Entering into the final stage of my three year shamanic practitioner training in Creative Shamanism with the School for Creative Shamanism, I’ve realised that the Shamanic techniques and practices that I have studiously learned are really only a tiny part of the whole package that comes with this depth of practice, healing and personal awakening.
I’ve been a Reiki Practitioner for almost 20 years, dipping in and out of Shamanic practice for the last 10 years and after taking the decision to dive deeper into my Shamanic practice, with this three year course, I have noticed that my work with Reiki has reached new depths and intensity. A simple hands-on Reiki healing has taken on a whole new dimension as more and more is bought into my awareness from the spirit world.
It’s not just the Reiki treatments which have shifted in intensity, sitting in sacred space with fellow sisters, walks in nature, meditation, writing and teaching workshops have all taken on a new depth, with increased power and identity as my Shamanic practice has deepened and my connection to the spirit world has become stronger. It’s like those Shamanic magical senses, now awakened, don’t want to be turned off, they are switched on and this path is calling me on, no matter what.
Even my work with plants has gone from a simple desire to learn about the physical and medicinal properties of plants and healing herbs to developing a relationship with plant spirit and a whole new level of plant healing, a more holistic way of wholeness.
I thought that I would undertake the three year course, learn the necessary Shamanic techniques and pop out the other end with my certificate and step forth into the world with a brand new set of healing tools, to add to my current practice with a neat little label of “Shamanic Practitioner”.
And here comes the irony, yes of course on one level all of that has certainly been achieved, but what I feel is really occurring is a much larger unfolding of my great life adventure with questions arising regarding who I am, what my unique creative talents are and what part I am to play on this Earth in this life time. I’m not even sure that I want to be labelled as a “Shamanic Practitioner” anymore.
A Shamanic path doesn’t have a graduation date, a time when learning is done, when the journey is complete. The path and the relationship with self and spirit, with one foot in this world and one foot in the “other world” just keeps unfolding, bending this way and that, opening up into greater delights, darker shadows, deeper wounds, more blissful moments and deeper wonder, questions and challenge.
The path of claiming my true authority, speaking my truth, owning my power, is becoming clearer, just not necessarily easier. There are beautiful moments of wonderful clarity and connection and many moments of healing with a sense of wholeness and restoration for clients and myself.
I don’t know where I would be without it. I can’t stand outside in nature without feeling connected to a much greater whole. I don’t close my eyes as I sleep at night and feel alone, because I am not. I can’t be next to a plant without sensing it as a living being that is interacting with me and I can’t accept the drama of life as it is.
Walking the Shamanic path means that we need to step back from the drama and let it fall away to reveal the truth. And this is hardest of all. This is where I struggle, this is where my ego cries out to hold its reign over victim-hood. This is where the small, sad, wounded part of me, still wants life to be unfair, still wants to be recognised and saved.
Love has been, and is the greatest teaching for me. It is for me the most important practice of all.
What I’ve learned most, isn’t the power retrievals, soul restorations or psycho pomp techniques, it’s not the ability to communicate with spirit and the natural world, create and hold safe space, hold ceremony or disconnect from energy and stay grounded. It’s actually about love and compassion. What surprises me is the capacity I hold in my heart for love, how large my heart can expand and then expand some more to find love for myself and feel compassion for others. Love has been, and is the greatest teaching for me. It is for me the most important practice of all. It’s where it all starts and it all ends. Healing, journeying through life, honouring our talents, overcoming our suffering and becoming the best person we can be, doesn’t start with finding a teacher, a healer, a career or a self-help book. It starts with love and compassion for oneself. It starts with patiently pausing to give space to the unwanted, disappointed, wounded and fearful scattered parts of ourselves and facing them with love, acceptance, forgiveness and compassion. It’s easier for me to see those parts when I am triggered by others; friends, family, colleagues, utility companies, political systems… and yes of course this happens every day. Seeing the world with the Shaman’s eyes, hearing the world with the Shaman’s ears and feeling the world with the Shaman’s heart does not turn off, it happens every day. And the love and the light are unending, infinite and always available. A kind word, a smile, a moment of understanding can change the course of the world.
I feel really blessed by this path and especially the last almost 3 years of training with Carol Day at the School for Creative Shamanism. What an experience of wonder, tears of joy and frustration as I continue to journey to wholeness and discover how I will emerge as a Shamanic Practitioner when the course ends in May and the adventure that lies in wait for me beyond that when my Shamanic path continues to unfold.
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