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Shamanism is a spiritual healing and empowerment practice

as ancient as humankind ... as timely as today ...

as universal as light.

the wild world

I've hungered for it all my life.  From the time I was the smallest child, I found my spiritual home in the leafy shadows of the forest ... in the whisper of surf on wet sand ... in the caress of warm summer rain, slick green grass beneath bare feet.  The wild world spoke to me of connection; of belonging; of home.

Shamanism has given me a language to engage deeply in this dialogue with creation.  Intimate relationships with four-leggeds, with plant spirits, with the winged ones, that bring me to tears, to my knees in gratitude.  Wisdom that fills my life with light, taps me into deep, authentic power, guides my way.

we were all indigenous once

I love so many things about shamanism! – intimate contact with nature, my power animal’s kooky sense of humor, the moments when it's clear I simply couldn’t be making this stuff up.  But the thing I may love most is the fact that it is not the province of one particular people or culture.  Shamanic practice burbles up from the earth everywhere, and wherever people live in connection with the earth, there is shamanism.

Certainly specific practices, rituals, beliefs exist which belong to a particular culture, and these need to be met with respect.  And, there are elements of shamanic practice that show up again and again, in cultures from pole to pole, right round the center of the globe, and everywhere in between.  Michael Harner, world renowned researcher, anthropologist, and prime catalyst of shamanism’s decades-long renaissance, calls these common elements “core shamanism.”

All of us come from the earth.  All of us come from a womb, washed in a heart’s drumbeat.  Shamanism belongs to us all.

the journey

Shamanism is a Lapp term, and means “one who is excited, moved, raised.”  Makes sense, since the primary aspect of shamanic practice is the journey.  For millennia, people around the world have followed a discipline that brings them to trance -- through drugs, ecstatic dance, drumbeat or other hypnotic practice – and in that trance, join in the great expanse of existence that is immeasurable via human sense or instrument.

Some say these nonordinary reality realms exist within our own unconscious, that we are sinking deeply within, connecting with a higher self, imagining beauty.  Others believe a part of the soul truly leaves the body and travels through time and space.  And that this soul-self in fact encounters, and interacts with, beings of great power and compassion.

Sometimes, frankly, I'm not sure what I believe about it all myself.  The funny thing is, regardless of what context I put it in, shamanism moves me profoundly, and has changed me for the better.  Immeasurably.  I’ve seen shamanism manifest deep transformation and surprising healing.  I’ve seen surgeries cancelled and cancer disappear and lifelong depression, anxiety and addiction lift.  I’ve witnessed rebirths, remarkable emergences into light and joy and power, and I’ve walked through and into my own.  “Grace” comes to mind.

 

no priest, no guru

Imagine meeting your own personal guardian angel – I mean really imagine it.  Imagine walking, dark stones at your feet, water lapping.  Silver lake reflects a high mountain cirque, snow against deep, deep blue sky.  Feel the warm hand on your shoulder?  Hear the rustle of feathers?

 

Imagine meeting, mind to mind, soul to soul, the spirit of a wild creature ... Horse; Snow Leopard; Hawk.

 

Imagine sitting beside an ancestor, an enlightened being who loves you deeply, and wants the best for you, and knows the best for you.  It’s a conversation.  You can ask them for direction -- someone who knows who you came here to be, knows what you need to do to fully embrace your "one wild and precious life."   

Someone who loves you.  And always has.  And always will.

 

These types of experiences are not only possible, they are probable, through shamanic practice.  Practice, and discipline, and grace.  It’s not for everyone, and there are no guarantees, and practice requires responsibility ... and for millions of people worldwide, here and now, shamanism provides a direct connection to the divine.  And changes people's lives for the better, every day.

power, dis-ease and healing

Shamanic cultures say we would never make it to adulthood without the assistance of our power animals -- humans are just too fragile, the world too perilous.  They say a cry goes out across the spirit world when an infant is born – who will come for this one? – and an animal steps forward.  They connect us to power -- center of the earth power, universal power, divine source, the one brilliant light vibrating in us all.

 

Power is good for us.  Being disconnected from power is bad for us.  We’re not meant to be alone in the universe, we’re meant to be in love.  When we’re not in love, in joy, in our power, feeling connected, when we’re in disharmony ... powerlessness can cause a cascade of suffering.  It can contribute significantly to illness, traumatization, the intense fearfulness that can contract into defensiveness and violence.

 

Depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, grief, physical health concerns, even being accident-prone – shamanism sees the spiritual component in these ailments.  It doesn’t replace medical treatment of the body, nor psychological and pharmacological treatment of the mind.  But it can augment and support these, with clear and intentional care of the soul.

 

my practice
It is with great humility and gratitude that I offer myself in service to this work.  My own guides tell me I chose this path long ago.  I do not call myself a shaman or a healer -- I call myself lucky, and know it’s all about grace, and serendipity, and has very little to do with me as the grand poo-bah of anything.  I am lucky, because I have some stellar helpers in nonordinary reality – both power animals and human form shamans, healers, priestesses in their own right.  I’m lucky, because they are usually more than willing to show up when I ask them for help, for me or on behalf of someone else.

 

And, it’s not only luck.  There’s some skill and intelligence involved, and my own strong and vulnerable heart.  I am not a shaman or a healer – and, I've been at this for a while now.  I am also a licensed psychotherapist with a good bit of professional experience under my belt, and I am good at what I do.  I am good at creating safe space, sacred space.  I am good at feeling my way into the terrain of the soul, and midwifing the evolution that is ready to emerge.

 

If we choose to work with each other, I promise to do all I can to hear you, and to listen with compassion and respect, and to offer up what I can in service of your highest good – which is, ultimately, in service of us all.

 

teaching you to journey

I practice core shamanism, and this is what I teach.  I offer training in Harner Method Shamanic Counseling (HMSC), an elegant framework designed to teach you the very basics of shamanic journeying for your own enlightenment and well-being.  HMSC consists of from five to seven two-hour training sessions, after which you can choose to journey on your own, or to ask me to hold the container and continue mentoring you in your personal practice.  (You may be eligible to join our community journeying circle after receiving this training.)

 

Journeying is not for everyone.  I don’t want people journeying in cases of psychosis and other dissociative disorders, I want these folks getting more grounded in ordinary reality.  I do think that shamanic healing work can be of great benefit to people struggling with these issues, especially when there are other core health care providers actively involved.

 

healing sessions

Shamanism is grounded in a culture of interdependence, mutuality and community.  The compassionate spirits are moved when we beseech them on behalf of another.  Sometimes we just need to ask for help!  For these times, I humbly offer my services.  I can't say ahead of time what will happen, because my work is guided by my own helpers, and because I'm always learning more.  I can say that I've received intensive training over the course of decades, both from my helping spirits and from ordinary-reality professionals with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and that this training includes soul retrieval, extraction of intrusions, and compassionate depossession.  My training is ongoing – the more I learn, the more I realize how much more there is to learn.

 

ceremony

We live in bodies, and our hearts have their own sense of things.  Ceremony can speak to the body, and to the heart – by appealing to the senses, speaking to the soft inner animal self, welcoming the small child within us.  It can be powerful and empowering to move through a ceremony – of healing, of transformation, a rite of passage to celebrate growth or witness release.  Sometimes we manifest a big change of life circumstance, and ceremony can help recognize and support this.  And sometimes we are able to more fully receive and integrate shamanic healing work in this rich context of ceremony.

 

I have worked with hundreds of people over the years to create rich and satisfying ceremonies for these rites of passage, both public and private, and I continue to delight in this work.

 

fees and services
I request payment for the services I provide in ordinary reality -- the teaching, the counsel, the mentorship; holding a safe and sacred container; creating powerful and meaningful ceremony.  I gratefully receive donations and gifts for the shamanic healing sessions I offer, but do not charge a set fee for these.  I’m lucky, remember?  It’s up to my helping spirits if anything happens or not, and even beyond that, how do you place a monetary value on grace?

 

Suggested fees are just that – suggestions.  I am happy to visit with you about payment options that work for you.

 

I hold my psychotherapy practice distinct and separate from my shamanic work.  I also reserve the right to choose not to work with anyone, at my discretion.

 

  • Harner Method Shamanic Counseling - suggested fee of $50-$100/session, or $250-$500 for the entire one-on-one, ten-hour training protocol.

 

  • Shamanic healing work – donations welcome; no one is turned away for lack of ability to pay.

 

  • Ceremony - suggested cost is $300-$500, and varies depending on time and travel involved, and on ability to pay.

Click here to inquire further or to schedule an appointment.



Mi’takuye’ Oyasin

“I acknowledge everything in the universe as my relations.”


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