Shamanism Explained

Shamanism is a healing method. It is a nature-based experience, facilitated by a guide. It isn’t a formal system or an ideology. The word “Shamanic” comes from the Siberian region. Consequently, Western explorers gave this name to the healing ceremonies they witnessed. Evidently, many cultures around the world practiced similar traditions in this embodied way. Shamanism basically consists of a set of practices that coexist with different cultures and religions. The term “shamanism” is evolving into modern meanings and understandings.

Spirit is Alive in All Things

Shamanism is the oldest form of connection known to humanity.  The directions, terrain, elements, plants, minerals, and animal life are all relationships that can provide meaning.  Shamans work with the Spirit World which consists of animal guides, ancestors, and allies to journey to the Void for the answers.  Reaching an altered state of consciousness through repetitive sound and breath leads to insights and expanded awareness that provide clarity.

Regal woman in mystical green and blue colors-shamanism


Shamanism, in general, is the idea that guides are messengers between the spirit and manifest worlds. Under this description, Shamans help clear ancient wounds and mend the soul. Healers are said to operate in the spiritual realm. Accordingly, they initiate healing on deep levels of consciousness. This initiates change on all levels. Shamanism isn’t a religion. It is for seeking guidance on a personal spiritual path. This helps one to form a philosophy of life using information and guidance from the Shaman. Yet, this understanding is constantly evolving. There are fewer and fewer people who actually call themselves “shamans.”

What does it Mean to be Called “Shaman”?

The calling to Shamanism is difficult.  To become a Shaman the person typically experiences extreme physical, emotional, and mental hardships and is able to heal and endure.  The initiations often conclude with a death ceremony, as the use of sacred ceremony establishes the end of one time and the beginning of another.  The ceremony signifies the death of the old being and the beginning of the Shaman. There was a time when the Shaman was consulted regarding matters of the heart and health.  He/she often conducted ceremonies, sang songs, and performed rites of passage for their people.  Shamans were counselors, healers, and advisors.  They had a connection with the Spirit world and communicated this to their people.  As well, they often lived alone and were paid with gifts.

“Shamans” were the Spiritual leaders of their people. Yet, in the new age, YOU are the Spiritual leader of your life.  The inner world, our thoughts, the meanings we make from our felt senses, and the stories we tell ourselves create our reality.  Mastering the mind, understanding the dualism of life, and taking ownership and complete responsibility for your creation are required. Your reaction to the outside world is entirely up to you.  With guidance, people walk the “Good Red Road” in life and realize their highest human potential.  We do this by walking in integrity within by living a congruent life, living in alignment with our highest self.

The Shamanic Embodied way guides people to their healer and magician within to find the answers to the questions that guide their lives.  The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of the questions we ask ourselves.  What is the meaning of life?  What is the meaning of your life?  Furthermore, what is your purpose?

Woman's face with orange, purple and pink paint splattered on-shamanism


Shamanism: Connecting with Body Wisdom and Nature

Shamanism involves the reconnection to the mystery and wonder that arises naturally when our body and spirit are in alignment. Generally, the spirit world is experienced in a very metaphorical way. Many people though, experience it in a literal sense. It is an expressive, healing art form that uses ceremony and structure. Being witnessed by a guide stirs pain and blockages are expressed. All that holds us back is then released.
Healing is a mysterious process, therefore, it must be honored. The Shamanic idea is that healing must come with some reconnection to our child roots, as well as, our animal aliveness. Shamans believe that we are all part of nature. Firm lines between the mind, body, and spirit, represent a misguided way to understand human life. Shamanism blends all aspects of our lives and helps give us a better understanding of ourselves in a more holistic way.

Different Types of Shamanism: What Calls to You?

There are different types of Shamanism, as the plant species in South America are different from the plants in Siberia.  In Celtic Shamanism the use of language is of great importance.  Language is vibrational, creating our worlds, therefore the proper use of language can be taken into consideration throughout a Shamanic Experience. These profound experiences provide people with the opportunities to explore the various tools, beliefs, and experiences that lead to transformational growth.  Moreover, viewing the world within from different eyes enables us to begin viewing the world outside of ourselves with a different perspective.  We realize that we are creating our world through our consciousness and are capable of creating our greatest dreams through a change of our minds.

The Shamanic Path is Calling You

By tying in these many components, we are brought to a point of decision. Who are you and what do you need to be better? In life we have two choices, either continue with how we are, continue with what was, and what has been. Or, taking the plunge, and investing in our growth and personal transformation. Life is hard, and healing takes bravery. However, there is nothing better than growing in this lifetime. You deserve to live a happy, healthy, and bright life where you are connected with all things, people, and Nature. Embarking on a shamanic path helps you find your true self. You learn to walk in harmony with the birds and the bees, and the wonder and magic that surrounds you!

A shamanic experience is ideal for people wanting to shift their stagnating perspective and gain a better understanding of who they are.  It’s important to get out of your head, and drop deeper into the heart space, forming a more profound relationship with Source, and Nature.

Childlike Wonder, Creativity, and Flow

Swirls of colors-shamanism


Nature’s system is very complex, thus, we can’t even begin to understand it. The more connected we are to life, death, birth, and rebirth, the more we live in the flow of creation. Undeniably, we are part of this creation. Nonetheless, humans have a need to understand their place in the Universe. Shamanism is a healing practice that brings you back into your body, as well as, into the flow. See the art of mindfulness
If you’d like to learn more, SpiritQuest Sedona Retreats offers both private shamanic and group retreats. We offer sessions with a Shamanic perspective. Many of our practitioners weave Shamanism into their sessions. Read more about our Shamanic Retreats