Welcome to The Church of Earth Healing

The Church of Earth Healing has provided teaching, healing, and spiritual counseling within a shamanic framework in Athens County, Ohio since 1990, under the guidance of its founding ministers, Bekki Shining Bearheart and Crow Swimsaway.

Crow received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the University of Chicago, and his PhD in anthropology from the London School of Economics, London University, London, England, under his given name of Martin Anderson Nettleship. Bekki focused on studio art and art education at Ohio University, obtaining a BFA, and is a self-taught musician and lifelong student of metaphysics, who has practiced astrology for over 50 years. They met in 1980 through their mutual interest in healing and spirituality, and began working together almost immediately.

In 2013 they separated but continued to work together until Crow’s death in 2018, of an inflammatory lung condition.

Bekki continues the work of the Church, and has trained a core group of advanced shamanic practitioners in their introductory shamanic course, Fundamentals of Shamanism. She continues to teach a year-long shamanic apprenticeship that evolved from their two-week advanced shamanic training. She also very occasionally ordains associate clergy. All candidates for the ministerial training must have completed her shamanic apprenticeship or the two-week shamanic intensive taught by both she and Crow.

The COVID-19 outbreak has put some things on hold, but she continues to offer courses via Zoom, and occasionally in hybrid format.

Dragon Waters, home to Bekki and Crow and the Church for over 3 decades, is passing to one of our long-time advanced students and very dear friend, and will continue to function as the sanctuary it became under their stewardship. It will also continue to host some of the events they have facilitated over the years, and to be a welcome respite and retreat for friends and students. Watch the Schedule page for more updates.

Thanks to all who have supported the work of the Church for the last 30+ years, and especially to the Athens Shamanic Drumming Circle who continue to meet weekly. They provided needed support and love to Crow in his last illness.

For more about our work:

In June 2007, Crow and Bekki presented a paper at the 8th conference of the International Society for Shamanistic Research, titled Revivalist Shamanic Practice in Non-Indigenous Communities in the US. It details work done by us and our advanced students, and discusses shamanism and shamanic healing as an inherent human process that is natural and inevitable in all human cultures, including our own.

Workshops and Training

We offer many workshops in varied areas of shamanic practice, and additional learning opportunities in the shamanic arts, energy healing, divination, ministry, and pastoral counseling. Advanced students may choose to go on to apprentice under Rev. Bekki.

Healing Services

We are honored to offer a variety of healing modalities to our students and clients, including soul retrieval, extraction, deposession, bodywork, and energy healing. No previous experience with shamanism is required to schedule healing sessions.

Ceremonial Services

From weekly drumming circles to weddings to house blessings, we are experienced ceremonialists known for our ability to honor your needs for celebration and incorporate them into a well-formed and crafted ritual which will communicate effectively with Spirit and with your community.