What is Shamanism?


Shamanic practice is a simple and peaceful means of drawing on your innate connections with the people and world around you, so that you can operate fully and at your best using intuition, wisdom and compassion. A big part of shamanic living is compassion for the self and for others – learning to forgive and to accept declutters your soul and psyche so that you can stop struggling with things that simply don’t matter in the big scheme of things. Cast off the ‘stuff’ that does not serve you: guilt, shame, regret, self-loathing, resentment etc. 

  • Everything is alive and has a life force (animism)
  • Our ‘physical world’ is only the beginning; the shift to consciousness opens up the possibility to connect with spirit
  • We are all teachers and students
  • Compassion and a deep union with nature allows us to see and live from the heart, the practice of living in this way brings pure to all ares of living
  • Each individual has the birth right, and responsibility, to commune with spirit directly

Shamanic practices have been demonised over the centuries by governmental and religious establishments because it puts the individual in control of their destiny. When the individual is empowered they do not look to others for leadership; nor do they seek comfort in ‘owning stuff’, addictive behaviours or withdrawing from society.

It is a tradition as old as time itself; perhaps the oldest system through which man has sought connection with creation. Yet it has no scriptures, dogma or god worship. By following a shamanic lifestyle you practice the ability to harness healing and wisdom from the earth and universal energy.

Shamanism is a way of life that our ancestors have passed down through us over the generations; embracing ideas such as self-healing, personal responsibility and connection with every living thing on our planet. It is not a religion. Therefore, the practices inherent in the following of shamanism are rooted in nature and a respect for what this planet has to offer us. In a seemingly fast paced, technological and solitary world, the practice of shamanism empowers us as human beings by strengthening our connection to nature, collective consciousness, spirit, energy and each other.

You may be concerned about some of the things you’ve heard about Shamanism.
You may have heard that shaman are witch doctors that evoke evil spirits; that they use hallucinogenic drugs; it’s a cult or any other number of ill-informed claims. As with any practice, unfortunately there are some people out there who do not really understand what they are doing and who operate from the ego. Authentic shaman sometimes use plant medicine to journey on your behalf; they know how to navigate unchartered territory to get you past your mind and the mirage of believing only what you see. If you are ready you too may benefit from the use of plant medicines, but proceed with caution as this is not something to be taken lightly. True shamanic practitioners will only ever aim teach you to get out of our own way; they do not seek to convince you of anything except that you have your own power.

It is simply not the case that participants will definitely be required to partake in imbibing ‘secret remedies’, such as Ayahascua. This is just one form of shamanic practice and is not for everyone. There is definitely a place for the spectra of plant medicine but actually a lot shamanic practices do not require the use of them because you can usually learn to ‘connect’ to higher consciousness without them.

The path of a shamanic lifestyle is very personal and it’s not for anyone to try to make you embark upon it. Shamans learn from and use nature; are focussed on the natural flow of life; showing respect to our fellow creatures and to one another. The development of the modern world has led us away from nature and these traditional, natural practices. Now, more than ever, humans are beginning to intuitively seek to reconnect with each other and the planet. Shamen ponder the nature of creation – why and how we came to be. We ask why certain situations occur in our lives and why we act as we do. We ask how we can be empowered and empower one another and take collective responsibility for a harmonious life and existence for the greatest good of all. We consider sickness to be karmic and use nature, spirit and journeying to heal the soul – making individuals strong and whole. How do we do this? Mainly through self-reflection, acceptance and ceremony. There is nothing to fear when it comes to any of these aspects, once you accept that every difficult situation you have ever, and will ever, face has been chosen by you and you can see it as a learning opportunity, your life simply opens up to the magic that is part of our world. Maybe this sounds crazy, but having lived it, I know that it’s true.

Shamanism is not complicated; it is individual and collective. It is finding what you need by looking into and beyond yourself. There are many people who live shamanically though they may not even be aware of it, while others actively seek it out because inherently, they know they could be sharing a deeper connection with the energies of the universe.

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