The Subtle Art of Shamanism and Energy Healing
Both shamans and energy healers seek to serve their community by working on the subtle levels of energy rather than simply the physical body. We do this in great commitment to our planet and out of love for our fellow beings.
Energy healing—which includes modalities such as reiki, aura clearings, and even acupuncture and chiropractic—seeks to move or shift energy so it’s more supportive of the life functions of the client. They work with proven techniques to alleviate the client’s discomfort and bring more harmony into the physical body. Energy healing is a course of study, with practices and protocols in place that can be easily replicated.
Shamans deal with the soul. We have practices in place to perform soul retrievals, soul extractions, and spirit de-possessions. We serve Spirit, not the physical realms. We see Spirit in each person and ask the animating force to shift in ways that will bring peace to the client. We don’t simply move energy, we ask that Spirit transmute it. This is done through ritual and ceremony. From drumming and feathers to incense and prayer, we work with Spirit to help support the soul.
How is the Training of Shamans Different?
Shamanism is a life calling, not simply a workshop one stumbles into. There are no schools, and rarely can you find two shamans doing treatment the same way. Shamans are called to this path and may learn from elders in the community, or venture to far-off lands to find their teacher.
Shamanic healing is an art form. There is no “right” way to perform a shamanic ritual or ceremony. While there may be similar elements (prayer, drums, and other tools) each shaman’s direction from their own Spirit Allies ultimately shapes the session.
Journeying (rhythmic drumming to induce a trance-like state) is our primary tool and allows us to retrieve from the spirit world the remedy the soul requires. We work in non-ordinary reality, stepping outside of the here and now, to gain insight and bring it back to benefit the client.
Each shaman comes to her gifts from a deep desire and commitment. We must learn and practice each tool, not through workshops or continuing-ed classes, but through our ever-deepening relationship with our Spirit Guides. We see healing as a gift and an art form, and one that must be respected and well-tended.
While, on the surface, the benefits of shamanic and energy healing may be similar, it is the process through which we bring the healing that differs. From the outside, it is subtle…but to the shamanic soul, the love and respect we convey feel fundamentally sacred — holy, even.
I find this path not only gratifying but also deeply humbling. The healing has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with my relationship to Spirit. The more I move (and my ego) out of the way, the more powerful the healing flows through me. In working in such close communion with Spirit, co-creation, manifestation, and true miracles are within grasp. The world around us feels different—magical, even—when we see ourselves as a contributing force within creation.
Receiving shamanic healing is also a gift. Each shaman shares their art and allows you into their intimate relationship with Spirit. It can feel raw and primal energy, especially when venturing into the depths with the Spirit Allies and Power Animals to seek well-being. With the beat of the drums, the smell of herbs and incense, an ancient mood is set. This ambiance takes us outside of reality to meet with other-worldly forces. Shamanic healing allows us to dance in rhythm with the breath of life and emerge feeling renewed and whole!
The Story of Santa Claus Might Come From Mushroom-Eating Shamans
Is it possible that the folktale we know and love about Santa Claus finds its roots in the psychedelic mushroom-eating shamanism of people living in boreal regions of Europe? While there is some contention around this theory, there are a number of undeniable motifs connecting Santa’s yearly trip drawn by flying reindeer, and the analogous rituals of an isolated peoples’ use of the psychedelic Amanita muscaria mushroom.
For those unfamiliar with Amanita muscaria or Fly Agaric as it’s also known, you’ve probably seen it depicted in pop culture from Super Mario to Alice in Wonderland, to the toadstool your average garden gnome is seen akimbo beneath.
Known for its distinctive red and white speckled cap, Amanita muscaria is one of the most recognized mushrooms in the world. Though it can be deadly when consumed improperly, some cultures eat it for sustenance after boiling away its toxins. For those looking for an otherworldly experience, its ibotenic acid-rich contents have led many on psychedelic journeys over the thousands of years of its known use.
If you live in a wooded area in the Northern hemisphere, there’s a good chance you’ve seen it growing near an evergreen tree, especially a pine or fir. In fact, the mycelia of the mushroom intertwine with the roots of the tree in a mycorrhizal relationship—in this case, a positive symbiosis. And it’s here that we find the first instance of Amanita’s connection to the story of Santa Claus—the mushroom growing under the Christmas Tree.