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Foundation for Shamanic Studies E-Newsletter
www.shamanism.org
October 2008
Vol. 2, Issue 5
In This Issue
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Shamanism is not a faith. Faith is for people who are either in science or in organized religion. Shamanism is for skeptics, who say, "Well, that sounds interesting. I wonder if it really works.'" And that's all we try to do. We try to teach the methods of shamanism to get people into it and see if it works for them. They perform experiments on themselves and on others for divination, healing, and other purposes, to see if it works. And then they arrive at their own conclusions.
Michael Harner, presentation at the California Pacific Mini-Medical Conference in San Francisco, April 2, 2008





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Greetings
nature_hands

The past few months have been a roller-coaster ride of economic upheaval, political maneuvering, fear and hope - great tests of character for many of us. In this climate of doubt and change, I have been grateful for my sustaining relationship with my helping spirits.

I thought it appropriate here to share these words, sent in by Peter Clark as part of a longer writing. Peter was asked to do healing work for a person suffering from intense grief after the loss of a relationship. He received a message from his helping spirit, which he typed directly as the spirit gave it to him.

"Know that you are loved. Know that your role in the transformation is vast. Know that your capacity to LOVE is powerful, and never ending, and enhanced by your walking of your path, your way. You have many friends - embodied as human immanent forms and non-physical spirits. We are all here for you. There is no such thing as "alone." Our energy fields are all entwined and woven into the vast web, the complex hologram of all that is and all that is beyond all that is. The human heart has the capacity to grasp this."
Peter Clark, Three-Year program student, Woodbury, Vermont.
"The shaman sees with the heart," Michael Harner teaches. May you see as the shaman sees and take heart...

Susan Mokelke
Executive Director

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

drum
Advanced Residential Workshops in 2009: The new West Coast Two-Week Intensive in Advanced Shamanic Healing will be held March 23 - April 3, 2009 in the San Francisco Bay Area, taught by Alicia L. Gates, including two discussion sessions with guest Michael Harner. Note: Those who take this Intensive will receive special consideration when applying for the Three-Year Programs in Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing. Harner Method Shamanic Counseling Training with April Tuck is planned for next summer in Boston, Massachusetts. Check the website in the next few weeks for details. The new 7th East Coast Three-Year Program in Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing will start October 11 - 16, 2009. It will be taught by Nan Moss & David Corbin. Two unique five-day residential workshops are planned for the West coast for the summer of 2009. One will be held August 9 - 14, 2009 and will be taught by Alicia Gates. It will offer the opportunity for graduates of the Three-Year programs to experience new practices and further advance their shamanic training. The second, July 10 - 15, 2009, will include drumming and drum-making and ceremonial dance, and is for anyone who has taken the Basic Workshop, The Way of the Shaman. Mark your calendars and check the website in the coming weeks for details.

Certificates of Completion
The Foundation for Shamanic Studies is pleased to offer Certificates of Completion for graduates of its advanced training programs in Core Shamanism.
FSS Workshop
Certificate of Completion
The Certificate of Completion is meant to publicly acknowledge the considerable time and effort invested by students in the completion of the Foundation's training programs in advanced shamanism and shamanic healing. Please note that the Certificate of Completion is not intended to convey that a person is a shaman, a shamanic practitioner, or a shamanic healer. The Foundation cannot certify that a person is a shaman - it is successful results in shamanic healing that make a person recognized by his/her clients as a shaman or shamanic healer, and even that status can change at any time according to a practitioner's relationship with the helping spirits. At this time, four Certificates of Completion will be awarded:
  • White. Completion of the Two-Week Intensive in Advanced Shamanic Healing
  • Bronze. Completion of the Three-Year Program in Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing
  • Silver. Completion of the Two Week Intensive in Advanced Shamanic Healing and the Three-Year Program in Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing
  • Gold. Completion of all standard advanced Foundation trainings in Core Shamanism
Graduates, to request your certificate, please fill out the online request form.

Harner Method Shamanic Counseling Update After careful consideration, the Foundation has decided to discontinue the certification program in Harner Method Shamanic Counseling, for it does not have the staff or resources necessary to continue to maintain the high quality standards required for the lengthy process of certification. The Foundation will, however, continue to provide training in Harner Method Shamanic Counseling, but without offering certification. Even though the rigorous certification process and the Harner Method Shamanic Counselor and CSC (Certified Shamanic Counselor) designation will no longer be given, the Foundation will permit those who satisfactorily complete the five-day HMSC course to state publicly that they have received training in Harner Method Shamanic Counseling from the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. The Foundation will neither endorse nor assume responsibility for their activities as counselors.

New FSS Faculty Members. We are pleased to welcome the following as FSS Faculty members: Charley, Tim, and Elaine have many years experience and training in Core Shamanism. Check the website for their scheduled workshops and details.

The support of members of the FSS Circle of the Foundation helps preserve the knowledge and practice of shamanism among indigenous peoples, and the renewal of shamanism in a contemporary context. We invite you to join the Circle by making a donation. Receive exciting benefits, including the online Shamanic Services Listings and FSS Forum, access to archival talks by Michael Harner, and gifts of DVDs, books, and CDs - and support shamanism and shamanic healing worldwide. Thank you!

Members of the Circle of the Foundation
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 some of the submissions. Share your work with us!

Guidelines for submission of photos of shamanic artwork:
1. Must be a member of the Circle of the Foundation;
2. Must be the creator of the work submitted and hold the copyright;
3. No photos of people, please, unless you have a written, signed release to publish the photo;
4. One photo only per person.
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
At the Edge of the Worlds
The Russian Museum of Ethnography has an exhibition on shamanism focusing on the forms of shamanism practiced in Northern Siberia and the Far East.
Shaman's Protecting Spirit
There are fine pictures of a shaman's "protecting spirit," (photo right) Evenk shaman's clothing, and a really great Altai drum (be sure to look at the close up of the drum). Read the article.

Drawing of Evenk Shaman Tent Discovered in Russian Museum
A researcher, Mikhail Semyonovich Batashev, at the Krasnoyarsk Ethnographic Museum in Russia recently discovered in the museum depository, photos, a drawing, and a description of an Evenk shaman tent with an artificial river. A shaman yurt with two ditches in the earthen floor was discovered by a scientific expedition of the Krasnoyarsk Museum on June 14, 1921, on the Stony Tunguska River in Siberia at the mouth of the Fitili River, not far from present-day Chemdal'sk (Evenkia). A river-ditch, dug from the tent entrance to its back wall, supports statements of researchers of shaman tent semantics that all structures of Evenk prayer grounds were designed as existing on a mystical river, flowing from East to West. The river was regarded as a road, connecting the Upper, Middle and Lower Worlds. Read the article by Yuri Klitsenko. Submitted by Timothy Flynn, FSS Three-Year program graduate, Santa Cruz, California.

A Journey in Southern Siberia
Read a fascinating account from 1900 of the Buryat people of central Siberia, around Lake Baikal, written by Jeremiah Curtin, writer, ethnographer and folklorist. His entire book, A Journey in Southern Siberia, published after his death in 1909 can be found online. The first part of the book describes Tsarist Siberia before the Revolution; the second part describes the lore and stories of the Buryats. Of particular interest is the chapter on "The Origin of Shamans," including tales of bringing back souls, divination with a charred sheep scapula, and dancing on fire.

Arapaho Teach in Native Language
To preserve their native language, the Arapaho of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming, recently opened a school where students will be taught in Arapaho. Tribal elders hope this will create a new generation of speakers and help save their language from extinction. Read the article from the New York Times online.

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.

The History and Work of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, by Michael Harner. Dr. Harner provided this fascinating look at the evolution and work of the Foundation for the 25th Anniversary Issue of Shamanism. Read the article. From Shamanism, 25th Anniversary Issue, Vol. 18, Nos. 1 & 2, 2005.

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 for the Circle of the Foundation.
Healing
Help from the Spirits of Nature
I had been contemplating whether to market my smudging sticks/gem amulets – a big step for me. I went for a walk on a path along the San Francisco Bay marshlands, asking for guidance as I had learned in the Shamanism and the Spirits of Nature workshop. Within five minutes I started seeing these beautiful shorebird feathers along the side of the path.

I reached a bridge and turned around and a huge brown pelican flew to me and U-turned a few feet in front of me, flew alongside and then back out under the freeway. Pelican is very important to me and the name of long-time spirit teacher. When I turned around, there was a Great White Egret on the other side of the bridge I had just left, another important helper for me.
Heron Feather


While looking at the egret, a juvenile Great Blue Heron flew up and landed on the rocks just five feet away. I hadn't seen one in months. I greeted it, explained my respect for it and asked for a feather – which I've looked for for ages, without success. The heron shook itself and a feather dropped out, floating upon the water. I tried for 10 minutes to get it to drift near me, climbing on rocks – no luck.

I crawled back up onto the path, and the heron had flown over the slough and again was on my side of the marsh. I repeated my request for a feather, explaining that I couldn't get to the first one, and would consider it a sign to proceed. Well, a few seconds later – another shake, another feather fell out – this time on the rocks! I was able to climb down onto the rocks to it, within two feet of the heron. And what a fine feather it was, eight inches long, grey-blue with lots of fluffy and long feathery parts. I got my answer in a very big way!
Submitted by Sandy, Sausalito, California.

NOTE: "Healing Words" contains helpful practices, ideas and suggestions from shamanic healers, and answers to questions of concern to those practicing shamanism. 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 and the shamanic journey 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 universal and 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-donor 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.

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


Editor: Susan Mokelke
Foundation for Shamanic Studies

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