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Central Desert - Next Entry Point : September 2018  (2 Year Program)

Introducing Advanced Shamanic Practice Training

It is true to say that, worldwide, the value and place of shamanism in the history of the healing arts and sciences and in the evolutionary history of human culture has received the appropriate attention and recognition due to it. Shamanism stands as the oldest form of transpersonal healing in human culture and it has inspired the development of human consciousness through the discovery and use of symbolic forms expressed in art and ritual. Archaeological evidence for these contributions has been mounting for some decades now. Moreover, it is clear that shamanism has been a significant precursor to the world’s major religious traditions.

Of special interest in all of this is the recognition that shamanism in its various forms around the world and through time has created technologies for exploring and expressing domains of consciousness which have now been incorporated into medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy in new and meaningful ways. The World Health Organization has renewed its efforts, initiated in the 1970’s, to build bridges between shamanic traditions and western medicine and psychiatry. Shamanism has been re-visited as a way of being in the world … a fundamental, practical philosophy and tool for human development … by leading scholar and practitioners. At the same time, many shamans worldwide have begun to offer their cultural materials associated with shamanism to those who are willing to learn.

At Ikon Institute, we have taught shamanic practice programs for over 20 years, all the time developing an approach which is distinctively Australian, informed by the Australian Dreaming Project (ADP). This is an undertaking which has seen graduates from our advanced program go out into the community and deliver this new and exciting direction n shamanic practice, often in conjunction with other modalities such as counselling, psychotherapy, medicine, psychiatry, kinesiology, body work and so on.

We invite you to become part of our shamanic work. We deliver the training in the Central Desert, near Alice Springs so that the spirit of this country we are in speaks to us, lives with and in us as we live in it. We move there in landscapes which are many-layered, rich and evolving.

To be a shamanic practitioner is to learn to navigate … through the realms of human consciousness, through the worlds which are part of this domain and through all of the vicissitudes of human life across the life-cycle, through birth and all intervening transitions to death, from illness and despair to health and wellbeing and new horizons, from being trapped in the walled city of unconscious mass society to the liberation of mind, body, heart and soul.

Course Author and Facilitator

The Advanced Shamanic Practice has been developed and taught by Dr Rafael Locke who has trained people in shamanic techniques in the US and Australia for over 20 years.

Dr. Rafael Locke is the National Director of Ikon Institute and the Spirit of the Earth Medicine Society.

He is an initiated shaman as well as being trained in anthropology, medicine, psychology and psychoanalysis. He is also chairperson of the Australian Institute of Shamanic Practitioners.

He has published The Gift of Proteus: Shamanism and the Transformation of Being and Altered States of Consciousness and Psi ( with Edward Kelly).

The Advanced Shamanic Practice Program

There are two strands to the Advanced Shamanic Practice training:  Master Practitioner Training and Shamanic Initiation

  1. Master Practitioner: Shamanic Practice

We are vitally interested in persons who are passionate about this work, those who really want to do it, who wish to take the risk to be other than they have been so far in life and to reach out to others and the world at large to help make it a better place to live. The risk is to draw upon those aspects of your being which, to date, have not been explored or expressed and which, without a doubt, will change your life and cause you to leave some things, some ways of living, some people behind.

This course is open to persons who have the following background:

  • Completed an Ikon Diploma of Shamanic Practice or equivalent or
  • Traditional training in shamanism in any culture or
  • Other training and experience which can be assessed

It is largely a matter of whether applicants are interested, passionate and committed to shamanic work

Assessment of applicant’s eligibility is done on a case-by-case basis.

Modules are held each year: 8-18th April and 1-10th September

The focus of the training is on learning the mythologies and technologies of shamanic work arising from the ADP with a deep involvement with the environment.

The training program has the following modules:

1. Shamanic Journeys The mythologies, rituals and healing practices of the ADP. Learning new landscapes and travelling in them. Locating yourself in the world with a new sense of connection with nature and spirit. The Dreaming Wheel and the Centre of the world. Communicating with spirits of place and purpose. Tools for divination. 10 days, Wonga Park, VIC
2. Shamanic Healing Developing personal medicine and applying it in specific forms of healing practices one-on-one, group and community in scope. Drawing upon the medicines of the environment. 10 days, Wonga Park, VIC
3. Mastery of States and Worlds Stepping further into shamanic technologies. Here we draw upon specific medicines, especially snake and hawk medicine in dynamic healing techniques which depend also on entering into and shaping specific states of consciousness. Making and using tools. 10 days, Wonga Park, VIC
4. Shamanism and Liberation: This part of the program focuses on shamanic methods for removing the constraints on confinement of body, mind, heart and soul … sexuality and personal, creative expression. The ancient themes of Dionysus and Apollo are re-visited in a contemporary, ADP form. 10 days, Wonga Park, VIC

The training will involve intensive work in natural settings with occasional ‘classroom’ work. 

The course will be physically and psychologically demanding as it requires more than intellectual understanding; rather, it requires the commitment of the whole of one’s being to the work. This creates significant personal change on all levels of existence.

Components of modules:

  1. Mythology: throughout the program, there is a thorough introduction to the foundational mythology which has been generated over the last 20 years of shamanic work in the Australian wilderness and especially in the Central Desert. Every step of the work done in ASP is informed by existing or emerging mythology. By participating, students become part of the evolving process. The basic relationships in this are as follows:

        (Myth <-> Country) <-> Ritual -> Visionary Practice (divination, ritual, healing)

  1. Within this framework, the guiding principles are those of Visionary Practice which are the foundations of shamanic work in all cultures. It involves the cultivation of Visionary Capacity and translating this into Practice. Our experience is broadened and deepened by learning to open to other states of being: embodiment, meaning and action.

  2. We traverse the country and learn about the Dreaming Wheel which serves as the most profound tool in assisting human beings to navigate in life and for shamans to guide others. We walk, talk and engage the country; it speaks to us in wind and water, earth and fire, sky and stone, trees and grasses.

  3. We learn about the first shamans and their legacy to us, now, in this world with its own specific demands. In this spirit, we go to Mike Hill and survey the country for 360 degrees and perform ritual, celebrate myth and delight in the country which unfolds before us. We see the city of our dreams at the eastern horizon and gain the sight of the Hawk.

  4. We build Dreaming Wheels to contain and yet energize and fuel our healing work. It comes to reside within us so that we are oriented to it day and night in the service of our own unfolding journey and that of others whom we seek to help.

  5. We discover aspects of our human being as shamanic practitioners which are cultivated: Our multiplexity or capacity to be many ways in body, mind, identity and skills other than those ways which dominate our ordinary, everyday lives. We explore the meaning and practice of positive possession and we learn that the opposite of healing is sorcery in its many forms which must be understood and countered.

  6. We travel to the Dreaming Trees to seek their insights and support and then to the Ancestor Tree to hear the guidance of the Ancestors. We journey to the hills and river and listen to their deep movement and stories which inform our way of life and shamanic practice.

  7. Of paramount concern is the matter of liberation: as shamanic practitioners, we wish to liberate ourselves from limiting ways of being … perception, feeling, embodiment, sexuality, skills, knowledge, expression … and to assist others to do the same. Our call is to ancient ways which find a new home in Australia. The walled city falls and the new being emerges to struggle into life free of the fetters of the past, a little frightened but open-eyed and engaging the path to the sun.

  8. Healing flows from the immersion in this place and its mythology. We learn to guide others into the Dreaming Wheel and to heal them gently (passive receptively) or energetically (active-dynamically). Moving into their landscapes, helping to change their worlds from inside to out, from soul to social being. We call upon snake medicine as well and the power of travel to other worlds through the spirit canoe and Ungur the great snake, Mother of All.

  9. The Dreaming Wheel becomes our focus at the end, just as it was in the beginning, so that we journey around it, across the country, to perform rituals at each of the cardinal points and centre. We are complete.

  10. The program offers much which creative and expressive:

  • Songs already created and some waiting to come forth

  • Rituals

  • Prayers

  • Symbols

  • Art

  • Making shamanic tools

  • Ritual drama: The Trickster theme.

The course may be commenced at any time. Modules are independent. Study guides and further work between modules are supplied.

Upon enrolment, each person is supplied with:

  • A reading list
  • Foundation notes
  • A list of things to bring and how to prepare
  • A health information form which must be completed and returned.
  1. Shamanic Initiation

SOTEMS has been operating in Australia for over 20 years. In that time, it has developed a strong community which is creating a medicine ways and shamanic culture across the country. This is not merely in terms of courses and workshops offered, or in terms of counselling and healing services available; rather, it is also in terms of there now being a substantial social, cultural and spiritual basis for shamanic practice. With this comes the opportunity to become an initiated shaman within the SOTEMS tradition.

Persons who complete the program and who have subsequently conducted themselves with skill and integrity in delivering shamanic practice may be invited to be initiated as a first-level shaman in the Spirit of the Earth Medicine Society (SOTEMS). This may be some considerable time after completion of the course.

The process is one of personal, traditionally modelled training and initiation through several stages. What this involves is as follows:

a.    Enrolment in the Master Practitioner program

b.    Being interviewed for shamanic training and initiation

c.    Where a person is accepted for shamanic training and initiation, they will receive personal training from Dr. Rafael Locke which runs in parallel to the Masters program. No disclosure of the content of this individual training is available; it is discrete and focused on the individual’s needs, strengths and motivation, and personal path.

Cost, Dates and Enrollment

The total cost of the course is $10,000.00

Payment can be made in the following ways:


1.    $1000.00 deposit plus 4 x payments of $2250.00 or

2.    4 x payments of $2500.00 or

3.    $1000.00 deposit plus $500.00/month for 18 months or

4.    Pay full fee in advance (5% reduction)

Modules are held each year: 18th-29th April and 1-11th September

For specific information or to register your interest please contact Dr. Rafael Locke 0417 964 777 or email rafael43@bigpond.com

or click here for the Advanced Shamanic Practice Enrolment form

Shamanic Practice Program - Ikon International

Next Course Commences 1 Feb 2018

The Shamanic Practice Program has been developed over the last 25 years by Dr. Rafael Locke through research and participation in shamanic practice in a number of cultures around the world ... the Americas, Caribbean, Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia. Commencing in1989, a series of fascinating and challenging courses have been offered as a sequence for personal and professional development. All of the courses retain a faithful connection with shamanic traditions as well as translating shamanic work into modern idioms of psychology, medicine, anthropology and other disciplines.

This Ikon course is taught by teachers who have graduated as Master Practitioners and who are initiated shamans in the Spirit of the Earth Medicine Society tradition.

General information - The Shamanic Practice Certificate

  • The course is delivered in 6 modules at intervals of 8 weeks.
  • The modules are self-directed study.
  • Each module is supported by weekly Skype based tutorials.
  • It is also supported by 2 x 4 day workshops at Avoca Beach NSW (on 5 forested acres about 90 min drive north of Sydney Airport - camping is included however travel is at students expense).
  • You can email your tutor if you have questions.
  • Part 1 of the course can be done for a formal certificate, which means completing the assignments in a satisfactory way, or you can simply do it for yourself without bothering with the assignments. Part 1 and Part 2 (below) combine to complete a Diploma of Shamanic Practice
  • Anyone can do the course; there are no eligibility requirements.

What the course delivers

This course is designed to provide you with the following sets of skills and knowledge:

  • An excellent knowledge of the development of shamanism in human societies.
  • Knowledge of shamanic practices in a wide range of cultures.
  • Knowledge of altered states of consciousness and their application in shamanic practices.
  • Knowledge and skills associated with establishing and implementing shamanic rituals.
  • Understanding of the nature of shamanic healing, its differences from medical and psychological healing, and how to implement it.
  • Knowledge of the concept and practices connected with personal medicine.
  • Detailed coverage of conditions under which a shamanic practice can be set up in Australia.
  • Connection with other shamanic practitioners in Australia and overseas.
  • Eligibility for membership of the Australian Institute of Shamanic Practitioners.
  • Eligibility for the Advanced Shamanic Practice Diploma

For more information please visit http://www.truthandpower.com.au/courses/shamanic-practice-course or email Orion at orion@truthandpower.com.au

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Copyright © 2004 Spirit Of The Earth Medicine Society (SOTEMS)       Last modified: 17-Apr-2018