Let's begin this post by understanding who exactly is a shaman. Spend some time in reflection and jot down your version of shamanism. Once you have a working definition of shaman and shamanism, you'll begin to identify traits and signs of whether or not you're called to be one. If you're reading this article, I'd say there's a high chance you are one, or at the very least, are destined to go down the road less travelled.
Well, our ancestors lived a life that was at least a thousand times more difficult, more complicated, more hectic than ours- the only thing they had a scarcity of was resources and privileges. However, the one tool that they had, that we have, and we will always have despite our circumstances is our mind and intuition. Both of these are vastly different yet interconnected. Hence, we have systems, philosophies, traditions, and religions we built over time to organize society. Shamanism is one such belief system or tradition that relies on our connection with Mother Earth to help us stay protected, aligned and in harmony with all that is.
Traditionally, a shaman is a soul who was assigned the role of "the wise one", "the medicine man", or the "chosen one".
A shaman is a soul in tune with Spirit. Shamans, ancestrally or energetically, inherit the rite of passage of connection with the world of Spirit.
A shaman is capable of attaining alternate consciousness, go into a trance state, journey into the Lower, Middle and Upper Worlds, connect with indigenous flora and fauna, retrieve lost souls, assist the departed souls to make their way safely to the afterlife and essentially do everything that was required for the well-being of his/her community or tribe.
Different indigenous Tribes have different signs they used to identify a shaman. Some believed the one who can survive being hit by lightning is destined to be a shaman. Some believe surviving a snake bite is a sign. However, in the modern world, we don't usually get struck by lightning or have snakes around. This has led to many people being unable to recognise the path they are meant to travel.
Here are some common signs that you might resonate with if you are called to the path of Shamanism
Signs that you're a shaman
1) You are going through a Spiritual Awakening
If you are dealing with an ego-death or an awakening process, chances are you have a higher purpose, which may very well be shamanism. If you are unsure if you are going through an awakening, check out the signs and stages of spiritual awakening and see if you resonate with them.
2) You are connected to Mother Earth
If you are meant to be a Shaman, you will feel a connection with Gaia. You will crave her embrace, honour her as an emblem of divinity, and will be moved by her mystery. Ask yourself: "What is the one thing that bothers you about the world?" Is it pollution or poverty, deforestation or mistreatment done to animals? Even in an unawakened state, a shaman will feel connected with the Divine Mother. He/She may not have had a chance to explore it or do something about his/her concerns, but a shaman will always feel an intense, sometimes unexplained bond with or desire to serve Gaia.
3) You are dealing with a physical or mental illness
This may sound a bit cliche but you need to be sick to understand sickness. A mid-life crisis, an unexplained, chronic or incurable sickness is what usually awakens a shaman to his path. Another reason for the midlife crisis is our world today is full of so much noise, we rarely go within. A crisis will require us to take time off and go within, try everything we can possibly think of to help us heal and get better, opening us up to the world of alternative medicine, modalities, traditions. ( If you're a shaman, most likely you will find the cure in the shamanic ways of being).
4) Shamanic Sickness
If we fail to answer the call of the Shaman, life will trigger and challenge us until we choose what is chosen to be. This may again manifest as physical or mental exhaustion and sicknesses such as fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, chronic pain or autoimmune disorders.
5) Near-Death or Out-of-Body Experience
One of the main gifts of a shaman is to be able to explore the world outside our own. We may stumble into the Spirit World during a surgery, an accident or even accidental astral travel. Remember, nothing is an accident in the spirit world. If you have accessed Spirit World or have had an out of body experience, chances are it was for a reason.
6) You have a strong connection with animals
Whether it’s your pets or animals in general, you feel deeply connected to them. You may even be connected to one or more of your Power or Spirit animals. You may receive messages through totems like butterflies, dragonflies, elephants, bears or any animal. Power animals, especially if wild, doesn’t have to show up in real life for you to receive its message. They may show up in your dreams, or cards you pull or on your feed again and again until you acknowledge the message they bring.
7) You don’t fit in the society
Shamans are traditionally regarded as quirky or eccentric. Since they are the bridge between the seen and the unseen worlds, they struggle to feel a sense of belonging in society. After their awakening, most of them start living on the outskirts of a city or a village to embrace their uniqueness.
Being full of innate wisdom, shamans don’t always feel the need to seek answers or support from the external world. You may not necessarily be aware of “why”, but you may have always preferred your own company over anyone else’s. Not that you don’t like people, but even the routine conversations may feel exhausting and overwhelm you.
8) You are highly creative
Poetry, drama and art are primary ways many shamans choose to express their creative side. If you have always been into any of these, it may just be your inner shaman trying to express itself.
Shamanism interests me but I’m still unsure if I am one
Well, the best thing you can do in this situation is to not overthink and go about living a normal life!
Take some time, meditate and ask for your purpose.
Your purpose is far greater than your job or anything you think you love, and it will choose you long before you decide to go down a particular path.
If you still don’t feel satisfied, I’d say start spending time and energy in service- to God, to Mother Earth, the Universe or anyone you believe is greater than everything else. The more you connect to the Divine, the more it will light up your path towards it.
I’m a shaman, what now?
Well, you should consider educating yourself about the ways and practices of shamanism. Consider books, courses, or apprenticeship- basically, all you can to get started on your journey. You can even try setting up a shamanic alter for yourself.
One of the best things I think can assist your initiation is Munay Ki- a shamanic modality based on Peruvian traditions. Munay ki is the path to becoming an Eathkeeper, coming into your power and assuming stewardship to Mother Earth. It is a series of 9 energetic transmissions that filters out psychic sludge and activates your energetic field to become the healed, whole and aligned versions of ourselves- to complete lifetimes of soul evolution in this one and step onto your purpose.
Hope this article assisted you in figuring out if you’re called to be a shaman.
Do you feel that you are one? Let us know!