Seeing with the Heart Shamanic Apprenticeship

An Apprenticeship in Core Shamanism

taught by Robert Patton and Tracey Forest

“We need as many shamanic practitioners in the world as possible in these challenging times on the planet.  We need people who can read the signs, talk to the spirits of the land, help heal the souls of our community more than ever.”
—Tracey Forest, Spirit Hollow Director


“As a Seeing With the Heart student, my life was transformed.  The hands-on training and practical experience in core shamanism, divination and healing can lead one (who is ready) to new worlds and limitless possibilities.  I have seen (and performed) miracles.  This stuff is real and bless Spirit Hollow for spreading the magic all around and keeping the teachings alive.”
—Joanne Grisanti, Spirit Hollow friend

For those serious about deepening their spiritual life, understanding the universe & the natural world more fully, and accessing power & guidance for healing self & others, this three-year apprenticeship is tailored to you.

Described as a “life-altering course,” this on-going training offers leading-edge instruction in shamanic techniques and spiritual development in a circle of dedicated people and meets one Saturday each month for 8 months on land, sanctified over years by the spiritual efforts of many,  in the beautiful mountains of southwestern Vermont. The focus is on learning ancient shamanic techniques blended with contemporary approaches.

Set up as a two-year program, apprentices will “graduate” with many tools, including a variety of journeying techniques, drumming and rattling skills, techniques for clearing and extraction healing, soul retrieval training, psychopomp work, working with the elements in a compassionate way, doing group ceremony and performing ritual, becoming intimate with the spirits of the Three Realms and developing a language to communicate and co-create with the spirits of nature directly.

This course was created by Tracey Forest and Ananda Forest, both graduates of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies’ Three-Year Program in Advanced Shamanism and Shamanic Healing under the direction of the late and incredible Dr. Michael Harner.  For the last 21 years, Spirit Hollow has been training shamanic healers and teachers at the beautiful sanctuary that is Spirit Hollow.  Hundreds of people from all over New England have gone through this apprenticeship and have found their places as guides and healers in many communities.  

Is this the right fit for you?  Michael Harner, our root teacher says, “the shaman is social activist on a spiritual level,” and indeed the primary “call” to this work is that nagging pull in one’s soul-spirit-self to be a spiritual activist, to be of service, to help the world to wholeness, to help alleviate suffering and pain.   Certainly, we need as many healers and soul-infused leaders as possible in this unprecedented times.

However, this apprenticeship is not intended for people solely seeking personal healing, although as a side effect, there will be deep insights, releases and profound practices that will help you become more whole.  For people with pressing psychological issues or those in a healing crisis, we do not recommend this course, but instead recommend working with a licensed therapist.

What do graduates say about Seeing with the Heart?

The shamanic tools and insights gained throughout this class will stay with me throughout the rest of my life. The ability to access other-worlds was SUCH a powerful idea that I would have never been able to connect with outside of this class. The education surrounding spirit guides and other various journeying tools have also helped, and with continue to help me throughout life. 

I love the equality of meeting within a circle where everybody shares and is heard. I love that the teachers shares together with the students creating a sense of trust and equality.

Life- changing, Deep gratitude. Connection with spirit and with nature has shifted my reality. I will miss my Saturdays at Spirit Hollow with beloved classmates.

I absolutely loved this training. It was so powerful. So perfectly held. I loved everything about it.

In a spiritual community, through hands-on methods, you will learn the following in Year One:

  • to “journey” into non-ordinary reality
  • to connect with power animals, ancestors and teachers for guidance and healing
  • to understand and participate in the way of council
  • to clarify your soul’s purpose and work toward manifesting it in the world
  • sacred creative expression through song, movement, drumming and/or art
  • to construct and perform sacred rituals to honor, heal & release
  • to incorporate shamanic practice into everyday life
  • techniques of working compassionately with those who have died or are dying
  • techniques of divination to use with self and others
  • methods of working with nature spirits and spirits of place in a respectful and cooperative way
  • to retrieve soul’s voice and learn how to express it effectively
  • extraction healing to remove the spiritual causes of blockages and physical illness

The first half of the first-year course is intended to help participants learn the fundamentals of shamanism and then to work on personal healing and spiritual growth. The second half is intended to teach participants highly effective techniques for helping and healing others and the planet. Most students continue into a second and third year of study, learning soul retrieval and other intermediate and advanced techniques.

 Themes for Year Two:

YEAR TWO: Merging and Becoming Indigenous and Becoming a Soul Retrieval Practitioner

You will learn:

  • intermediate journeying and divination skills.
  • how to sink into nature through becoming indigenous. You will connect more deeply with the spiritual aspects of your own dwelling place and develop rituals and create sanctuaries that honor and revere the Earth.
  • deeper levels of communication and co-creation with the Spirits of Nature.
  • the entire process of soul retrieval and be prepared to assist your community in doing this incredible work of love for people, animals, plants and places.
  • You will create masks and costumes of your primary spirit helpers as an initiatory step into greater levels of shamanic awareness for the benefit of others.


Tracey Forest, Director and Co-Founder of Spirit Hollow.  Tracey  has been teaching shamanic healing for almost 30 years and is a graduate of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies‘ three-year program in Advanced Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, where she studied directly under Dr. Michael Harner, considered the world’s leading authority on shamanism. Tracey has  200-hour Teacher Certification in Prana Vinyasa Flow Yoga from Shiva Rea and teaches yoga classes throughout at several area yoga studios. Currently, she is enrolled in the Soulcraft Apprenticeship and Initiation Program with  Bill Plotkin of the Animas Valley Institute, deepening her connection to the soul of the Earth and honing her own soul-infused leadership skills, as well as gathering tools to assist the entire earth community during this time of the Great Turning.

Tracey sees private clients for shamanic healing(has done so for the last two decades), conducts Soulcentric Mentoring sessions via video, directs transformational camps for kids in the summer and runs deep immersions for women and vision quests on the land. Tracey lives and works at Spirit Hollow with her awesome kids. She pursues her passion for music, playing and singing original songs of love, devotion, passion and soul.  Tracey deeply believes in the power of nature to heal, teach and connect us as well as the power of the human spirit to open and guide us to our own sacred essences.  When nature and the human spirit meet, alchemy happens and we become more aware, more in tune to our true purpose and more respectful of the Earth and all Her inhabitants.

Robert Patton, Spirit Hollow’s Dreamkeeper, one of the original Seeing with the Heart students and Spirit Hollow board president, has volunteered his time to Seeing With the Heart since 2004, paying forward the rich experience in spirituality that the program opened for him. Sandra Ingerman’s Medicine for the Earth workshop and Greg Besek’s work on death and dying both strongly influenced his path of further explorations and study.  His walk between a full-time job in the mundane world and the shamanic view of the Universe has deepened his understanding of the shamanic role in community as psychopomp to both the living and the dead and to both the wild and urban environment as well.  Over the years, Robert has celebrated rituals and led ceremonies at Spirit Hollow; in 2006, he became an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church. He believes in the journey toward personal, spiritual authority in one’s own life that Seeing with the Heart can begin for individuals and continues to offer his assistance to the classes. He continues his private studies in ritual theory, world mythology and world religion.


YEAR ONE meets from October 2021 – May 2022 (one Saturday per month)

8 Sessions Total, all are at Spirit Hollow.  Times are 10-5, except two later sessions where noted.

September 25, 2021  

October 30, 2021  (1pm – 8pm)

December 4, 2021

January 8, 2022

Feb 5 2022

March 5 2022 (1pm – 8pm)

April 2 2022

May 7 2022

YEAR TWO meets from October 2022 – May 2023 (one Saturday per month)

8 Sessions Total, dates to be announced.

Lunches are potluck (please bring a dish each time we meet).  Coffee, tea and drinks are available throughout the day.  This will be personal lunches brought by participants (not to share) if Covid restrictions have not been lifted by September  (Click here for directions).

Tuition and Commitment:

 A non-refundable deposit of $100 (applicable to your tuition) is required with your registration, as is a completed application.  The tuition for the whole year is $800-1200; that breaks down into a per-session fee of $100-150.  Think about what value you place on spiritual training in your life; take a moment to consider both what you have the ability to pay and what are willing to pay. While you can pay anywhere on that scale, you must commit to the fee you agree on.  We prefer you pay the whole fee up front; email Tracey if you need a different payment plan or option.

If you are unable to pay the minimum, but still feel strongly drawn to the program, send Tracey an email in which you outline in detail  your financial situation, what you are able to pay and what work you can exchange to supplement your payment.  We will try to work with you.

This is not a drop-in class; as an apprentice, you are making a commitment to your circle, to your teachers and, most importantly, to yourself.  We ask that you miss no more than one session (unless there are extreme circumstances).


Email us at with questions.


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