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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  386 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Charting a course through the underworld pathways with the heart of a
shaman, mapping the powers of myth and psyche with all the soul and
interpretive skill of Jung or Campbell, Plotkin's guide to the journey of
initiation is to nature-based soulwork what Huxley's Doors of Perception was
to consciousness studies. This book is an immense treasure that will provide
ebook, 0 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by New World Library (first published August 29th 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 946)
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Aug 28, 2008 kristin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people seeking practices that will assist them in fulfilling their destiny
Although I really love the context of this book, it is taking me forever to complete it. I started reading it sometime last year & i'll read a lot for a couple of days and then I won't pick it up again for another month. However, everytime I do pick it up the next chapter is concerning a message that I needed to hear at that very moment. The author presents comprehensive methods, examples, and history regarding practices of reaching towards your life's work through forms of soul searching by ...more
Will Szal
I’m just returning from a five-day Soulcraft intensive led by Bill Plotkin of Animas Valley Institute. The event took place up in the Rocky Mountains of Northern New Mexico at a retreat center called Vallecitos Mountain Ranch - nestled in a valley at 8,800 feet.


Soulcraft is the artistry and practice of courting and embodying our souls. By Bill’s definition, ego is the attribute in humans that allows us to interact with the world - it’s our personality, and our physical form. Soul is pu
Erin Drake
Soulcraft masterfully explores the deep and mystical connections between the human psyche, soul, and nature and does it using simple, eloquent language to describe richly nuanced ideas about spirituality, wholeness, initiation, and truth. Although the entirety of Bill Plotkin’s inspired work is magical, radical, and thought-provoking, I found the sections that describe the ceremonial opportunities provided by our transition into adulthood the most fascinating and, to use an en vogue term, releva ...more
Plotkin's premise is that we must each discover our purpose on this planet, not just by "ascending" into the spiritual realm, but by "descending" into the realm of the soul, which is where our uniqueness lies. To do so, he suggests a radical life disruption involving nature, things like vision quests, mountaintop fasts, and group rituals (much of which he offers in his own practice). I'm not ready to sign up yet, but his cosmology is fascinating. My key reservation is the length of the examples. ...more
I read this a few years ago (while I was transitioning out of Bastyr College of Naturopathy). I loved the concept of marrying yourself; meaning, acknowledging the divine feminine and masculine in yourself and finding balance & wholeness within.
Sue rempel
Jun 08, 2008 Sue rempel is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
a beautiful guide to continue the journey of following one's soul path... one of the deepest and moving books I've read
Johnny Stork
Although a long read, with some dry and even repetitive sections, Bill Plotkin’s Soulcraft is good introduction for anyone who might be feeling like their life is not their own. Soulcraft is about allowing yourself to recognize, experience, seek-out, value and most of all, nourish and encourage the essence of your soul. I am not talking about some sort of ethereal, ghost-like apparition that flies out of your body at death and is judged by some bearded guy in the clouds who decides to shuffle yo ...more
Holy crap, I finally finished reading it. I never thought I'd finish. It's not that the book is dull. Quite the opposite -- it is dense & full of a lot of thoughtful ideas. A nice exploration of many approaches to growing a soul.

If it has a bias, it's one of environmentalism. I don't know that nature is a necessary component to finding depth. It's a useful window to your deeper self, I guess, & I adore nature, but there are other ways.

If you're looking for ways to unscrew the top of you
Nick Z
Transformational! I'm seeking to meet others who incorporate soulcraft practices into their daily lives.
A beautiful journey into the experiential path of the soul.
This is one of the books with a lot of information. Some of which I loved, some of which I didn't and some I already knew. I did love his stories and examples of how nature influences us and who we are. I loved his very clear steps in finding our space in nature and his information on native customs and rituals. Great for anyone interested in connecting with nature in a spiritual way and/or recognizing signs in nature for our soul. I found his writing to be honest and thorough if not a little dr ...more
James Sweetman
Loved the opening of this book, the author's story and how he set about following his passion really spoke to me. The middle of the book drifted a little and some of the stories told were a little far out even for me. It came together at the end though. If you are interested in nature, spiritual wisdom, soul journey work, Native American Indian rituals you will enjoy this book.
Teri P
I am enjoying this book. Recommended for a guide to initiation. Finished this book. I am not in complete agreement with this author's explanation of soul. However, I found it very worthwhile read. The book lays out basic components to initiation, which is helpful. He is obviously influenced by James Hillman, which is a great source of reading about the nature of soul.

Parts 1 and 3 were full of useful views and ideas. However, I completely skipped over most of Part 2. Far too new-agey and narrow a view for connecting with nature. Anyone who observes or studies science can form a deep connection. To each one's own.
This also provides some good intro material for those learning about the ego and Eastern teachings.
a bit new age-y beyond my comfort limits but some intense challenges to live more fully in creativity and authenticity. i skimmed the parts that did not fit me, and tagged the pages that resounded. worth a read for those intrigued by intuitive and energy focused spirituality and self discovery.
Scott Rennie
Amazing book, actually finished it in August but forgot to update. Really tuned me in to my love of the outdoors and wild meditation. Will be reading it again. Soon.
Meaghan McQuade
I would give this 3.5 stars if I could. My advice regarding this book is to read its pages with an open mind and take away from it whatever resonates with you.
Brynne Betz
wise fodder for a hungry psyche....I hear and ingest this man's insightful perspectives and recommend him to anyone interested in some good old fashioned inner work.
Jun 21, 2007 Willow marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: healthysoul
A friend of mine gave me this book recently. It looks like exactly the kind of reading I really need to do. I'm excited to have time to start on it once school ends.
Aaron Hoopes
Absolutely fantastic book on the process of crafting the soul and putting to rest all of the habits and behaviors that no longer serve us.
Interesting but not what I was looking for in my graduate course. Might be more relevant for me when I am ready for a more personal journey.
I really loved this book about getting to know your soul, soul image, and soul path. There were many useful exercises and I was really inspired.
A profoundly insightful book into the process and experience of soul initiation and individual purpose in a modern world.
As I read, I learn more about, "an unmet longing for wildness, mystery, and a meaningful engagement with the world." (p. 1)
A distillation of 20 years of 'work' in these varied incredible inquiry of spirit, earth and self.
Christin Weber
A treasure of stories of people whose souls went through transformation through encounters with the wilderness.
Great book - often I would stop and think about what he wrote. Nice to delve into the psyche deeper with this.
Keep reading and rereading - this book will open your soul. You need to be ready for that.
Sarah Jane
I really appreciated this book the concepts presented around doing self-work.
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