How do you become a Shaman?
by N J Howell
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Question on spiritual development: I am very interested in how to become a Shaman. I have seen many people go through massive emotional / physical / spiritual upsets as they go through the process. I have been wondering if a massive realization is a must and should I be expecting it soon?
Healing facilitation response: Any time a blue-eyed, fair-skinned woman undertakes to answer questions about Shamanism, a little disclaimer is wise. This is not an article on how to become a Shaman.
I am not aware of any publically available text on how to become a Shaman either. There might be a little Heyokah energy around any such publically available resource.
I am not Native-American in this lifetime. My lineage in this time around is caucasian. That fact alone would lead many to assume I cannot even have a shamanic experience, let alone be an actual Shaman. I'm not claiming to be a Shaman, by the way. However, the experiences I've had are clearly shamanic so I cannot negate the impact of those experiences. They have changed me at a cellular level.
What I can share, due to Shamanic experiences in my own life, is personal experience and information about what it took for me to open to such experience. I have been called a Shaman but I do not call myself that. Only those born into it and trained from early childhood in the ways of the Shaman are qualified to bear the title. Rather, I have some capacity to enter shamanic realms and allow shamanic experience without going insane ..... well, at least without staying insane.
The Effects of Shamanistic Journeying:
Journeying into the realms of shamanism held massive change for me, almost devastating in it's effect. A lot of my shamanic journeying was precipitated by being in sacred ceremony (un-altered, meaning I took no mind-altering drugs to reach the states I reached). Although a lot of my journeying was stimulated thru ceremony and/or ritual, I typically processed and integrated alone. I feel that is not the best way for many but for me, it was appropriate.
I understand the concern about what a shamanic journey may do to your life and current awareness but I believe in the infinite wisdom of the universe. You will not be handed more than you are ready to face. I also know that it may very well feel as if that's not true, as if you really can't handle what's coming your way. You can.
Perhaps your journey will be entirely different than mine, yet I would suspect (even without personality trauma and emotional uprooting I went through) your life will change drastically in the end. After all, that's part of the purpose of shamanic experience, to lift us to a new level. When that happens, a lot either gently falls away or is ripped or burned away. Our level of resistance to what needs to go seems to be a major factor in the amount of struggle we experience along the way.
I desperately did NOT want to let go of some aspects of my personality that still felt comforting and some people in my life that I thought I loved so much that I would die without them, so my struggle was tremendous at times. Perhaps your resistance will be lower than mine was. In any case, whether you realize it yet or not, the process has already started. Shamanic experience was invited in when you sought out this information. If it's coming to you, I would welcome it and not resist the experience your soul wants you to have.
Shamanistic Experience Minus an External Guide:
There has been a long-standing tradition of having to walk thru the fire of Shamanic initiation, being guided by an expert guide. At one time in the evolution of this planet, I understand why it was in our best interests to have only a few with the knowledge of a Shaman and only a few who could then teach others, by energetic example, how to become a Shaman. I also believe this planet has reached a point in the evolution of the beings upon it where shamanic journeying, like many other Sacred traditions, can happen to anyone.
In fact, my own Shamanic initiations were often quite apart from any type of structured training or ceremonial ritual for that specific purpose. In other words, I did not seek out a recognized Shaman and ask to be initiated. My cry came from the soul and was answered within private ceremony and ritual (not always but in most cases) but not as part of any type of "shamanic" training. I did not cry out and ask Spirit how to become a Shaman. I cried out and asked for spiritual consciousness, awareness and acceleration. I testified to Spirit that I wished to walk the path of impeccability and integrity.
Shamanic experience was part of the answer I received, and the way given to refine me toward more of who I AM.
Part Two: The result of my shamanic experiences
Part Three: Symptoms of Shamanic Experience
Spiritual Healing Focus: Taming Fears During Journey Times
Spiritual Health Disclaimer:The information contained in this spiritual healing article on shamanism is my own view and not presented as the teaching of any indigenious peoples. While I have deep respect for indigenious teachings, I am on my own path of spiritual awakening and can only speak of my own shamanistic journey. Please consult with your own inner knowing when considering the journey of the Shaman, particularly if pursuing the path of hallucinogens or alteratives. These are not without serious risk to the psyche.