Great Places To Start
The Animas offerings listed on this page, while some of our most profound experiential immersions, are also the most popular “entry points” for those with no prior experience with Soulcraft™ practices or the work of Animas Valley Institute.
This is our popular 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.
Exploring the Wild Mind
Join nature-based soul guide Bill Plotkin and other guides in an experiential exploration of our human psyches as unique expressions of the universal forces and patterns of nature.
Soulcentric Developmental Wheel
Anchored in traditional four-directions wisdom, contemporary depth and archetypal psychologies, and twenty-five years of nature-based soul guiding, the Soulcentric Developmental Wheel (SDW) is a new ecopsychology of human development and cultural transformation.
This contemporary enactment of the pancultural vision quest is a dynamic wilderness rite for men and women who are prepared for the encounter with soul, seeking greater clarity regarding life purpose and meaning, and/or undergoing the healing and empowerment of a major life transition.
Our Advanced programs are designed for those who are prepared for the encounter with soul and want to work in greater depth with one or two specific soulcraft practices (like dreamwork, talking across the species boundaries, shadow work, deep imagery, or the way of council) or want to take their next step toward soul after an Animas Quest (or a vision fast with another organization). These programs are also popular with educators, health professionals, psychotherapists, and wilderness guides. An application is often required for our advanced programs.
Yearlong Soulcraft Immersion
The Yearlong Soulcraft Immersion: Cultivating Soul-Infused Artistry and Leadership is an advanced program for people already immersed in their soul-discovery process and who are either in a leadership position or are longing to support radical change in our world through the cultivation and offering of their most vital, visionary essence.
Underworld Journey Animas Quest
The Underworld Journey Animas Quest is designed for those who are ready to face the greater challenge and intensity of a 13-day descent to soul. Relative to our other quests, there is an extra group day in the backcountry prior to the fast (for a total of nine days camped on the land) .
Sweet Darkness is one of our most challenging programs, a truly intense intensive, a 5-day experiential immersion into nature-based Shadow work.
Council & Mirroring
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.
Coming Home to an Animate World: A Way of Ceremony and Conversation
This five-day experiential is an invitation to discover who we become when we approach the world as if everything is alive, intelligent, and filled with imagination and purpose.
We’ll deepen what we discover in the imaginal world by grounding it in the body through somatic exercises and movement and expressing it creatively through various art forms in order to fully take in and honor the gifts we receive.
Soulcentric Dreamwork is a central component of Soulcraft™ — a contemporary set of nature-based, cross-cultural practices designed to facilitate the encounter with soul that founder of Animas Valley Institute Bill Plotkin first wrote about inSoulcraft: Crossing Into the Mysteries of Psyche and Nature.
Our Special Focus programs employ a variety of innovative and distinctive soulcraft practices for evoking the encounter with soul. These offerings are of special interest to a great variety of people, including those called to the awakening of planetary imagination, the craft of writing as a path to soul, crossing the threshold into authentic elderhood, and the exploration of other initiatory realms.
If you are in or nearing your senior years and feeling this call, Embracing Elderhood is a rare opportunity to prepare yourself for an elderhood of continual growth, passion and service.
Psyche the Size of the Earth
Be prepared to enter the mystery, to whisk yourself across thresholds of perception, to add your song to the wild symphony, to discover another facet of your own unique self, to commune with soulful community both human and beyond, and to take home an expanded version of yourself and an experiential relationship with an intelligent, soul-infused, animate world.
Rewilding the Future
Reclaiming our own wilder psyches, which overflow with endless creativity, ecological genius, and emergent possibility, is a necessary prelude to re-wilding the future.
Romancing the World
This intensive evokes world-participatory consciousness embodied through creative forms of expression.
Writing the Wild Soul
In “Writing the Wild Soul,” we’ll explore practices that beckon us toward non-ordinary experience and modes of participation with the world.
Our training programs are for cultural change agents seeking the most advanced and comprehensive study in Soulcraft™. Our 3-to-6 year Soulcraft Apprenticeship and Initiation Process (SAIP), is a graduate level training program in the skills and practices of nature-based underworld guiding. You do not have to be enrolled in SAIP in order to take individual training-level courses; however, a program application is required. We also offer multi-session training programs for human development facilitators, featuring advanced training in the use of the Soulcentric Developmental Wheel and in the Nature-Based Map of the Human Psyche.
Wild Mind Training
Professional training in the use of Nature-Based Map of the Human Psyche to support others to cultivate their innate wholeness and to acquire the skills of Self-healing. Continuing Education credits available.
The Council Facilitator Training is designed to immerse trainees in the way of council. A brief application is required.
Deep Imagery Training
This training program is open to you if you have a solid foundation of experience in soul work and in accessing your own deep imagery. Ideally, you will already have participated in a “Deep Imagery Intensive” through Animas. A brief application is required.
During this training, we practice detecting the greater story that pulses beneath the events of a person’s life. When our story is compassionately reflected through the skilled mirroring of another, we feel fully heard and able to experience ourselves in a larger and more meaningful context. A brief application is required.
Soulcraft Apprenticeship & Initiation Program
The Soulcraft Apprenticeship and Initiation Program (SAIP) is designed for those called by Mystery to learn, co-develop, and implement an authentic, contemporary, Western, nature-based path to soul initiation.