Good question. I'm so glad you asked.
First of all, it feels important to make note of the fact that I choose to refer to myself as a "Shamanic Practitioner" instead of a Shaman. While I have studied and experienced Shamanism (various types and teachings) for over eight years, the truth is that I don't feel at all qualified to call myself a Shaman and perhaps I never will. This isn't to say that I have thoughts, ideas or beliefs (aka judgements) about who should and shouldn't call themselves a Shaman, I just know that for me, it isn't currently a fit.
Now that that's settled, where were we?
Oh yes, "Shamanic Practitioner" - I have grown to expect the weird looks and eyebrow raising that this seemingly "woo-woo" title inspires.
In the literalist sense of the word is simply means "one who practices Shamanism". And oooooh I do. I use it in my daily life. The teachings of Shamanism, as I understand them, have completely changed my life. They have empowered me, helped me to feel more connected to the natural world, helped me to understand my ancestry and lineage, helped me to conceptualize healing in a more holistic way, helped me to see plants and foods a medicines for healing, the list goes on and on and on. And truthfully, I feel like I am just scratching the surface of these teachings.
So what can Shamanism do for you and how might I use it to help you in your transformational journey?
In my practice, I often use Shamanic Journey as a tool. Shamanic Journey is kind of like a guided meditation, co-created between the two of us (or led by me if it's a group setting). We talk first so that we can set an intention for the journey. I will offer prayers for guidance and gratitude. I will often use smudge as well as use a drum, rattle or singing bowl to guide you, along with my voice into a visualization or sensory experience. Depending on what we set as our intention: We will see what we need to see, hear what we need to hear and feel what we need to feel throughout the journey. When it feels complete, we will return to this time and space. More prayers. More smudge and that's that.
Not so "woo-woo" after all right?
Other Shamanic practices that I have used with clients include creating ceremonies, opening sacred space, creating an altar (inside or out), soul retrieval etc. We will have likely worked together at least once before we would get into any of these so not to worry about the details.
In terms of my coaching practice, some of my clients absolutely love the Shamanic tools and others not so much. It is totally up to you. If I feel that a journey or a ceremony might be a good tool to use I'll suggest it but whether or not we go that route will be totally up to you, my client.
Hope that clears it up for you.