Archive for the ‘FSS News’ Category

Shamanism in Prevention Magazine

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Susan Mokelke was interviewed for Prevention magazine and the article was released in the February 2014 issue (p. 122 – 129): “Spirit Journey” by Laura Fraser. The article, with some general information about shamanic healing includes a personal perspective of the author’s experience at a healing session with Susan. It includes a link to With readership of 10.2 million,* this is a positive step toward getting the potential power of shamanism and shamanic healing out to the mainstream. The article is available both in print and online.

*About Prevention – 10.2 million readers, 3.5 million readers worldwide of 16 international editions, and a top digital destination ( that has 2.6 million unique visitors each month, 22 million page views, and 1.3 million newsletter subscribers.

In Memoriam: Mo Maxfield, 1940 – 2014

Friday, January 17th, 2014

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

December 2013 FSS Enewsletter

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Read the latest issue of the FSS enews: Highlights of 2013, Foundation news and workshops, new book Ema’s Odyssey by Sandra Harner, links to shamanism in the news, healing words and more. Visit the FSS Enewsletter archives to read past issues.

September-October 2013 Enewsletter

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Read the latest issue of the FSS enews: Foundation news and workshops, Cave and Cosmos reviews and releases in other languages, links to shamanism in the news, healing words and more. Visit the FSS Enewsletter archives to read past issues.

FSS Living Treasure Pau Nyima Dhondup Passes On

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Pau Nyima Dhondup. Photo by Sarah Sifers.

It is with great sadness that we announce that Pau Nyima Dhondup, the last of three FSS Living Treasures residing in a refugee camp in Nepal passed on September 19, 2013. FSS Field Associate Sarah Sifers was making her annual visit to the camp at the time and provided the following report. Sarah spent many years learning from the Paus at the camp and providing assistance to the people there.

Sunday as I was sitting with Tashi (Pau Nyima’s wife), she shared that Pau Nyima always spoke about his and mine special connection. That during this past summer, when he was so ill, he asked each day if I was coming. That he wanted to be able to see me one more time. And so we did….getting to sit together one last time holding hands and smiling at each other. He looked good. I actually came a week earlier than usual…how thankful am I about that decision.

Yesterday, I made my way to the camp at 4 AM. Tashi had asked that I participate as a family member in the offering of a final kata (Tibetan greeting scarf) and flower malla to his body before it was taken from the house down to the cremation place at 5 AM. What an honor. I arrived at the camp as the men were washing his body with milk. I had the honor of putting the first kata across his body…and became part of the procession that carried his body to the cremation place. Pau Rhichoe‘s son Singye …and Pau Wangchuk‘s son Trinley stayed by my side the entire time. As I stood by Pau Nyima’s funeral pyre, I said my final good-bye…thanking him for his friendship and wishing him a safe passage through the Bardo. They say it was ‘done well’. At the time of his death, rainbows appeared in the cloudless sky. And one appeared again during the cremation. An auspicious sign.

Pau Nyima looked at life with the eyes of a child filled with wonderment. He would become so animated when he told stories that his voice would rise and fall in pitch and he would trill his ‘r’s’ and gesture with his arms. His laugh frequently became a giggle. He called me ‘Sister’…using the English word. If others were with us, he would pretend to need them to translate. But if we were alone, he’d chat with me in English and Nepali…only to go mute when the translator came back into the room. He outfitted me with all that is needed to be a Tibetan shaman…although this tradition, they believe, can only be practiced by a male in their lineage who has had a calling at puberty. He asked me once if, when I was in the airplane, the sun was above me or below me…and was the sun above the clouds. When I said that yes, the sun was above the clouds, he slapped his leg and shouted “I knew it..that is how shadows are made!” And when I said that even when in an airplane that was high above the clouds…still the sun was much higher, he again, slapped his leg in glee and shouted “I knew it.”

Folks in the camp are already wondering what they will do when they become ill…now that the last Tibetan shaman has passed. All I know is that I have lost a treasured friend.

Sarah Sifers, September 24, 2013


FSS Europa Announces New Leadership

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

After the recent passing of Paul Uccusic, FSS Europa has announced that Roland Urban has been named Chairman of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies Europe. Michael Hasslinger will continue as Vice Chairman and Roswitha Uccusic as Coordinator.

All of Paul Uccusic’s scheduled workshops will take place as announced. Dates and venues will not change. See the calendar of FSS Europe for the new workshop leader and, in a few cases, a new sponsor. This also applies to the 3-Year-Programs, hosted directly by the FSSE.

Detailed information will be provided by the respective faculty member.

For information about workshops in German and other languages throughout Europe, visit the FSS Europa website.

IN MEMORIAM: Paul Uccusic

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Dear Friends of the Foundation,

This is to advise you that our close friend and colleague Paul Uccusic passed on in Vienna August 2nd, with his wife Roswitha at his side and surrounded by his family.

The Foundation for Shamanic Studies Europe has posted the statement and obituary below on its website, as we are doing.

Under Paul and Roswitha’s leadership, as Paul wished, Roland Urban and Michael Hasslinger are prepared to continue the work of FSS Europe. For the present, Roland will be the contact person for FSS Europe matters. FSS Europe website:

The world has lost a truly wonderful person. Our deepest sympathies to Paul’s family.

Michael and Sandra Harner
Susan Mokelke

Paul UccusicPaul Uccusic (1937-2013)
The Foundation for Shamanic Studies Europe is mourning its director Paul Uccusic. Paul passed away on Friday, August 2nd, 2013 in Vienna. He was in his 77th year. Two days before, he had collapsed in his home following a heart attack and suffered irreversible head injury. Paul Uccusic was born in 1937 in Vienna. After studies of chemistry, physics and mathematics at the University of Vienna, he became a journalist and served in leading positions in different daily newspapers in Vienna. In 1971, he got in touch with parapsychology and spiritual healing. He is the author of several books about healing. In 1981, he met Michael Harner, the Founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, in Alpbach in Tyrol. The Core Shamanism formulated by Michael Harner became Paul’s central field of interest. He made study visits to the US, Latin America and Siberia. In 1985, Paul started to teach for the Foundation in German-speaking countries. In 1991, he published his book The Shaman In Us (in German). Until his death Paul Uccusic served as Director of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies Europe. Building up the Foundation in Europe and spreading Core Shamanism in Europe and beyond were his life’s work.

July 2013 FSS Enewsletter

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Read the latest Foundation news, including Michael Harner’s announcement for a vibrant future for the Foundation, the latest on Cave and Cosmos: Shamanic Encounters with Another Reality, shamanic news, new books on shamanism, healing words, and more. Read the issue.

Michael Harner announces steps for a vibrant and successful future for the Foundation

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

May 20, 2013

Dear Friend of Shamanism,

I hope this letter finds you well and looking forward to the summer.

Harner-Web6-11-left1As 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,

Michael Harner

Cc: FSS Board of Trustees

December 2012 FSS E-Newsletter Released – Michael Harner Recognized by Anthropology of Consciousness

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

The year-end FSS E-Newsletter has been released. Michael Harner was recently recognized for his life’s work in shamanism by his peers, with an essay in his honor in Anthropology of Consciousness (American Anthropological Association). Read the latest Foundation news, plus the year in review, links to news articles, FSS holiday and New Year video, healing words, and more. View the issue

Click to view the FSS E-Newsletter archives and read back issues.