Is a Shaman Scary?

12 06 2014

This post is about the shamanic practitioners you may come across in North America today. Most people who visit me come from personal referral, but a greater and greater number are coming from this blog. These folks often have little or no experience with a shamanic practitioner. I sense a lot of hesitance in them so I’m answering some of their questions here.

Like most of us, I was skeptical about shamanism before I began to study it. I also thought Tarot, Palm Reading, and Psychics were all foolish nonsense. It was only because I wanted to understand myself that I ever started to study the occult and eventually shamanism. I just knew stuff and didn’t know how I knew it. Elsewhere in this blog you can read about what brought me to this work.

I am a normal person. I’m probably not that different from you; with a family and obligations, struggles and bad moods, and everything else that goes with this earth walk. I learned a lot from shamanism and feel lucky in that. Because of it I am happier, kinder, and more thankful for my time on this precious earth. I’ve had enough experience with scary stuff through shamanism to try and answer this question.

Because of the shaman’s ability to sense information and call upon spiritual help the shaman can be a powerful friend or foe so is can be scary. With the information below you should be able to find a shaman who can be a powerful force for good in your life.

Good and Evil

My prevailing thought about this issue is that there is only power, which may be running with our desires or against them. Electricity can light our homes or electrocute us. Disease can grows in our bodies and ants can roam out homes looking to feed themselves. It doesn’t make them evil. Yet the source may be an evil intention somewhere.

Good and bad exist in each of us and sometimes there are outside influences which create strings of “bad luck”. Beyond seeking balance there is more to know.

Evil can be powerful, attractive, and easy, even if you aren’t a Jedi Knight. As long as that is true there will be people who have one’s best interests at heart and those who have their own interests in mind. Like a product that has been modified in a way that seems only to cost more money and deliver less, unscrupulous “healers” may put their interest above yours.

In finding a practitioner, as in finding a friend or adviser; look for one who has your best interest at heart. If you know yourself to be seduced by unlawful or unethical actions you may be attracted to unethical practitioner. If you have clear ethics you can probably trust yourself to reject unethical healers.

An unethical practitioner won’t only be the one with demonic symbols in the window or who offers black magic. Those are the easy ones to avoid.

Intentional or Unintentional Harm

Other healers may seem quite pleasant and knowledgeable and still be a poor choice. It is more difficult to detect healers who intentionally or unintentionally causing harm. By being aware of what this type of practice looks like, you can avoid it too.

An example of intentional or unintentional harm would be a healer who lingers with you in your misery. They may feed your victim status because it makes them the “superior” person in the relationship and gives them a sense of power. They may actually feed off your feelings of dependence. Their primary focus may be to create repeat business. A hands-on healing from such a person may feel like you are stuck in a circuit of remembered pain rather than making you feel a movement toward health and returning vitality.

Such a healer may consider him/herself a paid friend or councilor to whom you return again and again. If this is what you want it should be called a consultation, reading, or divination, not a healing.

Another practitioner may just go through the motions with the hopes of effecting change but have no belief in, awareness of, healing or confirmations of past success. They may or may not be successful.

What to look for in a healer

Happily, there is a lot of good news! By using the following tools you can find people who will be powerful forces for good health and a good life.

  • Ask for recommendations from people you trust.
  • Trust your own intuition.
  • Ask questions about the kind of work you seek. Elsewhere in this blog there is information about the many types of service possible.
  • Seek someone who has been doing the work for a while. I had successes early in my career but know I have gotten more knowledge and tools now. This goes a long way toward treating cause, not just symptoms.
  • Ask about their experience. They may or may not respond but it is appropriate to ask. Since time is valuable I have put this information on-line to educate potential clients.
  • A competent healer is usually modest, humble, and doesn’t sing his/her own praise. If they tell me how wonderful they are I would walk away.
  • The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, The Society of Shamanic Practitioners, and the website Shaman’s Portal are where I would start looking for a practitioner to refer someone to out of my area. While I do distance work at times, it may be easier to see someone is your area. Inclusion is these references is no guarantee but is a likely place to start. As you wade in you will learn more about questions to ask.

Don’t be afraid. I was lead magically to wonderful people at nearly every turn. I didn’t encounter anything scary until well into my journey into shamanism. By then I was prepared for it. I’m pretty sure there was a guardian angel watching over me. You probably have one too. Nearly any shamanic practitioner can help you learn to call on him/her.

 





Should You visit a shamanic practitioner?

12 06 2014

I encourage you to visit a practitioner if you want to. What is holding you back?

For most Americans a belief in magic, evil, and/or demons is considered:

  • Primitive
  • is associated with lower income or status
  • is foolish
  • is irrational and unscientific
  • a good way to be victimized by unscrupulous charlatans

Primitive – It is certainly true that the people most connected to undiluted shamanic practice are found in the most remote areas of the world and certainly don’t live by modern western standards. They may or may not have historic records of their civilization going back centuries and have complex medical, social, and political histories. It is very likely that they have not been fully involved in our narrowly defined “western civilization” so I’m okay with primitive so long as we don’t think it means less than, just different. They live in the natural world far more than we, often with access to traditional knowledge we have lost.

Lower Income and Status – Let’s face it, who needs control over their lives most, the wealthy and successful or those of us who struggle with economic reality. Shamanic healing isn’t covered by health insurance. If you don’t have health insurance maybe you are more open to other possibilities. Also, many of our immigrant poor carry shamanic experience with them to our shores.

Foolish I don’t think it is foolish to listen to your intuition, learn from nature, seek an authentic spiritual life, and not allow others to make you fearful of the unknown. If you are afraid of looking foolish just don’t tell anyone.

Irrational and Unscientific – Many things are irrational and unscientific. The scientist who thinks of the answer to a difficult question while standing in the shower doesn’t question it, nor does the composer who has a breakthrough during a daydream, nor does someone who falls in love, or you when you just know your sister is going to call just before the phone rings. I’m okay with that. I believe old knowledge has been lost in the pursuit of all that is new and scientific, especially spiritual knowledge.

Unscrupulous charlatans – they are out there. This work is difficult, often thankless, and a service not a business. Those who seek to brand “their” methods and find followers may make better teachers than healers.

The Last Resort

The most common words I hear from someone entering my door are, “I’ve tried everything else”. They have usually been to doctors, therapists, and an amazing assortment of practitioners before, as a last resort (their words); they came to try something they didn’t believe in. Most likely a friend has referred them after having spoken about their own skepticism, experience, and change of heart. I respect their hesitation because I was there once too.

The Two Foot Rule – If you visit a shamanic practitioner it should feel safe. If it doesn’t, use your two feet to walk away.

 





Autism and Shamanism

17 03 2012

Theologian turned geologian Thomas Berry postulated that the western humans had become “autistic” in relationship to the natural world as a result of viewing the world as separate from ourselves. I was in awe of the accuracy of this diagnosis and stunned at its profound implications.

If you haven’t thought about autism recently, I looked up numerous and differing definitions. However, a basic definition is that it is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. Anyone who has interacted with an autistic child, and these days that is nearly everyone, realizes that they may act as though others, even loving parents, didn’t matter. The analogy to how we treat the planet is so similar. I immediately visualized a loving mother giving her child everything he needed but he just does not respond. Then I thought of that Mother being the Earth. I could go on, but I’m sure you get my drift.

It goes a long way to explaining why we feel drawn to vestigial tribal people who live close to nature.  This isn’t just sentimental and romantic.  These people have so much to offer us if we can just find a respectful way to learn it.

From the Macrocosm to the Microcosm

This alone would be a worthwhile thought to share but I can’t help but find a parallel between this macrocosm event and the microcosm many families are facing today.

I just looked at the Autism Society webpage and found the following statistics:

  • 1 percent of the population of children in the U.S. ages 3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Prevalence is estimated at 1 in 110 births.
  • 1 to 1.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Fastest-growing developmental disability; 1,148% growth rate.
  • 10 – 17 % annual growth.

Thinking of this, I remember Frost’s poem, Fire and Ice from my high school English class.

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Autism may have a scientific explanation. Undoubtedly autistic people have much to teach us. They certainly live in this moment.  However, what if so many children are born with autism that society cannot function?  Could that be the ice Frost proposed? Whatever the cause, and benefits, the call for living closer to nature by recognizing our mother, loving our mother, and meeting her needs are imperative. That is probably the greatest gift the resurgence in shamanism has to offer this world.

Help for Families

With so many parents looking for help for their autistic children it seems appropriate to address the question, can shamanic healing help these children?

There seem to me to be three main opinions about the effectiveness of shamanic healing.

  • The first, and most common in this autistic age, is that it is foolish superstition and has no validity.
  • The second is that shamans were the  precursors of modern psychologists and could possibly be of some help with emotional or mentally based issues. Their answer would likely be no, shamanism could not help decrease the unwanted symptoms of autism.
  • The third group, my group, recognize that healing, magic, or spiritual power, does exist. Individuals may define this as a gift from God or as a natural expression of this universe which our ancestors know and used (back when they lived in harmony with nature). It is still available today.

The answer isn’t simple. Any action taken has to respect the individual gifts of the autistic person and even then, in every case, the practitioner can only go to the compassionate spirits and ask for help. Still, there is the possibility of help.

If you are a parent seeking such help, here are some suggestions for finding a practitioner:

  • First, trust your feelings.
  • Only go to a practitioner that you know, feel good about, or who comes highly recommended by someone you trust.
  • Be aware that most practitioners have the desire to help, whether or not they have the ability, experience, and power to do so.
  • The practitioner cannot promise anything but their best effort.

I am aware that organic diet, some vitamin supplementation, and interactivity with nature such as through animals has provided help to some autistic people.  I prescribe time in nature for all of us.   I also send my prayers to those whose lives are so profoundly affected.





You are invited to a Psycho-pomp Event

30 01 2012

On Saturday night, February 11, there is a public healing session at my home in Capitola. We held a similar event in January and had a great event. For the February event we are adding an opportunity Psycho-pomp work. This term is used to describe work done with those approaching death or whom have died but not yet found peace.  The shamanic techniques used for this work are also appropriate to use with people not in typical states of consciousness because of coma or brain damage, or who are withdrawn, hyperactive, mentally challenged, or autistic.

The decision to work with this topic at this time in a result of a recent death in my family. It has inspired me to make this training available to others who may not be following a shamanic path but whom could use the techniques. If there is sufficient interest, I will offer a training in this work. If you want more information please email me or sign up to attend the Saturday night gathering.  That gathering is planned for 7:00 to 9:00 on Saturday night by reservation. A $10 donation is recommended.





January Events

16 01 2011

Two Upcoming Shamanic Events: Shaman Experimenter (Free Introduction to the craft of Shamanism), Drop in Healing Clinic

Event: Shaman Experimenter

Date:  Thursday Evening, January 20, 6:30 tea and snacks, start promptly at 7:00 and finish before 9:00

·    Sit in the Sacred Circle

·    Bring your Drum or Rattle (or share one of mine)

This event is for those of you interested in learning more about shamanism in daily life, either to deepen your own spiritual practice or to use to help others.  It is called experimenter because shamanism isn’t a doctrine, it is about your personal experience. It will be different for each person. There will be an opportunity to sign up for additional classes.   Please RSVP for this event: lindanadeau33@gmail.com or 408-888-3245

Event: Drop-In Shamanic Healing Clinic

Date: Saturday, January 22 8:30 am to noon,

This event is for those who would like to have a shamanic healing session at an affordable price. No appointment is necessary. Just show up.  It is part of my community outreach to bring healing to those who feel that they can not afford a private session. It is also a time for those interested in learning about giving or receiving healing to participate. This is very typical of many indigenous cultures where healing occurs in community. Donations accepted.






December Events – Drop-In Healings and Talking Circle

27 11 2010

Event: Drop-In Shamanic Healing Clinic

Date: Saturday, December 4 – 9:00 am to noon, Saturday

This event is for those who would like to have a shamanic healing session at an affordable price. Please RSVP if possible. No appointment is necessary. Just show up.  It is part of my community outreach to bring healing to those who feel that they can not afford a typical session. It is also a time for those interested in learning about giving or receiving healing to participate. This is very typical of many indigenous cultures where healing occurs in community. Donations accepted but not required. $20 is recommended.

Event: Woman’s Talking Circle

Date: Saturday morning, December 11 – 9:00 to visit, Circle Starts promptly at 9:30 a.m.

·    Sit in the Sacred Circle

·    Bring your Drum or Rattle (or share one of mine)

·    Speak from your Heart and Be Heard

This Open Spirit Circle has met monthly for about 18 years in my former location. It has been a safe empowering place that has nurtured the sacred in many women. You will be welcomed, embraced and celebrated. It is not affiliated with any organization and welcomes all women to sit in circle as our ancestors have throughout history.  A $5.00 donation is requested.

A  full calendar of events will return in January. Private sessions always available by appointment. Consider a shamanic reading to begin the New Year.





What I do Best in my Healing Work

27 11 2010

My friend Patty, a shamanic healer visiting me from Canada, recently asked me what I thought I did best in my healing work. What a great question. It is one I will continue to contemplate.

I answered rather quickly, and without much thought. I said that it was probably the same thing I did best in ordinary reality.  I told her I knew who a person was when they were three years old, who they are now and who they will be when they are 90 years old.

Patty responded that this meant I was a seer.

I had never thought of this before. I don’t generally see anything so much as I just know things and feel their truth with every fiber of my being. I’m not a mind reader.

It happens that at my best moment I don’t feel any separation between me and another person. For that matter I don’t see any distinction between me and the air, the earth, or anything.  In animism there is a core belief that all things are imbued with the same energy. This is given credibility through the study of physics which tell us all things are made from the same energy particles. In meditation we become aware of the possibility to expand beyond our own skin. I guess that this is how I begin to know stuff I wouldn’t be aware of in my ordinary state of consciousness. Using the language of my youth, I call it the unity of the Holy Spirit.

Whatever it is, it means that the healing I participate in comes from this place of shared consciousness.  I become a hollow bone through which healing passes. So I guess what I do best, is get out of the way.