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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Signs of a Shamanic Calling

Many people in today's world are being called by spirit to become shamans. A yearning exists deep within many of us to reconnect to the natural world. It is a call to a life lived in balance with awareness of nature, of spirit, and of self. We live in a culture that has severed itself from nature and spirit. Humans have lost touch with the spirit world and the wisdom of inner knowing. The spirits, however, have not forgotten us. They are calling us to a path of environmental sanity, to rejoining the miraculous cycle of nature.

Spirit calls us to a path of shamanism in many ways. It can be as dramatic as a life threatening illness or as simple as a dream. Some people receive signs of a shamanic calling through their dreams. Shamans frequently journey during their dreams, often flying through the air. Shamans may have recurring dreams in which they meet certain animal or teacher figures that are manifestations of the very spirits who are calling them. 

In Siberia, the homeland of shamanism, it is believed that certain characteristics are a sign that the spirits have selected an individual to become a shaman. Sometimes the shamanic candidate will have unusual marks or bodily characteristics such as being born with extra fingers or toes. Being born with a caul (thin membrane) covering your head is recognized worldwide as a sign that a person has a special relationship with the spirit world.

The more common signs of a shamanic calling are ones of personality, such as a desire to spend time alone in nature. Shamanic candidates tend to be loners and are often considered eccentric or "different." One of the most reliable signs of a shamanic calling is the urge to learn about shamanism. One of the things I have learned working with spirits is that they often prompt me through urges to do one thing or another. This is a common form of communication and instruction by helping spirits. The very fact that you are reading this article at this time is meaningful. It is the spirits themselves who are guiding you to search for information about shamanism. Your yearning to learn more about shamanism is a sign that the spirits are calling you. The call functions to awaken your own inner knowing and the yearning to express your true self through the artistry of the shaman.

In contemporary Western culture, people who have shamanic callings often don't understand what is happening to them, and may find themselves overwhelmed by fear of their non-ordinary experiences. To help potential candidates gain an understanding of these events, I have provided the following list of signs that you might have a shamanic calling. Have you had:

  • An intense desire to spend long periods of time alone in nature
  • Vivid flying dreams, prophetic dreams, or recurring dreams with the same animals or teacher figures
  • Recurring encounters with the same animals in ordinary reality, possibly in unusual ways
  • Frequent feelings of déjà vu
  • Imaginary friends as a child
  • Any physical, mental, or emotional abnormality that set you apart as a child
  • An strong connection with plants or animals
  • An awareness of subtle healing energy in your hands
  • A near-death out-of-body experience
  • Astute and accurate intuition and the ability to "read" other people
  • A parent who has paranormal abilities, such as prophetic dreams or telepathy
  • Ancestors who were healers, herbalists, or doctors
  • An occupation in the healing arts
  • Frequent clairvoyance, clairaudience, or other paranormal experiences
  • Were you born with a caul (thin membrane) covering your head
  • A life threatening illness, accident, or unusual event such as being struck by lightning, especially if this included a long recovery
  • A strong inner urge to learn about shamanism
If it seems that these signs are very general and happen to a lot of people, it is because the spirits call many to work with them, but only a few may respond to the call. Choosing to ignore a calling may have undesirable consequences or none at all. For some, it can lead to depression and illness as the life force is constricted and thwarted. Those who choose to follow their shamanic calling may have no idea how to begin.

What do you do if the ancestral shamanic tradition no longer exists in your culture, but you still feel the call today? While traditional, indigenous shamanism continues to decline around the world, shamanic ideology has gradually entered Western humanities and social sciences and developed into the neo-shamanic movement. Neo-shamanism is a term used to describe the creation or revival of a shamanic culture. Most modern shamanic practitioners fall into this category. Neo-shamanism is not a single, cohesive belief system, but a collective term for many such philosophies. Neo-shamans use a variety of core techniques from different shamanic disciplines.

Mircea Eliade, a religious scholar, was perhaps the first to write about neo-shamanism. In his classic work, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques ofEcstasy, Eliade discusses the three stages of becoming a shaman: the Call, Training, and Initiation. The first stage to becoming a healer, as described by Eliade, is that of the calling -- this call comes from the family, the community, or from the world beyond. Some are called, initiated and trained by spirit guides and/or human teachers from childhood.

Shamans are called, and then receive rigorous instruction. Training may follow an ordered tradition or take a spontaneous course guided by the shaman's spirit helpers. The function of training is to develop the skills and talents so that shamanic practitioners don't unintentionally hurt themselves or others. Though the spirits give shamans their healing powers, shamans must learn the technique of invoking them. Traditional shamanic training requires considerable devotion and personal sacrifice, not so much to gain power, but to become the person who can wield that power responsibly. Ongoing practice and learning are essential to perfecting any art or skill.

Where does one find shamanic training in the digital age? There are growing numbers of spiritual seekers who learn about shamanism from the internet or through reading the published works of individuals who have received shamanic training. Though a handbook is no substitute for an apprenticeship program, it can convey the fundamental methodological information. Authentic shamanic knowledge can only be acquired through individual experience; however, one must first acquire the methods in order to utilize them. Once you have learned the basic skills, your helping spirits can provide you all the training you need.

Then there is Initiation. Shamanic initiation is a rite of passage, connecting the apprentice shaman intimately to the spirit world. It is typically the final step in shamanic training, though initiation may be set in motion at any time by spirit's intervention into the initiate's life. Ultimately, shamanic initiation takes place between the initiate and the spirit world. It is the spirits who choose and make the shaman.

In my 2012 book, Shamanic Drumming: Calling the Spirits, I recount my own journey into shamanic practice and explore what someone should do if they feel the call to become a shaman. Working with the guidance of my helping spirits, I have written a guide to becoming a shamanic healer that encompasses the power of the drum, of community, and of the accountability inherent in authentic shamanic practice.

How does someone embark on the shamanic path? To be an effective shamanic healer, one must go through the three steps. The first step is to acknowledge the calling.

© 2013 by Michael Drake

50 comments:

  1. This is one of the most clear cut, unbiased articles on shamanism I have ever read. I would be honored if you would allow me to share this on my page, with you as a guest blogger.

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    1. Danielle, thank you for your feedback. You are welcome to share this article.

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  2. I found your site several weeks ago, and find myself visiting almost daily, soaking everything up. This article filled me with encouragement and was very validating to recent experiences I've been having. Thank you for your generosity of spirit and sharing this information. I really appreciate it!!

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    1. Michelle…You are very welcome! I'm glad to have been of service.

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  3. Now I am very much clear about shamanism and here I am proud to say that I got call from the spirits with the above mentioned symptoms.

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    1. Thank you for sharing and connecting. May the spirits help you express your true self through the artistry of the shaman.

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  4. Hi, I arrived here in your blog because I was looking for a possible interpretation for my recent dream, in which I got chased by red ants and a couple of stag beetles. Actually, not only chased. The ants bit me in my dream.

    I have some of the signs you mentioned, I grew up in the city, but my grandmother loves gardening and he surrounded his house with different plants that it almost felt like I grew up in the woods. I must admit that I do long to be in the woods, but that maybe because of the environment that I got use to.

    I use to have vivid flying dreams wherein I visited some places I have never been to before, but eventually, I would end up visiting those place in real life. Sort of a deja vu.

    Prior to my coming here to the US, I saw some places in my dreams. Those were the times that I had frequent deja vus. Now, I'm here in the States, and for some reason, I ended up here in New Jersey. I dunno what happened, it's as if I was drag here, and now I feel like I'm at home. Weird, this isn't even my home and I don't have family here.

    I was a loner by the way, and it's not because I'm such a loser. I am a loner because I wanted to be alone. Being together with many people drains me. What can I say, I'm an introvert. And I'm not sure if I was just fooling myself, but when I was young I use to think that I have powers of healing. I can feel a warmth in my hands, as if I could see my palms turn red, then I would pretend to heal sick pets or myself. It could be placebo to think that I healed myself and it could be coincidence that some of the pets I pretend to heal did heal. But come on, I was a child back then, and I was in the stage where I had lots of imaginary friends and pretending to have superpowers. However, I did suffer a life threatening illness following a dream wherein my dead grandpa ask me if I would want to follow him.

    And yeah, I also have grandfathers (my grandma's brothers) who are into shamanism. One of them practices it, he said he has friends (I'm not sure what he meant by that actually), and another one is notorious at charming women. He said he was using some kind of spell to make women fall in love with him or whatever. It's probably nonsense, but he do have an amazing ability to predict people's fate by reading people's hands. He once said that he can see numbers in the hands... I dunno if it's real, and all of his predictions might just be lucky guesses.

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    1. Anthony. Thank you very much for commenting. You definitely have many of the signs of a shamanic calling. I am not a dream interpreter, but a dream involving beetles can signify hostility or jealousy among your associates. To see ants in your dream can signify a general dissatisfaction in your daily life. The dream may also be a metaphor for feeling antsy or restless. Perhaps you need to practice the special qualities that an ant possesses; cooperating, working with others or patiently working towards your goals. Being bitten by ants in a dream can be a sign of loss and grief, or can foretell misfortune. A shamanic journey to meet the ant can reveal much more.

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  5. hi, my name is autumn. my great grandmother was a healer. i am a big dreamer. i have every one of the signs listed. my dreams are very intense, so much so that they majorly effect my life. i meet entities and see family and friends who have passed away. i fly all over the place in the dreams and i go to beautiful places and also terrible scary places... in these dreams i feel as though i am going through some sort of training. they actually train me how to fight and how to use certain powers in my dreams. i have a blog that i started because i do not have anyone to talk to about what is going on with my life. my ggma passed away before i got a chance to tell her or ask her what her and our ancestors went through.. i would love to hear back from you and talk more about my experiences. i really need someone to help me figure out how to deal with what is happeneing in my life. thanks my blog is. http://ancestraldreamer.wordpress.com/

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  6. Autumn,

    Thank you for commenting on "Signs of a Shamanic Calling." You might be interested in reading about the "13 levels of shamanic dreaming" by Ruby Modesto, a dream shaman of the Desert Cahuilla people at: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/dreamgates/2011/05/13-levels-of-shamanic-dreaming-2.html

    Ruby has also written a book "Not for Innocent Ears: Spiritual Traditions of a Desert Cahuilla Medicine Woman." Arcata, CA: Sweetlight Books, 1980.

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  7. Beautifully written article on shamanism. Thank you for sharing.

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  8. Thank-you for your article, I am learning many things.
    I woke to the sound of a ring {a telephone ring and one call },
    this was not a dream where one sees pictures but a very clear
    ring upon waking.
    Wonder if you can explain ?

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    1. Was your telephone actually ringing when you awoke? I sometimes hear sounds in my dreams that turn out to be actual sounds. For example, I recently had a dream about a thunderstorm and was awakened by the sound of thunder.

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  9. A few years ago, I was offered an apprenticeship which I declined. So many bad things have happened since then.

    I'm back on my path and nothing will make me leave it again. I'm a bit tired of having bad things happen, so, instead of fighting "the calling," I am learning to embrace it.

    I've reconnected with the Shaman who opened the door all those years ago. Now, really good things are starting to happen, bar the 3 x heart attacks I had last week......

    I could write a book about what's happened to me just in the last month. Some might say that its coincidence. I think its the beginning of something, but, what that is, I have not a clue.

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    1. Thank you for posting your comment Robert. We are always tested by the spirits from time to time to see if we have a clear and open heart. You must show the spirit world you have passion and heart. You must be willing to take risks. It never really ends. You must prove yourself again and again. A meaningful path must have heart.

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  10. How would i go by starting out learninh Shamanism? I have a very strong urge to learn and give to others.

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    1. Where does one find shamanic training in the digital age? There are growing numbers of spiritual seekers who learn about shamanism from the internet or through reading the published works of individuals who have received shamanic training. To learn more, look inside my book Shamanic Drumming: Calling the Spirits. This book recounts my own journey into shamanic practice and explores what someone should do if they feel the call to become a shaman. Working with the guidance of my helping spirits, I have written a guide to becoming a shamanic healer that encompasses the power of the drum, of community, and of the accountability inherent in authentic shamanic practice. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0962900230/

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  11. I have dreamt multiple times that I am coyote, leading a pack through dark and lean times. I have also dreamt, as coyote, that I meet in a bright circle with other animals and we run around the world, throughout the night, looking into human souls, almost as if we are performing a count of white magic vs black magic. I wake up sore and exhausted. Recently I have met with bear and eagle. I was a blade of grass in Eagles nest, wrapped around her eggs. I felt unequivocally content. But I woke up and the restlessness came back. I'm realizing now that this restlessness I've felt since childhood, may be my calling. I am ordering your book but would also like information on legitimate apprenticeship programs (if your book doesn't include that info). My email is geweyes@gmail.com. Thank you for such an insightful blog post!

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    1. Jennifer: Thank you for commenting on my post. Your power animals appear to be coming to you in your dreams. There is indeed a "Circle of Animal Brothers." In that time before there was Time, there was Grandfather Fire. Around Grandfather Fire sat the Circle of Animal Brothers. In the old days, the beasts, birds, fish, insects, and plants could all talk. They and the people lived together in peace and friendship. You can read about the circle in my book. I will email you a list of shamanic apprenticeship resources.

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  12. Hi Michael. I first want to say thank you for writing this post. I've been in a depressing mood this past couple months trying to understand why the past two years have been full of strong spiritual experiences, prophetic dreams, deja vu, extremely strange synchronicities, and so on. I have had a near death experience of drowning when I was a child, and when I woke up to after blacking out, I felt eerily calm. My mom is clairvoyant, but has recently denied after vowing her faith to Christianity, and we are from the Philippines (but moved here when I was 3). My dad comes from a shamanic culture deep in the jungle who lived by a very sacred waterfall. I've been struggling to reconnect with my heritage since I've ignored it for so long, and trying to understand why all these things have been happening. It's really hard when there's a constant struggle in my head of not appearing "crazy" or "out there" while trying to also trust my intuition. Lately the word "mother" has been popping up....I'm a painter, ceramicist, trained singer and art historian...and all my research keeps pointing me to the Hopi Indians. I keep having dreams about different mothers...alien mothers in other planets, a dream where I returned to the womb after being astral projected into space and feeling the love of the source or "God." People have been driving me nuts, treating me as if I'm a therapist, telling me their deepest secrets, and it's a lot of emotion to carry, it's exhausts me because whatever emotion they feel I seem to soak it in like a sponge. I want to help them, I do. I just want to understand first how to protect myself from being so wiped out. I've been trying to heal myself too....from my childhood traumas...right now I have over 40 plants and I sing to them. When I took mushrooms for the first time, I could hear certain melodies and I kept singing them to my bf because I felt he had to hear it, the sounds were amazing. I don't really remember them, but he told me it sounded like some sort of Native American melody. I don't like singing out lout anymore, I've become conscious of it.....so I was surprised when I started singing, because it was as if it was something else making me sing, and it was not of my own volition. I'm not sure what to do right now....other then painting out the emotions and ideas in my head. I'm really confused, and trying to balance everyday life, work, and school. Do you have any recommendations for places or people to speak to in New England? Boston/CT area. I really need to talk to someone, I need guidance. Thank you, again for the post. Sorry for the long post, I know this message is quite a lot to take in!

    Cai

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    1. Hi Cai:

      Thank you for connecting. For as long as I can remember, I too have been fascinated with the Hopi. In the summer of 1989, my wife and I had the opportunity to attend the Hopi Butterfly Dance in northeastern Arizona. The Butterfly Dance is one of the most beautiful and spectacular of the Hopi social dances. Like most Hopi ceremonies, the Butterfly Dance is a petition for rain, good health and long life for all living things. The dance is a celebration of the harvest that recognizes the butterfly for its beauty and its contribution in pollinating plant life. See my post "The Hopi Butterfly Dance" @ http://shamanicdrumming.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-hopi-butterfly-dance.html.

      Art is great therapy. Chanting and singing are great for the soul. One of my favorite chants is Om Mani Padme Hum - the Mantra of Compassion. The six syllables purify the six realms of existence in suffering. I also recommend checking out the facebook public discussion groups "Shamanic Community" and "Shamanic Teachers."
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/shamaniccommunity/
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/121537159470/

      In peace,
      Michael Drake

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  13. Hello, I'm 19 and last summer I tried shrooms out of mystical hunger and curiosity.

    The experience changed my life -- I felt that "unity with the universal conciousness" so many pot-heads, druggies and mystics talk about but you never seem to understand...but it also ended up pretty badly.

    I felt my social and cultural reality crumble before my eyes, and I pictured it as something fake, evil and threatening. I felt like my soul ad been hijacked by culture and now, thanks to shrooms, it came out again...and it shined. I felt like I was experiencing a new and more authentic layer of reality that connected me to God, and I believed it was my "Spiritual Communion"...so I wanted to go home share this "truth that had been revealed to me" to my parents...and they sent me to the hospital.

    After this full-blown experience and two other minor trips, I've relived some phases/sensations of the trip in dreams. I've recurrently dreamed about eating shrooms..and also about jumping and flying around.

    I have a spot between my eyes, and even before taking psychedelics, I used to joke about it being my "third eye".
    My mother lived a weird phase on her youth where she was contacted by spirits, and she believes and claims to have experienced teleptahy and all sorts of parapsychological stuff.

    I think I'm being called. When I read this article I had goose bumps. I'm being called but I'm only too scared to answer.

    When I now walk my dog around the local forest, I feel like I belong there, like it's my mother. I cant look at trees the same...and their fractal patterns hypnotize and sometimes even scare me.

    I still feel a deep unconciouss resentment towards my culture -- the consumer society. but I also fear psicosis and schizophrenia.
    I dont want to sacrifice the dirty comfort of everything I think I know (my fake ego, my fake values)...I'm afraid of loneliness. I don't want to drift out of this reality because maybe then I won't know what's real anymore...

    Should cowards/mentally unstable people ever become shamans?

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    1. Greetings,

      Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like your mushroom experience was a rite of passage -- a spiritual awakening. It is not unusual to have doubts and fears regarding an initiation experience. That mystical encounter with spirit shattered your ego, cracking you wide open. Shamanic initiation serves as a transformer -- it causes a radical change in the initiate forever. An initiation marks a transition into a new way of being in the world.

      According to shamanic teacher and author Sandra Ingerman, “Initiation is the death, dismembering, and dissolving of old forms/structures/ways of life. And I have come to understand that true initiation is allowing spirit to sing into creation the new forms and new creations. Allowing spirit to sing formlessness into form creates a new evolution of consciousness.”

      Not everyone who is called becomes a shaman. You can practice shamanism without becoming a shaman. Shamanism is one of many paths back to the source. I recommend that you pray to your helping spirits and ask them for help and assistance. They cannot help you unless you ask them.

      In his book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, Daniel Pinchbeck developed the hypothesis that we are undergoing a transition to a new realization of consciousness, which will be embodied by a new fundamental paradigm that takes into account what Carl Jung called “the reality of the psyche,” which is to recognize that its contents have a living reality, along with new social, political, and economic systems that mesh with this realization. We can participate in the world’s rebirth by following our own deepest instincts, each contributing our sacred part by following that which holds for us the greatest sense of truth and meaning.

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  14. Would you know how to start or even find out for sure if you are called to be a shaman. I feel like I am but certain people think I am just picking up their energies because they are shamans and they think I am wanting to do it so bad that I am copying them. I have also been told I am a healer.

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    1. Try a shamanic journey. Shamanic drumming awakens your innate ability to commune with your inner self and retrieve information. Your inner self is in constant communication with all aspects of your environment, seen and unseen. You need only journey within to find answers to your questions. https://youtu.be/_bU0g8TiDUw

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    2. Thank you Michael for your insight. You truly are a help

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  15. dear michael this is the first time i am investigating what shamanism is. to be honest its something i have avoided as i do not understand it.
    however this morning wen i woke up i cud remember my dream crystal clear. i will copy and paste it here. maybe u can shed some light.
    before i do, im not sure if i qualify after reading ur blog... i do love being alone. had few flying dreams. i do practice reiki but not for money. i more or less live the reiki way, i believe in hinduism but also believe in archangels and saints .. seen alot of miracles and too many synchronicities to mention. my kids enjoy experiencing stuff with me and believe in miracles too. i sometimes see light with my naked eye, see many orbs thru my camera, feel mild touching on my head, during meditation often the lions eyes come to me mostly altho the owl and eagle has come too.
    i feel something is happening. all i pray for is more knowledge and understanding of the higher realms.. to hear and see and feel... and it seems they are responding to my prayers its so amazing. i love writing and i hope that somehow i can be used as a chanel to share the love and light...
    my dream cant fit all.in one box. i will attempt to make a 2nd comment xx

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    1. Jenny. Thank you for sharing. It sounds like you are on the right path. You can build relationships with helping spirits without becoming a shaman. The relationship between humans and helping spirits supports our spirit's quest for self-realization. Helping spirits, if engaged regularly and skillfully, offer flexibility, creativity and perseverance in fulfilling our own unique path. The spirits are here to assist us in doing the principal, unique thing we have come here to do in a way that benefits all living things. All you have to do is ask for help.

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  16. Hi.. i am very very impressed with what you wrote in this article, i stopped by the artical when i was searching for the butterfly dance, as i have been having clear messages from a sacred plant and also in reality about drumming and dancing and i was hearing a certain language that i didnt understand during one of the ceremonies and i have received some words or vibrations that i feel it is similar to a serpent language... also alot of messages about butterflies and fairies and magic, i think i am having a clear calling and i am all ears and ready ... thank you for that, one question about the deer drum, what is special about it ? i received a sound vibration with the name maral, after researching i found out that maral mean deer, so thats why i decided to buy a deer hand drum, but i would love to know its healing properties and any extra info from you, would really appreciate it... thank you for validating whats happening to me

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    1. Deer symbolizes gentleness, alertness, speed, adaptability, and the healing power of love and generosity. Deer is a magical creature that leads us into the transcendent realm of the collective unconscious, the infinite creative matrix of all that we are and have ever been. Deer hoof rattles are associated with thunder, and the antlers of the buck represent antenna, which attune us to the spirit world and awaken new psychic gifts. In the physical realm, Deer reminds us to be alert and pay attention before we leap into action. Deer medicine instills an understanding of what’s truly necessary for survival and what to sacrifice for the higher good. Deer teaches us to find the gentleness of spirit that heals all wounds. We must be gentle with ourselves, in spite of our errors, and gentle with others who react from a place of fear or anger. Please enjoy the following poem from Tuvan Shamanism about a maral deer:

      SHAMAN'S DRUM

      Oh! My many-colored drum
      Ye who standeth in the forward corner!
      Oh! My merry and painted drum,
      Ye who standeth here!
      Let thy shoulder and neck be strong.

      Hark, oh hark my horse—ye female maral deer!
      Hark, oh hark my horse—ye bear!
      Hark, oh hark ye!

      Oh, painted drum who standeth in the forward corner!
      My mounts—male and female maral deer.
      Be silent sonorous drum,
      Skin-covered drum,
      Fulfill my wishes.

      Like flitting clouds, carry me
      Through the lands of dusk
      And below the leaden sky,
      Sweep along like wind
      Over the mountain peaks!

      —Tuvas of Siberia

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  17. Is it normal to get ringing and buzzing sounds in my ear after listening recorded shamanic drumming for quite a while? This is my first time listening and concentrating on the drumming. The sounds of drum tend make my hairs stand up too!

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    1. Tinnitus or noise in the head -- such as ringing in the ears -- rarely indicates a serious health problem, but it sure can be annoying. Almost everyone has had tinnitus for a short time after being exposed to extremely loud noise. For example, attending a loud concert can trigger short-lived tinnitus. In order to minimize it, you should turn the volume down.

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  18. Thank you for writing this, I've been pretty confused but reading this help set things straight. I accept the calling and am just getting started

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    1. Thank you for connecting. May the heartbeat of the drum guide you along your path.

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  19. Hey Michael, ever since I was a kid I've had deja vu, encounters with spirits good ones and bad. Since my late teens shamanism has really peaked my intrest. I have dreams that predict the future on occasion but now that has gone from dreams to when I speak my thoughts it happens if not the same day it would happen that week. Recently my roommate(he's experiencing the same sort of thing and its only intensified since we've grown closer)were suspicious that there was a spirit living in our home. We took some lsd and after a couple hrs into the trip he and I were having a conversation then we both recognizedays that the spirit was in the room with us. Since then the spirit acknowledges when we talk about he/she and will turn things on to let us know it's listening. I really feel like I'm being called to shamanism and I really want to find building blocks so I can progress on my journey. Thats where I'm hoping you can help me and point me in the right direction. Thanks so much in advance.

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    1. Hi. Thanks for connecting and sharing. I would recommend you read my latest article "The Great Shift" at http://www.shamanicdrumming.com/the-great-shift.html. That would be a good place to start your journey. In Peace, Michael.

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  20. Michael I have been told I was a shaman for several years by other healers and just before that I had a traumatic vision that was absolutely devastating and life ruining. 4 years later that vision is starting to manifest. I fear it is my initiation. My final initiation. I've looked at it several times and it consumes me daily now that it has been coming to pass. It's caused an insatiable fear that will not go away. There has to be another way there just has to be. The vision was so accurate and so traumatizing it has given me PTSD. If this is what it takes to be a shaman in my life I want nothing to do with it whatsoever. It involved broken bones in numerous places including having my jaw shattered and needing to be wired shut. Amongst many other traumatic events physically. Some I prefer not to name as they are just horrid. It was a few months after this vision I met the first person who told me that I was a shaman and then many many after that. I do not want this for my life. Not this way. Do you have any advice? There are no actual shamans in my city or near me that I know of. There has to be a way to change this. I should mention I am two spirit and was transitioning but that transition was shown in this vision and has caused me to dead stop the transition to female. Born male.

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    1. Learn to Live With Your Heart, Not Your Mind. We live in a highly visual world that continually bombards us with stimulation, exposing us to a multitude of sensations that keep us in our heads. In a rapidly changing world, we won't be able to figure things out mentally, so it's best to go back to our heart and be there whenever possible. If we are able to get in touch with our hearts, we will be able to connect with the guidance of our own intuitive knowing. Intuition reveals appropriate action in the moment for a given set of circumstances. To live fully from the heart we must learn to still the mind and quiet the emotions so that our personal truth can emerge. Stopping the chatter of the mind frees us of fear, doubt, and limitation. Take the time to quiet the mind, whether in meditation or prayer, and ask to be taken into your heart's sacred space. While you are there, practice seeing the world from that point of view. The energy that comes in from the Source is directed through our hearts. When we are in sync with the heart, we are in sync with the Cosmos. As we learn to live from the heart we are able to move with the ebb and flow of change with grace and ease.

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  21. This has been more than helpful. I have been getting the call for over a year, but because it wasn't the route I was shooting for, I was ignoring it. I have gone through several sites to find out what would make me one, what the signs would be and they pretty much all have the same things mentioned, and I know I am one. This was so clear and easy to understand, all it did was confirm it for me. I had a vision in a meditation of a big flashing las vegas style sign saying yes, which was a validation for me and now it's clear what I should do. My readings have gotten better, the energy in my hands way more intense, dreams are coming back. It's exciting at this time. I do feel I'm in some sort of training now.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I am glad that I could help you. May the heartbeat of the drum guide you along your path.

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  22. Good evening, and thank you for your insight and guidance. It is very comforting to know there are others out there experiencing similar things.
    It is really hard to step forward without any kind of physical guidance and teaching. It's much like when I try to spirit walk/journey.- it's not like in any of the books I've read- it's dark, and hard to see. Like being in the darkest room with a single Flashlight.
    Things fly at me or thru the beam for a moment only to be gone again, leaving me pondering the meaning.
    Sometimes things come to me in dreams and those are clear but I still have no idea what they mean.
    I dreamt that my sister gave birth to a beautiful snake and I loved it and when they went to take it from me to see to it after the birth- it bit me but not maliciously. It didn't want to leave me I think.

    Also, one time in my back yard I had what I believe was a fire elemental show up in the bonfire! Didn't realize he was there until we looked at a picture.
    And later he showed up in my dreams, quite playful and happy but this time he was accompanied by a huge, jovial, almost silly tree. Right in the spot where I had planted a tree in real life. I don't know why they were there but it was nice.
    Now for a second time in a row (about the same time of year- around the anniversary of my sons death) I have had a group of vultures show up and sit in my tree for most of a day just all staring in the vicinity of my house. I'm not afraid of them (in fact I felt kind of insulted when people reacted negatively to them). And a few day before that I was at a friends house and one flew only feet above my head. I had just been talking about them too because blue herons kept showing up around me and I was jokingly wondering if I'd see the vultures again.
    Now hawks have nested somewhere relatively close to my window as I hear them almost every day.
    Also I am so very tired all the time. I never feel refreshed. And groups of people are just too much. I've always been a loner but now social interactions are just so unbelievably sapping! I'd much rather be outside by myself.
    I swear I know I sound crazy. But there have been so many things I can't explain but at the same time feel right.
    It's exciting. Everyday I feel like I'm learning something new or seeing something from an entirely new point of view. Things seem to click. So many Ah ha moments!
    It's frustrating though. Like a huge question has been answered, but I just don't know the language...
    At the same time, when I want to claim that I've been chosen for this path, I feel like a farce. Who am I to say such a thing? Why should I have been chosen? I don't even know if I want to help others (I do) but its a huge responsibility. And I'm kind of a wreck myself lol

    Floundering here in Michigan, lol.
    Any help would greatly appreciated.
    Thank you again.
    Much love to you and yours

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    1. Vanessa:

      You are not alone. Everyone I know, regardless of their calling, is experiencing difficulty and uncertainty in their lives. It is the nature of the dark times we live in. No one has all the answers. Instead, we are like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. We are all unique, and have our own special place in the puzzle of the universe.

      I agree with you about journey work. It's not like in the books and it is different for everyone. Intuition is what is important and you already have that. This is a time for introspection, for the answers to your questions lie within you. It is necessary to still the mind and quiet the emotions so that your personal truth can emerge. Inner stillness quells the ego and reconnects you to the guidance of your own intuitive knowing. Intuition reveals appropriate action in the moment for a given set of circumstances. So long as you follow your intuitive sense, your actions will be in accord with the true self and ultimately the cosmos.

      For greater insight, I recommend that you read my blog post "The Great Shift and How to Navigate it." http://shamanicdrumming.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-great-shift-and-how-to-navigate-it.html

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  23. Hello, well I have been born with an open eye. But always considered myself a eclectic witch/spiritual person. As of late every night I have dreamt of different animals giving me messages.I had a dream before this that a man came to me and drew a spiral in my hand the word wide over it and four signals next to it that I can remember. What stood oUT to me was the spiral in my hand as someone I know seen this symbol through his third eye on my eye. I looked everywhere and the meaning seemed to be rebirth and going within. I left it alone and later kept hearing through spirit shaman. I kept asking them.. shaman? Nah I don't think that's me.. i have followed what spirit has lead. But this felt like maybe to far of a reach for me. So I went on with my days.. until I felt the need to search the hand and the spiral and meaning.. loan and behold I find something on the hopi shaman and that it was believed those with this markingredients were shamans.I had chills everywhere. So I said I accept please show me. I was reading on some things on the shamanic path.. and took a quiz online I got only 60%. I started to say well maybe I'm not and have to learn somethings about this and pass the info. But then I come across this article and I'm moved that I'm being called.

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    1. Aidalicia:

      Thank you for sharing your experiences. Spirit calls us to a path of shamanism in many ways. It can be as dramatic as a life threatening illness or as simple as a dream. According to Mongolian shaman Sarangerel Odigon, "one of the most reliable marks of a shamanic calling is the urge to learn how to become a shaman." The call functions to awaken our own inner knowing and the yearning to express our true self through the artistry of the shaman.

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  24. Thank you for your beautiful words. I have read a lot of this and I have been a bit confused about the fact that in many stories of the initiation it seem to be quite violent and all-consuming - dark night of the soul and feeling mentally ill etc.

    I feel I am trained by my spirit guides and I have steady confidence that my initiation will be easy for I'm accepting my path. I am willing to listen my guides and I am trusting them to give me time to learn at the same time I live my everyday life. My trips with them are gently teaching me to navigate through these different ways and nothing seem to be overwhelming. Only demand has been that I have to write about what I have learned.

    Deep inside, where this thing is, I am confident with my path but also, at the same time, when reading about these violent awakenings with spirits and/or kundalini, I am a little bit worried. I don't have time to breakdown with my little ones needing me. I quess I will ask about this from my guides next time I'll meet them. :)

    Thank you for being there, this was what I was meant to learn by writing to you. Usually I don't leave any comments so this was meant to be. My greetings to you from Finland where I am seeking my heritage of this lifetime. In case you are interested, our national saga is Kalevala.

    Have a wonderful autumn. <3

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns. The main thing that our spirit helpers ask of us is that we take time to pray each day. The spirits cannot help us unless we take the time to ask for their help through prayer. Regular prayer is a cornerstone of spiritual practice. Over time, frequent prayers help to dissolve our mind and through them we gain access to Divine consciousness. Praying brings us Divine help, reduces our ego, grants us forgiveness of mistakes, and more.

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  25. I fit the criteria of many of the above...however, I will spare you the details...

    I write because I have had an event happen and I am curious as to the meaning behind it.

    I was walking the land near where I stay. (I have always been drawn to this area as long as I can remember). And I had the urge to reach into the ground (it was soft ground), and when I pulled my hand back up I was holding a sphere shaped stone (Moqui/Shaman Stone...I call them earth stones).

    Is this a hint of something...like...pertaining to any native traditions? Perhaps a sign that I am a Shaman?

    Since then I have amassed a large collection of stones. In fact, today I found a pea sized one and it lead me to another, much larger stone of many stones.

    It's like these stones draw me to them...or I'm drawn to them. I know it sounds weird...but It's what it is.

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    1. Shaman Stones or Moqui Marbles are believed to be among the most energetic on earth. The Shaman Stone chose you; you did not choose the stone. You are the only person who should hold the stone. Your energies mesh. I am sure it will talk to you if you sit and mediate with it on a regular basis. Hold your left hand on the bottom and your right hand on top of the stone when holding it to meditate. Sleep with the stone under your pillow at night. Expect extraordinary experiences, for we are living in extraordinary times!

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