Learn Shamanic Healing
We are now in the 28th year of our apprenticeship in this ancient tradition, and are entering our 17th year of teaching.
Accordingly in our five-day Visionseeker shamanic workshops, we offer training in spirit medicine in varying levels of depth.
In the Visionseeker Level One workshop, an entire day is spent providing the participant with a comprehensive overview of the classic causes of illness, the nature of illness-causing intrusions, as well as the four levels of healing. We also conduct a full-fledged shamanic healing ritual at the week's closure giving our participants the experience of transpersonal healing.
In the Visionseeker Level Two workshop, the entire week is spent giving the participant in depth training in working with the elemental spirits as well as the hands-on experience of all four levels of shamanic healing. Everyone both receives as well as performs shamanic healing.
These levels of healing include:
Healing in spirit medicine typically occurs in successive stages. The first might be called power augmentation, a process in which the shaman enhances their client's power supply quickly and dramatically.
One of the most effective ways of doing this is to bring the client into relationship with a spirit helper. To accomplish this, the shamanic healer typically journeys into the dream world with that intention--to find a spirit who will provide the client with power, protection, and support. The frequency with which these helping spirits appear as favorite animals, or as animal-human composites, has given rise to the term "power animal."
Simply knowing that a spirit has come into partnership with you, one that has your well-being at heart, is extraordinarily empowering, especially if you learn how to make contact with them by utilizing the shamanic method yourself.
The spirit helper might also come to you as an old indigenous medicine man or medicine woman. The frequency with which the spirits of Native Americans come into relationship with Westerners is quite striking. It seems that these wise beings are less interested in ethnicity and are more concerned with being of service to the one whose heart is open.
More information on personal empowerment may be found in our book Spirit Medicine. Hay House 2004.
Another level of shamanic healing involves the correct assessment of the problem, and this can be accomplished in different ways.
The shamanic healer may go into trance and connect with their spirit helpers to ask for information about the nature of the client's illness-a practice known as divination. All shamans proclaim with authority that they receive information from the spirits in this way that they could not access on their own.
This "data" may then be confirmed by another exercise in which the spirit medicine practitioner literally journeys into the client's body. This is done with permission, always, and once within their client's field, they look for the intrusions that don't belong there.
These intrusions most often appear in a symbolic form that the shaman finds repulsive--as maggots in a person's liver, for example, symbolizing liver dysfunction, or as scorpions in their intestines, revealing the presence of irritable bowel syndrome perhaps.
Spirit medicine practitioners may also confirm the presence of intrusions by running their hands through the client's energetic field a few inches above and around the physical body, and their body soul may experience an empathic emotional response. The intrusions can usually be felt as abnormally cool places, as abnormally hot ones, or as a "breeze" that seems to be blowing out of the body.
These ways of perceiving illness can be enormously enhanced by asking helping spirits for assistance, a practice that distinguishes spirit medicine from straight energy medicine. In response, the healer may suddenly find their hands moved involuntarily to a particular area of the client's body while information may arrive within their mind in a symbolic format.
Once the shamanic practitioner has a clear view of the intrusions, the third stage in the healing process involves extracting them from the client's body. This is easiest to do while in the expanded state of awareness and while still in connection with one's spirits.
Traditional shamans collect spiritual helpers because the more they have working with them, the more they can accomplish. These spirits have qualities and abilities that distinguish them from each other. Some are good at providing protection, while others are specialists who provide power or information. Some are superb at healing work, which is why most medicinemakers have one or more healing masters working with them.
It is interesting to note that virtually all shamans, in every culture, claim that it is the spirits who do the work at their request, not themselves. The shaman and their spirits thus work as a team, in tandem, with the healer functioning as the bridge between the transpersonal and the physical realms.
Shamans claim with the authority of long practice that they do indeed extract something from the client, specifically the illness's energetic essence. In the same breath, it is also clear that the presence of a power-filled shamanic healer with a proven track record for curing people can also play a pivotal role, activating that well-known healing response called placebo. If a sufferer has confidence that the healer will cure them, they usually get better. If they have no confidence, then this is their problem.
The fourth and final stage of healing in spirit medicine is the shamanic practice known as soul retrieval. This is perhaps the most important level of healing in spirit medicine because once the illness intrusion has been removed through extraction, the cause is still unresolved, namely the holes in the sufferer's soul cluster resulting from soul loss that allowed the intrusions to enter in the first place.
As long as these empty spaces remain unfilled, there is no guarantee that the intrusions will not reinvade given an opportunity to do so because those holes are like open invitations. But how does the process of soul retrieval actually work?
See Jill's essay on Soul Retrieval, as well as her thoughts in our book, Spirit Medicine, Hay House 2004.
Soul Retrieval, Soul Healing Audio Program
Coming in the summer of 2010, a audio-program will provide information for individuals offering soul retrieval, as well as for those who are requesting soul retrieval. Amongst the many topics included will be guidance on being of service, ethics, language and communication, as well as soul development, empowerment, and personal responsibility for the care and nurturing of one's own soul.
Please sign up for our list to hear when the program will be available.