This page is dedicated to the indigenous healers of the world, from all cultures. It is with deep gratitude that I particulary wish to thank Charlie Conatser of Lubbock, Texas, Thrangu Rinpoche of Tibet, and Kunta/Boo and G’ao of the Ju’hoansi Kalahari for all that they have taught me.
|**Please note that as of November 2019, I no longer offer support to anyone attempting to self-medicate mental conditions with hallucinogens. People trying to “cure” mental conditions with psychoactive substances MUST either already be under, or willing to accept, psychiatric supervision by a qualified MD. My reasons for making this decision are explained in the post On Hallucinogens And All That.**|
I think of shamanism as being a journey “to the other world.” The “other world” is the world of dreams, visions, images, knowings, psychic and mediumistic abilities. It’s the world of nature, animals, premonitions, the smell of the weather, the change of the air. It’s an old world, one we are innately connected to, and yet it’s always startling and fresh. It’s a world our linear culture generally tries to deny or repress.
Indigenous and shamanic healing have, like so many other things, often been co-opted and commercialized in our culture into exotic “experiences” that pretend to offer escape from ordinary reality. But the deeper truth is, some people are just born “knowing” things others don’t know. Some people are born with “second sight” or “vision” or the ability to speak with the dead or know the future of another. Or the ability to heal others, or make music that influences animals, or many other things.
There are many kinds of shamanism, types of shamans and gifts that shamans possess. In my case, I am able to bring understanding and healing through my hands, to use the drum to take others on a journey, and to help clients navigate the world of their inner selves through opening dialogues with parts of themselves that have been lost or are in hiding. Some shamans are good at removing negative energies or bad spells. Some are good at speaking with the dead or helping others cross over after physical death. Every healer has their flavor of healing and all of us are different.
The question of when shamanism applies to one’s healing journey is open ended. I think of it as being the widest-open of visionary or dream experiences–information comes to us that we may not understand right away, or that takes time to reveal itself. The shamanic world speaks to us through dreams, animals, phrases that linger, music, art. It is not a world of linear, cognitive reasoning or procedures. It’s the world of the child, the oracle, the seer, the prophet and the mature healer all at the same time.