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FSS E-Newsletter

VOLUME 8  ISSUE 3              

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

My Windhorse by Joy Markgraf

The Foundation for Shamanic Studies is dedicated to the preservation, study, and teaching of shamanic knowledge for the benefit of the Planet and its inhabitants.




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"Shamanic healing work is the spiritual part of a holistic approach to health.... Shamanism is not attempting to replace any other system of healing or medicine, but rather to supplement it on a spiritual level."


Michael Harner

Cave and Cosmos

Chapter 10    


Michael Harner

Sandra Harner
Shamanism for
Healing and Spiritual Knowledge

Harner Shamanic Counseling





This is an exciting time in the life of the Foundation. As the recognition of what shamanism has to offer contemporary society grows, more people are seeking out shamanic healing, as well as learning methods for direct contact with the compassionate spirits. As part of its mission to teach "shamanic knowledge for the welfare of the planet and its inhabitants," the FSS offers time-tested authentic shamanic methods based in the pioneering work of Michael Harner, with an emphasis on ethical practice, arising from more than 50 years of anthropological research, teaching experience, experimentation, and development. Now is a great time to begin or continue your shamanic training, with hundreds of workshops offered internationally each year. We recently announced a new FSS Faculty Intern Program, to train more FSS faculty members and facilitate access to FSS trainings to an even broader audience (see the FSS Faculty Intern Program announcement below). Your support, enthusiasm, and participation has made it all possible.

Thank you!

Susan Mokelke



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 Amanda Foulger will be held May 31 - June 11, 2015 in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

♦ The 3rd Pacific Northwest Three-Year Program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, taught by Susan Mokelke, will begin June 21 - July 2, 2015 in the Seattle, Washington area.  

Harner Shamanic Counseling Training, taught by April Tuck, CSC, will be offered August 10 - 14, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.
♦The East Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, taught by Nan Moss, will be held October 18 - 29, 2015 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@gmail.com, (503) 282-6315.

The first live video conference for Sponsoring and Council members of the Circle of the Foundation was held on September 21. Michael Harner spoke about the Foundation and then took several questions from the enthusiastic audience, ranging from such topics as the three worlds shamans recognize to whether the practice of shamanism can make one a better person. As always, "journey on it" was an important recommendation. The conference was a great way to connect across the distances, with attendees from North America and as far away as Chile and New Zealand. More of these live conferences are planned, hosted by Susan Mokelke and featuring Michael Harner, FSS faculty, and special guests. Live video conferences are one of the benefits of Sponsoring and Council membership.

Susan Mokelke & Michael Harner
Video Conference with Michael Harner and host Susan Mokelke


Benefits for the 2014-15 membership year are now available, including FSS web store discounts, Shamanic Services listings, the FSS Members Circle resources, and more. Workshop tuition discounts and live video conferencing are available for some membership categories. Members of the Circle of the Foundation are an essential part of the Foundation's work. As a member, not only do you receive benefits that foster your interest in shamanism, but your membership donation also helps to preserve indigenous shamanism and shamanic wisdom and to return the power and beauty of shamanism to our lives. Not a member? Click to Join online and receive a free gift download of an issue of Shamanism.

IN MEMORIAM: AILO GAUP (1944 - 2014)
Ailo Gaup with Sami-style rum Ailo Gaup, Sami shaman born in 1944, died of complications after surgery in Oslo, Norway, September 24, 2014, while being treated for cancer. Shamanic healing work was undertaken for him with his family's permission, and a spokesperson said that he no longer had cancer when he died. Ailo had been a student of Michael Harner and played an important role in the restoration of Sami shamanism in Norway. He was a renowned poet, author, and a nephew of the famous Sami shaman, Mikkel Gaup. Just before Ailo became ill, he published Michael's Cave and Cosmos in Norwegian. Those who participated in Foundation courses with him will fondly remember his laughter and humor.

The FSS recently was contacted by a Nepalese man regarding his family's shamanic traditions and knowledge. Kevin Turner, Director and FSS faculty member for Asia, is going on an exploratory visit to Nepal in November on behalf of the FSS, to do field research. He plans to meet with local shamans and learn more about their shamanic practices, as part of the Foundation's continuing efforts to preserve shamanic knowledge. Interest in the Foundation's training continues to grow in Asia among an international group, with significant attendance at FSS workshops in Taipei, Taiwan; Bali, Indonesia; and coming up in January 2015, Phuket, Thailand.

Alicia Luengas Gates, Director of the FSS Faculty for Spain and Latin America, has been busy recently teaching in Argentina. A second Three Year Program in Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing is underway there, and Power Soul Retrieval Training was offered in September. Gerardo Roemer, long time FSS faculty member in Argentina, is very successfully teaching the FSS two-day trainings to enthusiastic participants. Plans are in the works for a third Three Year Program next year. In Spain, Alicia will teach several FSS workshops in November, and then begin the second Three Year Program December 2 - 7, 2014. FSS faculty members Hector Adell and Maria Luisa Freijeiro are teaching with success in Madrid, San Sebastian, Galicia, and Girona.


We are pleased to announce the FSS Faculty Intern Program to train and prepare potential FSS faculty members to teach the FSS weekend (two-day) workshops in core shamanism throughout North America. FSS faculty members are experienced, highly qualified, core shamanic practitioners, who have been fully trained and initiated in shamanism and core shamanic healing methods. Visit the website for more information and to request an application.  
Cave and Cosmos by Michael Harner
A Romanian version has been released, joining other translations, which include the Italian, Norwegian, Slovenian, Turkish, French, German, and Italian editions of Cave and Cosmos. After the success of the release of the Chinese version of The Way of the Shaman in Taipei, Taiwan in June 2014 (see the June 2014 Enewsletter and scroll down to FSS ASIA REPORT), a Chinese version of Cave and Cosmos is in process. A Spanish edition is also 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.

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. 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.
Ceremonial necklace
Ceremonial Necklace by Anne Wennhold
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. You may submit up to three (3) photos for our consideration. 5. Please include your name and the title of the work, with a few words description. 6. Send the photo as an email attachment to the Editor, Susan Mokelke.

Articles and Information

Hal Saflieni Hypogeum Malta The 5,000 year old Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum mortuary temple (right) on the Mediterranean island of Malta yields clues to the ancient use of sound and its effect on human brain activity. During testing, a deep male voice in the Basso/Baritone range stimulated a resonance phenomenon throughout the hypogeum, creating bone-chilling effects. It was reported that sounds echoed for up to 8 seconds, as a natural phenomenon of the environment in the Hypogeum, as it does in Newgrange passage tomb, megalithic cairns and any stone cavity of the right dimensions. Laboratory testing indicates that exposure to these particular resonant frequencies can have a physical effect on human brain activity, including producing relaxation and imagery. Dr. Paolo Debertolis reports on tests conducted at the Clinical Neurophysiology Unit at the University of Trieste in Italy that under under the right circumstances, "Ancient populations were able to obtain different states of consciousness without the use of drugs or other chemical substances." Read the article, from Phys.org, June 2014. Submitted by David Creighton, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


The results of a four-year international study of 2060 cardiac arrest cases across 15 hospitals notes that themes relating to the experience of death appear far broader than what has been understood so far, or what has been described as so called near-death experiences. The study also notes that memories may correspond with actual events and that widely used, yet scientifically imprecise terms may not be sufficient to describe the actual experience. The experience surrounding death merits a genuine investigation without prejudice. Shamanism has a great deal to offer in investigating what happens after death, as shamans have discovered over thousands of years. Students of FSS workshops such as Shamanism, Dying, and Beyond also have the opportunity to discover more about the realms of the spirits. Read the article from ScienceDaily.com


Archeologists have long been puzzled by the absence of cave art equivalent in form and age to the prehistoric finds in Europe, particularly along human migration routes. The discovery recently of a drawing of a babirusa, or "pig-deer," in an Indonesian cave on the island of Sulawesi, is similar in style and antiquity (39,900 years old) to some of the most sophisticated paintings in the caves of France and Spain -- and expands the geography of the first cave artists. Reported in the journal Nature, in addition to the babirusa, the cave art includes stencils of hands. Read the article from Nature.com and check out the video called "Cave Art in the Tropics."


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


Eagle soaring It is a beautiful thing to live shamanically. Not only are you aware and appreciative of your connection with the natural world, but there is a deep knowing of your oneness with everything that is. You recognize that there are spirits: the spirits of the beings of this earth, yes, but also the compassionate helping spirits of the Upper and Lower Worlds, whose wisdom and aid is available to anyone who knows how to seek it with good intentions. Like the birds that soar through the skies buoyed by invisible currents of air, the shamanic life is an intimate exalted dance with the spirits, where one is so connected that each day offers new opportunities to experience the spirits' teachings. Each day provides openings to bring forth this healing wisdom into our world. The spirits continually remind us that they are present and working on our behalf. And so:
  • A woman saves the life of a squirrel she finds struggling on the road, which was lightly clipped by a car. A week later she is walking on a trail at a retreat center miles away and a squirrel follows her. When she stops and turns to look, the squirrel comes fearlessly right up to her on the path and pats her shoe with a paw, as if to say thank you, then climbs up the nearest tree.
  • A man receives a wild boar during a power animal retrieval. The same afternoon, he is driving on a freeway in Carmel, California, and briefly glimpses a wild boar running alongside the road, before it disappears into the brush.
  • A woman forms a strong connection with Meerkat as a spirit animal. Her young granddaughter visits the next day and brings her a storybook about meerkats so she can read it aloud to her at bedtime.
  • A young man has a profound spiritual experience during a retreat, where rainbows play a significant role. After the retreat, as soon as he leaves the center to drive home, the doubts begin to set in. Did he really have such a profound experience? Was it real? Would it last? He comes around a curve in the road, and stretched directly across his path, is a vivid double rainbow. He laughs exultantly and his doubts vanish.
  • While seeking guidance for her life, a woman has a vision of a huge white snake with black spots, which merges with her. She immediately feels a deep sense of joy, as if something important that was lost to her has returned. That afternoon, she is walking in her neighborhood and there near a culvert is a very large white snake with black spots. It raises its head and eyes her briefly, then slips away. This experience launches her on the shamanic path. She later learns that what happened during the vision was that a soul portion returned to her.

These kinds of occurrences are just a few of the ways, small and large, that the spirits reassure and support us, if we are paying attention. To live shamanically is to open to the meaning that permeates our lives. The spirits' guidance is available every step along the path. We are immersed in it, held by it, part of it, as the soaring eagle is one with the air. We need only learn to access it and invite it fully into our lives.

--Susan Mokelke 


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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