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What does a Shaman Do

We shamans use our gifts, or ‘spiritual powers’ for healing and other important functions. A shaman can seek to communicate with spirits, dead ancestors, natural animal or plant forces, or the higher powers for guidance, wisdom, protection and healing.

Often, we may need to speak, sing, whistle, pray, speak in an unknown language or make other specific sounds to attract these spirits to come into our world and fulfill their mission or to help us with our’s.

Many tribes across the world also use dance. Besides being used as an offering to give thanks to the Earth, the elements or deities, dance is used to open portals of energy, often referred to as a “Shamanic passage”. The great Netflix show I loved called “The OA” put one in the show!

Tribes known for using dance in this way include the West African tribes, Aborigines of Australia, the Maoris of New Zealand, the Sámi people of Sápmi region (Specific parts of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia) and Native Americans. Dance is one of the main keys that allow spirits to open doorways and portals so that they can come through directly to assist. The Shamanic passage also draws elemental energies to you and can call upon ancient ancestral energies rooted deep in the Earth.

We can facilitate communication with the spirit world to help bring guidance, healing, good fortune, and other desired changes. We can also teach others how to embody these abilities, and I personally enjoy this service of empowering others more than anything.

People drawn to becoming a shaman can be those who feel the pain of others easily and want to help. Empathic people, and those with that extra drive to change that which has the appearance of harm and suffering, into something of love and purity.

More traditionally, those attracted to the life of a shaman have a number experience supernatural phenomena as children – the kind that would potentially get their parents to commit them!

As children, these potential shamans could be dealing with spirits coming in their room at night and holding them down in bed to test them. They could have spirits talking to them and have a sense or feeling  of the energies of spirits in their presence.

They might feel nature speaking to them and sense other people’s feelings and thoughts. Sometimes these children can see through their eyelids at night and even conjure energies and magic.

Some can speak to animals, trees and plants. Others know how listen to the body and confront and talk to the darkness. That last point is a particularly strong one, as every shaman to be effective, must learn to be at peace with and in the darkness.