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Fall/Winter 2018

We hope you are well and thriving as we enter the Fall season. 
In this issue, we introduce FSS Polestar, a column that highlights some of the questions and issues raised by contemporary practitioners of shamanism. The first topic is live drumming vs. recorded drumming. (Click to go to the Polestar column.)
We are also delighted to announce an in-person meeting of the Circle of the Foundation membership community in January 2019. (See the announcement in FSS News below.)
In gratitude,
Susan Mokelke
Advanced residential training offered in 2018-19:

♦ The East Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, taught by Nan Moss, will be held October 21 - November 1, 2018 in Madison, Virginia. Download information-application.
♦ The West Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, taught by Amanda Foulger, will be held June 2-13, 2019 in the San Francisco Bay Area, Calfornia. Request info/application when available.
♦ The 5th Pacific Northwest Three Year Program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, taught by Susan Mokelke, will begin June 16-27, 2019 in the Seattle area, Washington. Request info/application when available.      
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). 
Documentary film The Way of the Shaman: The Work of Michael and Sandra Harner. Free online streaming.
Way of the Shaman movie  
Interested in training in shamanism and shamanic healing? Download this helpful guide to getting started with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies' integrated series of workshops and programs. DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE (PDF):   Shamanic Training - Getting Started.
CircleGatherGathering of the Circle. We are excited to announce that the January 2019 gathering of the Council in the San Francisco Bay Area will be a special in-person meeting and will include our extended community of the Circle of the Foundation membership. Join us in a celebration of our shamanic community: Connect with old and new friends; experiential-interactive shamanic offerings; special guest presentations; looking toward a vibrant future, and more. Save the dates: Friday evening January 25 and all day Saturday, January 26. Registration details will be sent to FSS members soon. Not a member? JOIN US -- receive special benefits and support shamanism worldwide.   
Sky Shamans - Kevin Turner  
Kevin Turner, FSS Director for Asia, has been awarded first prize for books on shamanism in French by the Festival du Chamanisme 2018, for Sky Shamans of Mongolia: Meetings with Remarkable Healers. Congratulations to Kevin for his informative and fascinating book.
Mongolian Shaman Gathering in Mount Shasta, California, Winter Solstice, December 21-23, 2018. The gathering is expected to include several Mongolian shamans, healings, ceremony, and networking with local shamans and others. Contact Della Clark for more information.
Mongolian shamans at Mt. Shasta, November 2016
Cave and Cosmos by Michael Harner 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." Cave and Cosmos is available in paperback directly through the Foundation, as well as online and in local bookstores in paperback and e-book editions. Available in many languages. At Michael Harner's request, all royalties from Cave and Cosmos go to the Foundation for Shamanic Studies in support of its work. Learn more... 

Revival of once banned Inuit drum songs
The Canadian Press published an inspiring article about a recent project to revive the ancient Inuit drum songs called Pisiit. These chant-like songs of survival, joy, resilience and healing are traditionally accompanied by the large Inuit drum. Banned by Christian missionaries for being too rooted in Inuit spirituality, the songs haven't been heard in public for over 50 years. Read the course announcement
"The Living Earth," Gaia 2.0  
Shamanism offers an experiential understanding that everything in creation is alive and has spirit. The Gaia theory, prevalent for around half a century, offers a scientific explanation for how this manifests in a self-regulating planet that has sustained life for billions of years. Now scientists offer an update on the Gaia theory that includes human awareness as a new and necessary ingredient in continued planetary self-regulation. From the article: "As humans become more aware of the global consequences of their actions, including climate change, a new kind of deliberate self-regulation becomes possible where we limit our impacts on the planet." Read the article here.
7 Years with Siberian Shamans
This video, by the Italian filmm aker Constanzo All ione, is a wonderful documentary on Tuvan, Siberian, and Mongolian shamans as they revive their practices after the fall of the Soviet Union. View the rare and fascinating footageThanks to anthropologist and FSS Field Associate Dr. Robin M. Wright for bringing this video to our attention.   
The FSS provides news articles and links as a service to the shamanic community; no endorsement is implied. Visit shamanism.org for articles, media, and more about the Foundation's work in shamanism.   

Huun-Huur-Tu, Music of Tuva    

Inspirational and healing songs and music from the Republic of Tuva

Huun-Huur-Tu (Sun Propeller) is a musical group from Tuva, near the Mongolian-Russian border. The FSS has had a long relationship with the Tuvan people, and has been involved in the revival of shamanism in that land since the early '90s. For details about two FSS expeditions to Tuva, see the article by Bill Brunton about the first expedition in 1993; and an article by the late Paul Uccusic about the follow up in 1999.

The link below is to a 45-minute performance by Huun-Huur-Tu recorded live on KEXP radio Seattle in 2017. The music is ancient, joyful, haunting, life affirming. The connection between this music and the spirit of the land and its people is undeniable. Many people comment that it brings tears to their eyes and they don't know why. Enjoy! Watch the performance

With this issue of the e-news, we introduce FSS Polestar, a column that highlights some of the questions we are frequently asked about contemporary shamanic practice. "Polestar" is "something that serves as a guiding principle." It reflects our commitment to helping practitioners stay oriented to authentic shamanic methods and ethics, while maintaining their own independent spirituality, which comes from learning directly from the compassionate spirits. We plan to address one practice-oriented issue a month, which will be posted to the FSS News blog and on the Facebook page. Feel free to email us your practice-related questions for consideration for Polestar. Use our CONTACT FORM, and put "Polestar" in the subject line.
Question: I've heard that some people do live drumming for themselves while they journey instead of using a drumming recording. How does this work? Isn't it hard to do both? And is one method better or more powerful than the other?
Response: Whether you listen to a drumming recording (digital audio such as an MP3 or a CD) or drum/rattle for yourself while journeying is largely a matter of personal choice and experimentation. We all have to find the way that works best for us, given our personal situation and needs. Many people, after learning the basic journey method, find it both highly effective and convenient to journey with a recording. For one thing it's quiet, so you're not in danger of disturbing others. Effective shamanic drumming recordings keep a consistent 3-7 beats per second and you can adjust the play time to make short or long journeys as desired, which can be particularly helpful for new journeyers. For some, using a recording can also facilitate a deeper release to the spirits in journeys. And, since most contemporary practitioners rarely have the luxury of an assistant who can drum for them, many practitioners find it works well to use drumming recordings during healing sessions. They report that this helps them to make deeper connections with the spirits, frees their hands for the healing methods, and permits them to focus more intensely on the client.
Most practitioners form strong relationships with their drum and its spirit. For some, doing their own live drumming becomes an integral part of their journey and healing experiences. You might feel a draw toward this, or receive a message from the spirits to drum for yourself while you journey or work with a client. Experiment with your drum and see how it works for you. You can ask your helping spirits for advice about how to proceed. Some people find drumming for themselves forges a very powerful connection with their compassionate spirits, and love the sensations of sound and vibration when interacting with the live drum. As you beat the drum, it sings to you, opening your heart to a beautiful collaborative dance with the spirits.
Remember, the measure of effectiveness in shamanism is "did you get the help and answers you were seeking for yourself or your client?" You've been given a set of workable tools and methods for your practice. You are encouraged to find your own way, in consultation with your helping spirits, to bring forth the spirits' power and knowledge.
Note: When calling in the spirits before and during a healing session or for a ceremony -- except in surroundings where sound might be prohibited or disturbing to others -- nearly all practitioners will drum, sing, and rattle powerfully for themselves.

Polestar logo design by Carolyn Fee ©2010 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

The FSS E-News is distributed by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies.
Email: info@shamanism.org
Editor: Susan Mokelke
Assistant editor: Narrye Caldwell (Shamanism News & Polestar)

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