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Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  858 ratings  ·  64 reviews
For millennia, ceremonies and initiation rites have helped societies survive and thrive by marking life transitions. In contemporary America, except for bar mitzvahs, graduations, and weddings, these rituals are conspicuous by their absence. Written for people in search of their true selves--particularly those on the verge of adulthood and those at a major crossroads such ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 29th 2003 by New World Library
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August Coyote Absolutely!
Plotkin paints a beautiful roadmap for the journey from our Survival/Ego based life to our Soul driven life. I've found the book…more
Plotkin paints a beautiful roadmap for the journey from our Survival/Ego based life to our Soul driven life. I've found the book immeasurably valuable, not just personally, but in my professional practice as a coach and somatic therapist.(less)

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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  858 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Avonlea Rose
Aug 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: new age-y folks, tree huggers, and others interested in earth based spiritualities
Plotkin is an eco-therapist and wilderness guide, who writes about what he terms the "soul," and the art of engaging and understanding it. He explains that encounters with our soul provide us with our life's purpose, and help us to live in harmony with nature. I had picked up the book anticipating more of a guide book about what one does to achieve "Soul Crafting," particularly as the book is set up this way; however, it turned out to be more of an expose on the experience.

I was completely
Erin Drake
Mar 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
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, ...more
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After a four-month journey savouring SoulCraft – reading, contemplating, rereading, questioning, discussing, and rereading again, I closed the cover today, tenderly as if biding farewell to a much loved friend. I have loved this book.

I facilitate a Spiritual Literacy Group, for a group of international and interfaith women who gather together with the shared intent of cultivating spirit and a soulful dimension to life, through reading and discussing spiritually themed books. We meet twice a
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jason Mulligan
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Powerful perspective changer. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will need to revisit this book frequently.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Some quotes from the book that moved me:

"The gift you carry for others is not an attempt to save the world, but to fully belong to it. It's not even possible to save the world by trying to save it. You need to find what is genuinely yours to offer the world before you can make it a better place. Discovering the unique gift to bring to your community is your greatest opportunity and challenge. The offering of that gift - your true self - is the most you can do to love and serve the world ... and
Andjelka Jankovic
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I honestly think this may be one of the most transformative books I’ve ever read - speaking directly to my curiosity to ‘this can’t be it’ by unravelling the life you are meant to lead, if you are courageous enough to go after it.

Bill writes like a soul who has been there and done that, and come back with stories and revelations to prove his points. I love the concept that your first life is your ‘summer house’ and the life you are meant to live - one of freedom and living your life’s purpose -
Maddie Nastase
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved how practical this book ended up being. In addition to providing a framework for the soul/spirit dilemma, it guided me through a journey that seemed 'unchartable'. From daily practices to words of wisdom, it gave me the legend and the map for the things I didn't know I was searching for. It will take a few rereads to integrate all these lessons :)
Sep 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Zornitsa Tomova
Wow! Just wow. What a book! The deepest resource on soul and meaning I've encountered, coming into my life at exactly the right time. It introduced me to a framework that allowed me to understand the big picture of my soul journey so far, as well a huge set of tools and practices I can't wait to explore further. But most importantly - it gave me inspiration and support for deepening my nature- and soul-centric work and bringing its gifts out into the world. Highly recommended!
Teri P
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.

Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bfw-reading
A profoundly insightful book into the process and experience of soul initiation and individual purpose in a modern world.
Nick Z
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Transformational! I'm seeking to meet others who incorporate soulcraft practices into their daily lives.
Aaron Hoopes
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
As I read, I learn more about, "an unmet longing for wildness, mystery, and a meaningful engagement with the world." (p. 1)
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A distillation of 20 years of 'work' in these varied incredible inquiry of spirit, earth and self.
Jan 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful journey into the experiential path of the soul.
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.
Brynne Betz
Nov 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Sue rempel
Jun 08, 2008 is currently reading it
a beautiful guide to continue the journey of following one's soul path... one of the deepest and moving books I've read
Willis Miller
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Life Changing Read.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This book points to the turn away from intuition, nature, and soul that much of Western civilization has taken and offers a way back. Our science and capitalism has given us the significant gifts of health and easy--even pleasurable--life, and yet we have payed the price in terms of losing deep meaning that often comes from confronting our human frailty within the bigger natural world. Soulcraft is Plotkin's way of recovering meaning in our lives, in way that balances the typical Western ...more
Leanne Hunt
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. Written by a man who gave up academia and a promising profession to follow the call of his soul, it is rich with stories, guidelines for listening to your own soul's call and overcoming difficulties along the journey. The writing style is both informative and compelling, and the audio version is beautifully narrated.
I found myself trying to make the book last because i didn't want to finish it too soon. I really enjoyed making notes and using the advice given in the
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Can’t really decide on 3 or 4 stars for this one. I really, really enjoyed this book and got so much out of reading it. The problem was the emphasis on the wilderness expedition as a requirement for soul craft. I love being in nature and obviously think it’s an enormously important component of soul development. I just don’t think i need to put myself at risk by heading out into an unknown environment without food or shelter for days on end. One can develop one’s soul without being stupid. ...more
Arthur "AJ"
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of best guide books on paths to find your soul. Plotkin combines Jungian psychology with other animist thinkers. The result is one of those great finds.
As one who has dedicated my essence to finding ME, Plotkin saved me untold hours of research and analysis. He helped me define my upcoming blog.
Here is my suggested title in the language of metaphors: Worn-thin pages about the trekking to Your Soul.
Sara Gray
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book very useful in integrating several disrupting experiences I had several years ago, where I left a steady job, traveled, did ayahuasca, and planted the seed that eventually grew into my going to massage school to become a therapist. I wish now that I'd had this book as a companion to that journey, and I'm inspired to someday try a soulcraft journey with Plotkin's institute.
Adam Johnson
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book filled with both stories and rituals to take an eco-depth psychology. A book I will return to again and again to savour and appreciate the insights within. Whilst there is a bit of repetition of the stories throughout the book, this is probably necessary given its length (10+ hours on the audio book).
Patricia Rosa-mendes
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can only say that this is one of my Life's Books. It touched me in ways more profound and transformative that I can say. I saw my Self and my life and remembered what makes my heart sing. It will be with me for a long, long time, acting as reminder, as compass and companion.
Rachel Reed
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Chapter 2 re. spirit and soul, ascent and descent is worth 5 stars in itself. It really helped me grasp these concepts and how they are inter-related. Great explanation of the ego too. I'd recommend this book whether you are planning a vision quest or not.
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Seeking to Meet other Soulcraft Practitioners 1 6 Nov 02, 2014 12:03PM  

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