What is a Shaman?
The term shaman is taken from a tribe in Siberia and refers to the medicine person for the village. In Western culture the word has been adopted to refer to people who do any number of practices which are customarily associated with native cultures. The shaman is the person who can get needed information from the spirit realm, like where the drinkable water is, when the men will return from their hunting expedition, what kind of forces are at work in a person who has fallen ill, and a wide variety of other practical matters. These visionary practices, done in an altered state of consciousness, are still being practiced in modern times by shamans who have adapted them for use in modern society. The practices have persisted because they are effective, not as I was taught in medical school, because so-called primitive people were superstitious. If the shaman couldn’t find game for the hunters and couldn’t help sick people get well, he would be out of a job!
Basic healing techniques which come from shamanic practices include assessing the following possible origins of emotional upset:
- Intrusion by earthbound spirits (human beings who have died and remain stuck on the Earth plane,) or other more malevolent kinds of spirits.
- Soul loss as a result of difficult experiences
- Sorcery or black magic
- Ancestral wounds or past life issues impinging on the current situation
- Traumatic events in this lifetime
Most often in the modern setting the client becomes directly involved in the intervention. In other words, a more traditional soul retrieval involves the shamanic practitioner going into an altered state of consciousness to find the lost soul fragment and bring it back to the client. The client remains quite passive unless he/she has sufficient intuitive ability to follow the process. In my office, I try to lead the client into a sufficiently receptive state so that he/she will have some direct experience of what is happening and how the problem gets cleared.
What is an altered state of consciousness? Does it involve drugs?
In the teaching I received from faculty of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (www.shamanism.org), I learned that 90% of the time in tribal cultures, the shaman goes into an altered state by the use of repetitive sounds including drumming, rattling, and chanting or dance movement. In my practice I do not use plant medicines, or hallucinogens to alter my state of consciousness. I do use drumming, singing, prayers, and sometimes rattling. Please take some time to look at my video about what to expect in a session. Most clients will experience the altered state as resembling meditation, or even a light hypnotic trance.
Is this type of work safe?
In my shamanic training safety was always the first concern, both the safety of the client and the practitioner. Part of the healing process is to provide the client with the means to make a relationship with helping spirits who volunteer to serve the patient as guides and protectors. You could think of them as guardian angels.
Is this work covered by my health insurance plan?
No, these spiritual interventions are clearly not medical intervention. There is no attempt to diagnose anyone’s condition based on medical or psychiatric diagnostic categories. These are spiritual interventions which involve belief systems which do not correspond at all to the materialistic, mechanistic point of view which underlies Western medicine. They go outside of the box of the medical model into the spirit realm to find the origins of the difficulties. The interventions involve me, the client, and invisible beings who do not answer to insurance companies or licensing boards! However, just as in all medical interactions, there is no guarantee of success with this multi-dimensional approach. Some cases may be very complex and difficult to help.
How can I schedule a session?
To schedule a session, click the “How to Schedule Your Session” link in the menu.