Cedars bent under snow

Remind me what Shamanism is again?

According to the Foundation for Shamanic studies, the body with whom I study Shamanic Healing, Shamanism is universally characterized by an intentional change in consciousness to engage in purposeful two-way interaction with spirits.

Meaning: shamanic practitioners consult with helping spirits with the intention of serving and healing people. We do this to address the spiritual side of illness with the intention of returning people to their power.  

“How do you know if somebody’s a shaman? It’s simple. Do they journey to other worlds? And do they perform miracles?”

– Michael Harner

Tell me how you work with helping spirits

Shamanic healing work is spirit-directed. Before starting a session, I scan my client’s energy body to understand what they need that day. I ‘journey’ to non-ordinary reality to consult with helping spirit to decipher the best modality for the session. Helping spirits will commonly recommend multiple modalities for the same healing session.

The healing is completed in collaboration with helping spirits, who indicate what is required and when the session is complete for the day.

Shamanic Healing ‘Modalities’

The word ‘modality’ isn’t something you’ll hear in daily conversation. It’s a word Shamanic Healers user to describe the different methods we rely upon for healing.

This list of modalities includes:

Power animal snow geese
  • Power Soul Retrieval
  • Empowerment
  • Power Animal Retrieval
  • Energy Extraction
  • Divination
  • Dream interpretation
  • Psychopomp

I’ll describe each of the treatments briefly below.

Power Soul Retrieval

In Power Soul Retrieval, the Shamanic Practitioner seeks out lost soul parts and returns them to the client.

Soul loss occurs when we experience trauma, shock, pain or loss. A part of the soul leaves the body to avoid the pain of the situation.  I like to explain it this way: a soul piece breaks off under duress, and finds a comfortable place to hide until it’s safe to return home to the soul.

Causes for soul loss can include any form of trauma, the death of a loved one, loss of job, financial loss, childbirth, divorce or separation, hospitalization, surgery, abuse, illness, accidents, natural disasters and war.

Symptoms of soul loss include chronic depression, disassociation, addictions, illness, prolonged grief, PTSD, memory gaps, and disconnection with the body.

Power soul retrieval is one of the most common and universal techniques a Shaman employs.


Empowerment can take two forms: passing on the power, or an empowerment song + dance.

When passing on the power, the Shamanic Practitioner is charged with power from their helping spirit. The Shamanic Practitioner will touch the client’s shoulders, and pass the power on to the client. This power provide a boost in energy and assists in the healing process.

An empowerment song + dance also come from helping spirit, and is unique to each individual. The Shamanic Practitioner will ask helping spirit for a song + dance to assist the client in healing and growth. This song + dance arrives spontaneously through helping spirit, and will be ‘performed’ over the client to pass on power.

Power Animal Retrieval

Each of us have a spirit animal who protects and empowers us.

Each Power Animal has great wisdom and brings specific gifts, talents, strengths and purpose.

Power Animals choose people; shamans don’t make the selection. The Shamanic Practitioner journeys to find a Power Animal, and brings it back to the client. Each Power Animal is unique to each individual. These guardians help us source power, provide protection, access energy, and maintain vitality.

Energy Extraction

In this modality, the Shamanic Practitioner removes unwanted or misplaced energy from the client.

Misplaced energy originate from negative thoughts, anger, jealousy, envy, or ill will.
Symptoms may include localized pain, sudden anger, depression, and anxiety.

I compare the sensation and experience of Energy Extraction with Reiki, but without the Physical touch.


Divination is used with the specific purpose of healing. The Shamanic Practitioner enters a journey state to seek out and provide information for a deeper understanding and clarity on issues, situations and events that will assist in a client’s healing.  

Dream Interpretation

Dreams carry profound significance. With the help of a Shamanic Practitioner, dreamers can re-enter the dream state to find the significance of a dream. Dreamers will be accompanied by a powerful spiritual ally and led by the Shamanic Practitioner.


In psychopomp, the Shamanic Practitioner assists a person – or animal – who has died to cross over to the Destiny of Souls.

Not all souls require help to cross over. Most souls cross over on their own. In some situations, souls remain earthbound after death. Some reasons include sudden and unexpected death, a deep attachment to a person or family, or a strong desire to complete some remaining unfinished business.

Is Shamanic Healing Right for You?

If you’re interest is piqued after reading these descriptions, you might be curious to explore your first Shamanic treatment.

If you’re still unsure, the best course of action is to speak directly to a Shamanic Healer. I encourage you to reach out to me (via phone, the contact form or Facebook), to ask questions and to get any clarity you might need before booking a Healing session.

Shamanic Healing is a gentle and empowering journey, one that I have enjoyed immensely as a practitioner and recipient!