“Shaman” is a Siberian word meaning “he who sees in the dark”—he who sees what others cannot see. It has come to refer to a spiritual healer from any country who, by means of contact with powerful but benevolent spirits in “non-ordinary” reality, can bring healing and wisdom to the community. 

Although the term comes from Siberia, the practice of shamanism is found on every continent.  It is undoubtedly the oldest spiritual practice in the world and dates back to the beginning of human history.  This gives it a long track record! 

Shamanism has experienced an unprecedented revival in Western culture over the past 30 years. The rising popularity of what is referred to as “core” shamanism, or modern shamanism, is a response to the longing in our souls for a deeper connection to the wisdom of ancient peoples and to nature. It is a direct and balancing response to a western society increasingly driven by technology. Many of us are now searching for ways to live in greater harmony with each other, with the Earth and, most of all, with ourselves.

Shamanism is neither a religion nor a philosophy.  Quite simply, it is a method for expanding consciousness in order to access revelations and spiritual experiences directly, unfiltered by restricting worldviews or organizations.   It consists of a collection of techniques for obtaining energy, power, vision, healing and creativity. Most of these techniques are simple and can be learned. As mysterious as it may sound, shamanism is fundamentally practical and very results-oriented. It has survived, intact, for tens of thousands of years for one simple reason: it works. 

The modern shaman works directly with his spirit allies and teachers found in "non-ordinary" reality to obtain the healing and wisdom required for an individual, a family, a business or an entire community. This can take the form of healing illness, soul retrieval and extraction work, obtaining answers to client’s questions (divination), helping the spirits of deceased people to cross over safely (psychopomp), restoring lost power to a client (power animal retrieval) or performing ceremonies for individuals or the community. 

Because the shaman works with the spirit or soul of a client, healing techniques can be particularly fast and effective with problems of a spiritual nature, such as depression, shame and anxiety. Whatever the shaman does, her key role is to restore balance, love and harmony to a client’s life.