Shamanism Course

This is not a course on “how to be a shaman” or instructorship, but rather a way of experiencing nature, much as our ancestors did so long ago.

Max Christensen teaches in a traditional manner, therefore, training takes place outdoors, as well as indoors. These on-going classes will teach the basics, beginning with the purification of self through the fire ceremony, continuing through various levels of learning.

Experience the traditional aspects of shamanism by learning the ceremonial rituals to the sky tengers or spirits, the art of making the horse skin drums, and the various dances.

Participate and learn significant shamanic tools such as eagle dance, trance drumming, the silent walking to connect with the nature spirits, and how to make and use traditional shamanic implements will also be taught.

While in nature, learn to find the power within oneself: the power is called “wind horse”. You will learn to build this gift within, in order to help others.

All classes will be held on a weekend consisting of two eight-hour classes in which the participant will learn through direct experience, the way of the shaman.

This class is by invitation only, with a small group of participants, so that a more personal experience will make the weekend more meaningful.

Max Christensen teaches in a traditional manner, so that the practitioner can get a grasp of these schools of spirit. Training takes place both indoors and outdoors.

These classes are not facilitator classes they are for personal fulfillment. They are “hands-on” experiential classes for those who want to explore in the “Ancient” ways of long ago.

Shamanism Course includes the following Elements and levels: (still under construction)

Water

Prerequisite: The Element of Water must be taken in order

Level 1: River Ceremony, Thunder breathing and Finding your Ongon

In this ceremony you will go into nature to purify through the spirit of the water. This class will teach you the calling of the “four directions”, the traditional way of cleaning your body, mind and spirit through the movement of the river and you also will find a river “ongon” or spirit house stone for future ceremonies. Thunder breathing is an ancient shamanic path to connect with the “thunder” beings. This method will teach you the ancient ways of breathing which can be combined with drumming to attain a “shamanic” mind and commune with the thunder spirits.

  • What to bring: backpack, water bottle, snacks, hiking shoes, bathing suit, towel, and small pouch of tobacco for offering.

Level 2: Lake Ceremony, Fire breathing and Learning the Dear dance

In this class you will experience merging yourself with the element of water to instill its spirit within you in the lake ceremony. Specific breathing and meditation will help you to understand the “blood of the Earth” through this practice. The rain dance is to connect the spirit of the lake with the spirit of the sky. This dance purifies the dancer and his surroundings and in certain situations rain the rain will fall.

 

  • Prerequisite: water level 1
  • What to bring: backpack, water bottle, snacks, hiking shoes, hat, bathing suit, towel, and small pouch of tobacco for offering.

 

Level 3: Waterfall Ceremony and Fire breathing

There will not be a Water Level 3 class until we find a suitable place.

 

  • Prerequisite: water level 1 and 2
  • What to bring: backpack, water bottle, snacks, hiking shoes, bathing suit, towel, and small pouch of tobacco for offering.

 

Fire

Prerequisite: Element of Fire, does not need to be taken in order.

Level 1: Fire Ceremony and Trance Drumming

The traditional fire ceremony was used by the ancients to ground, protect and reveal the deep hidden limitations of the self through the element of fire. This class will teach you the offering to the fire spirit through the four directions, and through the making of “tree ongons” or spirit houses which will be offered to the fire spirit “ott -kan”. Trance drumming is a unique and natural way of altering the drummer’s perception. Through breath combined with special dancing you will easily attain the trance of the ancient ones.

 

  • What to bring: Drum if you have one, backpack, water bottle, snacks, hiking shoes, pants, small pouch of tobacco for offering.

 

Level 2: Learning the Eagle dance, Making tools for Ceremony and How to take care of your Ongon

In this class you will learn the traditional ways of wrapping your shamanic tools used in various ceremonies. The blessing and storing these sacred implements will be taught in this class and how to use them properly. The eagle dance is done during fire ceremonies to offer respect to the ancestors of the past. This dance will be taught in the traditional way to connect the dancer with the spirit of the golden eagle and send the message of the dancer towards the spirits of the sky.

 

  • What to bring: tobacco, small feathers, long quartz crystal, stones/small crystal, artificial sinew, bells and scraps of soft leather the amount based on how many stones you want to wrap.

 

Level 3: Climbing the Sky Ladder

This special technique allowed the shaman to travel to the spirit world through drumming and body movement done for a long period of time without rest. The shaman used a form of fire breath combined with stepping to allow his or her spirit to soar upwards to the sky and unite with the ancient ones.

The drum is used in this method and the dance requires determination and endurance to practice. This dance is a very important part of a shaman’s arsenal of knowledge.

 

  • Perquisite: Fire level 1, 2, and Earth level 2
  • What to bring: Drum if you have one, water bottle, snacks, and small pouch of tobacco for offering.

 

Earth

Level 1: Learning Wolf Dance, Breathing and Posture

The traditional wolf dance was used to communicate to the protective spirits of the forest. In this dance you will learn to embrace the spirit of the wolf through various postures, breathing and bodily movement. The wolf style uses the drum and specific sounds to unify the shamanic practitioner with the hidden spirits within nature. Strength and courage to overcome adversity is created within the practitioner who does the wolf dance.

 

  • What to bring: Drum if you have one, backpack, water bottle, snacks, and small pouch of tobacco for offering.

 

Level 2: Earth Ceremony is a full day ceremony of introspection.

This ceremony uses the Earth as a natural medicine to help draw out toxins hidden inside the body. In this class you will learn the way of preparing, purifying and using the Earth as a natural way of self-healing using the soil’s life force to bring forth positive health. Earth medicine is also good for grounding internal energy and balancing the body, mind and spirit and connecting with nature.

 

  • Prerequisite: Earth level 1
  • Time: 10-hours total, Saturday: 6pm-9pm introduction and instruction, Sunday: 8am-4pm ceremony
  • What to bring: 1-yard of blue cloth, 1 can of tobacco, scissors, pen, ruler, sinew 8oz, white yarn 5oz, and water bottle.

 

Level 3: Ground Ceremony

There will not be a Earth Level 3 class until we find a suitable place.

Air

Level1: Learning the Snake Dance, Breathing, and Postures

This traditional shamans trance dance is used to access the spiritual world through snake breathing and body movement. It stimulates the wind and fire elements of the body creating rising heat and opening the door to spirit after purification occurs.
Snake dance was traditionally used to develop healing ability and connection with the ancestors through vigorous movement and breathing.

 

  • Perquisite: none
  • What to bring: water bottle, snacks, and small pouch of tobacco for offering.

 

Level 2: Rain Dance

The rain dance is a traditional way of bringing renewed life to the land and to the people in the times of old. In this class the rain dance will be taught which includes specific dance steps, drumming and breathing techniques that was utilized by the shaman in order to bring positive changes.

This method is best practiced within small groups so that the proper energy is created and the desired result of wind and rain comes forth from doing this ancient dance.

 

  • Perquisite: none
  • What to bring: Drum if you have one, water bottle, snacks, and small pouch of tobacco for offering.

 

Level 3: Vision Quest Retreat

This class is for the practitioner who has done the traditional medicine ties in Earth level 2. In this class you will use the ties to create a kilikhyor (vision circle). A simple ceremony called duvan zug will be taught along with the proper way to do a simple vision quest in a traditional manner.

 

  • Prerequisite: Shamanism Air level 1, 2, Earth level 1, 2, Water level 1, and 2
  • What to bring: The ties you made in earth level 2 if you didn’t complete them in class you need to finish them at home before bringing them to Air level 3

 

“Participation in shamanic ritual does not make one a shaman, any more than participation in a Catholic Mass makes one a Bishop. A shamanic professional, who is a highly trained and very often spiritually selected individual, is sometimes known as a shaman (wikipedia).”