A few years ago I wrote about identifying as a contemporary shaman and I feel the need to revisit this conversation because shamanic practices lie at the heart of how I live my live, connect to Spirit, work with others, and see the world.
You see, I've somewhat had a change of heart.
Or rather I've grown as I know you have too.
It's been 4 years since that blog post and a lot's changed since then. The political climate is vastly different and quite frankly I've learned a lot of the past several years. Social justice is now more important than ever and I'm having some personal regrets.
I'm no longer invested in the identity of being a "shaman". In fact I totally let it go a couple of years ago when I said goodbye to the online business world where I had been making a living providing shamanic support in combination with business services like web design and systems support.
I sensed shamanism was becoming trendy. This equally angered and concerned me. I was now reeeeeeallly uncomfortable with the growing trend online of selling a particular lifestyle and the link between the shamanic path.
I was out.
At the same time I was being lured into a deep ancestral connection— something I had not yet experienced.
My gateway into the shamanic path began in academia as a result of direct mystical experiences. I was hungry for more knowledge and experience. I asked questions and simply followed what presented itself to me. All I knew is that life and nature were now speaking to me— morphing before my very eyes.
The shamanic path had the answers. All signs pointed to "YES".
And so I ventured down that path. I have zero regrets about this for Spirit led me there, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
It wasn't until I met a Native American woman on her death bed that I understood the gravity of cultural appropriation. I wanted to tell her I understood her spiritual perspective, that we were soul sisters but I quickly realized this wasn't true.
I only knew the stolen version. And while it may have been unconsciously stolen, it was taken without credit or attribution.
And yet she let me in, allowing me to touch her most precious gifted eagle feather and be with her and her family as everything came to a screeching halt.
I feel ashamed and regretful for "taking a piece" of this work and not fully understanding the wound and the active role I played in perpetuating it.
I thought that if I studied with the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers that meant something. I now understand it doesn't.
My regret is sincere and true. Moving forward I am committed to standing in integrity (the best I damn well can with what I know) and truth.
I will not discount the history, violence, and oppression that exists on the paths I walk. I also will not scrub the evidence of my own personal experience, I will share it boldly as I know we are all learning.
I haven't abandoned the shamanic path, I've been reborn.
Today, I am still led primarily by my visions and spirit guides.
Yet now, I am firmly rooted in my own bloodline and Celtic ancestral lineage. Turns out my affinity for Norse Mythology is coded in my cells.
Here's a picture of me back in 2014 at the sacred MERRY MAIDEN stone circle in England. Can you seeeee how at home and in my element I am?
I no longer offer shamanic healing as a standalone service. It is however deeply woven into my 1 on 1 and teaching perspective— always accessible as a route to power and wholeness.
p.s. I'm currently working a piece called the axiom between spiritual teachers and the abandonment Mother wound- I think it's going to reeeally speak to ya'll. Stay tuned.
p.p.s. If you study my medicine tattoo sleeve carefully you can learn about my lineage and perspective.