“Annie, if I become a shaman, will I be able to help people, to heal them?”
I get asked this a lot … and I always reply: “Well, yes and no. And at first, no.”
The first requirement from you as a trainee shaman is encapsulated by the rubric: “Physician heal thyself.”
Shamans blaze a trail for others to evolve along through burning up their own pain and trauma, and for that reason, they are often called the Wounded Healer. Until then they, just like everyone else, have no means or power to help others, no matter how many courses they’ve gone on.
Shamans can ONLY heal through healing their own woundedness first. This means many a long night facing the Shadow, and not flinching when it shows you what needs to be done.
The processing work may not even be solely about the you in this life. Shamans are also required to do ancestral healing and so you may have to first deal with woundedness going back many generations, and which is still manifesting itself in the present – alcoholism being a classic example of the kind of vampiric disease that doesn’t end with the death of the alcoholic.
Only when you have processed enough of your own wounds will you be ready to help others and, at first, you will be amazed how those who come knocking on your door are needing help and healing for what you have just faced and dealt with.
After a while, you come to expect it and stop bothering to advertise. You realise that the spirits are sending you just the right people who are ready to walk the path of the trail you have just blazed into being.
[Artwork by Tim Rodriquez on Pixels.]