Date & Time Details: November 11, 2023 - August 28, 2024

Location: Various Locations

[email protected]

What To Bring: This is an all-camping program. Participants are responsible for bringing their own personal camping equipment to each session, and for personal transportation to and from each session.

Meals : Please see the description to the left for meal details pertaining to each session.

COVID-19: To protect the health of you, your fellow participants, and our guides, please review our COVID-19 POLICIES AND PROTOCOLS. We also ask participants to be especially vigilant in the weeks leading up to the program to avoid exposure to the virus.

Sliding Scale Price: $5350 - $6000

The Yearlong Soulcraft Immersion: Cultivating Soul-Infused Artistry and Leadership in a Time of Global Change – 2023/2024

November 11, 2023 - August 28, 2024

With Bill Plotkin, Ph.D. and Palika Rewilding

The application deadline for this Yearlong Immersion is August 1st, 2023. The guides will review and reach out after that date. 

The Yearlong Soulcraft Immersion: Cultivating Soul-Infused Artistry and Leadership in a Time of Global Change 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 cultivating their most vital, visionary essence. This program is focused on neither healing nor therapy, but rather on the journey of soul initiation and on the development of the skills and sensibilities required for the embodiment of cultural artistry and leadership. This is a courageous descent into the mystical darkness of the soul and the depths of the heart, there to gather the images, symbols, and themes of our individual mythopoetic identities.

The Yearlong Soulcraft Immersion is anchored by four group sessions – three 5-day sessions and one 8-day session – spread out over eight months in four stunning landscapes of the American West.

This year-long highly experiential program allows our personal relationships, our group field, our intimacy with the wild Earth, and our facility with soulcrafting to develop and deepen through extended contact and practice. Our primary goal is to enable and support each participant’s fullest contribution to the Earth community at this time of planetary transformation. During the year, we employ the full range of soulcraft practices, selecting them according to the developing needs of the individuals and the group, as well as the challenges and seductions of the wild. A 4-day vision fast will take place during the third session. Participants work with group and individualized invitations between sessions.

We’ve found that people can reach extraordinarily deep when they have much of a year to do so, when they are consistently supported by an ongoing group (maximum of 13), a pair of guides, and one or more apprentice guides — and when they are steadily assisted to respond to the signs and opportunities that appear during the year. There is an exceptional kind of magic that happens when a group field forms around a journey that has ample time to unfold.

The Yearlong Soulcraft Immersion takes the form of a yearlong vision-fast ceremony or underworld journey. By “underworld journey,” we mean a descent to soul that unfolds in five phases: Preparation, Dissolution, Soul Encounter, Metamorphosis, and Enactment (see Bill’s book, The Journey of Soul Initiation).

The Preparation and Dissolution phases readies you for and then ushers you into the deconstruction of the life you’ve been living, a positive disintegration or dismemberment of the way you’ve been belonging to the world — wiping the slate clean so that you’ll be able to uncover what the soul has in mind for the rest of your life. The sound and fury of one’s current way of belonging (as rewarding and as healthy as this might be) needs first to be quieted before you’ll be able to hear something else — the still, small voice crying out in the wilderness of your life, your true voice, the sound of the one life you can truly call your own.

Dissolution is the descent portion of the journey. It begins no later than the first session and continues, for most participants, up to and through the second, for a four or five month-long unraveling, which most everyone experiences as ecstatic and freeing as well as psychospiritually challenging at times. As Rilke put it, “Now you must go out into your heart as onto a vast plain. Now the immense loneliness begins. The days go numb. The wind sucks the world from your senses like withered leaves.”

Our second session deepens the unraveling and prepares you for the Soul Encounter phase: the revelation of your mythopoetic identity.

During this first half of the Yearlong Immersion, we work with a variety of soulcraft practices including cultivating the four facets of our innate wholeness, soulcentric dreamwork, romancing the world, council, self-designed ceremony, soul poetry, and talking across the species boundaries. We explore our sacred woundings, shadows, and childhood survival strategies, all of which reveal some of the hidden roots of our soul’s passion and the gifts we carry for others. We cultivate our capacity to evoke and sustain non-ordinary states as we explore the mysteries of nature and psyche.

For our third session, we meet for eight days, providing the time for a four-day fast and three-day solo, the deepest portion of the Soul Encounter phase. All prior preparations, including any fasts you might have previously enacted, usher you into this death-rebirth journey, where a fresh vision for your life and your way of participating in the world is kindled and ignited.

Then, from the last days of our third session through our fourth gathering and beyond, the journey is about Metamorphosis: the shapeshifting of your ego (your conscious self) so that you gradually become a person fully capable of carrying your vision as a gift to our world in need.

Sometime between the third and fourth sessions, we also turn our attention toward the Enactment phase of the Descent to Soul: learning to embody what you’ve gathered during the year. You live questions such as: Given all I have learned and become this year, how might I manifest my soul’s deepest desires for this lifetime? How am I meant to participate in this world? What lifestyles, projects, crafts, professions, relationships, and communities shall I participate in? Which “delivery systems” would most enable me to offer my soul gifts to this world, to contribute to the Great Turning of this century? What forms of embodiment and action most resonate with my soul? This is the core purpose of the Yearlong Soulcraft Immersion: preparing and empowering you to “carry what is hidden as a gift to others,” as David Whyte puts it, or to become the most effective and fulfilled artisan of cultural evolution that you can in this lifetime.

Might this Yearlong Immersion be for you? Good question. For most people, the answer would be “no.” This experience is not for everyone but only for those who’ve reached a certain turning point in life: when you feel healed enough in all the ordinary ways of emotional healing; when you are no longer trying to find just the right relationship or job or residence before you really start your life; when the biggest questions for you are no longer about social standing or relationships or job or career, but rather about the mystery that pulses softly at the very core of your life and about your soul’s greatest desires, an appreciation of which, you correctly suspect, will completely shift your understanding of what your life is about.

This is an intense and uncompromising journey, and it is essential you are ready for it. To help you and us assess if you are, we have an application for you to fill out.

Here is a schedule of our sessions:

Session 1: November 11-16, 2023 – River’s Bend Retreat Center, California. The first 5-day session will be held at River’s Bend Retreat Center in Northern California. Dinners and Breakfasts will be provided by our gourmet caterer – personal lunches, snacks, and tea are the responsibility of each participant.

Session 2: March 10-15, 2024 – Anza Borrego State Park, California. The second 5-day session will be held in Anza Borrego State Park, in Southern California near San Diego. Participants will be divided into meal teams to plan, purchase and prepare group breakfasts and dinners – personal lunches, snacks, and tea are the responsibility of each participant.

Session 3: May 14-22, 2024 – Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. For the third session, we will backpack and camp for eight days in and near Capitol Reef National Park in Central/Southern Utah. This session includes a 4-day fast and 3-day solo. Participants will be divided into meal teams to plan, purchase and prepare group breakfasts and dinners – personal lunches, snacks, and tea are the responsibility of each participant.

Session 4: August 23-28, 2024 – Gros Ventre Campground, Wyoming. The final 5-day session will be held at Gros Ventre Campground in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Participants will be divided into meal teams to plan, purchase and prepare group breakfasts and dinners – personal lunches, snacks, and tea are the responsibility of each participant.

Yearlong Soulcraft Intensive participants agree to pay for all four sessions of the program, even if they cannot attend all four sessions, without the option of a refund or the option of transferring funds to another program. The balance of the program will be due 30 days prior to the start of the third session.

The application deadline for this Yearlong Immersion is August 1st. The guides will review and reach out after that date. 


Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.
Bill Plotkin, Ph.D., is a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and agent of cultural evolution. As founder of western Colorado’s Animas Valley Institute in 1981, he has guided thousands of women and men through nature-based initiatory passages, including a contemporary, Western adaptation of the pan-cultural vision fast. Previously, he has been a research psychologist (studying non-ordinary states of consciousness), professor of psychology, psychotherapist, rock musician, and whitewater river guide. In 1979, on a solo winter ascent of an Adirondack peak, Bill experienced a call to adventure, leading him to abandon academia in search of his true calling. Bill is the author…
Learn more about Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.
Palika Rewilding
Palika Rewilding has been courting and centering  the mysteries of the moon and the wild miraculous blue green pearl as long as she can remember. As a threshold midwife she listens and tends the edges and holy cracks with fierce love for pearls and shadowed gems within the psyche and hearts of the individual and collective, longing to recover our enchantment with Mystery, and our reciprocity and response ability with the Animate Earth. Passionately committed to the somatic and imaginal, deep structure, the descent into the Underworld, and the way of  beauty; she tends questions that matter, praise, grief and…
Learn more about Palika Rewilding