What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is one of the most ancient spiritual practices found across the world with roots dating back to Paleolithic cultures. The word “shaman” derives from the Tungus word šaman, meaning one who knows. While many cultures embrace the old ways of their traditions and practices, shamanism itself is highly adaptable to all customs, and to the times of our living. Shamanism is not a religion but rather a belief system that all beings and energies are interconnected in the great web of life. Great care is taken to learn about and honor this knowledge and the processes of growth in all beings.
In shamanistic cultures, all adults are responsible for their relationships with spiritual energies including those in their environment, their ancestors, their personal helping spirits, and Spirit, the creator force. It is considered the responsibility of the spiritual adult to restore and maintain right-relations with all-there-is through action, and strive to become a true source of love, honor, and impeccability.
Through a change in consciousness, a shamanic practitioner crosses over the veil that separates our world from the spirit world (respectively called ordinary and non-ordinary reality) to request healing and advice from compassionate beings. The work through these interactions facilitates changes in the physical world (or ordinary reality). Where doctor's heal the body and psychiatrists heal the mind, it is the shamanic practitioners role to be the bridge for Spirit to restore the health and well-being of the client.
"Why can't Spirit just do the healing themselves? Why do we even need shamans or shamanic practitioners?"
Free-will governs our world. Generally, no interference from the spirit world will happen unless it's specifically asked for. When you work with a shaman or a shamanic practitioner, they carry your specific request to the spirit world so healing can begin. In some cases, it is the shamanic practitioners responsibility to bring power back and integrate it with the client. The shamanic practitioner is not the source of the healing work but rather a worker-bee who helps to restore the well-being of the hive.
There are three phases a shamanic session: the diagnostics, the work, and the client follow through. In the diagnostic session, one meets with the practitioner and discusses the area in their life in which they're seeking healing or movement. You do not have to know exactly what is wrong or the cause of your discontentment. This is something your practitioner and helping spirits will be able to source.
Once the source of ailment is identified, the shamanic practitioner goes into a 'shamanic journey' (something very similar to a dream-like, deep meditative state) and is taken to the source of dis-ease. Once there, the compassionate beings facilitate a change in the energy or manifest a healing. In some instances, old energies are removed, while in others energy is integrated. Even though thousands of cultures across the globe embrace their own shamanic practice, many techniques used are considered standard healing practices, especially in the West which is called, core shamanism.
How Can Shamanism Help You?
There are many different practices incorporated with the shamanic way. In order to understand how a shamanic practitioner can help you, perhaps its best start at the heart of the need: dis-ease, which refers to a lack of comfort or ease. Dis-ease is a term used in alternative medicine to differentiate between the Latin word "disease" we immediately recognize as a pathological illness.
In many healing modalities, dis-ease is considered to be birthing place for the physical and emotional manifestations of sickness. From a shamanic perspective, many of these illnesses can be traced back to energetic issues such as an imbalance with oneself or community, repressed emotions or memories, traumatic events, and post-traumatic stress disorder. I see dis-ease come up all the time in my psychic art readings. The event or sometimes even series of events creates a mark or discoloration in the energetic body. Sometimes these form spiritual, emotional, or physical "blocks". A "block" is an area in the energy body where healthy prana or life-force energy can't flow. Left unattended, repressed, or wrongfully medicated, dis-ease can turn into physical, psychological, or emotional maladies. The shamanic practitioner works with the compassionate beings to remove the root energy source of the dis-ease so the vital prana can return to the energetic body and restore harmony, health, and wellness.
Shamanic healing is a perfect complement to alternative health modalities, modern medicine, and therapy practices, but it does not replace the guidance or programs in place by licensed medical professionals. However, spiritual healing can often the missing link that allows healing and recovery to rapidly progress by releasing the stranglehold of old patterns we can be stuck in, and unwind the cords that prevent growth, authenticity, and abundance from forming in our lives.
My shamanic journey began in 2013. A large portion of my journey was spirit led, meaning all of my experiences and training came explicitly through my clairvoyance and clairaudience. This facilitated profound teachings about discernment, protection, and the importance of learning to follow proper protocol. In 2016, I began to further my shamanic studies under the guidance and skillful teachings of Barbara Bloecher and Gina Millard, who have both studied extensively with Sandra Ingerman and Malidoma Somé, respectively. I strive to continually refine my practices and techniques to complete this work with neutrality, compassion, and skill.