It is with deep sadness that we inform you that our dear friend and longtime colleague on the Foundation for Shamanic Studies Board of Trustees, Mo Maxfield (Melinda C. Maxfield), left us on January 9, 2014. Mo was a steadfast supporter of the Foundation’s work for more than two decades, did important shamanic research, and participated in the Foundation’s pioneering expedition to the central Asian Republic of Tuva in 1993 to help revive shamanism there.
Mo once taught high school English and did research for the Encyclopedia Britannica, where she first encountered the subject of shamanism. She received a Ph.D. from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California. Her doctoral dissertation, involving EEG tests, demonstrated that shamanic drumming had neuro-physiological effects that put subjects into an altered state of consciousness. Her doctoral dissertation was later developed into a book and CD, Drumming the I Ching, currently used in hospitals, cancer wards, and schools because of the healing impact of reducing pain and significantly assisting people with ADD and dyslexia, stroke recovery, and other medical issues. She was responsible for the development of the Foundation’s effective Multiple Drumming for the Shamanic Journey CD.
She made a significant contribution to the preservation of worldwide indigenous shamanic knowledge through the Foundation and also through her personal work with indigenous peoples from around the world, including Native American medicine men, shamans from Mongolia and South America, and Maori elders. In addition to her role as the secretary of the FSS Board of Trustees, she was executive director of the Angeles Arrien Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research, and a board member of the Amazon Conservation Team.
Upon learning of Mo’s passing, one Board member of the Foundation eloquently wrote, “I am so sorry to hear of the loss in ordinary reality of our dear friend and colleague, Mo Maxfield. She is well prepared for her journey beyond this life, but her physical presence will be dearly missed. … we say goodbye to Mo as we knew her here in this world. I wish her a safe and joyful journey, and look forward to seeing her in the other worlds.”
Mo was born on September 17, 1940, in Waco, Texas. In 1964, she married Bob Maxfield and they had two daughters, Melinda and Mary Jane. Mo is survived by her ex-husband Bob, her daughter Melinda, son-in-law Dave Hatchett, and her two beloved granddaughters, Mary Jane and Rowan.
A private memorial service will be held. Contributions in Mo’s memory may be made to the Mary Jane Maxfield Memorial Fund at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, The Amazon Conservation Team, the Angeles Arrien Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research, or The Foundation for Shamanic Studies.
Condolences may be sent to Mo’s daughter:
Melinda Maxfield Hatchett
PO Box 1123, Homewood, CA 96141