Shamanism at the Inflection Point, message from Susan Mokelke, president
Information & Support During the Coronavirus Pandemic
In the coronavirus pandemic, humanity is facing a test unprecedented in the modern world. One of the most difficult things for us to deal with is uncertainty about the future. Fortunately, we are not alone. We have our shamanic community and we have the wisdom and power of the compassionate helping spirits. Together, we can find a path through uncertainty. We can support and care for each other and call upon our spirits for advice and healing. We can practice shamanic “selfcare” to stay strong and connected with our hearts and souls (see the entry below – Shamanic Selfcare). We can find ways to ethically assist others and our world through shamanic practices, particularly using shamanic journeying and other forms of shamanic divination to come up with inspired ordinary reality actions. More info: Shamanism for Local and Global Healing and Assistance; and Shamanism in natural or human-caused disasters.
The Foundation is providing this Polestar column as a resource during this extraordinary time. Though we may not be able to meet in person, we have available to us many powerful digital tools for face-to-face interactions, practice, and healing. In the coming weeks, the FSS plans to offer several opportunities to attend video conferences and webinars.
Please bookmark this Polestar column and check back frequently for updates and offerings. The column is divided into sections on: The Coronavirus Pandemic; In-Person Workshops & Training – Status; Online Video Conferencing & Webinars; and Shamanic Selfcare. Scroll down to the section of interest. Entries for the sections are ordered by date, with the most recent entry in the section listed first.
Remember that the greatest challenges offer the most opportunity to transform – both personally and collectively as humans – and we are not alone on this journey.
Together in spirit,
Your friends at the Foundation
The Coronavirus Pandemic
Below are some links to resources that are updated regularly. The New York Times and the Washington Post have coronavirus sections that are free as a public service during the pandemic.
March 19, 2020
- Johns Hopkins: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/
- CDC summary: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/summary.html
- NY Times (free sections re: virus): https://www.nytimes.com/news-event/coronavirus?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage
- Washington Post (free sections re: virus): https://www.washingtonpost.com/coronavirus/?itid=hp_hp-top-table-main_virus-resource-box-v3%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans
- WHO (World Health Organization), myths about the coronavirus: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters
An issue most relevant at this time to any gatherings, including FSS workshops, is “social distancing.” Epidemiologists state that one of the most effective tools in an epidemic is social distancing to flatten the curve. Here is a good explanation of how flattening the curve works:
In-Person Workshops & Training – Status
March 19, 2020
In order to support social distancing to slow the transmission of the virus, the FSS has postponed its in-person workshops and training programs for a time. Individual faculty members are rescheduling spring workshops for the summer or fall. Please check the workshops calendars for current offerings of the workshop or training of interest to you: https://shamanism.org/workshops/index.php.
Online Video Workshops & Offerings
April 22, 2020
In the coming weeks, the Foundation and the FSS faculty will offer opportunities to attend video meetings, including online shamanic training in the shamanic journey, as well as ways shamanism can be used to help yourself, others, and our world. At this time FSS online workshops will focus on content that offers powerful and effective methods to gain and apply wisdom from the spirits to resolve persistent problems facing humanity, our precious Earth, and its inhabitants. For links to current online offerings calendars and upcoming new online workshops, visit the FSS Online Community Meetings & Workshops page.
March 19, 2020
Shamanic Practices to Support Well-Being
By Denise Paulette, FSS faculty member, Seattle, Washington
Often, when we find ourselves in a situation where we appear to have no control, a sense of fear, dread and panic can easily take hold of us. What I can offer right now in this moment is to remind you that we have beautiful compassionate helping spirits at our side and very simple but powerful tools we can use daily to access their support and healing.
The practices below, learned in the Basic Workshop, The Way of The Shaman, help us maintain our connections with our compassionate helping spirits; nourish our spiritual body, which in turn nourishes our physical and emotional body; and experience daily a renewal of joy, serenity and gratitude.
- Dance and sing your soul song. 5-10 minutes is preferable, but any amount done consistently will effect positive change. Awaken and bring your soul forward so that all of your thoughts, decisions and actions for the day come from a place of true connection.
- Dance your power animal. A light merge with your power animal not only strengthens your connection to your spirit animal, it also brings you healing and protection.
- Connect to nature. Long or short, walks in nature will support your feelings of well-being. Add to that the shamanic practice of connecting to all that is: saying hello and introducing yourself to the earth forms and lifeforms you see: the clouds, the trees, rocks, all creatures and vegetation. Sitting with and hugging trees is a powerful way to release worries and fear and to take in strength, healing and wisdom. The sun is shining—soak it up. Ask it for calm and patience. And be sure to thank all the earth forms for all they offer us freely every day.
- Take a shamanic journey of your own choosing, either for divination or healing. Ask for what you need. One of my favorites is to go to one of my most love-filled places in non-ordinary reality and receive love and support from the helping spirits.
- Drum and rattle daily. The simple beautiful beat of the drum or rattle provides an amazing amount of healing and return to balance.
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Editor’s note: If you are not familiar with the above practices, check back to this blog for opportunities to learn them online with an FSS faculty member – available soon.
Polestar logo design by Carolyn Fee ©2010 Foundation for Shamanic Studies
FSS Polestar highlights some of the questions we are frequently asked about contemporary shamanic practice. “Polestar” is defined as “something that serves as a guiding principle.” It reflects our commitment to helping practitioners stay oriented to authentic shamanic methods and ethics, while maintaining their own independent spirituality, which comes from learning directly from the compassionate spirits. Send us your practice-related questions for consideration for Polestar. Use our CONTACT FORM, and put “Polestar” in the subject line.