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My Windhorse by Joy Markgraf
My Windhorse by Joy Markgraf
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“The shaman’s arduous routines and the ceaseless demands of their communities have led some Western observers to wonder why anyone would want to shamanize…. What the outsiders miss, not having experiential knowledge of shamanism, is the great spiritual joy and ecstasy one commonly experiences working with the spirits and helping others who are suffering or in pain.”

Michael Harner

Cave and Cosmos

From Chapter 4:

Our World:

Shamans and Spirits

Michael Harner

Dear Shamanic Practitioners,   

Crane Snow Trees As we close another year and a new one full of promise opens, we wish to express our deep gratitude to you for your participation in the work of the Foundation. View our holiday greeting.

This past year has seen many changes, as we look forward to building a vibrant future for the Foundation.

Some of the highlights of 2013 include:

We look forward to 2014, to a grand New Year of working together to bring shamanic wisdom into our world. From our hearts, we thank you!

Michael Harner   Sandra Harner   Susan Mokelke   Noelle Burch

* * *

FSS News



♦ The West Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, taught by Alicia L. Gates, will be held March 23 – April 3, 2014 in the San Francisco Bay area, California.

♦ The 9th East Coast Three Year Program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, taught by David Corbin and Nan Moss, begins April 27 – May 2, 2014 in Madison, Virginia.

♦ Harner Shamanic Counseling Training with April Tuck, May 18 – 22, 2014, Boston, Massachusetts.

♦ Harner Shamanic Counseling Training with Sandra Harner, July 14 – 18, 2014, San Francisco Bay Area, Northern Marin.

♦ The East Coast Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, taught by David Corbin and Nan Moss, will be held October 26 – November 6, 2014 in Madison, Virginia.♦ The 14th West Coast Three-Year Program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing with Amanda Foulger and Alicia L. Gates, will begin October 26 – 31, 2014 in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

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.

New benefits for the 2014 membership year are now available. Members of the Circle of the Foundation will receive discounts on online purchases from the FSS shamanic store, as well as access to articles, audio, video and the annual scholarly journal, Shamanism, and other benefits. Sponsoring and Council members benefits include workshop discounts and access to period live interactive webinars led by Susan Mokelke, with FSS faculty and special guests. Check out the new benefits and join with us in the Circle.


The latest issue of the annual journal Shamanism has just been mailed to the FSS membership. This issue contains several fascinating articles, including Part II of “When Shamans Climb Trees” by Kevin Turner; an excerpt from Sandra Harner’s new book Ema’s Odyssey: Shamanism for Healing and Spiritual Knowledge (release date January 7, 2014); images of “A Gathering of Souls,” spheres that appeared in photos taken at night during healing rituals held by FSS Living Treasure Bo Bair Rinchinov (Buriat shaman, Siberia); the international member’s phone directory, and much more. If you wish to receive this year’s journal and are not a member, join the Circle of the Foundation and you can still get a copy.

Harner Shamanic Counseling Follow the fantastic shamanic journeys of one woman as she explores otherworldly realms, encountering power animals and teachers who provide her with life-changing guidance and healing. Ema bravely decides to expand her self-knowledge by embarking on a spiritual adventure with author Sandra Harner initially leading her through sessions of Harner Shamanic Counseling. By the end of her sessions with Harner, Ema has discovered her own innate ability to find answers to pervasive personal questions, overcome inhibitory fears, and acquire self-confidence and wisdom. Ema’s sixty-four journeys are shared with us here, thanks to taped recordings of her simultaneous narration. Ema’s Odyssey: Shamanism for Healing and Spiritual Knowledge (release date January 7, 2014)

Cave and Cosmos continues to receive enthusiastic reviews from many sources,including Parabola (magazine Fall 2013 and parabola.org online), Watkins Mind Body Spirit, and New Dawn magazine.

“Michael Harner, more so than Carlos Castaneda, Gordon Wasson, Terence McKenna, Alan Watts, Abbie Hoffman or Timothy Leary, has perhaps done more than any other to enlighten the West on the truly global nature of shamanism — a cultural and spiritual heritage that seems to unify every archaic and indigenous culture around the world.”
— Marc Star, New Dawn (July – August 2013).
Cave and Cosmos by Michael Harner
The German edition has just been released. French, Italian, Norwegian, and Slovenian editions are coming soon. Cave and Cosmos may now be purchased in paperback directly through the Foundation, as well as through online and local bookstores. It is also available as an ebook 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.

Buffalo Man by Liisa Barden.

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.

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. One photo only per person. Please include your name and the title of the work, with a few words description. Send the photo as an email attachment to the Editor, Susan Mokelke.

Articles and Information

The work of Aboriginal traditional healers called ngangkari is becoming increasingly recognized in mainstream health in Australia. Read the article by Emma Sleath, from abc.net.au. There is also a book, which includes first person narratives of over 20 ngangkari, Traditional Healers of Central Australia.
Manduhai Buyandelger, author of Tragic Spirits and an anthropologist from MIT, finds that after Soviet domination, a rebirth of shamanism helped Mongolia rewrite its own history. Read the article by Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office. Submitted by Michael Oddo, FSS Three Year graduate, Columbus, Ohio.
SOUL RETRIEVAL BY CURANDEROS  View a video with a 1-2 minute description of soul retrieval done by curanderos for “susto” (fright). This is part of a TED talk, “Connecting Modern Medicine to Traditional Healing,” by Cheo Torres, a professor at University of New Mexico, who runs a cross-cultural shamanic event there every summer.In the practice, in the presence of family, friends and neighbors for support, they sweep the patient’s body with rue, basil and rosemary three times a week for one month on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, asking the patient’s spirit to return. Cheo says it worked to cure his cousin, suffering with PTSD from Viet Nam. View the video (for the soul retrieval segment, start watching the video at about 5:20 minutes in). Submitted by Ellen Winner, FSS Three-Year graduate and faculty member, Boulder, Colorado.

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

Psychiatrist Dr. Rieko Hagihara reports from Japan that respected Ainu Elder Grandma Saki has not only recovered from her illness but is even healthier and more powerful than she was before her illness. Grandma Saki collapsed while visiting Tokyo from Hokkaido last year, and she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor. There was great concern among the Ainu community as she is one of the last Ainu myth-song keepers, and she had no students interested in inheriting her tradition. The Ainu in her region of Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, prayed continuously for her recovery, and her eldest son even flew to Tokyo to bring her an Ainu spirit carving. Nevertheless, she showed no improvement, and spent months back and forth from death’s door.

Grandmother Saki
Grandmother Saki with blue corn.

Dr. Hagihara invited FSS Director for Asia Kevin Turner to accompany her to the hospital to visit Saki on November 4, after completing a Way of the Shaman basic course in Tokyo. Her worried family led them into the hospice room.

Kevin explains:

“Saki was very weak and only partially conscious when we arrived. She was in a room with several other patients of advanced age, few of whom were expected to survive. I sensed ancestor spirits about, perhaps waiting on her departure. I was inspired to offer a healing to make the eventual transition easier. Saki gave her approval. There, in midst of the doctors, nurses, and other patients, I shook my rattles, sang an invocation song, and performed a gentle extraction. Divining no further course of action, I felt compelled to simply pass healing power to her. An unfamiliar cool and gentle rush of power flowed from behind, through my arms, and into her shoulders. Saki gently swooned into a restful sleep.”

Two days later Grandma Saki’s relatives telephoned Dr. Hagihara to report that upon awakening the next morning, Saki exploded at a nurse, I’m Ainu and I will not be defeated! Saki then told her family that she had dreamt of her (deceased) husband chanting sutras, and of fighting against the shamo (the Ainu derogatory word for the Japanese). A new specialist doctor arrived shortly later, and found her condition to be completely benign. Saki dramatically improved throughout the day, and was released from the hospital the following day, much to the surprise of all. Grandma Saki has no memory of the healing, nor even of Dr. Hagihara and Kevin visiting, but gave her blessing to report this. Her doctors can only attribute her recovery to initial misdiagnosis.

In March this year, Dr. Hagihara visited Grandma Saki in Hokkaido with an Okinawan medium (kaminchu). The kaminchu divined, Saki’s mission is to teach the next generation how to live. Saki now has five young students that she teaches at monthly meetings with elders (fuchi). She calls her helping and protective spirits regularly, and always gives prayers to the mountain spirits before searching for mushrooms. She explains to plants that she needs them for food and medicine and asks permission before cutting. Dr. Hagihara learned to weave spirit offering baskets from her, and is learning to make preserved Ainu foods. She also gave Grandma Saki some blue corn from the Hopi in Arizona, which she was able to sprout and grow herself in Japan (see photo above).

It remains unclear what led to the Ainu elder’s miraculous recovery, but it is Kevin’s opinion that Ainu Helping Spirits wish Grandma Saki to stay in this world until she passes her knowledge to the next generation, and that he was probably only a coincidental intermediary for the healing to occur.

the editor (S.M.)


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.

NOTE: You are receiving this email from the Foundation for Shamanic Studies because you are a member-donor or have taken a Foundation course or otherwise indicated your interest. For environmental and economic reasons, the FSS primarily communicates electronically. To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, including course schedules and information relevant to the practice of shamanism, add info@shamanism.org to your address book today. You may also update your email address by clicking on the Update Profile/Email Address link below. Thank you!

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