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Updated: Nov 2, 2022

So many of you are asking me lately about what Shamanism actually is and how I “got into it” so thought I would blog on this exact topic!

A little secret… I actually never knew what this meant either. I was later told that “You don’t choose Shamanism it chooses you”. This was definitely my experience!

I was practising what I described as “intuitive energy healings” and found myself making all these beautiful chanting sounds and being drawn to feathers and sage and certain rituals in my healings. I later followed my intuition which lead me to a “Shamanic course” where I received the Munay Ki rites which were passed down from the Shamans in Peru. I realised straight away that most of the things I had been doing had been “Shamanic” in nature. It blew my mind!

The word Shaman translates to “spiritual healer” or “one who sees in the dark”. It is one of the oldest traditions which has been around for over 100,000 years. It is not a religion but a “way of life”. There are many theories as to where it first started but the most commonly known Shaman is native to South America and usually from the Mayan or Aztec regions around Peru. Shamans also stem from North America.

Shamanism's beliefs centre around the harmony of the earth and the elements. They are often known as “teachers” and “earth keepers” and traditionally work with plants, animals and the earth. They use “nature” as a teacher. Shamans are also able to connect with other “realms” or “worlds”. They practice “living with integrity” and being the best version of themselves.

Shamanic traditions will often centre around sacred ceremony and rituals which involves opening sacred space and often using plant medicine to open the heart space and connect individuals. Rituals are passed down through the generations and they use tools such as smoke (sage, tobacco smoke and palo santo wood), feathers and wings (working with the energy of spirit animals). Ceremonies can be also used to offer gifts back to the earth.

Plant medicine is also commonly used to heal the spirit of humans. They range from the powerful Ayahuasca (a brewed vine that is drunk), to mushrooms, cactus and the cacao plant.

Cacao in a cup
Cacao drink

Cacao is a gentle plant medicine that really opens up the heart chakra and connects people at a deep level. If you want to know more about cacao please head over and read my Cacao Love blog.

Shamanic beliefs include

  • Everything is spirit

  • All things are alive and interconnected

  • We are all one

  • The elements and animals have special powers

  • Mother earth is sacred and should always be respected

  • Illness is caused by emotional or vibrational blocks in the energetic field that manifests in the physical body

  • Disharmony or loss, fear and anxiety, and soul loss will also cause illness

Shamans are usually born into this role and have come from a lineage of Shamans. They can also be initiated into the role. Sometimes near-death experiences can have people hearing “the calling” and devoting their life to this culture.

Shamans can travel to different levels of consciousness called the lower, middle and upper world. This is called journeying and is done whilst in a trance state. To get into this state drums, rattles, flutes or other music is played to drop them into a meditative or trance-like state. Journeying to different states allows Shamans to bring healing and messages through from the spirit world.

This is a very brief summary of Shamanism but if you want to learn more please reach out. I currently run courses to pass on the Shamanic rites that I received and during this, we can dive a bit deeper. I am also running cacao circle facilitator training which will take you deep into the healing and circle work that is a tradition of the Shamanic culture.

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