July 9 – 13, 2021

Sacred Partnership with the World

Living with Totem

with Eliot Cowan

Develop a deep spiritual partnership by working with a teacher and spending time in nature to discover, identify and cultivate your personal animal totem.

What if the natural world knew you perfectly well? What if it longed for your particular gifts even before you were born? What if it had arranged to give you what you need to bring forth those gifts?

What if the animals were in on this? What if they were wise and aware? What if some of them were interested in helping you? Could Snake be waiting to make your movements more fluid? Might Owl want to help you see what is dark and hidden? Maybe Jaguar can make you fierce when you need to be.

Program (This program is offered to a maximum of 10 participants.)

In this class you will identify and cultivate your animal totems and form partnerships to last the rest of your life, discovering along the way a deeply enriching source of health and connection.

Totem Class is a residential program that gives you the time to fully unplug for 3 full days and 4 nights in nature. The extraordinary power of the land and the transmission you receive from the teacher make this program uniquely empowering.

Experiences during this retreat:

  • 1 on 1 counsel with the teacher
  • Learn to form partnerships to last you a lifetime
  • Discover a source of health, relationship, work and self-knowledge
  • Support by staff
  • Teaching Fire

Treat yourself to this time to learn, remember and restore this important relationship with your totem!

Blue Deer Center

Nestled in the Catskill Mountains on ninety three acres of land and forest, the Blue Deer Center is embraced by “Saskawhihiwine,” the river of peace. This land, known for millennia, as a place where conflict is resolved and illness gives way to health. Blessed things happen here that cannot happen even a short distance away, for this sacred place offers unique medicine that supports your healing and remembering your relationship to all of nature.


The Animal Totem class opened a doorway for my healing and strengthened my connection to life and the divine. Working with the totems has opened the hidden fears/stuckness/lack of connection inside of me that I was unable to access or work with alone. The totems offer me the opportunity to see these things in a different way without my attachments. Their support creates a safe container in which I can work and honestly engage these areas.

Developing a relationship with the totems has helped me see that I am connected to them and all of life that is around me. Each totem has offered different areas of guidance and support for my journey. It is a commitment that has opened me to life. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to work with totems and develop a deep, evolving relationship with them.

-- a participant from Pennsylvania


Mr. Cowan is best known for making accessible two treasures: the indigenous Huichol shamanistic tradition of Mexico and an approach to deep healing with the spirits of plants.

Details & Pricing


Tuition is: $990
Lodging, Food & Facility fee for a private room with shared bathroom: $790  
We have a few private rooms with private bathroom: $930
Commuter rate (includes all meals, no lodging): $485
We provide simple accommodations. Due to the pandemic we are giving everyone a single private room with a shared bathroom. Meals include dinner on the first night through breakfast on the last day and four nights of lodging.  All of the meals are made fresh daily by our chef, Liza. The ingredients are organic and local as much as possible! 
We offer the option of special meals for those with certain dietary restrictions (gluten-free, dairy-free, gluten- and dairy-free). If you have other dietary restrictions, please email catering@bluedeer.org
Please plan to arrive at the Blue Deer Center between 4 and 6 pm on the first day. This program will be over mid-morning on the last day. 
Travel information can be found by clicking on the link on your registration confirmation or by clicking here.
Everyone must take a COVID-19 test with negative results within the week before the program starts and email to lindafelch@bluedeer.org
Please contact Linda at lindafelch@bluedeer.org with any questions about this program or registration.
Cancellation Policy
  • If you cancel more than 14 days prior to arrival entitles you to a full refund of tuition minus a $50 processing fee. 

  • If you cancel 8 to 14 days prior to arrival, your program fee, less a $50 processing fee, will be held for you to use in another future program up to a year. 

  •  If you cancel 2 to 7 days prior to arrival, your program fee, less a $50 processing fee and food costs, will be held for you to use in another future program up to a year. 

  • No refunds or credits will be issued for cancellations received less than 48 hours before a program’s start date.

  • All Refunds will be processed within 2 weeks of cancellation.

**During this time of the pandemic, if you are experiencing any symptoms or are compromised in any way, please cancel your reservation. You will receive your full refund, no questions asked.