May 20, 2013
Dear Friend of Shamanism,
I hope this letter finds you well and looking forward to the summer.
As you know, along with Sandra Harner, I led the activities of the Foundation and its predecessor, the Center for Shamanic Studies, for more than 34 years. In that time, thanks to participants like you — donors, FSS Circle members, students, and graduates — the Foundation has had a tremendous influence on our world, making shamanic healing and wisdom available once again in contemporary society. Sandra and I owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude.
With the publication of Cave and Cosmos, the fundamental tenets of core shamanism and a significant portion of what I have taught the last several decades is now preserved in writing for future generations. But the work is far from done. It has always been my intention, as stated in our mission statement — the preservation, study, and teaching of shamanic knowledge for the welfare of the Planet and its inhabitants — that the Foundation continue to grow long beyond my lifetime until humankind finally recognizes that there is another reality that people can access shamanically to help us solve the problems of humanity and the planet.
After her advanced FSS shamanic training, in 2006 Susan Mokelke was invited to the Foundation to assist Sandra Harner and me, with an eye toward a sustainable future for the Foundation. Before coming to the Foundation, Susan was a successful businesswoman, worked in non-profit management and education for more than 25 years, and has a law degree. She has impressive computer skills, with the knowledge and abilities required today to maintain a powerful presence for the FSS on the web and make full use of electronic communications.
For the past seven years, Susan has gradually assumed the management of the Foundation’s day-to-day activities, as well as working with Sandra and me to consider and plan for the years ahead. Susan’s unique qualifications, talents, knowledge of shamanism, and hard work have made her a truly outstanding executive director, shamanic practitioner, and teacher of shamanism.
Susan has a deep love and respect for our mutual work and is fully committed to the future success of the Foundation. For some time now, she has taught her very successful new summertime Three Year Program in the Pacific Northwest and has co-taught with me in the San Francisco Bay Area. She also maintains her own shamanic healing practice. Those of you who have interacted with her know of her balanced, cooperative, and optimistic approach, her intelligence, sense of fairness, willingness to listen, and generosity of spirit.
Now that I have published Cave and Cosmos and turned 84, it is time to advise you of steps recently taken to assure a vibrant and successful future for the Foundation, its faculty, and for the Shamanic Knowledge Conservatory. At my initiation, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in their April 20th meeting voted unanimously to elect Susan Mokelke President effective July 1, 2013, to give me time to raise funds for the Foundation’s future. Sandra Harner, co-founder of the Foundation, has kindly agreed to continue as Vice President.
The Board has designated me “Founder” and elected me Vice President for Development. In that capacity, I will work with Board members and benefactors to seek increased funding for all aspects of Foundation’s tasks, with significant support of teaching activities and the unique archive preserved in the Shamanic Knowledge Conservatory. Toward that end, your continued participation and financial assistance are essential to the sustainability of the Foundation’s workshops and programs.
At its meeting, the Board of Trustees also elected two new members, both of them dedicated supporters. The Board now consists of ten members with a variety of experience in anthropology, finance and fundraising, psychology, core shamanism, the arts, business, and non-profit management, who are well qualified to lead the Foundation into the future. This next phase promises to be one of continued expansion as we work together to help bring the wisdom and compassion of the spirits into our world through the Foundation’s trainings and other activities. I ask you to give Susan full support during the years ahead. With your help and that of the members of our Board of Trustees, we can make this promise a reality for many decades to come.
I look forward to having more time to interact with you and other enthusiasts of shamanism. I also plan to support our FSS community in a new way by engaging in two-way video conversations (Skype), beginning with students in the advanced residential programs.
You have helped make the Foundation the premiere organization in the world for the safeguarding and teaching of shamanic knowledge. I wish to express my gratitude to you for your commitment. With your support and that of the helping spirits, our Foundation can continue to lead the way into a new era, where the wisdom and assistance of the compassionate spirits of another reality are accessible to all.
With warm regards and my profound thanks,
Cc: FSS Board of Trustees