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 – Training in Human Development 18 participant

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

 During the timeless time of the experience I was the one who journeyed with feather and bone, scales, stones, bright sky and moonlit night. There were voices in caverns and deep long moments in wells of grief. Drumming circles left footprints inside that led to rocky outcrops that buzzed with life and hid inner secrets. Meetings occurred in light and dark between human and non-human, shapes of snake and wombat and kookaburra, and other less recognisable beings. Friends who travelled alongside had their own longings and loves, we were each alone and yet together. There was a great bonding with one another and a knowing of place and senses, yet an un-knowing, an allowing of mystery to wrap itself around and carry us to places not yet explored. Great trust and bravery was seen and welcomed. A stretching of boundaries and a deep dive into what it is to be alive and present to this wild, raw and precious world. We left with a reminder to ourselves about what is important and loved, and the whispered words echoing in our ears… “don’t go back to sleep…” L. Cussel Chinese Medicine Doctor

I have wept at ceremonies, songs, poetry and beauty without understanding why or how to stem the flow…Now I weep for the pure beauty of the earth and my capacity to behold it and to live it, to breathe her air, speak her songs, dance in her glory … for beauty that I have so long denied myself, in service to a veil I have laid over my heart, caught in a whirl of self-ness, scrounging for morsels of Western nourishment.  I saw the egocentricity of that path in those hills, I recognised its loneliness and brokenness … and I left it beside a rock, I gave it to the river – a burden too heavy for me to carry. I sang it to sleep and I promised not to wake it. Beth B. Deep Imagination Intensive 18 participant

Lately I am in conversation with tigers and snakes. Stirring bowls of tears. Breaking into ocean pools in the middle of the night to swim naked under the stars. The subtle difference between ‘doing your work’ and allowing the world to work on you that Bill, Geneen and Wendy returned to over and over during the Advanced Soulcraft Intensive has been like discovering a key that unlocks strange new secret and fearless places in me. For whatever comes – grief, anger, confusion, frustration, love, passion – my only simple yet immense and improbable task is to allow it to do its work on me. To change and shape me, to witness what emerges from that conversation between my being and the world. What a relief and strange magic to give up the illusion of control while living into this paradoxical question of what is my responsibility to this world to sustain this conversation, to see the ways that my being can and does shape the world around me in turn. Daily, I am discovering just how hard it is to truly choose to be alive to this world. Beth H. teacher, writer, facilitator

To say that the vision quest far exceeded my idea of what I wanted to achieve in undertaking a quest, would not be doing justice to how profound and different to what I expected the results would be. The quest which was so expertly guided by Rebecca and Brian plumbed the depths of my soul and brought me to the core of my existence to date…I am very circumspect as to recommending people to do a Vision quest…If that longing, that ache is there then I could not recommend highly enough Animas Valley Institute. Carl G. Animas Quest 18 participant

The quest was nothing short of magical, profound, and deeply life-altering…Into the cauldron went a mixture of pristine land, a group of longing hearts, mystical guides to soul, enchanting poetry, sacred ceremony…and the wild. This concoction was the perfect recipe for something truly spectacular to take place. For me, it was a deep remembrance of ways long forgotten, a deep remembrance of my own place in the world of things, and a blossoming of a profound beauty…Our wildness and connection to the Earth are so precious, it is the remedy for the suffocating disconnection so many of us feel in our lives. It is the healing balm for the destruction taking place on our beautiful planet. Emily R. Animas Quest 18 participant

Although not explicitly a soulcentric program of AVI, the Wild Mind training nevertheless offered a powerful opportunity for my soul to converse with the wilds of nature and my imagination, offering me a clear symbol of my path ahead, and greater internal resources to support this movement. Claire D. facilitator, vision quest guide, writer, founder Nature’s Apprentice  

The learning and practices offered on the Wild Mind programme helped to usher me into a more profound sense of my innate wholeness. From this place, I could dare to explore the terrain of other more habitual and less helpful patterns of behaviour with new insight and skills. I became more confident in understanding how to use these self-healing practices to support me in embodying a more radically open, wholehearted, and courageous way of being in the world.  Brian and Rebecca were both excellent guides and examples of the beauty of soul-centred living. Jennifer C. counsellor & mentor

As promised, Soulcraft invited me into a deep conversation with my soul, mine and that of the larger Animus Mundi of which we are a part. Finding my edge, I danced along it with one hand supported by the guides – soul trackers skilled in interpreting the language of this underworld journey. A wild ride to the wilds of my inner landscapes. Claire D. facilitator, vision quest guide, writer, founder Nature’s Apprentice 

I cultivated…a greater awareness and appreciation of my gifts. A increased recognition of what I have done and a sense of what else I need to do in deepening my self understanding. The words that came to me in my process, the freedom in movement and in the acknowledgment of the feminine were all great contributions. David M. President, Melbourne Men’s Group, management consultant

Rebecca lives the call of the wild of her own soul and understands what that takes…I appreciated [Brian’s] daring transparency and strength to hold the space safely and effectively…I felt as though I was able to embody more of my soul-self, a tangible moment to moment experience of being simply whom I truly am. I came to discover more of my power lying in the shadows, and overall, I was able to ‘see’ more of the themes and threads of my life quests and this felt like a soul retrieval happening within me, an arrival into my Self from the edges into the centre. Rain C. transpersonal psychologist, mentor/coach, Vision quest protector

…every day we summoned our dreams, and did their bidding. Courting the imaginal realm takes guts, and a firm foot on the earth, if you can find it. Through art, dance, embodiment, group work, clan work and in dyads. we entered the images that entered us. We searched for and often found words we hadn’t spoken before…We were also guided to take solo but not solitary walks on the land every day. I learned that how we walk says a lot about how we live. One day, all I found were paths upon paths upon paths, nothing inviting me to pause, and my restlessness rising like a fever. On a different day, I was buoyant and trusting…Rebecca is a gem and a gift and an example of a soul-centred presence. Brian is an absolutely dedicated soul crafter. Ilana L. psychotherapist, Dream Lab founder. Soulcentric Dreamwork 17 participant