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What is Shamanic Work?

∞ Shamanic work is soul work; dealing with the longings and wounds of the most eternal part of you.

∞ If all people, all animals, all of nature, including rocks and things that we tend to think of as inanimate are actually an expression of the Creator, then they are therefore imbued with a kind of life force. This does not mean that animals and rocks are sentient in the same way as humans but that they do express certain energies and aspects of the Web of Life. When we honor all beings, and look for what we might be able to learn from them, we are in harmony with the Web of Life. This fundamental path to health and wholeness has been practiced since Neolithic times, in every part of the globe.

∞ The shamanic practitioner journeys into non-ordinary reality, usually to the beat of a drum or rattle, to bring back information and healing for the members of her community.

∞ In a divinely inter-connected Universe everything has meaning and so symbolism is very important.  Although there is a loose lexicon of symbols, which may vary from culture to culture, the most important thing is to listen for the message, rather than deferring to a book or preconceived idea.

∞ Another name for shaman is medicine man/woman.  In this context, medicine refers to the energy or gift that something has to bestow.  For example, in many cultures Coyote is considered a trickster.  If you have a dream about a coyote or a real one crosses your path, it may be an indication that you need to lighten up or look at things from a different perspective, but don’t forget to ask, because the medicine may be slightly different than the standard interpretation.

∞ Contemporary shamanism arises out of the elements that are common to all traditions.  The only shamanic tradition we have in this country is amongst the Native Americans.  Rather than co-opting their specific rituals and beliefs, contemporary shamanism honors the more fundamental aspects, in part by recognizing the importance and inter-connectedness of all beings.