The Four Shields of Dreams and Dreamwork


Mar 2nd, 2024 - Mar 9th, 2024 | Death Valley, California | Betsy Perluss, Kim Belair

A dream comes from the same source as a tree or a wild pig—Nature itself.

—Marie-Louise von Franz 

Dreams are like the mycelium of the psyche, birthed from an underground network of ancient interconnected patterns. Dreams come from nature; they are expressions of our oldest humanity, bodily responses, and our relationship with the more-than-human realm. And like nature, dreams are alive – living images – acting with autonomy and self-determination. Dreams appear to us for specific and individual reasons, but they also remind us that we share in unseen collective networks emerging in our lives as myths. 

Humans have relied on dreams for thousands of years for physical and spiritual sustenance. When given proper attention, they inform us how to live according to natural laws and rhythms. While dreams have significantly been dismissed in modern society, they still offer much-needed guidance for our lives and the continuance of our planet. More so, they long for our attention and willingness to listen deeply to what they have to share.

Not only can dreams inform and sustain us, but they also re-connect us to Nature, to Spirit, and to
one another. It can be a great gift to witness and be witnessed in our dreaming and much wisdom comes
 from the collective sharing of our dreams. Many myths worldwide are thought to be
the result of dream sharing. In this program, we will have the opportunity to lean into all of these
connections as we encounter our dreams individually, collectively, and with the land on which we dream. 

Program Overview: This seven-day program will focus on the Four Shields of Dreaming. We will begin in the south, the place of the embodied dream; from there, we move into the west, the home of the dream and the shadow; into the collective dreaming of the north; and finally, into the east, where dream and spirit converge, giving birth to vision. Each day will involve crossing the threshold into ceremonial time on the land (Usually, 2 hours a day), adhering to the three taboos of solitude, fasting, and exposure to the elements, followed by sharing and mirroring our dream stories. The week will also include a (non-mandatory) guided overnight solo.   

We invite you to bring a specific dream you’d like to explore. It could be a recurring dream, a current dream, or a dream from the past. If you are unsure about a dream but feel drawn to this offering, we invite you to turn your attention to your nightly dreams by keeping a dream journal and noticing what might be asking for your attention. The dream may be brief and initially seem insignificant. It could be one image or sentence, or feeling. Whatever you wish to share will be enough. The main thing is to foster the practice of listening to your dreams. 

This offering is both experiential as well as educational. We will explore different ways of working with and relating to dreams. We will dive deeply into the individual and collective dreamscapes of the imaginal realm between psyche and nature. 

Program Questions Contact: Kim Belair [email protected]


TUITION: $800-$2,400

Sliding Scale: To honor the vast difference of financial resources among us, all of our program tuition is based on a sliding scale. We set forth no criteria and ask that you pay what is appropriate for your circumstances and access to financial resources. You can see recommendations on using the sliding scale here. If the low end of the sliding scale is still too much, scholarship assistance is available , please reach out to the office for more info.

Cancellations: Cancellations are hard on the participant, the School, and the guides. We respect the unpredictability of life, and we are diligent about running an organization sustainably.

-If you cancel 60 or more days prior to the start date of your program, you will receive a full refund of any tuition paid, minus any deposits.

-If you cancel 59 days or less prior to the start date of your program, and we can fill your spot, then you will receive a full refund of any tuition paid, minus any deposits.

-If we cannot fill your spot, and you cancel within 59 days of the start of your program, then we hold you accountable for paying the tuition at the lowest end of the sliding scale.

Submit enrollment form

 Please fill out and submit the enrollment form and then pay the program deposit below. Before you pay the deposit, please read deposit section below, all deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. After your enrollment form is complete, please submit all health and liability forms.

Pay program deposit

Deposits: This deposit signifies your commitment to the program and is deducted from the tuition balance. All deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. They cover the work of the specific course you signed up for, including all communication involved as well as the fee that guides pay to the school administration for the course accounting. 

Additional Deposit: Some programs require a second deposit to help us affirm commitments. Last minute cancellations make it hard to fill openings and incur a loss of income to the School and the guides.

Tuition Balance: Balance of tuition can be paid before or upon arrival. Simply deduct any deposits made from the amount you’ve chosen on the sliding scale.

Submit Waitlist form

This program is full; however, you may add your name to the Waitlist by clicking the Waitlist button below.

Additional course details & Materials


We ask that you arrive the day before, Sunday March 1st, 2024 and check-in with us by phone (number to be provided) when you arrive, and we'll direct you to our specific camp spot. We will begin at 10:00AM on March 2nd and finish by early afternoon on March 9th. Detailed logistics will be sent upon enrollment.
ADDITIONAL FEES: Camping Fee $100. All additional fees will be collected at the time of the program.

You will be responsible for bringing your own food and equipment, though we can provide some gear if needed. We ask everyone to come prepared to live self-sufficiently. You will need to bring shelter and clothing suitable for a full range of inclement weather. 

All participants must submit the required health questionnaire and liability form.

If you have questions about the enrollment process contact us at [email protected] or call 760-938-3333.

There is no required reading for this program.

Tüpippüh (also known as Death Valley) is home of the Timbisha people and is the name of their ancestral and contemporary homeland. Miners came to this area in 1849 and the Timbisha’s land was stolen to create Death Valley National Monument in 1933. The Timbisha were allotted a 40 acre reservation in the park and also forced onto other reservations and into towns in the area.

To learn more about our commitment to regenerative relationships please visit Cultural Relations.