Several years ago, I discovered the world of shamanism. Before then all I knew about it was the stories that came from Native America, and they were few and far between. I assumed that shamans were simply Native Americans. I was naïve and knew nothing about our world. I still don’t fully understand shamans, but I have reached the conclusion that I can be a shaman here in the UK. Perhaps British shamans have been assigned different names. Perhaps they are druids, pagans, or an ancient people whose history has died out through generations. Perhaps shamanism lies in our blood, and those of us who feel the call will find our way.
How could I call myself a shaman when I don’t practice ancient rituals, when I don’t have a mentor or teacher, and when I haven’t officially been inducted into this deeply mysterious and spiritual world? That is what I thought when the voices began calling me home. It was the same when I began to identify as a witch. I had never been in a coven or met a priestess, and I was unfamiliar with anything besides history and Hollywood stereotypes. It took a long time for me to call myself a witch, but I know that I felt it from a very young age. I just didn’t know how to express it. And now it is the same with shamanism.
I recently watched some online discussions as part of the Shift Network Summit, and one speaker struck a chord. She is a shaman from somewhere far away and seemingly far more exotic than England. She has a world of life experience that I could never imagine. But something she said resonated deeply with me: We as shamans learn to accept all elements of the world, and how to integrate and separate where necessary. I can be a shaman. I am a shaman. I am simply finding my own path and doing it my own way. Sometimes I might speak silently to the trees that I walk past. Sometimes I sit in meditation and converse with my spirit guides. Other times I get together with friends and enjoy a night of drinking and dancing. It is all part of being a shaman, knowing when to let go of control, and knowing when to step away from the human world. We learn to adapt. And yes, we can be shamans in the UK. Come forward and join your friends. We are waiting!
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