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Shamanism and the Shaman

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

By Carmen Berry

These are words that are quite popular and are having a revival in our contemporary time and age. They are words that resonate deep within one's being - are we finally remembering who we are? Shamanism, (which can be easier understood as Amerindian spirituality) is known to be the most ancient spiritual practice known to mankind. It is not a religion; it has no dogma, no rules, nor a set of beliefs, but simply put, a way of life.

It emphasizes experience through knowledge - that is, knowledge attained through personal experience of action. Simply put, Shamanism is the study and practice of the principles and techniques used by Shamans/Shamanikas and the interrelationship of one's own spirit with the spirit of everything else, (be it human, animal, plant, mineral, and celestial). It is not nature worship but rather a developing of nonverbal, two-way communication with the natural world, and its inhabitants.

Shamanism teaches us that everything is alive and has a Spirit. The celestial, plant, mineral, animal, and human are all a part of the sacred web of life, and all have their respective place in the universe that is to be honoured and respected. This way of life, this ancient spiritual practice is the most simple, practical way of bringing mind, body, and spirit into balance and wholeness.

The Shamanika/Shaman is a woman or man who has had a "Calling" from Spirit to serve her/his community by having a special relationship with the Spirit World for the purpose of guidance, healing, protection, and restoring balance and harmony between humans and the natural world. An individual who can see with what is called the "Strong Eye" has the capability of traveling into hidden realms, interacting directly with helper spirits to address aspects of dis-ease.

Shamanic Healing: The Shamanic view is holistic. The Shamanika seeks to bring an individual into a state of balance and wholeness, by addressing the spiritual origins of dis-ease. From a Shamanic perspective, dis-ease is caused by a Loss of Life-Force. This may occur through Power-Loss, Soul-loss, Spiritual-Intrusions, Ancestral and Past-Life Issues. Addressing the origins of Loss of Life Force, the Shamanika releases the energetic imprint/s of trauma, which then no longer feeds the recurring imbalance. The Shaman restores an individual's life force through various means and provides guidance for the integration of healing, allowing the individual to return to a state of balance.

How does Shamanic Healing work? Through a shift in consciousness, with the assistance of drumming, singing, chanting, shamanic breath, and power songs, the Shamanika enters a non-ordinary reality to request guidance and healing from the Spirit World. Becoming what is referred to as a Hollow-Bone, or Conduit to the spiritual realms so that healing can flow through to the individual. The sounds and vibrations facilitate a shift into deeper states of consciousness necessary to access the guidance and healing energies from Spirit.

About Carmen: I received the "Shamanic Calling" in my early 30's. Not having heard of the terms Shamanism or Shaman, I embarked on a journey of research, study, and self-discovery. 20 years later, my journey and shamanic training continue, under the guidance of my Spirit Family, Nature and Great Spirit. I refer to myself as an Apprentice Shamanika, if needed, as it is only the Shamanic Spirits that can initiate one to hold such a title, which happens very late in life. Accepting the "Call" is not to be taken lightly, as it requires a lifetime of dedication and discipline to Great Spirit, Spirit Helpers, as well as nature - with a continuing honour and respect thereof. In today's times, many people are being called by the Shamanic Spirits to become Shamans and Shamanikas, and many people are from non-indigenous cultures. This may be because of the urgent need for restoration and balance between humans and the natural world. Humans have forgotten who they are, they have forgotten the sacred connection, and are separate from themselves and each other, as well as from nature and Great Spirit. This we can see in the wide array of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual dis-ease.

"Remember Who You Are." - Carmen Berry

If you would like to know more, you can contact Carmen on her email address:


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