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Crossing Into the Mysteries
of Nature and Psyche

by Bill Plotkin

"Every now and then a book is birthed into the world that is destined to irrevocably alter the spiritual face of modern culture. Bill Plotkin's Soulcraft is just such a book. Charting a course through the underworld pathways with the heart of a shaman, mapping the powers of myth and psyche with all the soul and interpretive skill of Jung or Campbell, Plotkin's guide to the journey of initiation is to nature-based soulwork what Huxley's Doors of Perception was to consciousness studies."
~ Frank MacEowen, author of The Mist-Filled Path.

Bill Plotkin and SOULCRAFT - Crossing Into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche, teaches people how to connect to the earth to heal self and the badly damaged relationship to the living community. Using an ecocentric approach the book provides the embodied, experiential or soul journey and underworld element that seems to be missing from modern psychotherapy and spiritual traditions... this is unique.

Thomas Berry says -- "In this work, Plotkin gives us an authentic masterwork. In the substance of what he has written, in the clarity of his presentation, and in the historical urgency of the subject, he has guided us far into the new world that is opening up before us. We will not soon again receive a work of this significance."

Unique Idea -- In Bill's view there are two realms of spirituality, one that turns upward toward the light which aids us in transcending our ego based reality and the other is downward toward the dark center of our individual selves and into the fruitful mysteries of nature. They are distinct yet complementary. Together they form a whole. Either alone is incomplete.

Soulcraft the Guide -- Soulcraft presents a nature-based trail map for discovering our individual way to belong to life and offer our special gifts to the world. Bill is a psychologist and wilderness guide for 20 years who emphasizes the development of our relationship to soul and our active engagement with the natural world to help create a healthier environment for all life.

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His approach to psychotherapy goes beyond the traditional focus on the individual healing to address the conversation that we each are capable of having with the more-than-human world. Since 1980, Bill has been the director of the Animas Valley Institute which has a faculty of 20 soul-oriented wilderness leaders and which has guided thousands on multi-day nature based programs.

A border crossing into mystery, Soulcraft is rooted in depth psychology, wilderness experience and the poetic tradition. It is not an imitation of the indigenous ways, but a contemporary nature-based approach born from the landscape of the American Southwest, the traditions of the Western culture, the cross cultural heritage of all humanity and the experience of Bill and his colleagues.

Soulcraft encompasses over 40 practices that facilitate a ceremonial descent to soul, to uncover and retrieve our original wildness. The book presents a soulcentric and ecocentric approach to dream work, nature immersion, talking across the species boundaries, signs and omens, symbolic artwork, storytelling, soul-rooted poetry and the arts of solitude, shadow work and romance.

Bill Plotkin, Ph.D., founding director of Animas Valley Institute, holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. An ecotherapist, depth psychologist, and wilderness guide, he combines his love of nature with his love of people into the crafting of unique programs in soul initiation, vision questing, ceremony, nature dialogues, dreamwork, and a variety of other Soulcraft practices. He is a licensed psychologist in private practice and has guided over 1,000 people through initiatory passages in nature since 1980. Plotkin is considered one of the nation's leading authorities on vision quests and other nature-based spiritual programs and has lectured widely at home and abroad. He pioneered one of the country's most popular training programs in wilderness rites that includes advanced courses on nature and soul and professional trainings in soul-centered psychotherapy, ceremony, and wilderness skills. He has worked as a consultant to individuals, groups, government agencies, corporations, and public school systems on rites of passage and soul-centered human development. His vision quests are sponsored and supported by Naropa University in Boulder, CO, Omega Instititute in Rhinebeck, NY, and Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, CA.

Bill Plotkin lives in Durango, Colorado. Animas Valley Institute, and likes to think of himself as a "psychologist gone wild." His website is:

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