What is a Shaman?

My Buffalo Drum

A Shaman in its most fundamental and westernized terminology means Healer. However, all Healers practice different modalities, and some may not resonate with Shamanic specific techniques. Therefore, not all Healers are Shamans. This word is used often, especially in Boulder County, which in most cases is a great thing (as it speaks to the ancient practices being revolutionized to fit our changing world!), but it can also be a bit confusing. No, Shamans do not have to be from indigenous societies to be powerful practitioners and healers, although there are many that are. Shamanism stems back hundreds of thousands of years. We do not know exactly how far back, but it is shown in prehistoric cave drawings that there was reverence for the animals and people in the community.

Shaman also means “one who sees in the dark”. Shamans are frequently referred to as hollow; they act as channels for high vibrational Spirit energy to move through them for a specific purpose and intention. Shamans clearly see and heal through their ability to be heart-centered, present and open, yet humble and honest. Acting as hollow vessels for frequencies that we are typically closed off to in our everyday lives, Shamans are bridges between this world and the spiritual worlds. Shamans work closely with Spirit helpers and guides, power animals, angels, ancestors, nature beings and invisible forces to serve the highest good and benefit of all. They are highly intuitive and open to their psychic abilities by being connected to that which is greater. It is their mission to bring enhanced balance and ease to the people and life forms of Earth. It is also common for Shamans to work closely with herbs, rocks, minerals and other earthly spirits. A shaman knows and feels that there is a Spirit in all things and works to build “right” relationship with each.

Shamans understand the importance of ritual, community, ceremony and rites of passage. They were the original doctors back before we had Western medicine. Those in need would visit the Shaman for healing from everything and anything: physical symptoms, emotional pain, mental instability and more. Shamans understand that illness, disease, imbalance, pain and suffering are more complex than our modern society likes to think, however I do feel that this is changing. Shamans treat illness and imbalance on subtle levels, because they know that all physical things have a spiritual root. We would be silly to ignore the power of Western medicine today, but Shamanism can offer a deeper and adjacent route to address the ailment and provide positive, healthy change.

My Smudging Fan for Healing Work

There are many practices and techniques, including: Shamanic Journeys, Transmissions, Extractions, Soul Retrievals, Power Renewals and more. They also have many tools in their toolbox, not limited to: medicine songs, healing words, buffalo drums, rattles, feathers, herbs, plants, crystals and more.

Shamanic principles, practices and tools are available to all of us. You do not have to be called a Shaman to embrace the benefits! It is a way of life – to bring in greater harmony, respect, connection, truth, love and energy into the everyday. It is the path of direct revelation, meaning each person who lives a Shamanic life has their own unique experiences within it. It is not limited; there are no rights or wrongs; there are no rules. It is that of meaning and that of liberation. You and Spirit lead the way together.

I hope this information was valuable to you!

Wishing you a blessed & safe holiday, new year & new decade! XOXO, S

Surrender to Soul Healing & Wellness

Enhance. Embody. Empower.

The Chakra System: Free Your Energy

Some of you that have attended my public yoga classes over the last 2 weeks know that we are Journeying through the 7 Chakras…very exciting! 😊 Each week, we will focus on 1 of the 7 energy centers that have their individual homes along your central channel, physically up and down your spine. This main energy channel is known in yoga as the Sushumna Nadi (Nadi meaning energy nerve). I like to refer to the central channel as our River of Life. When our Rivers are clear and flowing, limitless potential and possibly become our reality. We open up to higher pathways of being, doing, interacting, and loving. However, it is very common to have energetic blocks along our central channels that impact the everyday flow and ease of Life. These blocks are sometimes located in a specific Chakra, as each Chakra contains its own unique energetic properties and qualities. They build on each other to *eventually* encourage a fully grounded, creative, powerful, connected, expressive, imaginative, and divine human…Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

I love teaching the Chakras…because this subtle system truly shows us something new each and every time.

In every (I think) spiritual tradition, there is a common teaching of the complexity of our beings. In yoga, it is referred to as the Koshas, meaning “bodies” or “selves”. I like to feel into this such as, we have many layers to our beings that interact together for our greater wholeness. We know we are much more than our physical form.

Here is my interpretation: We have a Physical Body – which gives us access to manifested form and our 3D world. We have an Energy Body – which contains our circulating lifeforce and is directly connected to our breath. We have a Mental Body – which holds our thoughts and belief structures. We have an Emotional Body – which contains, of course, our emotions. And we also have a Spiritual Body – that which is eternal, connected to Source, Spirit and all that is.

All of these “bodies” are constantly working together for your greatest benefit – making you, you. Intuitively, they as a whole comprise your Field. Your Field is sometimes referred to as your aura, but I prefer Field, as it is different for each being. Your Field is the entirety of you; everything that lives in your current awareness bubble or plane. Your Field is flexible – it can expand and contract, hold onto outside energies and show you certain cycles/patterns about yourself. Shamanically, it is known that thoughts and emotions are things. Just because we cannot see them, touch them in this 3D world of form, does not mean that they are not real. Thoughts and emotions actually hold an immense amount of power to influence our everyday lives.

It is also known in the Shamanic world that every being has a unique Spirit or essence (even plants, rocks, etc). Each Spirit, like each Chakra, also has its own properties, qualities, teachings and “medicine” – that offer gifts of wisdom and healing to our earthly lives. If you open yourself to a specific Spirit (ex. your favorite tree in the backyard or park), you can then uniquely perceive it, work with it and deeply relate to it. We are so used to getting immediate satisfaction and being on sensation overload with our current societal advances and technology use, that we have forgotten how to use our inner senses to perceive and connect with things more subtle – like our energy, thoughts, emotions, Spirit and Nature.

Your Chakra System lives in your Energy Body. It governs the flow of your energy (otherwise known as lifeforce or prana) and has great influence over your other layers of self as well. We want free flowing energy! Your energetic lifeforce is responsible for the rhythms of your heart, cycles of your breath and other autonomous functions that sustain life in your body. And what is so beautiful about this system is that we can actually tap into it and begin to direct, clear, transmit, and upgrade our energy to a new, cleaner and more effective way of functioning. Isn’t that awesome?! And it is not out of reach!

Getting familiar with your Chakras is a great start. AND it serves as a continuous practice to come back to that will always bring you into deeper relation with your energy.

Until I see you or hear from you again, Be Well…and don’t forget to set intentions to enjoy the pleasures of the harvest this month! With Love Always, S