Shamanism is the oldest spiritual practice known to humans. It is practiced by individuals of all cultures, faiths, and walks of life. It is characterized by a practice known as the shamanic journey, a meditative process by which the shaman travels into mystic realms to seek guidance, information, or healing for an individual or community. In this journey, the shaman accesses helping spirits who assist with her work on both the physical and non-physical planes.
Shamanism is also characterized by a mutually understanding and empathic relationship with Nature in its many forms. The Shaman gains much of her skill and knowledge from her experience with aspects of Nature. It is her deep respect and love for Mother Earth and her full surrender and trust in the Divine that form the foundation for her life, practice, and work.
As a shamanic healer, I seek to unite the individual with the energies of Earth and Source which flow within him/her. I seek to help her open the path of her original medicine. Original Medicine is the unique quality that each individual brings to Earth – her own unique gift or mission. An important part of well-being is the sense of being on an authentic path – expressing one’s true self, empowering one’s true mission.
There are a couple of things that happen that take an individual off her path and, therefore, open the way to dis-ease or discomfort in any or all areas of her life – health, relationships, work, finances, peace of mind, and so on. Loss of personal power – sometimes given away, sometimes taken – is almost always a factor. We give our spiritual authority – our power – to people, substances, ideas, jobs, etc. Sometimes people take our power from us, as in the case of an abused child. Without our power, we cannot embody our authentic selves and, therefore, cannot bring into manifestation our original medicine. Through a variety of methods, the shamanic healer helps the individual restore her own power.
Sometimes, through a traumatic emotional or physical experience, an individual’s being fractures. A piece of our soul splits off, leaving us feeling less than whole. Depression, disinterest, inability to be fully present or functional in our daily lives – all of these can be symptoms of soul loss. The shamanic healer offers soul retrieval – a method of returning the fractured soul parts to the being and restoring the feeling of wholeness.
What happens during a shamanic healing?? This varies from healer to healer.
In my healings, I begin the session by briefly discussing the issue at hand. I then have the client relax on the healing table. I usually lay a few crystals or stones on or around her. The healing then begins. I utilize gentle touch around the head and shoulders and the feet. From these positions, I am able to channel healing energy through the entire body. I use my voice to chant sacred Reiki symbols. I sometimes use vibrational essence mists or rose water in her energy field or on her feet. I might use feathers to assist me in clearing her energy field. She is on the table for 30 to 40 minutes. She takes her time sitting up. I ground her before she gets off the table. We then briefly discuss the healing – what occurred, any messages, her experiences, any suggestions for personal ceremony or other work, etc.
My helping spirits work closely with me, guiding me, supporting both me and the client, participating in the actual healing. I feel very fortunate to have such help and support!
I find that, for many issues, it takes 2 or 3 healings to effect a lasting and/or permanent change. For issues of a long duration, some ongoing work may be helpful.
The core of this work is the journey of each one of us to personal authenticity and the empowerment of her original medicine. The path to authenticity is also the path to the healing of humanity. As humans heal, we clear the way for the Earth to heal. Thus, contemporary shamanism is the path of the Earth Healer. Earth healers creating a space of healing for other Earth healers until we all become Earth healers – this is the way of shamanic practice.