A Word to the Wise About Contemporary Shamanism

Please bear with me here, and please know that I sincerely hope you won’t be discouraged by the guidance that follows. I say this to begin with because I’m very aware that some of what I’m going to say about shamanic training may be hard for you to hear.

However, if you have found your way to this page, then clearly you have an interest in shamanism. This web site is intended to support that interest and to offer teachings and accurate information about shamanism that will help you to arrive at a clear understanding of what shamanism is and is not.

That understanding is a prerequisite for anyone I take on for training, either as an apprentice or as a candidate for feminist shamanic counseling certification, and is helpful as well if you’re considering a consultation with me.

You may have had some experiences that you think or have been told are shamanic. You may have already taken some shamanic workshops, attended drumming circles, and read books on shamanism written by well known shamanic teachers. You may believe, due to pervasive New Age and neo-shamanic misunderstandings about shamanism, that anyone and everyone can become a shaman. If so, I am very sorry to inform you that no, everyone does not have an “inner shaman,” and that nobody can “become” a shaman by means of reading books or taking workshops.

The fact of the matter is that we cannot choose to become a shaman. That’s not the way it actually works. Shamanic spirits choose who will become a shaman, usually during sudden, traumatic events so devastating that one experiences a complete shattering of one’s ego perceptions about oneself, one’s place in life, and the very nature of reality itself. Receiving a call to a shamanic path during such an event is known as a shamanic initiatory crisis and calling.

Those called to a shamanic path in this manner must accept or refuse the call. If the call is accepted, they must then seek the guidance of an experienced shaman who can teach them how to handle the aftermath of the initiatory crisis. The experienced shaman will teach the initiated novice how to integrate, interact with, and develop working relationships with the shamanic energies that called the novice to her path, as they will become her primary helping spirits and shamanic guides. The experienced shaman must then teach the novice how to direct those shamanic energies towards healing efforts on behalf of others. Such people are our genuine shamans, and contrary to popular contemporary beliefs about shamanism, such people are very few and far between.

Having said all of the above, I want to assure you that whether or not you have experienced a genuine shamanic initiatory crisis and calling that would qualify you for apprentice training, there are many other options for exploration of shamanic consciousness that you can safely engage in that will greatly enhance your experience of life.

On this page I describe apprentice training and feminist shamanic counselor training, but you can also explore feminist shamanism on many other levels, such as studying my purse-sized book, “Shamanic First Aid for Today’s Woman,” which is purse-sized so that you can carry it with you for quick reference, taking part in my myth writing seminar if you’re a writer, following my blog (which, I warn you, I have not yet mastered), attending Time of the Warrioress Gatherings, following me on Instagram or Facebook, or engaging in one-on-one shamanic healing work with me. Whatever your level of interest in shamanism is, it is my hope that by studying the content of this site, you will find the information about and understanding of shamanism – and in particular of feminist shamanism – that you seek.

Apprenticeshipstraining-drumWomen who have undergone a shamanic initiatory trial and calling are eligible for apprenticing with me. If you believe that you have had a shamanic initiatory trial and calling, I suggest that you schedule a private consultation with me, either by phone if you live at a distance from the Center, or in person at the Center, so that I can evaluate the nature of your experience was and determine  what shamanic steps would be appropriate for us to take with regard to your particular experiences.

Apprentice training involves all the levels of training offered in the feminist shamanic counseling training program. However, although apprentices may become Certified Feminist Shamanic Counselors® during the course of their training, the training for apprentices who have experienced a genuine shamanic initiatory crisis and calling is necessarily much more intense and takes much longer than shamanic counselor training for those who have not experienced such an event. This is because people who have gone through that particular ordeal are in need of specialized guidance and training in order to learn to manage the energies they must suddenly deal with, and then how to properly engage and direct them for shamanic healing purposes.

Contact Me to Apply for Training

“In 2004, I felt inexplicably drawn to Scarlet as a shamanic teacher and began studying with her. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life, albeit one that was entirely intuitive. Scarlet’s approach to shamanic work is deeper and more intense than much of what is available to students and practitioners in North America today. The apprenticeship is challenging in all of the best ways; the apprentice learns how to heal herself before working with others. For me, Scarlet’s feminist depth shamanism was emotionally and psychologically healing in ways that no other methods had been, and the results that I have seen with my own clients have been equally impressive. In addition, I have learned ways to communicate with and learn from the land on which I walk, and the plants and animals that inhabit it, and that process continues to enrich my life immeasurably. I cannot say enough positive things about Scarlet as a teacher and shaman.”
— Nancy, Pennsylvania

Training for both apprentices and feminist shamanic counselors follows the seasonal cycles of the natural world, with specific teachings given during specific seasons. Whichever training is appropriate for you, you can begin at the start of any season, i.e. at the spring and fall equinoxes and or the summer and winter solsticesThe Feminist Shamanic Counselor® Certification Program is ideal for helping and medical professionals who may not have  experienced a shamanic initiation trial and calling, but may nevertheless be gifted shamanically. 

The Certified Feminist Shamanic® Counselor Training Program is designed to gradually open you to increasingly deeper levels of shamanic consciousness while simultaneously increasing your level of shamanic healing ability. It gives you the tools to look at human suffering from an entirely fresh perspective, to evaluate it using shamanic methods for doing so,  and to address it using a unique approach based upon the principles of feminist shamanic psychology.


Feminist Shamanic Counselor® Certification Training Includes the Following Studies:

  1. Your studies begin with a Power Animal Retrieval Ceremony®. You are instructed in proper methods of integrating its medicine into your sense of self, and how to use that medicine correctly in your daily life and your feminist shamanic work;
  2. You are trained in feminist shamanic psychic protection, meditation, visualization, drumming, chanting and singing;
  3. You learn how to use various sacred herbs for smudging and ceremonial work and how to activate and work with crystals and stones;
  4. You learn special shamanic journeying methods that enable you to complete meticulous mapping of the shamanic realities described by the Feminist Shamanic Medicine Wheel Mandala®, which is your foundation and guide for feminist shamanic counseling;
  5. You learn how to establish working relationships with various shamanic archetypes, such as animal spirit helpers and ancestral elders;
  6. You are trained in feminist shamanic ceremonial procedures; power animal retrievals; removal of psychic intrusions; feminist shamanic scanning of energy fields and evaluation of client issues; and in feminist shamanic ethics and counseling methods.

“As a teacher, Scarlet is one of the few full-fledged shamans of European descent to be teaching in the eastern US today. She teaches beautifully, lyrically and spiritually, in full accordance with and respect to her location. Students learn a multitude of skills crucial to modern day shamanism from her, as she instructs them with warmth, kindness, impressive knowledge, mastery and grace.”
-Jean, Maine


Your Personal Shamanic Healing Process

An important part of your training, whether in the feminist shamanic counseling program or in the apprentice program, is personal work on your own issues using the same methods for healing them that you will eventually offer your clients.

Certification & Mentoring

In order to receive certification as a Feminist Shamanic Counselor®, you need to complete three levels of training, and develop a level of competence that both you and I feel confident will serve you well in your own practice.

Following certification, you enter a mentoring program, which goes on indefinitely, and allows you to confer with Scarlet at any point for guidance or clarification on client or personal shamanic issues.


Both Local & Distance Formats Are Available To You

In the local format, you meet monthly with Scarlet in person at the Center. You receive written materials for each quarter’s studies, but your essential skills are learned by hands-on experience.

In the distance format, you initially meet with Scarlet for a long weekend at the Center to learn the basic skills you’ll need to do distance work, and then for at least one weekend per year for one-on-one training and evaluation. You then receive written materials at the beginning of each seasonal quarter, and communicate with Scarlet frequently by email and phone to discuss your understanding of the teachings and your progress with  journeying experiences.

Tuition & Other Expenses

Tuition for both Apprentice Training and Feminist Shamanic Counselor Training is $600 per seasonal quarter. Tuition is due at the beginning of each seasonal quarter.

Other expenses may include travel, lodging, and the purchase of a drum, one or two quartz crystals and any other shamanic tools you may need or wish to purchase.

Apply for Admission to the Apprentice Training Program

If you believe that you have had a shamanic initiatory trial and calling, you may be eligible for an apprenticeship as a feminist shaman. Please contact me,  and let’s discuss your experience.

Apply for admission to the Certified Feminist Shamanic Counselor Training Program

If you are a helping or medical professional who would like to enhance your practice by bringing a shamanic perspective to evaluating and dealing with the issues you work with, you may be eligible for training as a Feminist Shamanic Counselor. Please Contact me to open a discussion about your interest in this training.

Schedule an appointment with me

A good way to get a sense of how feminist shamanic counseling works is to schedule one or more sessions with me to address some of your own concerns. You can use my contact form to schedule an appointment.