Friday, 17 May 2013

The basics of Shamanic healing

It's been a little while since I touched base with shamanism on here. Without getting too deep into specifics I thought that I'd discuss the way in which Shaman understand illness. The approach can be mixed with herbalism, modern therapies, surgery, medicine and almost any other system that works. However strictly speaking Shamanic practice offers the following methods and diagnoses for illness.

The most simple form of Shamanic work for healing is to journey to the spirits and ask for their diagnoses, advice or healing. As such the Shaman must carry out a meditative journey using the repetitive sound of a drum beat or rattle. In practice, no Shamanic work can happen without this stage. However the spirits may choose to offer only advice such as what to eat or to go and see a doctor.

Shamanism's great advantage is however that it doesn't focus on the physical or even psychological level. Instead it focuses on the spiritual essence of the patient and their community. In fact, one of the secrets of Shamanic healing is that it does not only work on the individual, instead any healing is seen as a healing for the community. The patient is merely symptomatic and in practice acts as a focus for the communities problems and healing.

When working with that individual though the Shaman's diagnosis will fall into one of three broad categories. Either the individual is infected with spirit energy that does not belong to them, they are lacking in their own energy or they have lost a soul fragment.

Again, in practice the diagnoses may be more complicated. Power loss (spiritual energy loss) opens the way for other energies to attach themselves to the patient. Soul loss is also an extreme example of disempowerment that comes from distressing circumstances. The spiritual intelligence of the patient removes part of itself to protect it from harm.

As such Shamanic healing tends to follow the following pattern:


  1. the Shaman journeys. Putting themselves in a trance they approach the spirits and ask them for help with the clients problems. At this stage the spirits may decide that it is not appropriate to go further and the client must find another healer.
  2. The spirits then direct the Shaman on what they must do to enable the spirits to remove any energy infection from the client. Note that the healing is actually carried out at all times by the spirits. The Shaman is merely a conduit for their power.
  3. The spirits then take the Shaman on a journey to find a 'power animal', that is a spirit that is seen as an animal that will provide power to the client. The Shaman will then blow this animal into the heart and head of the client and seal the power in them.
  4. If neccesary and if the client has enough power to accept and reintegrate the soul piece then the Shaman will be taken on a journey to track down and return the missing soul piece. This can be quite a challenging journey if the soul piece is well hidden but the soul piece must be returned and blown into the clients heart and head.
  5. The spirits may also give the client advice for how to ensure that the healing is successful.
While there are many variations on how the rituals used may work this is the basis of the process. The variations may be cultural or simply arranged by the spirits. They may also be chosen by the Shaman according to their own preferences and expertise.

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