Shamanism? It’s one of the oldest known healing practices in the world, and surprisingly not many people in our society know what it is, really. It is the new buzz-word going around in the spiritual community… like yoga was about 25 years ago. Shaman schools are popping up all around the country, drawing many people from all walks of life. It’s not just the cool new thing to do… for me it was more of a calling, something that I was unknowingly preparing for all my life. I went into pharmacy when I was young, knowing that I wanted to be a “healer” of sorts… and it was only much later in my life when I was struggling with who I was, and having experienced a great shift in my life, that shamanism showed up right in front of me and enticed me in. I don’t regret it one bit. It is a life changing path that once you head down, you can never really go back.
Many shamanic clients come in to see me saying that they think they need to be a shaman. That’s not surprising. The work we do is so relevant and needed today in our world. People are heading the call. Shamanic healing work and being a shamanic healer is not just for the “hippy-dippy” “woo-hoo” types. I find people from all walks of life finding this ancient practice, from the young 20-somethings, to soccer moms, medical professionals, teachers, counselors, artists, corporate climbers, 50-somethings… And, it’s perfectly attainable to continue one’s career while embarking on a Shamanic healing journey. Quite honestly, most shamanic healers I know have a “day job”, and are shamanic practitioners on the side.
Some people get their panties all in a bunch about the term “shaman”, and who should be called that, who should not… Generally, it is a term given to someone by their community, not a self-given title. Using other descriptive words for who we are and what we do can cause confusion. I chose not to get tangled up in that battle, so I lean towards the label of shamanic practitioner or healer.
Looking to the future, I’m dreaming that shamanism will be integrated into (or should I say back into) mainstream “medicine”. It addresses the energetic imbalances a person has that leads to the physical symptoms they are presenting with – the cause, if you will. I love how science, quantum physics and even epigenetics is explaining some of which shamans have known for millennia, giving it a new language. It’s all energy. We are energy. The world and universe are energy. Unseen energy. Curious? Good! A good shaman is always curious…
The most common question I get from a new client is "What should I expect in a shamanic session?". I will say, that no 2 sessions are alike, just as every human being is different, and have different life experiences. I never know exactly what will happen, and I think that is a good thing! I will give a general outline, and that is certainly subject to change person to person. When you book a session date and time with me, I will start my work even before we get together. I begin to "track" on your behalf. "Tracking" is like hunting, looking for limiting beliefs, old stories and energies that you may carry in your energetic and physical body. I often get totem animals, lost soul parts waiting to come back online, as well as meet and work with one or more of your guides. This preliminary work is ALWAYS done with permission by you, the client. NEVER allow someone to "read" you or work with your energy without your permission!!! At the time of the session, we will sit and talk for a bit, as you tell me why we are meeting, and what you want to work on, if you know. I will ask questions, as I continue to track the source of your dis-ease. This is NOT therapy: my questions may seem a little strange, but I'm trying to sniff out information. Generally, the next part of the session is the shamanic energy work, where the client lies on their back on my table. All the client has to do here is breath. I will often rattle and/or drum, journey, and extract energies that I have tracked. I also will do a chakra alignment if called for, and work with the meridians and track in your physical body as well. If there were any gifts, totems and/or soul parts retrieved for you, they will be given into your energy body. The end of the session involves conversation about what just happened, and about anchoring the new energies and possibilities going forward. Sometimes, there is even homework assigned!
This is a general outline, and can be happen differently than explained above. It all depends on what is for your highest good at that moment in your life. Great spirit, my guides and your guides direct me to what that is. It is not my decision. It is your journey and your healing. The work is sacred and beautiful!
When I was a child, I used to play in the woods for hours on end, talking to the trees and plants and they would talk back. I would imagine I was making healing concoctions from the nature around me, mixing up bark, moss and other elements. Then, I started school, and I was swept up and lost in society’s rules of conformity. Others around me did not have conversations with nature as I did, and I was made to believe that this was strange and shouldn’t do it. From then on, I had spent most of my life in traditional roles assigned by our society- a student, a mother, a wife, a pharmacist- but I never felt like any of these completed who I was, and what I was truly supposed to do with my life. I often felt like I was going through the motions, watching my life go by like a movie, not actually participating. It wasn’t until shamanism came into my life that I have stepped onto my true path, my calling. I remembered who I really was.
As a pharmacist for almost 30 years, I’ve seen too many people taking too many medications, often unnecessarily so, with too many side effects, no effects, or just as a “band-aid” for the problem. Once I began my own shamanic journey, I noticed that shamanic healing brings balance and healing to the spiritual and energetic self, as well as the physical body. Shamanic Medicine is a complementary modality to traditional western and eastern medicine. Our bodies talk to us when we are out of harmony with ourselves, with others and with our environment. If you pay attention to it, you can start to notice patterns in your behavior, your reactions and physical ailments. This is the universe knocking at your door, to notice that something is off, unbalanced within you. If you ignore it, the universe starts banging louder and louder. You decide when enough is enough and start to come back into harmony and heal. That is where shamanism can guide you, assist you in your healing work. It is said that pain will occur in one’s life: physical, emotional, spiritual, but suffering is optional. Acknowledge the pain, the lesson. Keep the golden nugget, the gift, from the event or trauma. Then you can start to release the story, the limiting belief, the trauma, the suffering. You start to heal, moving forward in your life, with freedom. Carrying the trauma, the story, is a heavy burden. Lighten your load, move through life with ease, happiness, seeing the beauty in everything!