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The Wild Edge of Sorrow

Ritual and the Sacred Work of Grief

November 9 - 12, 2017

Thursday - Sunday, 3 nights

$360 Tuition

Plus 3 nights all-inclusive accommodations priced separately

Registration Closed

Program Description

Sorrow swirls around us, deepening us by its presence in our lives, if we allow it. But grief is not just an emotion; it is also a skill. Learn about how the “five gates of grief” from psychotherapist, writer, and soul activist Francis Weller, MA, can help us explore the many ways grief touches our lives.

Through powerful tools—such as guided writing practice, movement, poetry, and singing—we will learn to bring stories of loss into the visible world where they can be held within the embrace of community.

Through guided group process, small group sharing, and communal ritual, we will:

  • Identify and work with underlying grief issues
  • Recognize the multiple sources of grief and its impact on psychological health
  • Learn the dynamics of ritual process and its role in resolving grief
  • Use ritual writing practice to keep grief from moving into the unconscious
  • Identify the obstacles to expressing grief in the culture.

As we explore ancient, indigenous philosophies that address the use of ritual as a primary means of processing sorrow, we will deepen our sense of the importance of community to metabolizing our own grief.

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  • Faculty Bio
    Francis Weller, MFT

    Psychotherapist, writer, and soul activist

    Francis Weller is a psychotherapist, writer, and soul activist. Author of The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief, and founder and director of WisdomBridge, he has introduced the healing work of ritual to thousands of people.

    Francis is a master of synthesizing valuable insights from diverse streams of observation found in psychology, anthropology, mythology, alchemy, indigenous cultures, and poetic traditions.

    A therapist for more than 30 years, Francis is also creator of three CD sets, two focusing on healing shame and one on “restoring the soul of the world.”

    Published in numerous anthologies and journals, Francis is a frequent keynote speaker, co-leads retreats with Michael Lerner at Commonweal Cancer Help Program, and has taught at Sonoma State University, the Sophia Center for Culture and Spirituality, and the Minnesota Men’s Conference.

    He is currently completing his second book, A Trail on the Ground: A Timely Guide for Soul Activists.

    View Bio Page
  • Why Attend
    • Get support for a personal loss or for the grief you feel for the continued degradation of our planet and culture.

    • You don't have to be alone with your grief—through community and ritual you can get the support you need to get through it.

    • Take home strong practices to help you with ongoing encounters with grief.

  • Things to Know/Schedule

    Program Schedule

    Download a sample schedule.


    Participants should be psychologically stable. This is not a therapy group; it is an intense weekend and will evoke strong emotions.

    Experience Level

    None required.

    Recommended Reading

    The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief by Francis Weller

    Special Interest To

    Anyone dealing with grief, as well as therapists and counselors

  • About 1440 Multiversity

    Beautifully nestled in the California redwoods near Santa Cruz, our 75-acre campus is within easy reach of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

    1440 Multiversity is a place to spend time engaging some of life's most meaningful personal questions and to enjoy, restore, and reenergize yourself as you do it.

    You'll find new energy through immersion learning—setting aside daily urgencies and dedicating uninterrupted time to focus on important, but often elusive, priorities. Our unique collaboration with world-class faculty coupled with an original, inspirational curriculum and magnificent grounds make this a place like no other. Add in fresh, redwood-scented air, delicious and healthy food, deep reflection, fun exercise, and good sleep and you've pretty much captured what you'll experience here.

  • Accommodations

    At 1440 Multiversity, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations to meet your preferences and budget. All of our rooms have been thoughtfully designed to provide comfort, promote reflection, and foster connection with others.

    Accommodation rates include more than just the bed you sleep in.

    Per-person per-night rates include:

    • nourishing locally sourced, seasonal meals
    • daily meditation and yoga classes
    • non-ticketed evening events
    • use of all facilities, including the Fitness Center, steam rooms, and infinity-edge hot tub.

    Guests also enjoy access to woodland trails, cafés, and shops.

    View Accommodations
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