one hears the Call
The Shamanic ideal is practice
without ego; practice as an exercise of giving without
expectation of return. Whether one journeys for themselves
only at the very simplest end of Light Work or deals in
the dispossessions and exorcisms of the deepest Dark
Work makes no difference.
No practice is more
valuable than another. No shamanic practitioner
should ever delve deeper than they are called to.
Many folks are called to Light Work and perform valuably
in those arenas; less are Called to Shadow Work which
represents a significant leap in personal involvement
and increased personal danger; some are called into Dark
Work, dealing with the deepest and most arcane of these
To perform or attempt works beyond a
Call is an exercise in folly at best, idiocy and stupidity
at worst, driven by
ego and some perverted sense of value that exalts or
erroneously values the
more perilous and involved Dark
or Shadow Work more than Light Work. I
have seen far more healings and answers presented
through Light Work than ever required through Shadow or Dark
I can only give this simple and direct
counsel: Never exceed your Call. If you are
Called to Light Work, that is where your desire will
lie. Unless you are called to Shadow or Dark
Works, you are best to leave these areas right alone.
To some extent, a Calling is the basis of a level of
protection for the practitioner, but a Calling can not
be faked. For more, please visit
Delving deeper into the practices of
shamanism will expose you to your own, naked, searing
and mask-less truth. Before you can help others to
overcome their feelings of jealousy, you will first have
to face your own, but without the 'rose coloured'
glasses that help us cope with our decisions. You
will experience every base, raw and disgusting jealous
impulse you've ever had, and then you get to feel it
from the other person's perspective as well! We
are still in Light work here by the way! By the
time you get into deeper works, you will be seeing and
dealing with yourself, and always in the same harsh
light of total exposure, in ways that will shock, scare
and often truly disgust you.
That's the downside. The up-side
is that in those same journeys, you will have the
opportunity to love, to heal, to see and to change who
A mentor once asked me early on, " if
I wanted to learn what being a healer truly meant?",..
"of course!" I replied. He then hauled off and
punched me in the shoulder as hard as he could.
"Now you're healing!" he said, walking off.
The same fellow responded to the
question of why a shaman can't heal themselves, but need
to ask for assistance from others. "Lets 'em know
they better stay humble. Only [god] can heal [him]self" was his terse reply.
Another day he asked me if I wanted to
know how a clever feller works in healing another. I cautiously said
yes, watching for another blow! Instead he walked
away silently, motioning with his head to follow.
He stopped and looked at me, looking back, waiting for
an answer. He sighed and walked on, again
signalling an invitation to me. Another stop,
another sigh, no words, but another walk away.
This time, when he invited me to come with a lift of his
head, I decided, "NO!", I did not want to play his
silent game, but I wanted what he offered so I started
on again after him,.....
That folks, is a flash of the
blindingly obvious! He could only invite me, it
was up to me to decide to follow or go my own way.
Muttering something about 'white fellas being a little
thick at times'
joyfully, but under his breath; then with a smile as wide
as a sunset, joined me in laughing myself silly at how
right he was and how thick I had been.
The ultimate lesson,.. only those
who are sick can heal; the shaman can only
facilitate the person's realisation of how to heal
Practicing as a Shaman is not a
vocation, occupation or hobby,.. it is an imperative,
a compulsion, an
answer to a Call. A person Called is drawn by
events, coincidences and other illusions into contact
with shamanism repeatedly, sometimes with the 'hints'
getting progressively stronger and less subtle. A
friend who is yet to 'hear' his call has been struck
twice by lightening so far, yet without deficit each
In my personal history, I was simply
presented with teachers again and again until I had to
listen. In my first Journey, I found answers that
knitted together so much of what is separate in
industrialised society. I constantly pay homage to
all of my teachers, some of whom are incarnate and less
tangible (like severe back pain for 18 years) and others
who are flesh and blood. For me, practicing
Shamanism is a part of who I am; it incorporates its
practice into every part of my life whilst not
dominating any part. Shamanic practice is gentle,
respectful and subtle, performed with clear intent and
Before this sounds too far off track,
let me give you an example. Making a cup of tea
with pure intent towards the goal of the recipient
totally loving the tea, taking pride and care in each
process,.. that is Shamanic practice at its core.
If I were Chinese, I might call this Kung Fu too; the
martial art is only one side of a far deeper philosophy
that is Kung Fu.
The Call to Shamanism can be heard
many ways, but the most common expression is an
overwhelming knowledge that there is somewhere else
you're supposed to be, that there is a piece of you
wanting space to grow. This is augmented by any of
the following Calls traditionally recognised commonly by
many shamanic cultures over the world.
How each hears their call is different. Mine
felt like no choice but to pursue it (of course, I had a
choice). One word though, if a call is ignored, it
becomes stronger until you have to make a decision.
If that decision is a 'no', it is unlikely that you will
feel the call again. Opportunity waits for an
answer, but respects the answer all the same.
Opportunity also rarely repeats itself once a decision