Shamanism 101   study shamanism - shamanic healing training - learn shamanism online

  For years, Shamanism 101 has offered what we believe has been the best education and training with which to learn shamanism and shamanic healing, with a comprehensive, individually mentored program leading to shamanic practitioner certification.

We have now moved our courses to Shaman College.
Please visit us at

Welcome to Shamanism 101's open resource for
information about shamanism.
Explore the articles among the links to your left,
where anyone can come to begin to learn shamanism,
and find out more about shamanic healing.

Everyone deserves a solid basis on which to decide
how they will discern the shamanic education that is their birthright. 
 There is so much confusion and misinformation out there
about shamanic healing...

For the sake of our future and our Earth,
we need to remember what shamanism really is,
and what it is not,
and fearlessly and stubbornly pursue it.

 This site is devoted to clarifying the confusion and misunderstandings.

Message from Steve Serr:

Welcome to Shamanism 101.

I believe that your and my interest in shamanic healing is a consequence of our discomforting awareness that we crucially need to protect our Earth and mend our toxic disconnect from her, and reconnect with ourselves and each other.

Shamanism recognizes our primal connection with the Earth, all of her beings, and with the spirit world that our ancestors deep in prehistory knew, but that we seem to have all but forgotten.

Our planet's growing interest in studying shamanism comes from a silent, deep need to reconnect with the soil, the trees, the mountains, rivers and with each other. Shamanism remembers this deep, primal interconnection. It brings us home to our whole, true self.

Shamanism's earthy, natural spirituality recalls a timely and healing voice to an era that is yearning to reconnect with the Whole from which we came. The Earth is sacred and we yearn for this connection. Our common, ancient spiritual drive for wholeness, integration and healing is calling us back.

I think there's no other way of explaining the big picture than this: we are being summoned back into a caring, intimate relationship with nature, with ourselves, and with each other. I believe it is from this deep interconnection that our original spiritualties appeared. In a world that is somewhat starving for reconnection, it is really a joy to be a part of helping us return to these things. I look forward to seeing you in our courses!

Much love and respect,


Steve Serr, MA, MDiv, Ph.D
2017, Santa Fe,
New Mexico, USA

So, what is shamanism? Even with the array of short articles you find here, we will only be breaking the surface of this question. Perhaps at this point, all that needs to be said is that shamanism is a profound gathering of a consistent core of natural, spiritual and Earthy, human wellness practices discovered and passed forward by innumerable people throughout the planet and across time.

It is a healing art.

Our original goal was to create a shamanic training program that could provide anyone with the best foundation possible, one that could serve in a professional shamanic healing practice. However, while some people came to study shamanism to become professional healers, others simply wanted to be able to assist themselves and their friends. However, running through nearly all of shamanic healing is something that reaches far deeper than simply training to become a practitioner: shamanism is a profound and lifelong path of personal growth and psychological healing.

To bring this to the world's attention became our inspiration.

One simply cannot help but notice the personal psychological healing that is part of the life-blood of nearly every shamanic practice. Shamanism 101 took the lead by radically pivoting away from what had been a mudded, vague quazi-explanation of shamanism as ‘spiritual healing’, by recognizing the fundamental importance of the psychological dimension, which had typically been either unacknowledged or minimized. By bringing a psychological perspective to our understanding of shamanic healing, shamanism suddenly makes perfect sense.

Many shamans / shamanic practitioners refer to this as the 'soul' level, yet such terms are really secondary. The language of shamanism (souls, spirits, spirit teachers) is different from the language people usually use to describe most of the features of today's world: shamanic practitioners talk of things like power animals and of doing things like a soul retrievals. However, terminology should not get in the way.

We should be seeking out how the wisdom brought forward from the past can enrich the unprecedented gathering of information and developments that are available to us today. Shamanism has always grown and adapted to meet the needs of an era. Just look at Shamanism 101! We are the product of an online world: a context completely unknown to the ancients. No longer do we live in a tribal village where we can just hike down the trail to meet with the local shaman. And, even if we could, would we not want to learn even more?

Instead of having to rely only on whomever happened to be physically near to us, we can now study and learn shamanism in a way that never before has been available to any practitioner, anywhere, at any time previously in history or prehistory. Your being here, visiting with us now, reflects exactly this. The world's vast library of information about shamanic practices across the globe, and the ability to train in shamanism with teachers thousands of miles away, was a resource that was once unimaginable. Far from having lost anything, the contemporary world has access to information and education in shamanism that our ancestors simply did not have.

Shamanism 101 is nothing remarkably new when it comes to the development of shamanism. The shaman has forever gathered the wisdom that had been passed down and put this together with the knowledge - and the needs - of their present time. It is through a combination of accrued wisdom and one’s own work of discovery and development that the shaman becomes a source of wisdom and healing for their community. Not by receive or passing on something immobilized into doctrine.

The shaman develops by either complete absorption in their own natural world or through delicate guidance into such self-discovery and personal experience. Careful, respectful mentoring is the foundation of Shamanism 101. If shamanism does not sprout through you, through your own cultural understandings and through your own unique place on the Earth, it is simply a copy of someone else’s shamanism. Perhaps serviceable to a degree, but not ultimately true to you. The only real shamanism is that which is your own.

We welcome you to a site for information about shamanism that reaches widely and believes that shamanism is best when it is alive. We are here to challenge shamanic misconceptions and provide a starting place for thinking about what shamanism is and how we might learn.

We just want you to find good shamanic training, regardless of whether you eventually choose to study with us. The gathering of information about shamanism here and the growth of our school has been a labor of love.

Thank you for visiting our site and considering becoming a part of the spread of shamanic healing.

The Earth needs us.

While you read, by clicking on this
you can hear Shamanka in North Wales soul singing! 
(Further information at page footer.)

(Special note for iPad users: if you are using an iPad, you may not be seeing the player. This is an issue with Apple, as a Flash player is not included in Safari, etc. You can access Flash material in iPads, but you need to download the Puffin (paid version) from the app store. It costs about 3 dollars.)

Questions? We hope so. Just ask.
Write us at:


Audio welcome message
From Steve:
Why Shamanism?
Why Shamanism now?

(mp3 format about 13 minutes) 

(Special note for iPad users and potentially other tablet users: if you are using something like an iPad, you may not be seeing the player that should be on your screen above this paragraph to hear the talk. This also means you would not be able to listen to the audio material at the school. This is an issue that belongs to Apple, as they do not include a Flash player in Safari, etc. Goodness knows where their brains are with respect to this, but despite them, there is a workaround: iPad and other users can also access the audio but you need to download the Puffin browser (paid version) from the app store. It costs about 3 dollars.)

                                                 Please share with a friend !

The soul-singer is Shamanka from North Wales. A songwriter and performer, she is soul sounding, a shamanic practice that allows the soul to be heard aloud. She presents it to us with an echo that sings along with her, simply because that is how she heard it when she sang it!

Deeply intimate work, Shamanka refers to this as 'soul language' and recounts a vision she had during her singing: "I saw myself dressed as a healer, in a long robe on a hilltop... I saw myself. Healing. Not just people, but trees, animals, earth, stones etc. It sounds wild I know, but it is exciting me. Internally I felt, and still feel overwhelmed... this connection is so important to me and each time i take a step nearer, my soul literally jumps for joy."