Correspondence Courses

Correspondence Courses


At the root of all imbalance and injustice, and worsening every disease, is our imagined separation… from our real selves, our needs, gifts, hungers, visions, our purpose and dreams. From other people in our lives and other life forms on this planet. From the living land that provides and sustains, and that we are in reality remain an inextricable extension of. From the miraculous patterns and forces of creation. From the great mystery.

Animá is the way of conscious reconnection. Of re-membering, helping to bring back together the member parts. And as such, it is a way of healing… intentionally and creatively contributing to the wholeness of self and world. In the process it awakens, opens and inspires us. Teaches, deepens and stretches. Challenges, stirs and enlivens us. Anybody can study aspects of Animá through our available Counsel, Writings and Books, as well as a list of related book titles that we can send. However, for those who want to learn all that they can, and apply what they learn, we suggest committing to either a Studentship correspondence course, or an Apprenticeship… open to all ages and genders, regardless of one’s existing practices or beliefs.

Anima Correspondence Course Curricula

Studentships are focused courses of study and practice with our support, counsel and guidance… focusing through the lens of any one of 4 different Animá Paths (described below. All build on essential elements such as conscious presence, heightened awareness, awakened senses, interconnectedness, nature wisdom, reciprocity, response-ability, healing and wholeness, understanding our needs and gifts, loving ourselves, being honest about our pain, embracing our bliss, and manifesting and fulfilling our most meaningful purpose. In all cases we encourage using our fears as fuel for movement and change. In a time and culture bent on distraction, abstraction, pretense, denial, avoidance and transcendence, Animá offers practical and perceptual tools for the fullest living of life… engagement and reconnection, creation and response!

Each course lesson will include:

• An introduction to the lesson topic/field

• Questions reviewing the previous lesson coursework

• Assigned reading or readings

• Questions for you to answer

• Practices for you to implement and then describe the results of

• Assignments for manifesting and feeding back about: implementation of lessons and insights, finding ways in your daily life to apply what you learn and further your quest, path and purpose

Students progress at their own rate of speed. Once satisfactorily completing their chosen Path, they can then choose to sign up for an advanced or other Course Path. There is a suggested donation for each course, as spelled out in the application form. It’s also recommended that students come to the Animá Sanctuary at some point for a Student Retreat, though it is certainly not a requirement. Students wishing for a more demanding and potentially rewarding commitment, can apply for potentially long-term apprenticeships at the beginning of or at any time during their studentship.

Paths Defined

All students and apprentices begin their Animá study by selecting one of several existing Animá Paths: different correspondence courses and ways of approaching the teachings. Each contains its own language and metaphors, and offers a particular set of information and tools, though all express the same essential knowings and insights. The first section of every Path is based on a core curricula that is the foundation for all further counsel and instruction. Advanced students and apprentices can help design a special path all their own, that would be reflected in all the assignments and materials. All courses include assigned readings as well as personal assignments for application in real life, and individual counsel and direction including email exchanges with your Teachers/Guides.

You may choose from the following Sacred Heart, Medicine Woman Tradition Core, Medicine Woman Tradition Herbal, and Shaman paths:

The Path of Heart

Basic & Advanced Courses

Taught by Kiva Rose & Jesse Wolf Hardin

A two part course on the ways of self knowledge, compassion, passion, the senses, service and love – dedicated to understanding and empowering the self, getting beyond comforting illusions, recognizing our true gifts and abilities, deepening relationships, awakening and nurturing bliss, exploring meaningful service… and no longer letting our fears hold us back! Included are many of the first steps towards becoming active sense-filled participants, ultra conscious and deeply sensing co-creators of our wondrous world and evolving reality, instead of being either victims or disempowered spectators. This is a path of essential self-improvement and self-healing, of whole presence and the decisive moment, an introduction to connecting with authentic self, purpose, Anima/Spirit and the living natural world… through our sacred feeling hearts. It asks of us to not only experience but impart, not only to explore but to focus, discern, commit and manifest. To not only to embrace our hurt but also our welling joy, to heal and to beautify.

The Basic Course:

  1. Course Introduction & Introductory Questions
  2. Sense Of Place & Places Of Power
  3. Presence, Focus & Grounding
  4. The Medicine Wheel: Charting Our Direction, Challenges & Advantages
  5. Essential Nature & Personal Rewilding
  6. Awakeness & Embodiment: Being Comfortable In Our Bodies, Heightening Our Senses
  7. Deepening Awareness & Expanding Consciousness
  8. Feeling Deeply: The Value Of Empathy & Power Of Emotion
  9. Insecurity & Self Love
  10. Mothering/Nurturing Ourselves
  11. Intuition & Instinct: Trusting Our Feelings
  12. Opening: The Difference Between Vulnerability & Permeability
  13. Exploring Roles, Mission & Purpose
  14. Worthiness, Satisfaction & Bliss

The Advanced Course:

  1. Unity Of Heart/Mind/Body/Earth
  2. Intention: Making Every Moment More Decisive & Deliberate
  3. Plant Spirit, Plant Medicines
  4. The Gifting Bones
  5. Healing (Making Whole) The Self
  6. The Hearth: Sacred Domesticity, Alters, Creating Sacred Space
  7. The Healing & Magic Of Food
  8. Reciprocity & Giving: The Difference Between Service & Servitude
  9. Healthy Relationship & Helping Heal (Make Whole) Others
  10. Intimacy & Heartful Sexuality
  11. Sharing Art, Story & Expression
  12. Helping Heal (Make Whole) Community & The Natural World
  13. The Burden Basket: Emptying Our Basket & Choosing/Owning Our Burdens
  14. Sharing The Path Of Heart: Accepting Responsibility As An Influence & Teacher

ourladyThe Medicine Woman Tradition

Core Path (women only)
Basic & Advanced Courses

Taught By Kiva Rose

I tell my apprentices that there is no right way to become a Medicine Woman, that we each have our own path to walk. But I also point out the guideposts, the cairns that mark both important landmarks and dangerous pitfalls along the way. I give them my personal knowledge as well as the collective Animá wisdom, not to hem them in or hold them back but to let them loose. It is, after all, easier to navigate the sea once you have learned to sail.

  • from The Medicine Woman’s Path by Kiva Rose

The Medicine Woman Core Path serves as an intimate and often personal exploration of the Animá Medicine Woman Tradition. Students will be given an in-depth overview of the philosophy and spirit of the path while also being provided the skills to practice and personally manifest the Medicine Woman. Tools to embody purpose, honor, clarity, discernment, authenticity, wholeness and a fierce commitment to serve the whole through healing, mediation and example. Learn to walk the Animá Medicine Wheel as a way of moving with integrity, purpose and consciousness, assisted by by ancient knowings and new insights. Lessons will be taught through story, instruction, question and assignment, allowing for individual ways of learning by each student and multifaceted representation of each subject. Set apart by its intense focus on the Medicine Woman Tradition, the student can expect to be challenged by the introspection, honesty and exploration required by the course. This is a foundational but advanced training for the aspiring Medicine Woman, a practice and way of life that demands ever expanding awareness, insistent focus, unwavering dedication and an innate need to serve the whole.

The following lessons will be included in the course (This course is a work in progress and the order or names of lessons may be adapted over time:

The Basic Course Lessons:

The Medicine Woman

Lesson 1: Medicine Woman Principals & Commitments

Lesson 2: The Medicine Woman’s Way: The Meaning & The Path

Lesson 3: The Medicine Woman’s Calling: Awakening to Our Passion & Purpose

Lesson 4: The Medicine Woman’s Pitfalls: Handicaps, Obstructions & Easy Ways Out

Lesson 5: The Medicine Woman’s Nature: Instinct, Wildness and Authentic Being

The Medicine Ways

Lesson 6: The Medicine Woman’s Guide: Anima & Earth

Lesson 7: The Medicine Woman’s Home: Sense of Place

Lesson 8: The Medicine Woman’s Connection: Presence, Balance & Grounding

Lesson 9: The Medicine Woman’s Power: Awareness, Focus & Self-Knowledge

Lesson 10: The Medicine Woman’s Magic: Co-Creating Our Reality & World

Lesson 11: The Medicine Woman’s Potential: Intuition, Empathy & Extra-Sensory

Lesson 12: The Medicine Woman’s Training: Apprenticeship and Studying

Lesson 13: The Medicine Woman’s Arrow: Courage & Honor

The Medicine Bag

Lesson 14: The Medicine Woman’s Rattle: An Introduction to Tools & Methods

Lesson 15: The Medicine Woman’s Wheel: An Earthen & Personal Cartography

Lesson 16: The Medicine Woman’s Helpers: Plant & Animal Totems

The Medicine

Lesson 17: The Medicine Woman’s Method: Healing as Wholeness

Lesson 18: The Medicine Woman’s Pouch: Herbal Allies

Lesson 19: The Medicine Woman’s Pantry: Healing Through Food

The Medicine Lodge

Lesson 20: The Medicine Woman’s Context: Society & Culture

Lesson 21: The Medicine Woman’s Hearth: Home and Sacred Space

Lesson 22: The Medicine Woman’s Promise: Commitments

The Advanced Course Lessons

The Medicine Ways

Lesson 1: The Medicine Woman’s Journey: Vision Quests and Rites of Passage

Lesson 2: The Medicine Woman’s Senses: Primal Sensation & Sensuality

Lesson 3: The Medicine Woman’s Body: Wild Being, Self Acceptance, and Wholistic Sexuality

Lesson 4: The Medicine Woman’s Moon: Blood Rituals

Lesson 5: The Medicine Woman’s Mirror: Adornment, Self-Love & Beauty

Lesson 6: The Medicine Woman’s Dance: Prayer and Devotion Through Sacred Movement

Lesson 7: The Medicine Woman’s Rage: Anger, Vengeance & Fierceness

Lesson 8: The Medicine Woman’s Cave: Death, Grief and Release

Lesson 9: The Medicine Woman’s Bliss: Deep Play

Lesson 10: The Medicine Woman’s Walk: Pilgrimages and Places of Power

The Medicine Bag

Lesson 11: The Medicine Woman’s Fire: Working With the Elements

Lesson 12: The Medicine Woman’s Hands: Creativity and the Essential Self

Lesson 13: The Medicine Woman’s Drum: Rhythm & Healing

Lesson 14: The Medicine Woman’s Tale: Stories as Medicine and Metaphor

Lesson 15: The Medicine Woman’s Dream: Vision, Power Dreams and Manifestation

Lesson 16: The Medicine Woman’s Circle: Earth-Centered Ritual and Ceremony

The Medicine

Lesson 17: The Medicine Woman’s Mano and Metate: Advanced Medicine Making

Lesson 18: The Medicine Woman’s Wings: Trance, Flight and Plant Allies

The Medicine Lodge

Lesson 19: The Medicine Woman’s Clan: Sisterhood and the Bond Between Us

Lesson 20: The Medicine Woman’s Village: Forming community and forging connection

Lesson 21: The Medicine Woman’s Heart: Relationships & Love

For more information on the role of the contemporary Medicine Woman, please go to our Medicine Woman Tradition page..

The Medicine Woman Tradition

BearMedicineweb1Herbal Path (women only)

Taught By Kiva Rose

Knowing the plants, and the whole of the Earth, is not just sensation and knowledge, but also commitment. Commitment to keeping our heart open, our senses alive, and to a reciprocal relationship in which we use the wisdom of the plant in a meaningful way. To heal what is broken, to maintain the sacredness of self and land and to protect the interconnective web of life. Passing on this precious gift of awareness to our generation and the next, teaching the children to hear the plants again. And a commitment to consciously participate in life’s beauteous flowering. – From The Flowering by Kiva Rose

An intensive course in learning to connect, communicate and work with the plant world for the purpose of healing and wholeness. The coursework covers the philosophy, skills, spirituality and knowledge necessary to becoming intimate with herbs, the human body and the earth as a whole. Emphasis is placed on healing as wholeness, honorable exchange with the land, the Medicine Woman’s place in society, problems as allies and the place of transformation in healing.

The Medicine Woman Tradition is an energetics-based integrative approach to herbalism primarily rooted in direct experience but drawing from wisdom without borders, and instructs the student in an ancient understanding of healing within a modern context. Kiva teaches healing from the ground up, through a practical yet unique concept of common sense energetics, elements based constitutional theory and intuitive one on one relationship with the plants.

The course will cover plant actions, diagnostics, medicine making, organ systems, body as ecology and much more, all illustrated through Animá’s multifaceted Medicine Wheel. The course also includes an in-depth exploration of a broadly available and applicable materia medica.

Lesson will include the following topics:

Introduction to the Medicine Woman Tradition of Herbalism

Plants as Allies and Teachers

Bioregional Herbalism

Talking with Plants

Wounds as Gift, Illness as Ally

Healing as Wholeness

Ritual and Ceremony

Primal Totems and Plant Allies

Plant Companions on the Shamanic Path

Medicine Woman’s Place in Society

The Medicine Wheel

Common Sense Energetics and Actions

Body Ecology


Organ Systems

Life Cycles of the Woman’s Body


Ethical Harvesting

Medicine Preparations and Recipes

Materia Medica

For more information on the role of the contemporary Medicine Woman, please go to our Medicine Woman Tradition page..

The Shaman Path

Earth-Path Shaman Basic & Advanced Courses

Taught By Jesse Wolf Hardin

“The call to power necessitates a separation from the mundane world: the neophyte turns away from the secular life, either voluntarily, ritually, or spontaneously through sickness, and turns inward towards the unknown, the mysterium. This change of direction can be accomplished only through what Carl Jung has referred to as ‘an obedience to awareness’. Only through the development of discipline will the shaman’s habitual ways of seeing and behaving dissolve, and the visionary realms open. Thus, the initual call to power takes the shaman to the realm of chaos, the limen, where power exists in a free and untransformed state.”
-Joan Halifax The Wounded Healer

A course in earth/Anima informed shamanic practice for all genders that, unlike most traditional male-only forms of shamanism, recognizes the exceptional abilities, propensities and potential of women. This is one of the most demanding of Animá disciplines. It asks of you to not only experience, but impart… and not only explore but focus, discern, commit and manifest. Earth-Path Shamanism is the work, calling, vocation of wholly, magically, sentiently, sensuously, purposefully and deliberately, living… the integration, awakening and maximizing of mind, body, heart, spirit and earth, in service to the whole. It is taking on at least some portion of the responsibility for the direction of events and even the course of evolution, while acting as a voice and agent for other “worlds,” “realities,” aspects, dimensions and perceptions.

Basic Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction, Orientation, & Acting From Our Inner Place of Powers

Lesson 2: Sense Of Place, Places Of Power & The Sweet Medicine Canyon

Lesson 3: Presence: Noticing & Grounding, It All Starts Here

Lesson 4: Sensing & Creating Sacred Space

Lesson 5: Charting Our Paths, Challenges & Advantages On The Medicine Wheel

Lesson 6: Essential Nature & Personal Rewilding

Lesson 7: Awakeness & Embodiment: Maximizing The Senses

Lesson 8: Awareness, Fields Of Perception & Consciousness

Lesson 9: Focus, Orientation & Direction

Lesson 10: Intuition & Instinct

Lesson 11: Precognition, Omens & Signs

Lesson 12: Empathy, Reading The Mind & Spirit

Lesson 13: Intention & Intensity: Making Every Moment Decisive & Deliberate

Lesson 14: Opening To Mission & Purpose

Lesson 15: Healing (Making Whole) The Self (redefining Soul Retrieval)

Lesson 16: Helping Heal (Make Whole) Others

Lesson 17: Helping Heal (Make Whole) Community & The Natural World

Advanced Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Animal Teachers, Totems & Familiars

Lesson 2: The Magic Of The Drum: Within Rhythm, Outside Of Time

Lesson 3: Fasting & The Vision Quest

Lesson 4: Power Dreams

Lesson 5: Death As Teacher & Awareness Ally

Lesson 6: Plant Spirit, Plant Medicines

Lesson 7: Learning To Be Invisible, Learning To Be Seen

Lesson 8: The Uses, Benefits & Drawbacks of Shamanic Psychoactives

Lesson 9: Sexual Magic, Sexual Healing

Lesson 10: Explorations In Ecstasy

Lesson 11: Rare Precognition, & The Developable 6th Sense

Lesson 12: The Gifting Bones: Gaian Shamanic Runes

Lesson 13: Bridging The Magical & Mundane

Lesson 14: Solitaries & Leaders: Our Place Within & Outside Of The Community

Lesson 15: Communicants: Teaching and Group Ritual

To apply, please download, complete and then return to us the Student Application

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