Friday, April 27, 2012

Approaching the Shaman.

This blog entry was written by WHEEL KEEPER (Mary Rose Lessoway, Alberta)
Please check out her blog at

Some people don’t seem to know how to approach the Shaman for help. In other societies, the student-master relationship is clearly defined. In India for example, the devotees or students come to the guru or master with humility on bended knee with offerings of food, money or flowers.

I remember going to see Ammachi, a holy woman from India who came to North America. It was at a large hotel in the convention room where hundreds of people lined up to receive darshan (blessings) from here. Before she even entered the room, there was chanting that put you in a calm, joyous mood. When the Holy woman entered, the energy escalated and people crowded close to see or touch the embodiment of the Divine Mother. The line-ups were often an hour long and we prayed and chanted the whole time. It was understood that we were in the presence of greatness.

Shamans on the other hand, do not require such a grand occasion. They are not celebrities or well-known public figures. They look and act like ordinary people, but you can tell them by the strength, courage, integrity and clarity that they emanate.

How do you approach a Shaman? Why would you seek out a Shaman?

I have noticed in Gatherings with our Shaman that everyone gravitates to the Lisa like moths to a flame. They often become quiet and more attentive. They hang on to her every word. She never gets a moment to herself. 

I remember one time that Lisa was sitting alone quietly during a break and a woman went to talk to her. Later Lisa told us later that the woman had nothing to say, she just wanted attention of the Shaman for no particular reason. People like to feed off the energy of the Shaman. But the Shaman will quickly put you in your place, bringing awareness of your intentions for what you do. It is good to have a clear purpose for using the Shaman’s time and energy.

Lisa said it was the Woman’s Moons (ego) seeking attention. Gerard, Lisa`s Sacred Partner, jokes that the Moons are 13 ways of trying to get attention. He also said that the Shaman is Earth energy and the Moons gravitate around the Earth. We need to be aware that we are usually in our Moons or ego when approaching the Shaman. It is one thing to ask for help, another to just dominate the Shamans time and energy to get your needs met without having the intention to learn, heal and grow. 

To the Shaman, we are all children, we are all in ego. You have to be ready for the consequences, willing to hear the truth and willing to do the work required of you when your imbalance, dysfunctions, illusions and ego are pointed out to you. The Shaman sees right through you, sees you better than you see yourself. You need to approach the Shaman with humility and find a way to give something back, by doing your work, offering tobacco or asking how you can give back if you don’t know.

The Shaman is a collective being and does not cater to individuals. When in a circle with the Shaman, I find that if I am patient and listen, that my questions often get answered without them being voiced out loud.  I can’t expect the Shaman to give me all her attention. I have to trust that I will get what I need in the course of events. And I always do! Often I get more than what I expected.

Other times, people get so nervous around the Shaman that they hide or avoid them altogether, especially when they are in their issues, in ego or nightmares or guilt or shame. 

Recently, I was explaining to people that you can’t just go and dump your crap at the foot of the Shaman and ask them to fix your life for you. They took this to mean that they couldn’t talk to the Shaman at all. It made me wonder if they didn’t know how to ask for help without dumping. My mother used to say, “Lay your problems at the foot of the cross”. This used to bother me. First we crucify Christ and then while he is dying on the cross, we add insult to injury by asking him to take on our problems.

The Shaman is not here to do our work for us. If we come to her or him withour problems, AFTER having done as much as we can on our own, we will get the feedback or advice we need. If we are stuck or frustrated, lost or confused, the Shaman will bring us back to balance, consciousness and clarity. A Shaman will guide us and give us hope. 

In the book, “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” by Richard Bach, a Messiah who tries to help humankind is frustrated because people just want him to perform miracles. They want magic and phenomena. They don’t want him to teach them how to grow or heal; they want him to fix their problems, to make them go away. If we understand the role or purpose of the Shaman is to guide, inform and bring awareness so we can become empowered, we would not be bringing our issues without having done everything in our power to help ourselves first.

Ideally, we want to bring the Shaman our abundance, our wisdom, the stories of our resolved issues.... and receive confirmation and blessings to bring us further into the dreaming, further along on our paths of beauty and abundance. We need to nourish the Shaman, nourish the collective and the Dreaming. The Shaman energy is a Wind, it is about facing challenges. The Shaman energy appears automatically when the other eight Roles are in place. What would it be like if we all were in our power Roles, if we knew our place on the Wheel and created a sacred space for the Shaman to come through the center?

If we can do our work on our Moons effectively and efficiently, then get back to our Medicine, or Power Roles, we can enjoy the true magic and purpose of the Shaman. We can get to the Collective dream space together where the Ancient Dreamers wait for us.

P.S. -- I couldn't transfer the picture that Mary Rose has on her own blog to identify this entry instead I chose a picture on my own photo album; which inspires me with what Mary Rose is speaking of.  This picture was taken at Lake Louise on one of our first trips.  I was in a wheelchair and being pushed around the lake when countless creatures came by to say "hello".  In response to the phenomenon GĂ©rard said: "It's amazing how the animals and nature know when there's a Shaman around and yet, humans need proof.  How sad is that?"  It was the kind of comment that got me thinking and contemplating for over three years. 


Anonymous said...


I like this...

'... You have to be ready for the consequences, willing to hear the truth and willing to do the work required of you when your imbalance, dysfunctions, illusions and ego are pointed out to you. ...'

there's a certain comfort in this truth.. even though there's a deep pain that surfaces when these truths are told, once it's brought into the open like this it does create the space to then begin healing. Life and how we inter-relate with each other would be so much simpler if we could all learn to live and accept like this. the thought of this way becoming more common brings hope.

In reading this post, questions i haven't voiced/or been unable to put into words have been answered. Thank You for sharing, i've enjoyed reading.

I do find this disturbing...

'... I remember one time that Lisa was sitting alone quietly during a break and a woman went to talk to her. Later Lisa told us later that the woman had nothing to say, she just wanted attention of the Shaman for no particular reason. ... '

Was the woman present when this was being said about her?

I'm comfortable with these things being related to others in it being a story to teach something in a situation where those listening don't know the person being spoken about. i feel extremely uncomfortable in situations where those being spoken to know the person (are aware of who this person is). In those situations it just doesn't feel right, to me, to hear someone you know of being spoken about in this way, without them being present to hear it. Actually..thinking about it now, it raises a deep discomfort in me to hear groups of people discussing something about someone they know, even when i don't know that person.

Lisa F. Tardiff said...


Definitely, in circles we always openly discuss the behaviors of everyone -- the positive and the negative.
The point is to learn and heal. By pointing out the behaviors publicly it allows for everyone to benefit from the teachings.
There is no such thing as a behavior - we do not share in common...


Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,

Yes, i understand this. and can see the healing in it if all those who's positive and negative behaviours being pointed out publicly, are present.


Anonymous said...

I came in today and read this entry. THANzk you, it comes at a perfect time as I question when and how to ask for help from the Shaman and am guilty of many of the behaviors listed above.

MaryRose Lessoway said...


We don't name the people we talk about for a reason. Because the issues presented exist in everyone and we can all see ourselves in the story.

In the sacred Circle ways, we are taught that we not separate, we all learn from the lessons of others. It is up to to all who hear these stories to look at themselves and see if this is an issue they need to address, or not.

We are all human and all share the same issues, stories and need for healing. If it bothers you to have someone talked about, then there is something for you to look at and heal.

Was there gossip that hurt you in your life? Are there people around you who talk about others just to put them down, to make themselves feel better, to hurt?

We don't do that here. We use examples for us all to learn and heal from the experiences of others. We all take turns being talked about. Yes it is humbling, but the ego needs to be humbled. Instead of just reacting, look at what it brings up for you and do the healing work on this topic.

I am sure that there are many others that have been the brunt of dysfunctional hurtful gossip. I will do a blog on it in the future. It is a big theme.

ari said...

Hi Mary rose,thank you for your response. I've only just seen it now. Yes,there has been gossip that has hurt me,in the past and also very very timely coming across this again. And there are people around me who behave in the manner you've expressed. It bothers me alot,and i'm trying to work on uncover why it affects me as deeply as it does..and too find healing there. I look forward to reading your blog on the subject,if i've missed it could you please share a link here. Thank you for your time, and your thoughtful kind response.