Jeff Schmitt, OUnI, PhD– is a Folk Healer, Tabaquero, Ceremonialist, Musician & Scientist; he is a walker-between-worlds. Jeff has also practiced and taught Chinese martial arts for most of his life. He is a 32-year veteran scientist, entrepreneur with over 100 publications and patents to his name. As a social entrepreneur he has helped start five companies, one of which went public in 2002. Jeff is a dedicated practitioner and student of the folk healing traditions of Peru and North America. Jeff enthusiastically works with clients using sacred healing and counseling methods; one of his greatest joys is bringing people together in sacred community to facilitate personal and planetary healing. He is also a teacher of the healing arts of South America and the Andes (www.firewalker.be) – One of his greatest joys is sharing knowledge and wisdom. He has given nearly 200 invited presentations (including a TEDx talk and keynote at the Global Philosophy Forum) over the past 25 years. As a university professor, he taught advanced undergraduate, graduate-level and interdisciplinary courses. Jeff has enjoyed a decades-long relationship with the sacred healing plant, tobacco. For many years, Jeff studied the neuroprotective properties of compounds found in tobacco and helped start a company to fight diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s based on this research. Over the years his relationship has shifted to working with tobacco as a teacher and catalyst for sacred healing. After a concentrated apprenticeship with noted Curanderos, Jeff was given the title Tabaquero or ‘one who heals with tobacco’.


Ellen Kittredge, CHC – is a Nutrition Counselor, Minister, Quantum Energetic Disciplines Practitioner, Shamanic Practitioner. Ellen works holistically with her clients to provide healing at all levels of their being (physical, emotional, and spiritual). In her personalized sessions with her clients she combines her extensive training in nutritional healing modalities (from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the Institute for the Psychology of Eating to name just a few of her certifications), with several powerful energetic clearing techniques she’s been initiated into as a Quantum Energetic Disciplines Practitioner.

Ellen is ordained as a Minister of Walking Prayer through the Center for Sacred Studies Ministerial Training Program. The significant focus of this Training Program on indigenous and earth-based ways of healing has combined well with her extensive studies in indigenous Andean healing modalities. Over the last several years she has received several transformative initiations/rites from her teachers along the high Andes Paqokuna path, including the Pleiadian Rites, the Nusta Rites and the Hatun Karpay. In addition to co-teaching the year-long Eagle Condor Intensive, she teaches the following workshops with her colleague Suzannah Tebbe Davis – The Nusta Karpay: Healing and Awakening the Divine Feminine; The Nusta Blossoming; The Pleiades Starkeeper Rites: Remembering Your Essence and Origin.

Ellen uses healing foods, nutritional recommendations, supplements, lifestyle coaching, energy clearing techniques, spiritual counseling and a variety of other tools in her individualized approach to creating optimal health for her clients. Additionally, over the last several years, Ellen has taken over 1,000 people through her highly effective 21-Day therapeutic food-based cleansing program. Additionally, she has combined her passion for nutrition with her study of earth based healing traditions to offer a new perspective in nutrition, Shamanic Nutrition. Ellen has a deep passion for her own personal transformation, as well as that of her clients, which translates into one success story after another in her practice.

To learn more about Shamanic Nutrition, please enjoy this recent video Ellen recorded for a closed Facebook group called Sacred Empowerment Temple.


Matthew Kabat, MFA began studying traditional Zen meditation at age 11. After more than 10 years of training in meditation and Okinawan martial arts he began to study the traditional internal martial arts of China. Over the past 20 years his practice and training has focused on Taoist meditation and healing practices as well as studying and teaching Taiji Quan and Xinyi Quan. His current approach to practice could be summarized in the traditional Chinese saying: “study Scripture and ritual, but do not be dogmatic; practice sensitivity and awareness, but do not become self indulgent; beyond both dogma and sensation lies the deeper practice you are seeking.” He currently makes his living as an artist, teacher, writer and maker of things and lives with his family in Asheville NC.

Assistant Teachers

Lisa Wiggins, PhD – celebrates the divine light that exists in everything by honoring natural rhythms and earth medicines. She is an ordained minister and shamanic practitioner with over 15 years experience facilitating discussion groups, formal classes, group meditations, seasonal rituals, and shamanic journeys. She has studied with prominent shamanic teachers, such as those affiliated with the Eagle Condor Council, Pachakuti Mesa Tradition, and Harner Foundation for Shamanic Studies. Lisa is a third degree Priestess of one of the largest covens in the southeast. She is both inspired by and dedicated to the ancient Andean practices transmitted through the Eagle Condor programs.

Lisa is trained as a developmental psychologist and maintains a demanding research position in a prominent agency. She uses her extensive training in shamanic and pagan studies to discover ways to incorporate nature-based spiritualities into modern career and lifestyle choices. She is an empath and intuitive who believes that all life experiences are opportunities for growth and learning.


Lisa works with clients and students by integrating intuitive abilities, personal experience, and spiritual training to help others move from a place of fear and stagnation to a place of love, gratitude, respect, and awareness. She serves her community by offering individual and group sessions geared toward healing and expanding, and awakening compassionate inner wisdom.

Shea Michael O’Brien is a massage therapist, Chinese and Japanese medicine practitioner, Gong Fu Tea practitioner, and ceremonialist.
He has been submerged in the healing arts for over a decade with backgrounds in various internal alchemies the world over. An initiate in the Blue Wolf Darhad Mongolian tradition, The Egyptian School of Tet, Taoist Kunlun System, the Peleku tradition of Kauai, and the Paqokuna of the High Andes Peru, Shea is deeply moved by discovering and living how humanity has walked this earth for millennia.
The way of the Paqo, the Paqokuna, has fed his heart and integrated his knowledge and wisdom to an ever greater capacity. These earth based teachings, rooted in sacred reciprocity with the living earth and Creator, are what he aims to share with the world. A Tabaqero and Curandero in training, his heart has found a home in these old ways.
It is Shea’s passion to come together in community space to support and participate in personal and collective healing.
Shea works with clients through Chinese Medicine massage therapy, qi qong and nutrition, partnered with his background in global shamanism, to bring an inclusive approach to healing. He specializes in regulating the nervous system, trauma release support, and aims, with a less is more approach, to bring movement back into clients lives whether that be mental, emotional, physical or spiritual.

Sheila Guarnagia, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., Dipl.C.H., holds a B.A. in Biology from Smith College, a Master of Acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture, and completed a three year program in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine.  Sheila is certified by the NCCAOM as a Diplomate in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology. She has worked and published in the fields of ecological and medical research and completed over 4 years as an apprentice home birth midwife in Arizona.  Since 2004 she has studied and incorporated Appalachian Folk Medicine and Traditional Western Herbal Medicine into her practice. In 2018 Sheila completed the Eagle Condor Council Healing Intensive and is currently in training to be a teacher and lineage carrier of this traditional Andean Spiritual Healing modality.

From Sheila’s website – “Transformation of discomforts, “dis-ease”, and difficulties into the deepest resonance of wholeness requires a holistic approach that honors, aligns, and weaves together all the elements that compose us. Too often symptoms are treated or managed to silence the Self rather than to address the well-being of the whole person.  Our experience of wellness and wholeness must include the integration of experiences of all kinds – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – to contribute to our maximum blossoming.
For these reasons it is my commitment to you to assist you in discovering the whole picture of your state of dynamic balance.  Recognition of the innate and intimate connection between all aspects of your Self, your constitutional tendencies, the influences of your lifestyle on your wellness, and greater awareness of your interdependence with the natural world will inspire you on the adventure of profound wholeness which is yours if you desire.  The ancient peoples of Asia called this Tao, the essential principle of being in harmony both within and without.”

Callan Welder L.Ac. MAOM – grew up on a farm in WNC about an hour outside of Asheville.  He developed a deep connection with nature and graduated from college with a Naturalist degree.  The love of nature and the outdoors led him into wilderness emergency medicine and ski patrolling in Montana.  The power of Chinese Medicine became his calling after suffering a traumatic back injury while skiing.  Since then he has become a licensed Acupuncturist & Herbalist, as well as massage therapist.  Callan has gone back to his roots and built his home on the family farm where he and his wife are raising their children.  He is also a certified Qi Gong instructor and Yi Jing Consultant under Master Wu Dang Chen, Daoist priest and healer.  Callan owns Marshall Acupuncture & Herb Clinic in downtown Marshall, NC where he enjoys serving his community with Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Daoist Healing Arts, and shamanic practices from the Eagle Condor Council.