History of the Foundation


Following his initial shamanic training in the Upper Amazon in 1961 and 1964, Professor Michael Harner developed his personal practice of shamanism and shamanic healing in the United States. He also began to teach about the practical importance of the ancient shamanic knowledge and wisdom of the tribal peoples of this world. As he wrote and lectured on shamanism, students began to ask him to introduce them into the shamanic methods. In response he started giving training workshops in the early 1970s to small groups of people. Interest in this training rapidly grew and in 1979 he founded the Center for Shamanic Studies (CSS).

For eight more years Dr. Harner continued his duties as an university professor of anthropology, but at the same time he was aware that shamanic practice and training in tribal cultures was disappearing fast. It became clear to him that firm worldwide action had to be taken to help preserve the ancient knowledge and to transmit it to future generations. So he left the university. In 1987 CSS was integrated into a new non-profit organization, the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (FSS).

The Foundation grew rapidly with financial support primarily coming from the shamanic training courses and workshops Michael Harner taught. His teachings were augmented by others he trained, such as Sandra Ingerman, Sandra Harner, Alicia Luengas Gates, Paul Uccusic, Michael Hasslinger and others.