Programs

“Dakini” by Mariela de la Paz

Life Force Arts Shamanic Training

Life Force Arts Shamanic Training (LFAST) provides comprehensive instruction in a contemporary form of shamanism, an ancient form of spiritual practice and healing through connecting to one’s spirit guides. It is based in the Life Force Wheel which Joan Forest Mage received as a “download” from the Universe beginning in 1985.

The program provides training from the basics of shamanism to establishing a firm personal shamanic practice, and progressing to doing shamanic healing and teaching for others. Graduates of the whole program receive a Certificate in Shamanic Practice.

All LFAST classes can be taken in person or via zoom.

Click here to check our calendar for information and registration for upcoming Life Force Arts Shamanic Training classes, or contact us at joan@lifeforcearts.org or 773-327-7224

Structure of the Program

There are 4 Levels in Life Force Arts Shamanic Training, plus the Wheel Journey Course. All LFAST classes can be taken in person or via zoom.

Level 1: Foundations – basic practices of shamanism
Level 2: Working with Guides – deepening relationships with your core team of spirit guides , including nature spirits, healing ritual and shapeshifting

Wheel Journey Course –  in-depth exploration of the Life Force Arts Method medicine wheel, how its teachings can help you solve problems and navigate through life more consciously,  and meeting your personal spirit guides of each part of the Wheel

Level 3: Shamanic Healers Practicum – conducting healing sessions for individuals (class meetings + supervised clinical practice)
Level 4: Ritual Leaders Practicum – designing and leading rituals for groups of people (class meetings + supervised clinical practice)

Each Level takes 3 – 4 months. For example, Level 1 has four seminars of one month each, so it takes at least four months to complete Level 1.

Classes meetings are held as weekly sessions of 2 hours each (8 hours in a month.) There are also readings, assignments and discussion with instructor and fellow students through an online student forum.

Level 1: Foundations has 4 seminars; each seminar may be taken separately

  • Shamanic Journeying
  • Sensing Energy
  • Energetic Protection
  • Lessons of the Wheel

Level 2: Working with Guides – 12 weeks

Wheel Journey Course –  May be taken anytime, but must be taken before Level 3. Prerequisite: Lessons of the Wheel Seminar of Level 1

Level 3: Shamanic Healers Practicum (SHP) – 16 weeks, includes supervised clinical practice

Level 4: Ritual Leaders Practicum (RLP) – 16 weeks, includes supervised clinical practice

What happens in each Level

Levels 1 & 2 are for personal spiritual practice. Level 1: Foundations helps you understand foundational principles of energy work, accessing the intuitive and spiritual realm, how to sense energy and do the basic shamanic journey meditation. Level 2: Working with Guides expands your knowledge of how to work with spirit guides and firmly establishes your relationship with your personal “team” of guides, a relationship that will continue developing throughout your life.

Levels 3 & 4  are for those who feel a calling to serve the community by doing shamanic healing, teaching or leading others. These are advanced classes where students do healing sessions for volunteer clients, and design and lead rituals. Shamanic Healers Practicum (SHP) and Ritual Leaders Practicum (RLP) are quite intensive and involve giving volunteer clients sessions (SHP) or designing and leading rituals (RLP).

Shamanic Healers Practicum (SHP) – 16 weeks. During the time period of the course, the students attend a weekly 2 hour class meeting for 16 weeks. as well as carry out the practice aspects of giving shamanic healing sessions to volunteer clients

Ritual Leaders Practicum (RLP) – 16 weeks. During the time period of the course, the students attend a weekly 2 hour class meeting for 16 weeks, as well as carry out the practice aspects of designing and leading rituals

Wheel Journey Course (WJC) – 16 weeks. Weekly 2 hour class for 16 weeks. 

Descriptions of each Level

Level 1: Foundations of Shamanism
The basics of shamanic practice, including working with energy and the energy body, shamanic journeying, finding your individual way of accessing intuitive information and an introduction to the Life Force Arts Method medicine wheel. No prerequisite. Each seminar is 8 hours;  4 weekly sessions of 2 hours each, as well as readings, assignments and discussion with instructor and fellow students through an online student forum. Cost: $180/$150 Early Registration for each Seminar (Shamanic Journeying, Energetic Protection, Sensing Energy and Lessons of the Wheel) Cost includes required books.

Level 2: Working with Guides
Building strong relationships with your spirit guides. This 12 week course includes interacting with Nature Spirits, understanding how to work with spirit guides in Healing Ritual and allowing the energies of  guides to work through you in Shapeshifting. Each seminar is 8 hours;  4 weekly sessions of 2 hours each, as well as readings, assignments and discussion with instructor and fellow students through an online student forum. Prerequisite: Life Force Arts Shamanic Training Level 1. Cost: $690 (includes required books).

Level 3: Shamanic Healers Practicum
Learning shamanic healing for others. Healing modalities covered include soul retrieval, power animal retrieval, extraction, sound healing and leading clients in shamanic journeying. This 16 week Practicum includes readings and assignments and has weekly meetings with the instructor and fellow students. In addition, student practitioners do healing sessions for volunteer clients which are supervised by the instructor  We discuss the ethics of healing and ways to set up your own practice as a healer. Prerequisite: Life Force Arts Shamanic Training Level 1 & Level 2 and Wheel Journey Course. Cost: $1600 (includes required books).

Level 4 – Ritual Leaders Practicum
Learning to lead healing ritual in a shamanic way. This 16 week Practicum includes readings and assignments and has weekly meetings with the instructor and fellow students. In addition, each student practitioner also designs and facilitates a healing ritual for a group of volunteers. Prerequisite: Shamanic Healers Practicum. Cost: $1600 (includes required books).

Structure of the training
In addition to attending the class meetings, students read required books and complete assignments between class meetings, using online interaction with the instructor and classmates. See below for complete Course descriptions. All LFAST classes can be taken in person or via zoom.

Who the Courses are for
The Level 1, Level 2 and Wheel Journey Courses enable the student to establish a firm personal practice of shamanism, connecting to his/her spirit guides and intuitive consciousness.

The two advanced Courses, Shamanic Healers Practicum and Ritual Leaders Practicum, are for those who feel called to do shamanic healing and teaching for others.

Tuition policy
There are no refunds, but each Course is repeated on a regular basis, so if you find you are not able to attend the entire Course you have paid for, you can take the Course when it is offered again. In addition, most class meetings are recorded on zoom, so if you miss a few of the class meetings, you can view the videos of those class meetings. Please consult with the instructor for the best way to make up classes for your situation.

Required reading list for Life Force Arts Shamanic Training

Books are included in cost of tuition

Level 1

  • Energetic Protection Seminar – The Psychic Pathway by Sonia Choquette
  • Shamanic Journeying Seminar –Singing The Soul Back Home by Caitlin Matthews
  • Sensing Energy Seminar – The Open Mind by Dawna Markova
  • Lessons of the Wheel Seminar – TBA

Level 2

  • Nature Spirits Unit – Enchantment of the Faerie Realm by Ted Andrews; The Seasons of Change by Carol McClelland
  • Healing Ritual Unit – The Water of Life by Michael Meade; Ritual by Malidoma Some; The Art of Ritual by Renee Beck
  • Shapeshifting Unit – Deerdancer by Michele Jamal

Shamanic Healers Practicum

  • “Code of Ethics for Shamanic Practitioners” from the Foundations Course Manual
  • Soul Retrieval by Sandra Ingerman
  • Spiritual Emergency by Stanislav Grof & Christina Grof
  • The Ethics of Caring by Kylea Taylor
  • Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith
  • Where Science & Magic Meet by Serena Roney-Dougal (2010 edition)
  • Building Your Ideal Private Practice by Lynn Grodzki

Ritual Leaders Practicum

  • TBA

Level 1: Life Force Arts Shamanic Training Seminar Descriptions 

Learn the basic concepts and practices of shamanism

Level 1 is comprised of four seminars. Each seminar is 4 weeks and meets for two hours each week (8 class hours for each Seminar). The Level 1 Seminars are: Energetic Protection, Sensing Energy Shamanic Journeying and Lessons of the Wheel. Students also have books to read, and assignments based on the books. The book(s) are included in the tuition cost. The assignments are posted on our online student forum, and between class meetings students are welcome to discuss assignments online with the instructor and classmates.

Level 1: Cost: $180/$150 Early Registration for each Seminar (includes required reading books – No prerequisites)

Students can take the Level 1 Seminars in any order. Any of the Level 1 Seminars can be taken in person or via zoom.

Energetic Protection Seminar

Do you feel drained of energy when you’re near certain people or places? Are you an “energetic sponge” who absorbs disturbing emotions of sadness, fear and anger from those around you? This class covers everything from practical, down-to-earth advice to mystic lore about energetic protection. Learn how to ground your energy; identify your etheric, emotional and astral bodies; remove energetic blockages and intrusions; examine and transform unconscious intentions and core beliefs that may be opening you to energy loss; cleanse and invigorate your body’s major energy centers (chakras); work with crystals; and find your Power Animal and other helpful spirit guides to help protect you. We will practice techniques such as breathing, visualization and simple body movement and experience how they help us shift energy. This seminar is 8 hours;  4 weekly sessions of 2 hours each, as well as readings, assignments and discussion with instructor and fellow students through an online student forum. Required reading: The Psychic Pathway by Sonia Choquette. Cost: $180/$150 Early Registration (includes books for required reading).

Shamanic Journeying Seminar

Learn the ancient shamanic journey meditation: traveling to the spirit realm to gain wisdom and healing from angels, ancestors, totem animals and other helpful spiritual beings. To the classic shamanic drumbeat, you will journey to the three territories of non-ordinary reality to begin building relationships with your own group of spirit helpers. Learn about shamanic cosmology, the history and ethical basis of shamanism, and the ways shamanic practice applies to the modern world and to healing the web of all life. No Prerequisite. Please bring a rattle, and a pen and notebook. This seminar is 8 hours;  4 weekly sessions of 2 hours each, as well as readings, assignments and discussion with instructor and fellow students through an online student forum. Required reading: Singing The Soul Back Home by Caitlin Matthews. Cost: $180/$150 Early Registration (includes books for required reading).

Sensing Energy Seminar

Gain greater skill in entering meditative consciousness through learning time-proven methods of quieting your mind and body, observing your intuitive impressions so you can hear Spirit’s messages more clearly. We will utilize self-expressive arts – writing, drawing, singing, dancing – as meditational and energy work practices. Learn how to interpret the visions you see in your shamanic journeys and dreams through discovering your preferred perceptual mode (seeing, hearing or feeling) for accessing intuitive information. You will further deepen your relationship with your own group of spirit helpers. No prerequisite. Please bring a rattle, and a pen and notebook. This seminar is 8 hours;  4 weekly sessions of 2 hours each, as well as readings, assignments and discussion with instructor and fellow students through an online student forum. Required reading: The Open Mind by Dawna Markova. Cost: $180/$150 Early Registration (includes books for required reading).

Lessons of the Wheel Seminar

Do you want to learn core lessons about how life works? Do you want to explore your most inner world to the most outer world: your own subconscious and soul, your relationships with other people, and your connection with nature and the spiritual, energetic plane? Lessons of the Wheel seminar is an introduction to the Life Force Arts Method (LFAM) medicine wheel. At each class meeting, we will explore one of the four Lessons of the Wheel: Perception, Presence, Process and Partnership, and meet the Teacher spirit guide associated with that Lesson. Through a shamanic journey meditation, each participant meets the spiritual being that is THEIR guide for that Teacher Archetype. For example, you may discover that you have Merlin as your spirit guide Teacher of Perception, Kwan Yin as your spirit guide Teacher of Process, and one or more of your Ancestors as your spirit guide(s) Teacher of Partnership.

Through this in-depth practice, participants build strong connections with their helpers in the Otherworld. By the end of the Seminar, students will have gained greater understanding of how spiritual energies relate to the physical plane, learned how to use the basic principles of the Life Force Arts Method for psychological and spiritual wellness, and  mastered a powerful practice  for working with spiritual energies and their spirit guides.  This seminar is 8 hours;  4 weekly sessions of 2 hours each, as well as readings, assignments and discussion with instructor and fellow students through an online student forum. Required reading: TBA. Cost: $180/$150 Early Registration (includes  required reading materials).

Level 2: Life Force Arts Shamanic Training Unit Descriptions

Deepening shamanic practice for the student’s personal connection to the spirit realm

Level 2 helps you build strong relationships with your spirit guides. This 12 week course includes interacting with Nature Spirits, understanding how to work with spirit guides in Healing Ritual and allowing the energies of guides to work through you in Shapeshifting. Level 2 has weekly 2 hour class meetings with the instructor and fellow students  for 12 weeks, and includes readings, assignments and discussion with instructor and fellow students through an online student forum. Prerequisite: Life Force Arts Shamanic Training Level 1. Cost: $690 (includes required books).  Level 2 is divided into three Units: Nature Spirits, Healing Ritual and Shapeshifting.

Level 2: $690 (payment plans available) Books are included in the tuition cost. This course can be taken in person or via zoom.

Prerequisite: Life Force Arts Shamanic Training Level 1

Nature Spirits Unit – 4 weeks

Further solidify your relationship with your personal “team” of spirit guides, such as angels, ancestors, gods, goddesses and totem animals. We will particularly focus on working with nature spirits, the seasons, the Elements and the Directions. Part of the day is spent outdoors communing with Nature. You will discover various tasks your spirit guides perform for you, and gain confidence in the helping nature of the universe. Nature Spirits Unit is 8 hours;  4 weekly sessions of 2 hours each, as well as readings, assignments and discussion with instructor and fellow students through an online student forum. Prerequisite: Life Force Arts Shamanic Training Level 1. Required reading: Enchantment of the Faerie Realm by Ted Andrews; The Seasons of Change by Carol McClelland.

Healing Ritual Unit – 4 weeks

In this highly experiential seminar, we will explore healing ritual, a process of transformation in sacred time and space. Learn how to design an effective ritual, using the 9 Steps of Healing Ritual and aligning with Nature and the seasons as energies for healing. We will experience charging a space with energy/spirit to create the container that makes ritual safe and effective. We will explore two approaches in shamanic healing ritual: going out of body to the spirit realm, and inviting the spiritual energies to work in the physical space we are in. Deepen your understanding of the 3 modes of auditory, visual & kinesthetic perception for accessing intuitive information. Each learner also examines the deeper meaning and mission of his/her work as a spiritual practitioner to gain personal empowerment and practice shamanism more fully. Healing Ritual Unit is 8 hours;  4 weekly sessions of 2 hours each, as well as readings, assignments and discussion with instructor and fellow students through an online student forum. Prerequisite: Life Force Arts Shamanic Training Level 1. Required reading: The Water of Life by Michael Meade; Ritual by Malidoma Some; The Art of Ritual by Renee Beck

Shapeshifting Unit – 4 weeks

Shapeshifting is the ancient shamanic practice of taking on the spiritual or physical energies of animal spirits and other helpful beings. Through this powerful practice, our spirit allies share their wisdom and strength with us to create profound healing. Learn physical and mental exercises to help us shapeshift between human and more-than-human form. We will experience channeling the energy of our guides, working with the 9 Levels of Self. As Tom Cowan says, “Shapeshifting might just be the essential, and only, activity of the Universe.” Shapeshifting Unit is 8 hours;  4 weekly sessions of 2 hours each, as well as readings, assignments and discussion with instructor and fellow students through an online student forum.  Prerequisite: Life Force Arts Shamanic Training Level 1. Required Reading: Deerdancer by Michele Jamal.

Life Force Arts Shamanic Training Faculty

Joan Forest Mage

Joan Forest Mage, the founder and director of the Life Force Arts Center, is honored to serve as a shamanic healer, educator and performing artist in her hometown of Chicago. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Applied Professional Studies from De Paul University’s School for New Learning, with the focus area “Creating Healing Ritual Through the Arts: A Contemporary Paradigm.” A Certified Movement Analyst, she has studied shamanism, energy work and healing ritual with numerous teachers, and has worked as a Shamanic Practitioner since 1995, performing over 500 soul retrieval healings. Joan has over thirty years of professional performing and teaching experience as a dancer, singer and theater performer, and two music CDs to her credit. Joan has taught workshops and training programs in the arts and body movement since 1985, and in shamanism since 1996. Contact Joan at Joan@LifeForceArts.org or 773-327-7224.