The Foundation for Shamanic Studies

The Foundation for Shamanic Studies serves the community. For approximately 35 years, it has been dedicated to the preservation, study and teaching of shamanic knowledge. In countless workshops, more than 100,000 people have been able to establish contact with their personal spiritual helpers.

Core Shamanism

The U.S. anthropologist Michael Harner discovered and formulated the fundamental principles of Core Shamanism as the essence of his comparative studies of different shamanic cultures since the 1950s. Learning from shamanic cultures in the Upper Amazon, in Saamiland, Mexico, the North American West and the Canadian Arctic, Harner observed transcultural, universal or common characteristics and techniques of shamanic work. Integrated into a terminologically and methodologically coherent system, these principles are the essence of Core Shamanism.

Independent from any specific cultural background, Core Shamanism offers an effective way of reconnecting to spiritual roots whilst developing an independent spirituality. Especially for those who are in danger of losing their shamanic traditions or – as in Western industrialised nations – have lost them already, Core Shamanism represents a straightforward approach to access spiritual power and knowledge anew.

Core Shamanism is taught in high-quality workshops offered by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (FSS). Founded in 1979 as the Center for Shamanic Studies, for over 40 years the FSS has been providing a safe, effective and contemporary rationale and methodology of shamanism. With full respect towards indigenous cultures and based on the principles of classical shamanism and Western science, the FSS translates ancient principles into modern worlds and societies, thereby addressing the needs of our time in an ethically sound way.

As a not-for-profit organization, the Foundation is strictly committed to the well-being of the community.

The Fields of Activity of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies

  1. Preservation of Shamanism: Where called, the FSS supports activities to preserve or revive shamanic traditions at risk.

    The FSS has been able to establish concrete collaborations in Central Asia and Siberia, China, Saamiland, Australia, Canada, USA (incl. Alaska) and in the Amazon. In addition, it supports the work of exceptional shamans within the framework of the “Living Treasures of Shamanism ” programme with a lifelong stipend. This allows these Living Treasures to pass on their knowledge and continue their tradition.
  2. Research on Shamanism: The FSS undertakes ongoing projects on shamanic cosmology and practice, such as the “Shamanic Healing” program or “The Mapping of Non-ordinary Reality” project. Its “Shamanic Knowledge Conservatory” is an unprecedented collection of shamanic artefacts, literature, field notes, photographs and audio-visual material.

    In Europe, the emphasis is on fundamental and applied research on the issues of our time. Through the Core Shamanic Research Laboratory, biennial conferences and publications, the FSS Europe creates valuable outputs in transformational research.
  3. Teaching Shamanic Knowledge: The Foundation for Shamanic Studies offers several hundred high-quality workshops on relevant topics in shamanism worldwide every year. It thus significantly contributes to the renaissance and further development of shamanism in modern societies.
    Since each culture has its own specific mythology, language, world of symbols and concepts, as well as customs, it is often difficult for people from other cultures to access it. Core Shamanism therefore helps to integrate shamanic practices into one’s own life without having to imitate another culture.

The Foundation for Shamanic Studies in Europe

The European branch – The Foundation for Shamanic Studies Europe (FSSE) – was established in 1987. Founded by Paul Uccusic, it is now the world’s major multinational, multicultural and multilingual faculty in the field of shamanism. The FSSE sees itself at the service of regional communities across Europe whilst promoting autonomy, personal responsibility and self-determination through training and practicing Core Shamanism.

Perhaps with the exception of the Sámi in the far north of Scandinavia, no genuinely shamanic cultures survived in Europe. Large parts of the population here doubt the existence of spirits. At the same time, increasingly many people have been rediscovering spirituality, including shamanism, in recent decades. Shamanism – as a truly agile system – is highly relevant because people can adapt it to the needs of their own lives to address vital questions and find useful support.

What actually is shamanism? Learn more about the world’s oldest problem-solving and healing tradition.

Explore your own path into shamanism in the Basic Workshop “The Way of the Shaman®”.