Fire Talks

What is a Fire Talk?

A fire talk is a powerful, heart-centered approach to counseling rooted in the nature-based healing wisdom of indigenous cultures worldwide.  Like the ancient curanderismo traditions of the Americas, fire talks involve deep and open exchanges that support you in discovering your true self and finding your way forward in life.  They are true platicas del corazon (discussions of the heart) in the spirit of the dialogues between don Juan and his young apprentice Carlos Casteneda, sitting on the veranda or out in a desert canyon around a fire.  Together we listen to what is felt but not seen, sensing the quiet but insistent invitations of your heart, identifying the hesitations and barriers to those invitations, and helping you move forward in life-giving new directions with vision, confidence, and power.  The fire talk process is outlined in detail in Jeff’s 2017 book, The Lost Art of Heart Navigation.

Jeff offers four fire talk options (details on each below):

  • Individual sessions (~ 2 hrs. each)
  • Full-day intensive (2-3 fire talk sessions)
  • Multi-day Retreats (lodging in our guest cabin!)
  • Long-distance sessions via teleconference.

The issues that people bring to fire talks include all the ordinary human struggles such as stress, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, career transitions, and spiritual issues like feeling stagnant, lost, or adrift in life.  But the fire talk approach is extraordinary, and much more soulful, than conventional psychological counseling or self-help approaches.  Using ancient, time-tested spiritual practices Jeff helps individuals access both the vision and power of their hearts, and the quiet intelligence and guidance available in the web of life surrounding all of us in nature.  

Fire talks do not involve a religious program, philosophy, self-help guru, or other form of external authority the student needs to “believe in” or follow.  They involve a gentle process for exploring the heart within, discovering one’s natural self and true calling, and bringing that self alive in the world.  Practices can include core questions, shamanic journeying, visioning exercises, process journaling, dream work, acquiring a power animal or spirit guide, classic soul retrieval ceremony, nature-based mindfulness practices, and more.  Sessions are arranged with the client, and fees are set on a sliding-scale basis to help more individuals benefit from the work (listed below).

You can use e-mail to schedule a fire talk or ask a questions.  More details for each of the four various fire talk options are listed below, including fees.

 

“This week (of fire talk sessions) has been one of the most life-changing things I’ve ever experienced.”  – Tiffany, mother of twins, Florida

“One can teach the process, but be assured that no one can ask just the right questions at the right time (did someone say lawyer?), guide the discussion in such a gentle, insightful way, and reflect such intuitive vision as you.” Victoria, financial manager, Michigan.

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1.  In-Person Fire Talk Sessions

Fire talks take place at Jeff’s creekside cabin at his home outside of Cassopolis, MI.  We start with several minutes of mindful silence, light the flame of an earthenware lamp, and share a short ceremony to call in the support and help of the Creator and your ancestors for help and support.  Jeff provides a brief overview of the earth-honoring spiritual traditions, and we begin.

It’s a gentle yet focused process of getting quickly to the heart of the situation you are facing, helping you clarify a vision for what is most deeply needed in your life, identifying barriers that stand in the way of that vision, and planning the beginning steps to enact the vision.  The relaxed time frame (about 2 hours) allows deep exploration of your situation.

The focus of each session will depend entirely on one’s situation. Some people know what their heart longs for but feel stuck, powerless or unworthy to do anything about it. Other people have no idea what they want or what their “heart” is and so we begin there.  Regardless of your situation, you will leave the session(s) with a clearer understanding of your heart, tools for conquering old patterns that keep you stuck, and specific action steps for moving forward and protecting your new path in your daily life. For coming alive.  

How many sessions?  You decide.  Some people find one session is enough to deeply clarify things and move forward.  Others return for additional sessions to work through some urgent struggle or a more persistent challenge.  Still others schedule regular, ongoing sessions (e.g. monthly) because the work is so helpful and provides them the support and accountability for making important long-term changes in their lives, relationships, and work.  (Jeff will be offering specific Fire Talk retreat “packages” organized around a theme, that will allow people to really zero in on a particular life challenge or aspiration.  Examples include finding one’s true vocation; moving beyond a broken relationship, and finding peace with nature-based mindfulness practices.  Details TBA this fall!)

For more on fire talks and Jeff’s practice, see FAQs.

Fees:

  • First session (2 hrs) is a sliding-scale fee from $85.-$125.  Meaning, you decide what you can afford to pay within this given range.  This sliding-scale allows more people to take advantage of the fire talk experience.  
  • Additional sessions (1.5 hrs) tend to be more focused and a little shorter.  The sliding-scale fee is $75.-105.
  • Visitors can pay with cash, check, or credit card.  (Additional 3% processing fee for using a card.)

Contact Jeff to set up your initial fire talk today!

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“I am impressed that our sessions got right to the heart of the deep issues, and are very Spirit- led.  Much more efficient (and much more fun) than traditional counseling!”   -Katrina EA, financial advisor

Talking with Jeff really helps me get through the problems I am dealing with, whether they are emotional or physical, obvious or deeply hidden inside myself.  I feel very comfortable there, and walk away feeling much more calm and collected than I did walking in.”  -Lisa, high school senior. 

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2.  Fire Talks via Teleconference

Fire talk sessions can be conducted long-distance via online teleconference (Zoom) when travel to Jeff’s home in southwest Michigan is not practical.  Jeff will email you an invoice to pay for the session in advance, and as soon as that is paid he will send you a link for the session, and a helpful  self-preparation guide to help you get the most out of the time together.  

  • Fees: First session (2 hrs): a sliding-scale $90.-$130.
  • Additional sessions (1.5 hrs): a sliding-scale fee $80.-$110.
  • Visitors can pay with cash, check, or credit card.  (Additional 3% processing fee for a card.)

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“I reached out to schedule a video conference with Jeff after reading his book.  From the moment we connected, I felt the space to be safe, secure, and powerful. Jeff’s deep listening, reflection, grounded humanity, and non-judgmental compassion created a sense of space that allowed a deep wisdom to emerge. I left feeling much more clear, lighter, and filled with gratitude.”  — Michael, Los Angeles, CA

“Thank you to Jeff  for his telephone fire talk that held me in a sacred space and allowed to me see that spirit had blessed me with a shamanic “dismemberment” of my life so I could be put back to together, in a stronger more loving way… I discovered a huge opening in my life of freedom to grow my stronger and with more sacred energy. What a gift to see this year differently, with deeper eyes and a grateful heart. Thank you so much Jeff.'”  – Annie, New Lenox, IL

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3.  Full-Day Intensive

You can schedule several fire talk sessions over the course of a day to allow more time and depth for the work together.  For example, a full day with three fire talks held between 10a-12n, 2p-4p, and 7-9p.  The schedule is flexible, and always negotiated with the individual to allow a good balance between focused work and open time to relax, process the sessions, and do any reading or homework assignments. 

Like all of the fire talk options our work together is customized to your particular goals, needs, and the vision for your life moving forward.  

Fees: A flat fee of $100./per session is charged during these multiple-session days.  Guests can pay with cash, check, or credit card.  (Additional 3% processing fee for a card.)  Guests traveling from outside the area (or even nearby) can choose to stay overnight in our new guest cabin the night before and/or after the sessions.

Contact Jeff to inquire today.

“I saw myself from a new perspective with this process.  Sitting by the fire, Jeff had me choose objects from a bowl that represented aspects of my journey and struggle, and place those on a table.  This was a refreshing way to look at my life in an honest, non-judgmental way and find a practical solution by the end of the session.”  -Deanna, spiritual director

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4.  Multi-Day Retreats 

This option involves two or more full days of fire talk sessions for a deep, retreat-like experience.  Guests are able to fully withdraw from the distractions of daily life and settle down, get some rest, and explore the full contours and deep guidance of their hearts.  Clients can stay in our new guest cabin, or at a nearby hotel or Airbnb.  Ample open time is allowed during the retreat for reading, journaling, naps, sitting by our creek, and walking along our quiet country roads.  Our affectionate herding dog Indie is always looking for a new companion to go on walks with, or throw her ball! 

Fees:  A flat fee of $100./per session is charged for the fire talks held during your retreat.  Additional charge for overnight lodging in our new guest cabin

Deposit:  Upon confirming your travel dates, Jeff will email you an invoice for an advance deposit of 30% to reserve your dates (and our guest house if applicable) exclusively for you. This deposit in nonrefundable, as Jeff is completely blocking his schedule from other clients and family activities on those days until you arrive.    

 

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I was fortunate to spend six sessions over two days with Jeff.  His experience in spiritual guidance, fused with his expertise in the ancient, beautiful structures of shamanic practice, offered me new ways, new tools, to see more clearly and then integrate experiences that have created life-long stumbling blocks.  From start to finish, my whole experience — made wonderfully easier by having use of his guest house next door — felt not just worthwhile, but a deep blessing and a gift.  -Ann, attorney, Portland, OR

“I spent a three-day weekend at Jeff’s Hermitage cabin and had a wonderful time relaxing and reflecting between our fire talk sessions.  It was truly refreshing to get away from my regular life to really be with myself and explore my heart uninterrupted.  The icing on the cake was conversation with Jeff’s kind wife Regina, and playing with his energetic dog Indie!”  -Anders, U of Michigan senior, Ann Arbor, MI

“Jeff, thanks so much for your time this evening. My husband and I had a great talk tonight; I asked him a lot of the same questions that you asked me.  His answers were very insightful.  I felt like a shaman 🙂  Much appreciation for your work!  I look forward to working with you again!  P.s.- I am going to give my mom your card.”  -Cathy (physical therapist)

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Great Plains Shamanic Programs
e-mail: GreatPlainsGuide@gmail.com
blog: Urban-Shamanism.org