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October/2016
 

Warm Fall greetings to you. We hope that life is treating you well and that you are enjoying the changing of the seasons.

For those of you who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you might be interested in a special gathering of Mongolian shamans. On November 12th starting at 10:00 am, a Mongolian Heritage Day Festival will be held at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre (John McClaren Park, San Francisco). Planned events include Mongolian shamans' rituals, traditions, customs, history, and values. On November 13th, beginning at 10 am at the Community Health for Asian Americans center (268 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610), visiting shamans will be giving speeches on topics such as Air, Water, and Soil; five continents in Mongolian shamanism; and the origin and history of Mongolian shamans. Please check the event website for the latest details, including last minute scheduling and location changes. 

In gratitude,
Susan Mokelke
Editor
FSS NEWS
 
The Foundation is now offering Continuing Education (CE) Contact Hours/Credits (CEUs) for its workshops and training programs in the USA and Canada. Read more...
 
Drum by Charles Conatser New 2016 - 2017 Circle of the Foundation membership benefits are now available. Join our shamanic community and receive special benefits, as well as supporting shamanism and shamanic healing worldwide. Read more...
 
Marie Claire magazine recently came out with an article on the growing popularity of shamanic healing and listed the Foundation for Shamanic Studies as a resource to find a shamanic healer. Read more...
 
Advanced residential training offered in 2017:
West Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive in the San Francisco Bay area, June 3 - 14, 2017, with Amanda Foulger. More details and download the application.
A new summertime Three Year Program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism in the Seattle, Washington area begins August 6 - 17, 2017, taught by Susan Mokelke. More details and download the application.
 
For more about the FSS Three Year Programs and Two Week Intensives, view excerpts of two live video conferences with instructors Susan Mokelke (view video) and Amanda Foulger (view video).
 
Several FSS faculty members from the first FSS Faculty Intern Program are now successfully teaching weekend workshops in their local areas. Welcome to these talented new FSS teachers: Jo Ann Broder, Mujiba Cabugos, Narrye Caldwell, Kenny Emerson, Jack Hebrank, Marcia Hebrank, Sharon Collings Licata, Christobel Macdonald, Susan Opie, Denise Paulette, Wade Prpich, Janet Rodriguez, and Juan Carlos "JC" Safa. Read more...
 
We expect to open a new FSS Faculty Intern Program soon. Watch your emails or check the FSS website. Read more...
 
Cave and Cosmos by Michael Harner In February 2016, Kirkus Reviews named Michael Harner's Cave and Cosmos: Shamanic Encounters with Another Reality, as the Nonfiction Indie Book of the Month: "Harner's rich compendium gives many ways to consider and explore a powerful and inspiring view of the cosmos."
Translations available: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Turkish. Upcoming: Russian and Estonian. 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.com. At Michael Harner's request, all royalties from Cave and Cosmos go to the Foundation for Shamanic Studies in support of its work. Read more... 
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SHAMANISM NEWS
 
In a search for personal healing for depression, Andrew Solomon traveled the globe to find alternatives to the individualistic treatments provided in Western medicine. His quest to find out how tribal communities deal with depression brought him to Africa. Solomon spent time with individuals who had suffered from severe trauma, genocide, poverty and loss and yet were able to find a way to heal through participation in community dance rituals. Through the power of sunshine, dance, and music, each individual is supported by the group to find release and inspire their spirits back to wellness -- recognizing "depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out of you again." This is a very shamanic concept, where illness is treated by extracting that which does not belong and restoring health through soul retrieval and other restorative practices. Read more... Submitted by Heather Burch, Florida.

Tribal dance  
In a rare example of cooperation between humans and free-living animals, by following honeyguides, a species of bird, people in Africa are able to locate bees' nests to harvest honey. Humans use special calls to solicit the help of honeyguides and honeyguides actively recruit appropriate human partners. Read more...

The "God Helmet" is a new mind technology created by neuroscientist Dr. Michael Persinger who claims he is able to induce the presence of spiritual phenomena through his virtual reality brain stimulating device. Shamans are well aware of the ancient method of sonic driving, using drums and percussive instruments to enter an altered state of consciousness. Could shamanic journeying practice using drums and rattles facilitate a disciplined focus for the use of such technology? It remains to be seen how the use of virtual reality devices will impact the sacredness and mystery of spiritual phenomena. Read more and see the video... Submitted by Mujiba Cabugos, Santa Barbara, California.

Dung Beetle
Dung beetle (Carabaeus lamarcki) dancing on top of its ball while reading the sky. Photo: Basil el Jundi, Lund University.
Dung beetles use the light of the Milky Way to navigate in the world. When the beetles dance on top of a ball of dung, they simultaneously take a photograph -- a snapshot -- of how celestial bodies are positioned. Read more...

Konibu, leader and last shaman of the Akuntsu people, has died aged around 80. He was a charismatic and determined leader who helped keep his people alive after first contact in 1995. Read more... Submitted by Kevin Turner, Kyoto, Japan. 
 
In Hilazon Tachtit Cave in northern Israel, archaeologists have stumbled upon the grave of an old woman, presumed to be a shaman, dating back to 10,000 BC. The site provides strong evidence for ancient communities' engagement in ritual practice. The woman was buried in a consecrated way with leopard, golden eagle, and tortoise shell animal remains and other items that often figure in the tool kits of modern day shamans around the world. Read more... Submitted by Ellen Deck, Mill Valley, California.  
 
Thank you to Stephanie Schoville for providing summaries for some of the above news items.
 
HEALING WORDS
Shamanism and Power 
 
Power per se is not the problem -- the workout for each of us is in how power is used and one's intention when using it. Practicing shamanic healing has become my crucible for transformation. It is in offering the spirits' curative power to others that the path to my own flowering has unfolded. Through this discipline I have come to know that the deep desire of my heart is truly to help our world heal and become the garden it was intended to be. Being human, I am not in that state all of the time, but I have come to trust in my intentions. If I get off track, the helping spirits are there to guide me back.
 
Stone Heart by Petra Loewen
Stone Heart by Petra Loewen
In difficult situations, I consider my heart, reaching for patience, understanding and kindness. But this is not some ethereal state of sweetness and light. This is a daily earthly workout -- often swimming upstream against my own less admirable impulses and resulting mistakes -- striving to see the appropriate action clearly and accepting that sometimes tough decisions are necessary. All the while, refusing to give in to blame, anger, and judgment and attempting to emulate the compassionate neutrality of the helping spirits.
 
As I have consistently striven toward goodwill and come to trust in my own heart, I have been able to receive more of the spirits' gifts of power. For example, a specific helping spirit that came to me in the early days of my training presented itself as a kindly and gentle spirit. That is how it remained for many years. At a recent FSS Three Year Program in Advanced Shamanism session I taught, there was a situation that required a great deal of power to address.

I called upon my helping spirits and opened myself to receive on a scale I had never before experienced. This typically rather mild spirit was the first to come in. The spirit became huge, filling the entire meeting room, dazzlingly radiant with power. The spirit told me: "I have shown you the gentle side of love. Now I will teach you about its fiery aspect." In abandoning myself to merge with this spirit, I experienced a new degree of spiritual power, and the situation completely shifted.
 
When one is free to embrace the power that the helping spirits provide, an immense resource for transformation and healing becomes available that is crucially needed now to sustain our troubled planet.
--Susan Mokelke   

Excerpted from "Core Shamanism and Power" Journal of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies,
Shamanism Annual
, December 2015, Issue 28.
THE FOUNDATION FOR SHAMANIC STUDIES
Tuvan Petroglyphs

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. Thousands of people each year take the Foundation's rigorous shamanic training. Originated, researched, and developed by Michael Harner, internationally recognized as the pioneer of modern shamanism, core shamanism consists of the universal, near-universal, and common features of shamanism, together with journeys to other worlds. 

Become part of a growing community that is working to return spiritual democracy to the individual, as well as helping to preserve indigenous shamanisms and foster this transformative and powerful method of healing and problem-solving.

We welcome your participation!
 
Susan Mokelke
President

The FSS E-News is distributed by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. Email editor Susan Mokelke at info@shamanism.org
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