Cover image for Soulcraft : crossing into the mysteries of nature and psyche
Soulcraft : crossing into the mysteries of nature and psyche
Plotkin, Bill, 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Novato, Calif. : New World Library, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxix, 368 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF637.S4 P58 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Since 1980, depth psychologist Bill Plotkin has been guiding women and men into the wilderness--the redrock canyons and snow-crested mountains of the American West--but also into the wilds of the soul. He calls this work soulcraft.

There's a great longing in all people 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 wilderness experience, 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, being lost, and storytelling.

Author Notes

Bill Plotkin, PhD , founder of Animas Valley Institute, describes himself as a "psychologist gone wild." A cultural visionary, author, and guide to the entwined mysteries of wilderness and psyche, he's been blazing new trails for decades. His ecocentric re-visioning of psychology invites us into a conscious and embodied relationship with soul and with the more-than-human world. His other books are Wild Mind and Nature and the Human Soul . He lives in southwestern Colorado.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Plotkin, a psychologist and wilderness guide, is the founder of the Animas Valley Institute (Durango, CO), one of the nation's oldest and largest organizations that leads nature-based "soul-discovery programs." Here he posits that many people today are suffering from "soul loss," or being out of touch with their true selves, as a direct result of our fast-paced society and alienation from the natural environment. This "soul loss" can manifest as addictions, depression, anxiety, and hyperactive consumerism. Plotkin believes that we can reclaim a more fulfilling and creative existence by embarking on a psychological journey based on his experiences leading contemporary wilderness rites. He incorporates many of his exercises and knowledge from those excursions into this book. Sprinkled throughout are poems chosen to illuminate the path of discovery, as well as many anecdotes from people who have participated in Plotkin's retreats over the years. Many books deal with exploring and repairing spiritual wounds, but this book shines in its focus on nature as a tool to heal. Recommended for New Age and spirituality collections where interest merits.-Mimi Davis, Broward Cty. Lib. Dist., Fort Lauderdale, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.