January 15, 2010
Dear FSS Circle Members and Friends:
The tragic events in Haiti have elicited a great outpouring of calls for shamanic healing from practitioners, not only as individuals, but through drumming circles and FSS Two-Week Intensive and Three-Year program graduates email lists.
Many trained shamanic healers are bringing the power of their helping spirits to the region to address the spiritual aspects of this emergency, complementing the efforts of the ordinary reality relief workers. This is shamanism at its best.
We all wish to help. We hope you will keep in mind – that for our shamanic efforts to be effective, ethical, and truly compassionate – some of the work, such as long-distance healing, should be undertaken only in consultation with their souls and if you have had the necessary adequate training. We recommend journey work to get permissions, even if it must be done on a mass basis. The Haitians have their own spiritual traditions, and we need to be fully respectful.
Let us work together, according to our training, to do what we can with the help of the compassionate spirits to alleviate the pain and suffering of all beings in Haiti. And, of course, our spiritual work should be combined with ordinary reality efforts and donations as well.
With our best wishes for all,
Michael Harner & Susan Mokelke
Note: If you wish some guidance on issues of permission, you may review the article, Ethical Considerations in Shamanic Healing.
Michael Harner at the AAA
Michael Harner was honored with special academic recognition through the presentation of sessions dedicated to him at the recent annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Philadelphia. Three organizations of the AAA joined together to recognize him for his “pioneering work” in shamanism “as an academic and advocate” and for his role during the last forty years in the “exponential growth in anthropological studies of the importance and significance” of shamanism. The organizations were the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, the Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, and the Society for Humanistic Anthropology.
Presenting papers by invitation, on December 5, 2009, twenty-one distinguished scholars participated in morning and afternoon sessions dedicated to shamanism. The morning session was devoted to shamanism in South America and the afternoon one to other cultures of the world. Presenters came from as far away as England, Brazil, and Costa Rica, as well as from throughout the United States for the occasion. Institutions represented were the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Illinois, George Washington University, the University of New Orleans, the University of Liverpool, the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, the State University of New York (Buffalo), the University of Colorado, the Institute of Andean Studies, the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (Sandra Harner and Frank Lipp), Vanderbilt University, Monmouth University, Georgetown University, the University of Virginia, Tulane University, Kansas State University, and the American Museum of Natural History.
The presentations are expected to be expanded to form a Festschrift, a celebratory book in Dr. Harner’s honor.