Shadow Training – October 2017

Colorado October 16, 2017 - October 20, 2017 Cost: $1010.00 - $1360.00 Venue: Sage Canyon
Guides: Bill Plotkin, Ph.D., Sage Magdalene
Limit: 16
Requires application backpacking divider Accommodations camping
prerequisite     retreat center


The Shadow 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) but, rather, what is true about us but know absolutely nothing about … and would deny if “accused.”

During this training, we’ll develop our skills, as nature-based soul guides, in being with and working with:

• The Shadow: strategies for spotting, unmasking, and assimilating the dark shapes of Shadow

• Projections and transferences

• Loyal soldiers: the subpersonalities that have been keeping us “safe” since early childhood by keeping us small

• Sacred wounds — our core vulnerabilities — that have kept us stuck in the Old Story, but that also provide the priceless opportunity, when we are ready, to remythologize our lives.

• Overpowering emotional charges triggered by other people and by encounters in the natural world

Working in dyads, triads, and full group, we will practice underworld guiding by working with Shadow elements that emerge between us in the training group, in our dreams, in our lives more generally, and while wandering on the land and interacting with the Others. We’ll hone our skills by serving as guides for each other, and through discussion, feedback, and suggestions.

The training will also include instruction and practice in the guidance of the Heart Warrior Council, a format for acknowledging projections and transferences existing within the group and for uncovering the soul-revealing experiences waiting there.

This training is designed primarily for trainees in the Animas SAIP program, but is also open (by application) to guides working in the settings of wilderness, rites of passage, soul initiation, psychotherapy, coaching, etc.

An application is required for this training program. For an application, please download here:  Shadow Training Application.

Participants will need to arrive the night of Sept 15th, as the program begins at 10am the next day. Price includes tipi space for up to 12 people at no additional cost. Please let us know when registering if you would like one of the tipi spaces.

For all camping programs: Each participant is responsible for their own lunches, snacks, and tea. Breakfasts & dinners are group meals; participants will be divided into meal teams and each team will be responsible for purchasing and preparing a certain number of group meals.

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



Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.

Bill Plotkin, Ph.D., is a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and agent of cultural evolution. As founder of western Colorado's Animas Valley Institute in 1981, he has guided thousands of women and men through nature-based initiatory passages, including a contemporary, Western adaptation of the pan-cultural vision quest. Previously, he has been a research psychologist (studying non-ordinary states of consciousness), professor of psychology, psychotherapist, rock musician, and whitewater river guide.

In 1979, on a solo winter ascent of an Adirondack peak, Bill experienced a call to adventure, leading him to abandon academia in search of his true calling. Bill is the author of Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche (an experiential guidebook), Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World (a nature-based stage model of human development through the entire lifespan), and Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche (an ecocentric map of the psyche — for healing, growing whole, and cultural transformation). He has a doctorate in psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Sage Magdalene

Sage has a gift for hearing and reflecting the deep stories of all beings. She invites people to thresholds and opens gates between worlds. She has been an educator, artist, dancer, and gate keeper in many ecosystems. Her greatest joy is to hear and converse with the wild others: moon, spider, frog, human, river and stars. She brings a light touch and embodied wisdom to the serious work of transformation.

Sage Canyon

A beautiful desert location situated close to Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in southwest Colorado.