Shaman: Keeper of the Fire
Some years ago, after a powerful healing ceremony held in the U.S., I asked the visiting Tungus shaman (see picture) what the true definition of the word shaman as it originated in his tribal language. Speaking through his anthropology professor interpreter, he said: “Keeper of the Fire.” I had never heard this explanation before, but I liked it very much. This definition broadened the portrayal of the shaman’s role. Not just for performing healing and ceremonies, or interacting with the unseen spirit world, but also as a person whose main role is to be in service to his community. He is the keeper of his community’s sacred fire, its soul and wellbeing. The keeper of their stories, mythologies, songs, identity, celebrations and history alive. The shaman needs a strong community, as the community needs a powerful shaman.
An interview by students of Columbia University School of Journalism. Featuring the NY Shamanic Circle's in the Shamanic Gathering in Central Park (2006)
This New York Shamanic Circle's Annual Shamanic Gathering event in Central Park (a segment from NTV (International the Russian TV Broadcasting Network) (2009)
New York Shamanic Circle - Local Community
In the summer of July 1997, with a small group of shamanic workshop participants at the NY Open Center (given by Nan Moss and David Corbin ) we founded the New York Shamanic Circle. It was the first group in the heart of Manhattan, the largest capitalistic metropolitan city in the world. Since then, the Core Members group meet weekly to support each other and to pursue our mission of cultivating a strong shamanic community.
NYSC work is truly a labor of love. We offer over 60 events per year and most of them are free. The events include the Annual Shamanic Gathering, Annual Shamanic Fair & Clinique, a monthly Women’s Circle, Healing Circle, and Shamanic Open Circle and monthly workshops given either by guest shamans from many traditions from around the world or by our own Core Group Members.
Raising a vibrant and supportive shamanic community became my life’s commitment. It gives me great gratification to see that many of our members become teachers, healers and community builders themselves.
Annual Shamanic Gathering - Tri-State Community
In 1998, I founded the New York Annual Shamanic Gathering in Central Park, together with the NY Shamanic Circle. I followed my vision of bringing together individuals and groups who practice or are interested in shamanism in New York and the tri-state area. More than 300 attendees, elders and shamanic teachers, join our celebration every year. It’s became New York’s largest and longest-running shamanic gathering.
We welcome people of all ages and backgrounds to meet each other share experiences, earth-honoring practices and ways to foster environmental sustainability, social fairness, spiritual balance, and empowerment.
Shaman Portal - Nurturing a Global Community
In the spring of 1997, I traveled with John Perkins and a Dream Change group to Ecuador on a trip that ultimately changed my life. We visited Yachaks (Shamans) of the High Andes and visited the Uwishin (shaman) of the Shuar tribe in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon rain forest.
There I made a promise, in a vision, to the spirit of the jungle. I promised to help it survive the onslaught of the encroaching Western civilization, to help preserve its vast spiritual and medicinal knowledge and to learn from the keepers of its wisdom.
ShamanPortal.org is dedicated to creating a global community of people who strive to teach and learn about the rich heritage of Earth and Spirit honoring practices from ALL shamanic traditions. We believe that the wisdom of these traditions is essential to maintaining spiritual, mental and physical balance in our modern world.
ShamanPortal welcomes visitors to post upcoming activities; find opportunities to interact with members of our community; join discussions on various shamanic topics through the Talking Stick Forum; browse through our comprehensive multimedia Shamanic Library and send suggestions for additions; and offer their shamanic services in our Resources section.
Giving back to the community is a sacred energy exchange for a shamanic practitioners. This is why I’m happy to contribute to many festivals, panels with free classes and volunteering.
Community Building - Panel Discussion with Maestro Manuel Rufino, Itzhak Beery and Amanda Capobianco
Golden Drum Community
I am proud to support and participate in many teaching events in the US and Poland with an inspiring and powerful community founded by Maestro Manuel Rufino. Golden Drum is a cultural center in Brooklyn, created for the healing, transformation, and expansion of the consciousness of humanity. They offer unique programming with a diverse curriculum of classes, workshops, and events that integrate indigenous Native American teachings with philosophical systems and spiritual traditions from around the world.
The Golden Drum community graciously supports the NY Shamanic Circle community by participating regularly at our Annual New York Shamanic Gatherings in Central Park.
Supporting Indigenous Cultures & people
It's important to me that you know that your trip's payment critically impacts the shamans and the community we visit. In addition to covering all logistics expenses, organizers' work, and the rich, life-changing educational program and ceremonies, the shamans' fees enable them to continue to preserve and practice their sacred work.
Here are some examples of how your funds are supporting the communities:
*The Annual Shamanic Andes Summit and Andes Trips (Since 2015)
These two projects support the sacred work of the Kichwa elders and raise new generations of Yachaks. It shows their children and grandchildren that it's possible to make a living as Yachak without trading it for a career as a banker or computer programmer.
*Amaroo Sanctuary (New)
With the support of trip participants' inspiration and donations, we are creating a new spiritual center called the Amaroo Sanctuary in Mindo's cloud forest to host and promote indigenous wisdom.
*Siekopai families (Since 2017)
Basilio Payaguaje and Siekopai communities have used our trips and webinars teaching fees to improve living conditions and support their community. They alone decide how to allocate the money. Here's some of what the funds have been used for:
-Compensation to family members, including the Yaje drinkers (shamans), for their work during our visits
-Construction of a traditional Gathering Long House built with 100,000 unique palm leaves (donated by my 2018 group)
-Construction of a large kitchen building for creating tinctures, preparing medicine and food products to sell, and hosting other visiting groups
-Construction of a new bamboo house to replace the deteriorating old family house
-Construction of a Carpentry house with second-floor cabins for visitors to stay in
-Purchased a horse to carry wood from inside the jungle
-Purchased a new motor for the river canoe kids' school transportation
-Support for a Fruit tree replanting program- with our donation
*The Tsachila Calazacon Family: (Since 2015)
Expansion of their grounds, building cabins, and the living museum