What is Shamanism?

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.

15 thoughts on “What is Shamanism?

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  5. John

    Listen to the silence, and do not be afraid, for we are one and at peace in this world. I extend my calm and my warmth to you and yours.

  6. mysticsworld

    Thank you very much Yemaya. The article is very informative and enlightening.
    Hope to know more about Shamanism in near future.
    Thank you again for sharing your insights and knowledge about such an interesting way of life.
    Be blessed
    P.S. Even I am curious as to what your beautiful name means…

  7. Psychic Yemaya 5143Yemaya

    Greetings all, thank you for your kind comments, and I love this format for communication! Now is an excellent time for listening to the wind, or rain, as they are speaking loudly! HO!
    Wicca is what my “wise woman” Maternal Grandmother was, I’m not sure how far back, by way of Canada, and French settlers there some four or five generations ago. Thank you all!

  8. Psychic Maryanne Ext. 9146

    Hi, Yemaya,
    Just the way you wrote your article-the pacing, the tone, the peace and serenity of your words-reminds me fondly of the years I lived in the Santa Fe area and was privileged to learn so much from the Pueblo citizens. What an amazingly natural, “makes sense”, serene way of life.
    Wonderful, informative article. Thank you so much.
    Ext. 9146

  9. Psychic Jacqueline x9472

    Jacqueline x9472 said to Gina Rose ext. 9500….
    Hey Girl! So good to hear from you, you are such a person, I love you!
    Things have just been crazy, but good crazy like yourself, getting ready for fall, leaves changing, oh and gathering coats and food to share with the Hopi’s very exciting time….
    I love the connection that we walk in….
    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

  10. Psychic Jacqueline x9472

    Jacqueline x9472 said…. Wonderful article Yemaya!
    I too love the Native ways and live them daily, I agree with you on the blanket term on Shamanism.
    Native American ways, as we call it the “Red Road” is a life style, a way of life that has for me been very fulfilling my family is Osage and Cherokee we are from Arkansas small world.
    Blessings and Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

  11. Believer

    Your wisdom as a Shaman is beneficial to all of us in so many ways. I hope you will share more of your Shamanic practices with us in the very near future.

  12. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi there Jacqueline !!!!
    How the heck are you ?
    Long time, no chat. But, you & I have both been very busy I know.
    Hope you and your loved ones have Happy Holidays.
    Blessed Be )O(…Gina Rose ext.9500

  13. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Yemaya,
    I loved reading your article…..especially the part where you said ” all things shaman are all things Grammy”.
    Much we can learn from our Elders.
    For me, it was Wicca…..carried for over 10 generations from IreLand & ScotLand. So, I too, am hereditary Wiccan.
    MUCH similiarity between Wicca and Shamanism, in fact, they are almost identical in nature. We, too, are in tune the elements of nature. We, also, celebrate the Moon, Sun, and Earth’s rich bounty and gifts. And we, also follow the wise ways of the animals..our kindred spirits.
    I loved your article.
    Blessed Be )O(…Gina Rose ext.9500
    PS…Yemaya is a beautiful name…does it have any translated meaning ???? ( My Wiccan name is RavenBear)


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