The Shaman

WAKAN is a spiritually based, non-profit organization & shamanic studies community dedicated to the sacredness of life.

The word “Wakan” means “sacred” in the Lakotah language and “heart of the sky” in the Mayan language. The guidance to start Wakan came through Dr. Tom Pinkson on Christmas Eve, 1983. Since then, a community has grown together through seasonal retreats, pilgrimages to places of power, vision quests, sweat-lodges, workshops, shamanic practice groups, educational publications from Wakan Press, Drumming-Prayer Circles, and ceremonies honoring life passages (birth, coming of age, marriage, elderhood, and death).

Our Mission: Wakan is a non-profit 501(c3) organization committed to restoring the sacred in daily life, with products and services for healing and creative expression based on indigenous wisdom teachings. The organization was founded by Dr. Tom Pinkson after the guidance to start a community helping people live in balance with the web of life, came through on Christmas Eve, 1983.

The Assignment: Shares Tom, “Before her death my Huichol spiritual grandmother Guadalupe de la Cruz, charged me with bringing the teachings of her People to “El Norte” where she said we had forgotten how to live. Entering my sixty-fifth year I feel a responsibility, both as a grandfather and a citizen of Mother Earth, to pass on what I have been so fortunate to have been given by my Elders. I walk my path with a firm commitment to the work of bringing forth indigenous wisdom to address the problems of contemporary society. Wakan is the vehicle by which I seek to carry out my “assignment”. Wakan received tax-exempt status in 1987 and has been providing services ever since.

How We Do It: Wakan offers tools to rediscover the joy of living in sacred oneness with the web of life, each other, and future generations. To do this, we offer products and services for healing and creative expression, based on indigenous wisdom teachings, such as seasonal retreats, quests for vision, workshops, shamanic practice groups, educational publications from Wakan Press, and ceremonies honoring life passages.

WAKAN Membership Contribution Time:

Hola Relatives – After twenty five years the Wakan Community continues to live and grow with new developments and work in the world.   Your membership contribution of $35 keeps us afloat  and we thank you for your support be it new this year or through the years that you have been a paying contributor to our work.

Here is what your membership helps to support:

A monthly contribution to our extended Huichol Family in Mexico helping with medical supplies for elders and school costs for younger generations.

Wakan serves as fiduciary for several small organizations that provide direct services to Native People here in the Bay Area, in MesoAmerica and in Canada and  South America.

The new, quarterly Drums and Dessert Community Gathering.

Wakan Talking email connection.

And perhaps most significantly, it allows me to be out in the world as a traveling minister/rebbe for the Wakan community, representing You, in providing services to those in need – spiritual services that are offered free – my midwifery work with dying relatives, grief work with their families, out-reach to places like the Native American group of San Quentin prisoners, and to various groups and individuals working in support of indigenous rights and environmental sustainability, home visits to the sick and elderly – basically going where I need to go to serve Spirit that in many instances has no financial  recompense and thus my need for a spiritual community that enables me to do this work that I am here to do.   

Without the support of Wakan membership dues and the extra monthly support of members of the Contributors Group there would not be the wind under my wings that enables me to do what I do.  I thank you one and all for your caring and your generosity.

Please keep that wind flowing and mail your contribution of $35 payable to Wakan (or more, see below*) to: Treasurer Nancy Binzen, Box 823, Woodacre, CA 94973. 

If you would like to join the Contributors Group as well, contact Nancy. You can also give your membership check to Nancy at our Drums and Dessert Winter Solstice and Holiday Party on December 15.

******New offerings for paid up Wakan members:

*One month free to Rick Kutten’s weekly stretch class on Friday afternoons, 3:30 to 5pm at San Anselmo’s Essex Center (near the Hub).  Contact Rick.

*A $10 discount for Nancy Binzen’s and Phil Sheridan’s January workshop, ”Spirits, Stories and Celtic Shamanism.” or

*Certified Financial Recovery Counselor Lauren Spelman offers $25 per hour discount (limit 4) on money coaching sessions to explore your relationship to money and learn practical day-to-day money management skills.

*10% discount of Synergy Wellness products.

**For $100 contributions to Wakan, a spiritual counseling/healing session with me at my San Rafael office. 

Thank you, relatives, for your caring, your sharing, for helping to keep our community alive and growing.

With deep gratitude and love,


We are Sacred, Worthy, Luminous beings, We are Love and our Love is For Giving