DAY OF THE DEAD:
Ancestral Voices and Personal Transformation
Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico
Oct. 26 - Nov. 2, 2011
With the energy and spirit of the ritual celebration of Day of the Dead in the Valley of Oaxaca as a backdrop, this integral workshop will take you into a ritual space and time where you will experience death as a metaphorical reality - guided by your dreams, deepened by indigenous ceremonies, reflected in the cultural traditions and spiritual practices in Oaxaca, and integrated through various transformative processes.
You will be guided to gradually descend into the mythical realm of the dead in order to develop your ability to see, hear, perceive and attend to the voices of the ancestors, the spirits that are present in daily life, and the guides that the psyche provides. Different ways of "giving voice" to the soul's deeper needs and intentions will also be explored. This workshop will include encounters with the energies of the elements (water, earth, air and fire) as well as a variety of ritual activities, a temezcal (a traditional sweat lodge), and welcoming the sun from atop the ancient temple site of Atzompa at the end of the workshop.
The mystery and beauty of the Day of the Dead will be most dramatically palpable on the night of the 31st, which will be spent in a local village cemetery - an unforgettable experience that blurs the boundaries that separate us from the realm of the unseen. Encountered death in this context and setting is unique and deeply moving, enabling you to return to your every day life renewed, more in touch with usually unconscious resources, aware of new possibilities for being present in your life, and with a more profound commitment to life.
Journey Guide: Sven Doehner will be the principal workshop guide. Also present will be indigenous healers Enedino Hernández, from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, México and Leonor Martínez, from Huáutla de Jiménez, Sierra Mazateca, México and Brazilian psychotherapists and workshop facilitators Mariana Camarote and Mariana Russo.
Sven Doehner, Ph.D. originated this unique and innovative workshop a decade ago and has lead one every year since. A native of Oaxaca who knows the area "like the back of his hand", the workshop is held in his own specially designed retreat center, "El Encuentro" (see below). Sven is Founder and Director of the Institute of Depth Psychology in Mexico City and holds a PhD in clinical psychology as well as an MFA. He has worked with James Hillman, Robert Bosnak and trained at the C.G. Jung Institute in Boston. He defines himself as an alchemical depth psychotherapist, and has developed groundbreaking techniques using sound and sensorial processes to produce transformative shifts. Sven has conducted workshops and guided dream groups in South and Central America, the United States and Europe.