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FSS E-Newsletter

VOLUME 7  ISSUE 3          

FSS News
Articles and Information
Healing Words
My Windhorse by Joy Markgraf

My Windhorse by Joy Markgraf

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"Indigenous shamans worldwide know that spirit power is basic to one's health, survival, and ability to heal others. Without this power, one is not resistant to illness or misfortune. In traditional shamanic cultures this awareness permeates the daily life of virtually everyone. ... The shaman's idea of power is similar to our concept of energy, yet it includes more: energy as well as intelligence and self-confidence."


Michael Harner

Cave and Cosmos

From Chapter 1: Spirit Power and the Cave   


Michael Harner


Dear Friend of Shamanism,    


We hope you had an enjoyable summer and are enjoying the color and bounty of the fall season.


Check out the updated workshops index page. It has been revised to provide a quick index to workshops of interest, as well as links to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), information about core shamanism, what people are saying about FSS workshops, and a video clip with Michael Harner. Workshops with experienced Harner-trained faculty are scheduled around the world, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.


I was recently invited by FSS Europe to teach Shamanic Training in Creativity in Germany. Last week, I had the opportunity to spend time with the FSS Europe leadership team: Chairman Roland Urban, Vice Chairman Michael Hasslinger, and Coordinator Roswitha Uccusic, as well as the excellent group of international faculty. It was inspiring to teach such a varied group of students from countries throughout Europe and to recognize the universality of core shamanism methods -- we are family in the best sense of the word.

With warm appreciation,    
Susan Mokelke



FSS News



♦ The East Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, taught by David Corbin and Nan Moss, will be held October 20 - 31, 2013 in Madison, Virginia.    

♦ The West Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, taught by Alicia L. Gates, will be held March 23 - April 3, 2014 in the San Francisco Bay area, California. 

♦ The 9th East Coast Three Year Program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, taught by David Corbin and Nan Moss, begins April 27 - May 2, 2014 in Madison, Virginia.     


Please check the website for PREREQUISITES for these advanced shamanic training programs.  


For details and to REGISTER for the above programs, contact registrar Michael Flanagin: flanagin4@msn.com, (503) 282-6315.


Paul Uccusic Our close friend and colleague Paul Uccusic, Director of FSS Europe, passed on in Vienna August 2nd, with his wife Roswitha at his side and surrounded by his family. Under Paul and Roswitha's leadership, as Paul wished, Roland Urban and Michael Hasslinger are prepared to continue the work of FSS Europe, with Roswitha Uccusic as coordinator. FSS Europe website: www.shamanicstudies.net.The world has lost a truly wonderful person. Our deepest sympathies to Paul's family.

Paul Uccusic was born in 1937 in Vienna. After studies of chemistry, physics and mathematics at the University of Vienna, he became a journalist and served in leading positions in different daily newspapers in Vienna. In 1971, he got in touch with parapsychology and spiritual healing. He is the author of several books about healing. In 1981, he met Michael Harner in Alpbach in Tyrol. The core shamanism formulated by Michael Harner became Paul's central field of interest. Read more...

The first public offering of the new advanced weekend workshop in Core Soul Retrieval Training, developed by Michael Harner, was held August 24-25, 2013 in the San Francisco Area. It was taught by Michael Harner, assisted by Alicia Gates. Dr. Harner learned how to do soul retrieval in 1961 while living among the Amazonian Conibo and brought it to the West. In The Way of the Shaman (1980, pages 71 - 72, 93, 99), he wrote of recovering "vital souls" to heal comatose persons and persons suffering from traumas, noting that this method can also be used "to heal patients by retrieving lost portions of their vital souls."

Participants in the training said:
"This Core Soul Retrieval workshop goes back to basics. It gets the ego of the shamanic practitioner out of the way and refocuses the work back to the helping spirits, who are actually doing the work."

"This workshop really deepened my understanding of soul retrieval and of the sacred."


"Amazing! So direct, clear, concise."


The training in core soul retrieval offered by the Foundation is based on principles and methods that have been used successfully not just by the Conibo, but cross-culturally. Core soul retrieval is a shamanic healing method and does not involve the addition of Western psychological practices. For scheduled offerings and advanced prerequisites, visit the FSS website.

Pau Nyima Dhondup It is with great sadness that we announce that Pau Nyima Dhondup, the last of three FSS Living Treasures residing in a refugee camp in Nepal passed on September 19, 2013. FSS Field Associate Sarah Sifers, who spent many years learning from the Paus at the camp and providing assistance to the people there, was making her annual visit to the camp at the time and notified the FSS. Read Sarah's report ...

Cave and Cosmos continues to receive enthusiastic reviews from many sources,including Parabola (magazine Fall 2013 and parabola.org online), Watkins Mind Body Spirit, and New Dawn magazine.

"Michael Harner, more so than Carlos Castaneda, Gordon Wasson, Terence McKenna, Alan Watts, Abbie Hoffman or Timothy Leary, has perhaps done more than any other to enlighten the West on the truly global nature of shamanism -- a cultural and spiritual heritage that seems to unify every archaic and indigenous culture around the world."
-- Marc Star, New Dawn (July - August 2013).
Cave and Cosmos by Michael Harner
French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Slovenian Editions Coming Soon
  • Mama Editions will publish the French edition before the end of 2013
  • Ansata will publish the German edition in November 2013
  • Crisalide aims to publish the Italian edition before the end of 2013
  • Tre Bjorner Forlag plans to publish the Norwegian edition Fall 2013
  • Zalozba Eno will publish the Slovenian edition early 2014
Cave and Cosmos may now be purchased in paperback directly through the Foundation, as well as through online and local bookstores. It is also available as an ebook from online booksellers such as Random House and Amazon.com. At Michael Harner's request, all royalties from Cave and Cosmos will go to the Foundation for Shamanic Studies in support of its work.


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.

Jaguar by Patricia Dolan
I see you. Painting by Patricia Dolan.
Members of the Circle, we invite you to share your work with us by submitting 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. (Submissions must follow the guidelines below.) View the slide show Artwork of the Membership.
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 the title of the work, with a few words description. Send the photo as an email attachment to the Editor, Susan Mokelke.

Articles and Information

Shaman Erdemt
Shaman Erdemt by Jonathan Kaiman.

Mongolian shamanism survives, though struggles to thrive amidst the backdrop of modern China. Erdemt, a Mongolian shaman, tells of his life and work in the mining boom-town of Xi Wuqi. The article and accompanying video illustrates the struggles to preserve ancestral lands and the many ethnic ancestral shamanic traditions. Read the article and view the video, by Jonathan Kaiman, from theguardian.com. From Timothy R. Flynn, Contributing Editor, FSS Three Year graduate, Royal Oaks, California.


A group of stones unearthed by archeologists in 2006 may represent the oldest material evidence of shamanic practice in lower Central America. Archeologist Ruth Dickau says the 5,000 year old stones are thought to have been used in communicating with helping spirits in much the same way shamans in Costa Rica use similar stones today. Read the article by Tia Ghose, from livescience.com. From Timothy R. Flynn, Contributing Editor, FSS Three Year graduate, Royal Oaks, California.

Shaman stones
Shaman stones by Ruth Dickau.



Rupert Sheldrake provides a controversial look at how dogma and belief systems have taken hold in mainstream science. According to Sheldrake: "Many of the theories we have come to believe that science has produced have been scientifically proven to be incorrect yet we continue to go along with them. The reason this happens is because in many cases we are no longer using the scientific method as it is meant to be used. Read the article, banned on TED, from collective-evolution.com. Submitted by Lora Jansson, FSS Three-Year graduate, Bainbridge Island, Washington.



Charles T. Tart, Ph.D., a Core Faculty member of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, is internationally known for his psychological work on the nature of consciousness (particularly altered states of consciousness), as one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology, and for his research in scientific parapsychology. In his blog he muses on his exposure in the seventies to core shamanism workshops with Michael Harner and his recent visit to a store in Taos, New Mexico, where he was drawn to the handheld drums: "I was fascinated by the various drums, and repeatedly had an urge to pick one up and tap out a brief rhythm on one of them, as a gesture of respect to the shamanic world view, as a gesture of respect to the almost miraculous thing Harner has accomplished in reviving shamanism in the modern world, and to respect the feeling I have occasionally had that if my life had taken a very different course, probably in a quite different cultural setting, I might have become a "shaman," rather than a scientist." Read Dr. Tart's blog ...


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


I had a dream last night, a message from the spirits. I had recently joined with a diverse group of people, who, in the odd way of dreams were shop owners/artists in a classy shopping mall. I realized that we were about to be invaded and that our world was threatened. We would have no chance of survival if we did not find a way to work together -- and quickly. People had a hard time believing it was that urgent, but did pull together, each of us preparing stations where we could have the best chance to survive the invasion. At each station there was to be a warm blanket. The invasion was imminent and as I went around to check the stations for blankets, which were all unique depending upon what was available, a woman ran up with an older plain blanket and claimed that the blanket at my station was hers, and she wanted it for her own station. So I gave it to her and took the older one, which was actually warmer and more useful in this situation, for my station. And, I found myself saying to the group that was gathered around: "Rise above. We need to rise above personal wants if we are to survive."


Mountain - Jupiter Tribalism is a built in facet of human nature on this planet. We have been powerfully conditioned by evolution to mistrust and attack that which is "other" and embrace what is of the tribe. Carried to its extreme, we end up with the tribe of "me," a culture where the individual reigns supreme. What I want is of primary importance and all that is perceived as "not me" or mine is discounted and rejected. The larger long term perspective of our relationship as part of a community in a global context is submerged in the immediacy of the present.  


This principle applies to our modern organizational tribes as well. People identify themselves as Republican or Democrat; a Yankees or 49er fan; a UCLA or Harvard graduate; with Microsoft or Apple. The possible affiliations are endless in contemporary society. When a new group emerges, particularly in a non-mainstream field such as shamanism, the initial reaction is often suspicion. The group may be besieged on multiple fronts by detractors identified with other factions, who frequently know little about the subject, but who nonetheless claim it is delusional, will never work, even that it is evil. The more powerful and visible a movement becomes, the more it becomes a target for those who have their own contrasting philosophies and agendas to uphold. Attacks can become personal, focusing on a particular individual or organization as the embodiment of the movement. And, regrettably, sometimes those who have found their own ways of doing things within a movement, start to think that their way is the only way. They may turn their focus from building their own way as part of the movement, to defending their way against others in the movement.  


Are we then helpless before our clannish instincts? No. We must embrace a bigger tribe. The essential experience of shamanism teaches us, not as a matter of belief, but as a deep knowing, that everything is a part of everything else -- and it is all alive.


The lyrics of the refrain of my song, One Truth, came out of this knowing:

There's no it, there's only us,  
All descendants of stardust.  
There's one truth that we are life and life is us.  
There's no they, there's only we.  
There's no separate destiny.  
There's one truth that I am you and you are me.

If you know this truth, how then would you deal with those who confront you with hostility, those who would tear you down, those who wish you harm? In my own case, I realized that I had to take on my own biologically driven impulse to destroy the other, to attack that which is perceived as a threat by my instinctive self.

This has been made concrete for me in the phrase "rise above." Rise above the smaller concerns of my ego, which is all about me: my wants, my uniqueness, my success, my tribe, my contribution, my survival, wanting to be right. In a dispute, focus on the healing solution, not on winning, which pits one ego against another. Hold my personal wants lightly and be willing to let go of them for the greater good. Rise above.

When faced with ill will or personal attacks, don't resort to retaliation in kind. Don't add fuel to a fire; don't start a war. Rise above. Continue to do my ordinary reality and spiritual work, but learn what I can from criticism and find a way to improve my daily actions and myself.

Refrain from judgment and strive for compassion in my heart for the naysayers and detractors. And, when I fall short of these aims and get angry, defensive, or impatient, in no case will I involve my spiritual connections or use any of my spiritual power to do harm, in thought or action.

Core shamanism has been an amazing force in my life. The more that I swim in the ocean of compassion of the spirit worlds and receive the spirits' teachings, the more I am motivated to manifest this "compassion that transforms" here in my own life. Rather than a chore, it has become a delight to embrace and to feed my better nature, to strive to free myself from the limitations of the smaller self that fears and hates -- to endeavor always to manifest courage, beauty, healing, and love -- to rise above.
--The Editor (S.M.)  


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, which consists of the universal, near-universal, and common features of shamanism, together with journeys to other worlds, a distinguishing feature of shamanism. Originated, researched, and developed by Michael Harner, the principles of core shamanism are not bound to any specific cultural group or perspective.  The workshops and training programs have 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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