The Shamanic Passages Institute
Traditionally, shamanic teaching was provided one-to-one in a fundamentally individualized and unique apprenticeship. Students would study with the shaman for years, learning deeply about not only the spirit world, but about healing and teaching plants, the psychology of relationships—individual, interpersonal, and tribal.
Any number of ceremonies and rituals had to be mastered in order for the apprentice to eventually become a shaman. All of this would take many years, sometimes a lifetime to complete.
However, in our modern world, and in the EuroAmerican context in particular, this kind of apprenticeship does not exist. Moreover, the needs of our culture to heal and live in balance with Nature and each other are daunting. The pace of change no longer allows years or decades of teaching before putting knowledge into practice. We need a new paradigm, a new structure to learn what we need to know.
People living in the modern world are faced with a daunting list of challenges. Each day affords new potential to further separate from Nature and to unmoor from one's Spiritual grounding. Many in these times also feel that religion around a central precept or doctrine is no longer adequate.
It is therefore important that people have a way to reconnect, to reintegrate into a true and solid connection to Spirit—to that which is bigger than you are.
Shamanism is not a religion per se. It is a worldview, a way of understanding the world and how to live in balance with all things. There is no overall authority, not book of rules to be followed. It is about what you do, and how you live your life. The shamanic worldview and practices offer a cross-cultural opportunity for change.
Courses and Workshops Designed For Learning
The Shamanic Passages Institute was created in 2016 to provide an ongoing resource for information and education about shamanism. In particular, the focus of courses and workshops is not only to provide information, but also to offer a context for bringing the learnings into your daily life. In other words, the courses offered by the Institute are designed to be practical and applicable to everyday life.
The two original flagship courses were created from the ground up to present shamanic concepts and practices, plus to build in the opportunity to put them into practice. The bedrock of the Institute courses is that the way to learning is through experience.
Other workshops, such as Wolves In The Woods and The Four Agreements, as well as other programs in development follow the same structure that was developed over eight years of presentation of the live version of Spirit Paths.
The Founder and Lead Teacher
Gerry Starnes, M.Ed, has been a teacher, presenter, award-winning author, and shamanic practitioner since the late 1990s, following decades of training in energy healing. He has a life-long interest in helping people to identify and connect to their authenticity and to discover the intimate connection everyone has to internal guidance and wisdom.
Now, after more than a decade of facilitating public workshops and teaching both individually and in small groups, it is time to approach a broader audience.
Gerry founded on of the first shamanic Journey circles in 2003, and the community in Austin, Texas continues to meet weekly. It is the longest-running circle in the Austin metroplex, and unique in many ways in the world.