Shamanism has become a blanket term for all nature related healing or magical works now, but when I was a child it was associated mainly with the medicine or spiritual workers of tribal life. As I have said before, I was raised in a normal American family…of psychics. On my maternal side were those who worked with “the craft” natural herbal medicines, spiritualism, Tarot, empathic love life workings. We were known as a family of “Wise Women” which is what my maternal Grandmother preferred to be called. Now on my Father’s side came the Cherokee Shaman energy. My Grandfather was a spirit Shaman for their tribe in Chandler, OK in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. My Grandmother was the youngest child and watched as she grew up as his most interested student, at that time that particular tribe was breaking up and flowing into the mainstream of American life, and yet she still learned many of those sacred practices and other things that she taught me as well. So to me all things “shaman” are all things Grammy!
To me it is a Native American way of life to live by the earth cycles, and a Shaman was someone who learned to speak to, and understand, nature and animals and to connect with the dead. My Grammy or my Dad would take me out in the forest to “walk silent” and “listen to the wind.” When you listen to the wind you can feel the energy of the coming weather, you are attuned to the sounds around you, and like a doctor listening to your heartbeat and lungs, you can tell the “health” of the nature you are surrounded by. We celebrated birth and death as passages into a new energy form, we tuned in to the natural path before we walked, one that would cause the least problem, or the best way to “share” the world we walked through. We honored the food that came from the earth, or came from our brethren the animals. We sang songs to the Sun and the Moon, and told stories of the wisdom of the animals we share the world with so that we too can understand and practice that wisdom. So to me, “Shamanism” is dealing with the basic foundation of all life — Nature in the way that is the most natural and beneficial for all those sentient beings that share it, The Cherokee call it, “The Way.”
It is such a huge part of who I am, I cannot even begin to list the ways that I look at things in comparison to what is a more common current attitude, what I can say is my first impulse is not to blame, it is to understand WHY something happened, or is happening. I look to understand the “nature” of human beings, and their relationships with each other whenever I am asked to look into someone’s life. I feel that the energy around that person speaks to me as much as the psychic connection between us. I can feel the energy of their pets, their home, and the energy inside their day to day lives. It helps me to see deeper and feel more accurately what is needed in each situation — to be truly “tuned in” to the event they desire to understand. Let’s face it, they are calling to get clarity and information that is above and beyond what they can see for themselves!
For me personally, it allows me to be calmer and to see things in a much simpler way. I use my own spiritual practice to stay tuned into my ancestors, and the guides that speak so very softly that we must each of us be very still at times to hear them. Try it tonight. Sit in your home with no TV, no music on, grow quiet and slow your breathing Light a candle and watch as your “wind” (your breath) affects it, how does it, and what does it make you think about? Listening to the wind can apply to listening to the energy inside your home. Is it calm? Is it hectic? Does it relate exactly to the attitudes and behaviors of those that dwell in that energy? Listen to the wind, and find how it speaks to you.