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Winter/Spring 2019

We hope that you are enjoying this Spring season of rebirth and renewal.  
After the uplifting in-person Gathering of the Circle in January (see below in the FSS News section), we are reinvigorated by the power and depth of our work. There is an unmistakable maturity in so many long-time shamanic practitioners--a profound wisdom gained from the spirits and through experience that is essential to the transformation of our world as we move forward. We have made available two videos from the Gathering. We hope that they will inspire you as they have us, in envisioning a vibrant future for all.      
In gratitude,
Susan Mokelke
Advanced Residential Training 2019
♦ 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, California. Download Information-Application.
♦ 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. Download Information-Application
♦ The East Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, taught by Nan Moss, will be held October 20 - 31, 2019 in Madison, Virginia. Download information-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). 
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.
2019 Gathering of the Circle of the Foundation
An inspiring in-person gathering of the membership of the Foundation took place January 25 - 26, 2019. The theme of this year's meeting was "coming together to help create a vibrant future for our community and the planet." Featured events from the Friday evening and all day Saturday event included:  
  • Director for Asia Kevin Turner presenting recent experiences with the Lersi hermit shamans of Thailand
  • Susan Mokelke and Sandra Harner with inspiring messages about the Foundation's ongoing work and future potential, including exciting news about the preservation of Michael Harner's library and personal papers by the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley (VIEW THE VIDEO)
  • Keynote address by Duane Elgin, social visionary and author of The Living Universe, with an uplifting message on the importance of shamanism in an "ensouled" universe (VIEW THE VIDEO)
  • Breakout sessions facilitated by FSS faculty members, Charles Conatser, Tim Cope, Elaine Egidio, and Amanda Foulger, who each offered an experience of core shamanism in an area of special interest to them
  • Participation in the Dream Dance, asking the ancestors for a vision of a vibrant future for our world. 
A new workshop, Shamanism for Inspired Local and Global Change, is now being offered for the first time in the San Francisco Bay Area. In these challenging times, shamanic work, when combined with ordinary reality knowledge and action, can make an immense contribution toward effective long-term solutions for community and global problems. Shamanic divination -- asking the fully compassionate spirits for answers to questions -- is particularly helpful in providing inspired and workable ways to address complex issues in ordinary reality. For details, visit the FSS website. We expect that the training will be available in additional locations in the coming months.   
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... 

Walking backwards into the future
For a fascinating look at the culture and stories of the Káruk people of the Klamath River of far northwestern California, visit the website Walking Backwards into the Future. Recently available, the project was initiated by Káruk ceremonial leader-medicine man Charlie "Red Hawk" Thom (1928-2013), who in 1980 asked his friend, filmmaker-photographer John Veltri, to begin photographing and filming interviews with his friends and relatives. "Charlie felt that it was important to record and then release to the world their stories, songs, wisdom and insights, to create bridges of understanding between cultures and bring greater respect to the Native peoples of this specific, little-known part of Native America."  
Thanks to Della Clark, FSS Board member and long time supporter of shamanism, for the reference. 
Official recognition for Ainu people of Japan 
Ainu Elder 
Like many indigenous people around the world, most of Japan's Ainu have lost touch with their traditional culture after decades of forced assimilation.
Now, however, Japan has prepared a bill to officially recognize the Ainu people of Hokkaido as an indigenous people. The Ainu have an animist culture, recognizing the spirits in nature, animals, plants and objects. More about the Ainu people...   
Thanks to FSS member Mark Barrett for bringing this good news 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.   

FSS Polestar highlights some of the questions we are frequently asked about contemporary shamanic practice. "Polestar" is defined as "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. Email us your practice-related questions for consideration for Polestar. Use our CONTACT FORM, and put "Polestar" in the subject line.
Question: Can you learn shamanism and shamanic healing online?
Response: As interest in shamanism grows, online training offerings are emerging. There are pros and cons to this trend. On the one hand, never before has it been so easy to connect with shamanic practitioners and shamanic resources from all over the world. This is an exciting development, since no one with access to a computer need feel isolated in their pursuit of information about shamanism. The downside is that the sheer volume of material makes it challenging to sort through it and to determine what is accurate, legitimate, and useful. And, even when you find accurate resources, having information and truly  knowing are not the same thing.

We are both physical and spiritual beings. Shamanism is an embodied practice, traditionally taught and passed on within a living community, even though the spirits work outside of space and time. Through many years of experience teaching the methods of core shamanism, we have seen that the profound depth of live interaction among participants-supported by the power of the gathered circle and the presence of the compassionate helping spirits-is not duplicated in an online format. Though shamanism is an independent spirituality that emphasizes methodologies that help you connect directly to the spirits for answers and knowledge, it is no contradiction that achieving this personal freedom is most effectively facilitated by learning within a grounded and harmonious in-person community.

Online offerings can provide useful introductory information about shamanism and shamanic healing-what it is and its relevance to the individual and our world. As to shamanic methods, just as one can experiment with shamanic journeying by following the process set forth in Michael Harner's   The Way of the Shaman  and  Cave and Cosmos, an online course in shamanism may provide you with a glimpse into another reality of great power and possibility. This may help you to determine if shamanism is an good fit for your life, worth pursuing fully in a circle of like-minded students through in depth training with highly experienced shamanic teacher-healers.

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 welfare 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 (1929 - 2018), 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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