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 under the trees in my back yard ... 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. This is 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.
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 care 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.
learning to journey
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 five 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 also 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; in these situations, it's more helpful to focus on 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.
shamanic healing sessions
Shamanism is grounded in a culture of interdependence, mutuality and community. The compassionate spirits, it is said, are moved when we beseech them on behalf of someone else. Sometimes we just need to ask for help! 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 several decades, both from my helping spirits and from ordinary-reality professionals, and that this training includes soul retrieval, power retrieval, divination, extraction of intrusions, and compassionate soul release (depossession). My training is ongoing – the more I learn, the more I realize how much more there is to learn.
The Earth is our home. She loves us. We belong here. Remember...