What Is Shamanism

Shamanism is the most ancient spiritual practice known to humankind. We know from the archaeological evidence the practice dates back at least 40,000 years. Some anthropologists believe that the practice dates back over 100,000 years.

The word shaman is derived from the word “saman” and comes from the Tungus tribe in Siberia. It means “a person who knows” or “wise one”. 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 heart to journey into hidden realms. The shaman interacts directly with the spirits to address the spiritual aspect of illness and perform soul retrievals, retrieve lost power, as well as remove spiritual blockages. Shamans act as healers, doctors, priests and priestesses, psychotherapists, mystics, and storytellers.

Shamanism teaches us that everything that exists is alive and has a spirit. Shamans speak of a web of life that connects all of life and the spirit that lives in all things. Everything on earth is interconnected and any belief that we are separate from other life forms including the earth, stars, wind, etc is purely an illusion.

Sandra Ingermann - Shamanism: Healing of Individuals and the Planet

Adapting traditional shamanism to the 21st Century

I have my shamanic foundations firmly based in the Peruvian shamanic traditions. I also know that those traditions are at the centre of their local culture and beliefs. They belong to them and they have been part of their lives for centuries. I am not Peruvian so I used the transformative energies of south-american shamanism and adapted it to our own local culture and society. By combining the two of them I quickly became aware of its empowering and transformative potential. I started to see people really connecting with that new shamanic energy for personal growth, healing, and empowerment.

Working with shamanism not only has the power to change you on a personal level, but can bring about changes on a global level. The ripples of working on yourself and healing your own wounds spreads out to everyone near you. It helps the energy of the place to change. The only way to change the world is by starting with yourself, healing yourself, facing your fears and learning to engage with your shadow. Shamanism gives us the tools to do so.

Bringing traditional Peruvian shamanism into the 21st century and making it our own is at the core of what for me modern shamanism is all about. There is no separation and shamanism has an uncanny ability to adapt.
We are all working with the same energies, and it really doesn’t matter whether you’re a shaman in Siberia, an ayahuascero in the Amazon, a sangoma in South Africa, or a shamanic healer in London. The teachings at the centre of shamanism are the same in all shamanic traditions.

In shamanism we acknowledge that there are three worlds: the lower world (our sub-conscious), the middle world (the physical), and the upper world (our higher-self). We all understand that everything starts and ends with ourselves, that the reality we see every day is just an illusion, that we are all connected to each other and to the world around us.

Modern shamanism is not about finding answers outside of yourself, it’s all about you. There is no hierarchy, there is no wise guru to give the answers, there is no dogma. We are all on the same level, connected to Mother Earth and united as one. Through that unity we support and encourage each other on the path to real empowerment.

Shamanism puts full control back with yourself, the control to create your own reality, to really find out who you are and why you are here.

As a shamanic community we create and offer a safe space where anything can be said without judgement or attachment. We are all teachers and students within that space. As such we can create our own way of working with shamanic energies. There is no right or wrong way to work with shamanism. As we learn to connect with shamanism those energies adapt to us individually and teach us in a way that resonates the strongest within us individually. That will then open up doorways to letting go of our past, overcoming our fears, finding our personal magic and joy, and ultimately becoming truly empowered.