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FSS E-Newsletter

VOLUME 8  ISSUE 1            

MARCH 2014
FSS News
Articles and Information
Healing Words
My Windhorse by Joy Markgraf

My Windhorse by Joy Markgraf

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"Drums are everywhere in photographs of Siberian shamans, particularly famous for those flights [journeys] out of this world. ... The ubiquity of the drums in those photographs aroused my curiosity, and in the late 1960s I started experimenting with drumming to see if it had an effect in making those magical flights. After various experiments, I was excited to conclude that a steady rhythm of 205 - 220 beats per minute worked perfectly to change consciousness and, with knowledge of shamanism, to make flights or journeys to spirit worlds. This is 'auditory driving' or 'sonic driving,' an entirely drug-free and classic method of the shaman."


Michael Harner

Cave and Cosmos

From the Introduction  


Michael Harner


Dear Friend of Shamanism,    

I would like to take a moment in appreciation. Appreciation for this amazing work we share, for each one of you for your participation and support, for this beautiful planet so full of life, for the gifts of the spirits. The healing power of shamanism is returning to our communities. Those pebbles tossed into the pond by Michael Harner and Sandra Harner decades ago have rippled outward in so many astonishing ways. A few ripples: The Way of the Shaman is being published in Chinese; articles about shamanism and shamanic healing are appearing in mainstream publications like Prevention magazine (see the FSS News section below); people are awakening to our fundamental unity with all beings, not only in practical-ecological ways, but by experiencing the bonds we share with our animal kin (see the Articles section below). We all participate, casting our own pebbles, creating new waves, merging into an endless flow of transformation

In appreciation,

Susan Mokelke


Ripples on water


FSS News



For a complete listing of FSS weekend workshops and trainings in shamanic healing and divination, as well as advanced shamanic initiations in residential programs such as the Two Week Intensives and Three Year programs, visit the FSS website workshops index.


♦ 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 Nan Moss, begins April 27 - May 2, 2014 in Madison, Virginia.

 Harner Shamanic Counseling Training with April Tuck, May 18 - 22, 2014, Boston, Massachusetts.

 Harner Shamanic Counseling Training with Sandra Harner, July 14 - 18, 2014, San Francisco Bay Area, Northern Marin. 

♦ The East Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, taught by Nan Moss, will be held October 26 - November 6, 2014 in Madison, Virginia.

♦ The 14th West Coast Three-Year Program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing taught by Amanda Foulger and Alicia L. Gates, will begin October 26 - 31, 2014 in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.


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@gmail.com, (503) 282-6315.

This year's Council gathering opened on Friday night with a presentation to members of the Circle of the Foundation by
anthropologist and FSS Field Associate William S. Lyon, Ph.D.: "Spirit Interactions of the Lakota Yuwipi
Cowrie Shell Mask, New Orleans.
Photo by Jeffrey David Ehrenreich.
On Saturday an enthusiastic group of Council members and guests were treated to hearing Michael Harner and Bill Lyon exchange ideas about "Science and Spirits." Sandra Harner introduced her new book Ema's Odyssey (see below) and read one of the journeys from it. Kevin Turner, FSS Faculty and Director for Asia, showed pictures and video from his experience at the "Seven Stars Ceremony," Mongolian divinations and healings under the Big Dipper. Jeffrey David Ehrenreich, FSS Board member and anthropologist at the University of New Orleans, led the audience in discussion, sharing his amazing series of images and rich experiences with shamanism in South America and in New Orleans (described in the December 2010 issue of Shamanism: "Drumming, African Identity, and Shamanism"). On Saturday evening, Timothy Flynn, FSS faculty member, guided the participants in "Dancing a Path to the Ancestors," a ritual performance and group journey experience. The Council meeting gave us the opportunity to greet old friends and form new connections, bonding once again around a common passion for shamanism. Our time together was, as always, too brief, though extremely satisfying.

Michael Harner announced that FSS President Susan Mokelke was interviewed for Prevention magazine for an article on shamanism titled "Spirit Journey." It is in the February 2014 issue, and also available online. The article is written by Laura Fraser and is a very positive account of her personal healing experience with Susan. A link to shamanism.org is included. With readership of 10.2 million, this is an encouraging step forward in getting the potential power of shamanism and shamanic healing out to the mainstream.

The French edition of Cave and Cosmos was recently released. Italian, Norwegian, and Slovenian editions are coming soon, and a Turkish edition is in the works. Cave and Cosmos is available in paperback directly through the Foundation, as well as online and in local bookstores. Ebook editions may be obtained 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.

Kevin Turner, FSS faculty and Director for Asia, will be on hand on June 20 in Taipei to talk about the FSS and core shamanism for the grand release of Michael Harner's classic The Way of the Shaman in the Chinese language. In addition to his work in Japan, Bali, and other Asian locations, Kevin will offer FSS advanced two-day workshops for the first time in Hong Kong, May 10-11. Core Soul Retrieval Training will be introduced in Taiwan, June 21-22.

David Corbin In a great loss to the shamanic community and to all who knew him, David Corbin, long time FSS faculty member has passed on. David touched so many lives in our shamanic community. Some of the responses that have poured in are posted on the Foundation's website, a testament to a great, gentle, wise, and kind soul. He is greatly missed and our hearts go out to Nan Moss and the family. Read more ...

It is with deep sadness that we inform you that our dear friend and longtime colleague on the Foundation for Shamanic Studies Board of Trustees, Mo Maxfield (Melinda C. Maxfield), left us on January 9, 2014. Mo was a steadfast supporter of the Foundation's work for more than two decades, did important shamanic research, and participated in the Foundation's pioneering expedition to the central Asian Republic of Tuva in 1993 to help revive shamanism there. Read more ...

Harner Shamanic Counseling Follow the fantastic shamanic journeys of one woman as she explores otherworldly realms, encountering power animals and teachers who provide her with life-changing guidance and healing. Ema bravely decides to expand her self-knowledge by embarking on a spiritual adventure with author Sandra Harner initially leading her through sessions of Harner Shamanic Counseling. By the end of her sessions with Harner, Ema has discovered her own innate ability to find answers to pervasive personal questions, overcome inhibitory fears, and acquire self-confidence and wisdom. Ema's sixty-four journeys are shared with us here, thanks to taped recordings of her simultaneous narration. Ema's Odyssey: Shamanism for Healing and Spiritual Knowledge (release date January 7, 2014).


Benefits for members of the Circle of the Foundation for 2014 include discounts on online purchases from the FSS shamanic store, as well as access to articles, audio, video and the annual scholarly journal, Shamanism, and more. Sponsoring and Council members benefits include workshop discounts and access to period live interactive webinars led by Susan Mokelke, with Michael Harner, FSS faculty, and special guests. Check out the new benefits and join with us in the Circle.


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.

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.
Rebirth by Beth Lenco.
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

There is increasing awareness that humans are not the only beings on this planet that are entitled to respect and a share of its resources. New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Bruni writes of the increasing awareness of animal cognition in dogs and cats, and the rich family and emotional life of animals such as whales and elephants. He quotes Kerry Lauerman, the editor in chief of a new website The Dodo, that's dedicated to animal news and features. In a beautiful statement, which shamans know from experience, Lauerman writes in a letter to The Dodo's readers, "Those creatures big and small that have fed, frightened, entertained, comforted and awed us are no longer just them. Increasingly, they are us." Read the article, from the New York Times, January 14, 2014.
More on animals: Asian elephants console each other, from sciencedaily.com. Video on elephant empathy from the New York Times and related article
Photo by Elise Gilchrist/Think Elephants International


Tribes in the Amazon rainforest such as the Kayapo tribe of Brazil are joining with environmental organizations in grassroots advocacy to save their homes. View the slideshow from Environmental Defense Action Fund.



"Traditional medicine provides health care for more than half the world's population, with 80 per cent of people in developing countries relying on these practices to maintain their livelihood. It is a very important part of traditional knowledge," says Dr Haris Saslis-Lagoudakis, from The Australian National University's (ANU) Research School of Biology. Globalization and environmental changes affecting a culture's medicinal plants are playing a huge role today in shaping traditional knowledge. Read the article from sciencedaily.com.


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



You joined the meeting about ten minutes in, slamming up against the plate glass again and again. Your greeting rang through the bones of all the corporate workers like a giant tin drum waking the ancient dead. They looked on, their mouths open wide as you hit it for a second round before calmly landing, shaking your feathers and walking off. You said what you came to say.


I first saw you when I went for my job interview there, you and two others landed on the sign outside the building, cawing out to me again and again. I knew then I'd get the job that day.     

Heart Reborn by Tim Flynn
Heart Reborn by Tim Flynn


That was so long ago, a year after you'd first come to me and I danced you in ritual. Somehow I lost trust in you, even though you were always there watching me, talking to me, caring for me. Really I had lost trust in my own heart, and that was the way we connected, through the heart.       


It is your kindness I want the world to know, that is what so many of us have forgotten. Your spirit is blanketed in eons of lies, hiding your true power, your divine love. You carried my ancestors to their reward, as they died from starvation, or from battle, or from age that curled them like oak limbs. You were the vessel that carried them through the fear and the troubles that sometimes plagued the land. The company you keep with death has never cooled your love.       


You carry me now, back to myself, the heart I so easily forget. You flap your wings and my unmovable anger becomes a small puff of dust. Last night you showed me how the love of the Earth connects everything. I wish I could be humble enough to truly receive all you have to teach me.       


You bring me to the edge of the ocean of souls who are neither here nor there, you bring me to work with the dead. And you do this all out of a purity of kindness that is beyond this world. You care for all souls who are lost, until they finally find their peace, though it may be eons from now. You peer into the darkness of eternity without flinching.

Mender of shattered hearts.
Guardian of transformation.
Shepherd of spirits.
Fearless love.


I know it is only by listening with my heart that I can understand you. I know now that if I don't understand you, it is because my heart is closed. Now when you talk to me I stop and listen. You should not have to knock so loudly, you have given us so much. You are beloved radiance.  


Submitted by Timothy R. Flynn, Contributing Editor, FSS faculty member, Monterey county, California. Read more from Tim on his website and blog Alchemists Journal.


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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