Category Archives: shaman

How To Choose Your Shaman

The other day, I got sucked into an internet “rabbit hole”. You know, one of those times when you click on a link and then another until you’ve followed it into Wonderland and you never know what’s going to pop up …

Well, this journey yielded a great article on choosing your shaman. It’s called 11 Ways to Know a Good Shaman When You Meet One  written by Jessica Brinton.  So, I thought it was worth sharing. My own comments are in red. Continue reading

The Worlds of the Shaman

artist unknown

We often hear that the shaman travels “between worlds”. When asked how we travel through time to recover soul pieces, we often say it is because in the dimensions we travel, there is no time, space or distance. That the spirit world is non-linear.

To quote our book Shamanism and Soul Recovery – Everything You Wanted To Know But Didn’t Know What To Ask –

“The shaman is one who chooses to “walk between the worlds” of everyday reality and the spirit realms for guidance or healing.

They are able to slip out of their ordinary reality into an “altered state of consciousness”. In this state of shamanic consciousness, the shaman is aware of both the physical world and the spirit world or “Otherworld” at the same time.

He/she acts as an interpreter for the spiritual realm. Shamans treat ailments/illness by mending the soul.

Alleviating traumas affecting the soul/spirit restores the physical body to balance and wholeness. They also travel to the spiritual realm to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community. Shamans may visit other worlds/dimensions to bring guidance to misguided souls and to ameliorate illnesses of the human soul (Shamanism and Soul Recovery – Everything You Wanted To Know But Didn’t Know What To Ask, Debbie & Gary Gent, 2012, p.2)

So, what are those other worlds or dimensions we travel in? Many shamanic traditions believe that this unseen reality is divided into three separate worlds: the Upper World, the Middle World, and the Lower World. Each world has distinct qualities, including particular entryways and recognizable landscapes. The three realms are linked together by a vertical axis that is commonly referred to as the “World Tree.”

The Upper World above is the realm of unrealized potential, higher knowledge, and enlightenment. It is the domain of gods, goddesses, and evolved teachers/Masters. Many people experience the Upper World as very ethereal. The light tends to be bright, although the spectrum of colors can include everything from soft pastels to complete darkness. The landscapes in the Upper World are varied, and you might find yourself in a crystal city, phenomenal places of learning (i.e. classrooms and libraries) or simply in the clouds. In our training, this is where souls go when they are “taken to the light” to rest and prepare for their next journey. Here the shaman meets with teachers and ancestors who will aide the shaman through training and who will help guide the shaman in his/her work. Shamans also come here for cosmic wisdom, divine inspiration, insight, or to find ways to restore balance within themselves, their clients and Nature.

The Middle World is our reality as we know it. It is our day to day lives and the residing place of our physical bodies and our normal waking consciousness – the spiritual dimension of our physical world. Middle World journeying is a way of communicating with the spirits that live in all things present in our physical reality (Nature, pets, weather Spirits, the Moon, etc). It’s so parallel to the world we live in that we can visit all the places, people, and things we know in our ordinary reality. Shamans typically journey to the Middle World to find lost and stolen soul pieces, lost or stolen objects, or to do long-distance healing work. The shaman many come to both the Middle World and the Lower World to commune with Nature.

The Lower World is the realm of animal, plant and nature spirits, spirit guides, and the Land of the Dead. The Lower World is often be seen as being the place where evil spirits live, darkness pervades, and in general, not a good place. This is mainly due to our cultural conditioning of “Hell”. While the Lower World can contain some “not so nice” people and places, it is not a place of evil or Hell. The landscape in most places of the Lower World tends to be earthy, filled with mountains, deserts, dense jungles, and forests – the realm of Mother Nature. This is where guardian animals(Animal Guides/Allies) or helping spirits are found. It can also be a place of tests and challenges. This is where we often find soul pieces of those who are suffering and stuck. A spirit journey to the Lower World is generally undertaken to seek the help and guidance of an animal spirit, to recover lost power, or to find and return a sick or stuck person’s wandering spirit.

Shamans are said to travel to these worlds by climbing the World Tree. The World Tree is the bridge that connects these three worlds; it is the central axis about which the universe of the shaman extends. And it is on the Tree that the spirits pass from one world to another. The roots of the World Tree touch the Lower World. Its trunk is the Middle World and its branches hold up the Upper World.

extracted from Shamanic Connection’s Spring 2014 newsletter

The Void and the Empty Chalice

Winter has joined us here in Oregon and nightly covering us with her blanket of deep white frost. If there was any moisture in the air, we’d certainly have snow. Since the beginning of Samhain (right after Halloween), I have been slowly moving deeper into my personal cave, covering up with warm blankets preparing to hibernate for winter. For me it’s just instinctive… weather turns cold… hibernate! Give me a snuggly blanket, a book and a pair of knitting needles and I’m one happy bear!
As Yule approached quite a few years back, a teacher of mine, Patricia Ballentine (, explained this to me with the idea of the Empty Cup or Challice. Continue reading

The Shaman, The Spirit Healer & the Earth

Talk about coincidences (and yes, I know there really aren’t any)…On Friday, I was forwarded the video links and this announcement from Global Spirit and asked if I would post it. Then last night we happened to be in Grants Pass and had the honor of attending a screening of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers’ movie “For the Next 7 Generations” (more on this next blog). Flordemayo, who is one of the speakers in this event is one of the 13 Grandmothers. Continue reading