Sign up for our newsletter
View latest newsletter
Contact us - Links
Temples of the Grail
Caitlín's blog
Client area login
FIOS - Courses and Training
FíOS offers a progressive training programme for students who wish to live in harmony with the universe and for those called to work as shamanic practitioners. Training is based on course modules taken over a period of 4-5 years minimum. Each student is required to fulfill the Foundation Course and work through the levels B- D. We recognize that the true shamanic teachers are the spirits and allies of each student, but we also hold that working as a shamanic practitioner in community requires mature service and commitment to a training that supports students’ personal shamanic vocation with ethical compassion and common sense. We only list & refer practitioners who complete our training to level E, remain in good ethical practice, and maintain in peer review and tutorial supervision with Fíos tutors.


Two weekends over six months with additional practice given to maintain proficiency. Students consolidate foundation skills and are not expected to work with clients. Knowledge is extended by experiential journeying. The following skills are taught:

the nature of both the seen and unseen sides of reality
how to make a shamanic journey or soul-flight into the otherworlds
gaining, recognizing and working with spiritual allies
mapping, recognition and familiarity with otherworldly locations
listening and understanding the variety of personal experience of other students
working in pairs to understand how shamanic work affects reality
working in a group to understand ritual group dynamics
simple diagnosis of spiritually-caused problems & simple healing techniques for shamanic first-aid
respect for the universe and its inhabitants as ensouled beings


Intermediate courses teach the basic components of shamanic healing as well as consolidating journeying skills. Students may join either of the Intermediate courses after having successfully completed the Foundation Course, however, suitably experienced students who have trained elsewhere with ethical shamanic practitioners are accepted, as are individual students whom the principals of FíOS have trained personally in their practices. Non-practitioner shamanic courses for beginners do not qualify for level. B. Only people of serious intent & commitment may apply for practitioner training which is unsuitable for the merely curious or those with serious mental or behavioural problems.

1. THRESHOLDS OF POWER & HEALING: a 4 day course which covers the wider field of shamanic healing. Students learn advanced diagnostic skills, power-retrieval, spirit-intrusion extraction, plant-spirit healing,and partake in embodiment of personal allies and the creation of simple customized shamanic rituals for the benefit of clients. Special healing allies are discovered and their wisdom implemented individually, in pair-work and within a group healing ritual. A major componant of this course is a deeper consideration of ethical issues surrounding shamanic practice in the community. Students are expected to recognize and begin to clarify any personal ego-problems as well as to make a deeper commitment towards their personal spiritual allies, since these are the student's supreme arbiters. We discuss the personal style and gifts of students and how these will affect the range of their shamanic work. Peer-support is encouraged. Runs annually. Please take Thresholds of Power before Midwifing the Soul.

2. MIDWIFING THE SOUL: a four day course in which students learn the principles of diagnozing, finding and restoring soul-fragments ejected through past traumas which physical and psychological therapies have been unable to heal. Teaches practical ways of guarding the soul in crisis and confusion. Students work extensively in pairs. Full background to soul-fragmentation is given and variety of case-histories are provided for illustration. Practical work involves students in advanced diagnosis methods and culminates in students receiving or performing actual shamanic soul-retrieval. A group soul-retrieval ritual is also enacted by all. Simple forms of spiritual-intrusion extraction, as well as how to receive, treat and care for clients is taught; guidelines for suitability of clients are given; aftercare of clients and their reintegration to improved healthy living are fully discussed. Peer-support is encouraged. Runs every one-two years.


Advanced courses are intended for the more experienced practitioner who has been actively maintaining shamanic practice for more than two-three years. Journeying skills should be second-nature and applicants have understood and been practicing shamanic healing. Advanced courses may be taken in any order. Students should have attended both intermediate courses and at least two advanced courses before applying for a place on the practitioner probation level D

VOYAGES OF THE SOUL : The Shamanic Wisdom of Death : a 4 day course which explores the nature of death, how we die and the use of shamanic help at or around the time of death. Students consider the implications of their own death. They learn how to assist the passage of the soul by finding special spiritual allies who can guide this process. Instruction on working with the dying and preparing them for death is given. Emphasis is given to the sensitive nature of this work and the need for scrupulous ethical practice. We also explore the nature of the ancestral bequests which tangle the soul-path of all individuals and how these may be shamanically clarified and healed. Includes the Soul-Friends Moon Boat Ceremony that initiates students as soul-midwives. Students are encouraged to utilize the teachings of this course as appropriate in the context of the death of friends and family. Runs every 2 years.

BLESSING ANCESTRAL HEARTHS - Healing Our Bloodlines: a NEW four day course on which we heal and reconnect with our ancestors. The ancestral fragmentations and family dishonours that are reflected down our bloodlines, are the root cause of individual pain and national conflict worldwide. By welcoming ancestors home we can begin to feel less lonely and abandoned, we lift the burden and rekindle hearth-fires so that we can gladden the whole circle of life. This course teaches how to identify ancestral blockages and discover how to clear these on behalf of both forebears and descendants. It concludes with an ancestral celebration of all our bloodlines. Runs every 2 years.

CRUTHNEACHT: WAY OF THE SHAPERS: a NEW four day course in which we learn how to take the cruths or shapes of our spirits upon us as we learn the principles of Spirit Embodiment. Our animal and otherworldly spirits are the prime guides and teachers who direct our shamanic work. We are never closer to them than when they become embodied in us. Cruthneacht (pronounced KRU-nyokt) is part of the ancestral European embodiment traditions that are our natural heritage, where customs of embodying territorial spirits, seasonal guardians, radiant ancestors and tribal gods kept the world in order. In our own literal-minded and desacralized times we need the enchanted reminder of the spirits who walk among us once again so that we may rededicate and reconsecrate our world. Working closely with our own spirits in journey and ritual, we also explore the shapeshifters’ art of Fith Fath, the druidic way of invisibility, when the shapes are hidden from sight for vital protection. Participants will have the opportunity to experience Cruthneacht themselves, discovering how the Way of the Shapers can become part of our shamanic practice as a way of enabling powerful change, dynamic healing and ecstatic unity. Runs occasionally.


This level requires greater commitment and is for those whose shamanic vocation now requires that they begin to practice in the community. No applicants exterior to this training scheme are considered.

HEARKENING TO THE HORSE'S MOUTH: an intensive five day probationer course for those who have completed the Foundation Course, the Intermediate Courses and at least two of the Advanced courses. This course instructs students how to teach clients shamanic spirit-consultation, by which clients learn how to make shamanic journeys for themselves and gain answers, healing or clarification to personal issues. Students work in pairs, taking turns to be client and shamanic consultant, and are taught how to help clients come to a personal understanding of the shamanic journeys that they take. Each pair-session is supervised and monitored and then all pair-sessions are discussed in the group. Preparatory instruction on setting up a practice is given. Client suitability, support and aftercare are fully discussed. Students who successfully complete this module begin to see clients while maintaining peer-review and supervision. Runs every two-three years The Co-Walkers Review Scheme is offered to graduates of module D. They can be covered by the practice insurance of Caitlín Matthews, by arrangement, while they are under supervision.


These intimate tutorial sessions are for a small group of practitioners and lead to professional standard of work where probationers may be listed as FíOS practitioners. It is open, subject to interview, to those completing level D. Peer-review groups meet between sessions & supervision is intensified: all three residential modules must be completed within 1-2 years.

Modules include HONOURING THE WEB & THE ALTAR OF OUR PRACTICE which immerse probationers deeper into practice work & GLADDENING THE CIRCLE explories how shamanism can regenerate community; this module is co-taught by students, A TEACHER TRAINING SCHEME is being planned for graduates to learn to teach shamanism as FíOS tutors, to follow this level.


© – John and Caitlín Matthews Site design by Ocelot Solutions

Site map