My lineage, teachers and influences
My healing and teaching work draws on my 30+ years of shamanic study and practice with a variety of teachers from several cultures. My teachers include:
- Since 2014: José and Lena Stevens of The Power Path. Their background is grounded in Huichol (Mexico) and Shipibo (South America) practice as well as cross-cultural indigenous practice, esoteric study, psychology and other energy healing practices. I've also gone through their Shamanic Practitioners' Training.
- Since 2015: To date, nine trips to Peru, to study with a family with Shipibo healers in the Amazon jungle. The core of my study in Peru has been a series of plant dietas - a seven-day process of fasting from food and water for most of the day, and ingesting a single plant with properties that build power, strength and other abilities. From this stream of study I'll bring you the potent tradition of singing healing prayers into the body (icaros), working with plant teachers, and practices such as using rattles, bones and feathers as tools for prayer and healing.
- Also in Peru, I've studied several times with Don Fernando Silva in Cusco. He is a respected Hampicamayoc (plant master) with over 30 years of experience specializing in Peruvian plant medicine and healing ceremonies. As an Altamasayok (a high order of mystic) he has a special direct connection with the Apus (mountain spirits) of the beloved Andean mountains and its sacred places. Don Fernando is a representative of traditional Peruvian medicine and is regularly requested for public speaking events for the Ministerio de Cultura Cusco. He has taught me a great deal about working with the mountains and with the web of energy in the land, and I've also learned from him about conducting traditional Peruvian offrendas - a beautiful way to make prayers for healing and power.
- My two-year Celtic shamanism training program with Tom Cowan, as well as many other workshops and conversations with him over 15 years augmented by 25 years of reading and practice. My teaching often includes working deeply with Celtic stories and Celtic healing techniques such as working with the Old Bone Mother/Cailleach (the spirit of autumn-winter and dark transformations) and Brigid (the Goddess of Springtime, healing and poetry), working with the Faery realm and the three cauldrons of the body (energy work), Celtic wisdom sayings and poetry, Gaelic prayers and healing songs. I try to ground as much of myself as I can in my own ethnic indigenous tradition.
- I have also studied with several teachers from the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, including Soul Retrieval with Sandra Ingerman and working with the Reindeer Spirit with Ailo Gaup (Sami/Norwegian) and am well-schooled in the shamanic journey, which I use frequently in teaching and other work.
- I've also worked with Martín Prechtel (Mayan) and Malidoma Somè (Dagara/African).
- My seminary training (I have an M.A. in Theology and the Arts from United Seminary of The Twin Cities). For me, this rigorous academic training has been an excellent antidote to being overtaken by narcissistic, ungrounded spiritual woo-woo. This stream brings rational, academic, philosophical, theological and historical substance to my teaching.
- My many years as writer (printed book, PDF book, Blog) and playwright taught me to be boldly imaginative, to take risks, and to trust in uncertainty, process, doubt and difficulty, to revel in imagination as a sacred and blessing force and to get past the negative voices and "just do the work."
- 20 years conducting monthly drumming circles, and each one has been a training ground for me with whatever skills my helping spirits are cajoling me to learn at the time.
- I am not a therapist, a medical doctor or an herbalist. I do not call myself a shaman (read more on this).