Several years ago, I decided to investigate the world of shamanism and what it means to be a shaman. I attended a shamanic retreat for one incredibly special weekend, where I experienced a fire vision quest and lots of healing meditation work. Then I returned home and got straight back into the business of motherhood, freelance work and running a household. I didn’t have time to work on being a shaman, much less taking time for my personal spiritual development. I felt guilty and frustrated, about my lack of spiritual working. But what exactly does it mean to do spiritual work?
I call myself a shaman in training. In truth, I suppose we never stop learning as we progress through our human lives, interacting with different people and situations, and taking away new perspectives and meaning from our activities. I am not currently following any formal training structure. I am merely being aware of my surroundings, picking up bits of information as and when I can, and reading up on different shaman practices and belief systems.
One book I read was Urban Shaman by Serge Kahili King, PHD. A friend bought me the book for my birthday, and I was surprised and touched by her gesture. I understand that many people might struggle to understand how to behave around a person who practices shamanism, witchcraft, and paganism when these are taboo subjects within the culture that we live. Fortunately for me, my friends and family are supportive of my interests, and some are more interested to learn from what I have studied so far.
Finally, I realise that yes, I am a shaman. Just because I don’t dress a certain way, carry various mystical implements, or actively practice rituals and ceremonies, does not mean I do not believe in this ancient system of life. A shaman is basically a healer. That is what we do. There are many different shaman systems of practice and belief that have been developed all around the world. I read about the Hawaiian tradition in Urban Shaman, and I recognized a lot of the material as practices that I have been doing for years.
For now, my life as a shaman revolves around my family. I have children to care for and businesses to grow. I will both learn from my children and teach them how to integrate and develop in the human world based on my own experiences and beliefs. I can stop being so hard on myself. When it comes to natural practices, there are no set rules and regulations. We do what feels natural, and we live in accordance with Mother Nature and the Great Spirit of life that exists all around the world.
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