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I come from a rich heritage of Spanish and Basque ancestors. In fact my last name, Larramendi, means meadow-mountain in Basque.
Since my early childhood I had a deep connection to nature. I sought the natural world wherever I could find it when I was in need of comfort or calming. I didn’t actually recognize this as a spiritual practice until I went on my first Vision Quest in 1989. That Quest transformed me forever, for it was the first time I began to understand the relationship of spirituality and the Earth, and that this ancient understanding was rooted in something called shamanism.
I began my shamanic studies immediately afterward, first through classes with The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and then through numerous teachers from different shamanic disciplines. But these teachings primarily gave me tools to navigate through a deep personal initiation that began to unfold in my life. I had many unresolved wounds and deep emotional scars which profoundly affected how I walked my life. These wounds and scars were a shadow that developed into a crisis in my life of dramatic proportions which transformed me forever.
I would be lying if I said that this personal annihilation wasn’t of my own making…like falling off a cliff of my personal blind spot. Yet the Spirits knew that the only way I would face my fears was to be “cooked” in them…to walk through the fire till I could make ‘Big Medicine’ of the inner shadows that stalked me.
So the initiation began, and my teacher was the Wilderness.
Shamans have a distinctive relationship with the wilderness, their natures are not altogether human, but, rather, wild. They live in a unique balance with things that are natural and draw their wisdom from the rhythms and cycles of life and nature…they are the wilderness. They know that the Earth flows through their veins like streams down a mountain and that all teachings of balance, love, compassion and wisdom are held in the bones of the Earth.
I did not understand that this was the nature of what I was becoming, I was just frightened, lonely, severely depressed and in deep pain…yet I discovered in the whispering of the trees and the miraculous visits of animals and Spirits during my desperate times, that there was a profound love and tenderness that this beautiful Grandmother Earth would yield. It is in these experiences that I transformed and grew the roots for my teaching and healing work.
I take great joy in helping people on their healing paths. By sharing these shamanic tools, each person can learn to heal themselves and find a way to develop their own divine relationship with the Great Mystery. Although I teach many different shamanic techniques, the teachings of greatest passion for me are those that deepen our relationship with the Earth and the Creator.
I feel blessed with a life full of beauty and magic and hope to have a place in the countryside where I can live, practice and teach the Spiritual Medicine of the Earth.
In addition to my private healing practice, I am also a minister who performs ceremonies to honor birth, death and marriage in my community. I teach numerous workshops on shamanism, from basic levels to advanced levels. My passion is teaching and practicing earth healing and I have an apprenticeship dedicated to educating practitioners on this topic (see, Caretaker of the Earth). This is an area of my passion, where I have chosen to specialize my shamanic knowledge. I am also a founding member of the Society of Shamanic Practitioners, www.shamansociety.org, an organization created to support the re-emergence of using shamanism as a form of spiritual healing in our culture and integrating it with western medicine.
If you have questions, or wish to be on an email list for workshops, you may contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The following is a list of some of my human teachers and the trainings I have taken. I have included their organizations with links:
My dear friend, Vision Quest leader, teacher, and mentor. Sedonia was my first human spiritual teacher who was the guide on my Vision Quest in 1989. She was killed in an automobile accident in February of 2000. Sedonia was an amazing woman who I owe my medicine journey to. Her work transformed my life.
Adolfo Ttito Condori, Ayllu K’anchaq Qoyllur
My Peruvian spiritual brother, mentor and friend. Adolfo was born in Poma Canchi, Peru; a small agrarian village surrounded by mountains and lagoons at 12,000 ft. He is the oldest of 6 children born to parents from a lineage of Inkas and medicine people. His journey in the Andean medicine ways began as a child under the guidance of his grandfather and parents who worked with plant medicines as pampamisayoqs. Adolfo experienced many of the classic initiations for becoming a medicine person. He has been struck by lightening twice (as a child and an adult). During adolescence he momentarily died from disease but was resuscitated by the Apus. At age 16 Adolfo lost his father, and in addition to taking over helping his mother raise his siblings, the spirits of the mountains began their teachings of Adolfo directly. After years of personal tests and training the Apus gave him the power of an Altomisayoq. With the guidance of their knowledge and practices Adolfo’s gifts come from a pure communion with the Apus for over 20 years. Adolfo leads trips for students of Andean Cosmology in the mountains of Peru. In 2012 Adolfo began traveling to the USA to teach American students a more refined understanding of Andean Cosmology and spiritual practice.
The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, www.shamanism.org
The Foundation for Shamanic Studies is a non-profit educational organization which teaches core shamanism workshops across the USA and in many other countries. The FSS also documents, studies and supports indigenous shamans, and funds many different research programs across the world.
Angeles Arrien, www.angelesarrien.com
A fellow Basque, Angeles is a dynamic teacher, storyteller and author. Her 4 - Fold Way intensive training is an excellent program which shows how to incorporate the teachings of the archetypes of: Visionary, Healer, Teacher and Leader. Angeles is a cultural anthropologist, award-winning author, educator, and consultant to many organizations and businesses. She lectures and conducts workshops worldwide, bridging cultural anthropology, psychology, and comparative religions. Her work is currently used in medical, academic, and corporate environments.
Betsy Bergstrom, www.betsybergstrom.com
Betsy Bergstrom is a full-time Shamanic Teacher and Practitioner who has studied with shamans and healers from many cultures, including Sandra Ingerman and Michael Harner. She was privileged to share her extensive knowledge of shamanic and compassionate depossession with students on behalf of both of these earlier mentors. She has been trained by a number of indigenous shamans and healers in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the United Kingdom who have encouraged her and shared with her their wonderful teachings. She comes from Coastal Salish and Saami heritage combined with Scandinavian and Scottish ancestry. Betsy is an international teacher of Middleworld shamanic healing practices including heart-centered Compassionate Depossession, which she has taught for more than a decade. She also pioneered Shamanic Mediumship and Curse Unraveling classes for shamanic practitioners. Her calling is to work in partnership with the Compassionate Allies, to help the living and the dead.
Tom Brown Jr. Tracker School, www.trackerschool.com
Tom Brown, Jr. is legendary for his tracking and nature skills and has published over 16 books on the subject. His Tracker School has been in existence since 1975 and teaches a broad range of wilderness, survival, awareness, tracking and spiritual skills.
Tom Cowan, www.riverdrum.com
Tom is a delightful teacher and shamanic practitioner specializing in Celtic visionary and healing techniques. He combines universal core shamanism with traditional European spirit lore to create spiritual practices that can heal and enrich one’s own life and the lives of others. He is an internationally respected teacher, author, lecturer, and tour leader. He has taught training programs in England, Wales, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy; and Slovakia.
My first instructor on shamanic journeying, Myron is a former instructor for the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. I have learned many advanced esoteric shamanic studies from Myron who is an excellent resource of information.
Jose Luis Herrera and Q’ero shamans, www.rainbowjaguar.org
ARI- Andean Research Institute, www.andeaninstitute.org
As founder of the Andean Research Institute, José Luis Herrera has dedicated most of his life to researching and disseminating the spiritual cosmology and traditions of the South American medicine people. He has played a pivotal role introducing, into the Western traditions, the millennia-old rich Earth knowledge of the Andes, Amazon and desert shamans of South America.
Sandra Ingerman, www.shamanicvisions.com/ingerman.html
Sandy is an excellent teacher who trained me in soul retrieval, extraction, and transmutation work. She teaches workshops on shamanism around the world and was formerly the Educational Director of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies directed by Michael Harner. Sandy is recognized for bridging ancient cross-cultural healing methods into our modern day culture addressing the needs of our times. Her books, Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self, Harper San Francisco 1991, Medicine for the Earth, Three Rivers Press 2001, and The Beginner’s Guide to Shamanic Journeying. Are classics in Shamanic literature.
Chilean Mapuche healing traditions. Luzclara is an internationally known Chilean Medicine Woman, ceremonial leader, ritual dancer and sound healer. Her work is dedicated to awakening the sacred feminine.
Nan Moss and David Corbin, www.shamanscircle.com
Nan and David teach the spiritual aspects of weather, They presented their introductory workshop, WeatherDancing: Shamanism and the Spirits of Weather, in 1999 in the U.S. and Canada. In addition they are experienced teachers of core shamanism, and have taught basic and advanced workshops for the Foundation for Shamanic Studies since 1995 and are certified by the Foundation as shamanic counselors. Nan and David have also studied with indigenous healers from various cultures, including Siberian, Tuvan, Saami, Chinese, and Native American. They are authors of, Weather Shamanism: Harmonizing Our Connection with the Elements (Inner Traditions/Bear & Co.) and CloudDancing: Wisdom from the Sky, a divinatory card deck and guidebook.Nan & David are my new Co-Teachers for the updated: Caretaker EARTH & SKY Apprenticeship.
Robert Moss, www.mossdreams.com
Robert Moss describes himself as a dream teacher, on a path for which there has been no career track in our culture. He is the creator of Active Dreaming, an original synthesis of dreamwork and shamanism. Born in Australia, he survived three near-death experiences in childhood. He leads popular seminars all over the world, including a three-year training for teachers of Active Dreaming. A former lecturer in ancient history at the Australian National University, he is a best-selling novelist, journalist and independent scholar. His nine books on dreaming, shamanism and imagination include: Conscious Dreaming, Active Dreaming, Dreamgates, and many more books on shamanic dream work.
Larry Peters, Ph.D., www.tibetanshaman.com
A Tibetan Shamanism expert, Dr. Larry Peters is a licensed psychotherapist, world renowned scholar, and initiated shaman in the Tibetan tradition. Dr. Peters holds advanced degrees in both Anthropology and Psychology, has conducted ethnographic fieldwork with shamans in Nepal, China, Mongolia, and Siberia, and is a former Research Associate of The Foundation for Shamanic Studies.
Marko Pogacnik, www.markopogacnik.com
Born 1944 in Kranj, Slovenia, and graduated as a sculptor in the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana 1967, he lives with his family in Šempas, Slovenia. He develops art active in the fields of ecology, geomancy, social movements and individual spiritual development. Marko created a style of Earth Healing called Lithopuncture, where carved stone “needles” are planted on Earth Meridians allowing life force to flow through the body of the earth much like acupuncture does for the human body. Marko is a master of teaching people how to connect to the elemental world. He teaches geomancy on the School for Geomancy "Hagia Chora", Germany, runs courses on wholistic ecology, geomancy and personal development in many countries worldwide, and provides counseling on the issues of urban development and landscape design.Marko is the author of numerous books in German, many of which have been translated to English: Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings (1996), Healing the Heart of the Earth (1998), Earth Changes, Human Destiny (2000), The Daughter of Gaia (2001), Turned Upside Down (2004), Touching the Breath of Gaia (2005), Sacred Geography (2007), Gaia’s Quantum Leap (2011)
Brant Secunda, www.shamanism.com
The leading expert on Huichol Shamanism and founder of Dance of the Deer Foundation.Brant Secunda is a shaman, healer and ceremonial leader in the Huichol Indian tradition of Mexico. He completed a twelve-year apprenticeship with Don José Matsuwa, the renowned Huichol Shaman who lived to be 110 years old and who adopted Brant as his grandson.
Herb Stevenson, www.onewhitehorsestanding.com
Alberto Villoldo & Q’ero elders, www.thefourwinds.com
Founded by psychologist and medical anthropologist, Dr. Alberto Villoldo, The Four Winds Society is an international research and training organization, which focuses on teaching energy medicine work. He is the author of numerous books including: Shaman, Healer, Sage. Alberto studied with the Q’ero people of Peru who carry the ancient Inka shamanic traditions, which include Illumination work, soul retrieval, extraction, depossession, death rites and much more.