I just spent a most wonderful weekend learning and living to the Shaman’s Drum. Shamanism is a practice that is known throughout the world and has been used by tribal communities since the beginning of time. The Shaman is a healer and a wisdom seeker. S/he journeys in a altered state of consciousness (what Michael Harner calls the Shamanic State of Consciousness) to seek the help of spirit guides and power animals, often on behalf of someone else and often for healing purposes. I took a basic shamanism course a few years ago in a place called The Edge-Northern Algonquin Park (www.shamanismcanada.com) which is absolutely fabulous. We learned how to contact our power animals, how to journey to the different shamanic ‘worlds’ and how to journey on the behalf of someone else. This past weekend, I took a more advanced 2-day workshop given by the Federation for Shamanic Studies on extraction healing, which is a method of removing energy intrusions that cause people harm. I met some amazing, amazing people there, all people who saw their place in the world as a place of healing and of spirit.

Shamanism is a great practice for those of us who struggle with multiple spiritual paths. The FSS teaches core shamanism and as such it is non-denominational. So, people of various spiritual/religious backgrounds can join together and do healing work without having to negotiate their beliefs too much. It is very much grounded into concrete, real-life work, which is nice for those of us who like to get our hands dirty. Also, it is a GREAT teaching tool to learn about energy, about trusting our inner voice and about connecting to the universe. I use the techniques I learned in many rituals and use journeying to talk to my Guides. The FSS gives courses throughout the world, so I strongly encourage you all to check this out. Courses schedules can be found at http://www.shamanism.org/workshops/ A good book is also Michael Harner’s ‘The Way of the Shaman’.