Shaman School- Level II

The Great Plains Healer School- Level II

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The Level II program is being planned for those seeking a more in-depth training in shamanism, toward developing one's own healing practice for the benefit of others and the living planet.*  Coursework dives deeply into the classic shamanic healing traditions of soul extraction, soul retrieval, vision quest, and psychopomp, as well as more contemporary approaches such as transmutation and healing with spiritual light (Ingerman).  Our intensive coursework will continue to deepen and expand the personal self-transformation skills learned in Level I, but the emphasis here is more on taking the work out into the world for the care and healing of others, including nature and our wounded earth.  Full course details below.

Like the Level-I program the advanced training involves a series of monthly weekend retreats (F-Su) at various retreat centers in northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan, plus a week-long wilderness vision quest program.  An optional volunteer experience on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota is encouraged (below).  (*This program is designed for persons enrolled in the full Level II series, but individuals with the prerequisite training/skills may apply to take individual courses.  Admission in these cases will depend on available openings.)

Prerequisites for the Level II program: solid shamanic journeying skills, and successful completion of the Level I program, or equivalent training elsewhere. 

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Course Content, Dates & Locations

Note: The Level-II program dates have not been set yet. 

Session 1.  Soul Retrieval, Part 1.  Soul "retrieval" is the classic shamanic healing ceremony for individuals who have experienced soul "loss" or disconnection from one's vital essence after trauma, illness, grief, loss, or other causes.  From a shamanic perspective all physical and emotional illness involves some component of soul loss, thus effective healing must address the return or "retrieval" of the individual's split-off soul part(s).  For a good overview of contemporary soul retrieval work see this short video on soul retrieval by Jeff's colleague Daniel Leonard.

Session 2. Soul Retrieval, Part 2.  Continues the soul retrieval segment begun in Part 1 above, including traditional soul "extraction" training for the healing of unwanted spiritual intrusions into one's physical and emotional body.

Session 3. Wilderness Vision Quest*  (March 3-10)  Location: Terlingua, TX. A vision quest is an ancient spiritual practice to clarify one's spiritual purpose and direction in life, a classic rite of passage common to indigenous societies worldwide. This week-long program includes group preparation and support for two days and nights of solo fasting and prayer in the desert, to connect deeply with nature, receive healing, and get clarity on some question, struggle, or decision in one's life. (Full description of Vision Quest program here.)  *This session/week is billed separately for tuition and travel fees.  Open to individuals outside the Advanced Training program.  An alternative vision quest will be offered in Sept. 8-15, 2018 on Manitou Island in Michigan.

Session 4. Death and Dying: Psychopomp  The classic shamanic practice of working as a psychopomp (Greek for "conductor or leader of souls") with the dying, and with the spirits of deceased persons.  The shamanic practitioner helps facilitate the crossing-over transition for dying or deceased persons in various ways: by learning the cosmology of where souls go after death, by teaching people how to journey to help them prepare for their own transition, by connecting with the spirits of the deceased that are struggling with transition, by creating healing ceremonies for grieving communities, and for land on which there has been much suffering or death.

Session 5. Medicine for the Earth, and Healing with Spiritual Light Bringing the 'quantum' back into shamanic work by connecting and working with the existing unlimited powers of the universe beyond traditional 'Newtonian' form-based modes of shamanic healing.  Based on the work of Sandra Ingerman, we will learn the ancient art of transmutation for the healing of self, others, and the wounded planet, transforming toxic substances and reversing environmental pollution. 

June '18: Volunteer Trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, SD (June 9-15, 2018).  Not required for graduation, but a rare opportunity to engage with the ancient and modern culture of the Oglala Lakota people, a resilient society with living ties to ancient earth-honoring spiritual traditions of the Plains Indians.  Separate tuition and travel fees for this program.  Full details are found on the Pine Ridge Reservation page.

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What you receive in this program:

  • Over 70 hours of high-quality, small-group training and personal mentoring during the four weekend retreats, plus a full week of guided outdoor experience/ceremony during the Vision Quest segment.
  • A safe, supportive, and diverse community of like-minded people, learning and relaxing together.
  • Classic shamanic healing practices, indoor and outdoor work in nature, interactive group and solo work, healing ritual and ceremonies, readings, and more.
  • Support in integrating shamanic healing into one's own healing practice/modality (e.g. counseling, energy work, yoga, nutrition, bodywork) and developing that in a more power-filled, resilient way
  • Continued support for deeper inner work, personal transformation, clarifying and releasing one's unique gifts, calling, and “medicine” for the world.
  • Lodging (and Sat. eve meals) in beautiful natural settings and comfortable retreat locations in northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan. 
  • Safe and experienced wilderness guidance for the vision quest component, and stunning natural settings.  The Texas vision quest program is based out of a simple retreat house in the Chihuahuan desert mountains; the Michigan vision quest at a group campsite nestled in the scenic bays, dunes and woodlands of Manitou Island.
  • A grounded, compassionate, and engaging teacher with 30+ years’ professional experience in health care, ministry, spiritual care and counseling. Jeff's shamanic teachers include Sandra Ingerman, Mikkal Smith, Harner Foundation faculty, teachers in the Amazon jungle and Andes mountains, Lakota spiritual elders from the Great Plains, Cree elders from Canada, and his own fire-talk clients and students.

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What you can do with this training:

  • Offer the classic shamanic healing practice of soul retrieval with individuals suffering soul loss from trauma, illness, grief, loss, depression, anxiety, addictions, and other life challenges.
  • Acquire and harness the power of a real vision for your life's purpose, in the vision quest program and other training sessions.
  • Provide critical support for the dying, and the spirits of the deceased, in fully crossing over to the spirit world with trust and joy without fear.
  • Utilize transmutation practices to transform toxic emotions, thoughts, and physical problems for the healing of self, others, and the wounded planet.  
  • Skillfully journey in the unseen realms for information, guidance, and the support of one's personal spirit guides to assist with any personal problem, life situation, or challenge in one's family, community, and world.
  • Design and lead healing ceremonies for any situation.
  • Deepen and strengthen fire-talk counseling skills for helping others.
  • Begin walking the path of a true healer on the Earth; stepping out of fear-based modes of living to inspire and vitalize others with one's own radiant light, love, and hope.

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Tuition and Other Costs: 

  • Early bird tuition TBA
  • Regular tuition TBA
  • Tuition includes all 4 weekend retreats, lodging, kitchen and misc. facility fees, and Saturday dinners.
  • Texas Vision Quest program tuition and travel (Mar. '18) not included.  See Vision Quest page for fees. 
  • Partial tuition scholarships available based on need and class size.  Contact Jeff for more information.
  • Misc: Each student will need a quality hand drum and rattles for ceremonies and shamanic journeying.
  • Meals: We share group dinners on Saturday evenings, and bring our own brown bag/reheatable fare for other meals to keep costs down.  Full kitchens available in each retreat facility with stove, fridge, microwave etc.

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A Mutual Commitment

The Level II Healer School is offered in the spirit of a traditional apprenticeship with a master teacher.  It involves a real commitment to the period of study, the support and community of one's fellow students, and a simpler and less distracted way of life.  Applicants agree to attend all four training sessions in the sequence, one vision quest program, complete modest homework (e.g. journaling, some reading) between training weekends, and avoid taking on additional responsibilities during the program that could interfere with their personal focus, finances, available time, or energy.

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Application Process

  • Email Jeff for an application form at greatplainsguide@gmail.com.  (This may be waived for individuals already enrolled in or who completed the Level 1 program).  Fill out form and return to Jeff by email.
  • Jeff will contact you to share more about the program (we can Skype via computer if necessary).
  • Upon acceptance, you will be invoiced for 50% of the full program tuition to hold your spot and all facility/room reservations.   The balance of your tuition will be due the week prior to the first class.  Vision Quest tuition/travel fees handled separately- see info on the Vision Quest page.
  • Suggested packing list for the retreat weekends, info on meals, facilities, travel, etc. all provided upon admission.

Contact Jeff now with any questions. 

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