Weekend Retreat: Dark Night of the Soul 

Moving from dusk to dawn over 3 days, this weekend virtual retreat has 3 live sessions from 6:30-8, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. Beginning with an opening circle, we deepen into story and discovery to emerge on Monday to a new dawn and day. Combining live circles with reflective and integrative "down time," guided by inner prompts, journaling, sharing, and dreamwork, we create intimate and powerful change.

Is this path for you?

No art "skills" are required or even relevant. This class is about deep transformation. It is ideal for anyone who seeks their: life purpose or soul's calling; a deeper relationship to themselves, others, and their soul; a connection to the unity that underlies reality; and an abiding love that comes from realizing that you indwell an animate or ensouled cosmos. This is not a superficial path for the feint of heart, but a depth experience.

Dark Night of the Soul: Weekend Retreat

We are all called to transform at one time or another on a journey into the depths and the black of the dark night of the soul, crossing from sunset to sunrise to experience a new dawn. Come gather in a weekend retreat from 6:30-8:00 pm on Friday to 6:30-8:00 pm on Sunday. Balancing evening sessions with journal writing and creative processing in between, we will navigate the beauty of the darkness together. Come transform in community with others who are journeying through the depths beside you.
"The dark night of the soul comes just before revelation. When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, them come the new life and all that is needed." Campbell
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to Heather and the PATH
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What people are saying . . . 

This coursework is deep psycho-active or soul activating creativity. It is often described as life changing, offering the gift of getting to know your soul and yourself. It is not easy, but it is profoundly rewarding and life affirming, touching upon the core of who you are and why you are here. At its foundation this art is about your heart's purpose and soul's call. 
Its beautiful the language that you use. . . I really feel that you have made such a huge contribution to our souls, to our artistic creative selves. . . You have come in and created a furthering of neuropathways and pathways for us to look at the artist, the archetypal artist, and give us a place where we can have soul. I have great appreciation for what you have done with your dissertation. I would like to have a lot more Jungian work like this.
Fanny Brewster, MFA, PhD, analyst, artist, educator,, and author
Heather is a masterful educator on how to heal and grow through art. Her presence is open, kind, wise and playful. She is skilled at creating an amazing and safe container for individuals to explore, go deep and have meaningful transformative experiences while guided by her. Her engagement with nature as a vessel for her work is powerful. Embarking on a journey of personal growth with her guidance will be blessing in your life.
Mary Gibbons, MD, physician, policy maker, educator, and facilitator
Heather is an exceptional teacher and group facilitator, as well as a beautifully soulful artist and person. She is gifted in leading persons in learning how art evokes the soul while also guiding them into creative exploration of their own inner images. Heather's depth and breadth of knowledge on Jung's Red Book is rare and is complimented by a graceful adeptness at teaching others how to journey into the spiral of their own depths through art and creativity.
Fanny Brewster, MFA, PhD, analyst, artist, educator,, and author
Heather clearly brought scholarship and art together to achieve a transcendent function in a really beautiful way.
Jennifer Leigh Selig, PhD, educator, speaker, and award-winning co-author of Deep Creativity
You and the work you are doing are an inspiration.
Susan Rowland, PhD, educator, speaker, and co-author of Jungian Arts-Based Research
Heather is a creative genius, making artists feel safe to explore and create.
Victoria Christiansen, MFA, MSW, therapist and award-winning author of Feminine Mysticism in Art

Deep Why

What will you get from this PATH?
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 Dark Night of the Soul

The darkness that births the light 

Who is (or really wants to be) an expert in the dark night of the soul? The obvious answer is the soul, but another answer is all of us who walk the healing path. Shaman means healer and also "one who sees in the dark," so we walk a healing path together to heal both individually and collectively. On this journey I will create a container to help hold our transformation, following my own forays into the depths and through the dark night of the soul. Having undergone a series of life changes and challenges to myself and those close to me, including depression, addiction, a suicide attempt, and cancer in the time of covid, I am learning to be comfortable and navigate the darkness. These experiences have taught me about myself, my belief, and ultimately my power to transform, inspiring me to offer this course as support for others who journey to find themselves and their way at this time. This is a place and a time to help each other as we loose and find ourselves under the stars, waiting in a power circle to greet the dawn and the beauty of the sunrise. 

Soul Birth

A dance of dark and light

 “The dark night of the soul is a journey into light, a journey from your darkness into the strength and hidden resources of your soul.” Caroline Myss
The dark night of the soul offers a safe space to cocoon as we awaken to the brilliance of the light and life growing within us. The darkness of the soul's journey is really another way of saying metamorphosis, reflecting an inner initiation in which we gather the gifts of soul to become integrated and whole. It is a time of opportunity that we are going through collectively and individually. From a pandemic to political tension, ecological disaster to economic strife, t is not surprising that on a personal level we have epidemic levels of suicide, depression, anxiety and abuse. Yet, just as the symbol for conflict means opportunity in different languages, we have a powerful chance to transform and awaken to a new higher potential. Though the circumstances of our night journey may vary, we can all use a container of support to hold us as we come to soul-consciousness together. 

This is a path that leads to transformation.

The dark night of the soul is a spiritual or soul crisis that offers us a path through the darkness into the light of a new day and a new capability. As we journey, we transform into something deeper and more--our soul and Self. The dark night of the soul is an opportunity to heal and become whole by embracing and accepting our darkness to claim our light.

This is a chance to come together to transform

"Don't build a wall around your own suffering- it may devour you from the inside." Frida Kahlo

Come and cocoon over the weekend to transform like the metamorphosis of the butterfly from the caterpillar. Individually we experience the darkness as an alchemical disintegration that precedes integration. In the velvet dark of the cocoon, we liquify into the unconscious waters of imaginal cells to be reborn in a new form. But in the pitch black of the darkness, we can feel lost and alone. This course is designed to help hold us as we transition together through a weekend of depth work. 

Basic Questions

Do you have to know how to draw and other questions. (No.)
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All you have to do is be yourself.

While the dark night of the soul is hard, calling us into the darkness of our past and life, it offers a chance to overcome the obstacles before us and within us. Releasing fear and past patterns, we are able to move forward in our life, releasing the past to embrace the present.
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Designed to move with the seasons of your life

The Soul of Creativity is based on a connection between our nature and nature—biological, psychological and ecological. Deeper still, it is rooted in the alchemical or transformational connection between spirit and matter that guides us as we co-create with nature. Initiating ourselves into the mystery of the depths, we begin to commune and communicate with soul, mediating between the unconscious and conscious—body, mind, and spirit. This is a path that leads down but circles around, following the soul from sunset to sunrise to witness the glory of the morning star and the light of a new dawn. This is a rite of passage into ourselves.  

This is creative play

The Dark Night of the Soul and the Soul of Creativity work and play with the perfect imperfection of our authentic (messy) self and Self. This is a different kind of art than the superficially perfected image behind glass. We will integrate story, creative journaling, active imagination, dreamwork, and shadow play. The mantra of this journey is there is only one way and it’s your way (really your soul's way). So sit back and relax. Your soul knows the way. This is really a path of creative play.

Dive into the depths of soul

This is a weekend deep dive into the dark night of the soul in which the structure is one of facilitator led support. With three evening sessions from Friday to Sunday, this workshop takes us through the transformational stages from dusk until dawn, caterpillar to butterfly, moving from separation to transformation and integration to support your safe passage through a time of darkness. In between the night sessions will be opportunities for deepening reflection and integration, walking in nature, journaling, collaging . . . Together over the course of the weekend we will pass through the dark night of the soul.

Darkness in the depths

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” C G Jung 

Birthed from darkness to light

“When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed.” Joseph Campbell

This weekend retreat is scheduled in the evening to align to the darkness, harnessing the power of dreams and the mysterious unknown. While this course digs deep into the archetypal substrata that provides rich nutrients for our growth, it (like all Soul of Creativity offerings) is rooted in the psychology we share: soul. So, on its deepest level, this is about establishing and strengthening your relationship to soul to help guide you through the darkness. It is a time to reimagine and envision yourself and your life. Like a vision quest, you are claiming your power, purpose, and identity in the world. Who are you called to be in your greatness?

Overnight Prompts

6:30-8:00 pm

Overnight dreamwork and journal play: Create your circle of intention and 
 invite your soul and unconscious to come in your dreams to guide you. Record and explore your dreams by journaling the following morning. Asking again for guidance and center yourself, dropping into your heart. If you can, take a walk or sit in nature, echoing the call for guidance. See what comes and record it in your journal. 

Overnight Prompts

6:30-8:00 pm

Building on the previous night and day's prompt, start by creating your power circle, journaling noting any unconscious response. Draw to you the sense of the dream or any previous communication before bed, asking for further clarification or insight overnight. Drop into your heart or center and invoke further guidance while your record your dreams upon waking. Deepen your connection with a walk or time in nature. 

Overnight Prompts

6:30-8:00 pm

Create a circle of what supports and sustains you. This can be entirely imaginal or include physical ritual. Sit in the power and truth of your understanding of the movement from dusk to dawn. What have you learned? Create an evening and morning ritual that will continue and deepen your connection to the dark night of the soul, integrating it into your life with an ongoing affirmation and practice.

Coursework and play . . .

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Come deepen in support.

While we are not in control of how the darkness comes, we can control how we we work with and transform through the movement. Like Persephone abducted into the earth's depths or myself confronting cancer, we can find ourselves in the darkness. We can walk consciously into and through this night, embodying the root of sacrifice and sacred, "sacrare." Like myself now in the 2nd week of chemotherapy, the darkness can surprise us with its gentle grace and beauty. We can transform and deepen in love, light, peace and courage, fostering an appreciation for the darkness, but we cannot make the darkness stop.

Explore the darkness

We begin our journey ... exploring the darkness. This is a course that centers around the stars and the starlight of the soul. The heavenly illumination can feel like the diffused light of the stars or the electric strike of lightning connecting heaven and earth. The dark night of the soul can be painful and life threatening but it is also how we come to consciousness and transform. It is a process of death and rebirth in which we are reborn like a butterfly in the form of the soul and take flight.