Foundation for Shamanic Studies E-Newsletter
December 2007
Vol. 1, Issue 6
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"It is not unusual for Westerners to approach shamanic exercises for the first time with some trepidation. Yet, in every case I know, anxieties have soon been replaced by feelings of discovery, positive excitement, and self confidence. It is no accident that the term ecstasy commonly refers both to the shamanic "trance" or SSC and to a state of exaltation or rapturous delight. The shamanic experience is a positive one, as has been verified through thousands of years, and as I have seen again and again in my training workshops, in which the participants have represented a wide spectrum of personalities."
-- Michael Harner
The Way of the Shaman, Tenth Anniversary Edition


So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
- T.S. Eliot

As we move into the winter, it is good to embrace the lessons nature offers us at this time of year. The earth lies fallow, healing in the quiet peace of the dark. Nature slows, stills, rests. We, too, can store this peace in our hearts, giving us strength in the active times to come. The seeds of future creations are being nurtured within us now. May you embrace them and be embraced.

We appreciate your support for shamanism and for the Foundation (view Holiday Blessings).

May your New Year be peaceful, inspiring, joyful!

Submit your ideas and news for the Articles and Healing Words sections to the Editor.

There have been many exciting changes at the Foundation in 2007: new advanced workshops, more core shamanism workshops, membership benefits such as the FSS Members Forum, and assistance to indigenous shamans through the Living Treasures programs. Read Michael Harner's summary of Foundation activities in 2007.

Advanced Residential Workshops in 2008 (view the brochure): The Two-Week Intensive in Advanced Shamanic Healing will be held April 6-17, 2008 in the San Francisco Bay Area, taught by Alicia L. Gates. A new Three-Year Program in Advanced Initiations in Shamanism will start October 26-31, 2008 in the San Francisco Bay Area, taught by Alicia L. Gates. There will be a special residential version of the Harner Method Shamanic Counseling training in the San Francisco Bay area, with April Tuck, C.S.C. The training will be held April 20-25, 2008 and will be introduced by Sandra and Michael Harner. Don't miss this intensive training to develop skills for answering personal life questions with the assistance of helping spirits. The five-day Soul Retrieval Training will be held August 10-15, 2008 in Portland, Oregon, taught by Sandra Ingerman.

The next Shamanic Innovations workshop will be held June 2-7, 2008 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Myron Eshowsky, experienced FSS Faculty member, will present his exciting work on shamanic healing in communities and peacemaking: Where are the Dreamers? Restoring Shamanism in Community Life. One participant said: "The training itself was a very strong combination of shamanic healing practices, personal work, and Myron's own knowledge and experience. I am still going back to my notes almost daily, incorporating many of the practices we learned into my own work, and even doing the homework! But the kicker is that after a week with Myron I now have implicit trust in my relationship with the spirits, and I no longer have any hesitancy about doing shamanic healing work. This is after 5 years of practice."

Henry Kablalik, an Inuit elder from Nunavut, Canada, and newly appointed Field Associate of the Foundation, gave a special presentation to the local membership in Mill Valley, California, last June. Alesia Kunz, a current Three-Year Program participant, wrote an account of Mr. Kablalik's sharing and her insights. Click to read.

FSS Living Treasure Pau Karma Wangchuk, one of the last known Tibetan shamans alive today is doing well, reports Sarah Sifers, FSS Field Associate. He received his yearly stipend from the Foundation with gratitude to all of you whose generous contributions make support of the Living Treasures of Shamanism possible. Read Sarah's report and see pictures of Pau Karma Wangchuk.

The contributions of FSS members help support the efforts of indigenous peoples and the renewal of shamanism in a contemporary context. We invite you to join us. Receive exciting new benefits when you join as a Shamanic Partner, including the online Members Forum, access to archival talks by Michael Harner, and gifts of DVDs, a book, and a CD - and support shamanism worldwide. Thank you!

An Invitation to FSS Members
We invite you to submit a photo of one of your creative works related to shamanism. Periodically, we will select a few of these photos to post on the FSS website. Photos of works might include paintings, sculpture, drums/rattles, weavings, and photos of shamanic places, etc. (Submissions must follow the guidelines below.) Share your work with us!

Guidelines for submission of photos of shamanic artwork: a. Must be an FSS member; b. Must be the creator of the work submitted and hold the copyright; c. No photos of people, please, unless you have a written, signed release to publish the photo; d. One photo only per member. Please include your name and a one-sentence description or title of the work. Send the photo as an email attachment to the Editor, Susan Mokelke.

Restoring and Dreaming
The Mentawai of Siberut, Indonesia
Learn about the Mentawai, one of the best preserved of the indigenous cultures, and watch the presentation about their daily life, rituals, and shamans. Visit the website of Native Planet, an NGO dedicated to preserving indigenous peoples and cultures.

Sami boy with Reindeer
Sami boy with Reindeer. Photo by O. Monsen.
From UN Web Services Section.
Indigenous Sami Embrace Their Heritage
Read about one reporter's recent visit to Norway, where 30,000 to 50,000 people have chosen to maintain the lifestyle of their Sami ancestors who inhabited the arctic and sub-arctic regions of Europe for thousands of years. View the slideshow of the traditional mixing with the modern. Read the article from the Missoulian.

Shamans and the Hmong Community
The shaman is a central figure in traditional Hmong religious practices and plays important role in Hmong culture in keeping the community connected, according to a panelist at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County.
Read the article from the Wausau Daily Herald. Submitted by Tim Flynn, FSS Three-Year Program graduate, Santa Cruz, California.

SUBMIT NEWS: We invite you to submit news about shamanism for our readers. Please submit no more than a few brief paragraphs, including the source of the news item to the Editor.

Alternative Therapies
Feasibility and Short-Term Outcomes of a Shamanic Treatment for Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, by Nancy H. Vuckovic, PhD; Christina M. Gullion, PhD; Louise A. Williams, PhD; Michelle Ramirez, PhD; Jennifer Schneider, MPH.
Original research to test the effectiveness of shamanic healing. The shamanic providers received training from the Foundation, among others. From Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal, Nov/Dec 2007 Vol 13, No. 6, pp. 18-29. Read the article.

Note: Each issue we plan to post on the website or provide a link to an article of interest. Check the Articles section for several varied perspectives on shamanism and shamanic healing, many from past issues of Shamanism, the Foundation's scholarly journal -- one of the exclusive benefits received with an FSS membership.
Shamanic Healing for Expectant Mothers

I worked with a young woman who was planning to start a family and wanted to be ready, physically and spiritually, before becoming pregnant. In her case, after working with my helping spirits, it was determined that soul retrieval and power animal retrieval would be beneficial for her. I continued to work with her during the pregnancy, being aware of focusing on my client and not her baby. Though at a later point in her pregnancy, I was advised that a power animal was also there for the baby. This was not really a power animal retrieval, more a "seeing" of the power animal's presence, which I told the mother about, and which was also comforting to her. Interestingly, she told me that since she had become pregnant, she had become increasingly aware of and attracted to this animal in her own life. Submitted by an FSS Three-Year Program graduate.

Mostly what I have done is to have pregnant women journey to learn who their power animals are, as protective birth allies and helpers. I usually instruct the woman to ask the power animal how to call it and how it will be of help. I find that the first hand experience is far more transformative in this case than me finding the power animal. My pregnant clients are not usually coming to learn shamanism, but they do want the extra help. I find that safety and confidence is usually what comes from this kind of work. Sometimes a power animal comes along for the baby too, even without asking. I have also done soul retrieval for women who have had traumatic birth experiences and this helps with the next birth, just to be more whole. Submitted by Nancy Friedrich, CCHT, retired midwife, FSS Three-Year Program graduate, Bolinas, California.

NOTE: "Healing Words" contains helpful ideas and suggestions from shamanic healers. FSS presents them as a service to the shamanic community without endorsement; as always, each shamanic healer is responsible for using these ideas in a responsible and ethical manner. If you would like to SUBMIT A HELPFUL TIP, email the Editor. (No more than two succinct paragraphs, please.)

About FSS
Internationally renowned anthropologist Michael Harner pioneered the return of shamanism to contemporary life. In 1985, he founded the Foundation for Shamanic Studies to preserve, study, and transmit shamanic knowledge worldwide. Join the thousands each year who take the Foundation's rigorous training in Core Shamanism, the near universal principles and practices of shamanism not bound to any specific cultural group or perspective.

About the E-Newsletter
The Foundation for Shamanic Studies E-newsletter is issued bimonthly and contains information and articles about shamanism, shamanic healing, and the Foundation's activities. It is designed to offer interesting and practical information for shamanic healers, students, and those interested in shamanism. We welcome your feedback and ideas. Please contact the Editor, Susan Mokelke.

NOTE: You are receiving this email from the Foundation for Shamanic Studies because you are a member or have taken a Foundation course or otherwise indicated your interest. In the future, for environmental and economic reasons, FSS will rarely send hard copy mailings. To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, including course schedules and information relevant to the practice of shamanism, add info@shamanism.org to your address book today. You may also update your email address by clicking on the Update Profile/Email Address link below.

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Copyright 2000-2007 Foundation for Shamanic Studies, a non-profit incorporated educational organization.

Editor: Susan Mokelke
Foundation for Shamanic Studies

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