Sweet Darkness: The Initiatory Gifts of the Shadow, the Loyal Soldier, and the Sacred Wound

with Dianne Timberlake & Dorothy Mason

DATES: Wednesday 1st to Sunday 5th October 2008

During this intensive exploration we explore those sticky, difficult, and immensely rewarding dynamics that come up so often in life, especially when we least expect them. You know, things like overpowering emotional charges triggered by other people and by our encounters in the natural world! We will ask: What do you do when all of a sudden someone is laying the biggest PROJECTION you've ever experienced right on your lap? That you are, for instance, their perfect good father/mother, their one true soulmate, evil step-parent, or complete imposter. And what do you do if you believe them, for heaven's sake? And what do you do when you catch yourself projecting on others? Maybe while you are guiding, teaching, counselling...or trying to love? We're going to work with these things in part by jumping into the cauldron with our projections on each other. (Don't worrry, no one will be required to jump into the hot seat.) Furthermore, we are going to do some SHADOW WORK. How can you live a conscious existence these days without knowing that we all regularly conjure up all kinds of monsters from the deep? We go off in search of soul or "the good life", say, or even the desire to contribute to the the Great Turning, and before we know it, we have inadvertently opened the long black bag we drag behind us, and these demons are climbing out. We know, however, that so much of our wholeness is hidden in that bag of energy that is unavailable to us until we assimilate elements of the Shadow. And all our projections, of course involve the Shadow. So we'll work with strategies for spotting, unmasking, and assimilating those dark shapes. And then there's the LOYAL SOLDIER, the sub-personality that has been keeping us "safe" since our early childhood by making us small as it shovels big chunks of our wholeness into that black bag so that we will appear acceptable to the powers that be. In order to access the Shadow, we are going to have a to break an old promise and change the nature of our alliance with the Loyal Solider. Furthermore, we are going to have to revisit our SACRED WOUNDS - our core vulnerabilities - that have kept us stuck in the Old Story, but that also provide the priceless opportunity, when we are ready, to remythologise our lives. In short, we are going to have to enter the Sweet Darkness. A great deal of liberation and deepening can occur during this intensive exploration as we attend with kindness those aspects of self we usually hide.


Dianne Timberlake , M.A. Dianne's respect for heartfelt living weaves its way through her own life's journey as well as through her desire to facilitate wholeness in others. She has a deep reverence for the natural world's ability to mirror one's most essential nature whether through vision quests, deep imagery, or simple experience. Dianne is a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and experienced guide in nature-based rites of passage and personal growth programs. She teaches the use of deep interactive imagery internationally and is a student of transpersonal healing arts. She has a psychotherapy practice in Sonoma County, CA, USA.

Dorothy Mason, LPC, IM

My work springs from a clear devotion to the earth and love of the symbolic world as a tangible, guiding force in our lives. As a teacher, psychotherapist, interfaith minister, ceremonialist, weaver, and vision quest guide, with additional training in the healing arts of Reiki, energy work, dreams, and deep imagery, I am dedicated to supporting others to live a full, grounded spirituality as a part of everyday life. My ongoing exploration of the wisdom traditions and mystical teachings of ancient cultures continues to offer inspiration, depth and focus to my life and work.

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