Shaman School- Level I

The Great Plains Healer School- Level I

The Great Plains Healer School is an exciting new Level-I apprenticeship in shamanic healing led by veteran spiritual guide Jeff Nixa.  The program is structured around the Path of the Heart, a powerful methodology for personal growth , healing and life-navigation rooted in the nature-based spiritual practices of world shamanism.

This introductory program involves 3 weekend retreats (F-Su) spread over three months at various retreat centers in northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.  Students will spend each retreat reconnecting with nature, soul, and Spirit, and learning the core teachings and entry-level healing practices of ancient and modern shamanism. Jeff’s new book, The Lost Art of Heart Navigation: A Modern Shaman's Field Manual, is the primary textbook.  Graduates of this program qualify to apply for the advanced Level-II training (below).


“Thank you for a lovely retreat day, I am still growing inside from all that took place.  You are an amazing facilitator.”  -Carole, RN

“The shamanic journey Jeff led our group in did more for me in ten minutes than a year of therapy.”     -Tom. software developer


Course Content, Dates & Locations

Session 1. The Shaman’s Path, and Shamanic Journeying. (Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2017.  Arrival time is 4p-5p on Fridays.  All teaching sessions begin at 6p Fridays and finish at 5p Sundays.  ) Location: Ronora Lodge, Watervliet, MI.

  • Intro to world shamanism and "earth way" healing traditions, past and present.
  • The Heart Path: a hero/ heroine’s journey of initiation and individuation.
  • Discovering your personal medicine for the world.
  • The Navigational Guidance System of the heart.
  • The Core Questions heart inventory and mandala-art.
  • Questing for a vision: a mini vision quest of solo time and prayer in nature
  • Wounded Healers: how our greatest power comes from our greatest wounds.
  • Entering the Spirit World: shamanic journeying, drumming and rattling.
  • Finding One's Spirit Guide/Power Animal: Working with spirit helpers.
  • Troubleshooting common challenges in shamanic journeying.

Session 2. Fire Talks: The Art of Shamanic Counseling. (Nov. 3-5, 2017).  Location: Potato Creek State Park (family cabins), North Liberty, IN.

  • Our Inner Dragons: hesitation, stagnation, and the trance of conventional fear-based living.
  • The Unconscious Personality: the Shadow, and the domesticated ego-Mind.
  • Carl Jung, the great Western shaman: his teachings and personal story.
  • The difference between psychology and shamanism.
  • Inner resistance to healing. Meeting your own biggest barriers to change and transformation.
  • Mexican Toltec Shamanism: The Four Agreements (Ruiz), smoky mirror and recapitulation practices.
  • Learning how to facilitate a shamanic “fire talk” counseling session.
  • Shamanic journeying (continued).

Session 3. Nature-Based Healing, Power, and Vision Questing (Dec. 15-17, 2017)  Location: Sacred Waters Retreat Center, Mishawaka, IN.x

  • Power as Presence: Nature-based mindfulness practices.
  • Nature and the body as mindfulness guides.
  • Outdoor walking and moving meditations.
  • Connecting, journeying and merging with the 4 elements.
  • Dreams: our portal to the unconscious.  Jung-shamanic dream work methods
  • Protecting your vision and medicine.
  • Shamanic journeying (continued).
  • The hero’s return: becoming a spiritual elder in service to community and the living planet


What you receive in this program:

  • High value! 50+ hours of small-group training and personal mentoring unavailable in “hotel shamanism” programs, online classes, books or videos. Engaging courses packed with rare information, hands-on exercises, indoor and outdoor work, ceremonies, teachings and readings integrating both ancient and modern healing wisdom from around the world.
  • Beautiful natural settings and comfortable lodging in several locations including Ronora Retreat Center, the family cabins at Potato Creek State Park, and Sacred Waters Retreat Center.
  • Spiritual focus: total commitment to helping you discover your unique gifts, calling, and “medicine” for the world, with powerful tools for coming alive, simplifying and focusing your life, and conquering your barriers to living out your calling in the world.
  • A safe and supportive community of like-minded people learning, studying, relaxing together in quite nature-based settings. Meals are brown bag or shared potlucks to keep student costs down.
  • A grounded, compassionate, and engaging teacher.  Jeff Nixa has 30 years’ professional experience in health care, spiritual care and counseling. His teachers include Sandra Ingerman (photo), Mikkal Smith, Harner Foundation faculty, teachers in the Amazon jungle and Andes mountains, Lakota spiritual elders from the Great Plains, and Cree elders in Canada.


What you can do with this training:

  • Break old patterns and start living the life you really want to be living with a clear vision, confidence and power.
  • Use shamanic journeying skills for navigating key life decisions, problems, relationships, and opportunities.
  • Lead healing and other ceremonies of your own creation.
  • Offer basic shamanic fire talk counseling services to others.
  • Connect deeply with nature for grounding, healing, support, energy, and wisdom.
  • Open up and process your dreams and those of others using Jung-shamanic dreamwork practices.
  • Qualify for the Level-II advanced training program in Spring, 2018 (below).


Tuition and Other Costs:

  • Early bird tuition $750. if deposit received by Aug. 1, 2017. (250. per weekend session)
  • Regular tuition $825. ($275. per weekend session). 
  • Tuition includes all classes, lodging, kitchen and facility fees, and Saturday dinners.
  • Partial scholarships available based on need.  Contact Jeff for more information.
  • Misc: Each student will need a quality hand drum ($60. on up) and rattles for ceremonies and shamanic journeying. Purchasing info provided upon admission.
  • Meals: We share group dinners on Saturday evenings, and bring our own brown bag/reheatable breakfasts and lunches to keep costs down.  Full kitchens available in each retreat facility with stove, fridge, microwave etc.


A Mutual Commitment

The 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 three training sessions in the sequence, 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 focus, available time, or energy.


Application Process

  • Email Jeff for an application form at  Fill out the form and return to Jeff by email.
  • Jeff will contact you for a time to meet and share 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 is due the week prior to the first class. 
  • Suggested packing list, info on purchasing a hand drum, misc. info about program, travel, etc. provided upon admission.


“The evening you spoke with my class was the best thing that happened all semester.”  -Patricia Sayre PhD, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN

"I just wanted to say thank you for the shot of confidence you offered me and my writing during our conversation. I took your advice and journeyed several times and each time found relevant help from spirit, including a solution to one of the biggest puzzles I had in the book. Thanks again for being there when I needed the advice."  – Todd D, teacher and author, Texas



Level II Training: Coming in Spring, 2018.

The planned Level-II courses (see separate Level II page) will teach more advanced, classical shamanic healing practices for helping others and integrating these time-tested healing modalities into one's own life and healing practice/modality.  All weekend retreats will be held at the family cabins at Potato Creek State Park, North Liberty, IN.  Topics include:

  • Soul Retrieval (January 19-21, and February 16-18)
  • Wilderness Vision Quest (choose Terlingua TX, March 3-10, or northern Michigan in Sept.- dates TBA)
  • Death and Dying ("psychopomp" work) (April 13-15 or 20-22.  TBA soon.)
  • Medicine for the Earth, Healing with Spiritual Light, Sacred Breathwork (May 11-13)
  • Volunteer trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota (June '18.  Dates pending.)