Animas Valley Institute

Deep Imagination Intensive

 July 2021, Isle of Iona, Scotland



This programme has been cancelled and may be offered again in 2022. Contact for further information


Isle of Iona, July 5, 2021 - July 9, 2021

Cost: €1100.00 - €1300.00 tbc

Venue: Iona Hostel
Guides: Mary Marsden, Sage Magdalene


It is a delight, once again to produce a programme for and to receive Animas Valley Institute to Scotland and especially to this pilgrimage Isle of Iona.


Our imagination, our deep imagination, allows us to comprehend the voice of an ocean wave; to overhear the song of an isle; to move between the knowable world and the unknowable world; to stand in the presence of the infinite; to discover our unique ways of participating with the Mystery that courses through all things; and to connect with the secrets of our own souls.

Imagination is the essential human capacity that grants us entry to the magic that lies behind the veil of our ordinary ways of perceiving and experiencing. Deep imagination is a translator, fluent in the languages of animal and plant, lewisian gneiss and star, wind and machair, as well as the languages of our own depths — the expressive modes of nature and soul being essentially the same. But, to be clear, this is not a one-way path, for imagination not only allows us to receive, but to offer as well.

We rely upon imagination for our own expression, for our own communication across these same frontiers. Imagination is central to our own capacity to participate meaningfully with the rest of creation in bringing forth the world. And, the rest of creation is longing for us to participate in this great dance in our individual unique and entangled ways — through the embodied life of our souls.

Access to our deep imagination is vital on the journey to soul because we are drawn into intimate conversation with the mysteries of Earth and Cosmos and the depths of psyche. In this communion, we hope to catch shimmering glimpses of how we are called to embody a unique and wild relationship with all of life.

And yet, while imagination is an innate part of our humanness, it can lie dormant, unvalued, or even feared. The mainstream culture of our time and its dominant institutions revere the rational, explainable, and quantifiable. Deep imagination, in contrast, is not a tool or a construction of the ego; it is not active in guided visualization or in everyday fantasy and make-believe. Our deep imaginations, rather, allow images to arise unbidden from the wild depths of nature and psyche, images that can take the form of symbol, metaphor, pattern, dream, myth, archetype, poetry, song, music, movement, and dance.

During this intensive, we will open ourselves to our own innate imaginal capacities, find ourselves in intimate contact and conversation with the wild world, and allow ourselves to be irrevocably changed in a place where the veil between the worlds is thin. We will amplify our deep imagination, along with our capacities for deep feeling, sensing, and thinking. We will open the door wide to our unique place in the world. We will engage in consciousness shifting and imagination-enhancing practices that may include: wanderings on the land; drumming and rhythm; song, movement, dance, and art in collaboration and conversation with the nonhuman world; conversations across species boundaries; dreamwork; and self-designed ceremony; in addition to a variety of approaches to deep imagery journeys.

You will discover more about the practices, conditions, and environments (both of the land and of yourself) that render you more permeable to the mysteries of nature and psyche, enabling your journey to continue unfolding after you leave this magical, pilgrimage Isle and stride deeper into the world.

If you are longing to open to the mysterious beauty of Earth, Cosmos, and your own soul, please join us beneath the immense and penetrating sky of the sacred Isle of Iona where the Book of Kells with its beauty knotwork art of the Celts was said to be imagined into being. We will be imagining again with a vast horizon, rose granite and green marble, turquoise waters on white sands, rushing clouds and rousing winds, with a waning into dark Moon perhaps glimpsing a presence of an eternal night sky from an Atlantic edge of the world.

Participants will be divided into meal teams to plan, purchase and prepare group breakfasts and dinners – personal lunches, snacks, and tea are the responsibility of each participant.

Participants are also responsible for their own transportation to and from the program location.

We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and are hopeful we will be able to run this programme in person. Applications are invited and the programme will be confirmed along the way…

We are currently accepting applications for this Immersion with places being offered. There are currently no financial transactions whilst we await confirmation. We are hoping this programme will go ahead and that arrangement made will slip into place in Mystery's time. We are ready.



Cost tbc

Contact for application

Venue: Iona Hostel –

You might also be interested in the Deep Imagination Training after the Intensive. Places are limited and early application advised. Mary Marsden is Guiding the Training and the contact is Rebecca Joy Card who can be contacted at

Mary Marsden

Mary is a soul-centric guide and mentor. She creatively and heart-fully invites people to be in intimate and vulnerable relationship with Nature, Soul and their own multifaceted psyches.

Mary is gifted at guiding individuals into their dream worlds, accessing the power of deep imagination, and supporting those who are ready and willing to be claimed by their unique, mystical relationship with the World. She guides with humor, genuine compassion, and a deeply intuitive knowing of the soul journey. With grace, beauty, and fierceness, Mary invites sojourners to discover their unique gifts and to bring them into world - to feed Life itself.

Mary’s work is deeply informed by her love for the Colorado River Basin and its imperiled waters and spirit. She is a mother, river-runner, front yard gardener and tends a flock of hens in her backyard in Boulder, CO.

Mary incorporates her training and experience in Hakomi, somatic psychotherapy, trauma work and creative movement into her guiding. She leads Animas programs, her own locally based soul-oriented programs and mentors individuals, near and far, on their soul journeys.


Sage Magdalene

Sage has a gift for hearing and reflecting the deep stories of all beings. She invites people to thresholds and opens gates between worlds. She has been an educator, artist, dancer, and gate keeper in many ecosystems. Her greatest joy is to hear and converse with the wild others: moon, spider, frog, human, river and stars. She brings a light touch and embodied wisdom to the serious work of transformation.

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