The Shaman’s Library : Shamanic healing through a practical lens

Shamans Laid the Roots for Modern Wellness and Medicine

Shamanism is the original medicine – not ‘alternative’ medicine as society would label it today. 

Shamans were the first doctors, the first therapists, the first psychologists and masters of navigating, diagnosing and treating physical, mental and spiritual health. Shamans pre-date religion, and go as far back as Paleolithic and Neolithic times… and – I’m told by the spirits – even further back than this.

We were the ambassadors for off-world beings, as our abilities to feel and communicate with spirits translates across to ETs, because while ETs may be depicted in movies as physical beings, some are purely energetic, some physical and so on… Therefore one with developed senses is required to engage them.


Shamanic healing requires engaging and connecting with the body spiritually, physically, and chemically through body manipulation, communicating with spirits, administering plants as herbs, foods and tonics. We work with bones, blood, the organs, the spirit, the frequencies of conscious energy and distorted energy, the mind, the heart, the elements and everything in-between.

Shamans don’t heal anyone – we facilitate the awareness of you as the healer, and appropriate  the tools, ideas and lexicons to get you to see yourself as the healer to where you get to the point where you actually do the healing.

We can use our powers to assist you in getting to that space.

As a shaman, I might see 5 dark beings in front of you and I can remove them so you can then get to where you need to go, like meeting a pain of your past, or an energy somewhere else… but a shaman is not here to take all of it on. A shaman is meant to guide the person to their self healing.

Examples of shamanic healing practices include, burying you, submerging you in water, smacking you, laying hands on you, helping you look at your own lexicon and how you’re making choices, and many, many techniques to help you find strength and courage. 

A shaman may talk you through those challenges or give you a physical trial, like “go climb to the top of that mountain and bring me a flower”. The person climbs and can’t even find a flower. When they return to the shaman and complain, the shaman shows them that they used courage to get to the top and they completed their ‘true’ task. Sometimes I’d have students stare at a wall for two hours and they would complain, but at the end of the two hours, some would get the “why”. Sometimes, this is how traditional shamans play. 

In today’s society, people are most likely to consult with shamans to assist in dealing with perceived emotional health challenges; like when a person feels stuck, when they grieve the loss of relationships, ‘job’ roles, or financial success that has been an important element in the person’s life. 

In addition, we also see long time shamanic practices re-branded, popularized and used in everyday fields under different names. 

Family Constellations as one example, is a popular therapeutic healing technique that began as a Shamanic Healing tool in tribal communities; proven and observed to be effective for transforming challenges that are ancestral in nature.

“Energy Healing” – often confused as the popular system Reiki – can also be traced back through shamanism. This practice was not sourced or ‘invented’ by Shamans, but taught to us by the plant spirits many hundreds of thousands of years ago.


Acupuncture is another. Early acupuncture required a medicine man hitting someone very hard with a rock. As time went on, Shamans began to experience frequencies communicating with them from the body, and these shamans discovered what is now known today as the network of meridians. The shamans of that time observed them through a lens of watching metaphors of what we see in nature; in this case, observing river currents and pathways. 

Our bodies are made up of elements and elemental relationships. These shamans realized that every part of nature is communicated in the body – a key pillar of shamanic knowledge… now a core part of what is known as Chinese Medicine today. 

The regarding of “hot and cold” in this system is based on the seasons, and the 5 elements model of Chinese Medicine being rooted in Shamanic origin as well. Shamans spent a lot of time studying the elements to watch how they worked in sequence, which also became a key pillar in the workings of the body and how to assist it from needless suffering. 

Much of our collective suffering today is because this wisdom of sequencing was lost from society when many shamans, witches and those of the non-church cloth were killed off. 

At the time, these were the people in society who were birthed into families carrying the wisdom of alchemy, elemental exchange – where sequencing comes in – and the foundations of harmonic energy flow. When these people were killed off, that wisdom died with them… until today, where these ideas are returning through traditions that didn’t lose them, such as the Chinese systems and the Vedic system.

One of the many blessings of connecting with and respecting nature, is that nature holds, shows and tells us perfect models for life to exist, that we can observe at any time.

One of our great errors as a collective, is that we have taken this gift for granted, and we’ve misappropriated this gift of wisdom in misuse of alchemy toward a divisive end.

Instead of using alchemy to create tribal and natural harmony, we’ve focused these elements to be transformed into destructive devices and technologies. 

We were never meant to be sitting in front of technologies with high radiation. We were not designed to eat food with toxic additives. These technologies and foods are often produced with profit as pressure and so harmony with all things is a lower priority, when in a balanced society optimized for all beings to be in harmony with one another, the priority would be to have optimized wellness conditions for all, including plant life, animal life, human life, and manufactured creations.

Existing cultures where you can see elemental awareness wired into society is the Indian culture, thanks to its Vedic system. In this culture, there’s a focus on balancing out the ‘Doshas’ of Kafa, Vata, Pitta within us. If you’re too much ‘Pitta’, which represents fire and water, you are instructed to minimise coffee, eat cooling foods and perform less competitive activities. This is because not doing these things can literally overheat a Pitta and leave them feeling burned out.

This system and those similar, focusing on wisdom for how the body works in its highest intelligence… have their roots in ancient Shamanism.


In the modern medical field, what we know as hypnotism to induce various brain waves – theta, etc… – began as part of a shamanic practice called “trance”. 

Trance is a state that allows the mind to be focused and open at the same time. It is a state that prevents the busy mind from intervening and there are different levels of trance. 

In trance, we can access perceptions where specific tools and techniques are utilized, most often for healing and transformation directly with the soul or spirit of the subject. Sometimes, this includes channeling, which is more accurately referred to as “spirit merging”.

If I call a spirit in, the spirit isn’t channeling through me, the spirit is merging with me and we share our powers. For example, if I call a spirit spark in from nature, the spirit spark will come hang out with me, but if I ask it to merge with me then its powers are with me. When people have these phenomena come through them through what they believe is being ‘channeled’, it’s not because they’re channeling a funnel of energy downard… truth is, when you pay attention to that experience, it’s not coming in exclusively from the crown but rather every cell of your being. Being a ‘channel’ would suggest the energy ‘pours in’ from above, or you are merely routing the energy through you as a semi-passive being.

In more advanced practices, we would also use trance to travel to other realms to seek guidance, congress, healing or spiritual tools; sometimes a test or challenge for our evolution. 

Trance can enable us to move energy for greater human feats, such as being able to penetrate your hand with a sword and not feel it. Spirits can absorb energy for us as well, and you may even see demonstrations of this where a shaman will drink more booze or smoke than a human can reasonably ingest and they don’t get drunk. This is because trance can assist in us merging with spirits more deeply.

Some psychic mediums use trance to connect with the deceased and some shamans use trance to merge with spirits for sharing messages, unique healing energy frequencies, and more from sources like the deceased, planets, plants, animals, elements, sound, and star systems… all through their bodies.

Energy Centers, Chakras, Light and Dimensions

A lot of the major ‘new age’ health n wellness staples originated in shamanism. Including the ‘chakra’ energy system. 

In African shamanism, “chakras” are referred to as ‘gateways’ or ‘stargates’. In Hindu culture there are 7 chakras, and in African Shamanism we have 22 stargates, some of which exist outside of the physical body. 

In ancient times, some of those energy gates were relevant for us to connect in, and integrate communications with off-world beings, and dimensions.

In this plane of experience, we have 4 dimensional levels. They are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – and we’re collectively building a 5 dimensional level through what is known as light-linking; a lesser known activity we are all engaging in.

What is that? I’ll explain…

Inside of every human is a star-gate. At a certain level of consciousness, it opens and beams out a frequency to the universe to ask it for more of that frequency to feed the consciousness / person who activated this process, so that it grows.

The spiritual community wrongfully believes that the ‘higher self’ drives this. The truth is, the shadow, which represents the highest light, is what drives this.

The shadow is your light in disguise, telling the highest level of truth. It’s a reflection of the hologram you are in this present reality. When we can accept the highest level of truth, we create a grid, and the grid creates a powerful star-gate.

Here’s the key part – when we connect to people and we begin to share in a connective conversation, we connect our grids.

The current system of society wants to keep us separated, so our grids are often kept apart. Keeping us at odds with one another through manipulation of the duality mindset – X is good and Y is bad – assists the end of our grids not connecting. 

If our grids all connected, our sight – collectively – would come ‘online’ and we would break this illusion we are all a part of currently.

This is why race wars exist are encouraged through the design of the system, in its laws, its policing and its reward structure.

A person who has come online will know because their powers will be enhanced and they’ll begin downloading information, connecting to spirit and accessing their powers easily.

Effective Shamans and why are Masculine and Feminine polarities so important

There has been a trend of fast-training plant medicine shamans, who come back as medicine keepers after 6 months training in the jungle.

To develop a strong, long-term relationship with a plant spirit that quick is unlikely. To be able to best serve, you would need to have a strong and confident relationship with the plant. This will assist in all the dynamics of a ceremony, like protection. 

Plant medicine ceremonies should never be done indoors. If the shaman is doing this as absolute necessity, then look for a elemental representations like a bowl of water, some fire, smoke, drumming and offerings left inside. If you see none of this, this is not a competent shaman to be in ceremony with.

Make sure if you’re invited to an indoor ceremony that the indoor space is a sacred place; not a common living room. If you don’t see offerings to the elements, the place is not protected and you’re putting yourself at risk. 

There should always be a protection cast upon the people seeking the plants – you would not believe how many times I’ve heard of people becoming possessed at a ceremony. It is as common, as it is frustrating.

A competent shaman who gives plant medicine will always do a thorough check on you. Which means they have the ability to sit you with the plant and have you connect with it, and do an assessment with you.

They sit you down, read your energy and connect with you. If they’re doing a group, they would meet the group, or do a dreaming with the group before they administer the medicine.

Prolific, trained shamans would have knowledge of the medical understandings of the body. So they would know when someone is able to take the medicine. Some people might have heart issues, or be sensitive to the medicine in a detrimental way. 

Plant medicine is one way to heal, but some shamans will bury you, some will administer spirit medicine – like Tagnala root (which I taught a class on in Dec 2020) – and so on…

If ever you meet a shaman who serves a plant medicine, ask them how many years they’ve been in observation with the spirit to become a shaman. If someone says a year or less, be very wary.

Even two years would give me pause. I would also ask if they have knowledge of the human body in case there are complications and you need extra care.

A depiction of Pachamama, artist unknown
A depiction of Pachamama, artist unknown

Creation stories and gender assignments have also helped to confuse this idea. “Mother” Earth is made from both masculine and feminine polarities. The Sun is considered masculine in some cultures and feminine in others; if you look at the Sun, it has both polarities loud and clear. You cannot create anything living without both polarities. There is a functional energy that everyone holds; a tree, a plant, an insect, you, me… and this energy serves a purpose, to blend with the purpose of everything else. Nature does not create a thing that does not support the entire system. When extinction occurs, it’s either humans disrupting the natural code in a violent manner, or nature has decided that the being is no longer needed. And nothing in nature can exist without both polarities. 

You cannot be a shaman if you cannot allow the feminine and masculine in your being. The Caduceus symbol is a reference to this. A shaman should be able to appear as a feminine woman, as a masculine man, and even as a gender neutral-appearing ET.

Giving Guidance

Shamans communicate with a broad range of spirits to receive messages for individuals and communities. From ancestors, nature spirits, deities and more, we receive and share messages for guidance, closure, healing, and broader questions about life.

When merging with a spirit for spoken messages, we can call in a group of spirits to lead a whole ceremony or ritual for a group. We can even use their energy and powers to bring more success to the practice unfolding. 

Guidance comes in many forms, mysterious and simple, and the core of any guidance from a shaman is to serve the recipients of the guidance moving closer to loving, non-judgmental, non-dualistic acceptance in all aspects of themselves.

We use divination, communication and observation to prophecise events to come, and we pay attention to all signs and don’t place negative and positive judgments toward those signs. We understand the sequence of signs.

Example; The night before I had a meeting with a client, I pulled a tarot card saying “pay attention”. I didn’t know what it referred to at the time.

I asked the spirits to send me a sign on how I could support a client who had a struggling business… and I was staring at a picture on his wall without knowing why straight away. Then, I turned my head away, and when I looked back, I saw a man in the picture, and behind him, kids and a woman walking down a pier.

And I said “where did you get that picture from?” and he answered. And I said, “well the picture has the answer to your problems.” He asked what I meant. I said “well you’re not spending enough time with your family, and because you’re not doing that, your family has become your Ghost Key.”

“Your ghost key is what’s missing in your life”. These are keys that open something in the spiritual world that result in opening something in the physical world. 

The synchronicity of sequences was the tarot card telling me to pay attention, and then my being there to pay attention to the painting in the client’s office.


We look at protection from a place of setting up Spirit Wards. So spirit wards can be anything from stones, herbs, candles, fire, dance, ritual, calling a certain elder, spirit or deities.

Spirit wards are there to assist us and give us protection we require in any given situation. The key question then is what protection do you want to have and how many wards should you use?

For my greatest ‘hack’ to increase your protection, is to evelated your devotion to spirit; spirit cannot protect you if you don’t have a relationship with spirit. How can spirit protect you, or give you messages if something is not right if there’s no relationship?


Traditional shamans are taught about the dynamics of tribal culture. In that culture, there is no ‘lack’ as everyone is onboard with sharing their resources per their specialisations. There’s no tracking transaction, but rather identifying, “what does this person need – I will provide this… because I know the tribe will be there for me when I have need”. It’s not about owing, or keeping a backlog; it’s a cultural code. You are safe. All are safe. If one in the tribe is down, all are considered down.

This is how tribal culture works. If you see a need in me, and you are part of a tribe, you will address it by initiative, and I will do the same. 

Resentment does not exist in most tribal cultures because resentment is inspired by lack, jealousy or unfairness, and these triggers are hard to foster when there’s a true dynamic of tribe, and all having a key role and sense of honored purpose and value.

Amala àṣẹ,

Shaman Durek

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