Fire Talks

What is a Fire Talk?

A fire talk is a shamanic counseling session.  Rooted in the ancient curanderismo traditions of the Americas, these platicas del corazon (discussions of the heart) are deep, open exchanges that support you in discovering your true self and finding your way forward in life.  The experience is like having a conversation with a wise old friend, in the spirit as the dialogues between don Juan and his young apprentice Carlos Casteneda, sitting on the veranda or out in a desert canyon around a fire.  We listen to what is felt but not seen, sensing the quiet but insistent invitations of your heart, helping you move forward in life-giving new directions with confidence and power.

Jeff offers 5 fire talk options (details of each below)

  • Individual fire talk sessions (1.5-2 hrs.)
  • Long-distance (phone or Skype) fire talks
  • Day-long intensives (with 2 or 3 sessions)
  • Multi-day/overnight intensives (sessions each day)
  • Couples' fire talk sessions

The issues that people bring to fire talks include all the normal human struggles, including: major life decisions, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, job transitions, grief and loss, and spiritual struggles about life purpose, feeling stagnant, lost, or uncertain.  But the shamanic approach to these struggles is unique, ancient, and deeply soulful, drawing on the power of the heart, the Creator, and our dynamic spiritual connection with all living things.  Fire talk sessions blend traditional shamanic practices with modern counseling wisdom and may include shamanic journeying, visioning exercises, intensive journaling, dream work, soul retrieval ceremony, and more.  Fees are set on a sliding-scale basis to help more individuals benefit from the work.

Here's a short video describing the fire talk lineage, and Jeff's process:


You can use e-mail to schedule a fire talk or ask a question.  Fees and details listed in each section below.

"I had been at a crossroads in my life and was feeling very lost, without focus.  Jeff was able to create a sacred space over the phone and helped me reach an understanding of my life, my choices, and my first steps in moving forward. I gained so much clarity in that session I decided to study with Jeff.  He held great kindness, compassion and patience.  Blessings."  -Annie, Illinois

"Thanks, Jeff!  When our son Chris (17) shared insights from his fire-talk, Paul and I were both stunned and amazed. We tried not to bust out in tears. It was nothing short of miraculous. Chris was given an incredible gift today. THANK YOU for sharing your gifts with our son. We look forward to future sessions!"  -Barbara, Indiana

"One can teach the process, but be assured that no one I know can ask just the right questions at just 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.


Individual Fire Talk Session

Fire talks take place in Jeff's backyard Hermitage in South Bend.  We start with a warm welcome, several minutes of mindful silence, then lighting the flame of an earthenware lamp for a sage blessing and prayer.  Jeff provides a brief overview of the earth-honoring spiritual traditions, and then we begin.

It's a gentle yet purposeful 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, and naming the specific needs or barriers that stand in the way of following that vision.  The relaxed time frame (1.5 to 2 hours) allows deep exploration of those needs.  You will leave with a clearer vision for your life, more confidence in a forward-leading path, and specific action steps toward living out (and protecting!) this new path in your daily life.

After the first fire talk session you decide if, and when, to return for an additional session(s).  Some people find that one session is enough to deeply clarify things, and move forward.  Others return for several visits to really work through a persistent challenge.  Still others schedule ongoing sessions because they enjoy the process so much, they want the support and accountability, and because it works.

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


  • First session (2 hrs): a sliding-scale fee from $80.-115 (meaning, you decide what you can afford to pay, within this given range).  This allows more people to have the fire talk experience.  
  • Additional sessions (1.5 hrs): a sliding-scale fee from $60.-90.

Contact Jeff to set up your initial fire talk.


“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're emotional or physical, obvious or deeply hidden inside myself. Every fire talk touches my heart and reveals something to me about myself I really needed to know, something that was hidden from my perception. I feel very comfortable there, and walk away feeling much more calm and collected than I did walking in."  -Lisa, high school senior. 


Long-Distance (phone or Skype) Fire Talks

Fire talk sessions can be conducted long-distance via Skype/Zoom or phone when distance or travel costs are prohibitive. Special provisions are made ahead of time to assure the sacredness of the space at both ends of the line (securing a quiet room, creating a small altar, and arranging with family and pets for no interruptions).s

  • Fees: First session (2 hrs): a sliding-scale $85.-115
  • Additional sessions (1.5 hrs): a sliding-scale fee $65.-95.


"I reached out to schedule a video conference with Jeff after reading his book. Doing healing work virtually can be a bit dicey, but 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

(Facebook post)  "Thank you to Jeff Nixa 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... that  all the pieces of my life no longer serving me had left, creating a huge opening of freedom to grow my life 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,  I can't wait to do more work with you.'"  - Annie, New Lenox, IL

“Although our fire talk session occurred over the phone, Jeff was able to create and hold sacred space that allowed for a heartfelt exploration.  Jeff was patient and supportive throughout our session.  I would recommend a telephonic fire-talk session for those unable to meet in person.”  – Todd, data analyst, Detroit, MI


Couples' Fire Talk

A 2-hour Fire Talk session for couples.  This is not "couple's therapy" or the standard he-said/she-said counseling session.   Rather, each person takes a turn acting as shaman for their partner, IMG_0130helping the other to identify his or her own life vision and barriers to moving forward.   The emphasis is on supporting each of your individual souls, as journeyers on unique paths to wholeness, yet doing so as best friends and vital partners.  Its like two climbers scaling a difficult mountain together, roped together yet with lots of slack between each person to allow them the freedom to choose the course he/she knows is best.  Independent adventurers, working closely as a team.

When you stop focusing on trying to change your "climbing partner" and pay closer attention to your own needs, gifts, and dreams,   great pressure is taken off your partner to meet your own physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial needs.  The partnership is given a rest, allowed to reboot naturally, and you can start relating together like new people (new souls) with fresh vision and energy.  Intractable problems begin to melt, and shapeshift, and a surprising, new way through these issues often opens up with little conscious effort.

Fees: first session (2 hours) sliding scale fee $85.-115.  Subsequent sessions (1.5 hours) sliding scale $65-95.  Contact to discuss, or schedule your first Couples session today.


"We originally sought you out to go to a deeper spiritual level in our marriage.  Thank you so much for introducing us to heart centered counseling.  Even though we have had only three sessions, the progress has been incredible."   -Keith and Katrina (financial and tax advisors)

"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)


Full Day Intensive

This series of two or three 90-minute fire talks over the course of a full day ( in the morning, afternoon, and evening) allows more time and depth to find your heart's vision as it arises from our work together.   Working out of Jeff's backyard Hermitage, we will alternate between the joint sessions and solo time for you.  Shamanic approaches may include guided shamanic journeys, meeting one's spirit guide or power animal, core journaling exercises, and traditional shamanic ceremonies like soul retrieval.

The day is designed to support your particular needs, your vision and life challenges.  A simple meal, snacks, bathroom and basic amenities are available right next door at Jeff's family home.

Fees: (for three sessions, full-day exclusive use of Hermitage, house privileges) is a sliding scale from $175.-225.  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 place them on a table.  This was a refreshing way to look at my life in an honest, non-judgmental way: to acknowledge the issues and find a practical solution by the end of the session."  -Deanna W., spiritual directorx


Multi-Day Intensive/Overnight Sessions

This multi-day experience allows a cozy, safe, retreat-like experience with time to fully withdraw from the nonstop activity of life, deeply explore the guidance of your heart, and address the barriers you face.  Dates are scheduled to meet your particular needs.  You IMGP1413may stay in the Hermitage, at a local hotel, or commute home if you live in the area.  You can also store and prepare your own food in our home/kitchen, where a private downstairs bath is available 24/7 during your stay.  Ample open time is allowed for walks or biking along the river, naps, journaling, reading and contemplation in this beautiful backyard retreat space and surrounding neighborhood.

Fees: As above, Jeff offers a sliding fee scale based on number of days.  A recent  example involved a 5-day stay by a client from California, with 2-3 fire talk sessions per day and escorted side trips to local parks and nature walks, for $895.-955. including the overnight use of the Hermitage.  (Normal cost of the 10-12 individual fire talk sessions would total avg. $1100.).  Upon booking your travel dates, Jeff will email you an invoice for an advance deposit (30% of total estimated fee) to reserve the Hermitage exclusively for you and block his schedule from other clients.


"Thank you for being on my journey with me this week.  I truly felt your dedication, warmth and compassion during all of our sessions which encouraged me to be authentic.  I came to Indiana without any expectations and am leaving with tools, more awareness, and an openness to my own heart I could not have received on my own.  Thank you, your Hermitage, and your spirit helpers.  Your work is very important and I am honored to have been a part of it."   -Krista, clothing designer, Portland Oregon

"I spent a 3-day weekend at Jeff's backyard Hermitage and had a wonderful time relaxing and reflecting between our fire talk sessions.  It was truly refreshing to spend a good chunk of time away from my regular life to really be with myself, away from the usual distractions, allowing me to 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 J., University of Michigan (senior), Ann Arbor MI



Great Plains Shamanic Programs