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My Windhorse by Joy Markgraf

My Windhorse by Joy Markgraf

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The most important practical teaching in both core and indigenous shamanism is not to be found in published literature, not only because it has largely occurred in non-literate cultures, but also because it is done by person-to-person experientially based instruction, by example, by direct communication from the spirits, and through personal experimentation and practice. Furthermore, much of this experiential learning is ineffable or near ineffable and thus has not been easily communicable to Western anthropologists and observers.


Michael Harner & Sandra Harner in "Core Practices in the Shamanic Treatment of Illness." Shamanism, Vol. 13, Nos. 1 & 2, pp. 19 - 30 (2000).



In Shamanic Healing: We Are Not Alone, a 1996 interview of Michael Harner for Alternative Therapies magazine, Michael talks about how miracles of healing can occur when you work with helping spirits: "What's really important about shamanism, in my opinion, is that the shaman knows that we are not alone. By that I mean, when one human being compassionately works to relieve the suffering of another, the helping spirits are interested and become involved."

OverEgret taking flight the years of practicing shamanic healing, teaching, and talking with other practitioners, I've seen the amazing things that the spirits can do when their help is sought by a trained and caring healer.

But for me, the phrase "we are not alone" has come to have an additional and very personal meaning. I have come to know at a very deep level that I am not alone. Like growing old with a wise and caring friend, the relationships forged with the spirits who work with me have become intimate, profound, occasionally hilarious, touching, and personally transformative. I have learned through experience that the spirits are ultimately trustworthy and are there for me unconditionally when they are needed. Whether it is to offer healing for a client or to suggest solutions to a difficult problem, or simply to help me stay on solid footing through the often treacherous terrain of urban life, I am not alone. And that knowing has freed my soul to soar.

Susan Mokelke


FSS News



♦ The East Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, taught by David Corbin and Nan Moss, assisted by Elaine Egidio, will be held November 6 - 17, 2011, in Madison, Virginia.  

♦ The West Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive with Alicia L. Gates, assisted by Amanda Foulger, will be held February 19 - March 1, 2012 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Includes an interactive video session with guest Michael Harner. Discount for registration by October 15, 2011. The Two Week Intensive, offered on the West or East Coast, is the best preparation for the FSS Three Year program.  

♦ The 8th East Coast Three-Year Program in Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing with David Corbin & Nan Moss, assisted by Elaine Egidio, will begin May 6 - 11, 2012 in Madison, Virginia.


Please check the website FOR PREREQUISITES for these training programs, as some have changed.


For details and to REGISTER for any of these programs, contact Michael Flanagin: flanagin4@msn.com, (503) 282-6315.



Michael Harner Michael Harner will give a keynote address at the annual Science and Nonduality Conference "On the Edge of Time" on Friday, October 21 from 5:50 to 6:20 pm in San Rafael, California. Michael will be speaking about "The Transcendence of Time in Shamanic Practice," and will include an experience of shamanic drumming. Susan Mokelke will also teach an experiential workshop "Michael Harner's The Shamanic Journey Outside of Time" on Wednesday, October 19 from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. Conference discount to FSS contacts. More information...

FSS Faculty Kevin Turner spent July on field assignment in Mongolia
Kevin Turner and Sakhantuya
Kevin Turner and Mongolian shaman Sakhantuya.
where he represented FSS at the Ataa Tenger Conference of International Shamanic Studies. Kevin spoke on core shamanism in Asia, and met a number of researchers involved in central Asian shamanism. Kevin also personally interviewed 6 remarkable shamans for research purposes. He gave a one-hour talk on core shamanism at the largest bookstore in the capitol city of Ulaanbaatar in honor of the new Mongolian translation of The Way of the Shaman, as well as a 5-minute Mongolian television interview. There is significant interest in our work in Mongolia, and Kevin may be returning to offer the first FSS courses there next year. We look forward to further collaboration with Mongolian shamans and Mongolian shamanic researchers in the future. Members of the Circle of the Foundation, look for more about FSS in Mongolia in this year's issue of the Shamanism Annual, coming out in December.


istockphoto.com/Jan Derksen

The first public offering of a new weekend workshop, Sandra Harner's Shamanic Training in Creativity was held in San Francisco in August, with more than 70 enthusiastic participants. This workshop will be offered in various locations in the USA and in Canada by the Harner-trained FSS faculty.

Visit the website for dates and locations and registration details.


♦ The Foundation's website recently received a new look. On the HOME page, various aspects of the Foundation's mission are introduced, with links to other pages for those who would like to know more. There is also a slide show of images, which when selected take you to pages providing details of the subject.
♦ The Foundation is now on Facebook. Visit our site and support us in getting the word out about shamanism and shamanic healing by clicking the "LIKE" button under one of the entries and sharing with your Facebook friends.

We are pleased to welcome Leon Sproule to the FSS Faculty for Leon Sproule Spokane, Washington. Leon will be offering the Basic Workshop, The Way of the Shaman: Shamanic Journeying, Power, and Healing on October 8 - 9, 2011 in Spokane. Leon began his study with the Foundation in 1999 after an experience with soul retrieval and the book The Way of the Shaman. He leads a core shamanic drumming circle at the Unity Center in Spokane. In addition to teaching at Gonzaga University as an adjunct instructor in the Civil Engineering Department, he accept clients for small engineering projects and has a love for music and poetry.  


The shamanic revitalization of the Baniwa people of Northwest Amazonia continues to progress, thanks to the support of FSS donors. Much positive publicity was gained for the revitalization after the building of the Shamans' House of Knowledge (Malikai Dapana), with articles appearing in publications in several languages and on the website. FSS Living Treasure, snuff-jaguar shaman Mandu da Silva, now has more than a dozen apprentices, including his grandson Joćo Joaquim de Lima da Silva. The young man says that it is important to cultivate the knowledge of his grandfather. "I do not want our culture to die with my grandfather." Article in Portuguese.
Mandu and apprentices.
Mandu and apprentices in front of the Shamans' House.
Photo by Euzivaldo Queiroz.
The continuing objectives of the project, as described in 2009 by Dr. Robin M. Wright, FSS Field Associate, and Alberto and Ercilia, Mandu's son and daughter include:
  • Several printed booklets (20-30 pages each), colorfully illustrated by Baniwa artists, on the shamans' work, written by Alberto, Ercilia, or other shamans of Mandu's village of Uapui, such as apprentice Plinio, all of whom are grade school teachers. The booklets will be for use in the grade schools, not just the Shamans' School, so that the knowledge of the shamans will be a regular part of the educational curricula in Baniwa schools.
  • Editing and narration of film footage of the making of parika (the shaman's snuff); the rites of initiation (footage partially obtained); and interviews with other shamans of Uapui and of the village called Pana-pana.  
  • Most critical, finishing the construction of the Shamans' House, and a small office inside the House where all of the research material and recording equipment can be safely stored. See the video of the building of the House. 
Ongoing support is urgently needed to keep this preservation and revitalization project going. Mandu is in eighties and it is critical to see that his knowledge is preserved and passed on to his apprentices. Please consider a generous donation to this project. $15,000 would make it possible to create the booklets, obtain more recordings and video to preserve the local shamans' knowledge, and complete construction of the Shamans House of Knowledge. You may donate easily and securely online. Select the Fund to Preserve Shamanic Knowledge. Thank you!

Certificates of Completion are available to graduates of many of the FSS advanced residential training programs in shamanism and shamanic healing, including Harner Shamanic Counseling. Certificates of Completion acknowledge the considerable time and effort involved in the 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 HSC, White, Bronze, Silver, and Gold certificates online.

Articles and Information


Viet Nam shaman
Viet Nam. Bui Van Kinh of the Muong group has been a shaman for 71 years. Photo by Huong Trang, VNA/VNS.
In Viet Nam in the north-western province of Hoa Binh, local shamans, who play important roles in the life of various ethnic groups, are becoming scarce, which puts traditional customs at risk, say researchers and locals. Read the article from Viet Nam News online. Submitted by Timothy Flynn, FSS Three-Year Graduate, California.

From January 14-22, 2011, the Korea Foundation Cultural Center in Seoul hosted an exhibition, "Five Looking West." The exhibit featured the works of five northern California artists whose art and lives have been influenced by Korea. In this interview, one of the artists talks about the impact of Daoism, Buddhism, and shamanism on American artists, spiritual aspects of Korean culture still in play. She also mentions her training in core shamanism with the FSS. Read the article from Koreana online.


In the groundbreaking program began 11 years ago at Mercy Medical Center in Merced, California, Hmong shamans learn about Western medicine and, when asked, are able to treat patients' spiritual needs with shamanism at the hospital. Read the article from the Merced Sun-Star. Submitted by Timothy Flynn, FSS Enews Contributing Editor, California.
Shamanic Art by Mieshiel
Shamanic Illuminations at the ACA Galleries. Mundo Maya by Mieshiel.


From September 15 - October 22 there is a special exhibit of shamanic art at the ACA Galleries (American Contemporary Artists) in New York: Shamanic Illuminations: The Art of Pablo Amaringo, Alex Grey and Mieshiel. Visit the ACA website and click on "Exhibitions."


by Joan B. Townsend
There are many interesting conversations going on these days about the nature of core shamanism and neo-shamanism. In this article, Joan B. Townsend, anthropologist, discusses similarities and differences between them. Read the article, posted online in Google books. Townsend, Joan B. "Core Shamanism and Neo-Shamanism."  Shamanism: An Encyclopedia of World Beliefs, Practices, and Culture, Vol. 1, pp. 49 - 57. Ed. Mariko Namba Walter and Eva Jane Neumann Fridman. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2004. The two-volume set would be a valuable addition to your shamanic reference library.

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.


Healing Words


One night recently, I found myself sitting up late again, grateful for the blanket of post-midnight darkness. It seems like every few nights I have new knot in myself to sort through. Soaking my feelings in the darkness helps them to unwind, that and a lot of breathing. What's left behind is always vibrant.

Our days have been made strange lately by a distant, violent death. A childhood friend of my wife
Raven and moon.
The Bird and the Moon II. Luz A. Villa from Flickr,
used under a Creative Commons license.
Terry lost her daughter suddenly, horrifically. We have no way to really process the news as it comes in from the East Coast. The Universe tilts, we search for equilibrium, sometimes finding it- often not. I sit up at 2 AM untangling me. Pools of suffering spontaneously appear around us, changing our world irrevocably, only to dissolve again. Sometimes they fade beyond memory- this one I fear will stick with Terry and her tight circle of friends for as long as they live. Only an event of this magnitude could exceed the epic song of their shared youth, only something this terrifying could grip the heart they've made together.

Shamanic work can help in these situations, especially if the living left behind are already comfortable with the methods and processes of shamanism. I was called to do some work in relation to this loss, I was stunned by what the spirits showed me and amazed at the wholeness and brightness of the young woman's spirit. Though I'm distant from this event, I've been forever changed by it too.

When I first journeyed I was taking part in a missing person search. I went to a spirit I typically go to for this kind of information, but he told me no, I needed to find another spirit, a Power Animal I work with when dealing with the spirits of the dead. I reluctantly agreed. The energies that animal showed me were the lightest wisp of what happened, but they were enough. Our most unique, profound experiences happen to us, not to someone else. That's just the physics of reality. If you want your soul to be touched by something, your soul has to show up and be a part of it in this reality.

Shamanism changes that, taking your soul places your imagination never knew you could go. Shamanism encourages you to experience the profundity of many other realities. When I was much younger, waking up at 2 AM was stressful. It meant all was not right in the world. With a young boy to raise, I appreciate these moments as the gifts they are. I can find my center, watch the knots dissolve, experience the resounding sacredness of the world, and send wishes of peace to those who suffer everywhere.

Tim Flynn, FSS Enews Contributing Editor, Monterey Bay area, California. Contact him through his website.


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. Join the thousands of people each year who take the Foundation's rigorous training in Core Shamanism, the universal, near universal, and common, 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.


FSS E-Newsletter



Susan Mokelke, Editor

Timothy Flynn, Contributing Editor 



The Foundation for Shamanic Studies E-Newsletter is issued several times a year 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.


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