FAQ Shamanism

What is Shamanism?

Shamanism is an ancient practice used for healing and divination. A trained shamanic practitioner has learned how to intentionally alter his/her consciousness so that he/she can travel from ordinary physical reality to non-physical reality, commonly referred to as the spirit world, the dreamtime and non-ordinary reality. Once in the spirit world, the shaman connects with a special group of helping spirits that he/she has developed a relationship with over the course of many years. These compassionate spirits are actually the ones who do the healing and/or offer information. Since we have free will, the spirits can only intervene in our lives if they’re invited. The shaman is simply delivering someone’s invitation for healing to the helping spirits.

Is Shamanism a Religion?

No, it’s actually a spiritual technology that can be likened to a specialized form of meditation. Shamanism, in and of itself, contains no dogma. However, some shamanic practitioners/cultures attach dogma to the practice claiming there are right and wrong ways to do the work.

What is Shamanic Healing?

Shamanic healing offers an effective way to understand the story of your symptoms because the practice bypasses your conscious mind – the part of you that wants to understand – and gives the practitioner direct access to your unconscious mind, where negative emotional and psychological patterns and wounds reside. Once in this territory we can begin the process of clearing self-defeating patterns in order to make room for a new and healthy story to emerge from the landscape of your  essence – one that allows your truth to shine through.

The goal of shamanic healing is to bring all aspects of the self – body, mind and spirit – back into balance, to reconnect you with your personal power and invite courage and understanding into your life. To do this, the shamanic practitioner uses the following healing techniques:

  • Extraction The removal of the seed of self-defeating, negative belief systems and/or emotional traumas.

  • Soul Retrieval A highly specialized form of healing where the shaman journeys to the spirit world to find and recover soul parts lost as a result of trauma. The fragmented parts are then reunited with your core self making you whole again

  • Power Augmentation Boosts your personal power by connecting you with your own personal animal and plant helping spirits.

How do you work with clients?

Shamanic healing can be done either in person or long distance.

In-person session A healing session typically lasts an hour and a half. We begin by chatting about what’s going on in your life and what your goals for healing are. Once the direction for the session is set I begin the healing session. I start by doing a brief opening ceremony: sage is burned to clear the room of any negativity and a rattle is used to call in the spirits and set the foundation for a safe, productive session. A monotonous drumbeat is then used to help me get into and sustain an altered state of consciousness. Once in an altered state I travel to the dreamtime, connect with my helping spirits and invite them to address the issues you’ve requested to heal. My job is to closely observe what they’re doing while they work on you so that I can let you know at the end of the session everything that happened. When the healing is completed I’ll tell you everything that I perceived.

Please note: In-person shamanic healing sessions are no longer offered in Northfield, but are now offered in Montpelier at Lucid Path Wellness.

Long distance session Initially I like to talk with you on the phone to find out what your healing goals are and to answer any questions you might have. During that conversation we schedule a second time to chat on the phone to go over the healing journey. In between phone conversations I dedicate some time to doing the healing work on your behalf. (You don’t need to be aware of when I’m doing the work for it to be effective.) As with an in-person session, I begin with a clearing ceremony and then travel to spirit world in order to connect with what I like to call your dreambody. My helping spirits work on your dreambody while I observe. When the healing is over I immediately go to the computer and write down everything that I perceived. During our scheduled phone meeting I’ll go over the healing journey with you and answer any questions you have. After we talk I’ll email you a copy of the healing journey for your records (I can mail you a copy if you don’t have an email account).

If you’re interested in reading a detailed account of long distance shamanic healing, several years ago I wrote a book called Slaying the Mouse that captures my nine-month shamanic connection to a young man in a coma. When the events took place I lived on the east coast and the young man was in a hospital in Arizona.

  • In-person healing session: $100 (sessions typically last 1.5 hours).

  • Long distance healing session: $120.

  • Clearing Ceremony: $85 (added fee based on travel time/mileage)

  • Free consultation: I’m happy to offer a free phone or email consult if you have questions or want to run your situation by me before making a decision to schedule a session.

What are your fees?

Can I combine a Shamanic Healing session with an Energy Genesis session?

Following a Shamanic Healing session with a session in the Energy Genesis is a powerful combination. The Energy Genesis gives your body the opportunity to bring the Shamanic Healing into harmony with your body, making for a quicker integration of the shamanic healing.

The fee for back-to-back sessions (approximately 3 hours) is $185.

What kinds of problems do you work with?

Perhaps because of my background as a psychotherapist I seem to primarily work with people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, low self esteem, unhealthy relationships and/or have a history of trauma. Many of the people I work with usually find me when they’re feeling stuck in their symptoms and have tried contemporary approaches like psychotherapy and medication without success. I also work with people who have the desire to take the next step in their spiritual journey or are interested in discovering their soul’s purpose, but are feeling blocked. From the shamanic perspective it doesn’t matter if your symptoms are manifesting emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually because everything is tied together.

How successful is shamanic healing?

Over the years I’ve found it difficult to predict how successful a healing session is going to be. But I can say that I’m continually blown away by the outcome of many healing sessions, which is why I keep doing this work. I tell the people I work with that in most cases a healing session doesn’t result in instantaneous change, but is more like a huge jump start to your healing process. The effects of a session can take hours, days and sometimes weeks to fully integrate and manifest. But to maintain the momentum of the session it’s important to consistently use the tools you received during a session on a daily basis in order to keep from slipping completely back to your old unhealthy patterns. If you don’t stay on top of things, the effects of the healing will be short-lived.

One of the things I’ve discovered is that the success of a session is relative to your desire for change and healing (in most people this is usually coupled with some anxiety about changing). In other words, the more motivated you are – the more you want to change – the more likely you’ll experience long term effects.
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What kinds of things do you see when you're in an altered state?

Since I’m dreaming while awake everything I perceive is symbolic. Many times the focus of the healing session (eg, low self esteem) is revealed to me like a story or fairy tale – and always with a happy ending!

Should I be afraid of what you might find?

Many people express concern that I might discover something unsettling or upsetting about them or their lives when doing a healing session. What I’ve found is that if I’m perceiving correctly nothing I encounter during a session should come as a surprise. Instead it should be a validation of your experience.

Do you offer Shamanic Training?

I currently offer training for people who are interested in having a shamanic practice. A training program is designed based on your shamanic goals (ie, personal and spiritual growth, learning healing techniques, etc). I also recommend that participating individuals complete The Magical Path shamanic workbook in conjunction with their training.

What is your fee for Shamanic Training?

Currently, the fee for in-person shamanic training is $45/half hour with most training sessions lasting an hour and a half. (The frequency is up to the individual)

Do you offer Shamanic Workshops?

One-day shamanic workshops are typically offered in the Spring and Fall.