Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche
Publication Date: September 2003
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Since 1980, Jungian psychologist Bill Plotkin has been guiding men and women into the wilderness the redrock canyons and snow-crested mountains of the American Southwest but also into the wilds of the soul. He calls this work soulcraft.
There’s a great longing in all people a longing to uncover the secrets and mysteries of our individual lives, to find the unique gift we were born to bring to our communities, and to experience our full membership in the more-than-human world. This journey to soul is a descent into layers of the self much deeper than personality, a journey meant for each one of us, not just for the heroes and heroines of mythology.
A modern handbook for the journey, Soulcraft is not an imitation of indigenous ways, but a contemporary nature-based approach born from the landscape of the Southwest, the traditions of Western culture, and the cross-cultural heritage of all humanity. Filled with stories, poems, and guidelines, Soulcraft introduces over 40 practices that facilitate the descent to soul, including dreamwork, wilderness vision fasts, talking across the species boundaries, council, self-designed ceremony, nature-based shadow work, and the arts of romance, storytelling, and soul-infused poetry.
"Here is an abundantly wise and carefully crafted survival guide for the wild soul currently dozing (or dying) at the heart of your civilized life. Plotkin has wandered again and again into the nourishing darkness, and has returned with this earthly bundle of insights and images talismanic tools for awakening to the outrageous depths both within us and all around us. He has bound them into a book that is immensely practical, alive with ritual intelligence, thick with useful tools from a host of courageous comrades."
David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous
"As we enter a future where humans and the natural world are more intimate with each other, we will surely be powerfully influenced by this new guide into the mysteries of nature and psyche. In Soulcraft, Bill 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."
from the foreword by Thomas Berry, author of The Dream of the Earth and The Great Work
"The fundamental worldview of industrial society is that Earth is like a gravel pit or a lumberyard just a resource for human use. We live disconnected from the evolving earth community, but our deepest allurement is a rich, intimate participation in nature and the ongoing adventure of the Universe. In this stunningly original and inspiring guide book, Bill Plotkin shows us how to reconnect with the sacred powers of life, of nature, of soul, and the ways that each one of us can reinvent ourselves and discover our unique way to flower forth."
Brian Swimme, cosmologist and author of The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos, The Universe is a Green Dragon, and coauthor with Thomas Berry of The Universe Story