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Shamanic Healing: 
Nature’s Alternative Healing Profession


It is said that Shamanic Healers see with their “heart” to get important healing information for physical, emotional, and spiritual problems.


For thousands of years, ancient Shamans were responsible for the general well being of the tribes from Asia to Australia, Northern Europe to South Africa, and the Arctic to Argentina. The word Shaman is from the Tungus tribe of Siberia, which means “one who sees in the dark”.


Classic Shamans still exist today both in indigenous cultures and the modern world.  Contemporary Shamans are found as energy healers, doctors, psychotherapists, mystics, musicians, storytellers or spiritual guidance counselors for their communities. No two Shamans are alike (identical).  


However, all of them have one thing in common: They walk their individual spiritual path called Shamanism; believing everything that exists is alive and has a spirit. All nature (be it rock, tree, animal, human, earth, air, fire, water, planet, or star, etc.) is interconnected through the great web of life and transcendent universal energy that is limitless. Illness occurs when we feel separate or become “out of balance” with each other and life. Some Shamans say many of us are “asleep” and lost in an illusion or a dream. They look at our lives and ask, “What dream are you dreaming?”  


Shamans perform a variety of ceremonies and rituals that work with nature to restore harmony and balance. This supports the body, mind and/or spirit that is doing it’s best to heal. Many times a Shamanic healer can provide the missing link for someone who has “tried everything”.  


Shamanic Healing does not replace medical or psychological methods, but it can enhance current treatment and become the spiritual side of the healing triangle. Medicines become more efficient, depression lifts, the client feels more energetic, or chronic illness begins to dissipate. At the very least, the client can deal with illness in a more positive way. Sometimes a client will say “I feel better somehow but I just can’t put my finger on it.” 


Each Shaman has their individual way of working, but they all use the ancient practice of Shamanic Journey to enter into an altered state of consciousness. It is described as traveling outside of time and space into non-ordinary reality. Australian aborigines call it the dreamtime; Celtic people referred to it as the other world or hidden realms. 


To experience a Shamanic Journey, some kind of monotonous percussion is used, such as a drumbeat, rattle, chanting or even singing. In some indigenous and modern cultures, it is practiced while dancing or standing. In the United States, we tend to practice it lying down on a mat or blanket.  It can also be experienced sitting in a chair. 


In this altered state, the shaman interacts with helping, guiding spirits that surround us all. They are made of loving, transcendent energy that takes the form of a power animal spirit or teacher in human form. Questions are asked during the journey, such as “How can Susan move forward with her life and find peace?”, “What can John do to improve his health?”, or “How can this daughter/son release the spirit of their father so they can feel free to live their life?”. The suggestions offered by the helping Spirits vary and can include using additional rituals or ceremonies.   


Shamans frequently deal with an underlying condition called “Soul Loss”. Minor or extreme traumatic events can cause a disconnection between the person and part of their soul essence. Clients may describe feeling “lost”, unable to take the next step or a reoccurring minor illness such as cold or flu. The Shaman’s guiding spirits can suggest a Soul Retrieval journey, where the person’s soul essence is returned and integrated back with the personality. A sense of wholeness and energy returns supporting new choices for a more desirable life. 


Other suggestions might include different rituals in combination with homework working with nature such as:  


  • Walking to a tree, leaning your back against its trunk and asking the roots to carry your worries to Mother Earth for healing 

  • Creating an altar in your home with favorite items from nature for peace.   

  • Have a morning ritual of greeting the Sun for energy.

  • Blowing bubbles and letting them fly on the wind for fun!


The results can be dramatic and suddenly obvious or slow and deeply moving, like a calm river. Either way, the client over time begins to notice changes. 


Shamanism is gaining popularity since the prophesied Shift of 2012. It is deep in our human blueprint to connect with each other and all of life. The digital world brought us many wonderful advances in communication. Yet, we are human and desire a meaningful connection with the greater web of energy that has been with us since the beginning of our existence. 


If the Shamanic Path whispers to you, consider answering the call for healing and wisdom through nature. 


By Laini Risto, Shamanic Healer, Las Vegas Nevada, May 2014

Published in the June 2014 Issue of In Light Times


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