An Everywhen – guest blog post from Therese Doherty

Our next guest blog post comes from Therese Doherty, scholarship recipient for Writing the Wild Soul with Geneen Marie Haugen 3 – 7 Nov Katoomba

An Everywhen – Therese Doherty

Expanding inwardly,
creating more space for the generative darkness.
An inhalation that opens the interior
– in-held breath –
so there is (no longer) an exterior –
only self, whole.

Bird-self, tree-souled,
a bow to the Others who
make me.

Yellow wattle shining in afternoon light,
gold-lit green fierceness at midwinter.
The same yellow in the lemons,
round-bright and sweet with sour.

I write from myself and for myself,
from what is not myself,
to be more truly myself
– transparent –
cutting through illusion to the real:
tree, sunlight, breeze, bird.

Rainbow lorikeets, faster than
my eye can follow,
entering me with their feather-selfs,
opening me to what I am not, and to
the interplay of complements without hierarchy.

Relishing this place, this
everywhen – for I am,
now, I am;
will not be, one day;
have not been, before –
but now – NOW –
I am –
and the earth embraces me,
one small molecule of
her curvaceous flesh.

the song already is – guest blog post from Sophie Nyssen

From scholarship recipient Sophie Nyssen. Sophie is joining us this November for Deep Imagination, Soulcraft and the Reanimation of the World 11 – 15 Nov at the Bamarang Bush Retreat…

I simply need to open my ears, my mind and my heart to the unfolding magic and music that envelops me in every moment​…S​ophieNyssen

I was handed a copy of Bill Plotkin’s Soulcraft in class one day and after reading the first few pages felt a deep stirring in my soul and a sort of relief as if for the first time I finally had some sort of recognition and guideline to work with what was bubbling in my depths. More and more I am beginning to wake up, recognise and remember the mysteries of this world and in particular the magic, communion and guidance that can be encountered in nature.

I recall finishing a long day of work and feeling exhausted and fed up with people and the world. I was riding my bicycle home in a huff without much awareness, mainly stuck in my head feeling very wound up and sorry for myself. As I was riding through a park I all of a sudden got a strong urge to stop and sit on the park bench. Slowly my mind began to turn outward and open up to the happenings of the park. I was soon encapsulated by the squabbles and chorus of dozens of lorikeet singing their evening song. I sat there for a long time and simply listened, I was deeply moved. Their song prompted me to think of my own song and my own struggle to find it, understand it and have the courage to sing it. Yet their song moved me in such a way that I realized the song already is, I do not need to seek it or desperately search for it, I simply need to open my ears, my mind and my heart to the unfolding magic and music that envelops me in every moment, the song is life itself so it can’t be wrong. I experienced a wave of relief and inspiration and rode home with joy in my heart and music in my ears.

This experience helped me understand my own relationship to my voice and sense of purpose. The lorikeets reminded me of the clarity of presence and the joy of singing. Their song enabled me to move beyond the surface of my busy mind and tune into a deeper conversation that was going on, a conversation that provided insight, clarity and vision.

It is instances like this that evoke a deeper meaning and respect for nature. I know that if I stop, listen and tune in there is always a conversation to be had.

In November I am hoping to step deeper into this relationship by attending a workshop run by Bill Plotkin and Geneen Marie Haugen called Deep Imagination, Soulcraft and the Reanimation of the World. There is a whole world waiting to be explored deep within my psyche in parallel with the dreaming of the Earth and I look forward to meeting myself there.

Elemental Awakening – guest blog post from Samantha Herbert

On desert winds…comes a piece of writing from scholarship recipient, Samantha Herbert.


From a place of loss and confusion
The memoirs of her upbringing administered a shot of pain to her heart
On a daily basis
Repelled to the life society laid out for her
She ventured up the coast
On a journey
Deep into nature
Across wild vast terrain
Accepting those invitations
Entering into initiations
Women’s Culture and Lore Camps
With aboriginal mob
Wierda Jandhu
Powerful Women
Her heart was open
Her barriers came down
Tumbling down
Her ignorance unveiled
Identity shaken
She was ready to listen
To learn
From the elements
All of the elements
And the experiences they presented

She fell in love with this great land


Covered in red dirt
Head to toes
A different colour
The red red soil
Visible on my skin
Breathing in the colour
It in turn breathing me

On country
Uluru in sight
Feet bare
Soft soil
Dry soft soil
Red dry soft soil
Red red dry soft soil

Playing in it
Lying in it
Intentionally rolling in it
Consciously placing it on my forehead
Welcoming me to country


Fire keeper

New Way Fire
Old Way Fire

Keep them alive
For ceremony
All day
All night
Four days
Vows made

I am with you
Let me serve you
Greater than mind can understand

Searching, collecting, piling, sorting, cracking, placing, manoeuvring, gently pushing, quickly poking

Fire igniting

Fire slowing
Middle of the night
Sitting up
Half asleep
Half awake
Coals moving and shifting
Gently stoking the fire back to life

Language of respect and love
I hum under my breathe
The fire revealing faces
Whispering insights

Forever keeping the fire alight in my heart


Pure moments with the women
On rocks
Staring out to the vast ocean
Salty spray
Crashing waves
Standing strong
With passion and honour
Relentlessly repeating the chants in language
Honoured through the sharing of ancient wisdom
To sing up the connection to the creatures of the water
Calling to our friends
The dolphins
Their love and acknowledgement deeply felt

Power in honour
Connection through song
Joy and laughter overflowing



New Way Dreaming

Old and new coming together

Rising above

Wings Spread

Scanning the landscape

For evidence of this truth

That will emerge when respect returns


I am longing to deepen this connection with nature through the Animas Valley programs.
To refine my communication.
So I can share the profound depth of rightness and belonging I feel to the land with others.
Using Imagination and expression.
To guide others to discover the rightness in themselves.
Connection and re-connection.
To their true centre.
Through connection to the land.

Samantha Herbert 2018


We are excited to announce that all five programs this coming November with Bill Plotkin and Geneen Marie Haugen have been confirmed as going ahead.

Thank you to those who have decided to join us and make it a reality.

The Training in Human Development program is now full and the waiting list has closed.

The Deep Imagination Intensive has had a great response and there are now only six places remaining.

For Writing the Wild Soul we have seven places remaining and the Advanced Soulcraft Intensive is more than half full.

This is a unique opportunity to be guided by Bill Plotkin, author and founder of the Animas Valley Institute and by Geneen Marie Haugen, fellow guide and author. These programs will be brimming  wild inspiration, encounters with the more than human world and soul centered companions. Are you called to be part of it?

Wild blessings,

Carin and Robert – Producers

Well Spring of Life – guest blog post from Bridget Kruger

Bridget was successful in obtaining a scholarship place for the upcoming Training in Human Development: The Soulcentric Wheel with Bill Plotkin 3 – 7 November*

My first sip from the well spring of life

Bridget Kruger

Sheep, humans, elephants, ants. Each of us alters the world in our passage. When we build hives or nests, mud huts or concrete towers, we rescuplt the contours of the planet. When we eat, we convert living matter into waste. And when we walk we create trails. The question we must ask ourselves is not whether we should shape the earth but how. Robert Moor

I was a wanderer, I have been a wanderer for many years. Exploring this magical planet in search of something more, something greater, a more intimately connected way of being. I have lived, travelled and worked on every continent. I’ve ridden horses across Mongolia with wild horsemen, trekked across deserts with shaman, immersed myself in remote villages of Africa, skied across melting ice caps and made friends with polar bears and penguins. My life for many years was like Aurora, dancing her merry tune across the sky’s, brightly spinning and weaving her magic. I floated through life in a different way to many, reaching to the stars and stretching to the far corners of the globe in search of infinite wonder and connection.

I knew my spirit did not belong in the confines of a concrete jungle nor that of a regimented lifestyle. Instead I found my passion outside, in nature with the freedom to be my authentic self. I was lucky enough to love my work, facilitating wilderness journeys and rites of passage programs with youth. I loved connecting them to their wild and raw selves, and to their infinite potential. Helping teenagers discover their unique gifts that they had been given and then in turn how they could contribute back to society was incredibly fulfilling. But I still felt like there was something greater that I was called to do, a bigger way to connect individuals to the natural world.

I wandered some more and during this time I poured through books. I was drinking in the words of Bill Plotkin. I recognised that human kind as a whole were in a state of adolescence, unable to understand that they were part of a greater community. Most were existing in this self-involved state not yet to see what they could gift the rest of the community; protection, care and nurturing. I wondered what would it be like to live in a world where people were deeply connected to their raw authentic self. A world where freedom travelled like whispers on the wind, giving people the chance to strip away anything that kept them from being their unique self. If only we could live within a deep covenanted union with nature and appreciate what it is like to be in touch with our wild primal selves again; life could be a much more magical journey.

Years later I found myself in the Mexican jungle. I lay breathing deeply into my womb, the source of my magic. Feeling and sinking into my power as I breathed in and out. Funny I thought that one of life’s greatest jokes was that our infinite power and healer of all was simply within us all along. Breath. The thing that connects us to all living beings. As my breaths deepened visions engulfed me like an evanescent mist. A sense of grieving flooded through me emerging in pain and sadness. Tears streaked my cheeks as I gave birth to what seemed like a dead foetus. Shocked, I looked down upon it and slowly it began to stir. It had woken from it’s state of stillness and was gently rising upwards, steadily growing taller and taller. Still covered in its bloody veil of placenta, I asked it to reveal itself. It slowly shed its no longer necessary shroud and unveiled this glorious goddess of a creature. It was part woman, part peacock. I realised that she was a version of myself. Standing there in all her glory, deliciously curvaceous with a strong warrioress body and a beautiful tail full of feathers. Gold emanated from her, making her glow and her tail feathers sparkle. The vision of this peacock embodiment of me, shook her tail feathers while dancing and swivelling her hips. As she did so her feathers coloured the world like paint dripping on fresh canvas. ‘Colour the world’ she whispered, ‘Colour the world!’ We stood staring at each other, mesmerised. She sprouted more feathers upon her crown and we merged as one. I opened my eyes to fresh new scene. I stood surrounded by mystical rainforest, light flickering between the trees. My body was covered in designs painted on me. In front of me a tall avatar like priestess, with matching tribal paint, reached out her hand to press gently into my third eye. As she pressed inwards blinding light erupted out of it setting the forest ablaze. Bright flames burnt all around us bringing the trees into clearer light. I realised they weren’t actually trees as their limbs transformed into those of an avatar. Suddenly we were encircled by a covenant of women that we had brought to life with the fire. They stepped towards me chanting ‘you are a fire goddess, your heart is your resource with the fire and love of a thousand suns, you are a fire goddess’. Their words washed over me and I sunk back into reality knowing I would never have to burn my life down to the ground like a phoenix again. Instead I needed to paint the world with my colour and ignite love and fire within the souls of others.

In Mexico I had taken my first sip from the wellspring of life. It quenched my deep thirst for connecting with my higher purpose. I was inspired beyond all other experiences to live consciously, to possess the courage to look deep within, beyond the many masks we wear each day and accept both shadow and light. Learning how to facilitate this deep transformation for others under the guide of Bill Plotkin is the opportunity of a life time. I know that I can help heal others and their relationship with nature by teaching them how to be unapologetically their most authentic, wild, spiritual, sexual, primal and alive self. My life work to assist others on soul journeys and transcendence will be greatly enhanced with this program. I am beyond excited to help unleash peoples bold and potent beings. Teaching them that they possess the beauty and the power of the universe, that they belong to a tribe, that they can dance naked in the oceans, yell to the heavens, and ultimately inspire them to protect and love the nature around them.

*Training in Human Development is currently fully booked with a waiting list. There are still spots for Writing the Wild Soul, Deep Imagination Intensive and the Advanced Soulcraft Intensive – Carin, Soulcraft Australia producer.

Rewilding the Soul: blog post by Claire Dunn Nature’s Apprentice

A blog post from Claire Dunn of Nature’s Apprentice about Soulcraft, the call to soul and the visit to Australia by Bill Plotkin and Geneen Marie Haugen this coming November.

…It was sitting in my letterbox, sender anonymous, on a bright spring morning. With goosepimples I turned the pages of Soulcraft feeling like every word had been written for me. Rather than there being something wrong with the yearning I had to walk away from life as I had constructed it by my late twenties, Plotkin explained, the calling I felt to embark on a solo journey in nature was in fact a sign of healthy human development…

Read more at:…/23/rewilding-the-soul

The Mystique of Rain, Geneen Marie Haugen, Garrison Institute blog 17/07/18

“An inch of water wobbles in the handmade bowl cupped between my hands. I raise the clay vessel to the cloudless sky, praising rains long past for nourishing the land, for allowing streams to flow, for recharging the subterranean aquifer whose miracle waters runs through my household tap….” Read on as Geneen Marie Haugen offers prayers and love songs to the delayed monsoon – click on the link below.

Geneen will be guiding Writing the Wild Soul in Katoomba this coming November as well as guiding two other programs alongside Bill Plotkin. For more information please go to Upcoming Programs on the Home page.

The Mystique of Rain

Register now for November programs with Bill Plotkin and Geneen Marie Haugen

We are very excited to announce that registrations are now open for five programs being guided by Bill Plotkin and Geneen Marie Haugen in November this year.

Beginning in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Bill and Geneen are each guiding programs to be run consecutively from 3 – 7 November 2018. Bill will be running Training in Human Development: The Soulcentric Development Wheel, for all those interested in an ecocentric and soulcentric approach to human development and especially professional human development guides. Geneen’s offering, Writing the Wild Soul, is for those who are called to soul encounter and also to written and spoken expression as a way of conveying to others their wild experience  of nature and psyche.

Next to Bamarang Bush Retreat, alongside the Shoalhaven River,  where Bill and Geneen will together guide us into Deep Imagination, Soulcraft and the Reanimation of the World from 11 – 15 November, 2018.

Bill and Geneen will then wing their way to Western Australia to offer Coming Home to An Animate World: A Way of Ceremony and Conversation, 21 – 25 November 2018 – a green doorway, an opening to a wilder consciousness shaped by (and in conversation with) Sacred Others known as forest, stone, cockatoo, and river. Our colleague, Jenni York is hosting this program – all enquiries to

Finally, our illustrious guides will return to the Blue Mountains of NSW for Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche: An Advanced Soulcraft Intensive, 28 November – 2 December 2018 – an  “advanced” version of the Soulcraft Intensive for people prepared for a radical immersion in the enigmatic dark waters of soul.

All programs, except Writing the Wild Soul, are by application – please see Program Applications – is not essential that you have previously attended an Animas Valley Institute program. The applications invite you to feel into your relationship with the wild world within and without as a way of opening the door to engaging with what these unique programs have to offer.

All of the East coast programs are full residential – accommodation and all meals included. Register and pay before 3o August for a ten percent Early bird discount.

There are limited partial scholarships available for the East coast programs for those passionate about this work and who would not otherwise be able to attend – go to, for more information.

We are thrilled that Bill and Geneen are able to join with us and the whispers and cries of this ancient continent. Don’t miss out on this feast of enlivening and enriching experiences, all of which are being presented for the first time in Australia.

Places are limited so secure your spot by putting down your deposit. Your registration is complete once all registration forms have been completed – See Registration Help – policies and procedures

In Wildness, Carin and Robert

Bill Plotkin and Geneen Marie Haugen in Australia in November 2018

We are excited to announce that in November 2018 we will be joined by Bill Plotkin (founder of Animas Valley Institute) and Geneen Marie Haugen, his fellow guide and partner.

They will be offering five programs: Training in Human Development: The Soulcentric Development Wheel (November 3 – November 7, NSW); Writing the Wild Soul (November 3 – November 7, NSW – running concurrently with Training in Human Development); Deep Imagination, Soulcraft and the Reanimation of the World (November 11 – November 15, NSW); Coming Home to an Animate World: A Way of Ceremony and Conversation (November 21 – November 25, WA) and Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche: An Advanced Soulcraft Intensive (November 28 – December 2, NSW).

More details coming very soon.