A shaman is a ‘bridge’ between the Spiritual dimensions and the physical ones, the bridge between ‘Heaven and Earth’ or ‘Spirit and Matter’. In monotheistic Traditions, this role is served by a priest/priestess. The Shaman is educated in many ‘matters of the Spirit’ (See quote below). This practice and training enables us to correct something on behalf of the individual, or community concerned. We are able to seek information, through a process called ‘Journeying’ and then do something that you cannot do for yourself. This is because the Shaman has ‘walked the walk’ and has dedicated their life to becoming ‘a vessel’ for this type of relationship with Spirit. We do this In Service for the Whole, so that your innate Creativity can flow into the world. We are aided by the ‘Spirit of Love’, as well as our animal and plant allies. I have been involved in this work since getting initiated, through illness, since 1989, a common initiation experience for Shamans.
In many cultures currently and historically, we also work with ‘the Building Blocks of Life’, to correct underlying patterns of disharmony in the ‘Soul, or Subtle Body Energies’. This allows for the organic plants of food and medicine, and our evolving heart-centred relationships with one another, to better nourish our Life-force so that we can fulfill our Sacred Purpose on our Journey in life.
History shows that all cultures across the globe had a form of Shamanism as their original form of Spirituality, so there is no appropriation of anyone’s culture taking place. In particular, in Celtic peoples (Pre-Christian Europeans), women were commonly the healers, seers and shamans in their communities.
From Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation:
Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman; Boulder: Sounds True, Inc., Copyright 2010
“According to Jose Stevens, (a shamanic teacher based out of Santa Fe)…: The ceremonialist is one of the seven main functions of a shaman’s work. The others include artist, storyteller, healer, warrior, leader and keeper of knowledge. Each function contributes to the others, which makes for a rich and comprehensive array of skills. While all shamans know something about ceremony and ritual, some shamans make this their specialty and are called in for special occasions to preside over larger, more complex ceremonies… Shamans also observe sacred occasions such as solstices, equinoxes, new and full moons, fertility days, initiations, dedications, annual pilgrimages, births, marriages, and so on. But in addition they create formalities around healing practices such as plant-medicine ceremonies and the like. Often shamanic ceremonies are created for the purpose of blessing children, families, animals, sacred power places and homes.” ~p.91
“All authentic visionaries agree that it is destiny that calls one to be a shaman; shamanism is a calling. This is not a profession that one seeks out. Bringing simple shamanic practices into your life is not to be confused with being called to be a Shaman. We can all bring shamanism into our lives for personal growth and healing, but that does not necessarily mean that we are called to become shamans. Becoming a shaman is a practice that typically develops slowly across months and even years of time – a period during which many difficult initiations can literally sculpt a person into being a great healer and visionary for the community.” ~p.13-4