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“The Tarot represents a system of complete liberation for Westerners.”

-Namgyal Rinpoche

Join us for a two-week somatic retreat that helps us weave archetypal energies into our lives in beautiful and healthy ways.

It’s creative, it’s powerful, it’s magic.

Registration is by invite only.

Western Mysteries

focus area



Two Weeks



Skill Level



Embodying principles of unfoldment through spiritual theatre

The Movement of the Mandala is a powerful embodied retreat on the Tarot’s archetypes, inspired by the Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche’s teachings.

The retreat was first offered by the Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche 50 years ago at the Dharma Centre of Canada in 1974, Qapel’s first retreat as a new student. A master of both Eastern and Western mystical tradition, Rinpoche’s innovative course will be offered by Qapel and Catherine Sensei for the first and last time in Qapel’s lifetime.

Why the Tarot?

We’re all familiar with Eastern spiritual traditions, but did you know the West also has a legitimate path for spiritual awakening?

How are the Emperor and Empress manifesting your life? Are they wise rulers or are they tyrants? Or are they living in another kingdom altogether?

Western archetypes are a powerful resource for spiritual awakening. They reveal and help us cultivate dormant aspects in ourselves so we may reach our highest potential.

In modern times, Tarot is often mistaken as ‘woo woo’ fortune telling, yet it has offered a profound path for spiritual awakening for hundreds of years. In fact, the Western Mysteries was the path by which Namgyal Rinpoche awakened.

Tarot Retreat 2022
Tarot Meditation Retreat

The History of the Movement of the Mandala Retreat, as first offered by Namgyal Rinpoche

Qapel’s first retreat with his Teacher Namgyal Rinpoche was on the ‘Movement of the Mandala’ in 1974, an embodied initiation into the Tarot’s archetypes.  We asked him to explain more about the retreat and its history. 

A Somatic Retreat

Why this retreat? – Embody the Tarot’s principles of universal unfoldment.

As archetypes and meditations, the symbolism of the Tarot is incredibly transformative. The Tarot offers a powerful, concise path of liberation drawing on universal life experiences to invite us into deeper understanding of the mystical life.

In this retreat we will enact and embody the major arcana, through spiritual somatic theatre.  This form of enriching “passion play” helps us gain a deep imprint of the tarot’s archetypal meanings, catalytic for spiritual transformation.

Each Tarot card contains symbolism through which transformation can occur.

Drawing on Western archetypes, aspects that exist within each of us, this retreat helps us:

  • Discover which archetypes are stronger and weaker in our being;
  • Learn how to integrate all the archetypes into our daily lives;
  • Use art, music and movement to contact the patterns of our being through sensing, feeling and insight.

What Can I Expect?

  • An open mind and heart and a spirit of adventure are excellent things to bring!
  • Roll up your sleeves and jump into spiritual theatre. You will be asked to prepare sets and costumes before the retreat.
  • Become deeply familiar with the 22 Tarot cards of the major arcana and their main characteristics.
  • Embark on somatic group theatre (and therapy) using the Tarot cards.
  • Reveal and relate deeper patterns from within our being to the major archetypes.
  • Explore techniques in loosening patterns of thought and action.
  • Expect long days of Western Mysteries practice and exploration.
  • Enjoy the surrounding wilderness at Clear Sky Center.
  • It’s human to have some apprehensions about doing something new, meeting new people, or going to a new place – particularly when all three happen together. Knowing this, we try to make our retreats as supportive as possible.
Western Archetypes Retreat Booking 2022
Western Retreat Booking

Meet the Teachers

Awakening Community and Archetypes Retreat

Doug Qapel Duncan

Awakening Community and Tarot Retreat

Catherine Pawasarat Sensei

Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat are Dharma and meditation teachers who founded Clear Sky Meditation Center, BC, Canada.

Achariya Doug Duncan received lay ordination from Namgyal Rinpoche in 1978, and is a lineage holder in that teaching. Known for his direct, humorous and compassionate engagement with students, Doug embraces various traditions, contemporary psychology, and science, to mentor all beings to a more awakened state.

Catherine Pawasarat has trained daily with Acariya Doug Duncan since 1998 in an intensive spiritual apprenticeship that is rare in the modern West. She received lay ordination from Namgyal Rinpoche in 2003. In addition to Buddhist philosophy and its applications to daily life, Catherine also draws on generative living and the arts. With Doug she is co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center in the BC Rockies.

About Clear Sky

Located in the BC Rocky Mountains, we offer over 300-acres to deepen your practice and reconnect with nature. 

Founded by Qapel Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei, we are home to students from around the globe who are dedicated to co-creating a supportive and innovative space for awakening in our modern world.

In adherence with our quadruple bottom line, we source our food as local and organic as possible.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW on how to get here, what to bring and what to expect. 

Questions? Phone 250-429-3929, or contact maureen@clearskycenter.org.

In order to give enough time to rest from travel before the retreat starts, we recommend that domestic travellers arrive one day early, and long distance international travellers arrive two days early. After the retreat we also suggest staying for at least another day for integration, however you are also welcome to stay longer for one of  our hybrid stay options.

Booking a flight? Airport pickups can be booked when you register for the retreat. On the rare chance that this retreat is cancelled or if unforseen global circumstances cause travel interruptions, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance and modifiable tickets. 

Clear Sky Meditation Centre sanctuary
White flowers in field at meditation retreat center
a plate of food including avocado
Breathing Meditation and Tarot Retreat
Best Tarot Retreat in The World

For your Listening Pleasure: On the Tarot

Enjoy Qapel and Sensei’s episodes on the Tarot from their podcast channel, Dharma if you Dare:



This retreat is offered on the basis of dāna (generosity).

Dāna is a Sanskrit term meaning “generosity”, and is the traditional way in which Buddhist teachings are offered.  With dāna, we give as a mutual exchange of generosity. You may have come across this in the form of “pay from the heart”. It’s our joy to offer this course, and we trust you’ll match our time, energy, and passion by giving an amount of money that feels good and healthy to both you and us.

You will be sent a link to offer “dana” to the teachers after registration. 

For more information on dāna click here.


In addition to Dana to the Teacher, Clear Sky Meditation Centre provides an incredible space for your retreat.  Situated on a beautiful 310-acre property in the Rocky Mountains, the center and its karma yogis provide you nourishing daily meals and comfortable accomodation. Read more: Staying with us (Clear Sky Meditation Centre)

Please go to the retreat registration page for this retreat for details of the all inclusive fee for the retreat.

Specific times may change – this is a rough guide (MST)

6:30 – 7:30 AM: Walk &/or Personal Practice
7:30 – 8:15 AM: Breakfast: Prepare, eat, clean up
8:15 – 8:45 AM: Walk &/or Personal Practice
9:00 – 10:00 AM: Class with Teachers
10:00 – 10:30 AM: Walk
10:30 – 11:30 AM: Group Practice led by Sangha
11:30 – 12:30 PM: Personal Practice
12:30 – 1:30 PM: Lunch: Prepare, eat, clean up
1:30 – 3:00 PM: Personal Practice
3:00 – 4:00 PM: Group Practice led by Sangha
4:00 – 5:30 PM: Personal Practice
5:30 – 7:00 PM: Dinner: prepare, eat, clean up
7:00 – 7:30 PM: Walk &/or Personal Practice
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Group Practice and Q & A with Teachers
8:30 – Beyond: Personal Practice & bed

Orange flowers in field at meditation retreat center