What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is a thousands-of-years-old approach to healing. It involves developing a relationship with helping spirits—including our ancestors, animal spirits, and nature spirits—that can then be collaborated with for healing or to gain understanding. Though not traditional, many practitioners also work with angels and spirit guides.
As a core set of healing approaches, Shamanism arose similarly all over the world, even in places that had no contact. Ancient peoples in Europe, tribal groups in Africa, native people in North and South America as well as people in Southeast Asia, Russia, Australia—all over the globe, a strikingly similar set of beliefs about addressing ailments developed simultaneously.
This core set of approaches includes using a rhythm, such as drumming or rattling, to help shift consciousness to a more meditative state. Often, this process is called “shamanic journeying.” Within the meditative state, Shamanic Practitioners work with spirit allies.
Whereas a doctor or therapist diagnoses and treats illness on a physiological or psychological level, I work with spiritual causes of dis-ease. You probably are familiar with the idea that symptoms or illness can manifest in the body but have their origin elsewhere or even on another level. A perfect example is that if you get stressed out, your immune system is weakened, which makes you more susceptible to getting sick.
We do not diagnose or treat physical or mental illness; rather, we look to see if a potential spiritual reason can explain what you are experiencing. Once identified, we call on Spirit to help create a beneficial change.
How can Shamanic work help?
Shamanic work can help in a variety of ways, including:
- Removing energetic connections with past romantic partners and other people
- Feeling like you’re more in your body and present in your life
- Looking for a spiritual cause to physical symptoms that have not responded to typical treatment
- Turning around bad luck or tendency to get into accidents
- Lifting mood swings or negativity
- Resolving unusual physical sensations
- Addressing spiritual reasons for low physical energy or stamina, more than average vulnerability to illness
Why work with a Shamanic Practitioner?
Some issues in our lives have their root in the soul or spiritual realm. Working with a shamanic practitioner can restore vitality and help you feel more whole, more like yourself. When you’ve tried other options and nothing has changed, Shamanic work might be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Susan started reading about Shamanism and alternative healing when she was about 12 years old. She started training in Shamanic work in 1992; since then, she has studied with a handful of teachers, including Betsy Bergstrom, Leslie Conton and The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, Melissa Rosenberger, and Jacki Campbell.
Much of her training is in “core shamanism”—the philosophy and techniques that are fairly universal around the globe in Shamanic cultures. Susan also has particular training in working with, analyzing, and interpreting dreams from a Shamanic perspective.
She sees her role as a healer as helping to remove any obstacles to well-being and to (re)connect you to sources of strength and vitality. This allows your own natural healing capacity to restore you.