Soulcraft Intensive with Animas Valley Institute

The Soulcraft Intensive is a five-day experiential plunge into the wild depths of Soulcraft. This is a synergistic set of nature-based practises designed to evoke the life-shifting experience of soul encounter.

With Kate Joyner and Doug Van Houten in partnership with the Animas Valley Institute

Featuring special guests Bill Plotkin and Geneen Marie Haugen (in person or virtually by zoom, depending on COVID travel restrictions)

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 fulfilment as well as the essence of your true service to society (the cross-cultural wisdom traditions say these are one and the same).

Soulcraft practises 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 … dare we say? … intense.

We alternate between practises explored in solitude in nature, and practising, sharing and deepening those experiences in small groups (5 to 9 people each). There is a Soulcraft guide for each small group, so you will have plenty of individual time. 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 practises 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
And many others!

Key information:

26 – 30 July (2pm – 2pm)

Embercombe, Devon

Limited bursary places: £625 – Click here to apply

Wilderness Guides

Kate Joyner

Kate serves as a guide to the mysteries of Eros, as the primordial force of creation held within each of our tender and fierce Souls. She is devoted to creating alchemical journey’s that catalyse the unfurling of the tender and powerful essence of each soul to come forth in service of re-imagining a culture rooted in true love and mythical wildness. A nature based underworld guide, poetic revolutionary and experimental actress, she has spent many years in surrender and devotion to the ways of Mystery which has led her to immerse in different teachings and be shaped by an array of cultures all over the world. Kate believes that our creative life force energy, once fully embodied, is the revolutionary force that will change the world. She lives on and is fully in love with the land that is Dartmoor National Park, Devon, UK.

Doug Van Houten

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.

Special Guests

Bill Plotkin

Bill Plotkin

Bill Plotkin, PhD, is the author The Journey of Soul Initiation. As a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and founder of 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

Upcoming Dates & Booking

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