Retreats, Intensives and Wilderness Trips

2018 Programs

Wild Mind Intensive

March 21-25, 2018
at Aravaipa Canyon Ranch, Sonoran Desert, Southern Arizona

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 Doug Van Houten
Program description and registration

 

The Way of Council and the Art of Mirroring

March 26-30, 2018
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 Sage Magdalene
Program description and registration

 

Soulcraft Intensive

May 16-20, 2018
at Earth Spring Sanctuary, near Victoria, British Columbia

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

 

Depth Council Training

May 28 – June 1, 2018
at Sage Canyon, Canyon of the Ancients National Monument (near Cortez, Colorado)

The Depth Council Training is open to you if you have a strong background in soulwork, have considerable experience as a participant in councils, and are interested in developing skills for facilitating depth councils. You may also already have experience as a council holder. Ideally, you will already have participated in the Animas program, The Way of Council and the Art of Mirroring in March 2018. The Depth Council Training will focus on facilitation of nature-based soulcentric councils especially designed to support the descent to soul, also known as the underworld journey or the soul initiation process.

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

 

Animas Quest

July 16-27, 2018
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 Doug Van Houten
Program description and registration

 

Soulcraft Intensive

August 1-5, 2018
at Highlands Camp & Retreat Center, near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado

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 gifts 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 John Lynch
Program description and registration

 

Animas Quest 

September 12-23, 2018
Camping 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 31 – November 4, 2018
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

 

Wild Mind Shadow Training

November 5-9, 2018
at Kelly Place B&B, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (near Cortez, Colorado)

This new training in shadow work is designed primarily for trainees in AVI’s Wild Mind Professional Training Program, but is also open (by application) to other professionals working in the settings of psychotherapy, coaching, teaching, clergy, leadership, wilderness rites of passage, etc.

Animas Valley Institute program guided by Gene Dilworth and Sage Magdalene
(Complete program description and registration link coming soon!)

 

Wild Mind Intensive

November 30 – December 4, 2018
at The Gray Center, near Canton, Mississippi

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

 

Spider Silk in Moonlight: Myth and the Underworld Journey

December 5-9, 2018
at the Gray Center, near Canton, Mississippi

At Animas Valley Institute we believe that each human being is meant to have a unique, mystical relationship with the world. This relationship is the key to the individual soul’s purpose. The discovery of this particular mystical relationship with the world occurs through the underworld journey, the descent to soul. The soul tends to speak in the language of image and story, and the soul’s story is mythical and poetic. Because mainstream culture has generally forgotten mythopoetic language and meaning, it is deeply supportive for the underworld journeyer to practice dwelling in mythological consciousness, remembering and discovering stories that tell of the meaningful relationships between humans and wild others.

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