What is Shamanic Healing?

*See below for more information on sliding scale home visit sessions in Los Angeles from July 26 – August 20.*

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As I share my true soul work with the world, I am drawn into the same conversation again and again and again, which usually starts with: “But Jane, what is shamanic healing?”

I have to admit, it’s not an easy question for me to answer—even as shamanic healing lives and breathes in my bones and my dreams. But as it has healed me on so many levels, I believe it has the capacity to heal our bodies, our soul sicknesses and our world.

Shamanism is not a religion—it is a way of living, one that is present in many cultures around the world—from Peru (where I am currently studying for the second time this year), to Ireland, to Africa and Southeast Asia, and to the Americas, where indigenous North Americans practiced centuries of harmonious relations with the Earth. To each of these cultures, shamanism might represent different facets of connecting to the soul, to the Earth, to truth, to God—to however you describe that which is greater than our small human forms.

There are many ways that indigenous cultures might describe their healing practices—and many of the teachers and healers I have studied with describe it similarly, but from different lenses. I can only describe it in terms of my own experience.

Shamanism, in my experience, operates under the interplay of two concepts: wholeness and separation.

In indigenous cultures, there is an understanding of wholeness—that human beings are part of the great web of life, inextricably connected to Source/God/Goddess/Earth/Great Spirit, and that when are in right relation to ourselves, our communities and the world around us, we are whole.

Wholeness in western language might translate to peaceful, balanced, healthy, joyful, creative, harmonious and in remembrance of our divine nature as soul in a human body. When we are whole, we are in health, able to love, able to fulfill our unique paths as human beings.

The other concept that is integral to understanding shamanism and shamanic healing is the concept of separation. As the above about wholeness is true, the opposite is also true: when we are separate (from Earth/God/Great Spirit/Community) or from parts of ourselves, that separation manifests as disease, soul sickness, struggle, loneliness, lack of power and general amnesia about who we are, why we are here and how we are related to the rest of the web of Life.

The magic and mystery of our world and how shamanic practices re-connect us to that Source is greater than I could possibly explain a concise way—it is truly a deep mystery, and one which calls me every day deeper into its spiral.

So, when I do shamanic healing work with people—it’s mysterious.

All of the tools I use—the music and singing, the plants, the poetry, the energy work, the interpretation of dreams, the communication with my own spirit guides and someone else’s—all we are trying to do is get your soul to remember its wholeness.

The modern world, even with all its advances in technology, creature comforts and opportunities, is hard on our bodies and souls. Disease and soul sickness are more prevalent in the west than they have ever been—and many of us are longing for a deeper experience of life. But we can’t seem to remember how to get there.

In shamanic traditions, all dis-ease (the state of not being at ease) is a result of disconnection from self, Source or community. When there is an illness of the stomach, for example, its because for some reason or another, the stomach has forgotten that it is part of the digestive tract, forgotten how to work with the digestive tract, or is otherwise troubled by thoughts, sensations, beliefs, food, and more that are causing it dis-ease.

In shamanic healing, we don’t simply treat the symptoms of the disease. We go back to the root of the problem. Why is the stomach sick to begin with?

The same goes for emotional pain: when a human is struggling with depression or anxiety, we might go back to the source of when the problem first began—supporting the soul in re-visiting the memories, experiences, and beliefs that have programmed the brain to react in a certain way, and then, using techniques for clearing, support the brain in re-wiring neural pathways and ways of being that help the soul remember its wholeness.

This work is not mysterious in indigenous cultures: it is their medicine, their communion and their way of life. It is only mysterious to us because we live differently—we treat symptoms often without wondering where disease came from in the first place. We genuinely believe that someone or something outside of ourselves can “fix” us.

Shamanism reminds us of two things: 1) healing is a process and 2) no one can do it for us. In our modern-day western world, these are two ideas that are hard for us to grasp. We want quick solutions, and we want someone else to do the hard work for us.

But when we really want to heal—our bodies, our patterns of behavior, our souls—shamanic healing provides us with an ancient and effective alternative. And besides physical and emotional healing, most recipients of shamanic healing profound spiritual experiences that change their lives in ways they never dreamed.

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In between studies in Peru and Ireland, I am back in Los Angeles from July 26 – August 20, and am offering a limited number of in-home shamanic healing sessions on a sliding scale basis ($50-150 for 75 minutes). Please contact me at jane@janeislistening to schedule your session.

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