The Four Shields of Dreams and Dreamwork


Mar 10th, 2025 - Mar 15th, 2025 | Death Valley, California | Betsy Perluss, Kim Belair

Dreams do not happen in us as is thought of in Western psychology. Instead, we happen in the dream as the dream continues to dream us. This understanding infers that dreams are part of the sacred aspect of all that is and dreams themselves are spiritual entities that we need to enter into relationship with. – Eduardo Duran

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. For thousands of years, humans have relied on dreams for physical, spiritual, and communal sustenance. These dreams informed our ancestors how to live according to nature and her rhythms. While the importance of dreams has been significantly reduced in many modern cultures, more than ever, their wisdom is needed for guidance on how to mend the split created by the lie of separation. Dreams return us to nature. 

Dreams inform, and are informed by, body, psyche, community, and spirit. It is a gift to witness and be witnessed in our dreaming, weaving together a web around the wheel of collective depth and wisdom. In this program, we will have the opportunity to dive into each aspect of dreaming as we tend our dreams individually, collectively, and with the land we dream upon. Our intent is not to interpret dreams but to be with the dreams within the threshold of our time together.  

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 or dream image you’d like to court throughout the week. 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 simply noticing what shows up. The dream may be brief and initially seem insignificant. It could be one image, sentence, or feeling. Whatever you wish to share will be enough. The invitation is to foster the practice of listening and being with the dream.

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

Whether you have many years of experience working with dreams or whether this is a newer practice, we welcome you to join us for a deeply immersive week of desert, dreams, and community.

Program Questions Contact:

Please contact guides with any questions you may have about the program: Betsy Perluss [email protected]

Contemplate your dream and let it contemplate you. – Harry Aron Wilmer


TUITION: $850-$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 afternoon/evening of Sunday, March 9th. We will begin at 10:00 AM on Monday, March 10th, and finish by early afternoon on Saturday, March 15th. Detailed logistics will be sent upon enrollment.
ADDITIONAL FEES: This program will take place in Death Valley National Park. Each vehicle must pay an entrance fee for the week ($35-$55) or have an Annual National Park Pass. Campsite Fees will be between $80-100 (please bring cash or check for campsite fees). 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.

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.