Foundation for Shamanic Studies E-Newsletter
February 2008
Vol. 2, Issue 1
In This Issue
Join our Email List
FSS Quick Links

Welcome to the first issue of the FSS E-News for 2008. The year began quickly, with a very full January, including the Annual Gathering of the Council, the loss of honored Living Treasure Pau Karma Wangchuk, and the happy appointment of a new Living Treasure, Sichingua, a female Daur shaman from Inner Mongolia, China.

We invite you to join us in the preservation and return of shamanism to contemporary society: take a workshop; read articles about shamanism; discuss shamanism with other members on the FSS Members Forum or listen to Michael Harner talk about shamanism; find a book, DVD, or a CD; become a Member of the Circle of the Foundation. All this and more is available on the website: www.shamanism.org.

Thanks for participating!
Susan Mokelke
Executive Director

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

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, with weekly discussion sessions with guest Michael Harner. 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, with weekly discussion sessions with guest Michael Harner. 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.

FSS Gathering of the Council, January 25 -26, 2008. Members of the Circle of the Foundation enjoyed a wonderful Friday evening session in Mill Valley, California on January 25. Mr. Sahibou Oumarou of the Fulani people of Niger gave a fascinating presentation about how his people learn from ant worship and how they combine Islam with their own traditions. Mr. Oumarou told some touching stories about working with ants and the teachings that ants offer. To contemporary Westerners, used to thinking of ants simply as pests, it was a uniquely shamanic perspective about embracing the wisdom of even the smallest creatures in the natural world. The next day, FSS Council Members were treated to several interesting presentations: In Search of a Malaysian Shaman, with Robert Bailey & Irene Lo; Somatic Divination: Comparison of Inuit Head Lifting and Muscle Testing, with Stuart Dole; and The Six-Month Self-Healing Circle: Working Shamanically with Chronic Illness, with Paula Denham.
Michael Harner and Angeles
Michael Harner & Angeles Arrien
The day culminated with Echoes of Shamanism in Europe, a lively dialogue between Angeles Arrien and Michael Harner. Look for more about these presentations in the FSS journal, The Shamanism Annual, and on the website.

A special thanks to FSS members John Lawrence for his excellent work videoing the presentations at the Council sessions, and to Alesia Kunz and Katrina Leathers for braving the heavy rain and traffic to arrive early to setup for Mr. Oumarou's session on Friday evening.

FSS Living Treasure Pau Karma Wangchuk. It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Foundation for Shamanic Studies Living Treasure Pau Karma Wangchuk on the evening of January 26, 2008. Afterwards, Pau Wangchuk's family requested financial assistance so that they might honor his life according to their ceremonial traditions. You responded generously! Pau Wangchuk's family sends their heartfelt thanks to all those who made donations through the Foundation and made fitting memorials possible. Thank you! Read more and see pictures of Pau Karma Wangchuk.

Musical Bow cover
The new musical bow CD is now available in Michael Harner's Shamanic Journeywork® series of recordings. The musical bow is the percussive sound of a single plucked string stretched tautly between the ends of a bowed stick, an instrument once utilized by many tribal shamans in different parts of the world. In CD No. 4: Shamanic Journey Musical Bow, the Brazilian berimbau is played by Susan Mokelke, alone and with a rattle, providing a unique, effective sound for journeying.

Sichingua, a Daur shaman in Inner Mongolia, China, has just been appointed as a Living Treasure of Shamanism by the Board of Trustees of the Foundation.
Sichingua and assistant.
Sichingua in her shamanic costume and mask, with Barter, her assistant.
Sichingua came highly recommended by FSS Field Associate Kun Shi (China) and by Dr. Mihály Hoppál, President of the International Society for Shamanistic Research. Sichingua is a practicing shaman, widely known as an effective healer and a shamanic heritage keeper. She has also attracted serious attention from researchers in China and in several Asian and European countries. Sichingua has earned an excellent reputation from many ethnic groups in her region, and even from the local officials. Sichingua, 59, lives in Ewenki, Hulunbeir, Inner Mongolia. Her husband Barter is a Mongol and serves as her assistant.

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, books, and CDs - 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.) Click here to view the video of members' submissions. 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
A Shaman's mask returns home after it was taken from the Inupiat Eskimo of King's Island, Alaska. A woman from Port Townsend, Washington, who possessed an ancient mask brought back from Alaska by a relative more than a century ago, tracked down the rightful owners and sent it back. Read the article from the Contra Costa Times. Submitted by Tim Flynn, FSS Three-Year Program graduate, Santa Cruz, California.

Altai Shamanism
Read this interesting account of the shamanism of the Russian Altai in the Neva News, the English language newspaper of St. Petersburg. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, shamanism is regaining some of its former popularity. Visitors to the Altai region often find evidence of shamanic practices, such as white ribbons tied to trees and offerings of coins and food left for the spirits.

CBC Aboriginal
Check out the new aboriginal network of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for news, arts and culture, and history of the native peoples of Canada. Click to read an historical overview of aboriginal culture and its contributions to modern culture - for example, the little known fact that the federal system of government in the United States was modeled on the system of government devised by the Iroquois.

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.

From the Archives: Interview with Michael Harner
Read the transcript of the 1988 PBS "Thinking Aloud" television series interview of Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove in conversation with Michael Harner. The program can also be ordered on DVD.

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.
Heal Thyself?
Students of shamanic healing often ask if they can work on behalf of themselves or a family member. While it is possible to work on behalf of oneself or someone close to you, it is not the best way - and not only because you might not have enough emotional distance to be effective. Perhaps the most important reason to seek another shamanic healer when you, a family member, or a close friend is involved is that the helping spirits are compassionate and giving - and will often more powerfully assist a shamanic healer who is working from this same attitude of compassion and altruism. -- Michael Harner

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. For environmental and economic reasons, FSS will send out less paper communications. 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.

Thank you!

Copyright © 2000-2008 Foundation for Shamanic Studies, a non-profit incorporated educational organization.

Editor: Susan Mokelke
Foundation for Shamanic Studies

Email Marketing by