SSP Annual Conference

September 13 -16, 2018 | Hickory Corners, MI

Sponsored by Society for Shamanic Practice and Spirit Weavers

Recent events in the U.S. and the world have raised fears, confusion and even despair. We do not need to be controlled by these energies. For thousands of years, the traditional practice of Shamanism has offered us relief and guidance – and a pathway toward a life grounded in larger vision, balance, personal power and peace. Following this pathway, and artfully transforming the dark- both within and without, into light, is the focus of the Fall SSP Annual Shamanism Conference.

A principle of shamanism is: Fear drains your power; shamanic practice builds your power. In this conference, through the practices of remembering and releasing, reweaving and renewing, we will restore and amplify our personal light. The SSP Midwest Conference will offer relevant, practical and powerful teachings as well as beautiful group ceremonies to lift your spirit. You’ll come away from this conference stronger, and with practical skills that you can apply to your life and work.


• Opportunity for our shamanic community to increase our capacity to be of service to the world
• Diverse shamanic traditions: including indigenous traditions such as Toltec and Huichol; core shamanism (Foundation for Shamanic Studies); and Path of Pollen, an ancient, vital gynocentric shamanic tradition that works with the honeybee and the hive
• Teachings led by local, national and internationally known shamanic teachers
• Sunrise pipe ceremony; dances of universal peace; legal considerations of shamanic practice
• Shamans’ Bazaar (spiritual arts and craft and shamanic tools, etc)
• Networking, dialog, and building deep community with shamanic practitioners from around the country

Featured Presentations

This conference is designed to take participants on a healing and inspirational journey at both a personal as well as collective level.  We will start with fostering a healing journey with deep personal healing work (Day 1), through remembering our True Divinity and Connectedness to ALL (Day 2), and stepping into our Creative Power, and inspiration as to what we can bring into the world (Day 3). The presenters below will be our guides on this journey.

Restoring Trust in Untrustworthy Times

with Tom Cowan

Tom Cowan is a shamanic practitioner specializing in Celtic visionary and healing techniques. He combines universal core shamanism with traditional European spirit lore to create spiritual practices that can heal and enrich one’s own life and the lives of others. He is an internationally respected teacher, author, lecturer, and tour leader. He has taught training programs in England, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia and Italy. Tom received a doctorate in history from St. Louis University. He has studied extensively with and taught for the Foundation for Shamanic Studies.

Tom is the author of Yearning For The Wind: Celtic Reflections on Nature and the Soul, Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life, The Pocket Guide to Shamanism, The Book of Seance, The Way of the Saints: Prayers, Practices, and Meditations and Wending Your Way: A New Version of the Old English Rune Poem.

Stepping into the Dark: a Shamanic Understanding of Trauma

with Genie Hobbs

Genie Hobbs is a shamanic practitioner, ceremonialist and psychotherapist here in Denver. She has studied for more than 17 years with indigenous healers from the Huichol, Q’ero and Shipibo traditions, combining new thought with ancient indigenous wisdom to support a connection to your authentic heart, inner wisdom, and personal power.  She is a board member for the Society for Shamanic Practice.

Genie facilitates opportunities to release unwanted patterns of behavior, feeling and thinking so that you can create a more balanced, authentic and joyful life with restored personal power, increased self acceptance and more satisfying relationships.

Lightness of Being

with Kate Durda and Stephanie Tighe, Spirit Weavers

Kate Durda and Stephanie Tighe co-founded Spirit Weavers, an organization devoted to providing experiential training in Shamanism, and offering shamanic healing. They provide healing services as well as a continuum of training from introductory shamanism to an advanced three year program. Training provided is for both the personal practitioner as well as the practitioner on the healer’s path. They provide consultation and supervision for shamanic practitioners. Of particular focus since they began, they foster and support the deepening of shamanic community.

Stephanie Tighe, MSW,  has advanced degree in social worker, and is a graduate of the 3rd East Coast Foundation for Shamanic Studies Three Year Program in Advanced Shamanism and Shamanic Healing (taught by Dr. Michael Harner and Christina Stack). Kate Durda, M.A., developmental psychologist, educator and research, is a graduate of the 4th East Coast FSS 3 Year program (Dr. Micheal Harner, & Sandra Ingerman). They are  also graduates of Sandra Ingerman’s  Teacher Training program. They have trained extensively with, and sponsored the teachings of Sandy Ingerman, Betsy Bergstrom, Tom Cowan, Larry Peters, Myron Eshowsky, Carol Proudfoot-Edgar, Herb Stevenson, Nan Moss and David Corbin, and have worked with Claude Poncelet,  Sarangerel Odigon,  and the Four Winds Society, as well as others. They have received additional training in various shamanic, spiritual, and meditative traditions indigenously in the U.S. and around the globe for over 40 years.

They have been initiated various community healing efforts such as facilitating shamanic journey circles inside two Michigan state prisons, developing “Shaman Kidz” , a program for 6-10 year olds, and providing spiritual programming at nursing homes, the local hospital’s Health & Wellness Center, and other venues. They have led core shamanic journey circles over the past four decades, and have made a special effort to help spread the growth of Journey Circles in the state of Michigan among their community. To further support the weaving of spiritual community, they also lead annual shamanic gatherings such as an annual “Shamans’ Walk & Community Healing Circle” and offer ceremony and ritual, including Feast of the Dead and Winter Solstice celebrations, and other special events.

They have taught nationally and internationally including presentations at the American Psychology Associations (APA) 12th Conflict Resolution Conference in St Petersburg, Russia, and APA’s 1st International Conference on Children’s Spirituality, and at mental health conferences. They together and separately have authored numerous articles on shamanism in local spiritual journals and periodicals, and have published research as well. They have also been invited and presented at Michigan State University on shamanism and its role in healing of trauma as well as  shamanism’s  historical role in indigenous medicine and spirituality. They are very deeply grateful to SSP and the Midwest Shamanic community for supporting this conference, and warmly welcome all participants to this conference community!

Accessing Authentic Power

with Michael Stone

Michael Stone is a multi-faceted leader in the realm of shamanism and spiritual development. He is the on the faculty of the Shift Network and is the host and producer of the Shamanism Global Summit. For the past 15 years he has hosted KVMR’s weekly Award winning show Conversations, which highlights leading edge thinkers, authors and activists in environmental restoration, social justice and spiritual fulfillment. As co-founder of Quantum Consulting he works with organizations to combine quantum theory with mystical shamanism to promote healing, wellness and belief change with his clients. Michael leads classes, teleseminars and workshops on embodied shamanism, meditation and unity spirituality.

Sacred Pipe Ceremony

with Barbara Cowles

I carry a Working Pipe in the Bear Tribe Tradition, which I have carried since 1995.   The Pipe Ceremony I use, comes from a self-generated ceremony passed down to those of us who carry a working Pipe (in the Bear Tribe tradition), from Evelyn Eaton.  Evelyn Eaton was one of the original adopted Grandmothers of the Bear Tribe, founded by Sun Bear in the early 1980’s.  I am a ceremonialist.  I have also completed training in two styles of conducting a sweat lodge.

I also practice shamanism, having studied with many well-known shamanic teachers over the years, including: Michael Harner, Myron Eshowsky (a 3 yr. program = Midwest Peacekeepers), Larry Peters (Tibetan Shamanism), Carol Proudfoot Edgar (Bear Medicine), Sandra Ingerman (Medicine for the Earth, Soul Retrieval Training), Robert Moss (Shamanic Dreamwork), Betsy Bergstrom (Soul Retrieval and Compassionate Depossession Work), and am currently finishing  the Weather Shamanism Training with Nan Moss.  I have been working with and have studied with Stephanie Tighe and Kate Durda of Spritiweavers in Lansing, Michigan, since 1996. My primary focus using shamanism is to help people become whole so that they can be effective in their work or personal lives through the use of power animal retrievals, depossession work to restore health for the body/mind/spirit, and/or be guided by my spirit teachers through journeywork, as to what may best work for an individual’s healing.

Connection between Web of Life & Empowerment & the Role Chakras Play

with Connie Eiland

Connie Eiland is a shamanic practitioner who has studied extensively with numerous teachers including Sandra Ingerman, Betsy Bergstrom, Carol Proudfoot-Edgar, Herb Stevenson, Ana Larramendi, Nan Moss and David Corbin.  In addition to her shamanic teaching and healing work, Connie has been a Physical Therapist for 45 years and is currently in private practice in Southfield.  She teaches a series of classes, both core and ones she’s developed that take 2 years to complete.

The Sacred Hive: Exploring the ancient way of the Bee for healing self and mother earth

with Sharon Jones and Jackie Rushton

Bee’s have defined Sharon’s life from her first initiation of sitting with a bee swarm one extraordinary afternoon face to face in complete awe, leading to adopting her first hives. Trained in the tradition of a Melissae (an ordained Bee Priestess with arcane roots in ancient temple times), Sharon attended the Sacred Trust Institute in England for women’s studies into “Melissae” shamanic way of the bee. She remembers..

Sharon is a frame drummer and instructor and has studied with Layne Redmond, an accomplished teacher. She currently is a shamanic practitioner studying apitherapy and leading drumming circles. Sharon is a Bee Mistress with over 35 years of experience, loving and learning from the bees. Everyday she is beecoming. Her gift is the feminine approach to the sacred art of beekeeping, as well as her ability to listen deeply into the Song of the Hive.

“The more I am able to open to and hear their song, the more I am filled with admiration and potent possibility to heal ourselves with honeyed Medicine for the Earth. May their voice be ever heard So May it Bee” She spends her winters in Florida on the family bee ranch with her horses and dog where she raises queen bees for their family beekeeping business.

Jackie is a natural teacher whose experience spans four decades. She has trained apprentices in herbal medicine, the Divine Feminine and the woman’s way of beekeeping.  A number of her apprentices have gone on to develop their own programs. Jackie is an ordained High Priestess and practices the Wise Woman tradition as taught by her primary teacher, Susun Weed.  She weaves into her healing cloak Core Shamanic practices as taught by Kate Durda and Stephanie Tighe, Spirit Weavers. Through the guidance of the plants and the whispered secrets of the hive, she has devoted her life to the healing of our Mother.


with Angie Martell

Angie Martell is a shaman and the founder and managing partner of Iglesia Martell Law Firm, PLLC in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and she has practiced law for over 28 years. Angie  practices in New York,  Michigan, and Massachusetts.

In her legal and shamanic practices, Angie provides a unique perspective and expertise as a lawyer and shaman. She assists clients to see what is actually there or to see the possibilities or relationships that exist that can them to connect the dots to effectuate the personal and world changes they seek. She believes that when you see opportunity in every disaster or challenge and transform that negative situation into an education, a skill set, or seek infinities possibilities in the negative you transform and ultimately create the space for all their desires and hopes.

In 2014, she was the recipient of The Washtenaw County Bar Association’s Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” Award for her work building trust between the community and the legal system, and for tireless devotion to securing fair and equal treatment for all individuals under the law. Angie trained with Spirit Weavers (Kate Durda/Stephanie Tighe )  and graduated with a Masters of Law from Harvard Law School and a Juris Doctor degree from the City University of New York Law School.

SPIRALS AND STARS: Animal Connections to Spirit Helpers & Healing

with Judy Ramsey and Carla Meeske

Judy Ramsey is a craniosacral therapist and animal communicator who has practiced core shamanism for 5 years with both animals and people. Her focus in bodywork and in animal healing is on recovery of ptsd and traumatic brain injuries. She combines Shamanic merging with hands on brain work, as well as with remote animal healing with flower essences, having developed a means of mapping an animal’s body.

  • Graduate of the two-year Spiritweaver advanced shamanic program of Kate Durda and Stephanie Tighe.
  • Graduate of one-year intensive Spirithealer School in Shamanic Animal Healing by Carla Meeske.
  • Advanced training in Shamanism with several SSP members and work with the Quechua community of Taray, Pisaq and Amaru.
  • Certified craniosacral practitioner for 22 years in clinical practice and certified teaching assistant of the Upledger Institute.
  • Advanced animal communication consultant for 10 years under the mentorship of Penelope Smith. Teaches 4 levels of animal communication including interspecies counseling, educating people about animal ptsd and trauma recovery. 

Carla Meeske is a core shamanic practitioner with a specialty in helping animals, and a myofascial bodyworker for horses. Her signature practice, Connected Flow, combines myofascial hands-on skill with Shamanic merging, to find patterns of restrictions in the horse, and help the horse let it go on all levels.

  • Graduate of the 5th West Coast 3 year Program with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. (2000). Carla’s shamanic practice has evolved to resonate with her Celtic lineage.
  • Early pioneer in shamanic healing for animals, Carla introduced Shamanic Animal Communication in 2001 through her teaching and Shamanism, the Journal of the FSS
  • SpiritHealer School of Shamanism – offering innovative programs gifted from Spirit, reviving old knowledge from the Sidhe
  • Advanced training in Shamanism with several of SSPs esteemed members and many others
  • Certified in The Masterson Method of integrated equine bodywork (2010)
  • Fascial education with the Equine Studies Institute and Anatomy Trains
  • Presenting Connected Flow at the International Fascia Conference, November 2018, Berlin

Dances of Universal Peace: fostering unity with circle dances from the world’s spiritual traditions

with Jessie Noe

Jessie Noe has been on a spiritual path since her preteen years. The Dances of Universal Peace (DUP) have been part of her spiritual practice since 2004. The Dances of Universal Peace are simple, meditative, joyous, multi-cultural circle dances that use sacred phrases, chants, music andmovements from the many spiritual traditions of the earth to touch the spiritual essence within ourselves and recognize it in others. One of the core mission of DUP is to promote Peace, Understanding, and Acceptance of all people by helping people to experience the thread of love, harmonyand beauty that is present in all of the world’s sacred traditions. Jessie began leading Dances in 2005, became a certified leader in 2010, and has been leading Dances of Universal Peace throughout Michigan and as part of DUP camps in Mexico and Colorado. She is very excited to be able to share this practice with participants at the SSP Conference as a way of experiencing our interconnectedness.

Jessie discovered Shamanism as a path for personal guidance in 2014, and has continued her practice as well as participates in a local shamanic journey circle.  As someone who is deeply connected with nature, this path has resonated deeply with her, and she is very excited and honored to be a part of the SSP Conference, both as a presenter and as a participant.

Event schedule and additional presenter bios will be announced soon! Keep an eye on our FB Group Page for updated information.

Conference Location

The conference will be held at the beautiful Kellogg Conference Center in Hickory, Michigan. Lodging for up to 90 guests will be available on site on a first come basis.

Lodging Availability


The KBS apartments are connected with a front walkway overlooking Gull Lake. Parking is conveniently located adjacent to the apartments. Most apartments are furnished with a fully equipped kitchenette, full-size refrigerators, stoves or microwaves, wireless Internet, and private bathrooms. No air conditioning.

Orchard Dorm

Overlooking the KBS grounds these suites have two twin beds on each side, dorm refrigerators, study desks, and wireless Internet connectivity. Bathrooms are shared between two rooms. Double occupancy is defined as one person per room; quad occupancy is 2 people per room. (2 beds per room with shared bathroom per 2 rooms). Bathroom has separate vanity areas that include a sink and counter space. No air conditioning.


All cabins have air conditioning available.

Cabin B
Sleeps 6 people in the same room (use of lower bunk beds only), bathroom (3 bathroom stalls and 2 showers) with a living room, full size refrigerator and microwave.

Cabin C
Sleeps 12 people in the same room (lower bunk beds), bathroom (4 bathroom stalls and 2 showers), with a living room, full size refrigerator and microwave.

Registration Options

The conference will open for check-in at 3PM on Thursday, September 13, and the opening event will be a dinner at 6PM. The conference concludes with lunch at noon on Sunday, September 16. All meals, fees and lodging for Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch are included in registration prices, with the exception of COMMUTER ONLY. Registrants who want to arrive a day early can contact Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) directly at (269) 671-2400 to make additional lodging arrangements. All additional nights of lodging and meal fees are due directly to KBS. Please note, all preferences are priced per person.

COMMUTER ONLY (includes all lunches, dinner Friday and Saturday): $380
SHARED CABIN (shared bathroom): $610
DOUBLE DORM SUITE (double occupancy, communal bathroom shared with one other room): $650

SINGLE DORM SUITE (single occupancy, communal bathroom shared with one other room): $680
TWO ROOM APARTMENT (double occupancy, private bathroom): $680
ONE ROOM APARTMENT (single occupancy, private bathroom): $740

MEMBER DISCOUNT: $55 discount on all registration option prices. Become a member to take advantage of this offer.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Registration closes September 3rd, and all final payments are due by September 4th.

$100 deposit reserves your space. Deposits are non-refundable after August 13th. Lodging preferences are available on a first come first served basis. Your rooming assignment will be sent to you shortly after registration. Please be mindful of the payment deadlines. Your registration and your deposit will be forfeited if final payment is not received by September 4th.