Modern Shamanism

Modern Shamanism

Jo Nuske posted 26 Oct 2009


To Be a Shaman

 Shaman1

Many people would automatically link the title Shaman to the American Indian Medicine man.   This has probably occurred because the modern awareness of this “Earth magic” has come to Western Culture primarily through America.  However the practice of Shamanism has and is practiced by most indigenous cultures around the world: from Asia, Tibet, America or Australia.  Ancient Shamans often used mind-altering drugs but this is not taught in modern culture.

The common theme of traditional Shamanism is ritual drumming, healing and conferring with other dimensional realities through an altered state of consciousness.

I can and will only comment on my personal experience and learning of Shamanism because it differs slightly from the traditional perspective.    To me, Shamanism is a partnership between my mind, body and spirit with the mind, body and spirit of the earth realm (and that includes the animals and plants.)


Initially I learned the structure and rituals through a meditation teacher who introduced me to Shamanic learning through “Dancing the Wheel”, and the Lynn Andrews Books.   (See Recommended Reading for the titles.) For the first 10 weeks of study I just didn’t get it, having spent 20 years touching the spiritual realm through the high frequency of the Angelic or Higher Light energies.  The lower sounds and the “heavy drumming” made that altered state of consciousness impossible to attain.  But I persisted through sheer stubbornness.

And then one-day I did the ritual of travelling to the underworld to strip down my life and see my true fears and my life changed.

Circular_gardenI then spent some time every day for a year listening, feeling and communing with the planet .  The air, fire, water, Father Sky, Mother Earth, birds, animals, plants and living rocks took over my education.   I heard, saw, felt the trees communing  with each other all over the world : they are all linked : I connected with the birds who have their own language and “politics” within communities ( funny sometimes), my power animals taught me to walk their path.  I learned to allow my body to become an extension of the earth: to be earth, tree, plant, bird (just like in the traditional stories of Merlin’s education of Arthur).  I learned to become wind, become fire, earth and water and learned that I have a special affinity with wind.  (We each have an element we are stronger in)

I did the ritual of death and re-birth: to see and experience a spiritual death, allowing a new life to commence.  (This is not for the faint-hearted).  I participated in half of a sweat lodge : I could not complete it: the space causing me to be bent almost double in stifling conditions and I had to get out : and then deal with the feeling of failure.   I discovered that I had not failed by standing in my power enough to say “No”.

I tuned into the earth on a visit to Los Angeles and heard its scream of agony : its skin covered by concrete so it could not breathe.

I learned to watch, to listen, to connect and to live WITH the earth for its life-force offers healing and knowledge both ancient and modern.   This is my Shamanism: not as an indigenous human but as a product of modern society learning to co-exist in today’s world.

About the author

Jo Nuske
Serene Spirit since Mar, 2016


The spiritual awareness “industry” has boomed since we first launched this website in 2009. My personal journey of learning began 52 years ago when psychic awareness was considered a mental disease. I love the acceptance that now embraces the worl...


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