Spirit Hollow is delighted to host the Animas Valley Institute
June 4-9, 2019
Venue: Spirit Hollow, N. Bennington, Vermont
Guides: John Lynch, M.A., and Doug Houten
Limited to 16 participants.
The Soulcraft Intensive is a five-day experiential plunge into the wild depths of Soulcraft; a synergistic set of nature-based practices designed to evoke the life-shifting experience of soul encounter. Your soul is your true self, those qualities that most deeply define and express who you are and the unique gift that you were born to bring to the world, a world so much in need of the socially transforming contributions of initiated, actively engaged adults. To encounter the soul is to discover the mystical image you were born with, which reveals the path to your greatest personal fulfillment as well as the essence of your true service to society (the cross-cultural wisdom traditions say these are one and the same). Soulcraft practices spring from nature-based cultures, modern depth psychology, the poetic tradition, and wilderness rites of passage—to comprise a truly contemporary Western path to soul discovery and soul initiation. For a full discussion, see Bill Plotkin’s book Soulcraft: Crossing Into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche.
The Soulcraft Intensive is highly experiential and—well—intense. We alternate between practices utilized in group, practices explored in solitude in nature, and sharing and deepening those experiences in small groups (5 to 9 people each). There is a Soulcraft guide for each small group, providing you with a fully individualized experience. What you discover through one practice is carried into and amplified by what you learn in the next. By the end of the intensive, you will understand yourself and your place in the world from a more soul-oriented perspective, be clearer about the gifts you were born to bring to the world, and have new skills to enrich your life and to defend the health of the more-than-human world.
Soulcraft practices include:
- Soulcentric Dreamwork
- Deep Imagery Work with Animal Guides
- Talking Across the Species Boundaries
- The Way of Council
- Soul Tasks in Nature
- Self-Designed Ceremony
- Shadow Work
- Soul Poetry
- Sacred Wound Work
- Synchronicities: Working with Nature’s Signs and Omens
- Befriending the Dark
- Ecstatic Trance Drumming and Dancing
- many others!
John Lynch, M.A.
John is a university lecturer, where he weaves outdoor and eco-centric experiences into his offerings. He has degrees in outdoor education & leadership, sustainable communities, and ecopsychology. A sower of soulful seeds, John maintains heartfelt support towards fellow seekers negotiating the terrain of possibilities waiting within the field of nature and psyche. In addition to his work at Animas Valley Institute, he has training and certifications in gestalt practices and dialogical processing. John is an avid adventurer of wild places, professional outdoor educator, musician, wilderness guide and local initiator of soulful practices in his northern Arizona community.
Doug Van Houten
Doug Van Houten has an eye for the heartbreakingly beautiful and a wild heart that sings in the dark night of his own soul. He is beekeeper, artist, brave explorer of the “darker than darkness”, student/facilitator of the Great Work, and Animas trained vision fast guide. In his own backyard of the rolling Kentucky hills, Doug organizes retreats/conferences/workshops/drumming circles, and festivals in celebration of Earth spirit. Lit by the luminescence of his own dreams, wanderings and visions, his firsthand enraptured experience is a deep exploration of his own dark wounding. Doug has taken a vow to soul, (that would kill him to break), to live consciously with grace and to stay awake. Here, he dances with shadow, hones his artistry, and answers the call to support the soulful opening of others.
Registration will be through the Animas Valley Institute’s website. This will be live by the end of January. Register EARLY, Spirit Hollow friends! This popular intensive is sure to fill.
Lodging and Meal details to be added shortly.
Participants are also responsible for their own transportation to and from the program location.