How Does One Become a Shaman?
The Children of Earth and Sky
The first snow has recently fallen in coastal Maine, warning of the fast approach of the cold, crystalline time of the year, yet autumn, the season of the shamanic West, will prevail until the winter solstice, now only weeks away.
“Introduction to Feminist Shamanism” will be a category on my new Substack teaching page, Slow Thunder Feminist Shamanic Teachings, which will be available in the new year by paid subscription. For now, I’m posting things you can read for free on this page, to give you an idea of what to expect should you sign up for the teaching page.
This post is longer than usual, and there’s a reason for that, so please bear with me. I want to attempt to guide you from thinking about the topic of shamanic initiations (the first part) towards “seeing” what they’re like from a mythic, shamanic perspective (the second part).
I’m sharing this particular introductory teaching with you at this time—the time of the shamanic West, where it is forever autumn—because all shamans are initiated through the shamanic West. This is because the shamanic West is the place where all of our illusions about the nature of reality and about our own natures, are shattered, often in physically and psychologically traumatic ways, resulting in what can feel like ego death. Surviving such trauma, being able to tolerate the accompanying profound loss of one’s sense of self, and accepting the calling that comes during the worst of it, are prerequisites for becoming a shaman.
If the calling is accepted, what follows is a very specific sequence of psychological events, beginning with a particular kind of introspection. If that goes well, the shaman-to-be achieves a very specific kind of humility, facilitating a profound change in her self-perception. Provided one achieves that state, one then becomes able to deal with the initiation’s aftermath and to begin the long process of learning to walk with one foot in the world of physical reality, and the other in the world of shamanic reality, without losing one’s psychological balance. It’s a long and arduous process, and one that not all who are called can tolerate.
I recently read “"The Body is a Doorway", a very interesting article by Sophie Strand, about the ways trauma may transform the body into a “doorway” by opening it in mysterious ways to enhanced sensory and psychic experience, which are also hallmarks of shamanic initiatory experiences. In the article Strand mentions that many spiritual healers and teachers tell us that trauma is an initiation, which begs the questions:
Into what other realm of consciousness has one’s trauma initiated one?
How does one discern whether or not one’s traumatic experience was the beginning of a shamanic initiation?
What are the distinguishing characteristics of genuine shamanic initiations?
These are important questions, because in today’s shamanic world, very few people appear to understand what it actually takes to become a shaman. The word shaman is frequently and mistakenly used to describe any number of people engaged in any number of healing practices, when in fact, very few of them are actually genuine shamans.
So...what’s the skinny on this topic? Here’s my take on it, from two very different perspectives.
I’ll begin with a straightforward explanation written in the language patterns of ordinary, everyday ego consciousness, a function of the Masculine principle, which you can take in intellectually. I’ll then describe the process of how one becomes a shaman in the form of a feminist shamanic myth told in the language patterns of nonordinary, mythic consciousness, a function of the Feminine principle, and the place where all shamanic events occur, which may enable you to take in the teaching at a much deeper level.
1. How Does One Become a Shaman?
An Explanation in the Language of Ordinary Consciousness
Perhaps the well known Czech psychiatrist Stanislav Grof offers us the best description of how one becomes a shaman from a psychiatric perspective:
“Genuine shamans have had powerful, unusual experiences and have managed to integrate them in a creative and productive way. They have to be able to handle everyday reality as well as, or even better than, their fellow tribesmen. In addition, they have experiential access to other levels and realms of reality and can facilitate nonordinary states of consciousness in others for healing and transformative purposes. They thus show superior functioning and ‘higher sanity,’ rather than maladjustment and insanity.” (29-30)1
My own feminist shamanic description of a shaman dovetails very closely with Grof’s:
“A shaman is a person who has been chosen by specifically shamanic archetypal spirits and called to a shamanic path by means of a traumatic initiatory trial, which may occur on both physical and metaphysical levels of experience. Having survived that trial, the shaman-to-be has gone on to learn how to manage and integrate the shamanic energies that have come to them during the trial. They have successfully negotiated the personal and social aftermath of the trial, and have learned to maintain balance between their access to shamanic reality—which is accomplished during shamanic journeys by means of altering brain wave patterns with specific kinds of percussion—and their ability to function in physical reality. The shaman then functions effectively at personal and social levels, while offering their shamanic skills to the members of their community.”
According to Joseph Campbell, there are two types of shamans—creative shamans, and traditional, or “priestly” shamans, which could perhaps be more accurately described as tribal healers. The main difference between a creative shaman and a traditional, or "priestly" tribal healer is that the latter type of healer will usually have gone through a long period of training in the use of ancient, established ways of healing that must be meticulously learned and strictly adhered to in order to produce predictable and desired results in their healing efforts.
A creative shaman, on the other hand, becomes a shaman by surviving the trauma and integrating the meaning of a shamanic initiatory crisis. Ideally, an experienced shaman, such as the Maliseet spiritual elder Light Mother, below, will be found, a daunting undertaking in today’s world.. Such elders can help the shaman-to-be move past the trauma, oversee the integration of her experience, and guide her through subsequent initiations.
Such teachers can also offer the shaman-to-be basic training regarding how to correctly direct her shamanic energy and wield her shamanic power for healing purposes, and how to work effectively with the shamanic forms and archetypal structures that make up the shamanic cosmology of the geographic region in which she will be working.
Ultimately, however, the creative shaman will blaze her or his own shamanic path when necessary in order to accomplish healing ends that cannot be achieved by usual means. Feminist shamans are creatives.
Addressing a Contemporary Illusion
In today’s eclectic healing communities, some believe that one can become a shaman by reading books, or taking shamanic workshops, or apprenticing to various teachers, many of whom are combining esoteric practices from disparate geographies and calling such practices shamanism. The fact is that however much training one may undertake, or however much one may altruistically desire to be of help to others, one cannot become a genuine shaman by such means. One is called to become a shaman by the shamanic archetypes inhabiting the land upon which one walks, and such calls often involve both physical and psychological suffering. In fact, many of those called to be shamans are often resistant to the call, and reluctant to accept it, with good reason, for accepting it involves sacrifices and additional initiations and trials that most people would not consciously seek out and would quite naturally run from if confronted with them. Many of those called to a shamanic path may endure years of internal conflict and doubt about having accepted their calling. In many cases, during the period of resistance the shaman-to-be may suffer from vague but insistent and unpleasant physical symptoms that are only relieved by practicing shamanic ways.
While there are great dangers inherent in either accepting or rejecting such a call, there are even greater dangers inherent in seeking such a call oneself, for the path is strewn with pitfalls and seductions that are difficult enough to handle for those truly called, and often impossible to handle for those not truly called. Ideally, a person who has physically and psychologically survived a genuine shamanic initiatory crisis will eventually accept the calling, train with an experienced shaman to learn how to manage the energies that have come to her during her initiation, and how to enlist the aid of those energies in efforts to heal or help others. Such an apprenticeship, whatever its length, is critical to the development of the called shaman’s eventual ethical stance and shamanic skill level.
The form that the shamanic initiation experience and subsequent training takes may vary from one geographic location or culture to another. The shaman-to-be may experience one or more of a variety of initiatory phenomena. Australian Aborigines may experience auto initiation, while in some cultures, shamanic initiation is induced by an experienced shaman who has recognized the potential of the initiate. In others, dreams or visions of dismemberment or engorgement, eventually followed by dreams or visions of being physically recreated or reconstructed by powerful spirit beings may signal the calling. Elsewhere, strange, lingering illnesses may indicate such a calling, as may physical ordeals involving the elements of earth, air, fire, or water, which are known as "elemental” initiations.
Elemental initiations are generally events involving physical trauma of such magnitude that the person’s soul leaves her body, fleeing into shamanic reality, seeking relief. Such a calling is generally a spontaneous event, rendering the person suddenly and forever changed and transformed, and sometimes physically disfigured as well. During the out-of-body phase of this type of initiation, the shaman-to-be’s willingness and ability to take up and carry the burden of walking a shamanic path are determined by the spirits who will become her guides and teachers on that path, should she survive her ordeal. My personal calling was of this kind, coming as it did during a sudden, traumatic encounter with fire. Whatever form the initiation may take, the period of training following the initiatory crisis may range from decades in an Amazonian shamanic culture to only a few years in others.
Characteristics of Shamanic Initiations
Whatever one’s geographical or cultural orientation may be, genuine shamanic initiations are generally characterized by four things.
1. The first is an ego-shattering trauma of such severity that the soul/psyche of the shaman-to-be flees physical reality, leaving everyday, ordinary ego-consciousness behind, and finds itself in shamanic reality. There it encounters the archetypal energies responsible for the calling, who generally present themselves as animal spirits. It is these archetypes that will oversee the shaman-to-be’s development and further trials and tests on a shamanic level.
2. Next, the exact nature of her particular calling, and her ability and willingness to take up the burden of shamanic healing are determined by the shamanic spirit guides who have called her to that path. If this evaluation meets the requirements of these guides, the initiate must then decide whether to accept or decline her calling. If she accepts the calling, her consciousness will be forever changed by the psychic restructuring that then occurs.
3. The third is that the shamanic initiatory trial and calling is generally characterized by repeated and consistent contact by one or more animal spirits in shamanic visions, or in numinous dreams before, during and/or following the initiatory trauma. There may also be startling synchronistic experiences in physical reality with animals who are the physical embodiments of these archetypes. During this time ancestral spirit guides may also initiate contact with the shaman-to-be. As Drury states, “In all cases, however, spirit guides are perceived as crucial to the shaman’s resolve and embodiments of his psychic and magical strength.”2
4. Finally, when the initiate’s consciousness refocuses on the world of matter, she must learn to simultaneously “walk in two worlds,” that of physical reality and that of shamanic reality, and to function at high levels in both worlds while maintaining her psychological balance.
Often the psyche/soul of such a person is very reluctant to return to the body and to everyday life in the mundane realm of physical reality after this numinous experience, having found the shamanic spirit world a preferable place to reside. Having committed her life to shamanic healing work while there, however, her psyche does eventually return its attention to the demands of the everyday world, for it must do so in order to fulfill the calling. Little does she know that the path upon which she put her feet during the initiation crisis, and must now walk, is but the very beginning of a winding and arduous lifelong journey.
In a very real sense, having survived the shamanic initiatory trail, the shaman is “new” again, and must learn all over again how to negotiate the demands and expectations of the physical world— which may now appear to her to be a dream world—while simultaneously maintaining her connections with the shamanic spirit world, which may now appear to her to be more real in many ways than the physical world.
The called shaman’s survival of the initiatory trauma is only the first of many shattering tests that she may be called upon to negotiate as she attempts to honor her path. The path of a called shaman requires that the person accepting that calling be able to tolerate things that most people would doubtless find intolerable. These tests can be spiritual, physical, psychological or social. But they all share one thing in common—each requires that the emerging shaman learn to maintain her psychological balance and her ability to simultaneously function at a high level in both shamanic and physical realities, regardless of whatever challenges she faces in either world at any given time. Yet paradoxically, each time the shaman-to-be successfully negotiates another test, her achievement sets her apart ever more from the concerns of ordinary culture and people, so that in the end, her final and greatest test may be whether or not she can tolerate the social isolation and loneliness that can also be part of this path.
It is crucial that the shaman-to-be find competent shamanic guidance for the integration, centering and grounding that must occur following the initiation crisis. Sometimes handling the despair that may occur when one returns to ordinary reality with its mundane life concerns following such experiences can be challenging. Often the shamanic visionary experiences accompanying genuine shamanic initiations are generally of such a profoundly beautiful and moving nature that one would prefer to remain in the ecstatic states they engender over returning to the concerns of daily life in physical reality. Or the shaman-to-be may be so disoriented by the experience that she struggles to find her way back into ordinary consciousness. In any case, a competent, physical world shamanic teacher can lead the way until the person has stabilized psychologically and has recovered from the trauma involved in the initiation.
2. The Children of Earth and Sky
A Mythic, Feminist Shamanic Account of How One Becomes a Shaman
Up to this point, I have regaled you with an ordinary—or ego-consciousness—explanation of how one becomes a shaman. Research has been done. The material has been sequentially organized to ego-consciousness satisfaction. This is all well and good, and very useful in many ways. However, it does nothing to offer you an actual experience of what a shaman sees and experiences during these extraordinary events, or what shamanic consciousness and shamanic reality are actually like. Direct experience of those states is crucial to one’s understanding of them, for while shamanism can be studied in an intellectual or academic sense by means of ego-consciousness methods, actual shamanic knowledge and power can only be gained from direct experience of shamanic consciousness and shamanic reality.
It’s important to understand that the realms of mythic consciousness and shamanic consciousness are very closely related, perhaps even inextricably intertwined. While mythic events may occur in the heavens, upon the earth, or beneath the earth, one cannot “see” them as they occur, nor can one accurately describe or interpret their meanings unless one is capable of viewing them through the lens of feminine mythic consciousness. The events that the feminist shaman observes during her ecstatic flights into shamanic reality are mythic in nature, and her interpretation of them for her clients becomes, in effect, a mythic narrative of the client’s issue and the process by which it is being healed, in which the client becomes the hero or heroine of his or her own “story,” rather than the victim of it. Such shamanic mythologizing is the best way I have to offer you a sense of what a shamanic journey experience feels like, so I invite you to join me as I explain to you, in the language of shamanic myth, how one actually becomes a shaman.
Were I able to tell you the original shamanic myth that follows in a darkened room, accompanied by projected shamanic imagery, with a background of shamanic drumming, chanting and singing, I could offer you a much deeper experience of the shamanic reality in which I witnessed the mythic events of the tale I’m about to share with you. As I am limited here to words on a page or computer screen, I will guide you towards that extraordinary place by gradually shifting my language usage from that employed by ego-consciousness to that favored by mythic consciousness as we approach the first part of the tale of “The Children of Earth & Sky,” which took place in a time long lost and forgotten.
Events like those I am about to relate to you, which took place in that long lost and forgotten time, are never lost to the genetic memory or to the mythic feminine consciousness of those who once experienced them, even as we travel through many lives; even though we may lose our way and forget who we are in some of those lives. In such cases, our memories of who we once were and who we will once more become may need to be shocked open by trauma before we are able to consciously recall them. But we will always be asked to remember our origins, and to return to our shamanic path whenever our energies are needed upon the earth.
The Children of Earth and Sky is my original shamanic myth describing how two of the first shamans came into Being. Those two shamans were created by the marriage of Earth’s intent and Sky’s desire to create, and they began their journey towards Being as tiny twins in spirit. They were female and male, a matched pair who were meant to walk together upon the Earth through life after life, and so help to maintain perfect balance between the Feminine principle of Wisdom and the Masculine principle of Right Action as they lived upon the Earth their home.
They were made for that purpose by Earth and Sky in the distant reaches of time, and brought into Being in the deep Western desert of shamanic reality by the efforts of the Grizzly spirits and Bear shamans whose responsibility it is to raise the great shaman’s tree from the place where it sleeps beneath the dry desert sands there, waiting to be awakened by the Grizzlies’ thunderous dance steps and the booming heartbeats of the Bear shamans’ drums.
This is the story of their journey from Potentials for Becoming into Being. Their story is no different from that of every shaman who has ever taken physical form in order to walk the earth among us, except perhaps that these two stumbled and fell, and so lost one another. They lost one another long, long ago, and have yet to find one another again. Their loss of connection and the difficulties that then ensued and which continued to haunt them as they moved through lifetime after lifetime are but pale reflections of the universal losses which caused the imbalance between the Masculine and Feminine principles currently plaguing contemporary culture, an imbalance which began to occur with the dawn of patriarchy.
What happened was that in that long-ago forgotten time, Earth’s longing had twice opened to Sky’s generative power, had twice called life down unto herself from the limitless reaches of space that arched high above her, sparkling with mystery. Her intent to create life had been so irresistibly seductive that Sky had come to her in great rushes of unrestrained desire, releasing first one, then another spark of life into her care in brilliant displays of fractured light. As Sky’s desire fulfilled Earth’s intent, together they created the first two shamans the earth had ever known.
Those two little shaman spirits created by Earth’s intent and Sky’s desire took the first form of their Becoming in the sacred space between Earth and Sky, in that place where all things have their origins; where all things await their journey from Potential for Becoming into Being.
Those two tiny sparks of life fell to earth from that place into the twilight hour of the shamanic West; into the time when a great stillness rises from the earth; into the time when shadow and form become one; into the time when power walks the earth, giving and taking away, blessing and withholding, bringing balance to all that is. When the time was right for their journey to begin, they slowly fell from the Place of Origins towards Earth. They fell to earth from the Place of Origins into Twilight, high in the Dark Mountains of the shamanic West.
They fell together into a sweetly scented golden meadow of grasses and flowers, into that sacred place high in those Dark Mountains where the Bear Chief sometimes sleeps.
There they dreamt together among dancing fireflies, among pale fluttering moths, as the evening mist began to rise from the meadow.
Those spirits were content and would have remained there forever in that sweet meadow, suspended in the twilight; in that time between awareness of dark and light, had it not been for the powerful drums that had called to them from far beyond the mountains; from the desert plains of the deep West. The drums called to them from a place accessible only to a very few; from a well-hidden place where the Bear Spirit Clan calls up the shaman’s tree from its sleep beneath the dry sands of ancient memory’s need.
The drums awoke Thunder. Thunder awoke Lightning and the sky darkened, loosing a wild drenching rain upon the shifting sands of the far West in the precise place beneath which the shaman’s tree slept. As the rain fell upon that place, the sand darkened and slowly greened, signaling its readiness to play its part in the drama that was to come. As the rain sank into the parched sand, it soothed the great tree’s dry branches, sweetened its bark, and nourished its roots, awakening it to cellular memory of its timeless purpose.
The twin spirits, their curiosity awakened by the urgent rhythms of the distant drums, arose from the meadow in the first form of their Becoming as tiny golden orbs, looking not so different from the many fireflies that danced around them. Drawn to the sound of the drums, they ventured together over the Dark Mountains, floating down its Western slopes, whose glassy black cliffs reflected the deep rich light of the setting sun, which now lent its energy to the power the drums were raising in the deep West. Although they sensed the need for caution in the face of that power, the twin spirits were so intent on exploring the wondrous event that was taking place far below them that they began moving toward its irresistible, magnetic heart.
If you had been there, you might have seen, from a certain vantage point high above those glassy black cliffs, that as those twin spirits began their descent down from the mountains, countless Grizzly spirits and Bear shamans were gathering on the distant plain below, around that circular place where the sand was greening as the rain fell upon it.
You might have heard those great Grizzly hearts beating in unison with the drums of the Bear shamans who accompanied them. If you had looked more closely yet, you might have been able to see that encircling that greening, rain-soaked place at the heart of that dry desert was a wide, well-trodden path.
It was towards this path that the Grizzly spirits and Bear shamans danced. When all the Grizzlies and Bear shamans had assembled, taking their places around the greening circle, the rhythms of their hearts and drums gradually merged into a sound of such profound intent that the air of the desert plain vibrated in shimmering waves of anticipation.
It was then that Thunder spoke, its booming voice rolling out over that desert plain. Wind heard Thunder’s call, and danced with abandon through the far West in great shuddering, gusting whorls, causing the dry sands surrounding the sacred circle of greening sand to rise up in great spirals of energy. That spiraling energy danced eastward toward the Dark Mountains, driving towering banks of blue-black clouds before it, and those clouds gathered above the mountains.
Thunder spoke to Wind again, as it rolled slowly through the clouds, its voice deepening as it went. Wind grew wild and fierce in response, awakening Lightning, and Lightning rose up from Earth toward those clouds in bolts of blinding white, gold and blue energy. Frightened by the fury of that powerful storm, the two tiny heart spirits clung to one another. Quaking, they sought shelter in a tiny crevice on the mountainside, but the intent of the storm sought them out and pulled them from their hiding place into its wild turbulence.
Helpless to resist Storm’s power, they were drawn into its spiraling dance. They were carried round and round, down and down, toward the very heart of the deep West; toward that rain-drenched green living circle in the desert plain far below them. As Wind carried them spiraling down towards that circle, something – consciousness perhaps – was awakened within them, for Thunder’s booming voice had spoken their secret names. The little twin spirits were tossed and tumbled by Storm, struck over and over again by Lightning, and deafened by Thunder to all but the sounds of their secret names, which rang out time and time again in Thunder’s booming voice. Somehow, clinging to one another, those twin spirits lived through that great storm. Having survived their trial, they had made themselves worthy of receiving power, and much power would be needed to fulfill their shared destiny.
At last the great storm began to subside and Wind gently released those battered little spirits. Still clinging to one another, they slowly floated down towards the green circle of moist living earth, which had been transformed by the implacable intent held in the drum-hearts of the Grizzly spirits and echoed by the Bear shaman’s drums.
Where before the storm there had been only a patch of dry, desert sand, now the shaman's tree, which is raised only in time of need, stood in all its mysterious beauty at the center of a vivid green circle of life. It was a great tree, tall and stately, its dark water-saturated branches reaching up and up into the storm-freshened air, its bright light-saturated roots reaching down and down into the rain-drenched sands, providing pathways for Earth and Sky to continue sharing energies, for their work was not yet complete.
As those weary, battered twin spirits settled gently into the branches of the tree, new songs arose from the hearts of the Grizzlies and the Bear shamans who still danced beneath it. The new songs told the stories of the many lives those twin spirits would share together when they had recovered from their trial and had developed into their physical forms. The songs floated up into the branches of the great tree, soothing and protecting the twins with their sound. As the songs touched them, those twin spirits found that in the place within them where before there had only been a feeling, a sense of heart, there now pulsed actual tiny hearts. Those tiny hearts were not physical hearts. They were spirit hearts, and they beat in unison at the very center of the golden orbs that defined the twin’s forms at that time. In one of those orbs the tiny spirit heart was blue like the noonday sky, and that orb was to become the man. In the other orb the spirit heart was indigo like the midnight sky, and that orb was to become the woman.
For a very long time, those two rested in the branches of the great tree, their twin spirit-hearts beating in unison, each dreaming of the other and their shared destiny. When all was ready, when at last they were fully developed, having grown into the woman and the man they were meant to be, they looked about them from their places high in the branches of the tree. They were hungry for life, and they were filled with a strange longing they could not name.
It was then that the Grizzly spirits and Bear shamans gathered again. The Bear shamans’ drums rang out once more through the desert plain of the far West, and the thunderous steps of the Grizzly spirits shook the earth beneath their feet. Now they sang of the long journey that these two must undertake to find their way into the world of matter far from the dry desert plain in which they had come into Being. They sang of the many adventures those two would have on that journey as they traveled around the Medicine Wheel Mandala towards their shared destiny. From the far west of the shamanic West, they would go North, then East, finally arriving in the shamanic South, from which place they would at last find a way to enter the physical world.
It was sung that their adventures as they traveled through each directional realm of shamanic reality would prepare them for their work in the world of matter. Enchanted, the man and the woman listened to the songs that rose up from far below them, and they loved the stories that the songs told. Anxious to begin their journey towards physical existence in the world of matter and all that awaitedthem there, they climbed down from the branches and joined the dancing, singing, drumming circle of Grizzly spirits and Bear shamans below.
When the dancing, drumming, and singing were done, and they had been made ready to begin their journey, the woman and the man were each given the Five Gifts that would help them stay true to their paths in the world of matter, and to one another. But first they were given small, beautifully beaded leather pouches, made by the Bear shamans, in which to keep the gifts that they were to receive.
The man’s pouch was hung around his neck, and into it was placed intellect, the will to act upon matter, great physical strength, and cunning foresight, which would enable him to formulate strategies for physical survival in the world of matter.
The woman’s pouch was tied ‘round her waist, and into it was placed wisdom, the will to birth life, the power to call unto herself that which was needed to fulfill her womanly purposes, and the
power of reverse memory, which enabled her to remember back to the causal sources of events.
When they had given thanks for these great gifts, they were each given the Fifth Gift, the Gift of Love, the shaman’s greatest healing tool, which found its home within their blue and indigo spirit-hearts as they beat in unison to the sound of the Bear shamans’ great drums. And this is how shamans are really made.
These two, like many before them and many after them, were intended to be as one, each complementing the other’s energies and abilities, and for many lifetimes, that intention was realized as balance between the wisdom and desires of the woman, and the will and actions of the man. For many lifetimes, as they walked together upon the Earth their home, they peacefully combined the complementary energies of Earth and Sky in all that they did. Rain regularly fell upon Earth’s fertile soil, stimulating the seeds within it to awaken and grow towards the sun’s light. Gentle winds carried seeds and sound, stories and knowledge to them from distant places. Nourishment and shelter were theirs for the asking. They understood the language of the creatures with whom they shared their home, and the creatures understood theirs. The man sheltered and provided for the woman so that she could carry out her powerful rituals ensuring the fertility and peace of the Earth. The woman taught the man how to live peacefully upon the earth, and inspired him to channel his need to act upon matter in the right way. For many lifetimes they remembered and remained aligned with the sacred gifts they had been given by the bear shamans so long ago. But there came a time when the fifth gift, the gift of love, was betrayed. It was then that the Earth’s perfect balance began to shift towards imbalance, and that’s what we’re living with today. How did that occur, you ask? Later. Later, I will tell you more.
1 Grof, Stanislav. Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death & Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1985.
2 Drury, Neville. The Elements of Shamanism. Longmead, Shaftesbury, Dorset. Element Books Limited, 1989. (27)
You can learn more about Slow Thunder Feminist Shamanism here.