Traditional Wisdom

The Center for Symbolic Studies is honored to have a part in sharing the teachings of a number of traditional elders. Some return annually or occasionally, others do ceremony more regularly at Stone Mountain Farm. Some of our teachers are featured on this page.

For dates & details on specific shamanic events, use our Contact Form: Check the box by General Information/Special Events, and send us a Message specifying your interest in shamanic programs. We do send out emails when we have sufficient prior notification from a teacher; but since shamans sometimes arrive on short notice, you should watch for notices on this page, on our Main Page, and on our Calendar.


Vusumazulu Credo Mutwa, Zulu Sangoma, in South Africa

One of the first publication projects of our Traditional Wisdom Program was the collaboration of  Vusumazulu Credo Mutwa with Stephen Larsen on the book Song of the Stars: The Lore of a Zulu Shaman (Inner Traditions).




SWEAT LODGE with Sparky Shooting Star

Our Sweat Lodge Community extends an invitation to you to join us in a traditional lodge, and in preparing the ceremonial area, throughout the day each scheduled Saturday. Please bring your own lunch and wear work clothes. Please arrive 3 to 4 hours before sunset to help prepare.

We conduct traditional Lakota style sweat lodge, prayer and purification ceremonies, with the Sacred Pipe. Men, please wear shorts or modest swimsuits in the Lodge; women, please wear a sundress or modest swimsuit. Bring a towel, and food for potluck supper. In keeping with Native American tradition, there is no alcohol and, of course, no drug use. No moontime for this ceremony, please. Firewood and contributions of blankets are welcome. Donations are gratefully accepted. Registration will be limited by the Lodge size, so please pre-register: Contact Liz (917)294-8636, Michele in NYC (631)766-5936, or  For more information about Sparky’s work, go to Sparky Shooting StarTurtleIsland93w.


Carlos Barrios, Mayan Shaman:

Coming soon (possibly in November) to discuss the Mayan Prophecies, and the important book now available in English: The Book of Destiny: Unlocking the Secrets of the Ancient Mayans and the Prophecy of 2012 (written at the request of the Mayan Elders by members of the Guatemalan Elders Council and Mayan priest Carlos Barrios), available at

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