Wild Mind Deep Imagination Training – March 2017

Az March 22, 2017 - March 26, 2017 Cost: $835.00 - $1250.00 Venue: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Guides: Nate Bacon, M.A., Brian Stafford, MD, MPH
Limit: 16
Requires application backpacking divider Accommodations camping
prerequisite     retreat center


This training program is open to you if you have a solid foundation of experience in soul work and in accessing your own deep imagery. Ideally, you will already have participated in a “Deep Imagery Intensive”  through Animas. A brief application is required.

This training is designed for people who work — or plan to work — as facilitators of deep imagery. If, in contrast, you are primarily seeking guidance in developing your personal relationship with deep imagery, please enroll in our “Deep Imagination Intensive”.

During the “Deep Imagination Training,” we will apprentice ourselves to the mystery and wild otherness of images that arise from the unconscious. Depth psychologists say that the substance of soul is image, and that deep imagery (imagery that comes to us unbidden from the unconscious, from our core human nature) is one of the most direct and potent means for accessing soul. On imagery journeys, we meet inner guides who possess the wisdom and capacities to assist us on the descent to soul.

Employing a variety of modalities — including interactive dialogue with our imagery, expressive arts and movement, and wandering on the land with our imaginal guides and in our imagery — we will attune to our sensorial-feeling-intuitive-embodied selves and the imaginal world.

This is a highly experiential training. We’ll utilize lecture, discussion, demonstration, and lots of supervised practice guiding individual and small-group deep imagery journeys (including opportunities to debrief and receive feedback on your work). You will guide and be guided in deep imagery processes, recognizing that experiences with your own deep imaginations and imaginal inner guides prepare you to more artfully guide others to access theirs. You’ll meet and/or deepen relationships with your imaginal inner guides who represent your primary resources for your unique way of facilitating deep imagery work, as well as underworld work, more generally.

We’ll explore several themes and principles, including:

• Guidelines for facilitating individual and group deep-imagery work

• Cultivating your soulcentric guiding attitude, including respect for the autonomous otherness of imaginal guides and entities

• Deep imagery as distinct from “guided imagery”

• Discovering your unique style of guiding

• Deep imagery as a tool for designing self-generated ceremonies and individual soul tasks

• Employing the windows of imagination and feeling

• Deep imagery as a method of soulcentric dreamwork, sacred wound work, and supporting the three phases of the underworld journey (descent, liminality, return)

• Expressive arts: embodiment and movement practices to evoke and deepen your relationship with the deeply imaginal.

Participants are responsible for all personal lunches, snacks and beverages.  For breakfasts and dinners, everyone will be part of meal teams that are responsible for planning, buying, and preparing group meals.

Participants are also responsible for their own transportation to and from the program location.

An application is required for this program if you are not registered in the Wild Mind Training Program.  Download Application here and email back to soulcraft@animas.org or FAX to (970) 259-1225.  



Nate Bacon, M.A.

Nate Bacon lives with his family on the east flank of the North Cascades, where he delights in his great fortune of being able to raise his children on the banks of a cold mountain river. A cultural ecologist, wilderness guide, and writer, his work concerns the intertwined nature of perception, language, worldview, and identity. He is dedicated to undermining the psycho-cultural structures of our modern ways of being while remembering our inherent belonging in the world and relationship with all of life. His current writing project explores the mythopoetic relationship between evolution, human consciousness, and the ecological crises of our current moment. Nate is an avid fermenter, kitchen gardener, naturalist, wildlife tracker, and traditional bow hunter with a Master’s degree in Philosophy and Religion. He serves in many roles at Animas, including as guide, trainer, and board member.


Brian Stafford, MD, MPH

brianstaffordpic-150x150[1]Brian Stafford is a guide to the wilderness of nature and soul. He was called out of academic medicine to serve as a guide to the depths and to serve as an agent of cultural awakening and transformation. He guides with humor, playfulness, compassion, discernment, and a deep remembering of the fullness of what each human life can, should, and was meant to be.

A native of Colorado and the former holder of an endowed chair and professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, he is an avid outdoorsman, teacher, writer, mentor, partner, and parent.

He guides individuals and groups in the Colorado River Basin as well Nosara, Costa Rica, to the place they most long and fear to go - the numinous depths of their soul.

Brian currently makes his home in Ojai, California.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

The sights and sounds of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, an International Biosphere Reserve, reveal a thriving community of plants and animals. Human stories echo throughout this desert preserve, chronicling thousands of years of desert living. The Organ Pipe Cactus Biosphere Reserve is a first-generation biosphere reserve created in 1976 for the conservation of the unique resources representing a pristine example of an intact Sonoran Desert ecosystem.