What is a Shamanic Practitioner?
A Shamanic Practitioner is someone who acts as a bridge between the shamanic indigenous world and the modern world and borrows the medicine and wisdom of these shamanic people to bring healing and balance.
I would say it was 17 years of preparation before I began as a shamanic practitioner, and I have found this practice to be both beautiful and humbling.
People who come to see me are coming for the intangible, a connection that will take them deeper into their relationship with themselves and Spirit.
It is also in these healing moments I have found all the preparation and learning I have experienced to be worth its weight in gold. In addition to honoring Spirit, the allies and the space I am working in, a clean and protected physical and energetic space is crucial for healing to take place; without it, the Unseen World does not have a container in which to work. And a strong container helps to hold the ego at bay giving it little to feed on.
My ego seems to challenge me most as a healing is about to begin. The mind gets on its wheel and off it goes. It is also where I have found prayer to be extraordinarily powerful and a wonderful ally. It cuts through the mind chatter and allows Great Spirit ~ the true source of healing, to come through. The greatest challenge is turning the healing over to Spirit and getting out of the way to allow healing to happen, trusting that the person is getting everything he/she needs for their highest good and growth. I use prayer continuously throughout each session and have found that particular prayers matter. For example, I use a protection prayer I learned from Paul Selig, author of the book, I Am The Word. He uses a prayer at the start of each workshop that I have found to be very powerful. It reminds me that all healing is between Spirit and the client, I am just the container through which Spirit works. I have read ‘prayer is talking to God, while meditation is listening’. As a practitioner, I have found this to be very true.
Singing is crucial in the shamanic practitioner’s tool kit. Anyone can sing, as I have learned, and people blessed with the voice of a singer know how powerful it is; it can raise the frequency of a room, change a mood, etc. This has been one area where I have been really challenged. People who know me would not peg me as a singer, having retired at the tender age of eleven in answer to the pleading of the school choir and right before my voice broke. Shamanic singing is a different story though, I have found it be to very beautiful, since what really matters is that it is a prayer being sung. What is important is the intention behind the song or icaro. It is a communication to Spirit to do specific work with the person before me, an instruction to bring healing, love and blessings into their life; what a beautiful idea!
Prayer and singing are just two of the tools a shamanic practitioner uses, but these are tools for everyday living as well. The natural world is a gift from Spirit, so it too responds to prayer and singing. Saying hello to a tree, to the Earth, the sky, singing in nature, what a beautiful way to honor Great Spirit. In doing so, we honor ourselves and those around us as we connect to the Great Mystery within.
By John Flynn