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.

 

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December 2011 Events and First Quarter of 2012 Events

6 12 2011

Dear Friends-

Everyone seems to be learning from the same teacher, the economy. This forced letting go of our identities is sometimes harsh and difficult but also opens the door for learning and growth. As I let go of identities which no longer serve me new visions appear.  Chief among these is the desire, finally, after years of saying no, to step humbly into the role of teacher, mentor, and workshop leader.  I am happy to announce the following activities. Some are designed for those seeking tools for self-healing (Basic) and some are for those seeking growth as healers (Advanced).

(Basic)Self-healing and basics of shamanism

 

Basic Journeying – this is an introduction to the terminology and cosmology of the shaman’s world. Learn about power animals, spirit teachers, and nature spirits by experiencing them, not by hearing about someone else’s experience. Come prepared to participate. This is a six hour class being offered twice. Since this is a great preparation for the advanced program I am offering it despite the hectic season and will consider offering it at other times if requested to do so.

  • Saturday December 17, 2011.  9:00 through 4:00 with a one hour lunch break. $60

Or

  • Saturday January 7, 2012.   9:00 through 4:00 with a one hour lunch break. $60

Power Dance and Shamanic Healing

Experience a traditional community ritual including the opportunity to receive multiple healing in a shamanistic style.

  • Saturday, January 14, 2012 7:00 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. $10
  • Saturday, February 11, 2012 7:00 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. $10

(Advanced) An apprenticeship/mentoring program

This program requires a one year commitment to the members of this working group. Membership will be closed once the program begins. The three month sessions are simply a way to make the cost more affordable. Please do not begin if you do not intend to stick with it for the year.

This program will be a series of four Three Month Sessions.

The First Three Month Session is scheduled for:

Saturday, January 14, 2012 9:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 11, 2012 9:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m.

Residential

Friday March 9, 2012, through Sunday March 11, 2012

  • Friday March 9, 2012, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Sunday March 11, 2012, 9:00 to 12:00 a.m.

One working definition of a shaman is “one who goes into an altered state of consciousness at will to bring back information for the healing of others, the community and/or the planet.” This program includes instruction in typical shamanic activities such as extraction, soul retrieval, de-possession, curse removal, divination, psycho-pomp, space clearing, and working with nature spirits and other compassionate spirits to achieve these results.

Approximately one-half of our time will be spent outdoors and will include visits to local power places. We can’t learn what our shaman teachers have learned through a lifetime of living in harmony with nature on a Saturday afternoon. The weekend sessions will provide a time to be still in nature and go deeper into our lessons. At least as important as learning the techniques of healing is learning about the spiritual wholeness that makes it all possible.

While this is not designed as a program for those seeking healing, there is not a healer alive who does not receive healing through helping others. Be prepared to learn about yourself, your ancestors, your fears, and your strengths. Learn to trust and utilize your abilities and receive affirmations and validation of them.

Since this is Santa Cruz, I add the following. You cannot use mind altering drugs (including marijuana) and participate in this program ergo the words “go to into an altered state at will”. Participation is at my discretion.

Cost of Program:

$400 for each 3 month commitment payable in advance of the first meeting of each quarter.  In some cases there will be additional modest costs for camping or other accommodations for the weekend events.

Schedule for the three remaining quarters will be presented to participants at the first session. The schedule is somewhat flexible at this time but will generally be the second weekend of the months with a weekend event culminating each quarter.
Registration Form:

Event for which you wish to register: ____________________

Name: ____________________

Address: __________________

City: ________State:__Zip:___

Phone: ____________________

E-Mail: ___________________

Amount enclosed: ___________

Send Registration Fee to:

 

Fee will be cost of event except for the Advanced Program. For that program you can send $100 to hold your place with balance payable before first event.

Location will be announced. Instructions will be given once registration is received.





Let the mystery find you

7 07 2011

 

There is an old story in which everyone’s problems are placed in a pile in the middle of the room. After seeing the challenges of their friends, each person gladly takes their own problems back.

As a shamanic practitioner I am constantly aware of my own good fortune. And yet, when I undertake to help another person I am also aware of a resonance of my patient’s problems and issues with aspects of my life. For example, during a diagnostic journey I recently saw what I thought of as an image from the American Revolutionary War. There was a line of British solders walking smartly down the center of the road in a nice neat line with white uniforms and red hats while a drum announcing their presence. Meanwhile, a rag-tag band of rebel soldiers hid behind trees and picked them off one by one.

In the context of my client’s inquiry, it seemed to be a warning to my client that he might be too rigid regarding that particular issue. After he left, I reexamined this powerful image for personal meanings. I am an artist and sometime referred to as a “raging creative” so I didn’t see an immediate connection.

Several days passed before I found myself in tears as it relevance occurred to me.  I was thinking of myself on a typical trip. When I travel my attention is too fixed on my plan. My desire for safety, economy, and achieving my goals, leaves very little room for deviation. My tears were because I realized that I had passed unaware by many wonderful discoveries because I was so set on my goal.

I vow to allowing space for the discoveries find me, to being more open to beauty and mystery, and to remembering the journey is more important than the destination not only during summer travel but during all of life’s journeys. Dear friends, enjoy these beautiful summer days wherever they take you.





Summer Shamanic Events

3 07 2011

WHEN: Wednesday Nights, July 6, 13, 20, 27

6:30 for visit, start immediately at 7:00

Finish by 9:00 sharp

My summer is as crazy as anybodies but it gives us the change to do shamanism outdoors. The only way to get it happening is to make it fit. If you want to join my shamanic work group, RSVP and be here. As much as possible, these activities will be outdoors so dress accordingly. A shamanic work group isn’t about cleaning the yard, it is about doing deep personal work to prepare us to help others. No fee but donations accepted.

Experience not required in this specific work however basic shamanic knowledge is required. If you need to get up to speed email me with a request. I can do basic training with small groups for a small fee.

 





If you are a post menopausal woman with poor health, is a past life the reason?

3 07 2011

In past ages, the cure for menopause was death. When people talked about the wise elders they were usually talking about people at the advanced age of 40. It is a modern phenomenon having “baby boomers” reaching retirement age in great numbers. This is an event of great magnitude. What does it mean apart from being a significant result of the industrial revolution and ensuing breakthroughs in: reduced physical work, better quality of food, and modern medicine?

Metaphysical books from the past each claim to be at a pivotal moment in history. Our current aging population is one thing that sets this time in history apart. It has not occurred before. It is a part of the macrocosm of time in history and has a great potential for good. It may be a financial burden for society but it is also an amazing opportunity. I, for one, am proud to be here to see it. Great things are possible in a way they have never been before.  Why am I so optimistic?

Most shamanic and spiritual events I have been involved with are most heavily attended by women. A typical breakdown is 70 percent women and 30 percent male. Of the women, it tends to be more heavily post-menopausal women. I guess this breakdown is also 70/30 favoring post menopausal women. It appears that with their child rearing, household, and income producing responsibilities reduced, they are giving attention to their spiritual needs. For some this means helping out at their church. For some, it means looking at alternative spiritual practices.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that we meet our primary before reaching for self actualization and transcendence. I can only be excited by having so many people reach a time in their lives when their primary work is to achieve a goal of being their best selves. Rather than facing retirement as an end, it is possible to see it as a new beginning.

It saddens me to see so many women whose vitality has decreased at this crucial time. As a trained fitness professional and long time student of aged healers in other parts of the world, I can tell you that the perception that we are suppose to be old and feeble isn’t valid. There are many fit and vital older adults in this world. The ideas is to reduce the time between decrepitude and death through healthy living rather than accept that is it all over and sit waiting for the inevitable.

We have more older Americans. There is no coincidence that this is happening when the world is in such dire need of champions. You, my friends, are these champions.

If you see that your vitality is not up to the task, I challenge you to ask why. Many of us are defeated by the limited thinking that our beloved society has set for us. Once we pass the golden age of youth we may cling to it with the latest beauty products or give up completely. Many of us have given up on being able to change health issues, weight problems, bad relationships, or bad habits. It is possible and actually, it easier than you might think.  Yes, you know some of the common tools, such as:

  • Not denying the problem – facing it head on
  • Not trying to do it alone
  • Setting a reasonable time frame for results
  • Making changes in a way that you can stick with

 The Most Important Tools

There are other tools equally or more important in changing a downhill slide into old age. They involve getting to the root of your issues. This can involve some deep work. Many people are afraid of this work or don’t even know it is possible.

It is possible to address these problems in many ways. Even psychologists and other western trained medical professionals are now realizing the validity of shamanic tools in reaching and relieving these deeply held issues.

If you suspect you way have such issues, think about one issue that you currently have then remember back to earlier times in your life when you can see this issue. If you can remember to where it started, you are ready to start changing it.

I have seen people whose issues where so deeply ingrained that I suspect they came into this life with them. I don’t believe or not believe in past lives but it certainly fits as an explanation of what I see. Regardless of whether the issue is from this life, or a previous one, there are excellent ways to eliminate them. Eliminating these issue will not only change how you live your life but will made a great deal of vitality available for you to do other things in your life which you care about. Is there something you want to do but just can’t find the time, willpower or energy to start? We can change that.

I am not promising you will live longer, though you might. Even if we just face our deaths better prepared, we have gained a lot. Who knows, it may mean we don’t have to come back here and suffer the same pains again. We will all be together of the other side of the veil soon enough, lets live with joy and help others while we are here.

If you are interested in learning more, email me and I will invite you to an event to hear more on this important topic.





Shamanism and Menopause

30 12 2010

In the ancient temples such as Delphi, the priestess and oracles were middle-aged women because of the recognition of the spiritual power which is released after menopause. It isn’t a coincidence that so many spiritual seekers are postmenopausal women. In general the statistic is 70/30 female to male ratio in workshops I have attended. There are probably many reasons for this. There is often an unfortunate imbalance of power in workshops – both from this female to male imbalance and also from the inability of individuals in the group to control and balance their individual power.  In an effort to be effective, participants often use their own power rather than connecting directly to the source. This is neither successful nor appropriate.





Being in the Flow-The Mind/Body Relationship

30 12 2010

When you consistently practice shamanism, you begin to recognize that events seem to happen easily with little thought or effort on your part. You need a job or a place to live and it appears. Conversely, when you are not in the flow, your best efforts are thwarted. You feel like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill. You can be working very hard to complete a project and despite your heroic efforts, you can’t think or work yourself out of the situation. This is another important principle of shamanism – when you can’t think or work yourself out of a situation, become an observer and step back away from the situation.  Give up the allusion that you have control.

In traditional shamanic societies the shaman lived closer to nature and is more physically active. Many shamanic traditions utilize “the gait of power” or “passes” or some other physical activities to manipulate and focus power. That is, they use their bodies in a way that helps them align with the flow of energy which is not best helped by thought.

The recognition of charkas and meridians, and the release of emotional responses during massage are examples of the interconnection between the physical body and the other levels of energy such as the emotions, mental and spiritual bodies.

Second charka – it would take a long blog to address charka energy but this is an important topic and one that requires a different approach in modern society than in traditional shamanic cultures because of the increasingly sedentary nature of our lives.

Shaktipat, the possibility of instantly communicating enlightenment from a guru to his student or the possibility of instantaneous healing is always possible. However, the opportunity is greatly increased by preparing the body to receive greater energy flow. Therefore the physical fitness and free flow of chi are highly desirable.