A new form of Shamanic Wedding

12 06 2014

Since I am frequently consulted regarding variations on shamanic weddings I am writing about a new type of wedding. Each shamanic wedding I have celebrated has been different. I am happy to customize them to the needs and desires of my clients and it is fun to watch their creativity and love enacted in the ceremony. Many of the ceremonies are rather traditional in one tradition or another. However, in the course of my shamanic work I have been introducing a dance form in which the participants move through the ceremony. This involves acting out the wedding in movement and music rather than just words. It can involve just the wedding couple or as many attendees as they like. This provides a unique opportunity for moving within the sacred circle in a magical way. It doesn’t require dance experience either, as the music, easy directions, and a few props support this vision. And what a fun video they have to take away.


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.


Is Shamanism Scary? Is this practitioner a Real Shaman?

12 06 2014

In the past shamanism was the only spiritual practice or “religion” of most clans/tribes/nations of people. Today it considered a practice that can co-exist with whatever religion a person follows. For people who do not follow a particular religious path it may be a way to live in harmony in the world without giving allegiance to a large, centralized authoritarian institution.

Modern views of shamanism range the gamut from visions of a bucolic gathering of peace pipe smoking natives too one of a raucous fireside gathering of sweaty bodies dancing to the feverish music of drums. These both exist but the practice is much more diverse than that so the answers to the questions above are too.

Shamanism is alive today in many forms. I want to distinguish two of these; those practiced in cultures with a continuous heritage of shamanic practice and those available in the “West”.

Shamanism in Traditional Cultures

Shamanic practices are extremely varied around the world. For example, among the Kung people of Africa shamanism is a practice shared by all in the village. Within a healing ceremony all can offer healing to another. In other societies practitioners may work together or individually, publicly or privately. There is local knowledge of who is most effective for what type of work. There are specialists in the many different types of heaings or services such as divination, mediumship, ceremony, etc. If you find yourself in one of these places asking a few questions from people you trust will get you to an appropriate practitioner. Be aware that there is often competition among practitioners. With a few basic questions you can ascertain their prejudices such as a willingness to perform black magic.

Shamanism in the West

If you find yourself in the western world, the knowledge you need to choose a practitioner is a little different. The very fact that shamanic practice is decentralized, fairly unknown by most, and that any certificate or credential is meaningless (as far as efficacy of their work is concerned), you need to be cautions. Personal referral from a satisfied customer is a very good resource as is your own intuition.

Beyond that, what you are seeking help with will determine your choice of practitioner. There isn’t only one “best” or “right” choice. I see a curious lack of “specialty” among shamanic practitioners I have met. Perhaps it is because of the scarcity of practitioners that most will work effectively in a number of different areas and are reluctant or unable to make referrals.

What help are you seeking?

As I said, this will determine who you should see. It is a common phenomenon that a client/patient will come to see me after seeing many practitioners such as doctors, massage therapists, herbalists, yogis, etc. I do not consider these competitors though I do consider them capable of similar healing success with the client/patient. I find that all these forms of healing work together, just as all the things that have happened to a person in the past prepare them for healing in this moment.

I will simplify an overwhelming variety of reasons people see a practitioner into the following:

  • To learn and deepen their individual healing practice
  • To heal a physical, mental, and/or emotional wound, for help with a specific entity causing difficulty today, divination/psychopomp/ mediumship

I’ve made this simple, healing or learning. This isn’t a complete list but should do for now. I invite you to email me at any time if you need further information.

To learn and deepen their individual healing practice

There is a significant difference between doing the work and teaching wonderful shamanic knowledge that is needed by all. There are many fine teachers about. I encourage all to explore with a variety of these before chosing the tradition with which one resonates for them and then sticking to that path. Those who seek to brand “their” methods and find followers may make better teachers than healers. No one’s way is the only way.

To heal a physical, mental, and/or emotional wound, for help with a specific entity causing difficulty today, divination/psychopomp/ mediumship

I believe it is much harder to find an effective healer than it is to find an effective teacher. The work is difficult, often unrewarding, and low paying. The practitioner also has to recognize and admit when they can’t help a patient. There isn’t any glory, recognition, or even appreciation. Plus, and this is important, not many are really good at it. By good at it, I don’t mean they have any power except the power to be available to the power which does the healing.

There can be healing from anyone, whether or not they have studied, apprenticed for 10 years in a village somewhere, or come from a lineage passed from father to son for generations. There are many “so called” healer who’s only qualification seems to be that they were raised in a shamanic culture, though they never actually practiced shamanism in their home country or because they successfully completed someone’s course and have the certificate to prove it . But to repeatedly have success with more and more difficult challenges is a calling. One has to walk the path of the many unsung heroes who have gone before us. This isn’t a typical mindset of most Americans.

It is worth the search and for those doing the practice. It is done without expectation of adequate reward but in the hope that each client heals and also helps change the perception of what is possible.


What causes the trouble in our lives?

16 02 2014

Dear Friends-
Welcome to those of you who are new subscribers to my website. I value the time you take to read this and hope you find the content helpful.

It has been longer than expected since I blogged last. A wedding, the flu, and now catching up on stuff I postponed while I was sick, have kept me away from my computer.

While I was sick I heard messages I do not hear when I am in the normal rhythm of my life. On one hand I wished to be available to do the things I love, and even some of the mundane chores like cleaning the house seem important and luxurious. On the other hand, I observed how well things went on without any participation from me. I considered a number of topics to blog about and found my thoughts trivial. I ruminated on the question: what does one really need to do to be a worthwhile member of society?

Then I recovered and rushed happily to catch up on cancelled appointments and obligations. Among these appointments I had a number of shamanic healing sessions. As is often the case, I saw clients with a variety of problems who seem to have one important thing in common. It is so common to see clients with a “theme” that I believe it is my focus and not something they bring. That, however, does not prevent specific and unique treatment for their individual conditions.

The theme I am currently observing is that clients seem to intently focus on their personal failings. The events currently causing trauma in their life are viewed as a result, challenge, or perpetuation of their personal failings. This become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But more important, it prevents one from seeing beyond their current perception and leads to them feeling guilty about and responsible for what is happening in their life. They often say something like, “I can’t change because I haven’t been able to in the past, don’t deserve anything better, am depressed and lack the energy.”

Their questions seem to be about how they got where they are, even though they are usually able to explain that to me in detail. There is probably shamanic help for their situation in so far as it involves things outside their control.
But something else is needed that they can only do for themselves.

Self Forgiveness
The important thing is self forgiveness. Focus less on how one got here and a focus on nurturing one’s self, forgiving one’s mistakes, and giving one’s self the loving kindness one would give to a beloved child. That is so easy to say and so hard to do. It is a practice worth a lifetime of work and one that will lead to so many good things.

So, begin this practice despite the difficulties, and keep giving yourself that forgiveness, kindness, and compassion as many times as it takes. If we even think we have mastered it, life repeatedly givens us opportunities to practice. As you practice this, also try to become the observer of yourself. With even a little detachment you may start to see other possible interpretations of your life events. Perhaps life is a still precious gift full of infinite grace if we can just lift ourselves out of our sick bed of self-criticism and see beyond our narrow focus. Treasure yourself. Somewhere within, you are a bright, powerful, important, worthwhile person even if all you usually see in the tarnish of life that has obscured that light.

Circle at My House

3 01 2014

The New Year finds me cleaning, clearing, completing old projects, and preparing for the birth of a new way of being. As I try to be patient as I prepare, I invite you to join me for my first circle of the new year. Wednesday night, January 8. Same time as always. I will make a pot of soup by 6:00 pm and Circle will begin promptly at 7:00 and end at 9:00. You can bring finger food to share or not. Also, drums, etc. RSVP so I know how much soup to make.

New Beginnings Aren’t always Pretty

23 12 2013

Dear Friends-

The holidays and new year are always a season of rebirth for me. I look at what I am passionate about and what no longer holds my interest. Each successive year I am more ruthless with myself and more true to the real me. I wonder if this isn’t one of the finest gifts I have ever received.

My attention to each little nagging thought, stomach discomfort, or other glimpse of friction is magnified and important. My tolerance of things I once allowed is less. This is such a good thing. But, it isn’t pretty. I am racked with irritation and look for the way out of it. Some things I have to continue to do but some things I can change.

As I formulate a plan for the next year I look at all areas of my life. This blog entry is about the shamanic aspects of the 2014 Plan.

Shamanism is a key ingredient of how I live my life. Here is a little of what the means to me for 2014.

1. Admit my shortcomings – I am as flawed as anyone but come back time and time again to holding myself accountable for my thoughts and actions. I will do better than I have in the past.
2.Share the Magic. Share what I can of what I have been fortunate enough to learn. I see Magic present in all things. I see clients who are filled to overflowing with magic but can’t see it in themselves even while they share of themselves with others. The last few months have seen me taxed by family obligations and I am happy to be planning ways to support this in my community.
3.Walk in the wonderful community this has brought to me and thank them for their friendship, help and support.
4. Plan and do activities that support my shamanic path, especially making art, time in nature, retreat, and spirit filled travel. Without a plan I won’t make nearly as much progress and the most valuable gift, time, will be lost.
5. Find and do things that support the planet, nature and my communities.

p.s. If you want more information about my art email me and visit my art website: LindaNadeau.com

Dog Days of Summer Circle at my house

16 09 2013

I will host a shamanic drumming and healing circle at my house Wednesday of next week. That date is 9/25/13.

As usual, I will make a pot of vegetarian soup which will be available at 6:00 PM

You can bring some food to share or not.

Circle starts promptly at 7:00 PM and finishes at 9:00 PM.

You can bring drums, rattles, something to sit on, something to put on altar during ceremony/ or not.

If weather is good we will meet around fire pit outside so bring a jacket, etc. if you want.

I have several goals for this circle:

1. Offering healing

2. Discussing future a. beginner circles and b. advanced circles.

Beginning circles require no commitment. As a result of a number of inquiries I am planning an on-going program of advanced circles to support us people willing to commit to the practice. These will not be open to the general public. This is the opportunity to discuss them.

Email me to confirm attendance and get directions: lindanadeau33@gmail.com


My Camino Charities

29 04 2013

I’m getting so excited I can hardly wait. Less then 48 hours before I leave on my trip. My amazing family and friends have offered support to the following causes. I will pray for them as I walk. I can feel my heart 0pening and my steps lightening already.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

The organizations we are supporting include:

American Legion

American Red Cross Disaster Relief

Angels of the Desert – neither the US or Mexican law enforcement help immigrants lost in the desert but this middle-aged former mechanic does.

Bunny Advocates – they place bunnies in loving homes

CASA – “Court Appointed Special Advocates” for children

Disabled Veterans of America

Doctors without Borders

Eckankar Canada – offered in support of families  finding spiritual connections in Penticton, BC.

Edna Adam University Hospital in Somaliland – Works for the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation

Fistula Foundation – An obstetric fistula (most common in developing countries) is a hole between a woman’s birth passage and one or more of her internal organs.

Human Race Walk – a nationwide community fundraising event for many nonprofit organizations

Last Mask Center – creates shamanic community devoted to diversity, spiritual adulthood, and stepping up with an open heart

Menlo Station High School Continuing Education for Young Parents (CEYP) Program

Panzi Foundation USA-supporting the work of a hospital working to help rape victims, especially to provide fibula surgeries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Raincoast Converation Foundation – a team of conservationists and scientists working to protect the lands, waters and wildlife of coastal British Columbia

Relay for Life (cancer)

Rev. Roger Christie ( THC Ministry) – outsider minister working to legalize the use of plant medicine in religious ceremony

Ronald McDonald House

Saint Francis Catholic Kitchen – feeds Santa Cruz’s homeless population

Saint Jude Children’s Hospital

Salvation Army

Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter

Sisters of the Road – they work to alleviate hunger, isolation, and violence among Portland’s homeless people

Tsogyal Latso Fund – provides financial support and medical care to the 14 Tsogyal Latso nuns and perpetuates a sacred Tibetan divine feminine holy site

Whale and Dolphin Watch – Combats the negative effect on all sea life of Navy and Sound wave testing in the oceans

Fun and Exciting Happenings – Come Join Me!

9 04 2013

Dear Friends-

By now you are probably aware I am having a BIG birthday on April 30. I am turning 65. Wow! I haven’t decided what it means but for sure it deserves a party. Well I started to arrange a party and it has now evolved into several events. You are invited to  one, which is a shamanic drumming circle at my house on Saturday, April 27 I will have a pot of vegetarian soup at 5:00 p.m. You can bring snacks to share if you want to. Circle ill start promptly at 7:00 and should be finished by 9:00. You can bring drums or rattles if you have them. I have lots to share. Also, if you want to put something on the altar bring that too.  If you haven’t sat in such a circle, don’t be nervous. You will find it a place of love and unconditional acceptance that doesn’t require anything of you but telling us your name. This is how your ancestors entertined themselves before TV.

Now, the really exciting event!

Immediately following my birthday on April 30, I am leaving for Spain where I am going to walk the Camino de Santiago. This is a sacred pilgrimage I have been thinking about doing for six years now. It seems like a wonderful way to mark this milestone in my life. While I consider this a personal and self-centered event I am hoping to share it with you so I came up with this plan. If you make a contribution in my name to a charity of your choice and send me the name of the charity and your email address, I will send you messages from the road. I will also pray for those charities as I travel. I believe this will give me a lift as I walk. If you haven’t heard, it is a 500 mile walk. I hope you will consider supporting me in this way. I don’t know how often I will be able to write from the road but I will send a final informative email upon my arrival home. That one will contain pictures as well. No, not the “vacation in pictures” but a few well-chosen shots.  Please share this with any of our mutual friends as I know I don’t have email addresses for many I would like to include.



Shamanic Camping Monday next

2 11 2012

A short adventure next Monday night, November 5. If you are interested contact me asap.