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ANIMAS
MKP USA in Partnership with the

ANIMAS VALLEY INSTITUTE

The nature-based journey of soul initiation is the way to personal revelation, visionary leadership, and cultural regeneration.
Guiding the descent to soul since 1980.

Based on the extensive work of Bill Plotkin in mapping the human psyche in books like “Wild Mind,” “Soulcraft,” and “Nature of the Human Soul,” the Animas Valley Institute is globally respected and recognized for intensive wilderness based programs. The ManKind Project USA has partnered to offer our members access to these intensive programs that resonate deeply with our work.

Bill Plotkin Interview

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get instant access to a deeply engaging interview with Bill Plotkin by Frederick Marx of Warrior Films. Thanks to Frederick for allowing MKP USA access to this powerful conversation. We invite you to learn more about Frederick’s work by joining his email list.

Instant Access to an Interview with Bill Plotkin

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The Animas Valley Webinar:

  • Hear more about the philosophical framework of the Animas Valley Institute from three of its facilitators.
  • Learn about how Animas and MKP fit together.
  • Find out about each of the offerings that MKP and Animas are partnered to share.

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 fulfillment and genuine service.

The Animas Quest catalyzes 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 may be held at a retreat center or car-camp before we journey to our wilderness base camp (or, on some programs, remain at our car-camp).

The Quest Includes:

Five preparation days together, during which 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.

Three days and nights solo, the heart of the quest, 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.

Three days of reincorporation, upon your return to base camp, there are 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 retreat center or car-camp.

NO previous backpacking experience is required. (In fact, many of those who have quested with us have never before been camping or backpacking).

Participants are responsible for their personal camping gear, 3-7 personal lunches, and personal snacks. Details will be included in the preparation materials sent out after registering.

SPECIFICATIONS

Duration: 11 Days
Location: Rocky Mountains of Colorado
Leadership: Professional Leadership
Pre-Requisites: None – Open to Men

UPCOMING TRAININGS

There is no Quest currently scheduled. Check the Animas Valley Institute web site to learn more about their year-round offerings.
Monticello – Southern Utah / Abajo Mountains
June 6 – 16

WHAT THEY
ARE SAYING

“My Vision Quest and subsequent Soulcraft experiences, so skillfully and lovingly crafted by Bill and co-guides, transformed my life. Each time, I have returned to my home and work with a deeper sense of gratitude for both, and an openness to experiencing life more wholeheartedly than I thought possible.”
— Joe Woolley, North Carolina

Wild Mind for Warriors

Based on Bill Plotkin’s book, Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche, this 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 subpersonalities that form during childhood.

Rather than attempt to eliminate our subpersonalities (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 subpersonalities. 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 recognize and consciously cultivate the four facets of the Self — your innate human wholeness

How to identify the subpersonalities 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 subpersonalities, enabling you to heal your subpersonalities, discover their gifts, and foster Self-actualization
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.

SPECIFICATIONS

Duration: 5 Days
Location: Spirit Hollow – Vermont
Leadership: Professional Leadership
Pre-Requisites: None – Open to Men

UPCOMING TRAININGS

Spirit Hollow Retreat Center, Shaftsbury, Vermont
Cost: $775-$1100 Sliding Scale
Sept 8-12, 2018

SoulCraft Intensive

The Soulcraft Intensive is our popular five-day experiential plunge into the wild depths of Soulcraft; a synergistic set of nature-based practices designed to evoke the life-shifting experience of soul encounter. Your soul is your true self, those qualities that most deeply define and express who you are and the unique gift that you were born to bring to the world, a world so much in need of the socially transforming contributions of initiated, actively engaged adults. To encounter the soul is to discover the mystical image you were born with, which reveals the path to your greatest personal fulfillment as well as the essence of your true service to society (the cross-cultural wisdom traditions say these are one and the same). Soulcraft practices spring from nature-based cultures, modern depth psychology, the poetic tradition, and wilderness rites of passage—to comprise a truly contemporary Western path to soul discovery and soul initiation. For a full discussion, see Bill Plotkin’s book.Soulcraft: Crossing Into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche

The Soulcraft Intensive is highly experiential and—well—intense. We alternate between practices utilized in group, practices explored in solitude in nature, and sharing and deepening those experiences in small groups (5 to 9 people each). There is a Soulcraft guide for each small group, providing you with a fully individualized experience. What you discover through one practice is carried into and amplified by what you learn in the next. By the end of the intensive, you will understand yourself and your place in the world from a more soul-oriented perspective, be clearer about the gifts you were born to bring to the world, and have new skills to enrich your life and to defend the health of the more-than-human world.

Practices Include:

Soulcentric Dreamwork
Deep Imagery Work with Animal Guides
Talking Across the Species Boundaries
The Way of Council
Soul Tasks in Nature
Self-Designed Ceremony
Shadow Work
Soul Poetry
Sacred Wound Work
Synchronicities: Working with Nature’s Signs & Omens
Befriending the Dark
Ecstatic Trance Drumming and Dancing
And many others!
Price shown is for shared lodging, includes all meals
Participants are also responsible for their own transportation to and from the program location.

SPECIFICATIONS

Duration: 5 Days
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Leadership: Professional Leadership
Pre-Requisites: None – Open to Men

UPCOMING TRAININGS

Joshua Tree National Park, Southern CA
Nov 28 – Dec 2