Shamanism 101   study shamanism - shamanic healing training - learn shamanism online
New Student Orientation
Dear Student,
From all of us at Shamanism 101, let us extend to you our appreciation for your thoughtfulness in looking at our program of shamanic training. This introduction letter hopes to provide you with some information that might help you determine if this atypically organized and mentored course series can suit you and your goals.

People come to this training for many reasons. Applicants often share a strong desire to remember their ancestral human indigenous wisdom that came, and still comes, from a connection with the Earth. Despite the past several thousand years of our western religious-inspired alienation from our Earth, every human being is indigenous to this planet, and somewhere inside we know this and are drawn back to it. However, it was the access to high quality individualized and personally mentored training that was why Shamanism 101 first became known. 

Since its inception, the overarching purpose of this program has been to make readily available, a clear, ethical, well-grounded, comprehensive and effective shamanic training program. However, its other, and seemingly contradictory goal has been to provide this training as inexpensively as possible so that the core of shamanic wellness and wisdom – the broad stream of our world-wide inheritance – is as readily accessible as possible to anyone who wishes to regain it.

Just so you know, no one at Shamanism 101 is making a fortune off your tuition. To the contrary, this effort at world-wide teaching is more of a public service. Not even counting developing the curriculum, the many hours put in the teachers here mentoring students, the internet-related technological stuff, and the support system and outreach for these courses costs far more than has ever been received.

Your training is not a ‘quick fix,’ it is developing a lifeway. Nor is it simply learning about something: as you are ‘working it’, it will be working you. This is taking the core of your own ancestral, ancient shamanic spirituality back into your ‘bones’. It is truly like coming home.  
General Matters
This program works through 12 units of experiential training across three steadily developing levels. The work you do, the practices, the rituals and your experiences are all physically accomplished by you wherever you are, yet the instruction you will need and your responses are passed back and forth between yourself and your mentor entirely over the internet.

When it is time for you to move into a certain module of training, we will direct you to that module through an email with a link, username and password. When you go to that assigned web page, you will find your new module’s materials readings, instructions, questions, audio tracks or videos. After you have studied and done the exercises within that module, you then write up your responses to the questions asked and email these and your experiences to us along with any questions. Your mentor will review your experiences, offer suggestions, answer your questions, and either confirm your work and send you on to the next unit or ask you about something that could be addressed first. Naturally, if questions come up, email these to your mentor as you go along. Even though you will be given a tremendous amount of information, your mentor is always there to answer questions that sometimes do arise, so take advantage of that.

Starting with 1) your tuition payment and 2) your enrollment data sheet received by the registrar, you will likely be accepted into the program, and directed to your mentor, who will then contact you and get you started on your first unit. There, you find your written material, sometimes some videos, and usually a talk on that unit's area of focus.

This is unlike a typical college course. You will read, study, practice and then write up your experiences to send to your mentor. Here, length of responses or fancy style are neither needed nor productive. And though you are bound to go through leaps of insight and self-awareness during this program, your mentor is not a psychotherapist and will not be serving as such. What is necessary is that within each unit's particular area of study, you demonstrate through your experiences and thoughtful responses a growing mastery of shamanism. 

On receiving your work, your mentor then gauges your experience and will comment on various aspects of your work, providing feedback and suggestions when this is helpful. If more work can iron out any difficulties and solve any concerns, your mentor will also assign this before sending you on to the next unit. However, because this approach builds on the material already covered, students regularly find that they are able to successfully move forward, unit by unit.
A lot of students ask us about timing of getting their work back for us for feedback. You can take your training at the pace that is most comfortable to you. However, we do recommend that you keep the ‘heat’ up in your work and don't let it far from your awareness. So, we encourage students to pace the course at about 14 days between lessons. One of the advantages of a self-paced system is that you can always choose to take a longer or a shorter time to complete each unit, in accordance with fluctuating life demands. In this manner, this training is ‘organic’ and as our life fluctuates, the speed of our responses to our unit assignments can vary with this as well. After all, the purpose of shamanic training is about your growth, development and integration of what is being learned. These are organic things and simply do not conform to a timetable.

This course series is designed to give you two very important things: first, all what you need to develop as a practitioner with skills, and second, what you need to develop as the person who is a practitioner. This kind of training, of not only knowledge, awareness and experience, but also of character, is meant to be digested. As you are probably aware, you are working on a consciousness, even a way of life, which stretches back for 30 thousand years or more into prehistory. 

Outside Reading
We always recommend a couple of books that help in this perspective and reassure a broader sense of the whole than by merely listening to what we have to say. All practitioners approach their work through slightly different perspectives, and it helps to start hearing these perspective as we begin to get a sense of what can be core to shamanic work. Any previous reading or work you have done will just add to your perspective’s breadth. Take a look at the Necessary Course Items page to get a sense of what you will need.
Practice Clients
The first level of training (A Path) focuses almost entirely on yourself and your self-development. However, starting with the second level of training, you will need to find practice clients: people who are willing to let you work with them so you can familiarize yourself with the various techniques. This is important towards the end of the first level of training, and if you discover you need to pursue this training, and absolutely necessary during the second and third levels. You would need to create regular times during the week, just for yourself, where you could actualize the study and practice into your life. I assure you that if you take these studies to heart and steadily practice, you have all the ingredients to develop into a strong practitioner.
The Mentoring Process
To best assure that each student is not only integrating what they learn but have demonstrated competency, shamanism simply had to be passed forward as an individually mentored curriculum.

Some people first wonder about the distance between yourself and your mentor, yet the physical distance between you two (mentors are scattered all over the globe) turns out to be no issue at all. When you are communicating directly with someone about your concerns to someone who is answering your questions and analyzing your work, you can be two feet away or two thousand miles away from them and it doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference. And, although sometimes when things are busy it may take your mentor a couple of days to get back to you, in many cases, we are right there at the other end of your communications, even responding the same day.

This is a comprehensive approach, meaning no stone is left unturned. First and foremost, you will find this to be an extremely ethical curriculum. The first level of training focuses on developing the practitioner into a well-grounded and strong character who also knows the basic skills thoroughly. The second and third levels focus on providing healing for others, with merging practices a primary area of development in the second level, and the more delicate work with souls in the third.
Shamanic practice opens up a lot of 'doors' that need to be addressed. As mentioned above, the ethics passed forward for your review and consideration is very strong. 

Developing a strong ethical backbone is imperative for any practitioner. It provides you with something you can depend on when situations get complex and tricky, and it provides your clients and all of those you treat with an assurance of what they can expect of you, and of themselves. 

Ethics are considered extremely closely in our program and ethical challenges are regularly brought up for our attention during our training.
Safety Measures:  
In the first level of training we are only working with upper and lower world compassionate spirits, and we unequivocally agree to not work or interact with 'middle world' spirits of those who have not yet transcended (what some refer to as ghosts, etc.). These spirits can be buggy and bothersome in ordinary and non-ordinary reality, and before we are sufficiently empowered, protected, and fully know what we are doing, they can cause all sorts of mischief and in any case, undermine our development.

Your safe and secure relationship with spirit life is a primary goal. You have absolute discretion as to whether or not you allow around you any aspect of spirit life or not. A shaman retains the power to accept or disallow any communication or visits from the spirit world. This is simply good boundaries, just as we would make them with any living persons. For this as well as innumerable other reasons, the shaman must be of a stronger psychological makeup than most people.

We train practitioners to maintain good boundaries. When working with us, you agree that if you ever discover that you do not have the capability to completely veto any spirit communication, presence or influence, you will immediately cease shamanic work and let your mentor know this. It may be that shamanism is not the best path for you to follow, or it may be that we can refer you on to another teacher and practitioner who may be more suited to work with you.

Sticking to the Curriculum 
Once we begin the training, we agree to only follow the curriculum of the units we receive, and agree that whatever training or experience we have had, we do not head off on our own using practices or strategies outside of what we are learning. Students who are already well-practiced and know something about shamanism, sometimes grumble as it seems unfair to not do something for which they have already been elsewhere trained.
Training Without Reliance on Psychotropics 
There is one other matter which started to arise during the ‘60's when the early Western researchers in shamanic practice jumped to the erroneous conclusion that shamanic work necessarily involved the use of entheogens (plant medicine, psychotropics). We have the ability to journey naturally, and the ability to shift into a shamanic state of consciousness is already inherent within us. Historically and globally, practitioners have demonstrated that psychotropics are actually only a minor path of some shamanic cultures, and that 90% or more of the cultures that have engaged in shamanic practice do not use these in order to journey. We strongly discourage entheogens during this training as our aim is to see you develop as a practitioner who can stand on your own feet without leaning on a crutch.
Acceptance of Personal Responsibility as a Practitioner 
All students accept complete responsibility for where they go and what they do in both ordinary and non-ordinary reality. This is about self-control, which is just as important to develop as the ability to 'fly' with our consciousness. This means, for instance, that we agree to take a complete veto power over any influences that conceivably could pull us off into one or another direction. In other words, we agree to retain full control of ourselves in our work. 

There has been too little acceptance of such responsibility over the past decades among practitioners, who shrug off personal responsibility with a comment like, 'Well, the spirits said for me to do it' or ‘I’m sorry, but that’s just what the spirits decided to do’. This is unacceptable.

As said in the admission form, since this training does involve a change in consciousness, by studying with Shamanism 101 you agree and accept that you are completely responsible for taking part in any of the exercises in any of the units, as well as undertaking this training as a whole. This is a means for us to get clear about our relationship but it is not simply a typical instructor release from liability. In this training, you become professionally and personally responsible for your behavior as a shamanic practitioner. Our students are prepared such that they can enter the field professionally and with the public’s trust. 

If you take off on your own and do not follow training protocols, if you alter techniques without consulting first with your mentor, act unethically or neglect safety measures in areas that we feel are important as a professional practitioner, your mentor reserves the right to release you from the school. If you determine that you do not want to do some of the material that we do think is imperative to master, your mentor reserves the right to retain you as a student, though not certifying completed training.

Special Note For Advanced Practitioners
Both highly skilled practitioners and absolute first-timers enroll for this training as it insures all of the important aspects of shamanic work are covered. It is important to mention again, that if you have done a significant amount of training that is well advanced over much that is in the first level, you still must still stay within the subject areas.

A second reason often cited by advanced practitioners to take this training is that they want to be assured that they have the complete protocols.

The third reason advanced practitioners desire to take this course because it works on their foundation as a person. Since so much of contemporary training is in the quick weekend format, there is little to absolutely zero effort spent in the personal work on the very foundation of shamanism, which the person who is doing the practices!

When You Feel Ready to Begin 
So, for beginners or advanced practitioners, we want to assure your mastering what you need to know, which is our responsibility as mentors. We want this material to survive well so that our ancestor’s wisdom can help guide us into our future as a species and as a planet. We are in an era when our cultures are regathering these old ways, and what we pass forward now will be passed forward again and again. After finishing the first course, whether you choose to continue with your studies here or anywhere else, the education you will receive here will completely prepare you for any further shamanic study you decide to do.

Please consider all of this deeply and only proceed with enrollment if you know you can honestly agree to the framework of this training as described. Go to the page on this website with the (link follows) Registration Data Form where can copy the form, paste it into an email, fill it out, and send it to the registrar. Next, go to the (link follows) tuition and enrollment page at our registration website and take care of course costs. If the registrar feels it is a go-ahead, they will let you and your mentor know, and your mentor and you can start communicating to get you started. 

It always makes us glad when a new student enrolls, as this is the start of a new relationship that we take very seriously.

Let us return to our primal, connected relationship with our Earth, let us regather our personal wholeness, and let us find again the empowerment that is our intrinsic potential. 

We look forward to seeing you in our courses!

With much love and respect, 
Steve and the Mentors at Shamanism 101