Throughout my life I have had my feet firmly planted in both ordinary reality and non-ordinary reality, even when I didn’t have the right words to express this fact. Being a very grounded person I have enjoyed reading books and articles about quantum physics, human energy, and remote viewing. And who isn’t fascinated by Stonehenge, Easter Island, the Bermuda Triangle, and the like? I grew up watching Leonard Nimoy’s In Search Of on television; how could I not have this curiosity?!
Curiosity aside I am also a very practical person, more comfortable with scientific explanations for weird (for lack of a better word) phenomena. Shamanic practice has forced me to step outside of my comfort zone. It bends a lot of rules and can invite negating internal dialogue, especially for the practical, scientific, explain-it-to-me minds many of us have. In becoming a practitioner myself I have often had to step way, way, WAY out of my comfort zone. While learning traditional methods, which I find very useful and (at least for me) a necessary part of learning, I have often lamented that some of the trappings and ritual around Shamanic work were likely alienating a large percent of the population.
This is a very long-winded way of saying that if you are one of those people who is uncomfortable with the airy-fairy and the woo-woo (words that amuse me) then I can tell you that there isn’t a lot of that with me. I am a down to earth person with a healthy sense of humor, and I can promise I will be empathetic to how uncomfortable you might feel if you have little to no experience with anything beyond ordinary reality. I get it. I honestly do. I’ve been there (I really have); and I strive to normalize Shamanic practices that can often feel uncomfortable or foreign in our modern, western culture so that more people can benefit from this important work that is highly effective and has changed lives for the better.
Books and articles I can recommend if you would like to learn more:
Many Shamanic organizations and practitioners were very excited to see Prevention Magazine publish an article titled How Shamanic Healing Works (sorry for all the ads that are going to pop up once you click here but it is beyond my control). It is a respectful article in a main stream publication and does a fair job discussing the author’s personal experience with Shamanic healing. There is a bit of a focus on healing illnesses of the body in the article which I would like to address, however. Shamanic healing works on the spirit or soul of a person with the idea that wellness comes from the combined health of mind, body, and spirit. Once the spirit, or soul, is healed then it can allow other healing to occur. Still, I think the article is worth reading if you have no basic knowledge of Shamanic healing and don’t have time to read a full length book.
My favorite book to recommend if you would like a simple overview of Shamanic Journey Meditation, and a CD (which these days you will probably have to download to your computer to then listen to digitally on a headset attached to your smart phone), is Shamanic Journeying, A Beginner’s Guide, by Sandra Ingerman. There is nothing overly academic about this book. It is basic, easy to follow, and not too overwhelming for the beginner.
Another overview of Shamanism, and what to expect should you decide to begin Shamanic Journey Meditation, is the book The Way of the Shaman, by Michael Harner. The most invaluable part of this book for me was reading about some examples of experiences people might have when journeying and what options were available should they occur. I will be forever grateful for this information. It can be quite intense.
If you are considering Soul Retrieval services please visit my Soul Retrieval page for an overview of soul-loss and the process for a Retrieval. If you would like more information than what I have here I can recommend the book Soul Retrieval Mending the Fragmented Self, by Sandra Ingerman. It will completely demystify the process. This book is not complex or overly academic; in fact I’d go so far as to say it is a primer. In the simplest terms it explains what it means to have soul parts break away from the body and what the process is like to have them retrieved and reintegrated. When I first learned of Soul Retrieval, and then worked with a practitioner to have it performed for me, I was very grateful for having read this book first. Also, Ms. Ingerman’s candid experience of battling her inner dialog (This is crazy! But this works!) resonated strongly with me when I first began to explore Shamanic practice.
Last (for books), but certainly not least, I recommend this next book so often it needs to be on this page. This book is by no means a “newbie” book. It assumes you know something of Shamanic Journey practice, and it has some exercises in here that are not for the newbie journeyer. The reason I recommend it is that this book is so down to earth and pragmatic that it resonates deeply with me and is easily digested by people who may not be comfortable with the idea of connecting directly to a spirit realm. Claude Poncelet’s The Shaman Within is a book on my shelf that has so many post-it notes sticking out of it that it is almost comical. I have also highlighted and underlined quite a bit of it as well. When clients come to see me, they often talk about wanting to share these experiences with their partners, family members, and friends, but feel like they may not be open or receptive to listening with an open mind. What I typically do is recommend they have the people in their lives read this book. Dr. Poncelet is a physicist and his simple way of talking about the spirit world, his personal experiences, the importance of integrity, and managing ego is perfectly balanced for anyone to take in. It also makes huge strides towards a personal goal of mine, which is to make this practice as accessible as possible to those populations that are uncomfortable with, and thus cut off from, Shamanic practice.
And finally two articles by medical intuitive and energy healer, Matt DiLorenzo: