-181-sage-magdalene-deeper-conversations-with-the-natural-world/?fbclid=IwAR0OLE-wkJcdYlVSytHTvU7z8a91UCxf47amT3YAJCIvoVkvzBPWrBiH6FQ

#soul #nature #mystery #dream #spiders #wild #animasvalleyinstitute #underworld #otherthanhumanworld #invitation #threshold #transformation #healing

Interview with Rebecca Wildbear, Animas Valley Institute guide

An interview with Rebecca Wildbear, Animas Valley Institute guide – a wide ranging conversation and great introduction to the work of soul initation in nature.
Rebecca, along with Doug Van Houten will be guiding two programs in Australia this coming March – go to Upcoming Programs for details.


March Soulcraft Intensive Now Full

The upcoming March 2020 Hawks Nest Soulcraft Intensive in now full. If you would still like to register, your name will be added to a waiting list and a place will be offered to you should one become available.

There are still places for The Way of Council and the Art of Mirroring 18 – 22 March 2020, Hawks Nest. To register please go to Register and Pay.

March 2020 programs – New Zealand & Australia

WE STAND AT THE THRESHOLD OF A GREAT UNKNOWING. Individually and collectively, we launch into an uncertain future — at once, both perilous and saturated with possibility. Our accustomed, culturally-determined roles and identities are inadequate to navigate the sea change of our time. Our collective journey requires a radical shift in the human relationship with the community of all life — a cultural transformation so profound that future humans might regard it as an evolution of consciousness. Safe passage requires each of us to offer our full magnificence to the world. Popular culture cannot help us uncover our singular gifts; contemporary institutions do not invite their expression. Our particular genius can be discovered only in an initiatory journey — an accidental or intentional descent into the mysteries of soul. Guiding the intentional descent to soul has been the unfolding work of Animas Valley Institute for over 30 years.

Soulcraft™ skills and practices evoke the world-shifting experience of soul encounter — the revelation of our unique mythopoetic identity, an identity expressed through symbol and metaphor, image and dream, archetype and myth, an identity embodied in a mysterious story that whispers to us in moments of expanded awareness and exquisite aliveness. The shape and rhythm of this story reveals the hidden treasure that each of us carries for the world — a world longing for the transformative contributions of visionary leaders and artisans of cultural renaissance. Soulcraft practices spring from wilderness rites, depth psychology, ecopsychology, the poetic tradition, nature-based peoples, and from the wild Earth itself — and comprise a contemporary, Western, and nature-rooted path to the terra mysterium of soul initiation.

Animas Valley Institute offers multi-day, experiential explorations into wild landscapes and into the wilds of soul with the goal of discovering the meaning and destiny at the heart of each life. We are guides to the initiatory journey — the descent into the mysteries of nature and psyche where the husk of outgrown ego-identity is shed; where tricksters, demons, and perhaps angels are encountered; and from which a new self emerges as a vessel for one’s distinctive genius and world-transforming gifts. Although our work evokes non-ordinary perception and ways of knowing, it is not shamanism, nor is it primarily rites of passage, wilderness-based psychotherapy, or emotional healing. Our immersions are not designed to transcend the ego, solve everyday personal problems, or help people better adjust to — or be happier in — the flatland of contemporary Western culture. Rather, our intent is a deep-structure shift that matures the ego and elicits each person’s most creative, soul-rooted response to our critical, liminal moment in the unfolding of the world’s story — on the threshold of a future shaped by those who can see beyond our own time.

“Soulcraft” is a registered trademark of Bill Plotkin

Soulcraft Intensive – Australia
March 13, 2020 – March 17, 2020
Council and Mirroring – Australia
March 18, 2020 – March 22, 2020
New South Wales

Wild Mind Intensive – New Zealand
March 25, 2020 – March 29, 2020
Coromandel Pennisula

Announcing: March 2020 programs

Soulcraft Intensive 13 – 17 March 2020
Cost: Early bird (before January 31)/Low income $970.00 Full $1185.00 Scholarship (by application) $700.00
Guides: Rebecca Wildbear and Doug Van Houten
Venue: Hawks Nest, NSW

The Way of Council and the Art of Mirroring 18 – 22 March 2020
Cost: Early bird (before January 31)/Low income $1060.00 Full $1285.00 Scholarship (by application) $750.00
Guides: Doug Van Houten and Rebecca Wildbear
Venue: Hawks Nest, NSW

These programs are self catered and all camping
Registrations open: Monday 21 October 

Testimonial – Training in Human Development November 2018

A belated posting of a testimonial from Training in Human Development: The Soulcentric Development Wheel 2018 guided by Bill Plotkin.

I came craving something more. To know more, but know it with my very being: to make my gut my mind’s equal, tune one to open the other.

I needed to learn something new, for and of myself… I needed to feel it: grit between my teeth, warm dry leaves beneath my cheek, sap in my veins. 

To feel it in my very cells so as to hone and tune that which I can offer to others. 

I entered hungry, uncertain

I was seen and held by the bush, by myself, by the dear and beautiful group, by Weaver’s words, thoughts, theories, his quiet still wisdom. 

We spiralled, labyrinthine, from talk-thought-words out into the hush-crunch-breath of the bush and back in again. I became as though hypnotised. Old things awoke, some to bloom, some to slope off. 

And then: we danced – how we danced. Sparks flew, tides turned, blood surged, skin was shed.

I came back down the mountain both buzzing and soothed. First steps had been taken and I welcomed the mystery of not knowing how or where I’d next find an opening to the deepening, but in no doubt that I would. 

Caroline D. Clinical Psychologist 

Testimonial – Advanced Soulcraft Intensive November 2018

Animas delivers on its promise to take you a step closer to knowing your deepest and true identity, to find the wildest aspirations of your soul and to recover your place in the Earth community. The program guides not only have the experience and skills to facilitate such an adventurous journey. They also have beautiful human qualities to support the soul travellers and inspire them. I have experimented with various paths on human development in the past in my own search for communion with the Earth and my soul, but I have never before encountered something as powerful as Soulcraft. Soulcraft has changed my life and I believe that it can change the life of many others for better. If you are up for the trip, I highly recommend Animas Valley Institute programs as probably the best option available to facilitate your journey.

Carlos G – PhD Student of Anthropology