Shamanic Healing: What Is Shamanism and How Can It Heal You?

Shamanic Healing: What Is Shamanism and How Can It Heal You?

Summary:

Shamanic healing is a powerful way to shift your energy, transform your life, and unlock your potential. Learn what shamanism is and how it can heal you.

Shamanic healing is one of the most ancient healing modalities, widely practiced in most human societies. As a 100,000-year-old spiritual practice, it still carries immense transformative powers for modern men.

Call it mystical or archaic, shamanism has transcended common misconceptions, doctrines, and dogmas. Today, shamanic healing is widely sought by people who need healing and guidance beyond the physical all across the world.

If you are one of them, here’s what you need to know about shamanic healing:

Should you try it or not, it’s up to you and your level of openness. With the right intention and all the necessary information, you can start your shamanic healing journey to heal, transform, and become a greater version of yourself.

What Is Shamanic Healing?

Shamanic healing is a ceremony performed by a shaman to receive information for healing purposes. 

In this process, also known as the shamanic journey, the shaman travels to the otherwordly realms to connect with helping spirits, who guide and assist them in healing individuals, communities, and the planet.

These spirits come in the form of spirit guides (humanoid beings) or power animals (also plants and insectoids). They take on these familiar-looking forms to be more relatable to human perception.

Spirit guides

Spirit guides are gods and goddesses of the community and benevolent ancestors. They tend to come forth in these altered states in a humanoid form. They help shamans safely navigate unfamiliar realms and retrieve the information they need.

Think of them as teachers, protectors, companions, and spiritual partners. In fact, some shamans form a spiritual marriage with their spirit guides. 

Learn more: Spirit Guides: The Complete Guide for Beginners

Power animals

According to shamanic wisdom, every person is born with the spirit of one or more animals, which remain with us throughout our lives to guide and protect us. You can have one or more power animals during a lifetime. 

As you move through life, you can let go of old and acquire new power animals, depending on the guidance you need. 

Shamans sign a spiritual contract with these spirit guides and use a specific command to invoke, “When I call, Spirit listens. When Spirit calls, I listen.”

These spirits are essential to any venture undertaken by a shaman as they help them heal and gain wisdom, being essential to any venture undertaken by a shaman.

What is a shaman?

The word ‘shaman’ comes from the Siberian Tungus tribe. And it means ‘spiritual healer’ or ‘one who sees in the dark.’ 

Shamanism is an ancient collection of traditions based on the act of voluntarily accessing and connecting to non-ordinary states — or spirit realms — for wisdom and healing. It organically arose all over the world, throughout history, as a response to the needs of people.

Generally, there is one shaman per community. These shamans access the spirit realm for individual and communal growth and healing. 

One becomes a shaman by:

  • Birth: When the shamanic ability is passed down ancestrally. It’s said that Spirit chooses to incarnate as a shaman before it’s even born into physical existence. And then, it’s known by the spiritual elders of a tribe upon birth and trained by the elderly shaman.
  • Shamanic initiation: When they undergo a process of facing their darkest fears and overcoming them. As a result, they get entirely dismembered, bone by bone, and reassembled as a newly born shaman.
  • Calling: When they have a near-death experience of any kind. They can become shamans from these experiences because they are said to have known death, returned from it, and thus, have a secret of life not attained by others.

What does a shaman do?

Shamans perform multidisciplinary healing under shamanic traditions. You can think of them as doctors, mediums, mystics, and spiritual teachers all in one (like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) who:

  • Restore and remove energetic pathways
  • Find answers to life’s challenges
  • Retrieve soul parts
  • Discover the spiritual aspects of ailments and imbalances for healing
  • Mediate between the worlds to bring the higher wisdom, articulate and teach it to the collective

Sounds like a mad deal of work? Indeed, shamanism is more than just their superpowers, as with great power comes great responsibility.

It may seem that they access invisible worlds for the healing of individuals. But this access is granted for them to apply the wisdom they gain to heal and transform the physical realm.

On top of that, their highest purpose is to create and maintain a balance between humankind, nature, and the spirit realm.

Who should go to a shamanic healing session?

If you face any physical, emotional, or mental disease or imbalance and have tried conventional approaches to heal it with no improvement, you can benefit from a shamanic healing session. 

Unlike the conventional western approach to health, based on treating the symptoms, shamans heal the very cause of your ailment.

What Does Shamanic Healing Do?

Depending on your initial healing inquiry, shamanic healing addresses three causes of mental, emotional, and physical illness: disharmony, fear, or soul loss. Let’s look at them in detail.

#1: Disharmony (or power loss)

Disharmony, or power loss, occurs when you feel that life has lost meaning. This loss of connection can happen subtly or catastrophically.

Either way, losing your will or life power directly affects your energetic matrix and can make you vulnerable to illness.

#2: Fear

Fear is the most common cause of illness and mental states such as anxiety, chronic stress, and depression.

Scientists and researchers agree that fear triggers stress-producing hormones that disintegrate the protective mantle of the body’s immune system and overall energetic matrix, making illness inevitable.

The fear of disease is more dangerous than the disease itself.

— Paracelsus

#3: Soul loss

Soul loss is the most extreme cause of illness and even premature death. It is experienced after a traumatic event, such as fighting in a war (a common trigger of PTSD), a bitter divorce, or intense bullying. 

Sometimes these events can be so shattering that one’s soul gets fragmented and dissociated. At worst, these soul parts get too far lost and fail to return. This is why people, after a severely traumatic incident, feel like a part of them died that day.

Here are other symptoms which may signify soul loss:

  • Feeling split or fragmented
  • Blocked memory
  • Emotional distance, or complete apathy
  • A lack of joy, motivation, or enthusiasm
  • Addiction
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Chronic depression and negativity

Within any shamanic tradition, the shamanic healing session isn’t a stand-alone treatment but a part of the multidisciplinary approach. Usually, it’s combined with physical healing modalities, plant medicine, and dietary changes.

Learn more: 3 Alternative Methods for PTSD & Healing From Trauma: The Latest Research

A female shaman with a drum

What to Expect From Shamanic Healing

A shamanic healing session brings about a significant shift of deeply rooted energies that people feel instantly after. Then it ripples in time, impacting multiple aspects of you and your life.

You can also expect a release of toxins stored in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual body. So, in the days, weeks, and months following the session, you want to observe how you feel. 

Shamans recommend listening to and accepting the energetic changes you may feel following a session. Any discomfort will pass, and new, vibrant, life energy will take its place.

For the following months after a session, the shaman will frequently check in with you to see how everything is unfolding to offer any additional guidance.

a shaman with a basket of feathers

What Happens During a Shamanic Healing Session

A shamanic healing session has three main parts: preparation, shamanic journey, and after-journey (return). 

A typical healing session can take place inside or outdoors in a quiet, safe, and relaxing environment. It’s a ‘sacred space’ dedicated to opening, releasing, and healing. 

The centerpiece of the sacred space is an altar adorned with crystals, candles, burning incense, and flowers. 

Here’s what happens during the session in details:

Open conversation with a shaman

The session starts with an open discussion between you and the shaman about your history and current state of things in a safe, nurturing space, where you can be as transparent as possible.

This preparation part alone can reap numerous benefits as you are encouraged to be entirely about your background and present challenges and dig deep to go beyond your habitual narratives.

It can bring about greater self-awareness and resolution of old emotional traumas. So the more open you are, the bigger your healing potential is. 

Energy work

This is the beginning of the ceremonial work where the shaman prepares your system for the journey. 

As you lie on your back, the shaman assesses your energy centers (usually found along the seven chakras of the body) to release any stagnant or foreign energy. They can use reiki or sound healing to clear energy blockages.

This energy work is healing in itself as it clears and balances your vital energy centers. If any of these centers are blocked, it can manifest as a physical ailment or disease. So when the blockages are removed, it restores your energy flow and improves vitality.

Learn more: How Energy Medicine Helps Overcome Severe Pain

The shamanic journey

When the energy work is complete, the shaman explains what you will experience during the shamanic journey:

  • tingling and warming sensations
  • meditative-like states of consciousness
  • an emotional release
  • the energy of the spiritual communion

Then the shaman accesses non-ordinary reality, inducing a trance (theta brainwave state) via rhythmic percussion (generally using a drum or a rattle).

When the shaman embarks on the journey, they connect with their spirit helpers and travel through spirit realms in search of wisdom and healing.

Their non-physical journey may translate into shaman’s hands-on or hands-off energy work — this is how they channel energy from the spirit world and move it throughout your body.

The journey part of the ceremony lasts about an hour.

The shamanic journey expands your perception of what you’ve known to be the physical reality. Even though you aren’t accessing non-physical realms alongside the shaman, you are an indispensable part of the shamanic journey into the spirit worlds. 

This expanded perception will inevitably lead to higher awareness and deeper understanding of your past experiences, traumas, and spiritual essence. 

The return

Once the shaman returns from their journey, they hold space for the after-journey discussion, where you share your experience. 

They also articulate wisdom and advice gifted to them from the spirit realm and discuss what you can implement in your physical reality to integrate your shamanic healing.

man with his hands placed on heart, meditating

Is Shamanic Healing Right for You?

Let’s admit that shamanic healing is more than just a hyper exotic medical treatment. But if you are reading this, chances are you have tried quite a few ordinary and extraordinary methods to resolve your challenge. And you aren’t satisfied with the results.

And here you are, wondering if some metaphysical woo-woo modality like shamanic healing is right for you.

It’s right for you if you:

  • Have a strong desire to create more meaningful relationships with oneself, others, nature, and the spirit world
  • Are ready to move forward beyond old thought patterns, limiting belief systems, and unhealthy habits that no longer serve you
  • Seek genuine self-inquiry to move into a greater self
  • Want to create lasting change but feel blocked
  • Are committed to fully surrendering to the experience and receiving guidance
  • Are willing to put forth the effort needed to fully integrate new wisdom and healing and take all the time needed to heal

Whatever it is that you want to heal, if you are open to shamanic healing, you should give it a try.

Donna Eden
Donna Eden, practitioner of energy medicine and trainer of Mindvalley’s Energy Medicine Quest

How Do I Find the Right Shaman?

Shamans aren’t otherworldly beings. They are humans, so they come in all shapes, sizes, attitudes, and flavors. 

Our energies are electromagnetic. So when you line up your energy with someone else, you will move their energy, or they will move yours. 

— Donna Eden, practitioner of energy medicine and trainer of Mindvalley’s Energy Medicine Quest

To find the right shaman, follow these guidelines:

#1: Match your preferences 

There is no one-size-fits-all shaman. They have their unique preferences and methods of healing:

  • Some shamans work with stones and crystals, while others focus on drumming and chanting. 
  • Other shamans will train you to embark on your own shamanic journeys, and others will journey alone. 
  • Some work one-on-one, while others work in a group setting. 
  • There are also shamans who specialize in specific fields such as addictions, PTSD, soul-retrieval, and energy balance.

You, too, have your unique preferences and inquiries, so to get the most from shamanic healing, you must be matched to the right shaman.

#2: Seek positive qualities

The title ‘shaman’ doesn’t make one a shaman. Apart from shamanic abilities, they may simply lack good intentions.

Here are essential positive shamanistic qualities to look out for:

  • An authentic shaman is humble and trustworthy.
  • They don’t advertise themselves but let you come to them.
  • Real shamans do not push your boundaries and accept you as you are without any judgment.
  • They are playful and peaceful at the same time.
  • You can sense a pure spirit in them.

#3: Ask about their experience and qualification

Since there are no formal standards for becoming a shamanic healer, shamans need to provide positive feedback from other clients. They should also be able to explain how they became a shaman and how they learned from the spirit realm.

For example, if a shaman claims to perform a soul-retrieval but can’t explain how they learned this skill, they are likely making empty promises.

#4: Trust your intuition

Above all else, you want to listen to your intuition. If something feels off with a shaman, you can trust this feeling. On the contrary, if you feel good and comfortable around the shaman, you have found the right one (for you).

The shaman journey is an extraordinary experience — if your guidance has led you this far, you can trust it all the way.

Learn more: Intuition — What It Means & How to Tap Into It Like a Pro

Become Your Own Shaman

You don’t have to be appointed by Spirit, get dismembered entirely, or be struck by lightning to become your own shaman.

You are born with the intrinsic ability to heal your emotional wounds and physical ailments, clear your energy centers, and safely navigate yourself, at least in this physical realm.

If you haven’t yet explored your own healing powers, join Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine Quest — the easiest and the fastest path to awakening your body’s natural healing systems.

A renowned healer and practitioner of energy medicine, Donna Eden will teach you how to harness your energy centers for deep physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.

Ready to become your own shaman? Welcome in.


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Written by
Irina Yugay - Mindvalley Writer