What is a shaman anyway? Who is (or should be) considered a shaman today?
Shamans were once the community members called upon to bring harmony to circumstances that were out of balance. They were recognized for their sage wisdom, as truth-sayers, to the ill they were the ones who could bring the body back into balance, during times of drought they were called upon to find water deep in the earth.
I consider modern-day shamans to be the ones who are able to alchemize energy. Comedians who are able to lighten a mode despite terrible circumstances, like Trevor Noah or John Stuart, Robin Williams, and others. Musicians and artists who illuminate the truth, gather support and lift our spirits in tough times are shamans of sorts. However if one were to call themselves a shaman I would expect that they had been shown the ways of the Medicine Wheel, and had a mentor walk them through all the directions so they were capable of using their inner and outer wisdom to shift energy for another.
The path of the shaman is broad and long and can take you anywhere. They say when you are ready the teacher will appear. I have been blessed to have found teachers who were able to indoctrinate me on this pathway. I started in the Midwest in my early 20’s where I learned the Medicine Wheel Way from a man who went by Standing Bear. I moved and my indigenous healing studies didn’t continue again until I found myself in Hawaii in my late 20’s. In my mid 30’s I was living in FL when I crossed the path of the Q’ero, Peruvian shamans that were called to pass along the teachings to the modern world.
What may be surprising to many is that shamanism is not a belief system. It is an education that allows you to understand yourself on a deep level. Your belief systems are illuminated as well as how they are creating your reality. The tool-kit acquired through shamanic methods allows one to conduct personal experiments to receive information. It all hinges on intention. What keeps the practice aligned with the highest degree of love is the knowledge that everything you put out there returns to you in tenfold. Self-preservation prevents ill intentions from presenting.
The method of the shamanic journey opens portals to any time space we set our intention upon. As we master this method of meditation our potential becomes limitless. We can move back through time to bring healing to past events, and we can move forward to gain a greater understanding of how we are affecting our reality, our community, and our world.
Practicing shamanism allows one to connect on deeper levels with the elements, mother earth, the stars, planets, science, and mystery. The practice expands our awareness to honor our connection to all that is alive. All that we know and all that is unknown.
Practicing the methods used by shaman guide you deeper into knowing yourself, what has created you, and where you have been. It allows you to see the way you show up in your life, how your beliefs are creating your life, and what stands in the way of harmonious life.
Shamanic wisdom provides new ways of reflecting on our reality, so we may see how we are creating it and how we are able to shift things to bring more harmony, peace, and abundance to our experience.