Why Shamanic Healing?
Shamanism is humankinds’ oldest form of healing and spirituality, having supported and nourished the various peoples and cultures of the world for millennia. It’s relevance today is based on the fundamental wisdom that, in order to live a life of balance, fulfillment and health, we must live in a harmonious relationship with the living, natural, Divine world that has created us; the world from which so many of us have become disconnected. Shamanism delves into the unseen world of energies and relationships to discover the underlying cause of a problem. Whether the issue is physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual, the shaman listens and looks at ever-deepening levels to reveal and heal the imbalance.
This is for you if:
- You have physical symptoms or a condition that has not responded to conventional healing methods or that you would like to treat holistically.
- You feel a sense of isolation and a longing for deeper connection in your life
- You have strong unresolved emotions such as grief, anxiety or anger that don’t seem to shift
- You have trauma, past or recent, that needs to be healed
- You would like to reduce your stress
- You feel stuck, unmotivated and unable to move forward in your life
Who is a Shaman?
Every indigenous culture and wisdom tradition throughout the world has it’s own version of a shaman who is a community leader, a ritual leader and very often a healer. A shaman is someone who is dedicated to the wellbeing and service of their community. They call on their connection to, and relationship with, both the divine presences in the natural world as well as with the community that they serve. This sense of relationship and connection is what creates the context for traditional healing. The essence of this healing is divine mystery itself. And yet shamanism is also extremely practical. It dances with the seemingly paradoxical union of acknowledging deep mystery while engaging with the practical demands of our everyday world.
Apprenticing to become a shaman
Authentic shamanism involves years of apprenticeship and training. All four of the traditional healers at Sky of the Heart Preserve have served lengthy apprenticeships under the tutelage of shamans in the Huichol traditional medicine path. During many years of pilgrimage to sacred sites the apprentice forges a deep relationship with the divine beings and forces present in the natural world. Praying to be granted gifts of healing to bring back to his or her people, when deemed ready the apprentice is called to undergo a dangerous and life-changing initiation ritual to become a marakame (shaman). Prema and Scott Sheerin, Lisa Lichtig and Patrick Hanaway, have all undergone this training and initiation and continue to deepen their learning in this wisdom tradition. They offer their gifts individually in private healing sessions and together as guides and teachers in our retreats, programs and workshops. Together they have a combined experience of 75 years walking in this path. Their apprenticeships and initiations were overseen by Eliot Cowan, Don Jose Sandoval de la Cruz and David Wiley.
Causes of illness or imbalance from a shamanic perspective
A marakame is often the bridge between the seen and the unseen. So much of what is experienced as symptoms and disease arises from what is unseen by our culture that relies heavily on the mind and science. From the shamanic perspective there can be various causes of illness of which these are a few:
• All physical conditions we experience are a mysterious interweaving of the state of our mind, our emotions, and our relationships - with our loved ones, our community and with the natural world around us.
• Illness can often be a prompting to follow a calling in life, take a new direction, or to bring awareness to an unacknowledged need.
• Sometimes we can inadvertently get into trouble with nature spirits or sacred sites without even knowing of their existence or their effect.
• Certain energies can sometimes attach themselves to us to create a condition known as Possession.
• Loss of part of our soul through trauma can have a powerful effect on our health.