Retreats, Intensives and Wilderness Trips

2019 Programs

The Way of Council and the Art of Mirroring

March 18-22, 2019
at Aravaipa Canyon Ranch, in the Sonoran Desert, Arizona

There is an art to hearing a story as well as telling one. Mirroring is a collection of skills employed in receiving, embracing, and honoring each others’ stories. In mirroring, we neither project nor interpret but rather celebrate the magic of the story and the gifts of the One Who Bears the Tale. We help the storyteller glean-harvest-reap the jewels — the dark ones as well as those that sparkle.  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.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Laura Gunion
Program description and registration

 

Animas Beauty Mesa Quest

June 18-29, 2019
Camping in the high forested mesas of Bear’s Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah

This contemporary Western embodiment of the ancient, pan-cultural vision fast is a dynamic wilderness rite for individuals seeking greater depth and clarity about life purpose and meaning. As a rite of initiation, the quest is a ceremonial descent to the underworld, in which you die to your familiar way of belonging to the world, uncover the passion and wisdom of your soul, and retrieve the gift that is yours alone to bring to the world, enhancing personal fulfillment and genuine service. The heart of the quest consists of three days and nights of solitude in nature — fasting, engaging in personal ceremonies, saying yes to the mysteries of soul, tending the true mythos of your life, praising and grieving, and birthing a vision. This quest begins at Kelly Place Bed & Breakfast at Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, Colorado, then progresses to a base-camp on a high forested mesa in the heart of the redrock canyon country of southern Utah. (No backpacking required.)

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Sage Magdalene
Program description and registration (PROGRAM FULL with waiting list)

 

Wild Mind Intensive

July 24-28, 2019
Latvia

Join us for an experiential exploration of our human psyches as unique expressions of the universal forces and patterns of nature. Our wild minds possess astonishing resources, untapped potentials and depths that we might not even know exist until we discover how to access them, cultivate their powers, and eventually integrate them into our everyday lives. In this intensive, we will access these depths and potentials, and also explore the gifts of our fragmented or wounded parts that form during childhood.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Sage Magdalene
Program description and registration (PROGRAM FULL with waiting list)

 

Coming Home to an Animate World: A Way of Ceremony and Conversation

July 30 – August 3, 2019
Latvia

Think of this intensive as a green doorway, an opening to a wilder consciousness shaped by forest and owls, clouds, cliff and dreams — a passage from a lifeless universe to a cosmos breathing with mystery and invitation, singing and crying in a jillion tongues. When we address the beings of the world as if all are alive, intelligent and suffused with psyche, our lives shimmer with profound richness, depth and mystery. When we engage in conversations with sacred Others – whom we might know as stone, river, owl or pinyon, or as a figure from a dream, or as soul, anima, beloved or muse, or simply as world – we dip into the deep stream of our life: the soulful, mythopoetic story that flows beneath the surface of everyday consciousness.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Sage Magdalene
Program description and registration  (PROGRAM FULL with waiting list)

 

Deep Imagination: Into the Heart of the World

August 4-8, 2019
Latvia

It is our imagination, our deep imagination, that allows us to comprehend the voice of running water; to overhear the song of a place; to move between the knowable world and the unknowable world; to stand in the presence of the infinite; to discover our unique ways of participating with the Mystery that courses through all things; and to connect with the secrets of our own souls. Access to our deep imagination is vital on the journey to soul because we are drawn into intimate conversation with the mysteries of Earth and Cosmos and the depths of psyche. In this communion, we hope to catch shimmering glimpses of how we are called to embody a unique and wild relationship with all of life. During this intensive, we will open ourselves to our own innate imaginal capacities, find ourselves in intimate contact and conversation with the wild world, and allow ourselves to be irrevocably changed.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Sage Magdalene
Program description and registration    (PROGRAM FULL with waiting list)

 

Animas Canyon Country Quest 

September 10-21, 2019
Backpacking in the wild canyons of Bear’s Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah

This contemporary enactment of the pancultural vision quest is a dynamic wilderness rite for individuals 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. 
The heart of the quest consists of three days and nights of solitude in nature — fasting, engaging in personal ceremonies, saying yes to the mysteries of soul, tending the true mythos of your life, praising and grieving, and birthing a vision. This an all-camping quest; we spend the first three days car-camping at a remote primitive site, then backpack into the heart of the redrock canyon country to our wilderness base camp.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Sage Magdalene
Program description and registration  

 

Sweet Darkness: The Initiatory Gifts of the Shadow, Projections, Subpersonalities and the Sacred Wound

October 28 – November 1, 2019
at Kelly Place B&B, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (near Cortez, Colorado)

One of AVI’s most challenging programs, Sweet Darkness is a truly intense, 5-day experiential immersion into nature-based Shadow work. The Shadow, of course, is the hidden side of our psyches, with both its “positive” and “negative” aspects. The Shadow is NOT what we know about ourselves and don’t like (and perhaps keep hidden). The Shadow is that which is true about us, but we know absolutely nothing about. During this intensive, we also explore those sticky, difficult, and immensely rewarding dynamics that come up so often in life, like those overpowering emotional charges triggered by other people and by our encounters in the more-than-human world…

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Sage Magdalene
Program description and registration

 

Soulcraft Intensive

November 13-17, 2019
Joshua Tree National Park, California

The Soulcraft Intensive 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. 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.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Brian Stafford
Program description and registration