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10 Signs You’re a Shaman & Don’t Know It

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As I feel indebted to the shamans who saw themselves in me and helped me understand why I have always felt like I don’t belong in mainstream medicine, the intention of this article is to respectfully honor the shamanic tradition, and not to violate it in any way.  

Because modern culture doesn’t have a role for the shamanic archetype, many people who grow up outside indigenous villages are shamans and don’t know it. Many naturally wind up in overtly healing professions, such as medicine, psychology, or life coaching. But some wind up in professions where they may feel like they don’t fit in at all. Even those who enter the healing professions may feel out of place, because the systems of Western medicine and psychology leave little room for a shaman to practice his or her natural healing art. But many will wind up in various forms of sacred activism, healing the planet, for example, rather than healing people.

Are you a shaman and you don’t know it? Here are some telltale signs that you might fit the archetype.

1. You sense that you’re meant to participate in the global shift in consciousness that is currently underway.

We can all feel it, this impending shift that New Agers have talked about for decades. But those with the shamanic archetype don’t just feel it, they feel it pulling them, like a magnet, towards leadership positions that help facilitate this transformation of human consciousness and evolution of the species.

2. You’ve been through a difficult initiation, which has prepared you for this leadership role.

In indigenous cultures, the village knew who the shaman was because he or she was struck by lightning and survived. In modern culture, you may not literally be struck by lightning, but you may have survived some other life or heart-threatening ordeal. You may have experienced childhood abuse, sexual violence, a near-death experience, or some other trauma that put you through the crucible and forged you into the healing earth shaman you are becoming.

3. You are an introvert.

Shamans are multi-dimensional beings who dance between the realms of the seen and unseen worlds, so if you’re of the shamanic archetype, you may have a hard time navigating the 3D realms of this dimension, which may cause you to withdraw into yourself so you can visit the realms of consciousness where you feel most at home.

4. You feel most at home in nature.

The shamans of a culture are the bridges between nature and humans, serving as translators between the mountains, oceans, rivers, animals, and people. You may sense that nature is talking to you or that you get your most tuned in downloads when you are surrounded by the natural world.

5. You’re very sensitive.

You may feels things others don’t feel, see things others don’t see, hear things others don’t hear, smell things others don’t smell, and sense things others don’t sense. This may make it hard for you to be out in public, where you may feel accosted by over-stimulation of your senses. If you embody the shamanic archetype, it’s likely that you’re the kind of person others may feel is “too sensitive.” But this sensitivity is a blessing. It’s part of your gift.

6. You feel a sort of spiritual calling to ease the suffering of people, animals, and nature.

Many health care providers are called to medicine the way priests are called to the priesthood. But you don’t have to be a health care provider to have the shamanic archetype. It may transmute itself into healing service to animals, sacred activist causes, or conservation of Mother Earth.

7. Physical ailments that fall under the category of “shaman sickness.”

In the indigenous cultures, shamans who have been called to service but haven’t yet said “yes” to the call often wind up struck with physical ailments. In modern culture, these shamanic sicknesses may fall into difficult to treat categories like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic Lyme disease, chronic pain disorders, and autoimmune disorders. Acceptance of the call to shamanic service often resolves the symptoms of shaman sickness. If you’re suffering from one of these illnesses, ask yourself, “Am I a shaman who hasn’t said yes to my calling yet?”

8. You tend to have vivid dreams.

The unseen realm may be communicating with you through your dreams, so try analyzing your dreams. Pay particular attention to any animal totems that may appear in your dreams. Google search the animal and “spirit totem” and see if you can find any messages from the animals in your dreams. Or try a Jungian analysis, like the one described here.

9. You may discover unusual spiritual superpowers, or what the yogis call “siddhis.”

You might be psychic. You might get healing visions like the one in my previous post about the meeting of Western medicine and Shamanism. You might realize that you can heal people with your hands or that you can telepathically communicate with animals, people, or even inanimate objects.

10. You’ve always felt like you don’t quite belong anywhere, because you are a bridge.

Shamans tend to live on the outskirts of the village for a reason. They are not like the others – and this is a blessing! In village life, this is understood and recognized. But in the modern world, it may leave those with the shamanic archetype feeling like they don’t ever fit in. But don’t despair. You DO fit in. Your role is essential. You may find that you fit in best with others who share this shamanic archetype. Among your fellow shamans, you will feel like you are with family.

Embrace Your Bridge Work

Because shamans are always operating between worlds, you may find that you’re connecting mainstream culture and the culture that wants to be born in the new consciousness, and this may feel uncomfortable, as if you don’t quite fit in. When I realized that I am a bridge between mainstream medicine and the new world of medicine that is being co-created by others who share the shamanic archetype, it brought me such a profound sense of relief! This relief is shared by the health care providers who participate in the Whole Health Medicine Institute, which I founded for doctors and other stealth shamans. If you’re one of those bridge workers, please know that you belong with all the other stealth shamans in this program, designed to merge medicine and spirituality, and we’re enrolling for the 2016 class now.

In our culture, it can be quite challenging to be a stealth shaman. Yes, it’s a blessing to have the opportunity to help people end the story of separation, to dissolve the apparent duality into Oneness, to fulfill our callings to bring the worlds together, to heal people, animals, and the planet. But it can be lonely and disheartening and scary and isolating. I sense that many of us stealth shaman bridge workers have scores of past lives during which we were persecuted for our attempts to connect the worlds, so no matter how much we know in our hearts that we are all One and we DO belong, we have cellular memories of past traumas, during which we were literally killed because we refused to fit in. So it takes tremendous courage to come out of the spiritual closet as someone who embodies the shamanic archetype. In order to keep being brave, we need to feel safe. To feel safe, we need to foster a sense of belonging so we don’t feel isolated on top of feeling scared. In order to feel safe enough to keep bridging, we need each other.

Are you a shaman who is still in the closet? If so, please know that there are many of us, and we hold you close in our hearts while you muster up the moxie to claim your place in the world.

To begin embracing your purpose, please feel free to check out my new book The Anatomy Of A Calling. Click the link below to see if it’s for you:


Here’s to bridging the realms and healing our world!


Leave a Reply


  1. Shane says:

    Aww that was nice n heartfelt blessings

  2. Oli says:

    Intresting, thanks

  3. Karl lind says:

    I am shaman and healer in Norway and my main goal is to help souls a live or dead.I also help animals and balanse houses

    • Jen says:

      Where in Norway? I’ve recently moved to Bergen and am in search of my new tribe here.

      • Benny smeds says:

        Hey, this article was full of LOVE, lets connect on Facebook Benny Michel Smeds and all more. o love in Finland, just came from Lapland where I was discovering the Sami culture and the pure air ❤️

    • Benny smeds says:

      Hey, this article was full of LOVE, lets connect on Facebook Benny Michel Smeds and all more. o love in Finland, just came from Lapland where I was discovering the Sami culture and the pure air ❤️

  4. Mary Carolyn says:

    Running from this for years. Ready now.

  5. Irene says:

    I just finished reading this great article. You answered me. I can’t thank You enough for this article. Is there a headquarters. Will look more into this. Thanks again. Irene

  6. deb weatherby says:

    this article speaks to me. please send info. about the classes….

  7. Trina says:

    Thank you for this, it explains so much to me.. Love ‘n’ Light!

  8. Lissa Rankin says:

    Thank you to those of you who resonated with this post. The world needs all of us stealth or not so stealth healers to say YES to what we are called to do, in service to Mother Earth, the animals, the plants, and each other.

    Blessings to you all
    Lissa Rankin

  9. ROD says:

    Many Thanks for Info & The e-Book!!!


    This is My Gallery in YourShot Community… Feel Free To Share… _/\_

  10. Mykael David says:

    Wait… what?? With all due respect to the superficial intention of this article… In my opinion, this is incredibly insensitive and disrespectful. A Shaman is a person who was first selected by the tribe or community as clearly connected, and then underwent a near lifetime of training and focused tutelage under an elder of their tribes shamanic/spiritual traditions. I am quite fed up with this Facebook click bait nuevo spiritual BS that we are All Shamans just because of a list of things that nearly every normal human being (including the ones that aren’t self-centered) shares with one another. I am calling out everyone to be consciously respectful of a great tradition.

    • Estefani says:

      100% agree!

    • Rod MacKinnon says:

      This is an excellent example of the worst kind of “plastic shamanism”. If you read this article and now think you’re a shaman you’re deluded. You’ve just demonstrated you have no understanding of shamanism. Shamans aren’t someone who suddenly decides “oh, I think I’m a shaman, must get some beads and stuff.” For everyone’s sake, stick with your day job.

    • Sharie says:

      The author of this article deliberately vaccinated her own child after researching the dangers. Obviously she’s a bit of a fraud and not to be taken too seriously.

    • justjax says:

      I am scattered about taking in knowledge from all kinds of stuff I will keep my reply simple explain later if need be but I see a teacher a story teller in ur words whatever label u choose so I guess I am say please tell share with me what you know I would like to and care to know listen and learn 🙂

  11. Vera Kasi says:

    1. You sense that you’re meant to participate in the global shift in consciousness that is currently underway.
    Yes. Much.
    2. You’ve been through a difficult initiation, which has prepared you for this leadership role.
    Yes. Many.
    3. You are an introvert.
    Social hermit. Need lots of time for self.
    4. You feel most at home in nature.
    100%. Since I was a kid. I love nature more than most people.
    5. You’re very sensitive.
    6. You feel a sort of spiritual calling to ease the suffering of people, animals, and nature.
    Yes. I do.
    7. Physical ailments that fall under the category of “shaman sickness.”
    Yes. Absolutely.
    8. You tend to have vivid dreams.
    I do. And in them, my totem is always a huge, strong, brown bison who is as close to me as a lap dog would be. A strong and loving, wonderful bison. There are others too, but the bison is the closest.
    9. You may discover unusual spiritual superpowers, or what the yogis call “siddhis.”
    10. You’ve always felt like you don’t quite belong anywhere, because you are a bridge.

  12. Terri says:

    So where/what does one do now?

  13. lozen/robin says:

    working on it;in the traditions i’ve been taught,i must keep my ego from swallowing me,so it’s not for me to decide to call myself shaman/Medicine person,it is others who verify it.peace to all of us who walk between worlds/realms

  14. rogue says:

    Wow i was allways wondering am i special or different and why most of my vishes come true and today i just looked at a dog from my aunt he was lieing on the floor and i looked at him and said im my mind come here and he stood up and came to me like i was telepatically calling him and it worked and so many strange things i couldnt explain happened to me and now this helps me on my way i allso saw on tv that people can heal with their hands and energy and i tryed a bit of that and it sorta worked and i also love the supernatural and spiritual people and things it fascinates me add me on facebook fosho mynig or write me an e mail maybe together we can guide our selfs better and enhance and make this world a better place for all living beings to live

  15. Robert Krug says:

    Your article brought me to tears! I have struggled for so long not always understanding why I going through all this and having the strongest desire and often telling people that I felt like a bridge. Only to have mock me or pass me off. Please let me know where I can start. I am ready!

  16. Stacey says:

    I too am a Shaman @ SoulSelfLiving.com. Thanks for the article.

  17. James says:

    I believe that I am an “indigenous medicine healer.” Great Spirit has been calling to me, giving me visions and past life memory flashbacks. I have consulted with several other psychics, healers, astrologers, the works and everyone agrees that I am a healer who has reincarnated multiple times to heal the Earth and the people who walk it. I also have doubts about all this and feel that I just believe what I want to believe or that I am going crazy. But if we look back through religious history we can see that Jesus called Himself the Son of God, and the world killed Him because they thought He was crazy. In the end, was He really crazy or was He actually the Son of God? Are people who have shamanic callings just believing what they want to believe, or is the Universe really asking for their help? Being a medicine healer is not a choice, it is a calling that cannot be ignored. Am I offended that there are people using “shamanism” to make money, yes. Just like there are bad Christians and bad Muslims, there are bad shamans. Am I offended that people are taking weekend workshops and online classes to be shamans without putting in any real effort into becoming one? Yes. But am I grateful that these opportunities exist so that I may go through retraining and reeducation to relearn multiple lifetimes of information that I lost when I reincarnated into this lifetime, yes. Great Spirit does not choose where it sends you. It didn’t make me Native American, it didn’t make me Native South American. I have ancestry with Celtic shamanism and druidery, but I prefer Amazonian medicine over European. So I really enjoyed this article as it has helped me reaffirm my beliefs of who I am and why every time Great Spirit asks me to answer Its call, I get really sick, exhausted, and experience severe back/shoulder pain. We all need to realize that the Universe works in mysterious ways, influencing people to connect in a manner to others that may need this. We live in the future where shamanic societies don’t exist anymore outside of small tribes. If we were all living in ancient times, nobody would be arguing about whether this is good or not. So please, think hard about everything before any judgment. (Some of this is in response to Facebook comments). The last part I enjoyed reading because I had to give up shamanism in my past lives to become a Buddhist because of all the wicca/pagan witch hunts. I was a shamanic priest-king who was executed and beheaded by order or my wife, the queen because she thought my beliefs were ridiculous. I was a Native American healer when a group of foreigners and “ghosts” came through our land bringing suffering and death. I have past life memories of this, and my spirit animal has been by my side since the beginning. The purpose of my incarnation in this lifetime is to come full circle, and to be a shaman again after so many years hiding from it.

    • Jessica says:

      Beautifully put….. Couldn’t have said it better myself…. Bless you and your journey… Good luck my fellow light worker.

    • sharon says:

      Let your inner teachers and your inborn wisdom teach you. Observe and listen to others but do not assume they know more than you. Witness and access. May your path be blessed. I would love to hear more about your journey as it progresses. All the best to you.

  18. Cindy says:

    Wonderful article, Lissa. Many blessings to you.

  19. Little Otter says:

    Thank you. Meta tatay

  20. Rosanna says:

    Reading your piece was like looking at myself. In church many have tried to call me a prophetess, but I have pushed such a title away. Perhaps those persons were picking up these 10 qualities about me? Now if only I could find a true mentor… Be blessed!

  21. Bonny says:

    This was so enlightening to me I am in shock. I have been through sexual abuse and have Ben through a very traumatic divorce at which time a psychic ability came to light. My parents told me I talked to people in the other side since I was a child but was told this was evil and to stop this. I have had fibromyalgia since shortly before the divorce. I can’t believe how all of this hit home for me. I would love to know more. Thank you Bonny

  22. michelle says:

    I have been like this since I was a very young child, but was discouraged in using my various gifts. I started accepting and using my gifts when I tuned twenty, but in my mid thirties my father and my grandmother who were my biggest supporters died and I was also going through a bad divorce. I turned inward and quit using my gifts. For the next 30yrs I was miserable and always physically very ill. 4 yrs ago I let go of all my pain and hurt and embraced all my gifts and healing powers., I reconnected with nature and the universe and started practicing again. Growing up Catholic made it very difficult and into my 30’s most people thought I was out there . Now I embrace my life and my gifts and feel blessed to be able to share it with others.

  23. Sharel Lee Bodine says:

    Yes all so true… I was born a shaman…, was aware of it through my teenage years.. Ten denied it fir along time …. But my dreams never ceased … It has always been my calling…. And now it is great to be around so many other healers… So many more people seeking and understanding… The world consciousness is changing….its a beautiful thing… The greatest feeling is when you discover that you feel comfortable in your own skin because you are doing what you were called to do! Thank you again… Hozho… Navajo saying for”walk in beauty” .. Meaning be one in balance with nature…

  24. Linda says:

    Hmmmm… Sounded like you wrote my biography. I’ve been told by several that I am a Shaman but not sure what to do with it.

  25. Kathleen says:

    Thank you so much for your words, which resonate so strongly with me. Particularly as I am bridging my father into the next world at this time. I am thankful to be a holistic nurse practitioner who does healing work in my practice, yet walks in the conventional medicine world also. Always integrating!

  26. Darlene says:

    Thank you.

  27. David says:

    I am what I have always been ! It makes sense ov my life ! I feel a power in me and now use it for heeling ! My life is amazing! My name was sent to me ( red hawk ) I am ready for what I was sent for ! It’s strange I have always felt I was broken and not ment for this place ! So glad I understand now ! Time for me to do my work . Love and light

  28. Mel says:

    Ah I so resonate with this since I was a little girl. Now at 25yrs old I’ve been through over a decade of diblatating chronic pain ailments. Feeling so lost.

  29. Tim says:

    2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, & 10

  30. LAURENCE says:


  31. Lisa Brinton says:

    In my opinion, anyone who calls them self a shaman ,probably isn’t

  32. Sloan Bashinsky says:

    No shaman would have written such a thing as this. The author has no clue what becoming a shaman entails. She seeks attention and to make money. 2 other readers’ comments down below are on target regarding what I described yesterday as tribal shamans who are chosen and trained by the tribe’s shaman to replace the tribe’s shaman. People who go to tribal shamans for training, intending to leave and go back into society and be shamans, and make a living at it, tend, in my experience and observation, to be not what they think, or wish, they are cracked up to be. Shamans chosen and trained by the Spirit World (angels), are something else entirely, Jesus for example. Hope you are feeling better. Sloan

    Mykael David
    January 18, 2016 at 7:55 pm
    Wait… what?? With all due respect to the superficial intention of this article… In my opinion, this is incredibly insensitive and disrespectful. A Shaman is a person who was first selected by the tribe or community as clearly connected, and then underwent a near lifetime of training and focused tutelage under an elder of their tribes shamanic/spiritual traditions. I am quite fed up with this Facebook click bait nuevo spiritual BS that we are All Shamans just because of a list of things that nearly every normal human being (including the ones that aren’t self-centered) shares with one another. I am calling out everyone to be consciously respectful of a great tradition.

    Rod MacKinnon
    January 19, 2016 at 10:19 am
    This is an excellent example of the worst kind of “plastic shamanism”. If you read this article and now think you’re a shaman you’re deluded. You’ve just demonstrated you have no understanding of shamanism. Shamans aren’t someone who suddenly decides “oh, I think I’m a shaman, must get some beads and stuff.” For everyone’s sake, stick with your day job.

  33. Yes I am says:

    I have to be a shaman. I spent much of my teenage years and a mountain called storm King in Cornwall New York. I was there to communicate with the spirits that are present in a powerful place like this. The site where I used to sleep is said to be an old Indian graveyard which has been totally effaced this point but it was the place that I found to sleep. I pursued education and Western medicine and I find it to be somewhat of a joke. Even as a family practitioner it’s very hard to be The type a holistic healer that I had long to be. There are many other things that make me know I have been a shaman all long. I feel a strong need to pursue this part of myself in a way that is more formal as to this point I have been self taught. The mountain gave me more insight and knowledge than any other type of education I have received. Thank you for putting this site up.

  34. Michelle says:

    Wow, this is akin to reading my biography! I work using intuitive insights, kinesiology and homeopathics to heal people’s stresses. I see people’s past lives and any stresses that are being held onto which are affecting the persons health and wellbeing in this life. I’ve always seen things others can’t and feel so strongly that mainstream medicine is lacking. Combining mainstream medicine with ancient and intuitive medicine is how medicine should be, not one or the other.

  35. Kristin says:

    This is exactly why I named my practice Reindeer Bridge Holistic Health. I know I am supposed to provide a bridge for people to safely pass back and forth between the two types of medicine. I specialize in clinical herbal medicine, clinical aromatherapy, holistic nutrition and shamanic reiki. My community doesn’t quite know what to think of me yet but they are slowly remembering while their DNA recalls what a healer is. I’m on a small island so I am a little isolated since I cannot find anyone who does all that I do. I thank you for ‘sending up a flare’. 🙂 we do need each other.

    • Kristin says:

      The sickness that brought me to shamanism in 2010 was unbelievable. I can’t even imagine what my life would be like right now if I hadn’t said yes. I trained with Hank Wesselman for 5 years and it has been amazing. it transformed me into who I am and I am living my destiny.

  36. Jen says:

    I believe that a better term that would better describe in the 21st century is “Healer” oppose to “Shaman”. I have great respect for the indigenous people in our country (US) and it appears that Shaman is a very sacred way of life and special hierarchy in the Native American tribes.

    Yes, I do believe there are very few people that are blessed with a healing gift. I also believe that because of God’s love is so powerful that people can be chosen that is not a part of a deep rooted culture with teachings specifically on natural healing. This uniqueness is a gift so it is up to the “Healers” job to learn and better themselves as much as possible of what goodness that speaks to their heart. All powerful “Shamans” and/or “Healers” of the past sacrificed themselves to make it better for us. I mean using themselves with “Highest love of light” as a medium to “Heal”.

    I enjoyed reading positive remarks. Thank you.

  37. Andrea Guillot says:

    Thank you so much for the enlightenment. I have felt this all of my life. I am currently an ICU nurse. Always love my patients and families. I’ve always felt that there is so much more to just medicinal healing. Please send info on any classes you may have. Thank you.

  38. Kate L-Mead says:

    The above information is amazing.. I am considered to be a Healer,many people come to me and have cone the here and when I lived in different countries abroad Hypnotherapist, artist, musician.

  39. david exo says:

    Feel-good fluff and nonsense. I’m sorry, but there’s a LOT more to being a Shaman than your list. You’re obviously referring to a ‘New Age’ Shaman—where all you really need is the right hat! A true Shaman needs to have gone through decades of strenuous physical and psychological initiation under the guidance of a spiritual master. This process invariably involves the ingestion of psychoactive plants in a ritual setting, exploring and mastering different realms of reality and the beings that dwell there, and perfecting psychic, intuitive and healing powers.

    • Amber says:

      I am somewhat feeling a certain way as well about the things I’ve read about this calling. I was wondering what you think about timeless lessons being taught to you both physically and mentally by a “actual (spirit) guide not a living being? Do you consider this to be above all the best teaching and guidance?

  40. mo says:

    I qualify all of the above yet have no idea how to proceed, am from Ethiopia.

  41. Maryann says:

    Thank you.

  42. elaine duffy says:

    Answered ” yes” to most of these. Fascinated with shamans. I have too much humility to consider myself. a shaman but would to meet one!

  43. Catherine says:

    I have always felt “out of place,” as if I just don’t belong here. I’m intrigued to learn more!

  44. vidula says:

    very interesting! loved reading this! thank you.

  45. Penny says:

    I feel like this and I’m mildly autistic. It’s my belief that autistic people just don’t have a place in western culture and the constant sensory overload is too much for sensitive people. If we could live the life we are meant to have ie in nature, in peace and quiet, helping people, we wouldn’t be pathologised. This article makes me understand why my life is falling into place since my first reiki attunement.

  46. Twana says:

    Apparently truly am.

  47. Rebekah says:

    This is really interesting and spot on for me. Do you have any recommendations for me? I’m a nurse and a mom and spread pretty thin as of now on time and money. Any available outlet for investigating this that doesn’t cost money and that I can do on my own time? I have always felt a pull towards medicine and being a healer.

  48. Nell says:

    Very many thanks for this article – it’s spot on. Love to all.

  49. Christy says:

    Thank you so very much I needed this. The The fustration that I feel as a Nurse, you touched on so much in this article thank you again very much

  50. sherilynn says:

    I feel all these things. Always have. ???

  51. mara says:

    thank you for the post. i myself feel like i am tearing apart, because i know, tat this is my calling, but i know no more shamans or havent yet met them in may way, but i know it will happen soon

  52. Ginger says:

    i am finally allowing myself to accept the calling I didn’t want.

  53. Kasmin says:

    It touched a chord. Lots of love and light

  54. JC says:

    I am like this. It’s been hard. It has been lonely. It has cost me a lot. I understood your writings.

  55. kelly says:

    I answered a powerful relief filled YES to all 10 of the above …..now what lol

  56. Scott says:

    I’ve never lived in a city, I grew up in the forest drinking water from a creek and eating animals that were raised on the property. I’ve always had a gift, and always knew there were more like me. I’m now a light healer, with a special gift to the world, and other worlds like and not like earth. Thank you for your kind words Lissa, keep inspiring people and one day the world will wake up. Your’s truly Scott.

  57. Benny Smeds says:

    Thank you for an article full of love ❤️ Here is an article about me when I got chosen as 1 of the top Nordic leader in Norwegian magazine now in February 2016

    Sending love and light to all of you from Finland with the holy reindeers ❤️

  58. J D says:

    Lissa Rankin,are you a shaman? A Sioux Shaman once told me I had three totems. What do you think?

  59. Terri Armstrong says:

    That’s it, in a nut shell how my life’s been

  60. […] 10 znaków, że jesteś szamanem i o tym nie wiesz. W sumie… gdzieś w głębi serca chyba zawsze o tym wiedziałam. […]

  61. Jade says:

    Hello, my name is jade 🙂
    I have read about being a shaman as I feel, hear and communicate differently to others. I feel I can change the world and I need people to help me. I have had things like you have wrote about, happen. I can’t stomach certain food, I can hear people’s thoughts and also emotions and I also have had two car accidents where I came out fine, but I’m still perfect and happy. I literally am needing your help as I feel I can’t go anywhere, I can’t be around people and I want to embrace my gifts. I will not change for anyone but only for love and divine light of God and our world. It’s too beautiful 🙂 so when you are not busy, if you can send me a message in regards to help working with you! The more people to work together the more we can change the world. I see the good in everyone yet, hear all the bad. And feel as if it’s getting taken out on myself. I feel like a joke. And I feel how other people feel emotionally and everything else. It’s not the best and I feel as if I want to be isolated. I look forward to hearing from you too!
    Kind regards, jade (:

  62. Nela says:

    Well..thats me! I was born that way, and without one organ. Everything you say here describe me. But thats just not enough for me to except that means I’m a shaman. 🙂 It’s kind of funny. I have heard that before..but still. I would like to speak with you if thats possible, I’ll try to contact you somehow. Until then, stay the same. Namaste

  63. Critter says:

    Thank you for posting this blog post.
    I am a Völva / Hedgewitch (Haegtessa), Reiki healer, and dream worker.
    I have suffered from fibromyalgia (which is hereditary, my Nana has it), bipolar depression (bipolar 2), and nightmares, some of them so severe that I have woken up in physical pain associated with what I was dreaming I suffered– for instance, bee stings. Definitely, accepting the role as a shaman, or type of shaman or healer, helps to alleviate some of the “shaman illness” or psychic illnesses that shamans suffer. A lot of this has to do with the wellspring of support that becomes apparent from your deities and the ancestors you work with. But the suffering never completely goes away. Rather, it assimilates and becomes mixed with your joy and your path. You learn to tolerate it, even understand it a bit.
    What I find interesting is that, the vast majority of the time, a true shaman rejects their role for years before they are initiated into the tradition. For years, I considered myself a witch, a healer–many things– but I refused to associate myself with the word shaman. I never understood why that was, until I realized I was trying to avoid my own pain. A true shaman knows that being a shaman means pain, hardship, and a relationship with the cycles of death, life, pain, and joy. You experience overwhelming hope and light, but also overwhelming pain and sorrow and death, sometimes your own, and oftentimes that of others. That is part of the job description, so to speak. It takes a long time to come to terms with that reality.
    Many people who idealize or glamorize the Shaman’s path, want to be shamans but do not realize what it takes. I don’t say this merely to be dismissive or to lecture. It is just reality. Too many people like the idea of the path, read a book and buy a bunch of paraphernalia, host a workshop or two, and thinks that this makes them a shaman. The truth is, that in order to be a shaman, you have to have suffered. People think it’s all about drumming, humming, groovy vision quests, and spirit animals. That can be part of it for some shamans, but that is not the core of what being a shaman is. If you do not know what the core is, you were not meant to know, because it can not be described with words alone. It is a deep feeling, that most people simply don’t have.
    I’m not saying this to disrespect people or to try to dissuade them from pursuing the things which interest them. You might find drumming, journeying, and animal spirits to be very helpful. Many people who feel drawn to shamanism are in fact drawn to paths and works that come from traditionally shamanic cultures– or cultures that were either lead by or at least valued shamans in their community. But you don’t have to be a shaman to find healing in drumming, drawing up runes, and contacting your guides and ancestors. All I’m saying is, that this is a different path that is related to shamanic cultures, but is not shamanism in and of itself.
    The fact is, if you are a Shaman, it is not a matter of choice. You can not choose to be a Shaman, and you can not choose to not be a Shaman. You either are or you aren’t, and it’s as simple as that. Do not go looking to create an ordeal in the hopes of becoming a Shaman. If you are meant to follow an ordeal path, that is your prerogative, and such a path can be meant for many types of people, but it does not ensure that you will become a Shaman.
    One last thing I’d like to say, is that not all shamans practice the same way. So, if you see or hear of someone else’s practice, saying that it’s not for you, and use that as an excuse to deny your own path as a type of shaman, then you are not doing yourself any favors. I know, I’ve been there. If you are a shaman, it can’t be avoided. I do not, for instance, “horse” or allow myself to be possessed by a spirit (at this point in time, at least, although one of my deities has tried to convince me to give it a try with him). The idea of being possessed is too painful for me at this point in time, given my history with human beings who were abusive and possessive towards me. Many, if not most, other Shamans, and people who call themselves shamans, do “horse,” especially practitioners of the Norse path who are notable for coining this term in the first place. Whether you horse or not does not guarantee that you are or are not a shaman. Whether or not you do dream work or spirit work the same way I do is also immaterial. If you are a shaman, your spirits, ancestors, and the constant stream of people asking for your help with healing and for advice, will be the ones to tell you, even if they do not use the word shaman. Trust me, you will know. Listen to the signs, listen to the whispers. And above all, listen to what your own subconscious, your instinct, your intuition is trying to tell you. It will be the one most brutally honest with you, and will tell you you are when you don’t want to be, and you’re not when you do want to be. Listen to that voice. It will spare you some suffering. But only some.

    • Critter says:

      One more thing I’d like to say is, do not listen to anyone in this comment section or on any forum, virtual or real, where someone is trying to tell you you are not “qualified” to be a shaman because you don’t meet their personal list of criteria, based on whatever information they were fed.
      If you are a shaman, you and you alone are the one who can confirm this with your soul. The soul of a shaman is different from all others, and your own inner knowing and the voices of your spirit contacts are higher knowledge than internet trolls and academia combined.
      You do not have to be Mongolian or Siberian to be a “true shaman,” just because that is where the word comes from. You can be a Miko, a Völva, a Wichasha Wakan, or any other name from any culture that is a name for shaman. Whether you use a particular method, or use a particular name does not matter. You may or may not have been chosen by your community. You may or may not come from a hereditary line of shamans. You may or may not have a day job in addition to being a shaman. You may or may not have a spouse and children of your own. You may or may not have an official title you go by, or have official recognition as a shaman. None of this matters, on the spiritual level. What matters is that you have access to the many layers of worlds and spiritual illnesses because of what you’ve been through, and this enables you to be a healer in ways all other people can not be. Even this is not full proof criteria. The only completely honest evidence is your soul. You will know, and anyone who declares that what your soul knows to be true is wrong, is either lying or doesn’t know what they are talking about.
      Being a shaman isn’t a matter of being respectful to culture or not. Just like a person can not help the language they were raised to learn, or how tall they are, a person can not help whether they are a shaman. There are people who try to be shamans who aren’t, who may “appropriate” purchasable goods and hold workshops. This is meaningless, and is ultimately not worth arguing over. You can be a shaman and still participate in buying such goods or books, or what have you. This will not make you any more or less of a shaman. If you are a shaman, you don’t need permission form an academic professor, an online blogger, another shaman from another culture, or Mongolia or Siberia. You can’t help whether or not you are a shaman. It’s as simple as that.

  64. Shirley says:

    trying to figure things out.

  65. Belinda says:

    Thank you excellent article

  66. Amber says:

    I don’t know if you’ll read this or even care for that matter I need to communicate with someone real who can help me through this journey. I am experiencing an intense spiritual awakening and a calling which has brought me here. I now need to know how to control the abilities I was given because right now the spiritual communication is at full force and I don’t know how to listen when everyone is talking all at once… Please help amberelena77@gmail.com