One White Horse Standing



Upcoming Workshops:

Emergence of the Soul

Eagle Medicine


Find out more about our workshops, retreats and resources on our website.

One White Horse Standing Newsletter


Hi folks;

We have begun a new year and a new decade. Presently, it is below zero and snowing like there will be no tomorrow..translated—whole bunch lots. In my own childlike ways, I love every moment of it. Snow is like a breath of fresh air for my eyes. I drink each snowflake deeply and enjoy the aliveness of the cold air. I can get lost in the beauty of the moment.

Recently, I experienced religious bigotry about my native American heritage and spiritual practices. I realize that much of this behavior comes from  ignorance and irrationality. In this instance, it prevented my getting some consulting work and was left as if I was practicing Satanism, although it was never specifically stated. Such is the various forms of religious bigotry.

As a result, I decided to add some clarity about shamanism and indigenous spiritual beliefs. I own them as mine; however, you might find them useful as you struggle with how to counter the various forms of religious discrimination

Shaman is an indigenous term that means holy man, spiritual leader---similar to reverend, priest, minister. Shamanism is an indigenous spiritual practice, similar to prayer, meditation, & fasting. Some who practice shamanism may also practice other formal religions.

Many conservatively religious individuals do not understand shamanism and as a result show their religious bigotry toward shamanism through their denigrating and prejudiced views and intolerance of the opinions of others. This irrational behavior is intriguing as it is well documented that many of the ceremonial practices of shamanism, such as use of incense/smoke to clear or create sacred space, were derived from or were influenced by the ancient spiritual practices of shamanism.

When applied to religious history, the practice of fasting, going to the desert or the mountains without food or water so as to get closer to God to receive a vision, such as tablets of stone or the New Testament, is a shamanic practice tens of thousands of years old. In native American terms, this practice is often called vision questing; however, the original process was called lamenting (crying) for a vision. It was believed that God placed every person on earth with a specific and unique vision of how the world could be different as a result of one’s personal existence.  Over time, it was believed, each individual would forget this purpose as a result of growing up in the excitement of the wonderment of life. Around puberty, the individual would, through cultural teachings, begin to realize that he or she had forgotten their original God given purpose. When this was realized, the individual would begin to lament that loss for up to a year. Prayer ties would be created in preparation for going to the sacred space of the local area, often, the desert, a mountain, or a dense woods. For four days and four nights, the individual would be required to face all fears developed since birth so that clarity of one’s God given purpose would surface and again guide that individual’s existence within the community and on the earth.

Presently, we have two workshops scheduled for this year. First, we will meet in Bethel Horizons retreat center near Dodgeville, Wisconsin 22-24 January 2010 for an Emergence workshop. For the first time in many years, I have begun making crystal necklaces and prayer horns to celebrate our time together. Interestingly, the necklaces are lemurian seed crystals and arrow heads found by my father.  I wonder what spirit is preparing each of us to emerge.

The second workshop is over Halloween. Details will come later in the year.

I recently wrote a poem about death. It is not a morbid poem. Rather, it is more like an exploration of life, the awakening of the lifeless parts of ourselves which are often neglected. I hope you ponder it as I have found great solace in it...reminding me that the gift of life is within all aspects of our existence.

One White Horse StandingBountiful Blessings
Herb Stevenson
One White Horse Standing



Like an old friend,
you come in the night
as a wisp of cool air
that awakens my soul,
lifts my spirit,
and chills my body.

I find comfort in your presence,
knowing it is chance that you bring
in the lifeless parts of myself
that are unfamiliar
and uncomfortable in any form.

Your curiosity surprises me
as you scan my body,
my thoughts,
the bursting goose bumps on my skin,
and my sense that you are not here to take me.

You prod me with reminders
that shoot icy stilettos of fear
through every cell of my existence,
imploding my sense of self
into a thundering knowing silence.

I grapple to understand
the knowing that keeps
slipping off the tips of my awareness
sending me shivering back into the darkness
wondering what have I lost, again.

As my old friend,
you come in the night
as a wisp of cool air
that awakens my soul,
lifts my spirit,
and chills my body.

3 January 10



Upcoming Workshops

Emergence of the Soul
A Journey into Stone Energy
& Healing

January 22-26, 2010

In the silence of who we are, we discover a part of our self that is sacred. This part of our self does not come to the surface through determination or brute force or sheer will power. Rather it emerges from within the sacredness of who we are when sacred space is opened and safely held. When we touch our own sacredness, we touch our soul.

What to expect: The Emergence workshop will do 10-15 journeys over the course of the weekend. The focus of the workshop is total immersion into the spiritual world for three days so that the emergence of one's soul can surface through a memory, an insight, or a deep awareness. A large altar/vortex is created with large rocks and crystals. This creates a massive energetic field. Within this field, the people are able to find the safety necessary for the soul or inner parts of the self to come to the surface to heal and be healed. It is common for people to have transformational healing experiences.

Who Should Come: All participants need to be experienced with the shamanic journey.

What to Bring: Please bring any rocks or crystals that want to come along. A journal notebook with colored pencils or pens is encouraged as well as any comforts for sitting on the floor, such as floor chairs, back supports, blankets, pillows, etc.

Start & End: This workshop is January 22-24, 2010. It starts at 9:00 a.m. on Friday and runs late into the night. Saturday class begins around 9:00 am. Sunday class will begin at 9:00 a.m. and finish around 3:00 p.m.

Where will it be held: The workshop will be held at Bethel Horizons Retreat Center in Dodgeville, Contact Marie Smith for details and to register.  608-647-2366.


Eagle Medicine

March 26-28, 2010
Illinois - Details to follow



Find out about workshops, retreats, and resources at



This is a shamanic newsletter and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Any person needing therapeutic support should contact a mental health professional immediately.