What is shamanism, who is a shaman, and what is Shamanic Healing?
The word “shaman” originally comes from the Tungus language to describe the religious figures of the Evenk, a small Siberian community of reindeer herders. The closest English translation of shaman is “one who sees in the dark.” Today, the words shaman, shamanic, and shamanism are used to describe certain patterns of thinking and practices that recur across a wide range of landscapes, cultures, and social and political situations. It is important to remember that what we call shamanism is not a single, unified religion but a cross-cultural pattern of spiritual thinking and practice.*
There are two principles at the core of shamanic thinking: first, there is the recognition that the Earth and all living beings have consciousness, and second, there is the recognition that there are non-ordinary realms that, like our ordinary reality, are filled with conscious beings. Shamanic practitioners are trained both to communicate with these beings and to journey to the non-ordinary realms in order to support an individual’s soul healing.
In the shamanic view, an individual’s soul can leave the body. This happens at death, of course, but it can happen at other times, too, such as when we are dreaming or experiencing a traumatic event. Sometimes, the context in which the soul leaves the body causes a portion of the soul to become lost in the non-ordinary realms and unable to return. This “soul flight” can leave us feeling somehow out of sorts, like something has changed or is missing, or we may feel stuck in harmful or unproductive patterns and wonder why we cannot make effective changes in our lives. During a shamanic journey, a practitioner can seek out this lost soul part, retrieve it, and return it to its home. They can also help individuals prepare their souls for significant events (such as a surgery, major life change, childbirth, etc.) in order to minimize or prevent soul trauma. Integrating the restored soul part is an essential part of healing, and a shamanic practitioner can assist individuals in this process.
In addition to soul flight, an individual may be suffering (consciously or unconsciously) due to energies that have accumulated or attached to them. These energies may negatively impact an individual’s physical, emotional, or social well-being. A shamanic practitioner is trained to identify, locate, and remove such energies in order to facilitate the healing process.
What Should I Expect During a Shamanic Healing Session?
During a Shamanic Healing Session, I will do all the work! I will ask you to lay comfortably on a futon mattress on the floor, to wear an eye mask, and to simply rest quietly. Candles and incense will be burning. I will play a drumming soundtrack and an actual drum and a rattle in order to facilitate the soul journey I will take on your behalf. I will first circle around you and then sit beside you on the floor. While I assess your energetic field for energies that may need to be removed, I may lightly touch you with my hands, similar to what you might experience in a Reiki treatment. At the conclusion of the soul journey, I will finish by blowing the retrieved soul part into you, usually at your abdomen and the crown of your head. To do so, I will lightly touch you with my hands and then shake a rattle to seal the return. I will then write down all that I saw and learned so that I can share it with you. During this time, you are welcome to remain lying down or sit up as you feel comfortable. Finally, we will discuss our experiences and craft an integration plan for your healing.
What is Shamanic Counseling?
Shamanic Counseling is a problem solving system for discovering one’s own spiritual power and the wisdom to deal successfully with daily life. During a program of Shamanic Counseling, we will meet 6-8 times in order to facilitate your own healing process through guided shamanic journeys and meditations. Sessions occur on a weekly basis and follow an established program. By the end of the counseling program, you will have acquired and developed several tools to aid in your continued spiritual and emotional growth and healing.
Ready to Explore?
When you are ready to explore spiritual healing through shamanic practices, email (email@example.com), or text or call (225-892-0367) Carolyn to schedule a session. While in person is preferred, remote sessions are possible. For each session, I undertake 60-90 minutes of preparatory and follow-up work in addition to the time spent with the client.
Rates effective July 1, 2023 are as follows:
Shamanic Healing (75-90 minute session) $180
Shamanic Counseling (includes 6-8 weekly sessions of 60 minutes each plus one Shamanic Healing session) $625
*Vitebsky, Piers. Shamanism. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001.