The Shaman’s Medicine Wheel (REL 321)
This course explores the Inka Medicine Wheel, a map to an animistic, dynamic, primal relationship with Nature, to spiritual power, and to our future evolution. In the South, the student meets Serpent, the Wounded Healer; in the West – Jaguar, the Luminous Warrior; in the North – Hummingbird, the Journeyer, and the Ancient Ones; and in the East – Condor/Eagle, the Visionary. Through an engagement with these living energies and an introduction to Soul Retrieval and other Shamanic healing practices, perceptual shifts occur that bring forth creative new responses to illness, community, and the larger world in which we live. Shamanism is a spiritual and healing tradition, not a religion. It is an expansive practice for people from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds.
Course Sessions and Topics
This course is divided into ten, one-hour Lectures.
Week 1 | The Way of the Shaman
Week 2 | Wizards of the Four Winds
Week 3 | The Way of the Serpent
Week 4 | The Way of the Jaguar
Week 5 | The Way of the Hummingbird
Week 6 | The Way of the Condor
Week 7 | Ceremony and Ritual
Week 8 | Soul Retrieval
Week 9 | Luminous Healing
Week 10 | Shamanic Practices
Learning Outcomes for this Course
Outcome 1: Students will appreciate and understand the Americas as a single hemisphere connected by a spinal cord, the mountains, and how the spirit of these mountains informed the more than 600 different indigenous cultures and language groups from the Andes to the Rockies.
Outcome 2: Students will become acquainted with the Shaman as a Medicine Person who mediates between the visible and invisible worlds, heaven and earth, discover how this tradition contrasts with the predominant paradigm of Judeo-Christian traditions, and have a taste of how this impacts our development as human beings – and the vast array of other choices that are available to us – for personal, community, and planetary healing.
Outcome 3: Students will explore the possibilities inherent in a sacred relationship with Life by learning to track across the Four Domains of Engagement: (1) Literal (Physical/Body); (2) Symbolic (Mind/Intellect); (3) Mythic (Soul); and (4) Essential (Spirit), each with its own expression and language. Students will have an opportunity to engage at the mythic and essential levels, as well as the physical and psychological, as they reach for wholeness and healing.
Outcome 4: Students will understand the three Pillars of the Shamanic Journey: (1) Body of Teaching; (2) Rites and Ceremonies; and (3) Transmissions or Karpays, and how to further their exploration of spiritual power and evolution through immersion in each of these.
Outcome 5: Students will experience the energy of the four cardinal directions in which one engages to become a person of power, a Medicine Person: (1) Serpent, the Wounded Healer of the South who teaches us to shed the past as we shed our skin; (2) Jaguar, the Luminous Warrior of the West, who teaches us the ways beyond death, to walk the rainbow bridge between the worlds without fear and with integrity; (3) Hummingbird, the epic journeyer of the North who teaches us about stillness and how to drink directly from the sweet nectar of life – and the Ancient Ones, the Ancestors, who teach us of Wisdom; (4) Condor (Eagle), Visionary of the East, who teaches us to see (the big picture) and to soar to lands we have never been before, of sight and flight.
Outcome 6: Students will have a taste of the perceptual shifts that are possible from engagement with ceremonies and rituals in shamanism, as well as of the practices of Soul Retrieval, Illumination, Morning Breathing, and other Energy Practices that are part of the Shaman’s Journey toward wholeness and healing.
Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., renowned psychologist and medical anthropologist, is the founder and president of the Four Winds Society in Park City, Utah. He is the author of ten books, including Shaman, Healer, Sage (A Book of the Month Selection of One Spirit Book Club), Dance of the Four Winds, and Island of the Sun, and trains students throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
This course will be administered and graded by:
Shawn Randall, M.A. | Transformational Psychology University of Philosophical Research.