Shamanism is the most ancient spiritual practice known to humankind. Many anthropologists believe that the practice dates back over 100,000 years. The word “Shaman” comes from the Tungus tribe in Siberia and it means spiritual healer or one who sees in the dark. Shamanism has been practiced in Siberia, Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, Greenland, and native North and South America.

A shaman is a man or woman who uses the ability to see “with the strong eye” or “with the heart” to travel into hidden realms. We interact directly with helping spirits to address the spiritual aspect of illness. Shamanism teaches us that everything that exists is alive, has a spirit and is interconnected.

Illness from A Shamanic Perspective
An illness could manifest at an emotional or physical level, however we (Shamans) look for spiritual imbalance or disharmony. The three causes of illness are Power Loss, Soul Loss and having a Spiritual Intrusion. Typically, there would often be a combination of causes happening. Rarely would you see a person just having soul loss or a spiritual intrusion?

Power Loss
This is where a person loses his/her power animal or guardian spirit that has been protecting him. Typical symptoms of power loss are chronic depression, chronic suicidal tendencies, chronic illness, and chronic misfortune.

Spiritual Intrusions

Often when a person is missing a guardian spirit or his vital essence there is an opening in the body. Since the universe cannot stand a void, something might come up to fill up that space. Spiritual intrusions come from negative thought-forms. It is important for us to express our anger, frustration, and sadness, however we can sometimes send these energies to ourselves, others, and into the environment like a psychic arrow. And these energies can create spiritual intrusions. The signs of a spiritual intrusion would be a localized problem such as localized pain or some form of cancer.

Soul Retrieval: How Shamans Heal Trauma
Whenever we suffer an emotional or physical trauma in our life, a piece of our soul (or our life force) flees the body in order to survive the experience. In psychology, we talk about this as dissociation. Any event that causes shock can result in soul loss, for example, any kind of abuse, an accident, surgery, or the death of a loved one. Once any kind of shamanic healing work is performed it is up to the client to look at how to create a healthy lifestyle and attract healthy relationships that will support wholeness and a life filled with healing. How do we want to use the energy that was returned from the soul retrieval and our returned vitality to create a positive present and future for ourselves? And how do we bring passion and meaning back into our lives again so that we thrive instead of just survive? All these issues I call “life after
healing” and are crucial to creating long-term healing after a body of energy work.