We’re all becoming… hopefully moving towards becoming whole…hopefully moving towards giving full expression to ourselves. It’s the human experience of living and so is healing.
People seek shamanic healing for all sorts of reasons…sometimes out of pure curiosity, sometimes because they feel a little unfulfilled and sense that there could be more. Sometimes people feel sad, bad or stuck, sometimes people feel as though they are victims of chronic bad luck, sometimes people have a physical problem, sometimes people would like advice and guidance, sometimes people have problems they’re trying to solve, sometimes people are experiencing things which seem strange and bizarre, sometimes people seek healing because they feel as though they have been knocked right off centre. The examples could go on and on.
The path is not always easy and the outcome cannot be guaranteed. Yet, the reward can be so much more than what we were looking for. It can be an entry point into an ongoing journey of magical synchronicities, a knowing (not a belief but a knowing) that we are all connected, a knowing (again, not a belief but a knowing) that Spirit is real, access to a deeper and more meaningful connection with Nature and with others, feelings of stillness and peace, wondrous metaphorical healing stories delivered by Spirit that can sometimes change our lives in an instant. We can step out of a sense of self-importance, we can move away from attachments to that which does not really serve us and we can step into a place of mystery and grace. We can step through a doorway and into the rich inner landscapes of the Self which hold endlessly winding paths of wonder, discovery and creation.
Below are some types of shamanic healing that can take place. But just as the map never looks exactly like the land, so too it is with these descriptions. Spirit Driven work is very personal, we all experience and witness the work in unique ways. What is meant by the words ‘shaman’ and ‘shamanic’ can differ depending on who is using the words. This isn’t intended as the definitive guide on shamanism but rather a description based on the ways that I’ve been taught and based on what I do.
What actually happens in a Shamanic Healing Session is unique to each session… in shamanism there are no rules… and I never know beforehand just exactly what will take place. It is my job to step out of the way so that the Divine, Loving, Transcended and Compassionate Spirits with whom I work, with whom I have developed a relationship, can do the work. It is then my job to convey (explain) what I have witnessed to you.
Each session attends to what Spirit deems to be the most pressing issue at hand. While miracles are possible, “one stop shamanism” – alleviating a client of all their troubles within one session - is less likely. It is up to you, the client, to choose how often and at which intervals you would like to receive healing.
Working with Spirit, we work with compassionate angelic neutrality. For whatever reason you come, you won’t be judged. There’s an understanding that through mining our dark places, we find our greatest treasure – where what we once saw as demons, where what we once felt haunted us can become our greatest gifts, our greatest assets, our valued treasures.
The work is rich and it is metaphorical. It is the oldest form of healing known to mankind and has stood the test of time. Having said that, it is important to note that this isn’t seeking to replace the expertise of other types of healing such as psychotherapy, mainstream medicine and so on.
With shamanic healing, there isn’t any way of proving or disproving any of the story… the proof, the test, is in the outcome, whether it makes a difference in your life.
Types of Shamanic Healing
Integrative Healing Techniques
This relates to work that is given to you, the client, to undertake on a one off or on an ongoing basis outside of the shamanic healing session. The common saying is that, “The Shaman brings the Fix, the Client makes it Stick.”
What is meant by this is that any healing is unlikely to take hold in your life if you do not make changes to the circumstances that gave rise to the “problem” or that allowed it to remain in place.
Alongside tools and techniques that I share as part of your session, Spirit will also often give you, the client, Sacred Prescriptions: some form of task to undertake outside of the session which has, as its aim, to help you to integrate the healing that you received. These tasks often make little logical sense at the time that they are given to me to pass on to you, but clients often tell me that their effects are experienced as profound and meaningful.
Bringing a Greater Sense of Wholeness to You
You may have heard about Soul Retrieval before which is what I am describing here.
We all have a soul, it is that which animates us. Our souls or parts of our soul leaves our body from time to time and this is natural, for example, when we dream. Some people also speak of astral projection or out of body experiences. When undertaking shamanic journeys, there is the understanding that the Shaman is intentionally sending their soul out of their bodies on a ‘soul flight’ to other realms and that they are returning to back to their bodies with intention too.
Parts of our soul can also leave our bodies as a survival mechanism. When something happens to us that threatens us, and because we want to survive, we can sometimes move away from that which is being threatened, i.e. our bodies. This threat is subjective, it can be something we would all agree would be traumatic, such as being assaulted, or it can be something like someone jumping out at you and giving you a fright. The key is that you felt threatened and so, to survive, a part of you left your body.
Like an elastic, the soul part usually returns when the threat is over but sometimes it doesn’t.
And when the soul part does not return, we feel less whole. People describe their experiences and their memories around such circumstances, using language like, “I felt beside myself,” or “I feel as though I lost a part of myself,” or “I’ve never felt as though I was myself again.”
On some level, we know that we are less whole than we were and so we try to fill the holes, to find something which can fill these gaps. Most commonly, we do this through addictions. This can be as obvious as alcoholism and drug abuse. We can also do this in more subtle ways, for example, through addictions to shopping, TV, internet, people and so forth.
If we lose a part of the soul, we become less animated. If we lose most of our soul, we would be in a coma. If we lost all of our soul we would die. I’m sure you can see by this, how many people can be trying really hard to move their lives forward, but, with less energy, being less whole, it is so hard for them to do so. This healing technique is profoundly beautiful and can be profoundly empowering.
There are other ways through which we can lose soul parts, for example, we can actually give parts of ourselves to other people or to places. Sometimes people can take soul parts from us too.
If Soul Retrieval is indicated for you, there is an understanding that this is because, on some level, you know that you’re ready to have these parts returned to you. Spirit takes me to the places where I can find whichever lost part or parts are ready to return at this time and these are returned to you.
There is an understanding that, not only have the soul parts been missing, but with them lies some of your strength, talents and abilities. With the Soul Part’s return, these strengths, talents and abilities are returned to you too.
Bringing Support to you in the form of Spirit: Power Animal Retrieval
Just like having lots of friends can help you in life (for example, they give advice, they help us when we’re stuck, they comfort us when we’re down, they open doors for us and so forth,) having lots of friends in the Spirit world can help us to.
You may be familiar with the term guardian angels. We can also have Spirit friends or allies in the form of animals, maybe you have heard of a power animal. There is an understanding that we are all born with Power Animals, that we would not survive childhood without them. They are our Allies, they look after us. For various reasons, we can lose this support. The most common symptom of having lost our Power Animal(s) is chronic bad luck – nothing seems to go our way. We no longer have our Allies in Spirit form around us, bringing us luck, protecting us, opening doors and so forth.
In this type of healing, Spirit takes me to find Spirit in the form of animal (your power animal) which wishes to return to you (if it has been lost) or which wishes to newly arrive in your life so as to help you now.
There is an understanding that Spirit is in everything and that Spirit can take whatever form it likes. There is also an understanding that Spirit speaks to us in metaphor. Part of the metaphor is the form that Spirit takes as your power animal: it is telling you metaphorically how it would like to work with you. For example, if it takes the form of a Lion you might think that (among other things) the Lion is the King of the Jungle, perhaps Spirit is going to help you to become the King or the Queen of your Life. Or perhaps, if it takes the form of a Snake, you might think that Snake can (among other things) shed its skin. Perhaps Snake is going to help you through some transformation or to change something. And so forth.
As part of your session, tools and tips are given to help you to deepen into relationship with your Power Animal.
Bringing Support to you in the form of Spirit: Ancestral Healing
There is a Shamanic Worldview of Death whereby ideally we would all have good deaths. We would be fully conscious, unafraid of dying, we would be whole (i.e. not missing any soul parts) and not holding on to anyone else’s soul parts either. We would transcend into the light of wherever it is that we are meant to be going, we would continue to evolve and we could be of support to our descendants. We may possibly go on to reincarnate to continue our own evolution if need be.
Sometimes this doesn’t happen and the deceased remains stuck in this world. The healing is carried out with the deceased, mending strands of your Ancestral Web, strengthening your own connection to Source.
Taking something away from you that isn’t helping you: Extraction
One of the (many) reasons it is so desirable to be fully whole with no missing parts is because, where there are gaps, things that are not of us can enter. And sometimes these things that are not of us can cause dis-ease. Symptoms can include acute illness.
If this healing is indicated for you, Spirit tracks, finds and removes the objects which are not of you.
Taking something away from you that isn’t helping you: Curse Unravelling
Just as our prayers and loving thoughts can actually help someone and can actually make a very real and beneficial impact upon someone, even at great distance and over time, so too can our negative and harmful thoughts actually hurt someone.
Sometimes this is done by accident and sometimes it is done on purpose. We can accidentally hurt ourselves with our harmful thoughts and we can hurt others. If we hurt others in this way, the impact can draw upon our own energy on an ongoing basis, making us feel worse.
Others can hurt us, by accident or intentionally. Sometimes the harmful thoughts are so strong that they can impact whole family lines for generations. Within this, there are all sorts of variants, particularly when the harm has been done with intent. For example, there can be something harmful that affects only every second generation, or only the women of a family or something that only starts to be seen once family members reach a certain age and so on and so on. The possibilities are endless.
There are also endless possibilities around how the harmful impact could be designed to manifest. It can show as chronic bad luck in general or it can be something more specific around, for example, love, money, work and so forth.
Within this work, Spirit undoes what has been done to you (or what you have done to yourself or to others,) even travelling back in time to previous generations or to previous lives. The impact upon you stops and the energy that you have been using to shield yourself against this or to struggle against these circumstances becomes available to you to do with as you would like, most hopefully to give expression to your Sacred Dream.
Taking something away from you that isn’t helping you: Depossession
The theory behind this is similar to that of Extraction – when we are not fully whole, things that are not of us can enter. The work is nothing like what you have seen in films like the Exorcist though. It is gentle and beautiful. The beings that may have entered are in the wrong place, they are not happy there either and they receive healing via this work too.
And there’s so much more!
There’s Bright Mirrors, where Spirit tracks and amplifies aspects of your brightest self. There’s meeting with and getting to know your True Self, the greatest ally you will ever have. There’s healing arising out of taboos you may have broken.
We work with Allies in Spirit form – with the understanding that everything that is has a spiritual aspect and we have a real relationship with these Spirits which are nurtured over time, much as you would nurture a friendship. There’s the Spirit of Darkness, the oldest Spirit out of which light emerges…there’s the Spirit of the Drum, an Ancient Spirit which has an affinity with Heart. I have friendships with Spirits of Nature too and they will work with us for emotional, physical and ancestral healing…for example, there’s healing with the help of the Moon, the Mountains, the Pleiedes and the Sun. We work with Spirit tools as well, power objects that aid the healing: drum, rattle, crystals and more.
There’s a form of healing from a shamanic tradition called the Path of Pollen which rebalances the energetic centres of the body – a western version of something like the charkas. There’s work with the body and with products of the body, such as with breath and with sound. There’s womb blessings and I work with the Spirit of the Womb as an Ally too.
There’s work with the Obsidian Mirror into which we can release the attachments to reflections we have (images of ourselves and of our lives) that we no longer wish to manifest. There’s dream work, there’s work with Words and with Moves and with Images as medicine, crafted especially for you at that time and in that space by Divine, Loving, Compassionate and Transcended Spirit.
And, and, and, and….
There’s work we can do for problem solving, taking our questions to Spirit for guidance. If there is a historical person to whom you feel drawn to, whose advice you feel would help alleviate your symptoms or help your cause, with Spirit’s permission, we can work with the Spirit of that person too. There’s ceremonial work we can do at threshold places as we transition from one way of being and into another, there’s work we can do with Space and Place such as house blessings or home cleansings.
And, and, and, and…
There’s always more. On an ongoing basis, I continue to learn from Teachers in Human Form and from the True Teachers, the Spirits, with whom I spend a significant amount of my time… talking to them, being with them, asking questions such as How, What, Where, Why etc.
Spirit works outside of Time and Space and so this work can be carried out with you, regardless of where you are in the world. We do not need to be in the same room. The only real exception to this is ceremonial work.
In my personal experience, the more that I take to Spirit, the more that I invite them into my daily life, the brighter everything becomes.
The Healing Intention
While there are some exceptions (for example ceremonial work and the creation of space, house clearings and so forth,) in general, Spirit determines what type of healing is most needed at this time, i.e. the types of healing described above is not a menu from which you choose…it is typically Spirit who decides. The most important moment of the healing though, is the moment you ask.
And what do we heal? Anything that has knocked us off balance, anything that has let us feeling less than whole.
Since being born and over time, we may lose our sense of balance, possibly through adopting thoughts, habits, attitudes, beliefs etc which we believe we are supposed to have – those that we have been taught by others or which we may have adopted through trying to please others as opposed to thoughts, habits, attitudes, beliefs etc. which are aligned with our True Selves…what we would really think, feel and want to do. We can also lose our sense of balance or our sense of wholeness through difficult experiences which can lead to us diverting our energy towards protecting ourselves.
It is said that in indigenous shamanic cultures, there is no evidence to suggest that anyone waited any longer than three days to see a Shaman after experiencing something for which healing is needed. Yet in our cultures where we lost our connection to these ways, we struggle on for years and years and sometimes lifetimes, trying so hard on our own without the healing that comes from something greater than ourselves, from Spirit.
The idea is to become more whole, more balanced and to use the energy that we have available to us to fully express our Sacred Dream – that which is unique to us and which only we can give expression to. The more of us who do this, the better for us all.