Who we are

Soulcraft™ Australia was created by a group of earth loving soul seekers who believed that Australia was calling out for the work of the Animas Valley Institute (AVI) to be brought to its shores. For thirty years, Bill Plotkin and his co-conspirators at AVI have been evolving a contemporary Western nature-based approach to the journey of soul initiation. An overture was made to Bill Plotkin and his brother and sister guides who sensed that our land and people were ripe for their work of reconnection, healing and cultural renaissance.

Animas Valley Institute owes its name to the Animas River snaking through Durango, Colorado where AVI has made its home. Our moniker, Soulcraft Australia, is a big nod to Bill Plotkin’s first publication Soulcraft – Crossing into the Myteries of Nature and Psyche (2003). Many people reference this book as having profoundly impacted their world. 

Soulcraft Australia programs are run in consultation with our American colleagues and mentors, following AVI guidelines and on a not for profit basis.

From 2016 – 2019, the Soulcraft Australia baton was carried by Robert Boyle and Carin Eisen. Robert Boyle PhD – teacher, facilitator, traveller, tree talker, had been working with the Animas Valley Institute for some years including participating in the Soulcraft Apprenticeship and Initiation Program (SAIP). Carin Eisen B.A./LL.B., M.A. (Conflict Resolution) came to Soulcraft Australia after many years of swimming in community building, dispute resolution, earth communion and deep ecology waters.

Our inaugural Soulcraft programs were held in January 2017 on the outskirts of Sydney. Around thirty courageous souls from different States gathered on our ancient country to learn and practice presence and listening, working with dreams, sitting in council, enacting sacred theatre and ceremony. Guides, organisers, hosts, participants and the land were all touched and changed, taken further into relationship with the earth, themselves and each other

In 2018 we ran six programs including an Autumn Animas Quest held in the wild Wollemi National Park. In November 2018 we were very lucky to have Bill Plotkin and Geneen Maree Haugen join us to guide four programs in various NSW venues (they also skipped over to Western Australia for a program organised by a fellow producer). See Testimonials for a taste of what participants have experienced.

Before now, those wishing to experience AVI’s unique programs had to travel to the USA. Now AVI is spreading it’s wings, with programs emerging in Scotland, France, Canada, England and Colombia.

As of 2019, plans are afoot for Soulcraft Australia to grow to embrace the wider region bringing Eastern Australia, West Australia and New Zealand under the one umbrella. We have created a new consultative group of experienced Soulcrafters to support this transition.

We also have a new production team comprising Carin Eisen and David Emery. In his everyday world David combines the roles of father and grandfather with his work as a lawyer in private practice. He is leaving his legal career to embrace his soul life as a wild lover of nature and the mysteries, and to live on his remote country property in deeper connection with the land. There are Spring 2019 programs in the pipeline (soon to be announced) and plans for 2020 and beyond.

We are well on the way to realising our vision of creating yearly calendars offering several programs in different parts of the region – establishing the work of AVI in the Gondwanan roots, leaves and waters. We envisage, too, there being opportunities for those called to undertake training so as to nurture home grown guides who can further AVI’s valuable work on our own soil.

Curious? Would you like to enter into deeper conversation with yourself and the natural world? Are you ready to explore a feast of earth based, soul centered practices to challenge and enrich? Are you called to follow your deepest most secret longing? Are you seeking new ways to respond to what the Earth is asking of us at this unique time?

Check out our Upcoming programs and feel free to drop us a line with any questions you may have.

With wild blessings, David and Carin