Fire Talks- old version

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. The fire talk process is outlined in Jeff’s 2017 book, The Lost Art of Heart Navigation.  

The methodology of a fire talk comes from the ancient curanderismo traditions of the Americas. Picture the conversations between the old healer don Juan and his young apprentice Carlos Casteneda, sitting on the veranda or out in a desert canyon around a fire, engaged in platicas del corazon, discussions of the heart. Like these classic encounters we sit together and listen for what is felt but not seen in your life, sensing the quiet but insistent invitations of your heart to uncover your true nature, your authentic self, your heart. We discover the kind of life– the way of being– that your heart really longs to be living.  We also get clear on the barriers you perceive to actually living that life, provide tools to conquer those barriers, and help you begin to break free of old patterns so you can move forward in life-giving new directions with real vision, confidence, and power.  

Needless to say, this is a completely different approach to helping people than conventional counseling and psychotherapy.  Because the goal is not merely to gain insight about one’s past trauma/current situation, get back to “not being upset,” and learn “coping skills.”  The goal is to awaken your inner jaguar, the instinctual wildness, power, and unique capabilities that lie deep in your soul.  And to start living the vibrant life the Creator intended for you whether the people around you are cooperating or not.

In the fire talk process you will learn way more and go much deeper than personal problem-management.  You will learn to become a shaman and artist of your life, to become a real light in the world who brings healing, refuge, and joy to others by the simple joy of your own living.  “The influence of a vital person vitalizes others.”  (Joseph Campbell)

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

  • Individual sessions (approx. 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 can include any of the ordinary human struggles like 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.  With ancient, time-tested spiritual practices Jeff helps individuals access the vision and power of their own hearts, as well as the intelligence available through the web of life that surrounds all of us in nature.  

Fire talks do not involve a religious program, holy book, self-help guru, or any other form of external authority or organization the student needs to “believe in” or follow.  Rather, a fire talk involves a gentle process for exploring the heart, discovering one’s natural self, and using that information as a safe and reliable guide to find one’s calling and bring this authentic self “out of the closet” and more fully alive in the world.  Practices can include core questions, shamanic journeying, visioning exercises, process journaling, dream work, acquiring a power animal or spirit guide, soul retrieval ceremony, nature-based mindfulness practices, vision questing, and more.  It’s a very organic, empowering experience that honors the deep aliveness in each person and supports the self-healing capacity in every soul.  

Guests traveling from outside the area can choose to stay overnight in our new guest cabin the night before and/or after the sessions.

You can use e-mail to schedule a fire talk or ask a question.  More details on each of the 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.


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 oil lamp, and share a short ceremony to acknowledge the Creator and call in the support of your ancestors.  Jeff provides a brief overview of the heart path and the earth-honoring wisdom 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 the barriers that stand in the way of that vision, and planning the first steps to enact the vision.  The relaxed time frame of the fire talk session (about 2 hours) allows for much deeper exploration of your story than the conventional 50-minute therapy session.

The focus of the session will depend on one’s particular situation and goals. Some people are pretty clear on what their heart longs for but feel stuck, powerless or unworthy to do anything about it. Other people have no idea what their heart is or really wants and so we begin there.  Regardless of your situation, you will leave the fire talk session(s) with a clearer understanding of your soul, 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.  And then coming alive! 

How many sessions?  You decide.  Some people find one session is enough to deeply clarify things and move forward.  Others return for several 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 needed to make lasting changes in their lives, relationships, and work.  In any case, you will decide whether to return, and how often.     

Guests traveling from outside the area can choose to stay overnight in our new guest cabin the night before and/or after the sessions.

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


  • 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% fee for using a card.)

Contact Jeff to set up your initial fire talk today!


“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. 


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.)


“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


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 client might spend a full day here during which we hold  three 2-hour fire talks 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


4.  Multi-Day Retreats

This ideal option involves two or three full days of fire talk sessions for a deep, retreat-like experience.  A retreat does not mean a group class or “workshop” here.  It means a solo, intentional withdrawal from your busy life in order to settle down, quiet the endless chatter in the mind, and explore the full contours and deep guidance of your heart through a series of fire talk sessions with Jeff. 

Clients typically stay in our new guest cabin, though nearby hotels are an option as well.  Ample open time is allowed during the retreat for reading, journaling, naps, sitting by our creek, enjoying nature, and walking our safe and quiet country roads.  (Our friendly 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 fire talk session, plus the overnight lodging fee(s) for our guest cabin.  The number of fire talk sessions we hold will depend on your available time, goals, and budget.  We negotiate all this together after you arrive.  Jeff will also send you a copy of his book prior to your visit, which is covered by the deposit (below).  

Deposit:  Upon confirming your travel dates Jeff will email you an invoice for the deposit.  The deposit is typically the total cabin fee for your stay ($65./night) plus $19. for a copy of his book, and will reserve the date(s) and cabin exclusively for you. The deposit is nonrefundable.        


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)



Great Plains Shamanic Programs