Foundation for Shamanic Studies E-Newsletter
June/July 2009
Vol. 3, Issue 3
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In shamanism, "power" is like the word energy, but not identical. Power is energy, but with intelligence and knowledge added. When they say shamans are persons of knowledge, it's not because they, as ordinary humans are knowledgeable, it's because they have access to the sources of deep knowledge that comes with power. But, it's not political power, it's not social power. It's spiritual power.
Michael Harner

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

Dog Days of Summer
Dogs and summertime are made for each other. Whether sleeping peacefully in the sun, rolling in ecstasy in the grass with legs waving in the air, splashing through a stream, or making those impossible leaps to catch a Frisbee, dogs just know how to do summer.

Today, I have been too long at my computer and my little Schipperke friends come circling around my chair, nudging me with cold noses, fox-like ears perked, dark eyes gleaming. "Come on," they pant and whine and dance. "Let's go out!" I pull myself away from my work somewhat reluctantly – so much to do! – and stand and open the door. The dogs tear out in a frenzy of delight, legs flying, eagerly sniffing the air, the bushes, the cool earth of the flower beds. Their joy is a palpable thing, all senses engaged, nothing held back. They are entirely in this moment.

I am reminded that the great spiritual teachers all speak of the profundity of presence, of being here now, of the eternal now. As I watch my friends, sharing in their joy, past and future slip away and suddenly I am here. Now – one with this infinitely complex, astonishingly beautiful, living moment – a gift from the spirits revealed through the simple pleasure of being outside with my dogs on this lovely summer day.

Summer joy to you from your friends at FSS!

Susan Mokelke
Executive Director

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

My Windhorse <br>by Joy
Markgraf My Windhorse
by Joy Markgraf
Advanced Residential Workshops in 2009. Harner Method Shamanic Counseling Training with April Tuck, will take place August 10 - 14 in Boston, Massachusetts. The new 7th East Coast Three-Year Program in Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing will start October 11 - 16, 2009 in Madison, Virginia. It will be taught by Nan Moss & David Corbin. A unique five-day residential workshop, Post-Graduate Healing Practices for FSS Three-Year Program Graduates with Alicia L. Gates, will be held August 9 - 14, 2009 in the San Francisco Bay Area. It will offer the opportunity for graduates of the Three-Year programs to experience new practices and further advance their shamanic training. A special benefit workshop for FSS, Shamanism & the Spirits of Nature, with Susan Mokelke, will be held August 29 - 30, 2009 in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area north of San Francisco. Five-Day Soul Retrieval Training with Sandra Ingerman will be held September 6 - 11 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A new East Coast Two-Week Shamanic Healing Intensive will be held November 8 - 19, 2009 in Madison, Virginia, taught by David Corbin and Nan Moss. Note: The Basic Workshop, which is a prerequisite for all advanced FSS workshops, will be held in various locations throughout the year.

The Foundation is pleased to support a new project involving one of the last jaguar-shamans, "Mandu" Manuel da Silva, of the Baniwa people of the Aiary River, Northwest Amazon, Brazil. Mandu's correct title is "snuff-jaguar" (dzato dzauika). There are several types of shamans among the Baniwa; the most important and powerful is the "snuff-jaguar," of which Mandu is the last.
Mandu da Silva, Jaguar-Shaman Jaguar-Shaman,
Mandu (Chief) da Silva
Dr. Robin M. Wright, a professor of Religion and Anthropology, recently appointed as a Foundation Field Associate for the Northwest Amazon, brought this important effort to our attention. The Foundation is supporting the project, which includes the filming and creation of a documentary record of the last jaguar-shaman's practice and knowledge; organizing meetings to discuss aspects of indigenous culture and shamanic traditions; and the construction of a shaman's center, which will serve as a catalyst for activities to strengthen and revitalize indigenous culture of the Baniwa of the Aiary River. Follow the FSS E-news and shamanism.org News blog for updates.

The HOME page has a new look – view videos from the Foundation's ShamanicStudies Channel (YouTube) and check out our News and Announcements blog. We plan to offer more shamanic news and useful information for students and practitioners of core shamanism. Practitioners and students of core shamanism, send us suggestions and news about shamanism and the practice of shamanic healing for our blog. If you have a video to recommend or would like to create one for us to consider for the ShamanicStudies channel, please let us know. We are especially interested in how core shamanism is being used for healing, what it has meant in people's lives, how you feel that you have benefited from Foundation training, and how you think the return of shamanic knowledge is helping our communities and our world. Email Susan at smokelke@shamanism.org.

Workshops & Trainings Revisited
We are often asked if it is possible to take a workshop or advanced program again. It is not only possible, but highly recommended. Those of you who have taken the Three-Year Program in Advanced Initiations in Shamanism & Shamanic Healing or the Two-Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, know how content-rich these trainings are. Taking these programs for a second time greatly increases the depth of the experience – and the initiatory and healing experiences continue to be refined and new discoveries added to the content, so it is always new. It is also wonderful to sit again in circle of healers. Those deeply interested in shamanism and shamanic healing often take the weekend workshops more than once to refine their grasp of the basics and to take their own knowledge further.

Certificates of Completion
Certificates of Completion are available to all graduates of FSS advanced programs in shamanism and shamanic healing. Certificates of Completion acknowledge the considerable time and effort involved in the successful completion of FSS advanced trainings in core shamanism, such as the Two-Week Intensive and the Three-Year program. Request your White, Bronze, Silver, and Gold certificates online.

The support of members of the FSS Circle of the Foundation
helps preserve the knowledge and practice of shamanism among indigenous peoples such as Mandu da Silva, jaguar-shaman of the Baniwa people, 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 (with a photo or graphic) 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
Manchu Fishing Ritual
Report by Susan Grimaldi, FSS Field Associate (Audio-Visual Field Documentation)

A renewed interest in shamanic ritual is continuing among the Manchu, in Jilin Province in China. These recent photos were taken at a Fishing Ritual. Every year before the season's first fishing, Manchu shamans and people come together to pray to the god of the Songhua River.

Machu Fishing
The shamans play a traditional horn instrument, pleasing the god with the heavy musical sound, so they can have successful fishing. A ritual sacrifice of the head of a pig and some grains are prepared as an offering to the god, to insure that god will bless the fishing for the whole year.
As they pray to the Songhua River god in the Manchu language, they say, "Great god of the Songhua River, great god of heaven and great god of earth, please bless us so that we flourish in our fishing, please bless your descendants."

Machu Fishing

Then the shamans propose a toast to the god and beat the drums. The shamans and Manchu people then go to the riverbank and place the sacrificial foods into the river and then the people go fishing. This is followed with a feast of delicious fish. Many journalists took photos and videos of the recent ritual, and these were shown on TV. Interest in the ancient mysteries of the shamanic culture has grown significantly over the past 14 years since the first expedition of the FSS team in 1995. See clips of the video, Drums of the Ancestors, by Susan Grimaldi. Photos provided courtesy of Changchun University Center for Shamanic Studies.

Core Shamanism on Examiner.com
An article on the FSS Basic Workshop, The Way of the Shaman, held recently in San Francisco with Michael Harner and Susan Mokelke, can be found online on examiner.com. Robert Siegel, a writer for examiner.com, who attended the workshop, provided a clear and accurate summary of some of the principles of core shamanism taught in the introductory weekend workshop. Read the article. Submitted by Timothy Flynn, Three-Year Program graduate, Royal Oaks, California.

Russians to Elect "Supreme Shaman"
In an effort to unite traditionally marginalized tribes, mainly from Siberia, for the first time in history Russia is holding an election for the position of "supreme shaman." The election has provoked a great deal of controversy, with many asserting that the status of shaman, which is granted by spirit forces, cannot be determined by voting. A member of the Siberian Akh Khaskha tribe who initiated the election, says she feels that the election will show that tribal members and shamans are capable of their own democratic process in post-U.S.S.R. Russia. Read the article from Reuters online. Submitted by Elaine Egidio, Three-Year Program graduate, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey.

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.

Sharon Van Raalte
Sharon Van Raalte, FSS Faculty Member, on Quantum Radio
Listen to an interview with Sharon Van Raalte online on Quantum Radio, recorded November 11, 2008. Sharon talks about core shamanism, the workshops of the Foundation, and shamanic healing, from her many years of experience as a shamanic practitioner and teacher for the Foundation. Listen to the program on Quantum Radio.

Note: Each issue we plan to post on the website or provide a link to an article or other media with useful information about shamanism or shamanic healing. Check the Articles section for several varied perspectives on shamanism and shamanic healing, many from past issues of Shamanism/The Shamanism Annual, the Foundation's scholarly journal -- one of the exclusive benefits of the Circle of the Foundation.
Goodbye, Sis
When I walked into the room it was evident that my sister was slipping into the Spirit world. I stood by the side of her bed, lightly touching her arm; it was cold and worn with many irregular blue patches. The thin skin of age seemed even more frail than usual. Her breath, aided by life support, was labored and unnatural. I was saddened and uncomfortable with the technology being used to keep her unresponsive body alive. My sister was very aware of the shamanic work I do and her expressed wishes to me were to help her in any way I thought necessary. She had been an EMT until heath issues became too serious for her to continue working. She had seen the effects of life support on individuals as well as family members. She did not wish to be kept from passing on and had a DNR in her file.
Autumn Leaves

I was also aware that the nurses, sympathetic and practiced, were doing their best to make her transition as easy as possible. Family members were hoping for a miracle that would bring her back to them, but in effect were saying goodbye, the actual words being too unimaginable to speak. In my love for her, I wanted the same miracle, yet I was also aware that I needed to help her move on.

I sat in a chair next to her bed, closed my eyes and began a journey, interrupted only by the beep of one of the monitors. Soon the beeping stopped, though I'm not sure if it stopped on its own, or if I was just no longer aware of it.

I had no preconceived ideas of where I would be taken, but I knew I had to bring some peace to her. I felt myself moving upward and realized I was going on an Upper-World journey. I broke through a barrier that had slowed my ascent and felt a coolness rush across my body. Then I was back in the room. I glanced at my body sitting in the chair alongside the bed, eyes closed, hands placed on my thighs, still.

I picked up my sister from the bed, carrying her outside to a forested area familiar to me. It was inviting, peaceful and somehow aware. We flew toward a nearby tree, then through the tree's branches, leaves and main trunk, for an instant becoming the tree in its entirety. Next we flew through the air as we had flown through the tree, everything passing through us, our flight unobstructed by any physical forms. Finally, we flew through the Earth itself, exhilarating in the pulsing constant change, senses experiencing Spirit, free, without bindings. We continued our journey leaving behind the familiarity of Earth – then she was gone. I knew I had said goodbye to my sister.

As if on cue someone in the room started talking, and once again I was sitting in the chair alongside her bed. I took a few moments to embrace the experience, reflect, and place it in perspective, feeling thankful for the gift of one more journey with my sister. I noticed her labored breath as I rose from the chair, but knew she would be passing on very soon. I went to the waiting room to talk to her husband and other relatives. A few minutes later we were told we should go to her room. Her heart had stopped and she was gone.
JJ, Shamanic Practitioner, Ohio

NOTE: "Healing Words" contains helpful practices, ideas and suggestions from shamanic healers, answers to questions of concern to those practicing shamanism, and inspiring stories. 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. (A few 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 2000-2009 Foundation for Shamanic Studies, a non-profit public charitable and educational organization.

Editor: Susan Mokelke
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