Michael is a shamanic healer, psychotherapist, educator, storyteller, and artist of Native American and European descent. He has been privileged to tell stories throughout the Northeastern United States, England, and South Asia. H live and work in Burlington, Vermont, which is nestled snugly between Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains. Most days I can see the Adirondack Mountains across the lake. In childhood I had Polio, an event that taught me much about challenge, struggle, isolation, and healing.
In 2002, my teachers told me I must become more visible, and teach. That was not a simple directive to fulfill. I have always been taught that one never calls oneself a shaman or medicine person. Only the elders and teachers, and the people one aids, can speak to who is, or is not, a shaman. Yet, the world has changed and I do not live in traditional culture. The time is near when the ancient teachings and healing practices of First Nations people will find their rightful place in the world. My teachers believe it is now important for visionary healers to stand true and straight, to acknowledge our training, and to share the teachings and practices we know.
I am Mixed Blood, my genealogy being confounding at best. My father’s father was Native American from the Black Hills (most probably Lakota). His mother was Native American from Indiana, we believe Shawnee. Periodically someone in that side of the family “discovers” our grandmother’s actual tribal affiliation, but those discoveries tend to morph. There are many genealogical stone walls, as fits a family in hiding. My mother’s family identified as hailing from the British Isles, although there were rumors of recent Cherokee ancestry as well. (My father said our family is Native on both sides.) They were from Texas, and very aware of the racism Natives face in that state. Anyway, we don’t have tribal affiliation. Identity politics are strong in this country, and being Mixed Blood teaches one much about living in between easily defined categories.
As seems right, my work draws from both First Nations and contemporary Western traditions, and reflects my connection to the forces and processes of Nature. Always my work supports others in developing intimate, transformative relationships with both Self, and the natural world.
Our spirits and psyches are aspects of Nature, given to unimaginable complexity and surprising transformations. Within us are the great storms, tides, yearnings, and passions of the world. We are each a force of Nature, larger than we can dream or know. As we open to our vastness, we may find love and acceptance, and develop compassion, even for ourselves.
My wife, Jennie, is also and artist and healer. To learn more about our work, please visit our website. You may phone us at 802-860-6203802-860-6203.