About Us

Find Your Power, Find Your Joy

"I loved our fire talk yesterday. You are a wonderful guide and I feel more focused on my goals, like I am wearing armor to guard from negative experiences. I am definitely recommending you to my friends."

-Nick, U.S. Army, Humvee scout/tracker

"The shamanic journey that Jeff led our group in did more for me in ten minutes than a year of therapy."

-Tom. software developer


There is one question more important than any other in life.  Beyond all the daily questions and challenges of living, working, raising a family, caring for children and/or aging parents.  Beyond the questions of how to best serve your community, participate in a faith community, and save a little money for retirement.

The most important question is,

What kind of life does your heart really long to be living?

Few of us are given the permission to really consider this question, let alone be shown the tools and support necessary for finding the answer, or  doing something about it.   We are not taught how to awaken our authentic core self, our soul, and bring that self "out of the closet" to walk our own sacred path, navigate by our own heart, and bring our own medicine into the world.

This is a problem.  In fact, it is the problem.  Because our number one duty in life is not just to work hard, raise kids, care for others, attend religious services, pay taxes, go on vacations, and retire as financially secure as we can be. Our number one duty in life is to come fully alive as the unique soul-person our Creator made each of us to be.

This is a spiritual issue.  And finding your own answer to this question involves a great adventure, a journey of soul that no one else can make for you.  Good books, seminars, religious and psychological counseling, yoga, energy work, even prayer, meditation, and worship alone cannot answer this question.  Because you have to do something.  You have to make a journey downwards, deeply inside, and explore your own soul.  And going deep is the last thing our culture and our egoic self-- our consciously "packaged self"-- wants to do.  Because our culture and our egoic self know nothing about the sacred realm within us, and all around us.

I know about this journey.  And I know that like any real adventure into unfamiliar places a traveler on this journey needs a good guide and outfitter--a spiritual outfitter--to succeed.  You will find both through our programs at Great Plains Guide Company, including the map, compass, and time-tested practices of traditional healers around the world for safely navigating the adventure of your life.

My individual fire talk counseling sessions, group seminars, and outdoor retreats all teach in various ways the Path of the Heart, a unique approach to personal healing and transformation rooted in the earth-honoring spiritual practices of our ancestors. You will learn how to connect directly with your own soul, seek a vision for your life's purpose, conquer the fears and hesitations that have kept you from living that purpose, and come alive with new IMG_0100 2power and joy to be of real service in the world.

As a veteran spiritual guide I bring thirty-plus years' experience to this work as a hospital chaplain, pastoral counselor, author, and teacher in university and health care settings.  After a life-changing experience during a 2009 wilderness vision quest, I left a successful twenty-year hospital career to begin a seven-year apprenticeship with two powerful shamanic healers. I then created Great Plains Guide Company, a unique array of self-empowerment programs for awakening the soul and living a more purposeful, forward-directed life.


"I return back to my family, friends, work colleagues, and the world as a different, more focused and authentic person than when I came to you. I thank you from the depth of my soul for giving me the opportunity to work with you and with the medicine created through the vision quest week you have created. All the very best."

- Giles Newman, British Columbia (vision quest program)


Ancient Power Tools, Retrieved

At Great Plains you will learn the forgotten practices of indigenous healers worldwide, including:


  • How to seek a vision for your life's purpose
  • How to navigate major life decisions and transitions such as education, career, home, relationships, illness, loss, and new opportunity
  • How to find your animal/spirit guide and learn from the spirits of all created things
  • How to extract self-limiting voices of fear and hesitation that keep you stuck
  • How to break the grip of empty busyness, anxiety, and spiritual stagnation in your life
  • How retrieve lost parts of your vital energy, essence, creativity and power
  • How to call down the song for your life and become an artist of the soul, creating the life your heart really longs to be living.



Programs and New Book

  • Fire talk counseling sessions
  • Travel and Wilderness programs
  • Traditional soul retrieval ceremony for individuals
  • Jeff's Book: The Lost Art of Heart Navigation (image)



x"The evening you spoke with my class was the best thing that happened all semester. One of my students said when they were driving back to campus they all felt different, more expansive, somehow." -Patricia Sayre PhD, Saint Mary’s College

"Jeff, your talk to my Spirituality of Caring class was awesome! It had a wonderful impact on the students. You are doing very important work, and it is inspiring to see how your deep listening to life has led to this wonderful fruit." -Dominic Vachon, PhD, University of Notre Dame


What You Will Learn

I teach what I know: how to reconnect with your spiritual core, discover your passion, and bring that alive in the world using your heart as a reliable compass. I have re-created my own life four times in twenty-five years and now enjoy great peace, joy, and a deep purpose for living. I make my living now using what I learned and doing what I love: helping people find their own way, safely and confidently, through the fog of difficult, confusing, or painful times to really come alive with new vision and power for living.

Since 2009 I have apprenticed with several of the most respected shamanic healers in the West including C. Michael Smith, Sandra Ingerman, and teachers from the Harner Foundation for Shamanic Studies. The core teachings and practices I learned through all my work and travel is found in my book, The Lost Art of Heart Navigation: A Modern Shaman's Field Manual.

Our number one responsibility in life is to come fully alive, as the unique soul-person our Creator made us to be. Some people know what their heart longs for but they feel stuck, powerless or unworthy to do anything about it. Other people have no idea what they want, what their "heart" is, or what it really feels. Either situation requires a journey downward, into the soul, to discover the destiny of your life and to deal with the obstacles in the way of living that life. You learn to become a true shapeshifter, able to navigate with vision and real power in an anxious world, while living a simpler, more authentic, and grounded life in balance with nature and our wounded earth.

You can begin your own journey to a more happy and rewarding life today. Learn about my programs and get answers to your questions by clicking around this website: Why shamanism today? How does it relate to your own faith and religion, and that of Native American cultures? What is a vision quest? What is the difference between a shamanic fire talk and psychological counseling? Answers to all this and more, on the FAQs page.

Thank you for visiting. See you soon.

-Jeff Nixa, JD, MDiv, Founder, Great Plains Guide Co.


Great Plains Shamanic Programs

e-mail: GreatPlainsGuide@gmail.com
blog: Urban-Shamanism.org