Shamanic healing is a spiritual, and medical, practice, based upon the belief all healing includes a spiritual dimension. Shamans enter altered states of consciousness to communicate with other realms of reality. Your journey is to help the patient, a family, or community, to rediscover their connection to nature and spirit. Anthropologists refer to traditional healing as ethnomedical practices In days past, and in some places present, the shaman is still responsible for the health of the individual, as well as the community. There is a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance to be maintained, or, reestablished. Shamans can be the ritual leader, bone setter, as well as the mediator between the community and the spirit world. To better understand how shamanic practice can heal, it is important to understand four basic concepts of shamanism. Healing can be accomplished by working with the unseen inner spiritual reality to create changes, which in turn, create changes, in the consensus reality. I will share with you, what, likely, many of you already understand:
- Everything is alive. Everything has spirit and awareness.
- Energy and matter are the same. Everything is vibration. Everything that exists is an energy system within a greater energy system. The saying “as above, so below” is a simpler way of saying the microcosm is a mirror, to an extent, of the macrocosm.
- The interconnectedness of all things. I see it as a large spider’s web, weaving strands, connecting all things.
- The unseen inner spiritual reality, affects what I love to refer to as “3D, dial a day, reality”.
Working within this system of perceptions, one strives to restore balance and harmony to the spirit. This can be focused on the individual, the family, the community, even the world at large. What distinguish shamans from other healers are the methods. The journey, or soul flight, in essence, sends an individual’s consciousness into the spirit world obtaining information. What is retrieved, can then be used for further insight or healing. I have affected shamanic healing, by journeying, to the beat of a drum, or sometimes a rattle. Healing journeys take many forms. Sometimes the journeyer, will visit a teaching spirit, or a power animal, for guidance or wisdom. I have returned from my healing journeys, with many different healing methods, taking many forms, depending on what the spirits recommend. The shamanic journey is only one method of obtaining healing information. There are other methods of healing. These can include, herbs, release ceremonies, extractions. There are many methods, each situation is different, and therefore, each healing is different. The structure may be consistent, in some form, however, the content is as individual and varied as we are. It is always my intention to healing with humility and gratitude, acknowledging dependence and partnership with all of my intangible and tangible elements.
Three Shamanic Healing Methods
Healing through Ancestral Memories
This is very personal for me. The first human looking spirit teacher I had, was a Grandmother. She taught me many different methods to heal a body, track a soul, defend myself, as well as cook herbs for healing. I am adopted. When I finally met my birth family, I discovered my ancestral history was Finnish. When I learnt about Traditional Finnish Healing, many years later, I discovered, what I had been taught by my Grandmother Spirit, were, in fact, Finnish in tradition. Grandmother had a vast source of knowledge and power. She, unbeknownst to me, connected me to my roots. I realized, many of my unconscious small acts of healings were, in fact, Ancestral memories How many times have you said… “I had no idea what I was doing, but it just worked”. My Grandmother demonstrated to me, that we are, always connected to the Divine. Again it is being aware of not only our external world, but our inner hidden world that establishes the balance we need to become the spiritual beings we are intended to be.
A part of the shamanic theory of health and illness, focuses on personal power. Therefore, many of us are acutely aware, illness results, when a person’s spiritual power is diminished, or lost in someway. The Universe hates a void, so if we have lost something it leaves a space for Illness to move into the gap. Illness brings with it, patterns of energy, that are harmful for to us. Extraction, is the healing method, in which a harmful spiritual intrusion is located, in a person’s body, and is removed. It has been my experience, over the years, that what, I am extracting, can be as simple as a recurring negative thought pattern, to the soul of a deceased human, with its own intention and agenda. Methods of learning extraction teach methods to examine the intrusion, ascertain its energetic strength, and determine how best to remove it. Extractions usually involve, merging with our healing spirits and building up personal power, through rattling or drumming, as examples. The actual extraction, from my experience is different in every case, as each person is an individual, so too, is that which is intruding. Changes due to extractions are possible because, just as the quantum universe teaches us, the energy of which we are infused, is that same energy connecting us to all things. Events in our lives can therefore be changed simply by altering the energy of something which is affecting you presently.
I refer to Sandra Ingerman as the North American, Soul Retrieval Guru. I was fortunate to expand my understanding of soul retrievals through one of her workshops. Soul retrieval, simply put, is the search to recover and restore a person’s vital essence that was stolen or lost. My first soul retrieval was a gift from the Spirits to me, one fateful journey. I changed overnight. I then became committed to sharing this powerful trans-formative healing process with anyone wanting it. I have witnesses physical, emotional, financial and spiritual healing occur after receiving pieces of soul home. Each soul piece has its own story and essence associated with it. Often it returns parts of our personalities that were no longer present in us. One of the aspects of myself, that returned, was, patience. Bringing back this lost part is not a quick fix; I worked with my pieces to restore balance to myself. Returning my soul piece was the first step in restoring me to wholeness. Learning to change a way of life, was not easy, however, I continued on my path of shamanic learning, learning further methods to accessing the divine, changing, growing and further healing, my hidden, spiritual and shadow self. Soul retrieval work can be tricky in that if we do not subscribe to the changes the piece has requested of us. Sandra taught us there is no guarantee the piece will remain. As an example when I received my first soul retrieval I had to promise my soul part three things: 1. I had to learn how to laugh; 2. I had to stop getting angry so quickly; and 3. I had to learn to stop and appreciate exactly where I was at the time I was there. Soul pieces can negotiate for what may seem to You as very small inconsequential things. One soul piece I returned asked that her older self eat a chocolate bar once and awhile. I did not understand that, but agreed to share that message. When I reported back to her I told her about the chocolate; her face lit up because she loved chocolate but had denied herself it because she was very health conscious. What was interesting was in preparation for her healing she had been overwhelmed by cravings for chocolate, after our work she understood why.
Other Forms of Shamanic Healing
For more on Soul Retrieval, Extractions and Passionate De-possession (which is not covered in this article), listen to our podcast titled 3 Forms of Shamanic Healing. You can also review our free introductory course. Jump to module 3, lessons 3 through 7 to specifically learn about healing in shamanism. If you’re looking for more information on Psychopomp work, jump straight to lesson 7!