Why Should You Become A Shaman?
The Short Answer Is – Don’t
The work of a shaman is so much harder, so much more demanding, and so much more exhausting than you can imagine. If you can avoid it, then do it. Shamanism isn’t something you choose, it’s a calling – no, really it’s more like being taken hostage. (I’m not kidding.)
I Never Intended To Be a Shaman
In fact, I didn’t even know what a shaman WAS until I was well onto the path. And it wasn’t a path I chose. It chose me. Grandfather snake had been calling me since I was a small child. Putting me in ever-increasing connection with him and his energies of transformation until I become completely inured. In my early 30’s, Grandmother spider reached out to me and demanded my presence. Each time, I was offered no choice, no “hey do you wanna do this?” It was just expected that I would step onto this path. Now I believe that I agreed to this before I came into this life, but I have no memory of that agreement, so I could just as easily say that I was kidnapped by spirit.
How To Know If You’re Being Called
I’ve talked to several shamans about their callings and been witness to a few more. Most go into it in much resistance, saying “this isn’t who I am!”, “I’m don’t know how to do this stuff!”, or my personal favorite “I’m not a shaman, I’m a ________” only to have that illusion shattered by something or someone along the way. For me, it went like this.
My Spiritual Calling
I had realized a couple of months before that the household that I lived in had morphed from witches to shamans. And I knew that my guides often talked to me by surrounding me with what was the next step in my path. But I didn’t know what a shaman was, much less want to be one, so I said to everyone who would listen “yes, they’re all shamans, and I’m the token witch”. But then one night, I went into the basement to get something from my storage area. It was one of those old houses, where the light switch was a pull string in the middle of the room. In trying to get to it in the dark, I felt spider webs string themselves across my body. Not being able to see at all to know where the spider was, I was no longer interested in getting whatever it was I needed from the basement. I decided to wait until morning when I could see better. I went back the next day, and there was not a spider web in sight. Not only that, but I realized that the night before, there had been no web on my hair or clothes when I had come back upstairs. One of the other shamans in the house warned me not to ignore Grandmother spider’s call lest I end up as he did with a nest of baby spiders hatching over his bed in the middle of the night and using him as their first meal. As I said – shamanism isn’t for the feint of heart.
What It’s Not
People often think that shamanism is like Wicca, cool spells, healing work, etc. But it’s mostly not that actually. Mostly, it’s a lot of hard work on clearing away your personal demons so that you can stand more fully in your power. It’s a boat-load of inner work designed to make you a clearer channel and a better model to your constituents. Very little of it is the “cool stuff” like ritual, magick, healing, energy workings and the like. And half of the “cool stuff” is combined with the personal work. So even then, it’s more work than you bargained for.
They call it being a spiritual warrior because it’s about stepping onto the training field every day, whether you want to or not, being dragged out of bed at 3 in the morning to do the thing that spirit requires of you, saying the things that might be hard for someone to hear or might get you shunned because that’s what spirit demands. It’s about facing down fear on a regular basis. I’ve often said it’s more like spiritual masochism (“Ow! That HURT! Do it again so I can figure out why!”).
Skip It If You Can
So I say again. If spirit isn’t dragging you kicking and screaming onto the training field, run. Run as far and as fast as you can in the other direction. It will never be cool enough to justify the work. But if, like me and so many before me, you’ve been kidnapped by spirit and you’re flailing in the dark looking for answers and direction, then you have my sincerest compassion. And I can help.
If You Can’t Skip It, Call Me
I can help you get oriented. I can help you get back on your feet after spirit has kicked your butt to get you out of your resistance. I can help you to identify the supernatural things that are happening to you and show you how to deal with them. I can show you how to negotiate with insistent guides for a path that doesn’t have to be so messy. I can help.