Mystery, Muse and Mythos: A Conversation with Bill Plotkin

Fundraiser for EARTH CRAFT: For Young Adults

(formerly Imagining Tribe)

April 21, 2022

7:00 pm EST on Zoom

Join us for a LIVE conversation between Spirit Hollow Director, Tracey Forest and Bill Plotkin of the Animas Valley Institute. 

By dropping into their mythopoetic selves, and listening to the voices of the Muse, Tracey and Bill will allow their dialogue to unfold organically, guided by the lyrical hand of Mystery.  Who knows what might be spoken from the Depths?  

They may discuss Eco-awakening, the Journey of Soul Initiation, Mythopoetic Identity, the Human Development Crisis, Awakening to the Dream of Earth, Cultural Evolution, Mystery Schools, Visionary Ecologies. . .  or some juicy topics yet to be revealed.

This event is a fundraiser for scholarships for Spirit Hollow’s summer immersion for young people ages 17-24, EARTH CRAFT: For Young Adults Called to Re-Imagine. . . EVERYTHING! (June 2022). 

We wish to raise as much scholarship money as possible, so anyone who is called to join this immersion will be able, regardless of means to pay.


THE EVENT is over, but below is the video on YouTube.  If you feel moved to help us provide scholarships, you can still make a donation!  Thank you.


“I believe the root cause of the dire crises and challenges of our time — all of our currently  cascading environmental and cultural collapses — is a widespread failure in individual human development,” writes Plotkin. “This has been true for so long and in so many societies that most  people today are unaware of this breakdown in the natural sequence of human maturation, a  failure now plainly evident — as witnessed in the current epidemics of psychological  dysfunction as well as social and ecological degradation.” ~ Bill Plotkin

Plotkin’s newest book (2021), The Journey of Soul Initiation, explains that this developmental dilemma stems from disconnection from both our “outer” and “inner” natures and the loss of the journey of soul  initiation — a psychospiritual adventure that connects us in the most profound way to both the Earth community and the source of our deepest humanity. According to Plotkin, if this journey is revitalized and reclaimed, it can transform everything for us both individually and collectively.  


This loss is our single gravest human and planetary crisis because the journey of soul initiation is the  path to true Adulthood — to becoming a cultural visionary and evolutionary — and true Adulthood is  essential to a genuinely healthy, mature culture,” writes Plotkin. “This journey will be a core element of  any future society capable of growing a flourishing culture in partnership with all other species and life  processes of Earth.” 

Philosophically, Plotkin’s core (and radical) move is to frame “soul” as an ecological concept — with all  the psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual implications that unfold from there. 

EARTH CRAFT is, in large part, inspired and informed by the work of Bill Plotkin. Tracey has been immersed in Animas models for the last six years, and is one of Bill’s apprentices in the SoulCraft Apprenticeship and Initiation Program (SAIP).  Part of Tracey’s soul work is to assist our young ones in these treacherous times. Indeed not only do we, as “olders,” need to step up and be there for them, we also need to offer them the resources and tools they need to find their ways forward.  Not just to survive in this overwhelming world, but to step into their power as truly inspired AGENTS in the creation of REGENERATIVE WORLD.  Bill’s models and methods are exactly these tools.

As much as anything, the world today needs mature mentors and initiators to support young people to grow into visionary artisans of cultural change, the new leaders who will guide humanity through the transformation that the greater Earth community wholly depends upon.” — Plotkin 

Bill Plotkin, PhD, is the author The Journey of Soul Initiation. As a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and founder of western Colorado’s Animas Valley Institute, he has led thousands of women and men through nature-based initiatory passages. His previous books include SoulcraftNature and the Human Soul, and Wild Mind. He lives in Durango, Colorado and you can visit him online at

In some ways, the journey of soul initiation has been lost and is now simply being rediscovered, yet in  other ways, the journey of soul initiation is itself in the process of evolving and a new developmental  possibility for humanity is emerging,” writes Plotkin. “Either way, our species is clearly in the midst of  an initiatory interlude — and consequently, our planet is as well.”