Applied Shamanism FAQ

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What is shamanism?

Shamanism is one of the oldest systems in the world for acquiring knowledge and accessing healing. The term shaman is used to describe the healer, counselor, and spiritual adviser of a community. It is a Tungus word meaning “he who knows,” though it is commonly used to refer to healers in many indigenous cultures.

How is shamanism taught in this program? Is it taught within a particular shamanic tradition?

The Applied Shamanism program at Sacred Stream provides training that moves beyond the boundaries of acculturated practice. Rather, it brings forward practices that are common to a wide spectrum of acculturated contexts. The result is one of the most complete trainings in shamanic practice available anywhere. In Applied Shamanism courses at Sacred Stream, traditional practices where the power of the shamanic practitioner is emphasized are adapted to facilitate the empowerment of the client. Power retrievals, soul retrievals, drum initiations, removal of energetic interference, mediumship, drum healings, space clearing, creation and maintenance of ceremonial space are just a few of the activities that students learn to manage. What makes this program different from other shamanism training programs is that it consistently seeks to demonstrate how to apply these principles and techniques to the challenges of modern life. The Applied Shamanism workshops at Sacred Stream seek to offer students tools for understanding this wisdom in a contemporary context and for working with them in the service of others.

What issues can be addressed with Applied Shamanic practice?
In the Applied Shamanism workshops at Sacred Stream, students are taught to look at the energetic or spiritual aspects of imbalance through the shamanic lens of power loss, soul loss, and energetic interference, and also learn core shamanic methods to address these imbalances. The shamanic model views most imbalances to be a result of power loss, soul loss, or energetic interference. Soul or power loss is usually due to some kind of trauma, including surgery, accidents and abusive situations. Modern day shamans consider addiction, chronic fatigue, depression, and other illnesses to be a result of soul loss. In contemporary terms, soul loss is comparable to arrested development in parts of the psyche. Shamanic techniques have also proven to be a powerful and effective way of dealing with issues of power loss at the heart of most mental, emotional, and physical ailments.

How can I integrate applied shamanic practice into the work that I’m doing professionally?

Many of our students are licensed psychotherapists or other types of healers who are looking for new tools to use in their practices. The shamanic counseling techniques that you will learn in these workshops do not interfere with other modalities. Instead, they inform and expand the possibilities for almost any type of therapeutic paradigm. The tools you learn in these workshops will help you take your healing practice, whatever it may be, to a new level of integration.

I’m interested, but I have doubts about my abilities to enter into an altered state.

Many people have doubts about their ability to enter into an altered state but very few people are unable to do it. Entering an altered state through meditation, chanting, prayer, journeying or hypnosis will not involve losing your awareness of where you are or what you are doing. In fact you will be in control of you actions and able to communicate easily. Most of us experience light trances states, such as daydreaming or doing mundane tasks on “automatic pilot.” Doubts about being able to enter into an altered state are addressed in the Shamanic Journey workshop.