Shamans are being called to offer their skills and services to the people of earth. At this time when it seems that the greatest needs for healers or spiritual guides lie not in exotic traditions, but right here among us.
What is a Shaman?
A Shaman is one who sees the world through their heart, one who sees in the dark, one who navigates and communes with the spirit world on behalf of their tribe, clan, or community. They are not just healers but also serve as a bridge between this world and the next. Shamans hold an important position as they help renew culture by providing information about how our ancestors created meaning for themselves in uncertain times; they reaffirm our interdependence with all life-forms by reminding us that human life exists as part of a larger circle of life.
This capacity to listen for and interpret the messages from the world beyond makes Shamans “persons in tune” with hidden or subtle forces. As a result, they serve as authentic agents who can be relied upon to provide their people with information about vital issues that affect them at different stages in their lives. This occurs most often during life transitions.
They can accept and carry our prayers, both from the living and from those who have lived before us; they take these offerings on behalf of the community so that life continues with renewed strength for all peoples and creatures.
Helping Spirits and The Invisible World
As a consequence of having been immersed into this role as spiritual mediators and ritual leaders, they have developed abilities to enter an altered state of consciousness in order to better draw forth the healing and guidance from beyond into our physical reality. This is not just a world of spirits but one that includes many helping beings or allies (as defined by Carlos Castaneda), such as power animals, human ancestors, benevolent deities, angelic forces, and nature spirits. It is this world that shamanic practitioners seek to travel to and from in order to gain information, power, healing blessings, or support for the community.
It is in this capacity as a bridge between worlds that Shamanic Practitioners are needed today. In addition to providing traditional indigenous healing, teaching courses on Shamanism and leading workshops to teach how to access the often magical spirit realms to gain special knowledge or empower participants. It is the Shaman Practitioner’s task to continue offering their services as mediators between mankind and other-than-human persons (plants, animals, rocks, and so forth). This means helping us all learn how to live in “harmony,” which begins by respecting and listening to the messages we are constantly being sent from our heart, soul, helping spirits, and the invisible world around us.
Shamanism in Modern Society
Although Shamans were needed yesterday to help people cope in a dangerous environment where life was often uncertain, it is no less true today that they have been called to provide us with what we need most – hope.
One of the mandates from our heart and soul is to do no harm, a teaching that has often been forgotten by modern medicine which treats more than 70% of illness with chemicals derived from dead plants or animals. Thus, it should not surprise us when we are told that “modern” medicine fails to cure over 80% of its patients.
Despite the fact that Shaman Practitioners comprise only .01% of the world’s population, they have a huge impact on the rest of the world by reminding us who we are, where we come from, and what we are here to accomplish. Without their presence to help translate our feelings into words whose meanings go beyond those learned in school or books but rather are infused with spirit, we would lose a fundamental key to our own survival.
Without their presence we might forget our spiritual connection to the natural world that is rapidly being destroyed or manipulated by minds so far removed from nature’s intelligence that they refuse to listen when a bird sings, a plant blooms or water bubbles up in the middle of nowhere.
Listening to the Calling
The reality is that Shamans are not only needed in the “jungle” but also on Hollywood Blvd and Rodeo Dr. This is especially true for those of us who have lost our way in this industrial age – namely, how to live a life based on untapped wisdom rather than one fueled by fear and self-destruction. The truth is that our souls and spirits are trying to talk to us but as long as we blindly follow the advice of politicians, commercials, and social media, or the demands of our busy schedule, to-do lists, and obligations, we will not be able to hear them.
In order to write a new story for ourselves and our children, we must go within and listen with open hearts and minds. In this way, Shamanism returns us to sanity and thus, offers us a new beginning.
If you’re feeling a calling to pursue shamanism more deeply or simply want to learn some valuable tools that shamanism offers us all, listen closely – your ancestors and helping spirits might just be trying to guide you!
It’s not just a calling that people from other cultures experience – we all have our own ancestral spirits who can be found if we seek them diligently enough.
Shamanic Practitioners are needed more than ever!
Victoria Vives Khuong