Monday, July 20, 2009

A Word on Shamanic Training

As many of you already know, one of the things I do as a part of my livelihood is teach weekend workshops on shamanic practices. There is a series of workshops that forms the foundation, and then there are other intermediate, advanced and master tracks for those that want to take it that far. In addition, I do take a very few people on as apprentices. This could easily give the impression that I believe that an individual can be trained to be a shaman. So – let me be clear: No workshop - or series of workshops - can make you a shaman. What it can do is train you in essential skills that you can apply either in your own growth and healing or in service to others.

The work of a shaman is to serve community, and individuals within that community, at a soul level. We no longer live in traditional community, and so this can become problematic. What is the community the shaman serves? This question has many answers. Sometimes the shaman's community consists of his or her extended family and close friends. In other cases, the shaman's clients and students create a community through the work they do together.

If the circumstances of your life and the substance of your spirit are such that they provide you with the foundation and the desire to become a shaman, than this might be a good way to begin or continue that journey. I have a few students who have gone on to become apprentices and are working toward practicing shamanism in their own right - in their own way. But this is the exception to the rule. Most who participate in these trainings simply find that the experience benefits their own life and the lives of those around them.


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