Oh I really do like stirring the cauldron; this question will do just that! Karen who wants to know:
“I’ve read a lot about Shamanism and I am interested in becoming a Shaman; you consider yourself a shaman so i thought i’d ask- I am curious how do you become a shaman?”— Karen
I am going to prelude this by saying my beliefs are mine, there will be plenty who do not agree with me on my view points! There are several ways I think someone can be a shaman: courses & teachings, inner calling, and the wounded healer. No way is better than another really the true test of a shaman is their ability to traverse the worlds and bring back meaningful healing to themselves and their clients!
Teachings & Courses
One way to become a shaman is to find a credible teacher and take a course in shamanism. Some well known shamanic teachers are:
Sandra Ingerman- she offers in person and online courses through two websites
Sounds true offers several online courses some audio some a mixture of audio and video where Sandra teaches you the shamanic journey a key and vital part of shamanism. That can be found here:
The other is her website where she offers in person classes either with herself or one of her qualified personally trained teachers. That can be found here:
Quynn Red Mountain’s- teachings really resonate deep with me. She doesn’t have any major published books like some of the other teachers but she herself seems so familiar to me that when I discovered her I purchased several of her online courses. She can be found:
No matter who you find be sure to spend some time making the choice of who you’re teacher is going to be. A good teacher melds with you not just intellectually but also spiritually and it’s a partnership that should be healthy and true.
Do you need a teacher to be a Shaman?
Well yes & no; some people, as I’ll talk about later, are naturally able to traverse the worlds without learning how to do it. However, learning from a qualified teacher helps to build up something a lot, well in my experience, healers lack: Confidence. There is nothing like getting your inner knowing validated from someone else to help boost your confidence in your own innate abilities as a healer, shaman, witch, etc. for some it’s worth the price of the course, which in shamanic courses could be upwards of a thousand dollar! Yeah trust me I know; most healers i know don’t have that kind of money! However, the price of admission for the confidence to take those skills home and help heal yourself, others, and the community at large is worth every penny!
Don’t rush it! The right teacher will come when the student is ready.
An Inner Calling
Another way of being a shaman is answering an inner call. This was my method of shamanic work! I knew from the moment I read about what a Shaman was, just like i knew I was a witch. That I was a Shaman! It aligned so deeply with my world view that I was like “oh shit! This is ME!” Now my view point is that when spirit calls you: spirit is your teacher as long as you aren’t hard headed and can listen to spirit!
Not everyone can listen to spirit some people doubt what they know in their heart and soul and need outside validation; that is when a teacher comes in handy. In the beginning I was like that for a lot of things. I needed a teacher to validate my intuition and connection to the other worlds. Now however, after being validated for so long on so many different things I trust what spirit tells me!
If you have an inner calling to be a shaman or that you are a shaman then that is exactly what you are!
The Wounded Healer
This is a term that is talked about in many different alternative modalities such as reiki, crystal healing, witchcraft, wicca, and shamanism.
So what is a wounded healer?
A wounded healer is simply someone who has undergone a deep illness or trauma that has brought them closer to the spirit world; for some it’s a car accident, others it’s a near death experience, some it’s an illness such as a high fever or something of the like. This “wound” allows them to leave their body behind and go to the spirit world. Many rape survivors have reported “when it was happened i felt myself leave my body and go away somewhere safe.”
Some people who are really ill or have had horrific accidents also report a similar thing “I was not in my body at the time.”
When the person returns to their body then can sometimes see spirits, aura’s, or easily leave their body again, these are skills a shaman may possess.
Is One Better Than The Other?
Like I said each is a valid way to become a Shaman, having a teacher gives you confidence if that is something you are lacking, it can teach you important protection skills you may not otherwise know or be aware of.
However, now a-days there are so many video’s online courses, books, and blogs that teach you about shamanism with the right inner drive you can easily teach yourself.
If you have an inner calling or had a traumatic experience perhaps you’re already a Shaman and just need to hone your skills.
What do you think? Can you be a Shaman without training in the Andes or in the heart of Mexico? Can you be a shaman with a weekend workshop? Or even can you be a Shaman if your heart & spirit know that you are and you have no human qualifications as such?
How did the first shaman come to be? It wasn’t through a human teacher? It was through the spirits. The spirits do the work; the guides, totems, and teachers in the spirit world do the real teaching! We has humans have to learn to let go of the need to measure everything; knowledge, abilities, etc. Each person brings their own unique medicine/teaching to those they are meant to help.