The time is once again upon us to make those New Year’s resolutions. Whether we are resolving to get in shape or meditate more, we are essentially seeking wholeness and integration within our multidimensional beings. Perhaps if we saw the spiritual opportunities that the New Year brings, we might feel more enthusiastic about the journey. One such spiritual opportunity available this January and February is an "Introduction to Shamanism" workshop series, taught by shamanic practitioner and longtime Minneapolitan Timothy Cope. Cope has followed the shamanic path for 25 years and is passionate about bringing the healing gifts of shamanism to people of all ages.

The Introduction to Shamanism for Young Adults Workshop, for ages 13-18, is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, January 26-27. The Introduction to Shamanism for Adults Workshop will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, February 9-10. Both workshops will be at Mascots & Costumes Healing Space, 2841 Oakland Ave., in Minneapolis. The cost of each class is $225.

Shamanism is an ancient spiritual path that allows for direct communication with and revelations from the spirit world. The radical thing about shamanism, Cope says, is that individuals are encouraged to seek the spiritual world themselves. Because there is no intermediary, the relationships that develop can be tremendously empowering and healing. He believes shamanism is relevant today because so many people, particularly young people, are searching for their place in the world. In our complex, global society, hybrid spiritualities are evolving and shamanism is compatible with many belief systems.

Shamanism affirms the spiritual essence of and connection between all things in our world. The shamanic path provides the opportunity to strengthen our connection to the physical and non-physical world through a technique called journeying. It involves communicating directly with the spirit world for knowledge. Such knowledge may be practical in nature such as, "Which school or job is best for me?" or more existential such as, "How can I deepen my spiritual practice?" In the Introduction to Shamanism workshop series, Cope will teach basic journeying techniques in which participants will be able to meet their power animal or animals along with helping spirits. The workshop will provide a foundation to build empowering and healing relationships in the spirit and material worlds.

Cope believes his teaching of the shamanic path is part of his own spiritual growth and is a responsibility he takes very seriously.

"Shamanism in not just about using techniques," he says. "You are also endeavoring to become more conscious, more awake. This work is intended to be of service. It’s about being helpful to other beings in the world; other individuals, communities, species and the planet. It’s about establishing connections with others in the world. I am devoted to creating community in the physical and nonphysical worlds."

Cope is a certified shamanic counselor through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. He has completed Sandra Ingerman’s two-year Teacher Training Program in Santa Fe, NM, and is an ordained healing minister through the Center for Wholeness in Edina, Minn. For more information and to register, visit rattledrum.com or call Rattle and Drum Journeys at 612.721.5566.

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