Can I call myself a Shaman?
This is something I have battled with for a while and played with. What is a Shaman? Can I call myself a Shaman if I haven’t been to the wilderness of Peru and sat with a shamanic practitioner for 3 years? Is the term being bastardized? I have seen reference in the spiritual community to ‘plastic shamans’ like really what the fuck is that? I don’t have a certificate so am I qualified?
I remember being told years ago that you become an expert in something when you have read ten books on the topic. My reading into healing and various practises has now spanned well over a hundred books, maybe more. I have spent over thirteen years now working with energy, healing, attending workshops, delving into past lives and allowing myself to surrender to what comes. I have performed psychic surgery on clients, pulling out black tendrils of crap from their energetic body. I have been guided to where sources of pain are coming from and sometimes naming the biological parts which aren’t working so well even though my biology is shit. I am guided to place my hands where needed. Sometimes angels come through, sometimes spirit guides, sometimes multidimensional beings. Whoever is meant to be with us during a session comes through.
I don’t like being told what to do, what I can and can’t say. If you know me or have met me you will already probably know this. I recently messaged a guy in the US about putting a listing on a psychedelic website as a shamanic practitioner. He came back and said no we are only reserving that word for Native American Indigenous people, I hope you understand. I said yes of course I do. Then I went away and thought about it for a while. And you know what. I don’t understand. One of my spirit guides is a Native American man. When I was sat meditating asking him the question, can I call myself a Shaman?, he laughed. You love your labels on Earth he said. I have vivid memories of being in Native American community and am specifically drawn to the Colorado region of the US. A place I happened to visit back in 2019. He has taught me so much in terms of the work I do. He guides me with every client and brings in new ways of working, new healing modalities. I hold space for group work and ceremonies. I have my own daily rituals which I practise. The wisdom and knowledge I share in my teachings have come from not only my experience but also from his guidance. I may not have a teacher in the physical form on Earth to help me with my shamanic work but I do have him. I don’t have a certificate to prove to the world that what I do works and you know what I don’t need one. I burnt all of my healing certificates in 2020. Noone gives a shit what certificate you have. If you can help someone on their journey and work with them in a way that propels them forward who gives a fuck? Seriously!
“The word shamanism probably derived from the Tungusic word šaman, meaning “one who knows” Tungusic is a language spoken in Eastern Siberia. If this is where it originated then why can a white western woman not call herself a Shaman? The word, Shaman, was brought to Western Europe in the late 17th century by the Dutch traveler Nicolaes Witsen, who reported his stay and journeys among the Tungusic- and Samoyedic-speaking indigenous peoples of Siberia in his book Noord en Oost Tataryen (1692). Adam Brand, a merchant from Lübeck, published in 1698 his account of a Russian embassy to China; a translation of his book, published the same year, introduced the word shaman to English speakers” Source: Wikipedia
OK so I have no Siberian blood, can I call myself a Shaman? My feeling is we can get so caught up in what we call ourselves, the work we do, giving ourselves a label to try and fit in with society. Should we have respect for the indigenous communities who despite Western consumerism have continued to work with the land and their traditions? Absolutely! I respect anyone who truly follows their calling, who does what they know they need to do and listens to their heart. If someone comes to see me and tells me that they are placing their hands on people, feeling heat, giving feedback and does this make them a healer? Yes! Can someone call themselves a Reiki teacher and not be Japanese? Yes!
Let’s move on from the labels we feel we need to place on ourselves for the work we do and trust that if we are meant to be doing this work we are doing it. We may need guidance at times from teachers in the physical or spiritual world. We may ask for help. We may feel unsure or confused at times. But you know what, I am not going to be told what I can and can’t call myself. It is what I feel comfortable with and I know the path I am following. It’s my calling.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, drop me a comment below
Sending much love