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Movement of the Mandala Tarot Retreat

September 6 - September 22

Movement of the Mandala

In-Person Retreat | September 6-22, 2024

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

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


Movement of the Mandala: Tarot Retreat

Embodying principles of unfoldment through spiritual theatre.

movement of mandala
martin blackwell tarot

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.

A Somatic Retreat

Embody the Tarot’s principles of universal unfoldment.

September 6-22, 2024

At Clear Sky Meditation Centre, BC, Canada

Planet Dharma- Tarot Card - The Magician
tarot retreat
Group Guru Conscious Community

Why this Retreat?

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

-Namgyal Rinpoche

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.

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. 

Please watch this video before applying to attend this retreat: 

meditator in canada

What Can I expect with this Retreat?

The Retreat

  • 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.

The Location – Clear Sky Center

  • Located in the BC Rocky Mountains, Clear Sky offers over 300-acres to deepen your practice and reconnect with nature. Founded by Qapel (Doug Duncan) and Sensei (Catherine Pawasarat), the centre is home to students from around the globe who are dedicated to co-creating a supportive and innovative space for awakening in our modern world.
  • Clear Sky Centre FAQs
  • Our teachings and Clear Sky operate based on the ancient tradition of dāna or generosity. As generosity is the basis upon which all spiritual practice flourishes, we recommend that you learn more about this profound practice before you register.

Meet the Teachers

Catherine Pawasarat
Catherine Pawasarat
Doug Qapel Duncan
Doug Qapel Duncan

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

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

Catherine Pawasarat Sensei has trained daily with Qapel (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 Sensei also draws on generative living and the arts. With Qapel she is co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center in the BC Rockies.

For your Listening Pleasure: On the Tarot

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

What Do Previous Retreatants Say?

Jenai Lieu

These are ancient teachings that I feel are important to understand if someone is serious about meditation. I appreciate Qapel and Sensei’s unrelenting perseverance to teach about the roots and traditions of these life changing practices. They explore the rich history with us and also deliver the material in a very understandable and relevant way.

Jenai Lieu
Psychology student, Canada
Kira MacDuffee

Working with Qapel and Sensei at the five day hero’s journey workshop was deeply impactful and has clarified not only my deepest heart’s desire, but what I need to overcome to manifest it. They are extraordinary facilitators with a great depth of knowledge, wisdom and presence to share.

Kira MacDuffee
M.Ed / RCC
Dr. Duncan Cryle

Doing karma yoga, I watch how everyone gains new insights.  These many “a-ha moments” makes it clear to me that this type of active dharma training is a path that brings the modern spiritual explorer alive and moves them forward.

Dr. Duncan Cryle
Ph.D IBM executive, Clear Sky Accountability Officer
Evangelos Diavolitsis

Qapel and Sensei have consistently been honest, accurate and candid with me. It has sometimes taken me years to admit my self-sabotaging blind spots. Clear and radical self-honesty liberates my sticky parts. Thank you to my master teachers for helping me free up all the energy knots – especially the ones created from unconscious patterning around money, sex and power.

Evangelos Diavolitsis
Peter Ujlaki

Qapel and Sensei are always burning calories to get you back on a path that can lead toward greater self-awareness. When I am with these two very clear individuals, I am humbled by their dedication to others, and understand the every-waking-moment responsibility that comes with their calling.

Peter Ujlaki
Fine Art Dealer, Japan
Cara Conroy-Lau

Doug and Catherine teach the Vajrayana with great skill and means. Their ability to shift, weave and embrace each moment with diverse types of students is amazing. One of the jewels they teach and transmit is deity practice, or arising yoga. I have experienced many of their wongkur initiations and find them to be powerful and liberative experiences that also provide tools of great value in my day-to-day practice.

Cara Conroy-Lau

Course Fees & Requirements

All Retreatants: A Dāna Based Retreat

This retreat is offered by the Teachers 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 “dāna” to the teachers after registration.

For more information on dāna click here.

See below for lodging and meal costs.

Lodging Fees

In addition to Dāna to the teachers, Clear Sky Meditation Center 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 accommodation.

Please go to the registration page via the button below for details of the all inclusive fee for the two week retreat.

Covid-19 Protocols

Please note that we are taking measures to keep us all healthy during this retreat, including:

  • You must have experienced no symptoms associated with covid-19 in the past 14 days.
  • You have met and followed all BC and Canadian health regulations regarding Covid-19 and travel.
  • Further details will be posted closer to the retreat date as necessary.

Micro-dosing / Psychedelics

We recognize and respect plant medicine as an important part of some people’s spiritual paths. Please note, the meditation practice on this retreat is very powerful.

Consuming mind-altering substances will detract from your experience and could cause negative side-effects.

We ask that you refrain from microdosing or consuming mind-altering substances during this retreat and in the days immediately following it.

Apply Now

This retreat is offered on an application basis. It is a pre-requisite to have attended the 2023 Kabbalah online course.

Applications open after the afternoon Flash Retreat class on June 4th, and close on June 30th 2023. Partcipants who attended the Kabbalah course will receive the application form by email. 


If you have questions about the retreat, please contact the Clear Sky Retreat Manager at 250-429-3929  (phone) or via [email protected] (email).