am I Shaman?

topic posted Tue, September 8, 2009 - 4:47 PM by  Jivatma
A few years ago I felt a strong pull towards shamanism, it was the only "religion" *( I know, i know..) that was open enough to explain my life as it was unfolding then. I was entranced by it, don't know why.

In the years since, I've played around with a few herbal things that have to do with healing... but I've never really healed anyone of anything. Many times actually I feel like I bring out the worst in people who get close to me, or I to them.

I don't know why I was drawn to shamanism so much , aside from having the strangest of coincidences and experiences occurring, and finding no other place to turn to. i have a strong desire to heal people, I have always had it since I can remember. But, I don't feel these two things add up to me being a healer. It seems like when I try and help people they don't want it, or if they do, I am of no use or a negative to the situation. I want to help people, but is desire the same as a gift?

I'm more of a mental person than a spiritual person, which adds to my confusion.
posted by:
  • Labels have no meaning' this stuff comes from the heart' working as conduit'
    Find someone to teach you of which you wish to learn'
    Then go and find yourself'
    Ask your own questions of yourself and listen very carefuly to the answers!

    I wish you all the best

    Love + Light

    Nobu Nganga +
    • Probably not.

      Maybe look into different healing traditions, try to find a teacher (human, plant, spirit, or otherwise) that will help you develop your aspirations.

      You do have a goal, right? Or is it merely an interest? A calling? A fetish? Do you wish to heal others? Work with plants? Pray alot? Meditate? See pretty colors? Drop out of society?

      I don't find the generic 'shaman' label to be of any use, unless it is granted someone in light of their healing prowess and the perspiration and dedication to a specific path. In my opinion, appointing oneself shaman is akin to scribbling a Chinese medical doctorate on a napkin. Its out of context, inappropriate, and arrogant.

      Thats just me though. Its a hip new trend to be into shamanism, so you may already be a faith or plant healer!
      • Nick,

        What are some examples of healing traditions?

        I wonder if Shamanism may have become a fetish over the last few years, lol. I don't really have a goal: Sometimes I want to heal others, lots of times want to drop out of society though. Seems like the whole worlds against me. I always thought working with wild animals would be cool but I wouldn't know where to start with that.
  • We don't heal people. we just help them open the door to heal themselves.
    also, we don't have the key (to the door), they have the key, we just know how to help them find it. ( some of us, sometimes)
    but if they are not looking for the key, then how on earth can we help them find it?
    that is why you can only help those that ask for help.

    to try and help somebody who is not asking for help is kind of like if somebody came into your bedroom and started rooting through your drawers.

    we don't always know when we have helped somebody heal. we are always helping each other in one way or another.

    the question "am i a shaman?"... if nobody has told you that you are a shaman then generally speaking you are not. a shaman is chosen/recognised by the community that they serve.
  • One can certainly be drawn to shamanism for different reasons, as one can be drawn to spiritual practices for different reasons.
    Being drawn to shamanism does not make one a shaman anymore than having spiritual experiences makes one a guru.

    I think that a person asks that question, the answer is no, at least not yet.

    So as was said above, follow your heart. I'll add in avoid labels and avoid thinking too much.
    • "There's glory for you!"
      "I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
      Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "
      "But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument,' " Alice objected.
      "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
      "The question is, " said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
      "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty. "which is to be master—that's all."

      -- Steve
    • Unsu...
      'One can certainly be drawn to shamanism for different reasons, as one can be drawn to spiritual practices for different reasons.
      Being drawn to shamanism does not make one a shaman anymore than having spiritual experiences makes one a guru.

      I think that a person asks that question, the answer is no, at least not yet.

      So as was said above, follow your heart. I'll add in avoid labels and avoid thinking too much.''

      i like common sense, thanks Richard.
      still haven't found a good worry reason yet. :)
  • My own beliefs correspond to this:

    The Path of the Sacred Warrior heals the Spirit.
    The Path of the Sacred Clown heals the Soul.
    The Path of the Shaman heals the Body.
    The Path of the Sacred Thief heals the Mind.

    Here's a link to 3 of the paths:

    The link above points specifically to Native American Spiritual Paths....but these particular Paths can be applied to any indigenous culture or tradition.

    NOTE: It is the healing of YOURSELF that is most important. No one can really heal others. We can only bring them to the place where they can heal themselves.....a Shaman is somebody who can heal themself.
    • aho, Maggie

      The warrior path does sound intriguing.
      • Unsu...
        I don´t have any knowledge of Shamanism, but work on an intuitive level.

        When I was in Arizona 12 years ago. There were some fascinating perceptions coming into focus.

        I said to a former girlfriend that the mountains were to the left of the airport. She said they were. Driving up towards Payson, I saw some flat topped Mountains. I looked and said the Indians prayed on top of those. Apparently that was the case, and they were called Mesas.

        I often thought I resonated with the Wolf, but have often dreamed of flying like an Eagle over Mountains.

        Whatever was happening to me, was for a reason. It was a trip that became a great awakening.
  • It is probably more accurate to say "am I interested in shamanism?" and you already know the answer to this one. A good exercise to do is be really clear with yourself on what you think things mean and what you want from life. What is a shaman to you? It sounds like a healer. A shaman can heal if they choose but those roles don't necessarily equal each other. As others have said, there are other healing styles. If healing is your thing, or is what you want to do, then look into all the ways that one can heal. If your healing hasn't worked out in the past, that would make sense because it sounds like you haven't been trained in healing. I wouldn't be a good pianist the first times I try but I could be one day with effort. Same thing. So, healing with take effort and learning from someone. This (these) teacher(s) may be people, animals, plants, or spirits. It sounds like you like trying to heal with plants. Sounds good. Try spending a lot of time opening yourself up to the plants. Try to listen to them with all of yourself. It will take time but they will work with you if you really want to learn. Be willing to give back to the plants. Do things that help them and they will be more willing to help you. You don't speak the same language as the plants, most likely, so be open to all the signs, images, thoughts and so on, that occur while you are connecting with them. They are probably trying to reach out to you and help you. Your intuition will be a good bridge for communication. Think about why you want to heal. Think about what you would like your life to be like. Be really honest with yourself. When you are honest with yourself, your path can become clear.
    • Unsu...
      don't seek to label yourself anything. Especially if the people you serve think something different behind your back! lol

      the people you serve will call you what you are. It is your community that gives you that 'kind' of status.
      • Unsu...
        i keep a plastic rattle on my altar, to remind me of my un-importance, and to 'keep it real'. And its not a pretty one either. :)

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