I have been graced with walking the path of shamanism since I can remember. Growing up in Michigan I had deep, ecstatic connections with the moon, the Aurora Borealis and the Great Lake. At eight, I had a near-death experience and an ecstatic awakening to the interconnectedness of all life. After eight years of studying Philosophy and receiving a Master of Arts from the University of California, in Santa Barbara, I felt fragmented from too much logical analysis. I sought refuge in the Santa Cruz Mountains and for 3-1/2 years lived alone in a cabin, off the grid. This was a time of profound shamanic initiation for me. I was changed and restored through daily writing, silence, chopping wood and reconnecting with the power of the sacred feminine.
My yearning for direct revelation with the compassionate spirits culminated in 1995 when I met Michael Harner and Sandra Ingerman. My work with them and the helping spirits empowered me to fully answer my call to shamanism and shifted the paradigm in my life and work. As I say in one of my poems — "it feels like/an abiding presence/steady/unfailing/like Kuan Yin/pouring her/never-emptying jar/of healing waters/over me."
It is a great privilege to teach the Foundation workshops that nurtured my own path.
My apprenticeship with the helping spirits has been full of challenges, miracles, and great joy. I feel blessed to do this work and to be able to give something alive and vital back to the world.
Beth's students say:
"I traveled over 1000 miles to participate in Beth’s workshop because she brings the right mix of head and heart to this great work." –Mark R. Grandstaff, PhD., Senior fellow, James MacGregor-Burns Academy of Scholarship, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
"You graciously and with humor established an environment that allowed us to journey with ease. Your manner of answering questions and your patience with our questions was rich." –Nance Louise, Teacher, Ashland, Oregon
"Beth has humor, wonderful diction, and she is devoid of spiritual pretension. She, among other things, is a born teacher."
–Bruce Moody, author of "Will Work for Food or $"
"Thank you so much for such an incredible workshop this weekend. You were quite fabulous, leading us clearly and inspirationally on the path, with a sense of humor and connection with each of us. And, the environment and experiences all felt very safe."
–Nancy Flagg, CPA, University Business & Finance Manager
"I am finally able to sit down and properly thank you for the amazing Dying & Beyond class. My partner & I agree that this was the best workshop either of us has had so far. It was very profound for me. I have built up a lot of grief issues on this issue, and I think I released at least 90% of them. We were completely energized when we left, and in a super positive frame of mind." (Shamanism, Dying, and Beyond, October 2013)
"Thank you for your loving and wise workshop! I witnessed a vision in this workshop unlike anything I have witnessed in 50 years of searching, so powerful that it still makes me quiver." (Shamanism, Dying, and Beyond, October 2013)
Beth Beurkens, M.A., has been a teacher of shamanism and a vision quest guide for 20 years. She is a faculty member at the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, instructor at Rogue Community College and the School of Women & Earth (Switzerland), and a teacher of creative writing. Beth leads dynamic seminars in North America and in Europe and has a shamanic healing practice in Ashland, Oregon and Basel, Switzerland. Beth has taught religion and spirituality courses at numerous California colleges for thirty one years and holds an M.A. in philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Beth has studied extensively with Michael Harner, Alicia Luengas Gates and Sandra Ingerman. She is the author of Shaman's Eye and Shaman: Spirit Walker 2010 and 2011 wall calendars.
She is an ordained minister in the Circle of the Sacred Earth and holds a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara.