Our first human teacher of shamanism, Michael Harner, left the land of the living to join the Spirits on February 3rd. He left behind him a great legacy. No, not his organization, The Foundation for Shamanic Studies. The legacy he left behind are the thousands of people who have had their lives changed because he showed that the ability to do the shaman’s work is not limited to people living in tropical jungles or on the arctic tundra. The ability to intentionally contact and interact with the World of the Spirits is a human birthright, and Michael’s work helped to show how to do this without the use of drugs or psychotropic plants.
A true academician, he set up a formalized course of study leading to shamanic practice. For many, myself included, this seemed to be antithetical to the spirit of shamanism. In some traditions, it took only one experience of the Spirit World to initiate the shaman. In others, children were initiated as a normal part of their upbringing. But those of us born in the 20th and 21st centuries have many layers of socialization imposed upon us from childhood on, and many of us may be helped by a set structure to learn who we really are and what our true relationship to the Universe is. Others of us prefer a more open, natural way of study where we learn from a tree, a boulder, a moose calling its mate as the sunsets, or an adder basking in the morning Sun. However we come to it, once we learn to contact the Spirits and surrender to their wisdom, they become our true teachers.
We humans, and our Earth-home, have paid a huge price for what we refer to as “civilization” and the accompanying so-called “realism” which is the underpinning of the world’s economy today. This civilized realism has brought us environmental destruction in the name of progress, built on the backs of slave labor while it poisons the Earth, the food we eat and the water we drink. The shaman’s path leads us to other truths and other ways of being: the ways of nurturing, creativity and love.
As followers of the shamans’ paths we take it as a given that our ancestors influence who we are today, though we do not even know their names. Michael has gone to join the Ancestors, and in a hundred years his name may also be forgotten and still he will be part of the continuing change. But one person is not the reason for change. Change comes because of the hard work and dedication of the many. If we are to achieve a world where the bounties of Nature are revered and shared by all, it will be because of all of us. We need to hear the voices of All There Is – and follow their call.
SPRING & SUMMER COURSES 2018 -
click on course titles for more info **
Jonathan and Zara begin their teaching year with a SHAMANIC
PRACTICE DAY at Åsbacka on 19 May, on the theme of Joy. This is a power and energy that we can draw on however we feel, and this day explores what happens when we work with its Spirit.
They then offer three summer courses: THE SHAMAN'S JOURNEY, 19-22 July, and SPIRIT DANCE& CEREMONY, 24-29 July, both at Tokalynga, Sweden, and THE DEEPENING PATH, 14-19 August, a special summer retreat at Åsbacka.
In autumn they head to Ireland to teach RETURN TO SPIRIT, 13-16 September together with Liam Glenane. Annette’s first course of the year is the very special LEGACY OF THE WISE ONES, 19-23 September. She will also be teaching a basic course in Denmark in late autumn.
OTHER TRAINING -
As we are teaching only a few courses this year, we want to share workshops with you held by teachers that are close to us and work in a similar way. In Finland, Christiana Harle is again offering a very special drummaking retreat called “Shamanic Drum Birthing”, 25 June – 1 July. The course is mainly in English and as well as making your own Drum you have the opportunity to Sit Out overnight. For more info email Christiana: firstname.lastname@example.org or see Sola Voima on fb. You can also see a video of Christiana’s work here.
In Ireland, Liam Glenane teaches his version of The Shaman’s Journey, 28-29 April, County Sligo, and then a beautiful weekend called “Walk in your Footsteps”, 19-20 May, which focuses on welcoming the sacred in your life and celebrating who you are. For more information email Liam: email@example.com
In Wales, Jane Shutt and Christine Mark are holding a series of courses, including an introduction 14-15 April, Working with Land Spirits 18-21 May, and Deepening Our Connection 16-17 June. For more information: https://www.caderidrisshamanism.co.uk or email Christine: Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org
In London, UK, Shenoah Taylor and David Scott are once again offering a year-long programme called Turning of the Year, beginning on 10 March: http://shenoahtaylor.com/courses/turning-of-the-year/
Whatever Circles you sit in this year, we wish you deep connection, deep joy and great life power. May we all be connected.