How do you know if you are a Shaman?
Updated: Aug 25, 2021
This is a question I am asked a lot. The answer is both simple and not so simple. But first, take other people’s perspective very lightly, including my own. This is a very personal and intuitive journey. Deep down, you know who you are (or you will soon) and no one else has the authority to tell you otherwise. However, watch out for that ego because it loves the word Shaman.
I will start with an example. Before my first Ayahuasca Ceremony, the man who owned the facility said, “Everyone walks out of here thinking they are a Shaman, if you have that experience, I assure you that you are not”. Right off the bat, I can’t tell you how appalled I am that a person could go on invalidating others he does not know. Especially one who serves Ayahuasca. How he could tell you your experience is false before you even have it. The world is filled with toxic people like this who will give you their own reasons why they think you aren’t who you say you are – that’s their problem though, not yours.
It doesn’t matter what your Shamanic calling looks like, it doesn’t matter if you are “white” or if you weren’t taught by an elder member of some tribe. Of which there are so few in existence. It doesn’t matter if you were born into it or if you had a NDE or catalyst for initiation. It doesn’t matter if you have trained in a tradition because tradition is sometimes meant to be left in the past and so you must train from Source, a modern teacher, or Mother Earth instead. The truth is, we live in a new paradigm, in a new world, and the Shamanic calling has had to adapt.
There are a lot of people out there dropping the S word. People who think it just means healer. People who have studied with a tradition for many years and believe that means they have “earned” the title through training. Those who think being a Shaman means prestige and enjoy tickling their ego with such labels. And so many shysters just trying to prey on people who need help.
In an attempt to provide guidance and support to others, I want to share about my path, from the beginning right up to what’s going on today. I am here to help those who believe they are on a Shamanic path, have begun the initiations or just need some direction. There is no need to walk this path alone.
My own initiations began with Ayahuasca, but the real crazy training didn’t start until almost two years later (I call it “crazy shaman shit”, more on this below). I chose the Ayahuasca experience to be my catalyst in this lifetime – to open up those gates at a predetermined moment so as to allow me to step fully into my role. This gave me the opportunity to live a life of trauma, repression and mental health struggles so that I may know how it felt and how to heal it once I was on the other side.
I had a pretty wild experience in my first Ayahuasca journey. I dove into it fast and before I knew it I was holding the weight of the room. I was holding 60+ people in their journey and I felt like my back was breaking under the weight. This group had no Shaman on the weekend that I drank and I will never forget what it felt like to be called into that role in such a manner. To be called into a space that was not held in Divine love, that was not protected or cleared properly, one that I had no way to prepare for. During that weekend I didn’t know what had happened. I didn’t know why my experience was what it was and I didn’t know that an initiation had started. (Side note: Shamans are the ones who hold the container for people to do their work. Drinking Ayahuasca without a Shaman is spiritually dangerous AF).
That was the beginning of the end of my 9-5 work. I was falling apart with fear and confusion, flailing helplessly as my world was unraveled. I felt like I was losing my mind in psychosis, constantly being thrown into that “other world” space. The one where you speak to ancestors and guides, or touch the raw part of the wounds of our world. The one where Ayahuasca takes you. It was the longest year of my life and I am still not sure how I made it through.
Thankfully, one by one, teachers began to appear on my path, but it was a solid year of torment and pain before things began to really even out. I had some phenomenal human teachers, but my greatest teachers have been the plants, which is why I call myself a Plant Medicine Woman.
After I was able to work with my first teacher, I was told in my meditations to keep going with the Plant Medicine. At this point, my guides were excited to have me there and the plants began to speak to me as well. The instructions I was given by the spirits were about sitting with small doses of Plant Medicine, twice a week, while all of my repressed traumas would be allowed to come to the surface. And so I sat as prescribed in that meditative space, opening to the plants with doses of .3g, something that should have barely touched my mind, and allowed what needed to come to the surface to come up. Phobias, anxieties, memories, stored emotions, and many other things came up in those sessions. On the last day of my weekly work, the Medicine gave me my first sexual trauma memory. On that day, she told me we were done and it was time to move onto the next phase.
After these months of working with small doses of Mushroom Medicine, the repressed memories and emotions began to come up on their own. I was able to release them without going into a journey space and continue moving forward on a daily basis. One by one, people were starting to become attracted to working with me and before I knew it, I was trip sitting with them. However, it wasn’t just trip sitting. Every time a person sat with me, they would walk away with healing and I would walk away with a healing, an important lesson, or a new ability. I was being shown how to clear a specific energy, thought patterns, or physical ailments during each session.