Seasons of the Soul

A four-season program for women and men – Fall 2017 to Summer 2018

with Sheila Belanger, M.A. and Anne Hayden

Seasons of the Soul, open to both women and men, consists of five seasonal gatherings to immerse in the transformational practices of Soulcraft™ and Process Work with an ongoing group of fellow travelers and seasoned guides. The year-long aspect offers a unique opportunity to prepare for and integrate the ceremony of the vision quest.

Autumn: Tracking Soul through Shadow Work

Wednesday October 25 to Sunday October 29
Takes place at a small private retreat center on South Whidbey Island

Winter:  Into the Wilderness of Dreams

Wednesday January 31 to Sunday February 4
Takes place at a small private retreat center  on South Whidbey Island

 Spring: Weekend preparation for the Vision Quest.

April 27 to April 29. This camping event takes place on South Whidbey Island, from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon.

Early Summer: Vision Quest:

Saturday June 2 to Sunday June 10

A ceremony to engage in the mystery of the wilds, inner and more-than-human. Light back-packing, in remote canyons and foothills of Eastern WA

Late Summer: Embodying the Gift of Soul

Wednesday August 1 to Sunday August 5
Camping on the islands of the Salish Sea or in the mountains nearby

Each session builds on foundational Process Work and Soulcraft™ practices (see below) to support your personal journey towards mature adulthood rooted in the fibers of your soul. This is a highly experiential program informed by modern depth psychology, and immersed in ancient and enduring nature-based ways of knowing, the poetic traditions, and wilderness rites of passage.

Between the first two gatherings, each participant will receive a 1-hour personal mentoring session with one of the guides.  An email council with participants will also be available to keep the community deepening and connecting.  For an additional fee, more mentoring sessions are available.

We will begin in the Autumn with the dive into the darkening realms of shadow, where we will track the way our soul-gifts stay hidden until we are mature enough to embody them.  Winter brings us into the wilderness of dreaming while earthy processes work beneath the surfaces.  Soul-centric dream-work explores the images and content from the unconscious realms and offers energetic clues for how to enliven a conscious relationship with soul.

In early Spring, we will meet for a weekend to reconnect and prepare for the early Summer Vision Quest, which will find us traveling together on a longer path into the emerging world, undertaking a transformative and possibly initiatory journey in the foothills of Eastern Washington. The ceremony of the Vision Quest is ancient and pan-cultural, and offers each person a unique opportunity to court their own essential nature.  In the warmth of Summer, we will immerse in practices to support the ongoing offering of our soul gifts to the world that is hungry for our authentic and mature presence.

The timing of the Seasons of the Soul program is aligned with potent astrological cycles as well as with the earthly cycles of the seasons, and is designed to nurture a community of courageous change agents ready to answer the call of soul. Core practices include:

  • Conversation and relationship with Nature and Mystery
  • Ceremonial council and the building of community
  • Authentic Movement and other embodiment practices
  • Individualized, guided soul tasks in nature
  • Deep Democracy and Process Work (from Arny and Amy Mindell)
  • Deep Imagination and drum journeys
  • Artistic expression and crafting of sacred objects
  • Community and self-designed ceremony
  • Song, poetry, silence and belly laughter
  • Wild Mind: Nature-Based Map of the Psyche

LOGISTICS

Schedule:  A commitment to the entire year-long program is necessary. Each of the 5-day retreat center-based programs begins on a Wednesday at 7 pm and ends on a Sunday at 3 pm. The weekend preparation for the Vision Quest begins on Friday at 6 pm, and ends on Sunday at 4 pm. The Vision Quest begins on Saturday morning and ends 9 days later on Sunday evening.

Cost:  Sliding scale fee:  $2995 – $4395 (includes lodging at retreat centers, camping permits and fees, all meals, and tuition.  Travel expenses and any trailhead parking fees are not included.)  Payment over time can be arranged, but a commitment to the entire program and fee must be made. Some partial scholarships are available. Contact us for details.

Registration:  Enrollment is by application.  After your application has been approved, please mail the nonrefundable deposit of $450 to:

Northwest Soulquest  •  PO Box 181  •  Clinton, WA 98236

Pay via PayPal using our email address as the payee: nwsoulquest@gmail.com. Please add 3% fee for Pay Pal transactions.

Prerequisites:  Attendance at a previous program with Northwest Soulquest (or an Animas Valley Institute program). Best preparation is Foundational Practices: Embodying the Wild Soul.  We do recommend that you read Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche, by Bill Plotkin.  Engaging in experiential processes related to this material is highly recommended as preparation for the year-long.  A custom slide show on the Wild Mind is also available.

To request an application or for more information,  contact: nwsoulquest@gmail.com   •     (360) 320-5343