What is a Shaman?
A shaman resides between the worlds of the physical and the spiritual and acts as a an intermediary between his patient and the spirit world, receiving insights, assistance and information about how best to assist the patient in their healing and how to help them to move forward in life.
Traditionally, they acted as the head of the community and held many different roles such as healer, priest, counselor, mediator, psychic, tracker (seeing where the buffalo were for example, so as to guide the hunt), ceremonial leader, negotiator, peace maker, sage, fortune teller, doctor, funeral director, and teacher to name but a few.
Their main role was the maintenance and safety of the community, and ensuring that the community remained in harmony and reciprocity with nature, -which we call, ‘ayni.’ The practice of ayni helps to ensure health, prosperity, healthy crops and healthy animals. The shaman of old were much revered, trusted and totally supported by their community.
In this modern age, shamanism and shamanic healing is still going strong although there is no real boundary of community these days. For example, I have worked worldwide as a shamanic healer since 2004 – so my community is very large indeed! Because shamanic healing is non-local, I can work over Skype or telephone and it is exactly the same as having the person in front of me. Today, the roles are pretty much the same (although there isn’t much need for buffalo tracking these days).
How does a person become a Shaman?
Generally a person does not just ‘become’ a shaman. They are normally born a shaman and their entire life experience provides training for the role. There are many ways in which is shaman is called to the shamanic path, here are the most common.
- By inheritance of the role. Normally the son or daughter of the acting shaman will follow in their parents footsteps, often receiving training from a very young age and exhibiting many shamanic abilities themselves
- By nature. In my main lineage (Andean), the shaman is normally chosen by being struck by lightening! If they survive, they often awake with all the shamanic knowledge and information they need. The guide I mentioned above – who was guided by the trees to find his hotel – had been bought to the path by being struck by lightening and used to say he was taught everything he knew by the event.Normally also, when the person awakens after the lightening strike there are two stones by his or her side which form the basis of his or her ‘mesa’ or medicine bundle – this holds power objects which help the shaman in his or her work.
- By observation. The current shaman might notice that a child shows a particular interest in his work, is attuned to nature or has natural healing abilities or psychic gifts
- By the receipt of a vision which calls the individual to the shamanic path. This can sometimes be a lucid dream but more often is a very real experience.
- By an experience with death. Becoming a shaman is a very difficult path. Archetypically, a shaman is known as the ‘wounded healer.’ This is because it is common for a shaman to experience severe and long lasting ill health. More often than not, a cure cannot be found or the illness is unusual. The shaman (who probably doesn’t even realize he is a shaman at this stage!) normally has to dig deep to find the resources to heal himself. A near death experience is also common – often a shaman-to-be will be involved in a near fatal accident which will bring him or her onto the path.An actual death experience is also common. Often people who have clinically died but return, return with vital knowledge and spiritual understanding. These experiences are necessary, as difficult as they are to go through. A shaman needs to understand what a client experiences during illness or trauma, he or she needs to be very strong and unafraid of death as shamanic training often involves facing or interacting with death. Being a shaman is a dangerous occupation and a shaman cannot afford to be afraid of death.
So, how did you become a Shaman?
Essentially, I think I was born a shaman and I have been shown that I have been a shaman in many other lifetimes in many different lineages. I always knew as a child that there were other realities, – that this was not the only one – and that this one was not even real, but a place in which to experience things and grow as a soul.
I suffered extreme ill health as a child and I died on the operating table at age 8. (it was actually not scary at all!). I was also very ill from 13 to 18, I used to faint about eight times a day and by 18 I had gone through both puberty and the menopause. Interestingly, I found out only recently that it is normally for a woman to become a shaman only after menopause!
I was interested in all things spiritual from about age 16, even though that sort of information was pretty much hidden at the time. I studied meditation and went on a huge search hoping to find my path. I knew it was a defined path, but I also knew that I didn’t know what it was!
I meditated for hours on end for about eight years and studied many different subjects and healing modalities but at age 39 I finally gave up the search, feeling totally exhausted and dejected. Then I went on holiday to Peru, and visited the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.
While I was there, I received a mystical vision of what looked like an Inca, who was completely covered in shining golden armor. He was very powerful! I had no idea who he was but somehow I knew I had to maintain eye contact with him, even though my knees were shaking.
Suddenly his arm shot out, he pointed towards me and he said, ‘You must follow this path – and we will help you!’ I was then shown that I had lived at Machu Picchu before and had been a shaman there.
I was working in corporate finance at the time for a bank. I had no idea what had happened to me, but I knew for sure my vision was real and that I had to follow it. So I leapt into the unknown and resigned from my job.
I trained in Peru, both with the Q’ero and the ayahuasceros of the Amazon jungle and the medicine people of Lake Titicaca. I have also trained in California and the UK and undertook training with Dr Alberto Villoldo, Jose Luis Herrera and Carla Fox as well as working with shaman from other lineages. After my initial training my work developed and to this day I continue to be trained ongoing by my spirit guides. I have recently been apprenticed to another lineage, which is a wonderful honour.
Shamanic training is long and arduous – in the Amazon jungle I worked with a shaman, an ‘Ayahuascero’ – (a person who works with the psychotropic plant Ayahuasca), and he had apprenticed for his role for 49 years!
Two years into working as a shaman, I found out while reading a book by Joan Parisi Wilcox (Masters of the Living Energy) that what had happened to me at Machu Picchu was called an ‘Estrella.’ Receiving an Estrella – a vision of a shiny man – is the traditional way in Peru for a shaman to be called to the path. All I can say was that I was grateful to have received the vision after so many years of searching – and also glad that I wasn’t struck by lightening!
I work as an Altomesayok – a shaman who works directly with high level spirits, as opposed to a Pampamesayok – a shaman who works with earth spirits and plant medicine (herbs, flowers and psychotropic substances). An Altomesayok has the ability to work on people while they are asleep. Many clients tell me that they see me working on them at night.
How does Shamanic Healing differ from other types of healing?
Shamanic healing differs from other types of healing because it effectively ignores what is presented by the client initially, for example, a rash, a painful hand, cancer, dysfunctional behavior, anxiety or depression, or lack of confidence….and seeks to find the very root of the issue.
For example, if I am working with a person with cancer, I completely ignore the tumor, and instead get to the root of why the cancer is there, what has caused it – this could be anger or grief for example, or it could even be indicating a part of the body that has blocked energy or even arise from an issue with an ancestor or a past life!
Today for example, I worked on a lady with a terrible rash and swelling around both of her eyes. The root cause was unhealed grief about her daughter, who is severely autistic, and the additional grief caused by the implications this will have on her own life.
She is an excellent mother, highly devoted to her child – but she had not been able to allow herself to grieve because it made her feel disloyal to her beloved daughter. By creating the rash, the body was forcing her to deal with the grief that was trapped inside her body.
Additionally, shamanic healing differs from many other healing modalities in that it focuses on all aspects of a person. For example:
- Talking therapies like psychology focus on the mental and emotional aspect of a person
- Energy work such as Reiki focuses on the energetic aspect of a person
- Traditional medicine focuses on the physical aspect of a person
But look at it this way: If something happens to you, it happens to you on every level of your being doesn’t it? ……mental, emotional, physical, spiritual/soul and energetic. It affects your unconscious, your subconscious, your consciousness, and your super consciousness.
In my view, and in the shamanic view, things happen to the person on all levels of their being, therefore it is not enough to only attempt to heal it through one or two aspects alone.
One of the reasons I absolutely love shamanic healing – and probably one of the reasons it survives today some 50,000 years later – is that enables the healing of a person on all levels of their being and all levels of their consciousness.
It must be remembered that the human body is tremendously intelligent and it normally holds the cures to heal within itself. When an issue is healed at the source – for example the lady above with suffering from grief – the space is created for the body to heal the actual rash, the tumor, the painful hand…. or whatever!
As well as working on the entire person, shamanic healing benefits a person by going even further.
- Firstly, it is not only the shaman herself that is working on the client, but also her entire collection of guides, her power objects (rattles, drums) and the refined energy that she can bring to the client. Effectively a shaman moves energy and holds the space in which the healing can magically occur which in turn enables the body to heal itself.
- Secondly, after the original wounding or trauma has been healed, when the root of the matter has been found and cleared, the person is returned to wholeness with soul retrieval. As mentioned above, when trauma occurs, a person can lose a vital part of his or herself, aspects of their soul. This is actually a protection mechanism and you can read more about soul retrieval by clicking HERE
- The divination work that is done before or during a session provides a high level of information and guidance prior to even speaking to the client, providing answers that may not have seem obvious. Again, in the example of the lady above, before speaking to my guides I thought the rash around her eyes was caused by a candida outbreak, but my guides told me about the grief she was carrying deep inside and how it needed to be released. This is invaluable information both for me and for my client.
- Many healing modalities require the person to be present with the practitioner. This is not the case with shamanic healing; it makes no difference to me if my client is in the same room or in Australia, as shamanic healing occurs in another dimension. This is referred to as being ‘non-local.’ So there is no need for me to travel, or my client to travel, the session can take place over the phone or Skype while the client relaxes in the comfort of their own home.
- Many healing modalities require some communication between the client/patient and the practitioner – not so with shamanic healing! I have some clients who cannot speak a word of English. Other clients want me to work on them but do not wish to tell me anything about themselves or to speak to me or see me. This is fine and no problem at all. I receive all the information I need from my divination and the spirit world, get on with the work, and email the client to tell them what I did. This also allows me to work on clients that cannot communicate with me even if they wanted to, such as babies, toddlers and very young children (I tend to work with children directly on Skype after the age of about 8), people that are deaf or mute, severely autistic or disabled children and even people who are seriously ill and in hospital.
So given the above, it is clear to me why shamanic healing is still going strong all these years later and why it is so effective and beneficial to my clients. I am constantly amazed by the wonderful results I see and feel humbled and honored to assist my clients on their healing journey.
Is Shamanic Healing scary?
No, not at all. I have never had a client be fearful in a session.
Of course, it is always a little anxiety provoking when we do something new for the first time, as we don’t know what to expect. But I have never had a client be fearful of the work. As I mentioned above, I work face to face over Skype with children as young as eight and they are fine, in fact they seem to love it!
Remember that shamanic healing is the oldest form of healing on the planet…and as we have lived for many lifetimes, we have probably all had shamanic healing in the past! Children particularly act as if they remember the work; they are not phased by it at all.
What happens if all my ‘stuff’ – my issues – cope up at once? I might not be able to cope afterwards?
This is nothing to worry about. Remember – your body is highly intelligent and I work with it, not against it in the session. Your body is only going to allow you to work on a bit of your ‘stuff’ at a time, so you will not be overwhelmed or have too much to integrate afterwards. Think of it this way, imagine the body is like an onion…. It has many layers. In each layer there is a different ‘map’ – different issues. Maybe an emotional block connected to a past life for example. The body will want this healed before it allows you (or I) to work on the next onion layer.
Additionally, I only do one session a month, which allows the full integration of the session before the next one. And we make sure that you are fully grounded, centred and happy at the end of each session. Click HERE for more information on the importance of being grounded and centered.
Is it necessary to believe in Shamanism, or have an interest in it, for the healing to work?
No, not at all. The vast majority of my clients have no interest in shamanism, or very little knowledge of it. They just want to be better and feel drawn to working with me. So it makes no difference at all. Additionally as previously mentioned, as shamanic healing predates all religion, it is suitable for everyone.
Isn’t there a dark side to Shamanism?
Yes there is, particular among indigenous people where sorcery is quite common. But then again, there is a dark side to everything isn’t there?
We’ve all heard of bad doctors, naughty priests and nutty psychologists. Think of it this way, a blade can be used to kill, or it can be used to carry out a heart operation. Its not the tool that is the problem, it is the hand that the tool lies within.
A shaman is a powerful person who has normally been through intense trials and training and understands spiritual concepts and laws, therefore it is unlikely that a shaman will do wrong because karma will serve him or her their dues. However when choosing a shaman, healer or therapist you must always trust your instincts – your body is always right.
Do you have a typical type of client?
No, not really.
On average, I would say the majority of my clients fall into the 30-60 age bracket but there is a wide variety. The youngest client I have ever worked on was 8 months old; the oldest was in her late eighties.
Many clients are professional, – I have worked with politicians, royalty, ‘A’ list Hollywood stars, CEO’s, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists, fund managers, Buddhist monks, entrepreneurs, spiritual teachers, the managing partners of top law and accountancy firms, other shaman and mystics, mums and dads, school children, and the military to name but a few! Some clients are interested in spirituality but not all.
I probably work with more men than women. I have worked on clients from most countries in the world and with people from many different religions and beliefs to those with no beliefs at all. I have even worked on cats, dogs and horses and even cleared energies in houses and businesses! So really, anything goes!
What happens in a Shamanic Healing session?
I will tell you what happens in my shamanic healing sessions, as I cannot comment on what other people do.
I do a lot of pre-work before a session. I open up sacred space, then use my tarot cards to give me an idea of what is blocking my client and what needs to be done to help them. I also normally meditate for a while to see what information I receive. Then we talk over the phone or Skype. If it is a first session then I will take down some basic information.
Then, I find out where you are now, where you have been in the past – what has happened to you or affected you, and most importantly, where you want to be in the future – so I know where we need to get you to! (Although as previously mentioned you don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to).
Then, I normally take some time out of the call so that I can do further divination work, checking you over for over fifty different things which may be affecting you. This is done every session. I also go to visit my guides to receive information and guidance, and also look at you psychically to see what your body and soul want me to know.
Then we start to work, doing each process in an order. Shamanic healing is a bit like building a house; we need to get strong foundations in first, before doing things like decorating. So we work on clearing you up energetically and emotionally, before doing such work as soul retrieval and power retrieval.
Normally the client lies down on a bed or sofa, but as long as you are comfortable, that is all that matters. Some journeying is done together, and some visualization work is carried out, but it does not matter if you cannot do this as I can do everything for you myself if you struggle.
At all times you are relaxed, but also in control. You don’t have to do anything that you are uncomfortable with and we work at your own speed. Some clients like to be very active in the work, some like me to do everything for them.
Afterwards, we make sure that you are grounded and centered. Because this work helps you to move forward, normally homework is given for you to do in between sessions. This could be as simple as taking salt baths, or trying to move forward in a new way.
What else do I need to know?
The best advice I could give you is to try to be as relaxed as possible before your session – this way the work can go deeper.
Of course some people come flying in from work and get straight on the phone to me, that is fine of course but its much nicer for you if you can sit quietly for ten minutes or so before hand. It helps to make your space nice, so have some water handy, some tissues are often helpful, get a nice blanket so you stay nice and warm.
Some people like to light candles and dim the lights but this is up to you. And of course do your best to make sure that you are undisturbed for the duration of your session and for about half an hour afterwards, so you have some space to process everything. Try not to go partying hard after a session if possible!
Normally, sea salt baths are required after a session to help the energy field to clear, so it is a good idea to obtain some sea salt (not Epsom salt or table salt) before your session. This can normally be found in a supermarket, near the herbs and spices section. You will need two big handfuls per bath so buy a few boxes as you will need to do the salt baths for a week after your session.
How do I arrange a Shamanic Healing session?
If you feel shamanic healing can help you to heal your past and return to wholeness, then please complete the form below. I will then get back to you with a suggested date as soon as possible. Please note that I am very busy with clients but I will do my best to respond to you the same day or the next day. If you don’t hear from me after a couple of days, please contact me again in case of a technical glitch!
I hope the above answers any questions you may have about the benefits of shamanic healing. However if you have a query, then please do not hesitate to contact me – just complete the boxes below and I will come back to you as soon as I can.