Advanced Shamanic Training & Apprenticeship Program
Begins in March 2020
Now taking applications.
Application deadline is February 1, 2020


Prerequisite for this program is a working knowledge of shamanic journeying and personal shamanic work with Gogo Gretchen or another approved practitioner.

Ancestral Wisdom’s two-year training was created to provide you with experiential initiations and rituals of the ancient ways of the shaman. Gogo Gretchen has trained with shamans in the United States and Africa. Her initial experiences with shamanic practices began with Michael Harner and the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. She also trained extensively with Sandra Ingerman and Tom Cowan. However Zulu Sangoma (shaman) P.H. Mtshali was her mentor on the initiatory path of the Sangoma.

Gogo Gretchen is a fully initiated sangoma/traditional healer from the Zulu lineage. She was “called” by her Ancestors (Spirit Guides) to train (itwasa) in Southern Africa. Gogo Gretchen has completed traditional training in Africa and graduated in traditional African ceremonies. Although this two-year program is not an African training, and you will not be a sangoma at the end of it, the wisdom and perspective of the sangoma will be shared throughout the two years. Gogo Gretchen's mentoring will reflect the ancient wisdom of the sangoma: surrender, humility, respect, community, ritual, oneness.

Benefits of this program include opportunities to experience life with more power, confidence and joy. Throughout the program you will be asked to surrender, to detach from outcomes, and to become the healing you want to see in the world. The Ancestors will take you deeply into your soul’s journey, revealing both shadow and light, asking you to surrender ego and embrace your inner truth and beauty. 

Shamans are called by Spirit. It is not a simple choice that one makes. While people can train people, it is the Ancestors who initiate shamans and make them authentic healers and agents of change. Therefore there will be no certificate at the end of this training. 

In addition to the foundational understanding of African traditional healing, participants will be introduced to “core healing techniques” as taught through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and Sandra Ingerman. Working with the spirits of nature will be a focus throughout the program as well.

During this eighteen-month program you will explore the wisdom of the shamanic path. You will learn classic healing methods such as divination, extraction, soul retrieval, psychopomp and absentee healing with an emphasis on ethical responsibility, clear diagnostic work and how to effectively follow the guidance of Spirit. You will have opportunities to experience initiations, group rituals, spiritual manifestation, and work with your compassionate helping spirits to develop a strong relationship. 

The two-year program meets for a total of six intensive weekends plus bi-weekly conference calls. You must commit to attending all weekend sessions. The bi-weekly conference calls will be scheduled during the first weekend.​

Four of the weekends will be held at a private residence in South Orange County, CA. The other two trainings are residential weekends at a retreat center in Lake Elsinore. There is an extra fee for lodging and food for these two weekends.​

Training Dates: 
March 14-15, 2020
July 11-12, 2020
November 6-8, 2020 (Residential)

March 6-7, 2021
July 10-11, 2021
November 12-14, 2021 (Residential)

Total fee for the program is $2800.00 (6 weekends)
(Extra fees apply for the two residential weekends)

Non-refundable payment of $500 thirty days prior to the first weekend training. 
You will be required to provide a valid Visa or MasterCard to set up the monthly payment schedule for the remaining tuition. The balance can be paid off over 18-months at $133 per month.

Total payment = 10% discount. 

Credit cards accepted with fee for processing

Acceptance into this training is by application only. Prerequisite requirements for this advanced training are that you have completed personal work with Gogo Gretchen, or another approved shamanic practitioner, and that you are able to journey successfully to the Upper and Lower worlds and feel a strong connection to your Compassionate Spirit Allies.

Please provide a two-page letter that details your personal reasons for wishing to be accepted into this program. This letter should include:

  • Description of yourself
  • Your background in healing and/or your spiritual path.
  • Who have your shamanic teachers been? Who has inspired you on your shamanic path?
  • What healing modalities have you learned and how do you use these techniques with others? (i.e. Reiki, Healing Touch, Pranic Healing)
  • Discuss your relationship with your Spirit Guides. What experiences have you had with them? Or do you need more guidance in building a relationship with them?
  • Describe two of your shamanic journeys in detail. These should be journeys where you received direct guidance and/or healing from Spirit, for yourself or someone else. Include your question and your interpretation.
  • How do you envision using this training? 
  • Will you commit to all six intensive weekends over a period of two years?

Please send your application letter to Gogo Gretchen at [email protected]

Testimonials for the Two-Year Program
"Meeting Gretchen McKay some 5 years ago, was like being taken on a gentle hand-held tour of “new realms and possibilities.” The 2-year Advanced Shamanic Training Program further expanded my perceptions of “time,” by opening the doors to our ancestral past, which also holds unrecognized mysteries about ourselves."
Shirley K.

"First, I want to mention that because of the training I received from Gretchen I can honestly say that it profoundly deepened my relationship with the Divine within me and greatly helped me define the “calling” of my soul all of which speaks to the very foundation of the shamanic path. This in addition to the actual skill based aspects of the training I received played a major role in me becoming the competent and ethical Shamanic Practitioner I am today."
Melody P.

"This fantastic collective of classes enhanced my life tremendously. Learning from my Guides promotes Wisdom from Within, tapping into true source which is uniquely my own. From this practice I am able to determine truth when it shows up. I am continuing this practice of working with this Truth to learn life lessons of which I am here to master."
Gary C.

"The two year shamanic program with Gretchen Crilly McKay was an eye opening journey that one would want to continue longer than the two years. For me it expanded my horizon and widened my idea of what is possible. I did things that a few years ago I would not have thought possible. It has lighted the way on the path that calls to me. As a Reiki master, the program has added texture and dimension to my work. I was excited to meet others of a like mind and to find a loving and welcoming community." 
Bob L.

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