Since Gerald Gardener first introduced Wicca to the world back in 1954, more and more people have become familiar with the term ‘shaman’. By the time the 1960’s and 70’s came and went, some more charismatic individuals declared themselves publicly as Shamans, Wicca or not.
Just like the shamans before them, the modern Shaman is a healer. He is here to heal the hearth, the people of his clan, and the human community. He is a conduit for the Divine Energy to enter the world. Being a Shaman, is not restricted to men; many women are also shamans.
The modern shaman is not necessarily a Wiccan. There are many healers around these days, who are from other belief systems. And all Shamans are here with a mission to fulfill.
Shamans are born different than the average person. Each and everyone of the Shamans are born highly sensitive to the various energy vibrations out there in on this Earth and in the Universe. They live more in the spiritual world than in the physical one with which they are contact with.
In contact with the Divine and spirit world, Shamans often have magickal or psychic abilities to help other people with. They are highly intuitive, and can perceive things others normally can’t.
Shamans are highly sensitive to the energy fields around them and of other people’s. Shaman’s are finely tuned to the energies. Because the average person lives in the physical world, the Shaman feels alone. Many modern day Shamans are solitary practitioners who have turned to Wicca, in hopes of better understanding their high sensitivity, and to receive training.
The Shamans of the Native or First Nations, belong to a clan and to a community who understand the ways of the Shaman; they know how to support them. Whereas, a shaman born into another culture is isolated; often a loner. Even after turning to Wicca, a great many of them remain as solitaries. However, some who do turn to Wicca, decide to join the Wicca Community or group in which a better understanding concerning their high sensitivity abounds..
It is that very high sensitivity that confers many gifts to the Shaman. Because of this, they have access to the Divine; they can tap into and direct energy; and channel for peace and well-being. They can manifest the world they want. That is what the modern shaman does!
Being highly sensitive places their health and happiness at risk. Not only are modern Shamans misunderstood and alienated by the people around them, they (they Shamans) often isolate themselves on purpose. Living in isolation from others is a major cause of anxiety and stress. And this is not good, for nobody.
Shamans who isolate themselves on purpose, or are forced to live apart as alienated individuals, can become overwhelmed because of their own high sensitivity to the energy fields. Energy fields are what they pick-up from other people and the world even. This they live with more than other people. They feel alone and lost in an hostile world.
Down through history, people would turn to the shaman for help. It used to be, that Shamans were called: shaman, medicine man or women, wise man or women, healer, witch-doctor or wicce-doctor; witch, priests or priestess, a hag or crone. Shamans were recognized in childhood for what and who they were, and were to become. Their families and clans, community, and other shamans would have supported them in that process. They would have been taught by them what they most needed to know; and honored for the gifts they brought to their society.
But today, Shamans are more likely to lose themselves before even knowing why they feel apart from everyone else. From a shaman’s childhood and onward, their gifts are misunderstood by their families and peoples. This is why many Shamans are unable to cope with possessing such gifts, so they turn them off or bury them beneath drugs (including tobacco and alcohol), food, and whatever can dull their awareness. At times, some shamans just switch-off their gifts, as one does with a light-switch. Only to wonder later how to get them back.
Some shamans put on a lot of extra weight. Excess body fat often serves highly sensitive people, as a buffer from the energies around them. Extra body fat also serves the Shaman, as a storage battery for the power they are not yet consciously directing out into the world. Because they have extra body fat, Shamans are often shamed for not ‘fitting into a materialistic world’.
Because they are outside of society’s self-serving definition of sanity, Shamans are called crazy. They are not crazy, they are not given the training they need to understand and control their abilities. Shamans are here because they are needed. Yet, there are more shamans alive today than have ever lived on the Earth before.
The exact gift a Shaman brings to the world, is a “highly tangible awareness of the Unity”. And an ability to channel the Source energy into the world – in the form of healing, insight. Both are critical ingredients in the transformation awaiting them.
Sensitive people face five big challenges. As highly sensitive people, they don’t fit into the ordinary world very well. They are misunderstood, feared, and sometimes persecuted. They are left to their own devices, untrained or wrongly-trained. They are often sick with diseases medical science is at a loss to understand, let alone remedy. And, perhaps worst, they often feel completely alone.
Ever since the first Shaman, there has always been but a few Shamans because most are way to alienated on purpose or by others. Usually, there is only one per village who is officially recognized as Shaman. Still, those are scattered around the globe. Scattered and naturally quiet and isolated, many feel all alone.
A lack of spiritual community is just as painful as the lack of a support network. The spiritual work can be draining, as well as confusing. Adrift in an ocean of negative energies, one can feel desperate for like-minded others to connect with.
In the early days, before you really discover who you are and why you’re here, this can mean you feel crazy, weird, an outsider, hopeless, and as if you’ve come to the wrong planet/family/century. This is unfortunate, but hopefully that’s changing – as the Web helps us connect with our peers.
One day a wise person said: “Every village has only a single Shaman”. There’s only so many Shamans to go around. Yet, there’s a lot of healing to be done; so they have to be spread out.
It’s not certain if that’s really why Shamans tend to be alone. But it is true that there seems to be only one among hundreds — if not thousands of people content to live in ordinary consciousness. That points out the vital importance of the work a Shaman is here to do. Few can do that!
The world needs you. We need your particular abilities. No matter how scary it may feel, or overwhelming, or confusing, or out of control it seems, you have these gifts for a reason. And the reason is that the Earth needs you to use them.
So you have some tasks to attend to … You must become aware of your true nature. You must honor yourself for your unique gifts. You must find support and community where you can. You must dedicate yourself to your education by learning through books, websites, workshops, and wherever you can. You must take command of your mind. And, perhaps most importantly, you must take steps to protect yourself every day from the dangers inherent in being one of the highly sensitive people, the healers of the Earth. This is the main thing a Shaman most needs to know, as one of these highly sensitive people who are the shamans and energy healers of our vast tribe; at this crux of humanity’s transformation.
This is a gift not only for the world, but for the Shaman, his family and friends, and for his community also. As Wayne Dyer says, “…if you are recharging every day through meditation, then sharing your love and light with the world is what brings the greatest fulfillment and strength.” (How to Get What You Really, Really Want)
I would like to thank ~LL~ from Lady Earth Castle: A Wiccan Way, on Facebook, for having graciously permitted me to take and to adapt an article she has picked up down through the years. She does not know who might have written it: THE MODERN SHAMAN ~LL~ (Lady Earth Castle: A Wiccan Way).