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FSS E-News

VOLUME 9  ISSUE 2                 

September 2015
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.



Greetings to you from all of us here at the Foundation. We hope that you are enjoying the last days of summer and looking forward to a productive and meaningful autumn.

In an exciting development, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released its Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023, with a focus on complementing Western medicine with traditional approaches, including strategies to improve safety and quality. The Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan of WHO wrote the preface and notes that "much has changed..." and that "governments and consumers are interested in more than herbal medicines...." This is great news not only for indigenous shamans and healers, but for contemporary shamanic healers as well. Read excerpts from the Foreword on shamanism.org or download the complete report.

In gratitude,
Susan Mokelke


FSS News
Now is a great time to begin your advanced residential training in shamanism and shamanic healing. 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 East Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, taught by Nan Moss, will be held October 18 - 29, 2015 in Madison, Virginia. Download the Information-Application.
The First Asia Three-Year Program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, taught by Kevin Turner, will begin November 22 - December 3, 2015 in Bali, Indonesia.
♦ The 10th East Coast Three Year program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing with Nan Moss Begins May 15 - 20, 2016, in Madison, Virginia. Download the Information-Application.
♦ The West Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, taught by Amanda Foulger will be held June 4 - 15, 2016 in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Download the Information-Application.
Harner Shamanic Counseling Training, taught by April Tuck, CSC, will be offered August 1-5, 2016 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Request information-application, when available.
♦ The 15th West Coast Three Year program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing with Amanda Foulger begins October 23 - 28, 2016, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Request information-application, when available.
Please check the website for prerequisites for these advanced shamanic training programs. For details and to obtain registration material for the above programs, click the link for the specific training above.

We are pleased to announce that beginning in the Fall of 2015, workshops will be offered in Great Britain with experienced FSS Europe (FSSE) faculty members. There has been a reorganization of Foundation trainings in the United Kingdom, which will now be under the direction of FSSE.

The Basic Workshop: The Way of the Shaman®, Shamanic Journeying, Power, and Healing is scheduled in London on September 26-27, 2015 and November 7-8, 2015. Shamanic Divination Training will be offered January 9-10, 2016. Please visit www.shamanicstudies.net for details. Contact email: office@shamanicstudies.net.

Susan Mokelke & Roland Urban Special Series Shamanic Training. There will be a very special series training event held in Great Britain February 15-21, 2016. Susan Mokelke, President of the FSS, and Roland Urban, Director of the FSSE, will co-teach three workshops (the Basic Workshop; Shamanic Extraction Healing; and Shamanism, Dying, and Beyond). The training in London is expected to include a day of practice and various evening activities. Details will be posted on the FSS as well as the FSSE websites. This concentrated shamanic healing series is a great opportunity to begin or deepen your training in core shamanism methods. Visit shamanicstudies.net for details.

Your membership in the Circle of the Foundation helps to support the return of shamanism to our communities and the preservation of indigenous shamanism, as well as providing you with special benefits. Benefits include a Shamanic Services online listing, live video conferences, the annual FSS scholarly journal Shamanism, articles, and more. Go green: Join online and receive a free digital download of a back issue of Shamanism.

NOTE: The next live video conference for Sponsoring and Council members will be held Wednesday, September 30 at 10:00 am PDT. Susan Mokelke and a panel of FSS faculty members will discuss the practice of shamanism and take questions. Sponsoring and Council members will receive registration details by email. Live video conferences are a benefit of Sponsoring and Council membership in the Circle of the Foundation.   

In October 2014, the FSS launched an intern program for the FSS faculty. The FSS Faculty Intern Program is intended 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. Twenty-five candidates from the US and Canada were selected for the program and are in training. Some have now scheduled their first workshops. We expect that there will be another application period later this year. Details will be announced on shamanism.org and by email.

Cave and Cosmos by Michael Harner CAVE AND COSMOS UPDATE
A Russian version is now underway. The Spanish version of Cave and Cosmos (La cueva y el cosmos: Encuentros chamánicos con otra realidad) was released in January 2015, joining other translations, which include the Italian, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovenian, Turkish, French, and German editions. A Chinese version is also in process. Cave and Cosmos is available in paperback directly through the Foundation, as well as online and in local bookstores. Paperback and e-book editions may be obtained online from Random House and Amazon.comAt Michael Harner's request, all royalties from Cave and Cosmos 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.
Articles and Information

Editor's note: Welcome to Katherine Keith, newly appointed as a contributing editor to the FSS E-News. Katherine is an FSS Three Year Program student and Two Week Intensive graduate, as well as an FSS Faculty Intern. She lives with her family in Kotzebue, Alaska. Katherine has contributed the following article summaries and commentary.

How aware are you of the world around you? Of the trees in your neighborhood, of the phase of the moon, of the edible flowers and berries in the woods out back? What was the last opportunity you had to be truly quiet and alone with the vastness of nature around you? Changes in life are known to give us the personal opportunity for growth. What doesn't break you makes you stronger, right? Well, what do the changes on our planet mean for the Earth and its inhabitants? Climate change is now less of a buzz word than it is a calling for us all to be in touch with nature and to adapt our way of life to it as needed.
--Katherine Keith    

In Alaska, the snowmobiles are sinking into mud, and the Eskimos ask if the world is ending.

For the past two years the Bristol Bay region has received almost no snow. The people living there are among the last in North America to still live off the land and sea. Harsh changes in climate mean harsh changes for these people. As shamanic practitioners we walk the line between ordinary and non-ordinary reality and we strive to stay connected with the seasons and cycles around us. Staying connected to our planet might seem optional to those in the cities, but to those in rural and third-world settings this connection is mandatory for survival. In rural Alaskan communities such as Togiak, families rely on local subsistence knowledge for their livelihood. As the climate continues to change, some of this knowledge has become outdated. Ptarmigan have disappeared, migratory paths of the caribou have altered, and salmon runs are declining. Unpredictable ice conditions lead to safety issues for travelers. It is a stark reminder of the importance of knowing our local cycles and staying in tune. New knowledge, in the form of research data and observational data, is being collected to help everyone understand what the "Great Melt" will look like and how families can adapt. Newsweek.com.
In a related story for the National Geographic News, Photographer Katie Orlinsky, has been working on documenting the effects of climate change in Arctic coastal communities. The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words holds true when trying to understand how climate change "transforms the relationship between people, animals, and the land." One thing that was noticed by Orlinsky was the steadfast ability of the people to adapt to the changes on the planet. She found that the local hunters would always find a way to feed their families even if it means "making canoes and spending weeks at a time at sea like their ancestors did." Nationalgeographic.com

Matses Elders
The Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia was reviewed and edited over several days in a gathering of the Matsés chiefs and remaining elder shamans. Photo courtesy of Acaté from news.mongabay.com.

Along with climate change, indigenous peoples are faced with societal change and the threat of the loss of their cultural identity. Elders of these traditions are the keepers of great wisdom. More of these wisdom keepers pass each day and their accumulated knowledge often disappears with them. The Matsés peoples of Brazil and Peru live in a biodiverse ecosystem and over generations have mastered an understanding of the healing properties of the plants and animals around them, which has allowed them to thrive. This knowledge is vanishing as the outside world intrudes. To counter this, the Matsés have created a 500 page encyclopedia of their medicinal knowledge. The document, written in their own language and words, was compiled by five shamans who were supported by the conservation group Acaté. The spokesman for Acaté, Christopher Herndon, stated in an interview: "You realize at once that the Matsés are warriors at heart, who have long fought to protect their lands and they are going to continue that fight." news.mongabay.com

Michael Harner notes in Cave and Cosmos that "...sometimes the spirits demonstrate their existence and power to two or more people at a time, and even large groups of people. When this happens, these public demonstrations are often called miracles." Read about one such miracle, which took place at a recent FSS Three Year Program in Advanced Shamanism, The Shaman Unbound: A Teaching Miracle by Susan Mokelke.   
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 was asked to do shamanic work on Monaco, a horse at a stable in Orange County, California. The horse is a gelding who thinks he's a stallion. He is powerful and considered difficult, refusing to do what is asked of him. Only three people are willing to ride him. He was taken for a full body scan and neurological exams, but nothing was found that indicates that his behavior is the result of anything physical. The spirits communicated to me that Monaco did not like one of his trainers and certain disciplinary things she was doing, information which was confirmed later by the trainer.
Horse - Monaco On the day arranged for me to go to the stable to see Monaco, he was in a turnout and was going to be ridden. It is a very busy facility and I wondered how on earth I was going to do the healing with all the people and activity, and him in a turnout. But my helping spirits communicated to me that "you don't have to know how, it's ok." Monaco came over to me and was very calm with me and I just spent time stroking him and having my hands on him, letting the spirits work, and then he licked me. His owner was somewhat surprised at his calmness. The spirits advised me to go home and do a long distance healing after this and that is what I did. There was communication that went back and forth between Monaco and the helping spirits during this healing.
Afterwards, I let a week go by and then I contacted the stable to ask how he was doing. The trainers said he has been doing extremely well. Most gratifying, the main trainer who had been voicing how difficult he was said that she got on him and for the first time he performed brilliantly! She said she was enjoying riding him so much she didn't want to stop. This is a huge shift, not only because of Monaco's changed behavior, but because the trainer's improved attitude and treatment gave Monaco the opportunity to experience her differently.
Monaco's owner said that he was behaving and performing so well that the whole group of trainers was applauding. "He is getting better and better each day! Keep up the good work. His main trainer is texting me every time she rides him because she is so happy that he is getting better!"  
I am very touched and grateful. This experience was something new for me. It was a good lesson, showing me that I don't have to have to understand or know in advance the specifics of the healing or how the healing will unfold. I simply have to be present and allow the spirits to do what is needed.

Submitted by Janet Rodriguez, a Three Year Program student and FSS Faculty Intern who lives in Laguna Niguel, California. She can be contacted through her FSS shamanic services listing


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-News



Susan Mokelke, Editor

Katherine Keith, Contributing Editor 



The Foundation for Shamanic Studies E-News 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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