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This page serves as an introduction to shamanism, as well as a place to learn about my own shamanic offerings. Feel free to read through the page in its entirety to soak up all the words & images - or jump to the section that discusses my offerings.

What is Shamanism?

The English word "shaman" is derived from the Tungusic word "samān", used by the Evenki people in Siberia & Mongolia. Roughly translated, a samān is "one who knows" or "one who sees in the dark". The Yawanawa of Amazonian Brazil use the word "pajé" to describe their shamans, who often work with plant medicines to heal ailing souls. In Norse culture, a female shaman is known as a "Völva" or "Vølve" - a seeress, a "wise woman", a keeper of the sacred staff, and a carrier of sacred knowledge. Historically, the Völvas had close ties with the leaders of their clans and advised them diligently; even the Norse god Odin is said to have consulted with a Völva to gain her insights and advice on many occasions.

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Although each culture around the world uses a different word for "shaman", the general roles the shaman plays in any given culture are the same: the shaman is a doctor of the soul and a wisdom carrier. Some definitions of shamanism blend the roles of priest/priestess, healer, mystic, prophet, and "custodian of cultural tradition" into one. Religious scholar Mircea Eliade calls shamans "holy figures" and speaks of their ability to "pass freely back and forth through the different cosmological planes... between the seen and unseen worlds." He also writes, "the shaman is the great specialist in the human soul; he alone 'sees' it, for he knows its 'form' and its destiny." ​

For the purpose of this discussion, I will be using the words "spirit" and "soul" interchangeably to describe the unique, non-physical, non-psychological, "essence" that exists within each living thing - an essence that continues on after death, either to an afterlife, to be re-born again, or any other number of beliefs. Shamanism acknowledges that all things have a spirit - all rocks, trees, elements, animals, people - and the spirit can become ill, fragmented, or lost for a variety of reasons. The shaman's role is to focus on the healing of the spirit, rather than direct physical or psychological healing. However, since all parts of the human being are intricately interconnected, the mending of the spirit often helps to ease psychological and physical distress. 

Depending on the culture and particular gifts of the shaman, a variety of techniques may be used during a shamanic healing including: drumming, chanting, conversation, songs, dance, journeying, plant medicines, energy work, and spirit communication. One of the hallmark qualities of shamanism is the shaman's ability to enter alternate, non-ordinary realms to acquire knowledge, power, and healing tools that will help the patient. In these infinite, mysterious realms, the shaman works with spirit allies, ancestors, guides, protectors, psychopumps, and angels to remove darkness and illness from the patient's spirit and bring wholeness back to patient's soul. 

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There is no single, specific place in the world where shamanism first arouse. The Lasacaux cave in southwest France contains pre-historic paintings depicting a series of visionary, shamanic states. In the Indus Valley, where some of the earliest civilizations thrived, central shamanic images such as the axis mundi  (Tree of Life) are found in the myth of Innana, the great Mother Goddess of Sumer. In Crete, sacred sites reveal remnants of shamanic rituals and initiations - traditions that carried over into the pre-Christianity mystery schools of ancient Greece and Rome. In the book Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas, anthropologist and art historian Claudia Müller-Ebeling & her co-authors document the contribution of pre-Buddhist shamanic cultures to the current understanding of Vajrayana Buddhism; many of the powerful symbols painted into Vajrayana thangkas come from Nepalese shamans' recollections of their visits to alternate realms. 

Most shamans hold a deep connection to the land and spend a large part of their life in communion with the natural Earth. Traditionally, a shaman lives on the outskirts of any given civilization - far enough away to remain un-tangled from the noise and chaos of the community, but close enough to be accessible when needed. The shaman is not entirely removed from culture the way hermits or monastics may be; this is because the shaman is considered an active, "hands-on" member of the community.

Having said that, shamanism is not traditionally an inter-personal way of healing. The person-to-person relationship found in psychology or spiritual guidance is secondary to the shaman's primary relationship with the energies of unseen worlds, including the unseen worlds inside the patient him/herself. The patient will not always feel or logically comprehend the shamanic healing taking place - though some methods of healing are certainly more vibrant than others. One way or another, an element of trust must be placed in both the healing process and the healer. This should be easy because a skilled shaman creates a protective, holy space that allows the patient to tap into a sense of safety, peace, and authentic connection with their true self. 

Some shamans work with the death process, guiding the human soul from the Middleworld into a Heavenly realm during the great initiation that is Death. Shamanic doulas work with mothers during the birthing process, restoring the rite of sacred feminine care to childbirth. Some shamans help to maintain the health of a culture by re-telling or creating sacred stories & myths. In this way, the shaman may be considered a "sacred scribe". Mythologist Martin Shay recounts his meeting with a Lakota medicine man who told him that sacred stories "release a sort of oxygen". The power of words is not to be underestimated in shamanic work because: when a powerful story-teller writes or orally shares a story, those words are infused with an essential, nourishing, life-force energy, like oxygen for the soul. 

Given its rich history, it is important to remember that shamanism is not solely an ancient practice, but rather a living system of healing arts found all around the world today. Many of the old traditions have evolved & grown to support contemporary ailments (often of the mind) that exist within 21st century societies, while also continuing to support the healing of age-old ails of the soul through methods that include: soul retrieval, soul mending, energetic clearing, protection against dark attacks, curse removal, spell removal, blessings, journeying, depossessions, psychic surgeries, ceremonies of initiation, rites of passage, plant-medicine ceremonies, birth rituals, death rituals, and seeking spirit permission before disturbing natural lands. 

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Are Shamans Born or Made?

Shamans, much like mystics, have the unique ability to see deep inside the patient's soul, and this is an intrinsic quality that cannot be learned, only refined. The same can be said for the shaman's abilities to "see beyond the veils" of illusion in the physical world, effortlessly traverse through non-ordinary realms, and commune with non-physical beings. Shamans are born with these and other natural gifts; although these abilities often do require nurturing. Depending on the culture, a variety of trainings, teachings, quests, dietas, periods of abstinence, stretches of isolation, apprenticeships, and tests may play a part in the shaman's preparatory process for his/her role. It is often the elders (or other shamans) of the group that notice the inherent abilities & proclivities of a particular adolescent in the community, and they begin to train that individual in the art of spirit-healing. The individual may also undergo one - or many - death and re-birth experiences (shamanic resurrections). And finally, the budding shaman will receive direct guidance and directives from the spirits & ancestors themselves. In fact, is often these direct lessons in dharmic duty that keep the individual on the shamanic path; many shamans initially do not want to undertake the role of shamanic healer at all, as it requires great sacrifice, focus, devotion, responsibility, and integrity. 

As within any arena in life, there are varying degrees of proficiency and "pristineness" found within shamanic work. All cultures acknowledge that there are very lightful, benevolent, loving, and sincere shamans... as well as dark shamans that abuse their gifts and take advantage of people seeking aid. Sexual, emotional, psychological, energetic, and financial abuse can occur when the shaman is not aligned with the highest source of light, or if he/she is motivated by a desire for power, riches, or notoriety. Indeed, these abuses are on the rise within a multitude of contemporary "healing" communities including coaching groups, online self-help programs, plant medicine circles, and retreats. Oftentimes, oppressive behaviors, egoic indulgences, and old-world patriarchal perspectives are cunningly wrapped up in cool, trending modalities.

It is best to think critically about the healer you choose to work with, while also using your intuition to discern the safety and purity of the situation. The individual you choose to trust for your healing should have already worked through their own traumas, should be living a life you respect, should have exceptionally clean energy, should leave you feeling empowered, and should not make you dependent on them in any way. And finally: don't judge a book by its cover. While some shamans dress quite ceremonially, others do not. Some of the finest shamans I've encountered have been unassuming folks wearing t-shirts & track pants. Powerful healers come in many external forms and personality types.

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Shamanic Healings I Offer

Shamanic Healings I Offer

Depending on what you're working through, I offer a variety of shamanic healings to help you return to your most peaceful, embodied, clear, and empowered self. Some patients come to me with very severe cases; others seek only mild healing. Some people know exactly what they need to feel like themselves again; others are unsure why they feel so disjointed, cloudy, or drained of their life force energy. No matter the case, we'll get to the bottom of it. I'm here to support your healing process, no matter how difficult the journey may seem to you - and I'm never afraid, disgusted, or shocked by what may we uncover. There is no judgement in this healing space, only tender love and care.

*Hapé Ceremonies*

There is an abundance of information on the hapé healings I offer that can be found on my page about hapé ceremonies here. Since there is an entire page devoted to this form of healing, I won't discuss it here, but I will say: I have a strong alliance with the spirit of hapé and having been working with this plant medicine for many years. Hapé ceremonies can be private, with a partner or close friend, or in a small group of people you know. 

*Sacred Sound Healings*

There is also a separate page on my site devoted solely to sacred sound healings, here. As with hapé, these healings can be private, with a partner or close friend, or in a small group of people you know. Explore the sound healing page to learn much more about this form of healing.

*Energetic Clearings + Detaching from Tendrils*

We live in a world that is filled with an infinite array of energies, and just as a child innocently gets dirty after playing outside all day, so, too, do humans pick up all sorts energies after spending time out in the world. Many of the energies we pick up aren't inherently bad; they are simply "not our own" and require clearing from our system so we that can be sovereign again. Having said that, there are certainly, also yucky & problematic energies that may find their way into our system and affect us adversely. 

Additionally, another being or person can - knowingly or not - attach their energy to your own and act as a parasitic force upon you, sucking out your life force energy for their own gain and power. These people/beings may not know how to create their own power, and they feed off the light and power of their victims. When the person or being is acting from a "dark" nature, they are reaching their energetic tendrils out to your field and clenching to your spirit in attempt to remove you from all sources of joy & empowerment in your life (your God, your Beloved, your health, etc.) Just like predators in the wild, they try to separate you from your pack/support/safety sources until you are alone and vulnerable, making you an easier target to consume. 

Often when a patient comes to me with feelings of "soul loss" or "life force loss" or "power loss", and they feel as if, rather than being depleted from some thing (like an event, trauma, or circumstance), someone is responsible for depleting them - the force that is feeding off their energy is coming from a person they know (i.e. a partner, a former partner, a parent, a friend, or an acquaintance.) 

Examples of Energetic Clearings

A former police detective released multiple traumas he'd been carrying in his body, accumulated over his time on the force. He also released curses that had been placed on him by family members growing up.

A couple both released energies they had been carrying due to an overbearing relative that had been staying in their home.

A patient released a variety of energies she'd picked up after a social weekend out "on the town".

A patient released tendrils tangled inside her from an abusive ex who was still controlling her. 

A patient was cleared of the lingering energies in her body from a rape. She also released the shame around the sexual assault.

A patient released deeply-rooted energies of fear and disempowerment he'd been carrying since childhood.

A patient released an attachment he had to the anger he was carrying towards a relative.

A patient released the lingering energy of COVID that was still present in her body. To note: this was not a release of the physical illness - she was long recovered from the virus itself; this was a release of the energy of the virus that was still present in her chest and head.

A woman released a strong and unwanted energy she'd been carrying since an encounter with her partner's ex.

A patient was cleared of his addiction to cannabis (I am not making any promises that addictions can be cleared. It has happened, but don't expect it.)

A patient released the energy around a series of traumatic experiences she had recently gone through.

Similarly, a patient was cleared of the attachment she had to both her trauma and the narrative surrounding her trauma.

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*Compassionate Depossessions*

Also known as "spirit removal," this is, perhaps, some of the most misunderstood shamanic work. Depossession cases need not be approached with fear. In fact, many people's perceptions of possessions have been gravely & inaccurately influenced by horror movie exorcisms or tales of evil spirits being violently exorcised by Catholic priests. Those depictions are filled with darkness, fear, pre-conceived beliefs about the nature of the possessing spirit, and no compassion for the spirit at all - a spirit which, in almost all cases, is not a dark entity. In fact, the priest/healer/shaman's own belief system about the spirit(s) inside the patient can greatly influence the depossession process, as can the patient's beliefs. Even the kindest, most gentle spirit may react poorly to being labeled "demonic" or "evil" and may not respond well to aggressive attempts of being forced out of the place it's been inhabiting.

Sometimes, the possessing spirit doesn't even realize it's in the wrong place. Other times, the spirit had a noble reason for entering the patient, such as to provide protection or solace during a time of trauma in the patient's life. The spirit may not realize they were only meant to provide the patient with temporary protection, or protection from outside of the patient's body. There are also cases when a spirit is attracted to the patient's "light" instead of returning to the Source light above. And there are cases where the patient was in a very open, vulnerable, or altered state when the spirit entered them (i.e. they were a child, or they were in a medicine ceremony) - and the spirit innocently entered the patient's body when they crossed paths in a liminal space.

Another misconception about possession cases is that the possessing spirit doesn't want to leave the patient. Although that is sometimes the case, it is much more likely that the spirit is grateful to be released and guided to a more resonant resting place. Even in cases where the possessing spirit is a negative force, the depossession does NOT need to be a drama-filled event. So far in my experience (as well as in the experiences of my teachers) "drama" during the depossession process is not the norm. Most depossessions are actually rather mundane and conflict-free, assuming the shaman approaches the case with compassion, power, and skil

My Training in Compassionate Depossession Work

"Compassionate Depossession" is a heart-centered method of depossession that clears patients of the suffering beings inside them in a way that benefits both the patient and the possessing spirit(s). I was trained in Compassionate Depossession in the UK at The Sacred Trust, under the guidance of shamanic practitioner, Simon Buxton. Simon is the founder of The Sacred Trust and has worked and trained within shamanic traditions for over three decades. He is also an elected Fellow of The Royal Anthropological Institute, and a member of the Oxford University Anthropological Society. The training included hands-on depossession work involving spirits that were: human, non-human, elemental, animal, from other dimensions, from other places in the cosmos, and from "thought forms & obsessions". I also learned the art of communicating with the possessing spirits in order to move them to a place of resolution & peace; how to fix the residual tears in the patient's luminous field after the depossession; and ways to help the patient remain sovereign after their depossession is complete. 

In addition to my training in Compassionate Depossession, I've been exposed to other equally loving forms of spirit removal during the 14 years observed & learned from my primary shamanic teacher who worked with Ayahuasca. Although he is too humble to consider himself a teacher at all, he remains one of the biggest influences in my life, and it has been a privilege to learn from him. He approaches shamanic work with such care, skill, and integrity, that I have no choice but to hold myself to the same, highest standards in my own healing work

How To Know if a Depossession is Needed

I will not get into symptoms or causes of depossession here, as they often overlap with other forms of energetic clearing that do not involve a possessing spirit inside the patient. Once we meet in a space of shamanic healing, your case will become clear to me. I never label patients as possessed in any way until it is self-evident to the patient that they do, indeed, have a possessing spirit(s) inside or attached to them. I am not here to create further trauma in your life by planting ideas or images into your mind. Having said that, if you do know you are carrying a spirit and require a depossession, then I'm comfortable labeling your case as such. For all other cases, we will go into a space of healing together and you can trust that what needs to be released, will be released. There are even cases where the patient has no idea they are experiencing a depossession; they simply feel "back to themselves again" once the process is complete. The label of the healing is not important; the healing itself is.  


Examples of Depossession Cases

The spirit of an elderly woman who had just passed away attached to my patient while he was in the hospital visiting his ill mother. In speaking with the spirit, I learned how tragic her passing had been to her; no one had come to visit her during her dying days, the hospital staff had been rude and dismissive of her needs, and after she died, a nurse complained about the smell in the hospital room. The elderly woman's spirit had latched on to my patient and remained with him for several months until our deposession session.

The spirit of a Viking warrior had come in to protect a young girl who was being abused by her parents. He had remained with the girl for over 30 years until she sat down for a depossession. The same woman also had two curses placed upon her by each of her parents; the curses were also removed. 

During a depossession, my patient released an elemental spirit, and it was returned to its origin in the Earth. The elemental spirit had entered my patient's mother when her mother's family had disturbed land on a slate hill to build their home there. The spirit was then passed on from the mother to the daughter, in utero.

The spirit of a deceased human woman had entered a girl while she was being sexually abused. Decades later, during the depossession, the spirit was initially hesitant to leave because she believed she still needed to protect the girl - who was now a woman. Eventually, the spirit realized the woman could protect herself, so she left into the Heavens.

An "angry demon" spirit was purged from my patient duri
ng a depossession healing. 

Multiple, dark entities were removed from my patient who had picked up the entities over years of entangling himself in dark, sexual places such as strip clubs, bars, and websites that allowed for transactional encounters. 

A woman released several spirit entities that she'd picked up during her time serving 

My patient released herself from the spirit of an oppressive religious figure who had entered her ancestral lineage long ago to repress & stifle the power of the women in the bloodline. 

A woman who channeled star language was depossessed of an entire alien collective that had entered her body to observe humanity through her vessel. I sent the collective back to the star system from where they came (which was an adventure in itself...)

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There is often a lot of crossover between energetic clearings, detaching from parasitic forces, spell removal, and depossession cases. As I mentioned before, it's not imperative that you know exactly what's going on before you come in to begin to heal. I decided to share a specific case study below that illustrates a complex combination of ails. 

A Dark, Dark Spell

When this patient first came to me, not only had he been under a dark, dark spell for many years already, but the weaver of the spell was still in his life manipulating him, still keeping him lost, and still feeding off his life-force energy. In fact, my patient believes the spell would have literally killed him if hadn't reached out for help when he did. This story is being shared with his encouragement and blessing, in hopes of helping others.

This case is of epic proportion and doesn't fall neatly into one category; there were so many dark forces at play (curses, spells, parasitic energies, attacks, hoo
ks, entanglements, delusions, possessing entities) - I'd never experienced anything like it. This was not an ordinary healing and did not involve a "simple" movement of energies out of the patient's body during a session or two. This case took over a year, and took every psychological, spiritual, shamanic, compassionate, and FIERCE piece of wisdom in the books. And all the wisdom not in the books! And divine guidance, grace, and love.

All of that was required because my patient had been trapped in a tangled mess of thorny brambles and thick, poisonous vines in a dark, enchanted forest for years before I encountered him. That's the analogy we used when we didn't want to talk about the actual details. We spoke of "swords of light" slicing through the brambles. We spoke of heroines, Gods, & Kings...of sorcerers and demons and buddhas and devas...of the timeless battle of good versus evil. It all unfolded in fro
nt of us like a classic fairy tale. At one point, I called upon a teacher for guidance and couldn't help but share how unbelievably, perfectly, poetically, mythical my patient's story was. My teacher said, "Well, all those great myths did come from somewhere." 

If you'd like to read his story (a small version of it, that is), please write me, and I will give you access to the link. I don't feel comfortable making his story too public at this time, but if you feel it might help you in some way along your journey, you can read this terrible and fascinating case

Some final notes on this topic: the people who fall vulnerable to spells, possessions, and parasitic energies are not all a certain "type." If you feel there's something dark or unexplainable happening to you, that doesn't need to mean you're insane, un-intelligent, superstitious, wishy-washy, weak, or any other derogatory label. The patient in this story was an extremely bright and kind human being, and a very successful businessman. And, he did not carry any sort of darkness in him before this spell was cast, nor would he have been categorized as psychologically unstable. I mention this because I want to remove the stigma some people have around the "type" of people who find themselves victims of spells. Also keep in mind: whether or not you believe in the vast array of energetic happenings occurring all around us, doesn't change the validity of their existence. 

*Space Clearings - Land Permissions* 

Similar to the way human beings can pick up and hold unwanted energies, so, too, can spaces, homes, offices, and land hold such energies. This is especially true if an energetically charged event happened there (a death, a murder, a suicide, a war, an affair, abuse, etc.) However, it's not only important to clear a space of traumatic memories, but it's also desired by many people to clear a space of any energies that aren't their own. For example, if you move into a new house and still feel the former inhabitants' energy lingering, you may wish to have that energy cleared.

In some cases, there are spirits lingering in a space or on a plot of land that you wish to inhabit. It is important that your expectations are realistic when attempting to have these spirits or energies "move on." If they are native to that space or land, and they were there long before you, they may not desire to go - and isn't always realistic to expect them to. In those cases, it's a matter of receiving permission to peacefully co-exist together. 

*Soul Delivery* 

Sometimes when a human, animal, or other mortal energy passes away, its spirit lingers on the Earthly plane. This may either be due to confusion, attachments, unfinished "business", or lack of guidance on how to transition. The process of death is a mysterious and complex one, but all spirits deserve to be ushered to a place of peace & resolution. An example of this was a house I was called to clear before it was going to be sold. A suicide had taken place in the home, and the man's spirit was still lingering there. During the ceremony I held in the home with my former assistant, not only did we clear a medley of traumatic memories & energies from the space itself, but also: the soul of the recently deceased man made himself present to me, and after he shared several meaningful messages he wished to pass on to his family, I - with aid of a powerful psychopump spirit - delivered his soul to the Heavens, where he could rest in peace.  

*My Background*

To learn more about my training in shamanic work, you can read this portion of my bio from my website's home page. Or, if you missed it, you can read about "My Training in Compassionate Depossession Work" on this page here. Or, for a more narrative glimpse into my childhood and the connection to the spirit realm I've always had, you can read a little story here.


This living angel works at my side during sacred sound healings, hapé ceremonies, select depossessions, and select energetic & home clearings. Jessica is a compassionate, loving, devoted ally to this work, and I am blessed to have her as a healing partner. You can learn more about Jessica at the bottom of the Sacred Sound Healings Page.

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