If your mentor encourages you to step into Level 3, it is because your work has assured him or her that you are now ready to begin to walk as a shaman. Level 3 is quite advanced, and enrollment necessitates successful graduation from both Level 1 (A Path) and Level 2 (Walking). In order to succeed at this third level, one absolutely must have been prepared with the education gained in the first two levels. Thus after finishing Level 2, one student wrote:
“I feel that shamanism is now such a part of, and a way of, life for me. I think one of the most important things that you have done for me throughout this journey is the way you have taught me to integrate all the feelings I had about the Earth, spiritual healing, and humanity and bring it all together to live it fully… I am so looking forward to starting level 3.”
We include this note from one of our students not because of their feelings about our training (though we always appreciate hearing it!), but rather because this feedback identifies two fundamentally important parts of our program. First, we look for our student’s integration of shamanism and their readiness to ‘walk the talk’. However, the writer of this note hit on something perhaps not so obvious, which is the significant preliminary growth and maturation that is necessary for a student to have achieved when stepping into Level 3.
After empowering oneself and entering the shamanic world (Level 1), and after trying on the shoes of the shaman when starting to work with others (Level 2), students have now demonstrated to their mentor the personal power, stability, and ethical integrity of someone who is ready to take the challenge of actually stepping out as one. There is nothing ‘far out’ or outrageous about this. Far from being the ‘wild one’, a shaman is actually more grounded and mentally healthy than the average individual: they have to be in order to do what they do.
Getting to this point in the courses has not been easy, yet even though a student’s advancement is always a determination of their mentor, Shamanism 101 courses are also very self-selective. Many begin such classes thinking they would ‘like to be a shaman’, but learn along the way the amount of work and focus that this takes. Not everyone can do this: students who do not have the mental and emotional stability or ethical integrity and the desire to maintain their growth, tend to slip away.
For these reasons and perhaps many others, by the time a student looks at Level 3, they have nearly always reached a point of significant personal and shamanic growth in their practice. This third and final course – The Shaman’s Walk – is only designed for those students who have demonstrated through their prior work, a particularly strong balance of the seemingly contradictory achievements of both solid grounding and non-ordinary proficiency. Moreover, level 3 demands a firm backbone in professional awareness, compassion, and sensitivity to shamanic ethics. Students are now readied for the delicate nature of working with souls, soul fragmentation and methods of soul recovery. Shamanic soul retrieval is one of the most broadly known of shamanic healing practices, yet is ironically one of the least understood. Soul work requires significantly more delicacy, capability, awareness and sensitivity than that which is demanded by many other avenues of shamanic practice. In this course, you will learn how to see souls, hear them sing, and engage with them during the important process of reintegration.
One important reason why this third level of training demands such a high proficiency is that the trickier middle world work is also examined. Difficult matters regarding death and non-transcended souls are explored up close. So that the practitioner can help find and release such souls, the student learns the crucial work of psychopomp. The unfortunate practice known as soul stealing is likewise addressed, including ways to compassionately, safely, and successfully assist in the recovery and healing steps that becomes necessary. In Level 3 we are entering the realms of soul work, middle world work, and the practice of soul retrieval. Where before these realms were carefully avoided because of the risks involved, they have by now become safe because of the knowledge, awareness, ability and personal power that has been carefully built up through previous training. Now, not only is it possible, but it has become necessary to widely explore one’s psycho-spiritual non-ordinary geography. Even the relationship with the practitioner’s spirit helpers changes through particular negotiations and the development of a maturing partnership. Multitudes of rituals are now added to the practitioner’s tools.
Shamanic initiations continue to be a central element in Level 3 training. Having experienced the power of these experiences in Level 2, it is not hard to understand when we warn that the intensity and kind of initiations at this third level can be emotionally challenging. However, as you by now recognize from prior initiations, these were passed down from shaman to student since prehistory in order to provide what are recognized as irreplaceable and necessary ‘breakthrough experiences’ for the maturing shaman.
As usual, shamanic training continues to provide a concentrated combination of reading and technical practice. Work with clients and written submissions regarding this are necessary parts of the curriculum, just as they were in Level 2. By the time students reach Level 3, they typically have found their own best pacing. However, two weeks between units very common at this stage, and if the course is attempted much faster, your teacher is likely to question the depth to which you are exploring and more importantly, integrating. As you have likely heard somewhere through your coursework with us, learning how to be a shaman is only the smallest part of the path. Learning how do shamanic rituals and practices, and being a shaman, are two very different things.
Now it is time to walk as a shaman. The goal is being.
Once again, you will have at least 12 units of experiential training. As before throughout your studies with us, the work that you do – the practices, the rituals and your experiences – are all physically accomplished by yourself wherever you are in the world, and you work with your mentor over the internet. As before, you will similarly access your course materials through a link, username and password. There, you will again find your readings, instructions, questions and assignments. No differently from Levels 1 and 2, after you have studied and done the exercises within that module, you email your written responses, experiences and questions to your Instructor. Your experiences and understanding is reviewed, suggestions are offered, questions answered, and your work is either confirmed and the next unit sent, or you are asked to further address something that may be helpful.
Course work in this third level is strictly established for the unquestionably serious shamanic practitioner. At this point in the student’s growth, shamanism studies and its practices have become a way of life and its world-view is second nature. Students who have met the challenges of the first two levels are intimately familiar with the demands and rewards that such studies present.
Serious students who have graduated from Levels 1 and 2 are invited to pursue registration for Level 3. This level completes the practitioner’s training and provides the all-inclusive, Certified Shamanic Practitioner (CSP) certification.
This final, comprehensive course of the series includes 12 Units of instruction, practice and homework, a personal instructor to support every step of the way. and a Certified Shamanic Practitioner (CSP) certification upon completion.
Temporary Breaks: As with Level 2, we understand that ‘life happens’, and if it becomes necessary to temporarily take time away from your Shamanism 101 studies, you are free to take up to six months to resume studies with your Shamanism 101 teacher. However, you must let your teacher know of this within one month of sending in your previous coursework. If your teacher has not heard from you for more than six months, you have dropped the course. Of course, you are welcome to reapply and start your studies from the beginning of your current level at the regular tuition rate that is offered at your reapplication date.
Withdrawal and Refunds: Students can withdraw from the course for any reason, with no questions asked, prior to sending in their third unit of their current level. At that time, they will receive a 50% refund. After submitting their third unit, no refunds will be available.