I have spent decades on a spiritual path, one that has led me into many different forms of shamanism, ancient traditions and sacred medicine.
I have been a drum chief at healing ceremonies, was apprenticed to a Native American Shamanic Tradition for a long time, I have run Sweat lodges, and Sacred Ceremonies, I have so many shamanic tools in my tool belt, some I use often, some infrequently. I have a daily spiritual practice (Sadhana), I run a business that is based on healing on a physical, spiritual and emotional level and yet I have recently discovered that I still can’t fully own this mystical, magical, shamanic side of me.
I have realised that I have been de-valuing it, disowning it and glossing over it because I was worried that;
- People would think I was way too weird and out there
- The traditions that I no longer work with would take issue with me sharing what I have learned and attack me, or make me feel like I am doing something wrong or disrespectful
- Whenever someone labels themselves as a Shaman, or Medicine Woman, Priestess, Witch or ‘whatever’, it sounds really freakin arrogant and makes me cringe on the inside
““You really do need to EMBODY what you have learned and make it your own and that is the piece that I have been denying…”
But what do you do if your work, your calling, does incorporate shamanic tools and practices? What happens when you dive into other cultures and you feel their traditions resonate with your soul, with your cells, your DNA, every fibre of your being? How do you own this mystical and magical side of yourself without sounding like a douche bag?????
Even friends who have told me that they see me as any of these above names/terms (yes I’m really not owning it), has always caused me to deny it profusely, or feel inadequate and fraudulent that they might even think I could aspire to the levels that these names symbolise. For me, on too many occasions these labels are being used to jump onto the latest new age band wagon, they come very close to crossing the line of cultural appropriation, if not wiping out that line out completely and I believe that real Shamans, Wise Woman, Medicine Women, Priestesses, Witches have had a deep calling, a long journey and many years of discipline, practice and immersion to be able to really embody what it means to be that!
Guess what? That describes me exactly! I have a deep calling, have had a long journey (that continues), and many many years of self-discipline, practice and immersion on my spiritual path. I haven’t stayed with one particular tradition and perhaps that is where some of my reluctance comes from. I have never 100% agreed with any particular path, there have been pieces that resonate for me, I explore and learn as much as I can and when it no longer resonates I move onto the next piece, whether its within that tradition or not.
Throughout my years I have completely immersed myself in Hawaiian Shamanism, Native American Shamanism, Yogic Traditions, Tantric Teachings, Pagan Wisdom, Earth Medicine and so much more, they have each added an important piece of knowledge and understanding to my life and myself and yet each step has required time to fully embody those teachings and I guess this is what I am really saying. That it is not enough to use a name, to label yourself with a title, to do 1 or 2 courses, to feel attracted to something and then put yourself up as an expert in that area, to claim a title that you have not earned, to mislead people because it will get you followers, or likes, or money, or power, or because you are arrogant enough to assume that you are ‘this’ without actually having done the work.
This is something that I am re-exploring now as we speak, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that to reach my full potential, to step up to my souls purpose, to be in true divine alignment with my higher self, I have to find a way to not only own and accept this large part of myself, but to also find a way to share it with others that doesn’t feel stupid, ignorant, arrogant or disrespectful.
I am totally open to suggestions, while at the same time enjoying the gentle self-exploration that this new awareness has revealed to me. If this resonates with you, whether you are still finding your way, or feel like a master at your craft, I would LOVE to hear your opinions, insights and feedback on this topic.