Online Workshops FAQ

1. What is the Online Shamanic Healing Training Program?

In January 2021, the FSS launched the Program, which includes the fundamental shamanic healing methods: power animal retrieval, extraction healing, psychopomp work with the spirits of the deceased, and power soul retrieval. It also incorporates additional workshops designed to provide a depth of knowledge essential to an effective shamanic healing practice.

  • Michael Harner (1929 – 2018) originated, researched, and developed core shamanism. All in person workshops and training programs offered by the FSS were created by Dr. Harner, with additional workshops based in core shamanism developed by Sandra Harner and Susan Mokelke. Online workshops stem directly from Michael Harner's work, designed by Susan Mokelke and tested by FSS faculty, to be fully interactive and effective in the digital environment. All FSS in person and online workshops and training programs are copyrighted. Faculty members will request a signed confidentiality agreement of you (web form) during registration for each workshop you take.
  • FSS faculty members are experienced at forming a safe and sacred circle at the beginning of each workshop. They will discuss important privacy and permission issues for personal interactions during and after the training.
  • The training is offered via Zoom video conferencing. Participants will see and hear each other and interact in pairs and small groups, as well as in the full circle. All students must participate with audio and video and access the meeting through their own individual device.
  • For Educational Purposes: All Foundation workshops and training programs are offered for teaching purposes only and not for healing or treating any student or participant for any physical or mental condition or illness.
  • Participants are being trained to practice shamanism and shamanic healing, not as teachers of shamanism.
  • Electronic recording of audio, video or images is not permitted during the workshops.
2. How does the Program compare with the FSS in-person healing series?

Both the in-person and online series teach shamanic healing methods based in core shamanism, as originated, researched, and developed by anthropologist Michael Harner (1929 – 2018) over many decades. While the methods are essentially the same, the online workshops have been designed and tested for effective experiential and interactive practice in the digital environment using Zoom video conferencing. The FSS has decades of experience with in-person training and tens of thousands of students have become effective shamanic practitioners, so we know the methods work. In May 2020, the FSS for the first time began offering an online shamanic divinatory series designed to bring shamanic knowledge and the power of the compassionate spirits to address personal, local, and global issues. FSS faculty members have been experimenting with and testing the Shamanic Knowledge and Power Series. In January 2021, the online Shamanic Healing Training Program was launched. At present, many participants have completed the online programs and are now practicing shamanism and shamanic healing successfully. It is clear that high-quality online shamanic training, including fully interactive participant exercises, is a powerful and effective addition to FSS in-person programming.

3. Is it better to take the training online or in-person?

One is not necessarily better than the other from the practical standpoint of learning shamanic healing methods. Many students strongly prefer in-person training and the synergistic power of a group. Because of Michael Harner’s knowledge of shamanic practices worldwide, in-person training contains rich background material related to cultural shamanic ways, which is not duplicated in the online offerings. The online series is not meant to replace the FSS in-person training, but is an additional option. (See question 5.)

The online healing series focuses on shamanic methods, with many opportunities to deepen and strengthen your personal practice, knowledge, and connections with your helping spirits. The program offers a viable stand-alone choice for students who want to learn the “way of the shaman,” where travel, work, family or other personal considerations make in-person attendance impractical. Online training also provides flexible options for those who have received in-person shamanic training, and who seek to review, deepen, and enhance their shamanic practice and knowledge.

4. What training is required of FSS faculty members?

FSS Faculty Members must complete the Three Year Program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing and the Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive. All faculty have had a minimum of three years shamanic healing experience; many have had active shamanic healing practices for more than a decade. In addition to these minimum requirements, faculty must have taken as a participant each workshop they teach at least three times. They are required to update their training periodically with a senior faculty member and via online training sessions with Susan Mokelke, Faculty Director, to ensure knowledge of the latest content. Faculty members experience the exercises from new online workshops in special faculty training sessions before teaching them.

5. Do the online workshops meet the prerequisites for in-person workshops?

Yes. Online workshops have been designed for the digital environment, but the methods taught are the same as those originated, researched, and developed by Michael Harner. (See questions 2, 3, and 9.) To see what prerequisites are required, visit the specific page for the workshop of interest. Both in-person and online prerequisites are listed.

NOTE for FSS Europe: FSS online workshops do NOT meet the prerequisites for the FSS Europe in-person workshops or the FSSE Three Year Program. Please visit shamanism.eu for details.

6. Do the in-person workshops meet the prerequisites for the online workshops?

Yes. Because the in-person workshops have been time-tested for decades, workshops may serve as prerequisites for workshops in the online series. To see what prerequisites are required, visit the specific page for the workshop of interest. Both in-person and online prerequisites are listed.

7. Can I take both the in-person healing series workshops and the online healing series workshops?

Yes, you are encouraged to do so. It is often said that “practice makes perfect” and “repetition is the key to mastery.” These online trainings do not duplicate the full and rich content or the group experience of the in-person weekend workshops, though the healing methods themselves are essentially the same.

8. IF I HAVE ALREADY TAKEN THE IN-PERSON WORKSHOPS OR THE TWO WEEK SHAMANIC HEALING INTENSIVE, DO I NEED TO TAKE THE ONLINE HEALING SERIES WORKSHOPS? WILL I LEARN ANYTHING NEW?

If you have taken in-person workshops or the Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive, the content will be familiar in terms of the healing methods. But each shamanic journey and experience is different and adds something new to your understanding, because you are different.  Many experienced shamanic healers who have complete the in-person training, find the online workshops offer a fresh look at shamanic practice, as well as an opportunity for inspiration and deepening. Innovative journeys, merging experiences, and distance healing exercises are included to enhance your shamanic knowledge.

If one is seeking new and different ordinary reality knowledge, the additional online training in shamanic healing methods may not satisfy this desire – it would be better to research shamanism and shamanic cultures. In terms of spiritual understanding, however, it is not possible to identify what will be new to a person, since shamanism is an experiential system of first-hand knowledge. Each person walks their own unique path. Once you know the methods and are committed to the shamanic way, your own helping spirits will provide opportunities for transformation and growth specifically tailored to you.

In shamanic work, it is practice in the journeys, exercises, and healing methods that provides occasions for expansion and depth. While one can repeat a method, as one grows in understanding the outcome may be different each time, with the spirits facilitating surprising leaps in comprehension when you are ready. "You can't step in the same river twice," is a truism of transformation. Working with a group, taking journeys, and sharing experiences can strengthen one's relationships with the spirits, leading to an increase in spiritual power, which is essential to the effective practice of shamanic healing.

9. If I take the online healing series, do I need to take the in-person workshops?

Not necessarily. Though online workshops can be used as prerequisites at this time, we recommend that you take at least some of the prerequisites in-person if you wish to take Harner Shamanic Counseling, or the residential Three Year Program of Advanced Initiations in Shamanism & Shamanic Healing or the Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive. This is because the intensity and power of these initiatory trainings, as well being in physical proximity require interpersonal skills. Group harmony is essential to the powerful support of the helping spirits. Prior in-person group experience is important for both the student and the FSS to determine whether the training will be a good fit. NOTE: See also question 5.

In addition, the in-person workshops are helpful for depth and mastery, and for practice if you intend to offer shamanic healing to clients in-person. (See also question 3, for more about what the in-person workshops offer.)

NOTE for FSS Europe: FSS online workshops do NOT meet the prerequisites for the FSS Europe in-person workshops or the FSSE Three Year Program. Please visit shamanism.eu for details.

10. Can I take workshops in the series with different FSS faculty members?

Yes, you may take any workshops in the series with any faculty member offering it

11. Does the FSS offer degrees or certification?

The Foundation does not offer degrees or certification as no one can certify a person as a shaman — it is the helping spirits who do that. See FAQ #13. The Foundation does, however, offer Certificates of Completion for a course of study, including one for the Shamanic Healing Online Training Program, to acknowledge the considerable time, effort, and resources invested in shamanic training.

12. Does the FSS offer continuing education credits?

Yes, the Foundation offers traditional Continuing Education Credits/Units (CEUs). Please visit the FSS Continuing Education Credits page for details on how you can apply to your organization/board for approval of FSS traditional credits for workshops you complete; it is not automatic. CEUs are also sometimes offered by educational organizations sponsoring FSS workshops. Continuing Education Credits offered will be listed by the specific workshop on the FSS workshops calendar pages.

13. If I complete the Shamanic Healing Online Training program, will I be a shaman?

Training by itself does not make a shaman, though training and the resulting knowledge and discipline can help you form strong relationships with your helping spirits. True shamanic power comes from the helping spirits. If you make strong connections with these spirits, then they may give you the power to help others, ease pain and suffering, find answers to difficult problems and resolve life-issues. If you perform miracles of healing, your community may then name you a shaman.

Overview of shamanic healing and what makes a shaman: Shamanic Healing: We Are Not Alone by Michael Harner.

The Foundation’s authentic and powerful training in shamanic methods provides the basis for an effective shamanic practice. To practice successfully, in addition to the methodology, one must build strong connections with the helping spirits. These connections develop in strength over time through disciplined training and experience. The Foundation does not grant diplomas or certify that a person is a shaman – only the effective practice, deriving from knowledge and power provided by the helping spirits, can make one a shaman. The FSS does, however, provide certificates of completion for selected programs, confirming a student’s participation in Foundation trainings. Traditional continuing education credits are also available.

Ultimately, we have found that success as a shamanic practitioner is dependent upon two things: 1. Developing spiritual power through working with the helping spirits over a period of time, and 2. Disciplined application of the methods taught in the workshops and trainings.

14. How do I get started with the Shamanic Healing Online Training program?

To provide rigorous training and preparation, including developing a level of competence in and comfort with online healing practice, each workshop in the series builds on the previous workshop. Workshops are designed to be taken in a certain order, with each workshop serving as a prerequisite for the next one. It is up to you to determine how much time you need for integration and practice between each workshop. You may finish the entire series and qualify for a Shamanic Healing Online Training Program certificate of completion, or stop when you have taken the workshops you feel are relevant to your shamanic practice.

15. Are there any tuition discounts offered for the online workshops?

Yes. Members of the Circle of the Foundation will receive $10, $15, or $20 off tuition for 7-hour, 10.5- hour, or 14-hour workshops, respectively. Discount will be applied by the instructor during registration. Not a member? JOIN US.

16. Can non-FSS training be used to meet prerequisites for the online program?

No. Only FSS training with authorized FSS faculty members can be used to meet prerequisites.

17. Can I take part of a workshop or receive credit for taking part of a workshop?

No. Each workshop is designed as an integrated whole and exercises build upon the previous ones. If a workshop is not completed, the entire workshop must be taken again to receive credit.