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FSS E-Newsletter
June - July 2010 Vol. 4, Issue 3
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The shaman is achieving union all the time. The union with the animals, plants, rocks, water – with everything. Ultimately, through a journey experience, the shaman may in fact achieve union regularly with the totality or with a god or goddess or the Universe. The shamans don't talk about it. It's not as it is in the written traditions, where there's a great deal of scholarly effort to describe and study. What the shamans talk about are things that tell good stories and the ineffable experiences are not the things that anthropologists ask about. This has been an unfortunate thing that we have to rectify. People have to understand that it's not with civilization that spiritual enlightenment comes, but that it's been an ongoing process for thousands of years.

– Michael Harner, in Shamans, Monks, and Reality, a dialogue with Brother David Steindl-Rast at Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California, January 28, 1993

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Susan Mokelke

Contributing Editor:
Timothy Flynn


Flock of Starlings Flock of Starlings
One of the greatest challenges resulting from the fast pace and lack of connection inherent in contemporary society is finding balance. We are bombarded daily with lights, sounds, technology, information. Those of us who have learned the shamanic journey know how restorative it can be to spend even a few minutes out of the turbulence of Ordinary Reality in the flow of the Upper and Lower Worlds. Nature, too, revitalizes. Spending time in nature is one of the best antidotes for imbalance – and sometimes nature and technology combine to make accessible to us something delightfully magical that feeds the soul. For your inspiration...

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
  • The new 4th North American Three-Year Program in Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing* will start October 17 - 22, 2010 in northern Marin, San Francisco Bay Area. It will be taught by Alicia L. Gates, assisted by Amanda Foulger.

  • The East Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive*, with David Corbin & Nan Moss, will be held October 24 - November 4, 2010 in Madison, Virginia. The Two Week Intensive, offered on the West or East Coast, is the best preparation for the FSS Three Year program.

  • *SPECIAL BENEFIT - Free one year Council Membership ($500 value) to those who complete the West or East Coast Two Week Intensive or begin the 4th North American Three-Year training in 2010.

  • Harner Shamanic Counseling with April Tuck, will be held August 7 - 12, 2010 near Portland, Oregon. Those who complete the five day HSC training may request a certificate of completion (details will be posted soon on the website).

  • 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 announce a new five-day residential training in core Shamanic Depossession, originated, researched, and developed by Michael Harner and taught by Alicia Gates, assisted by Amanda Foulger. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to learn the fundamental features of this important healing work, including how to recognize the symptoms of illness-causing possession or near-possession in their clients. They will be taught how to release such attachments and influences safely and compassionately, offering healing to both clients and any interfering beings. In addition to core shamanic methods of depossession and psychopomp work, the training also uses a classic holistic approach, encompassing essential supporting practices to restore and maintain the client's power, including soul retrieval and power helper restoration to prevent future vulnerability. This five-day residential training will be offered in 2011 on both the West and East Coasts of the US.

    Drum Circle
    As a member of the Circle of the Foundation, you have access to the FSS Forum, where you can share your shamanic experiences, questions, and interests with other members around the globe. (Click here for benefits.) With each E-Newsletter, we will offer an issue for your consideration. To participate, login to the FSS Forum and join in the discussion. To login, you will need your Forum user name and password; if you have forgotten it, click on the "I forgot my password link". If you have never registered for the Forum, follow the "Register Now" link. Contact us at info@shamanism.org if you need assistance.

    Current topic: Tell us one way you have found core shamanism useful in your daily life.
    LOGIN to participate; then scroll down to the Shamanism section and click on the Membertalk topic.

    The new advanced weekend workshop Shamanic Dreamwork, will be offered at various locations starting in September 2010. In this unique experiential workshop you will have the opportunity to explore the nature, meaning, and use of dreams among shamanic peoples, with dreamwork practices from a range of cultures. Researched and developed by Michael Harner, subjects to be covered include shamanic dream theory and big dreams, as well as dreams and the soul, spirits, shamanic journeys, the Dreamtime, and the vision quest. You will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge to contemporary life, including the use of dreams in divination, health, and healing. By popular request: A second San Francisco workshop has been added, September 25 - 26, 2010, with Michael Harner and Susan Mokelke. REGISTER ONLINE. For more FSS Faculty offerings, visit the website for additional dates, locations, and contact information.

    Alicia Luengas Gates
    The FSS Three-Year Program in Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing will be offered for the first time in Barcelona, Spain, starting December 10 – 15, 2010. It is the 6th time the program has been offered in Europe. The program will be taught in Spanish by Alicia Luengas Gates. For information, contact Maria Luisa: (66) 93 265 68 45 or (66) 619 639 127; mluisa@estudioschamanicos.com; www.estudioschamanicos.com


    Members who have completed the Five-Day Harner Shamanic Counseling workshop may now list it in the FSS print directory in the Shamanism Annual and also in the online Shamanic Services listings. To update your information, log in to the Circle and select "Create/Edit Shamanic Services Listing" and check the applicable boxes for the training you have completed. Coming soon: A certificate of completion for the Five Day Harner Shamanic Counseling Training.

    Certificates of Completion are available to graduates of many of the FSS advanced residential training 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. (Please note that these do not certify a person as a shaman.) Find out more and request your White, Bronze, Silver, and Gold certificates online.

    Beginning in the early 1970's Michael Harner began collecting the experiences of Westerners engaged in shamanic practice, with special attention to their shamanic journey experiences to the Upper and Lower Worlds.
    As this collection expanded, the FSS established its Mapping of Non-Ordinary Reality (MONOR) Project especially to discover what, if any, cross-cultural regularities existed in the experiences of shamanic journeyers, both in the West and in indigenous societies. Today the collection, housed at the Foundation's headquarters in Marin County, California, includes this extensive collection of research material:
    • Over 70,000 pages of researched data on cross-cultural shamanism and shamanic healing, and over 6,000 books and journals regarding the same.
    • Over 35,000 pages of voluntarily submitted descriptions of shamanic journey and other visionary experiences of contemporary Westerners. The collection began with audio recordings of Dr. Harner's experiential and experimental workshops in core shamanism, both nationally and internationally. Found nowhere else in the world, the collection includes the very first shamanic journeys contemporary Westerners have experienced.
    Help us make this unique collection ready to accommodate supervised researchers with fully functional archives and library. Please support the SKC and MONOR by donating to the Foundation.
    Newpaper Rock, Utah - ŠiStockphoto.com/Jeremy Edwards
    An interesting article on what appears to happen to the nervous system during shamanic work. As the author notes: "Whether the otherworld and its spirits are merely hallucinations or are actually real is less easy to determine." That is a matter for each individual to discover for herself. Read the article Submitted by Timothy Flynn, FSS Three Year Program graduate, Monterey Bay area, California.
    Back to beginning...

    Yakut Shaman
    From the American Museum of Natural History, listen to sounds recorded by Waldemar Jochelson on wax cylinders, ca. 1903, during the Jesup North Pacific Expeditions - a recording of a Yakut shaman of Eastern Siberia calling spirits to heal a sick woman. (Museum diorama of healing scene, right.) American Museum of Natural History, New York.

    Lore of the Land is a non-profit foundation that nurtures bioregional documentation within indigenous and traditional communities of the Greater Southwest to support an ongoing, self-directed aural history program that is instrumental in maintaining languages, environments, and lifeways. Audio programs are available free for download. The audio series The Lore of the Land by Jack Loeffler is so full of heart, as well as facts, and is highly recommended. It is a fifteen part series of 30-minute documentary radio programs set in the southwestern United States and Mexico. The first seven programs focus on El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the Royal Road to the Interior Lands, thought to be the oldest continuously used road of European provenance in North America. The second half of the series focuses in part on the relationship of indigenous cultures of the Southwest to their respective habitats. Loeffler has recorded and spoken with members of Hopi, Rio Grande Puebloan, Navajo, Tohono O'odham and Hispano cultures, who share their sense of the sacred quality of homeland through stories and song.

    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 and the Shamanism Annual, the Foundation's scholarly journal - one of the exclusive benefits of the Circle of the Foundation.
    Handprint ŠiStockphoto.com/Scott Cressman
    A recent New York Times piece, "The Anosognosic's Dilemma: Something's Wrong but You'll Never Know What It Is", made me think about the current state of our cultures ecological awareness. The article premise goes something like this: There are questions that we don't know the answer to (known unknows) and questions we don't even know to ask. "What happens to the Ocean when millions of gallons of oil are released into it?" would be a known unknown. Dan Rather recently ran an article in the Huffington Post titled "We Don't Know" in answer to that question. Unknown unknowns are simply beyond our ken to ask. Sometimes those questions are the most important.

    Not knowing what we don't know has plagued the progress of environmentalism from its birth. How do you explain the intrinsic - dare I say it - sacred value of a creature to someone who has no experience of the transcendent aspects of the natural world? It can't be done. That seems to keep most of us stuck in unknown unknowns when it comes to the natural world. For many Americans, not exposed to the profound spiritual aspects of our Earth, the Gulf oil spill may only translate into small changes in the menu when they eat out. That's not enough if we are collectively going to respond effectively to the harm we're doing to the Earth.

    One news analyst proposed that the oil industry's lack of preparedness for a spill of the magnitude happening in the Gulf was caused by the following frame of mind: Something like this had never happened before, so we didn't believe it could happen. It was for them an unknown unknown. I have a feeling that with regards to Mother Nature, we're collectively harboring many more unknown unknowns than we are known unknowns.

    Forest Creek
    Lately I've been watching a lot of unknown unknowns turn into known unknowns in my own little corner of the world. The more time I spend working to grow food on our modest homestead in partnership with the spirit of the land, the more I discover new questions about life I need to ask. I've made a commitment to journey to the spirit of the land daily, for a year and a day, asking her about important issues facing my family as we transform our one acre of property into a thriving sustainable homestead.

    "What does the land think about water?" Seems like an obvious question now. That answer was really interesting: "Water binds things to the land. See that animal carcass buried there. Its substance becomes part of the land through the impact of water. Water is the great healer of the land." This opens up so many great questions! Does the land need the healing water brings? Do I really want to bind this to the land by showering it with water?

    Transforming unknown unknowns into really interesting questions has only been possible because it is directly transmitted in my shamanic journeys and made concrete by my physical labor. I am waking up to the abundance in which we all live. The systems of the Earth renew themselves season after season, eon after eon. We exist as a part of that process of renewal, whether or not we're conscious of its existence. By working the land and journeying to the spirit of the land, these cycles and the reality of the Earth's abundance are becoming tangible to me. There is something uniquely powerful about combining the urgency of growing one's own food with the shamanic journey.

    Journeying changes our frame of mind, opening us to the wisdom of the compassionate helping spirits who can see our lives in the context of the Earth's life even when we cannot. The more we journey the more present to the realities of Earthly living we become. Shamanism gives us the ability to see beyond our own limitations – that is perhaps its greatest gift to humanity.

    Bright Pond
    One wonders if the Gulf oil spill would even have been possible if those harvesting fossil fuel were required to journey to the spirit of the Ocean before they dug their first hole. I asked my question about water not knowing its answer would be so prescient. Why would we choose to release oil into a substance that when pure can be used to heal the very Earth itself? Why release oil into water which can bind the oil forever to the land?

    It seems outlandish to think oil executives and workers could journey before beginning a drilling project. And yet, those things that lurk in the unknown unknown are not only dangerous and problematic – some are bright possibilities we have only to entertain for a moment, so that they may become a tangible part of the Earth's cycles of renewal, a tangible part of our future.

    Timothy Flynn, FSS Three Year Program graduate, Monterey Bay area, California. Contact Tim through his writing blog.

    Go to beginning...

    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.)

    Tuvan Petroglyph
    For more than two decades, the Foundation for Shamanic Studies has worked to preserve, study, and teach shamanic knowledge for the welfare of the planet and its inhabitants. Michael Harner's pioneering work has led to a revival of shamanic healing in a contemporary context. In addition to its training programs, attended by thousands annually, the FSS works to preserve and revive indigenous shamanism as well researching the practical applications of shamanic healing and knowledge to present day problems.
    Pau Nyima Dhondup
    Living Treasure Pau Nyima Dhondup, Tibetan shaman living in Nepal. Photo by Sarah Sifers.

    The work of the Foundation is carried out through the many projects supported by your generous contributions – including the Baniwa Shamanic Revitalization, the Living Treasures of Shamanism program, and the development of new workshops and training programs such as Shamanic Dreamwork™. Read more about the current activities of the Foundation on the Foundation's news blog.

    Your support is critical and immensely appreciated and we ask you to please consider making a tax-deductible donation today. We welcome to our Advisory Council those who invest $5000 and above annually for three years.

    Please email Development Associate Carolyn Fee if you wish to discuss the many convenient ways to give.

    Remember, too, that your membership in the Circle of the Foundation supports the work of the Foundation and gives you many benefits.
    Join or renew today.

    We are very grateful for your generosity.

    Michael Harner

    Susan Mokelke
    Executive Director

    Internationally renowned anthropologist Michael Harner pioneered the return of shamanism and the shamanic journey to contemporary life. In 1979, Michael and Sandra Harner established the Center for Shamanic Studies, the precursor to the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, which took over the function of the Center in the mid-eighties. FSS is dedicated to the preservation, study, and teaching of shamanic knowledge for the benefit of the Planet and its inhabitants. www.shamanism.org

    Join the thousands of people 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. The training program has been carefully developed by Dr. Harner and thoroughly tested to provide an authentic shamanic experience and practical results.

    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 © 2000-2010 Foundation for Shamanic Studies, a non-profit public 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization.

    Editor: Susan Mokelke
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