Foundation for Shamanic Studies E-Newsletter
December 2008/
January 2009

Vol. 2, Issue 6
In This Issue
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Besides making journeys, seeing, and changing states of consciousness, the shaman is a person who, in a sense, is a public servant. Shamanism is not primarily a system for self-improvement — although that can be one of its uses. In a tribal society the main work of the shaman is for others. If one has shamanic powers and abilities, and if relatives and friends ask for help, the shaman cannot deny it to them. The shaman is not trying only or mainly to achieve self-enlightenment. Shamanism is people directly helping others. It is a kind of spiritual activism in which one works with the powers that connect human beings to the incredible power of the universe — a work that involves journeying and shifting back and forth between realities. –Michael Harner, in Shaman's Path, p. 11, by Gary Doore.

Members of the Circle of the Foundation:
Please help us by
renewing your membership promptly and online, if possible. Paper mailings are not only costly, they hurt the trees – and we would like to spare as many as we can! Thank you.
Tuvan Petroglyph

A new year. A time to start fresh, let go of things that no longer serve us, embrace something new that feeds the soul. We are grateful for your support of the work of the Foundation and for the gift of your participation. We here at the Foundation are looking forward to a new year of hope, peace, and possibility — may these blessings be yours now and in the times to come.

Susan Mokelke
Executive Director

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

My Windhorse by Joy Markgraf My Windhorse by Joy Markgraf
Advanced Residential Workshops in 2009. The new West Coast Two-Week Advanced Shamanic Healing Intensive 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. –10% tuition discount offered for registering by January 30Note: 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. Post-Graduate Healing Practices for FSS Three-Year Program Graduates with Alicia Gates will be held August 9 - 14, 2009. It will offer the opportunity for graduates of the Three-Year programs to experience new practices and further advance their shamanic training. The second, The Power of Rhythm: Drumming, Dancing, and Shamanic Empowerment with Gabe Harris, will be held July 10 - 15, 2009. It will include drumming and drum-making and ceremonial dance, and is for anyone who has taken the Basic Workshop, The Way of the Shaman.
Five-Day Soul Retrieval Training with Sandra Ingerman will be held September 6 - 11 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Note: The Basic Workshop, which is a prerequisite for all advanced FSS workshops, will be held in various locations throughout the year. In January, Basic Workshops will be held in: New York; Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Bellingham, Washington; and Orlando, Florida.

Mark your calendars and check the website in the coming weeks for details.

Michael Harner
Michael Harner to be honored with the "Pioneers in Integrative Medicine Award." Every year the Institute for Health & Healing honors an international expert whose work is furthering the field of integrative medicine. On Sunday, March 8, 2009, at a dinner ceremony in San Francisco, the Institute will honor Michael Harner, one of the world's foremost authorities on indigenous healing practices and their relevance in contemporary times. The Institute for Health & Healing is part of the Sutter Health community of medical centers. For more information and for ticket information, please visit the Institute's website.

New 2009 Membership Benefits. The new membership plan – with additional exclusive benefits – is now available on the website. Now, all members can include a photo or graphic for their Shamanic Services listing. Members, add or update your Shamanic Services listing, including a photo or graphic, and let the public know you are available for shamanic healing or divination. Becoming a member is easy – just visit the Join the Circle pages. Members receive online access to the shamanic community discussion Forum, special articles, audio talks by Michael Harner, The Shamanism Annual journal, and more.

FSS Administrative Office Update. We are pleased to announce that the Foundation has moved its administrative office to nearby Novato, California. There were several reasons for this. We wanted to combine facilities with the Shamanic Knowledge Conservatory, where we would have easier access to those resources when needed. Also, in these difficult economic times, it makes good sense, both economically and environmentally to streamline and share resources. We will maintain our official mailing address in Mill Valley and the Novato facility gives us a place from which to continue to build and grow. We will offer, as always, the same services to you as members and friends of the Foundation. The Foundation's mission to preserve, study, and teach shamanic knowledge for the benefit of the planet and its inhabitants is unchanged -- and we are finding new ways to enhance our work. Email is still the best way to contact us: info@shamanism.org. Only the phone and fax numbers have changed: Phone: 415-897-6416; Fax: 415-897-4583. Mailing address: FSS, PO Box 1939, Mill Valley, CA 94942 USA.

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.

Newpaper Rock, Utah
Ancient Belief in Soul Apart From the Body
Last summer, University of Chicago archeologists discovered the first written evidence that the people in a region of Turkey near the Syrian border held to the religious concept of the soul apart from the body. Read the article from the New York Times online Science section.

Rock on Hillside Photo by Chris Pfeiffer.
Rocks as Evolving Species
A team of international researchers postulates that many of the Earth's rocks are dynamic "species," which emerged and transformed over time, largely in concert with living things. As Michael Harner teaches, shamans throughout time have known that "Everything that is, is alive." It is always nice when science agrees! Read the article from The Vancouver Sun online. Submitted by Laura Whipple, FSS Three-Year Program graduate, Los Angeles, California.

2,700-Year-Old Cannabis Buried With Shaman
As reported in the Journal of Experimental Botany, it was found in a tomb near Turpan in northwestern China. The dried cannabis was buried with a 45-year-old, light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, who seems to be a shaman of the Gushi culture. Read the article from Press TV. Submitted by Timothy Flynn, FSS Three-Year Program graduate, Royal Oaks, California.

Shamanism in Taiwan
In Taipei, a small number of people are carrying on a shamanistic practice that goes back hundreds of years in Taiwan and on the Chinese mainland – but adapting it to the needs of modern city-dwellers. Read the article from The Scotsman online. Submitted by Timothy Flynn, Three-Year Program graduate, Royal Oaks, California.

Winter Solstice
Winter, particularly the Solstice, is a potent time of year, especially for Northern peoples. For example, the Sami of Northern Scandinavia had a pantheon of spirits which included Beiwe, their goddess of sunlight and sanity. A winter solstice ceremony was held during which a shaman would journey into the cosmic realms to meet Beiwe and intercede on behalf of those having difficulty with sanity. Read the article about Winter Solstice practices from Anchorage Daily News online. Submitted by Timothy Flynn, Three-Year Program graduate, Royal Oaks, 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.

Music in Shamanic Healing, by Miháli Hoppál. Dr. Hoppál tells of the role music and song plays in shamanic healing and initiation. Read the article. From the book Macht Musik by Gerhard Kilger, Köln: Wienand Verlag 2006 (article in English, book primarily in German).

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.
The Power of Long-Distance Healing
Recently, an FSS Three-Year student requested distance healing help from her Three-Year program classmates. She provided this feedback about the results:

After I requested your help on curing two places where I had been diagnosed with skin cancer, I postponed the date that the minor surgery would take place because I wanted to give you and your spirits and mine time to work.

When I finally had a new date for the proposed surgery, I sat in my doctor's office under the lamp and the magnifying glass as she looked at the place on my right arm. She kept looking. She referred back to her diagram of my arm. "Well, it's not here. We can't do a biopsy or cutting out of something that's not here, can we?"

"No," I replied smiling.

She went to my left shoulder. She looked and then said, "I'm going to the next room for a minute to get another magnifier."

When she left I said, "Yes!" I looked up and down and thanked all the spirits.

She came back and examined the other spot. "Before, this spot was 1-3 centimeters, now it's hardly a speck."

"It sounds like it's going away," I said. "Shall we just let it go?"

"Yes, by all means." She smiled.

I celebrated by going right to Clement Street and eating a pork bun. Thank you! Submitted by A.K., FSS Three-Year program student, Berkeley, 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.

Thank you!

Copyright © 2000-2009 Foundation for Shamanic Studies, a non-profit incorporated educational organization.

Editor: Susan Mokelke
Foundation for Shamanic Studies

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