First Steps Course

First Steps Course Single Footprint


Dates: 4 Saturday sessions: September 10, 17, 24, October 1.

Times: 10 am start (UK time), each online meeting is 3 – 4 hours long. 

Flexible study. You can either attend the sessions live, or do the course at your own pace and time by watching the recordings of the online sessions (recordings are made of all the theory presentations, journey instructions, and Q&A discussions, and are available for a further 3 months after the last online session).  


  • What is shamanism?
  • The history of shamanism and animism
  • How to do a shamanic journey (a step-by-step process)
  • How to do Power Animal retrieval journey and find your own Power Animal
  • Why we nearly lost shamanism, why we need it back and how psychotherapy fits in the process
  • The basics of how to do shamanic healing for other people



Shamanism is practical application of animist experience that not just humans, but all things have a soul – a life force and consciousness. The world, and everything in it, is alive, conscious and sacred (albeit conscious in a way that might be quite different to human consciousness).

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fox spirit animal

It is not the shaman that does the healing, but the guides. Shamans invite the helpful spirits to work through them. Your first and foremost guide working through you should be your Power Animal. ⁠

You are the apprentice and your Power Animal is your principal teacher.

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shamanic journey

Shamanism tells us that there is another, deeper reality behind this day-to-day, physical one. Whilst shamanic people live with the sense of both ordinary reality and shamanic reality being side-by-side, there are times when they choose to deliberately and temporarily immerse themselves more fully in shamanic reality; to enter one of the shamanic realms and go on a shamanic journey. 

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shamanic journey

Hollowing out means stepping aside from our middle-world stuff as much as possible, and from our own agendas and drives, beliefs and preconceptions, so the healing Spirits can communicate and work through us without all that getting in the way.

We need to hollow out, or our journeys will be coloured, driven and distorted by our ego.

read more


Learning shamanism online has proven to be effective and enjoyable. The course consists of a mixture of videos, live sessions, theory talks, question-and-answer sessions, group discussion, experiential exercises, and practice. This is delivered in 4 online meetings, with two of the sessions (below) covered in each meeting. Each session is between 1 to 1½ hours long, making the course a total of between 8 to 12 hours in length. The exact content of each session will vary to some extent, as tutors will tailor it to the needs and wishes of the participants. However, the basic structure is as follows:

Session 1

After watching a pre-recorded talk – “What is Shamanism” - given by Paul Francis, the founder of the college, a chance for students to ask the tutors any questions that they have. Then a tutor-led guided journey to the shamanic lower-world.

Session 2

A tutor-led Power Animal retrieval journey. Or, for those who already have a Power Animal, a journey to receive healing.

Session 3

Exploring what a Power Animal is, and how to work with them, in more depth.

Session 4

“Domestication and the Fall” a pre-recorded talk by Paul Francis, on why we nearly lost shamanism and why we need it back. Then a chance to ask tutors questions.

Session 5

Developing what is known as a “hollowing-out” practice – how to make sure that your shamanic journeys are grounded, authentic and Spirit-led.

Session 6

How to do a shamanic healing for someone. Includes looking at interpersonal skills and ethical considerations.

Session 7

Grounding practices. Doing a shamanic “burial” journey to connect to Mother Earth.

Session 8

How to develop your shamanic practice – ideas and practical suggestions for exploring further.

Between sessions, participants will have the option of joining private peer-led online groups, to offer each other encouragement and support, ask questions, and share ideas and experiences. Participants also can submit questions to the course tutor(s), to be answered at the next online session.  

Course Requirements

Online Access

To learn shamanism online, participants will of course have to have an internet-enabled device (computer, tablet or smartphone) and wi-fi access to take part. The platform we use is Zoom meetings – help will be available for getting set up if needed.

Mental Health

Shamanic work can be of great benefit with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and self-esteem issues. However, shamanic work does require a reasonable degree of mental robustness and groundedness, and emotional resilience. As such, like meditation and other similar practices, it can be contra-indicated in mental health issues such as psychosis, mania, severe depression, or disassociative disorders. So, if you have any mental health issues (current or historical) which you feel may impact on your ability to journey safely, then please do discuss this with the relevant course tutor prior to booking on the course. Any discussion will, of course, be treated confidentially.



Yes! Many of our students prefer to do the online sessions live as they enjoy the experience of working together as a group. However, you can also do the courses in your own time and at your own pace, by watching the recordings of the live sessions.

The recordings include the theory presentations, journey instructions, and Q&A sessions (everything except the discussions in break-out rooms, which we don’t record to protect participants privacy). Recordings are released a few days after each live session, and are available for a further three months after the last online session date, giving people plenty of time to go through the material.

Whichever way you decide to do a course though (live, or in your own time), you get all the benefits of being able to:

  • Ask questions and get them answered by Paul Francis (either at the next online session or via access to a library of Q&A videos).
  • Access all the course handouts and other resources, including suggested further reading, links to videos and articles, and so on.
  • Join the courses’ lively discussion forums, where students can share experiences, ask further questions, debate issues and share ideas and resources.

If you miss a session, that is fine! You can catch up using the recording of the session. Recordings are available for the theory, Q&A, and journeying instructions parts of the sessions (but not of the more private work people do in the break-out rooms).

Both the First-Steps course and the first book are introductions to shamanism, and so there is a degree of overlap. However, usually at least half of the students who do the First-Steps course have already read the first book, and always report that they learn loads more by doing the course too. This is partly as the course contains information not in the book, but also from the opportunity the course gives for questions and discussion.

The same goes for the other courses too. Although some are based on material that is also in the books, students always report that they get a great deal from doing the courses even if they have already read the books.

Conversely, students say they find the books are also a great compliment to the books too.

To be accepted on the Next-Step courses you must do the college’s First-Step course first. We regularly get inquiries from people who have trained in shamanism elsewhere and who want to skip the First-Steps course. From experience however, we have found that this is not a good idea, no matter how much prior experience people have. There are three main reasons for this:

  • Our First-Steps course contains practices and information that are not part of other shamanic trainings.
  • There are many very different approaches to shamanism. Because of this, we find that, in order to understand Therapeutic Shamanism, people with prior experience almost always need to go back to basics and learn afresh. This is not a process that can be skipped.
  • We teach Therapeutic Shamanism, with an emphasis not only on the spiritual side of the work, but on the psychological and emotional aspects too. Consequently, to feel safe enough to work at this depth, students need to take time to see whether we feel like the right tutors for them. Likewise, as tutors, we need to take time to see whether we feel people are right for this work, before accepting students onto the deeper courses.

If you haven’t done a First-Steps course yet, you can find the details of the next available ones here

In short, yes! Our students report that they learning shamanism online to be highly effective. We ran face-to-face courses for many years, and when we moved online, we worked hard to ensure the online courses were every bit as effective as the face-to-face ones had been, and in addition, that they made full use of the advantages that online learning can also offer.

Our students about learning with us online:

  • “I have attended courses in person and I learn shamanism online and I would say they are equally effective. Just that you are not spending hours travelling/paying for hotel rooms. I would say it isn’t as tiring doing it online.”
    – S.W.
  • I have not tried any other type of shamanic course, and so I can’t compare, but I have found that it works for me – in terms of learning theory, having time to ask questions, connecting with others, and sharing experiences.” – A.B.B.
  • Honestly, I wasn’t sure how well the courses would work online, but I was wrong to have any doubts. Having experienced the courses now, I’ve been blown away at how well they work, and I actually prefer this format now. This is in no small part to the hard work and skill I can see has been put into finding ways to deliver the material online – as a teacher myself, it is very impressive! Well done!” – P.S.

Course Dates & Details

Sessions will usually be offered at weekly intervals – either one a week for 8 weeks, or two a week over 4 weeks.  For details, see the dates below.  Contact Us if you have any questions.

Sept - Oct 2022


September 10, 17, 24, October 1, Saturdays, 10am start (UK time)

Delivered over 4 online meetings, with two of the sessions (above) covered in each meeting. Each meeting is between 3 and 4 hours long.

Jan - Feb 2023


January 21, 28, February 4, 11, Saturdays, 10am start (UK time)

Delivered over 4 online meetings, with two of the sessions (above) covered in each meeting. Each meeting is between 3 and 4 hours long.

May 2023


May 7, 14, 21, 28, Sundays, 10am start (UK time)

Delivered over 4 online meetings, with two of the sessions (above) covered in each meeting. Each meeting is between 3 and 4 hours long.

Sept - Oct 2023


September 16, 23, 30, October 7, Saturdays, 4pm start (UK time)

Delivered over 4 online meetings, with two of the sessions (above) covered in each meeting. Each meeting is between 3 and 4 hours long.

More dates will be added at regular intervals. Subscribe to our newsletter to be kept informed of new dates and courses or follow us on social media to stay updated: Instagram, Facebook.

Learn shamanism online with us!

Meet the team

The college’s founders, Paul Francis and Cat Anderson, deliver the online meetings. Additional experienced tutors are brought in to assist as needed, depending on student numbers.

Learn More about Therapeutic Shamanism


Learn more about our “Therapeutic Shamanism” experiential courses.


Read the best selling “Therapeutic Shamanism” Series of books. Suitable for both complete beginners and experienced practitioners alike, the books are an apprenticeship for modern times

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