The Way of Council and the Art of Mirroring

May 27, 2022 – May 31, 2022

Cost: $1050.00 – $1400.00
Guides: Doug Van Houten, Bruce Howlatt

THE ART OF MIRRORING: There is an art to hearing a story as well as telling one. Mirroring is a collection of skills employed in receiving, embracing, and honoring each others’ stories. In mirroring, we neither project nor interpret but rather celebrate the magic of the story and the gifts of the One Who Bears the Tale. We help the storyteller glean-harvest-reap the jewels, the dark ones as well as those that sparkle.

The Way of Council and the Art of Mirroring are invaluable practices on the descent to soul. Although much of the descent is solitary, gathering with others in council can make all the difference in finding our way. In the mirror of another, our eyes are opened to aspects of both our gifts and our challenges that we might not have seen otherwise. We are encouraged and inspired to drop into realms that are scary, edgy, darkly alluring, mysterious, and ecstatic — dangerous, yes, but keenly aligned with our deepest longings. During council and through mirroring, we serve as consorts for each other’s mysteries. We are supported to track threads of our soul story that, during the intensive or later, can be amplified as we wander on the land or surrender ourselves to movement or dance, or expressed through poetry or other arts. Council and mirroring can crack us open to irrefutable truths about our core nature and our connection to the Others, the larger field in which our councils occur. During council, we track synchronies with the other-than-human world that surrounds us (animal appearances, for example, or weather shifts, or the quality of the light). And we unearth common archetypal themes that appear within our own human circle. All this helps us better perceive the threads of our individual soul stories and our unique ways of belonging to the world.

Through the Art of Mirroring, we learn to listen as if our lives depend on it (they do). We hone our ability to detect the magnificence and mythic qualities in our own and others’ stories. We listen for unique soul threads that might appear in a repeated theme, a tone, aspects of sacred woundings, dreams, unique imagery, archetypal dimensions of the journey, or tracks of shadow material.

A circle of fellow pilgrims, witnessing and mirroring us, helps us understand where we are on the journey to soul and supports us to take our next steps — from our initial preparation for the descent, to the leaving of “home” and the courageous abandonment of our old story, to our hazardous and ecstatic encounters with numinous mysteries, to the gathering up of mysterious treasures, and, finally, the return to our communities with a vision to perform in service to the larger web of life.

This is an all-camping program. Participants are responsible for bringing their own personal camping equipment, and for personal transportation to and from the program. Participants are responsible for bringing personal breakfasts and lunches – all dinners are provided by Spirit Hollow. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the program location.

Start/End Time: 1 pm / 1 pm

We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and are hopeful we will be able to run this program in person. To protect the health of you and our guides, participants are encouraged to drive separately to the program. Air travel is permitted for those who have been fully vaccinated (full vaccination is achieved two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or two weeks after the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine). If you have not been vaccinated, we require a 7-day quarantine plus COVID-19 testing before and after air travel. We also ask participants to be especially vigilant in the weeks leading up to the program to avoid exposure to the virus. Please see our policies for more COVID-19 information.

REGISTER through the Animas Valley Institute, not Spirit Hollow.

Click HERE.


Guides

Doug Van Houten

Doug draws on the wisdom of the natural world, depth-psychology, eco-psychology, dreams, somatic knowing, poetry, and many pan-cultural, soul furthering practices that includes: The Way of Council, vision fasting, shadow work, symbolic artwork, trance dancing and conversations with the more than human world. Doug’s true calling in life is to support others as they uncover their own unique gifts and in so doing, transform their lives in service to what Thomas Berry called ”The Great Work” of our times. Doug is also an ardent beekeeper, a visual artist, a wily wanderer, a dream tracker, an emergent ceremonialist, a heart-centered activist, and a yoga instructor interested in new forms of somatic practice.

Bruce Howlatt

Bruce was pulled towards wildness at a young age and continues to explore the wilderness of psyche, the deep imagination as well as relationship with the more than human.  He is dedicated to helping others explore their own authentic nature so as to further cultivate a deeper relationship to Soul and discovery of the unique genius that they alone carry.  Bruce is an ACMG/IFMGA Mountain Guide, photographer and general all-around mischief maker.