It is a real pleasure to have been invited by Sharon White to be one of the contributors to Holistic Living Magazine, and connect with all the readers – the reason for Holistic Living. (This article come straight from Holistic Living Magazine).
While this issue focuses on a Diabetes theme, I am going to take a broader, more holistic approach to my first article here.
I intent to speak about shamanic healing arts as I have been taught them and how and when they are best used to provide deep healing in ways most other medicines, Western or energetic – cannot.
I will touch on ways shamanic healing can be used to bring healing to major diseases, like Diabetes, as well. And, finally, I will share a little about my work and myself so you know a little about my teachers, which will give you, my readers a basis to consider what I share.
I would also invite you all to suggest future topics, comment on my current topic and just connect as we take this part of the healing journey together.
Buckle up, friends, and let us take a little journey into shamanic healing and medicine now. Starting at the very beginning, let’s define shamanic medicine and healing as I know it and have practiced it for some time.
So… what is a shaman? Have a little fun here and don’t read further until you look at how you would describe a shaman. Take your time, I’ll wait.
Good work. Here is ‘shaman’ as I know the meaning. Shaman is one who has learned many traditional medicine ways and has spent a long time working in the deepest, most difficult places of mind, body and spirit.
Shamans were often called in when all else had failed or when a case was so complicated someone with diverse healing skills and deep understanding was needed.
Often the shaman goes into the darkest places to find answers and will sometimes guide the patient there to find the energy needed to heal. There were never a lot of shamans and they often lived lives separated from most people.
Shaman is one of those words that has been so misused over the ages that it has lost most of its meaning.
Other medicine people and energy workers may learn some basic shamanic techniques but this, respectfully, does not make them a shaman. In fact to be considered a shaman, or medicine person or healer needed to be titles given by the communities they served.
This has changed somewhat over time, as there are so many more people now and so many ways we need healing help. Yet the basics remain, being a shaman requires a long period of time of learning and experiencing and the temperament and spirit required for the work.
By defining shaman in the traditional indigenous way, we have also defined shamanic medicine. It is the medicine and healing work where going deep, deeper, deepest into a person, their spirit or their past is needed.
Let’s talk a little about Diabetes now and how energy medicine can help with healing, and specifically how shamanic healing can help.
I have worked with a number of people with advanced Diabetes, since this is one of the diseases my Native American elders often focused on, since it is rampant in many native communities.
As I travelled around the globe learning from elders of various cultures, I found Diabetes and heart disease very pronounced in many of their communities.
Those are also diseases on the upswing in many Westernized communities as well. Why is this? There are many reasons – some physical, some diet choices, but some are also metaphysical and spiritual.
To deal with one of these chronic diseases, like Diabetes, requires an understanding of their spiritual and energetic basis and an ability to work on the causes with diverse alternative medicines.
Before going any further with this I must confess I am not a fan of chemically created pharmaceutical medicines. These medicines are too often created to cure, not heal – that is; alleviate pain.
Sometimes there is a need to lessen pain and then a ‘medicine’ to accomplish this may be warranted, but I prefer finding a natural plant-based medicine.
That confessed, what are some of the spiritual causes of Diabetes? Many of my teachers of different cultures delved into “how is your spirit diseased, which appears in your body?” questions.
Two Bears, my primary teacher for years, saw a major cause of the Diabetes that so plagued his people as the inability of the body to process sugar properly caused by lives not sweet enough in their living.
He well knew that diets too rich in sugar also contributed greatly, but he saw this as a response to the physical and spiritual life condition, rather than a stand-alone cause. He also saw insufficient exercise and unhealthy living conditions as causes.
I remember the first person with advanced Diabetes he spoke to and asked me to stay and listen. He was a man, 38 years old, who also had heart disease and blood disorders.
As Two Bears spoke with him he blurted out, “What good to live. I want to be so much more. But I can not.”
Over time Two Bears, with my small contributions and support, worked with this man – whom I will call Tom. For almost two years as I remember it. First he worked with Tom on meditating and connecting to source and to his cultural past. Telling stories and working with crystals and nature.
This may sound simplistic, but being in a place where healing is welcomed in is critical to shamanic practices. Then he got Tom to work with some plant medicine and gave him some herbal drinks and food.
These helped Tom lessen his physical consumption of sugars and raise his spiritual energy. Adding sage and other cleansing herbs allowed Tom to consider going deeply into his psyche for shamanic healing approaches and spiritual awareness.
I watched Two Bears work energetically with Tom for several hours as he took him on a spiritual journey of his and his people’s past. And then guide him to places where there were ‘sweet options for life’ as he called them.
The plant medicine as combined with crystal work, energy work, nature healing, feather healing and deep journeying to places that are fearful to go, but necessary for one who sees no point to life. This combination of spirit and energy medicine was the ‘shamanic prescription’ for Tom.
I began learning and practicing the shamanic spirit guiding during this process to add to my plant, crystal, ceremony and energy work – slowly and carefully, with Tom’s permission and Two Bears amazing teaching as always. After 2 ½ years Tom was considered ‘healed’ by Two Bears.
Healing Tom would need to accept and work with every day for the remainder of his life. I saw the tests Tom had taken at the hospital near the reservation shortly afterwards.
There was no sign of Diabetes, his heart was greatly improved and the blood disorders gone. Over the years I have seen results like this in towns, cities, villages and jungles conducted by medicine people and shamans where the need and causes are deep.
I hope this helps with a feel for true shamanism. It is not the sort of thing you can take a few courses, or even spent months in the jungle with an elder, and become a shaman. Or even a medicine person. You can learn many things to help others, but not truly use the deepest medicine.
Not much time to speak of my road – but enough. I have worked with healers and indigenous elders for 30+ years, learning plant medicine, animal medicine, energy work, learning and conducting healing ceremonies – and delving deeply into shamanic medicine.
My teachers were Lakota, Wiyot, Blackfoot, Mayan, Aboriginal and African as well as metaphysical healers and alternative healers. I have worked with clients locally and around the globe via Skype.
And I am honored to have been taught these arts over such a long period of time and asked to use the skills I have learned by my peers and communities.
Looking forward to hearing from you and continuing the journey together.
You can find much more information on living a holistic lifestyle in these free magazines and on our YouTube channel.
Jim Graywolf Petruzzi – Shamanic Healer