Mourning The Loss of our Dear Friend, Jan Van Ysslestyne...
We are sad to announce the passing of one of our longtime friends, Jan Van Ysslestyne. Jan was a very special soul. She was a skilled counselor, astrologer, and mentor to many, and a great friend of East West.
As the leading Western practitioner of Ulchi shamanism, and the only speaker of the Ulchi language living in North America, we were uniquely honored and blessed by her presence and teaching.
In 2018, she published a magnificent book of essential and comprehensive teachings of classical Shamanism gleaned from in-depth conversations with the elders and last remaining shamans of the Ulchi people, which she titled Spirits from the Edge of the World.
I'd like to share just a few of my special memories of Jan, as well as words from her dear friend Meghan Fitz-James, lastly some info on honoring Jan's legacy through donations.
One of the first times I spoke with her at length was at the old, old store on the corner of 65th and Roosevelt in one of those tiny reader rooms we had on the first level floor. She told me about a very lucid dream she had of her spirit soaring over Seattle. She was in the Spirit world underlying the Physical realm apparently, and noticed a very large skyscraper of light (like a beacon). As she flew towards it, she recognized that the location of the towering column of light was 65th and Roosevelt, and that it must have been East West that she was seeing. That story left a great impression on me and made me appreciate more fully the powerful impact East West had on the spiritual community in Seattle.
Another memory I cherish is her cheerful (and careful!) help moving our entire crystal collection from 65th up to Roosevelt Square back in 2015, along with help from Ron and Jodi Teeples. They very mindfully loaded her pickup truck with all of the shiny specimens and I don't recall a single piece breaking. Again, as I recall, she helped us with our big store floor plan redesign in 2017 which literally involved us moving every single bookcase and every single book therein. She was one of the last ones to stay and help, continuing to serve until well after midnight.
Jan, on behalf of all of us at East West over the years (decades!), thank you for your Wisdom, your Light, your Kindness, your Humor and your Service... We will miss you greatly.
There will be no Memorial Service for Jan as she hated that sort of thing. Instead, on the new moon of every month for one year, we build a fire; feed the fire, rice, salmon, berries, tobacco, and vodka and then sit and remember her with stories.
The first one was this last Thursday (June 10). This is the Ulchi Way.