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THE JOURNEY OF SOUL INITIATION

A Field Guide for Visionaries, Evolutionaries, and Revolutionaries

Soul initiation is an essential spiritual adventure that most of the world has forgotten — or not yet discovered. Here, visionary ecopsychologist Bill Plotkin maps this journey, one that has not been previously illuminated in the contemporary Western world and yet is vital for the future of our species and our planet. Based on the experiences of thousands of people, this book provides phase-by-phase guidance for the descent to soul — the dissolution of current identity; the encounter with the mythopoetic mysteries of soul; and the metamorphosis of the ego into a cocreator of life-enhancing culture. Plotkin illustrates each phase of this riveting and sometimes hazardous odyssey with fascinating stories from many people, including those he has guided. Throughout he weaves an in-depth exploration of Carl Jung’s Red Book — and an innovative framework for understanding it.

Endorsements

“Once in a blue moon, a book appears that is so synchronistically aligned with the zeitgeist that it integrates the sacred with nature, and our individual life paths with our collective evolution. Informed by a lifetime of engaged experience, deep listening, and pattern seeking, and graced by beautiful language and storytelling, this book offers a map for those yearning to find their soul’s purpose. Now, when we’re called to act on behalf of what we love and to contribute our unique gifts to the maturation of our endangered species, Bill Plotkin offers lucid and grounded guidance, wisdom, and an illuminated pathway. I am in awe of this book. A rare and precious gift.”
— Nina Simons, cofounder of Bioneers

“The people who gave me bones, flesh, and story — the Yoruba people of West Africa — knew how to see in dark times. In times of crisis, they encoded an ancient ritual in the ordinary act of greeting an elder with prostration. That ritual tells a story of descent, of generous libations, of lingering memory, and of creative moves in the wake of destruction and utter ruin. I am pleasantly shocked Bill Plotkin knows a version of this meta-story. This book glows at the interstitial matrixes between despair and cultural renewal; it is a trace of departures we must yet make into forbidden depths where — quite ironically — we might see ourselves as if for the first time. Read it.”
— Bayo Akomolafe, PhD, author of These Wilds Beyond Our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home

“With this important book, Bill Plotkin continues his crucial work of teaching us how to live properly, and how to live properly on the living planet. Anyone who reads this book will forever be grateful to Plotkin for the gentle, informed, yet powerful guidance he provides.”
— Derrick Jensen, author of A Language Older Than Words and The Myth of Human Supremacy

“For four decades Bill Plotkin has been coaxing the human psyche out of its self-enclosed cages, liberating the terrestrial imagination, inviting and empowering the human soul to remember its ancestral alliance with elk herds and dark woodlands, with rivers overflowing their banks and the improvisational riffs of garrulous ravens. His methods have steadily widened into a capacious toolkit for personal and cultural metamorphosis, laid out in these luminous pages strewn with poetry, mythology, and dreams. A remarkable guidebook.”
— David Abram, author of Becoming Animal and The Spell of the Sensuous

The Journey of Soul Initiation provides a detailed map of the journey toward real human maturity. Beginning with the reconnection of our soul with the web of life, Bill Plotkin guides us through the magical and visionary encounters that belong to our reengagement with the more-than-human world. Full of stories and lived examples, here is a rich tapestry of the personal exploration needed if we are to realize our soul’s purpose and make a true contribution to the greater Earth community — if we are to learn to love and care for our common home.”
— Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, PhD, editor Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth

“Bill Plotkin — and his teachings — are in a category all their own! He is a priest of the soul, a therapist of the heart, a stimulator of the mind, and a companion of the body. And then he works them all together! Plotkin is a theologian of no particular religion, but he creates a solid foundation for a truly natural religion — that still honors growth and transcendence. You must know this is a most rare and much-needed synthesis!”
— Fr. Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Humans and other-than-humans alike ought to be grateful for Bill Plotkin’s life’s work of putting the wilderness, and with it the sacredness of the Earth, forward as our destiny in this perilous time of ecocide, matricide, and species narcissism. In The Journey of Soul Initiation, Plotkin, now as an elder, continues his important vocation to nurture and guide a spiritually famished society to greener pastures.”
— Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing and Julian of Norwich

“Bill Plotkin has created a fascinating and intelligent approach to deepening life and developing yourself to be in the world in an engaged and individual way. I haven’t seen anything so original and solid. It is both contemporary and traditional, mapping out the soul’s descent into a meaningful way of life. We need this kind of charting of depth more than ever before.”
— Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul

“In this beautiful and fascinating book, Bill Plotkin brings a rare depth of thought, insight, and experience to elucidating the soul’s journey to purpose and wholeness. The Journey of Soul Initiation offers both a practical and theoretical synthesis of his life’s work, guiding others to reimagine the links between nature and the human soul, encouraging each of us to become ‘a partner in the unfolding of Earth’s story.’ For those of us born into a culture whose prevailing mythology is on the point of collapse, who are suffocating from a dearth of meaning, Plotkin’s grounded wisdom is more essential than ever.”
— Sharon Blackie, PhD, author of If Women Rose Rooted and The Enchanted Life

The Journey of Soul Initiation has the feel of a life’s work about it. It’s ambitious: sweeping when it needs to be, forensic when required. It’s a book to do with the complex work of cultural maturation, and there’s no quick fix present in these pages. Bill Plotkin places something marvelous in our hands. A key. There are innumerable hours of experience in these lines, and a mythic underpinning to a world on fire.”
— Dr. Martin Shaw, author of Wolf Milk: Chthonic Memory in the Deep Wild

“We all say we want to grow, to change, to become ourselves, but do we? In The Journey of Soul Initiation, Bill Plotkin synthesizes the wisdom and shamanic traditions of the millennia whose archetypal structure of death, initiation, and transformation, once found in tribal practice, must now be accessed from within. His work is a great gift, and a guide, to those who wish to undertake the journey set in motion when the gods brought us here.”
— James Hollis, PhD, Jungian analyst and author of Living Between Worlds: Finding Personal Resilience in Changing Times

“A provocative and pioneering answer to our slide, as individuals and a species, into deep species loneliness. Here is a challenge to the self-congratulatory and ultimately devastating Anthropocene.”
— Richard Louv, author of Our Wild Calling and Last Child in the Woods


Author: Bill Plotkin
Product Code: 87015
ISBN: 978-1-60868-701-5
Pages: 464
Package: 1 Paperback / softback
Size: 6.00 X 9.00
Your Price : $21.95
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