I have to confess that I did not know anything at all about Shamanism before starting this series of posts, but what I have learned is fascinating. And now I want to know who my power animal is!
What Is Shamanic Healing?
Shamanism has been practiced for thousands of years by people all over the world. The word “shaman” comes from Siberia and means “spiritual healer” and says it all: shamanic healing is spiritual healing. A person or animal may have lost part of their power, soul, or essence (from physical or emotional trauma), or they may be suffering because of negative energy or spiritual blocks.
When helping a person or animal heal, the shaman travels to a different dimension (or altered state of consciousness if you will) with the help of drums or rattles that create a sound field that changes consciousness. This is called a shamanic journey, and here, the shaman meets up with spiritual guides to find out what the individual needs in order to restore balance and heal. It could be soul retrieval, power animal retrieval, curse removal, cord cutting, soul remembering, extraction, depossession, or house/land clearing.
For example, in shamanism it is believed that when you go through a traumatic event (it could be an accident, death of somebody close to you, abuse, natural disasters, etc.), part of your soul leaves your body in order to survive. This is a good thing, because you need your soul in order to be happy and healthy, so it’s better for part of your soul to be fine somewhere else than damaged in your body. However, you need that part of your soul back in order to recover fully from the trauma. You may suffer from depression, chronic illness, or simply just feel disconnected and “not right”, unable to bounce back to your usual self. The shaman will find the lost part of your soul and bring it back to you.
If the problem is that you have lost some of your power, you need to reconnect with your power animal. Everyone has a power animal, similar to a guardian angel, who is with you from birth, watching over you and sharing its wisdom with you. If you become disconnected, you may feel depressed or experience bad luck. The shaman will retrieve your power animal so that you can reconnect and heal.
Once the shaman knows what’s needed, the healing can begin. It is not the shaman, but the Spirit who does the healing. The shaman is a conduit for the Spirit and becomes the bridge between Heaven and Earth, allowing the Spirit to utilize his/her body and mind to interact with the client.
I asked Sariantra Kali, our featured practitioner today: Can anybody learn Shamanism and become a Shamanic Healer?
“Although anyone could try to train to become a shaman, not everyone has talent for it. And it is not for the faint of heart. The shaman is a wounded healer and shamans the world over have generally undergone grueling experiences to prepare them for this work. Spirit calls a person, and once they do it is pretty hard to avoid this path. They will call in dreams, life events… many people try to get away once they have been called. But Spirit knows how to find us. It is a big responsibility but immensely rewarding.”
Meet Sariantra Kali
Our Shamanic healing case study comes from Sariantra Kali, who is a licensed acupuncturist and trained shamanic practitioner. She is the founder and owner of Ancient Rivers Healing Arts in Eugene, Oregon, where she offers shamanic healing sessions both in person and distance, acupuncture, Chinese medical treatments and herbal consultations.
Raised Catholic, Sariantra heard Spirit as a child but had no familial or cultural support for what was going on. It wasn’t until years later, when she was a student at Portland State University, that she discovered shamanism. A lecture by visiting shamanic healer Susan Keiraleyn proved a turning point for her.
Sariantra says: The veil between the worlds was lifted when I went through a very emotionally painful experience. It helped me find my way back to Spirit; I had premonition and I started hearing Spirit again
She became a believer in Spirit, studied with many teachers, and has now been practicing shamanic divination for 10 years.