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The Ancient Practice of Shamanic Healing

The Ancient Practice of Shamanic Healing


What Is a Shaman?

The term “shaman” originates from the native peoples of Siberia and it means “one who sees in the dark.” Shamans are often called “see-ers” (seers) or “people who know” for their direct experience of spiritual knowledge.

The Origins of Shamanism

Shamanism is an ancient practice of spiritual healing. Some say it is the oldest form of healing on the planet, dating back forty thousand years ago. Evidence of shamanic practice has been found in tribal societies on all continents from cave drawings to graves. It is believed that the social function of the Shaman was oracle, healer and spiritual guide all in one. Their job was to maintain a connection with the spirit world. 

What Shamans Do

A shaman has the ability to tap into and enter the spirit world by going into a trance-like state—usually using the sounds of a drum or rattle. A shamanic healer seeks to retrieve information from spirit in order to bring that power and healing back to those in need.

Connecting the Mind, Body and Spirit

Shamans believe that all problems whether they be physical, mental or emotional have a root cause. That root cause stems from a spiritual imbalance, which translates to spiritual illness. Shamanic healing addresses the spiritual aspect of illness—the part of illness that is in your spirit, soul or energy body. Shamans believe injury or illness appears in the spirit before it shows up in the physical body. Likewise, if the body is injured the injury will also exist on the level of spirit.

Shamans direct and move energy to restore harmony within the individual. Shamans provide this ascended wisdom and healing through many various modalities.

How Do Shamans Heal?

Shamans forward messages from the spirit world, perform hands on healing, connect you with your spiritual guardian or power animal (animal spirit) and practice sound therapy (which may include drums, rattles, and chimes). They also perform sacred smudging, removal of unwanted energies, aura cleansing, chakra balancing, and soul retrieval.

A shaman works to restore balance, wholeness and wellness to the people. Shamans will not extend healing without being asked. They respect privacy and will not cross the lines of free will. No promises are made concerning outcome because they are consciously aware that healing comes from spirit.

A Channel For Divine Healing

Shamans are known for saying they are not the healing, they are the connection to healing. Shamanism encompasses the premise that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds.

Energy medicine is intended to heal the soul. Healing the soul brings balance to our thoughts, feelings and restoration to the body’s health.

Who and What Is a Modern Shaman?

When one hears the word shaman the mind is directed to thinking primarily of indigenous cultures and relating the term to medicine men or women.

In some cultures, shamanic practice is passed along in families. For others it is obtained through formalized training sessions.

Times are changing. Nowadays it is very likely that you have heard the term shaman connected with phrases such as Modern Day Shaman or New Age Shaman. Contemporary people are studying and applying shamanism as a life path.


How To Recognize a Shaman

Modern shamans come in every shape, size, color, ethnicity and package, although many people still have preconceived notions as to their appearance. You could be standing next to one and never know—unless your shaman is wearing skins and claws. A modern shaman will keep in mind their client and community before adorning these sacred articles of attire and jewelry.

However, if you find yourself in close proximity to a shaman, you may sense their spirituality and strength. These individuals carry an innate power or divine force within them, clearly unstated yet present. They radiate a subtle confidence and stability. You may feel the supernatural energies that surround them.

What Issues Do Modern Shamans Address?

Modern day Shamanic practitioners are sought after for traditional methods of divination and healing as well as consulted by those seeking practical solutions to everyday problems such as seeking spirituality, health challenges, relationships, aging parents, career endeavors, and finding one’s purpose or mission in life.

The practitioner will bring back advice and points of action from the spirit realms to assist the client on their healing journey. It is the responsibility of the client to be willing to make these necessary changes toward a positive and healthy shift to their being.

An ethical Shamanic practitioner would never suggest that you should forsake your primary medical physician. Shamanic work can be and should be done in conjunction with western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), alternative medicine etc.

Finding and Connecting With a Shamanic Practitioner

Shamans know that strength comes from adversity. It is a necessary lesson on your journey. If the shaman has experienced their own personal illnesses and made it through extremely difficult times, this learning process has created an open heart, and an abundance of compassion that allows the shaman to understand your suffering on a personal level. It establishes a bond and raises the trust factor.

With this added insight, they are fully aware of the powers needed to manifest your particular healing.  You will know that you are in good hands. If you are committed to the process, your shaman will guide you through every aspect required to obtain the changes for restoration.

Keep in mind that shamanism does not adhere strictly to one religious doctrine. A shaman can treat a client of any faith. Shamanic healing provides support by working with the soul and the wisdom of spirit guides.

Of course you want your shaman to deliver results. I have found that if desired outcomes are obtained, the shamanic healer needs no advertisement besides word of mouth referrals. Success stories spread like wildfire. Testimonies from healed and happy clients are the shaman’s truth and calling card.

Is Shamanism Effective?

There is a mysterious element to how the shaman effects a cure because shamanic healing is individualized to each unique person and their illness. It has been difficult to lend itself to conventional research designs, which has led to speculation of shamanic approaches.

Research on Shamanic Healing

Because it is an interpersonal experience derived of many aspects and is not something completely tangible, it can be problematic to quantify. However, there have been some studies done on the efficacy of Shamanic Healing.

The successful techniques used have stood the test of time and speak directly to effectiveness.

About the Author

Kaylee is a co-founder of Good JuJu For You. She has been mindfully aware of and practicing her psychic abilities since she was a child. Led by her spirit guides, Kaylee has obtained a vast wealth of knowledge and experience with the ethereal realm and alternative modalities of energy healing. Kaylee is a shamanic healer and New Age artist.

Spirit Animals




Page with Comments

  1. No disrespect to the author, but this doesn’t really cover what shamanism truly is and does. From reading this, you would think they are a reiki specialist or something.

    1. Woman who Whispers to the Wind,

      This is a difficult topic to fully explain in words. As a shaman (and a Reiki Master! haha), I did my very best to make it both respectful and explanatory in a basic way as most people have no idea what shamanism is. I am asked this question constantly. I would like to know what part of shamanism you think I neglected to address.


  2. Awesome post. Keep ’em coming. I learn so much from each and every post.

    Great thing is that I can go back and re-read as many times as necessary.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you……for them all. Your wisdom is astonishing!

  3. What I love about Shamanism that is encompasses all of Spirit in one big kete (basket) of knowledge for anyone to freely tap into. Thank you Kaylee for your insights and awesome introductory to a wonderful way of being. Sending much faerie love and compassion – Irenibelle (P.S. Website still in production, hasn’t gone live and will certainly set up a link to this page)

  4. This is an awesome article on shamanism.
    It says so much!
    What I find so astounding is how you can present so much in such a simplified form, allowing all to behold the premise of your writings, no matter what level they are at in the subject matter.
    This is coming from a Reiki Master since 1994.
    And one who took Shamanic training at a college in Greensboro for six months under a Shamanic Apprentice from Peru!
    You hit the subject squarely on the mark.
    You and your daughter rock!
    Rock on dear one.
    Rev. Dee

  5. I think this is a wonderful article on Shamanism. I appreciate that it stays broad so as to encompass the many variations on the practice that are possible. I feel this captures that essence, and I can relate to it. I would be so curious, if “Woman who Whispers to the Wind” were to return, how she would answer the author’s question. What essential part of Shamanism does she feel is missing? The word “Shaman” is not like the word “airplane pilot.” There is more room within the word for each Shaman to define it for him or herself. I really like the picture you included, with the words, “Spirits of nature create their own sound world, and it is possible for humans to communicate with them through the sound of the drum.” That is a nice insight, and I shared it onward. Thank you! Karenna

    1. Karenna,
      We bestow every blessing upon you! We appreciate your open mind and kind sentiments. In this article we tried to stay true to expressing the essence of Shamanism and we are grateful that it conveyed.
      Love & Light,
      Kaylee and Kamaira

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