What is a Shaman?
There's been a tremendous uptick in the interest of shamanism over the past decade and, not surprisingly, an increase in confusion about what that even refers to. Shamanism is the oldest spiritual healing practice on the planet, dating back 40,000 years. In tribal societies, shamans were (and are) the healers, priests, shrinks and mystics. The Siberian word shaman means “one who sees in the dark,” which is a perfect metaphor for what we do. To shamanic practitioners, all disease and dysfunction is essentially a spiritual imbalance. Working in altered states of consciousness, we communicate with Spirit to address the nature and root of illness, download divine information, clear blocks, perform soul retrievals and conduct purpose-driven ceremonies.
I was trained and initiated in an ancient lineage (the Q’ero of the Peruvian High Andes) but with a wholly modern emphasis. After all, we're 21st-century beings! In this client-focused and results-oriented work, I become a bridge between you and higher healing energies. All emotional memories are stored in the body, and together we clear and balance your energy centers (chakras); remove the blocks, cut cords and mobilize the stuck energy that’s holding you back from reaching your highest potential. In soul retrievals, we specifically seek to recover lost pieces of your psyche or soul that splintered off (“dissociated”) as a result of traumatic experiences, which we all have. When the lost pieces are reintegrated, people describe finally feeling whole after a lifetime of being fragmented or “not all there.”
By getting to know and then embracing our shadow, we embody the freedom to reach our highest potential. At the end of a session, we synthesize everything that's occurred, help you find concrete ways to turn your perceived weaknesses into strengths and vehicles for healing, and together create a new map for your future.
People immediately feel clearer, lighter, happier and more in touch with themselves. They are able to forgive, release, move on, welcome in new love, face their fears, accept their imperfections, shift unfulfilling relationships and make huge life changes. Read a few testimonials for more on that.
Illuminations / Chakra Cleansing
Illumination is a core shamanic energy healing technique that’s based on ancient Inca practices. It induces profound relaxation, “cleanses” the chakras (energy centers), burns off toxic or stagnant energy and removes physical and emotional blocks in the energy field. This can trigger radical and immediate emotional and behavioral change and help heal the immune system.
Every Illumination is unique, but there is a basic structure to them. We begin with a verbal intake, which I Iove to combine with an astrology reading (my “cheat sheet”). Once we understand the issue we’re going to work on, I perform a chakra assessment to find the blocked ones. The client then selects a special healing stone called a kuya from my mesa (shaman’s “altar”) to work with, then I “unwind” the affected chakra and place the stone over it.
I open sacred space, call in guides, my lineage and masters to work with us, and then lie the client on a massage table fully clothed. Next, I open my protective energy field over her. I cradle her head with my hands and hold the pressure points at the base of the skull. By applying gentle pressure to these “deepening points” and sometimes talking while entraining the client’s breath and heart rhythms with mine, I bring her into an almost hypnotic state of relaxation. Since I also open Reiki channels when I work, people often have the experience of feeling heat conducted through my hands. When done remotely, I use special shaman stones (“chumpi”) as a proxy for your chakras, but the work is exactly the same.
Once a client is in this state, I work on the affected chakra by removing any sludge, obstructions or other energetic blockages. When everything is cleaned out, I fill the center with divine light, close and re-spin it, and then resume the deepening. Before we finish, I’ll check the chakras to see if they’re all open. We conclude by sharing what we each experienced, and discuss steps she can take toward her desired goals.
Soul retrieval is another core shamanic technique that has been practiced around the globe from time immemorial. Shamans believe that many (if not all) illnesses stem from soul loss or fragmentation, so retrieving missing pieces is a key to restoring health, happiness and wholeness. Everyone experiences some form of soul injury, whether through sexual, physical or emotional abuse; accidents, natural disasters, war or terror; or divorce, surgery or loss of a loved one. No matter how the events play out, it’s experienced as trauma to the mindbody.
A Western psychologist might call a severe case of soul loss “dissociation.” Symptoms include depression, inconsolable grief, suicidal ideation, PTSD, addiction or a general discontentment with life. Shamans work in nonordinary reality, which to quantum physicists is becoming increasingly ordinary. Albert Einstein actually coined an expression for what we do: spooky action at a distance. And this “new” understanding of nonlocality—i.e., the phenomenon of seemingly unrelated events being inextricably linked—is old news to shamans.
In a soul retrieval, I first do a verbal intake with the client, then we lie down side by side. To the beat of a drum or rattle, I enter an altered state and journey to the “Lower World” of the unconscious for the client. After receiving permission, I seek out the original wounding and find the “soul contract” the client has subconsciously made, to prevent the trauma from recurring. I “negotiate” what’s needed for the soul fragment to return, and then I bring that piece back, along with any gifts or spirit animals that wish to come along. I blow all of those back into the client, allowing their energy to fill her field. Finally we discuss what we both felt and observed and, most important, how she use this experience to support her in taking her next steps.
Soul retrievals can be done in person or remotely, and generally take 30 to 60 minutes. For maximum benefit, I like to perform them in the context of an Illumination.
Extractions & Cord Cutting
Most of us have energetic cords that keep us bound to another person or stuck in a negative behavior pattern. This is why we can break up with someone but never fully get over them. We may think we’ve “cut the cord,” but energetic connections still exist. By tracking a client’s field, I find the cords and remove them energetically with a special Peruvian tool that doesn’t pierce the physical body.
When scanning the field, we often find crystallized energetic imprints that need to be cleared. These generally come from old, blocked emotional patterns or traumas. The process is different for everyone, but to simplify: By shifting consciousness, I track your energy to locate the obstruction or block (or entity) and remove it using a special Vogel crystal, rattle, feather or energetic touch.
Once the block/obtrusion is removed, I refill the space with the highest vibration of channeled light and “reweave” the energy field. Afterward, we discuss the experience and ways you can avoid slipping back into old patterns. Clients report feeling lighter, happier and more open after an extraction. Sometimes major shifts occur in their lives or relationships.
Ceremonies & Rituals
Some of the most profound experiences shamans offer is a return to ceremony and ritual. In our hectic, modern “cram-it-all-in” lives, we lose connection to Mother Earth (Pachamama), Spirit and the natural elements. By gathering with friends and our “tribe” around sacred fires, singing and chanting and sharing our prayers for each other, ourselves and the Earth, we reconnect to something sacred inside ourselves.
I offer Despacho (Earth offerings), fire and gratitude ceremonies and bring old rituals into your life as well as help you create meaningful new ones for yourself, such as when you leave or move into a new home.