Autumn 2018 programs

Earlier this year we were lucky to be joined once more by Rebecca Wildbear and Brian Stafford for two more wonderful programs – Wild Mind Intensive and the Blue Mountains Animas Quest – descriptions below.

Wild Mind Intensive

February 21 – February 25 2108, Sydney

Guides: Rebecca Wildbear, M.S., Brian Stafford, MD, MPH from Animas Valley Institute (AVI) USA

 Based on Bill Plotkin’s newest book, Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche, this new 5-day intensive is an experiential exploration of our human psyches as unique expressions of the universal forces and patterns of nature. We will work with what we call the Nature-Based Map of the Human Psyche, which is, among other things, a comprehensive inventory of what can be right about a person, a “shadow” version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), mainstream psychology’s list of what can go wrong with people.

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’ll access these depths and potentials — which we call the four facets of the Self, or the four dimensions of our innate human wholeness — and also the four sets of fragmented or wounded sub personalities that form during childhood.

Rather than attempt to eliminate our sub personalities (which is not possible) or to beat them into submission, we’ll cultivate the four facets of the Self and uncover the gifts of our sub personalities. Our goal is to fully embody our multifaceted wild minds, commit ourselves to the largest, soul-infused story we’re capable of living, and serve the greater Earth community.

Discover:

  • how to recognise and consciously cultivate the four facets of the Self — your innate human wholeness
  • how to identify the sub personalities that supported you in childhood and adolescence to adapt to the challenges of family and social life, but ultimately became barriers to your full and authentic humanity
  • practices and guidelines for cultivating relationships between the Self and your sub personalities, enabling you to heal your sub personalities, discover their gifts, and foster Self-actualisation
  • how each facet of the Self provides essential resources for the underworld journey (the descent to soul), its radical transformation of personal identity, and for living as a visionary artisan of cultural evolution.

We’ll explore the landscape of the psyche through a variety of practices, including creative expression, self-designed ceremony, solo exercises while wandering on the land, group work, movement, voice dialogue, journaling, and deep imagery work.

Blue Mountains Animas Quest

February 26 – March 8, 2018 Wollemi N.P., NSW

Guides: Rebecca Wildbear, M.S., Brian Stafford, MD, MPH from Animas Valley Institute (AVI) USA

THE ANIMAS QUEST This contemporary Western embodiment of the ancient, pan-cultural vision fast is a dynamic wilderness rite for men and women 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 fulfilment and genuine service.

The Animas Quest catalyses the encounter with soul by temporarily displacing everyday consciousness through five primary means: 1. solitude for three or four days and nights while 2. fasting (i.e., drinking water only), 3. being fully exposed to and enfolded within the forms and forces of nature, 4. enacting a series of ceremonies, and 5. employing a set of practices (soulcraft) that support you in crossing into the mysteries of nature and psyche.

Most often, our quests take place over a total of 11 days, 8 – 11 of which are spent in the wilderness. Preceding your time of solitude are five full days of preparation activities that enhance your ability to benefit from the fast. The first two and a half days of these five will be held at a car-camp before we journey to our wilderness base camp (or, on some programs, remain at our car-camp).

During the five preparation days, we work with dreams, poetry, deep imagery, ceremonial drumming and dance, dialogues with nature, the way of council, and other practices to help us slip out the door of our everyday lives and access our own deeper, wilder currents. The heart of the quest consists of the solo: three days and nights without human companionship 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. Upon your return to base camp, there are three days of reincorporation activities, preparing you to embody among your people what you received on your fast. The last of these three days takes place back at the car-camp.