Dr. Lissa Rankin, MD has written an article entitled “10 Signs You’re a Shaman & Don’t Know It” (see link at end – it’s worth reading the whole thing). I’m a fan of Lissa’s – she works with both Western / allopathic medicine as well as holistic medicine. I enjoyed her book Mind Over Medicine. But I disagree with the premise of her article, which is that the 10 signs below indicate you are a shaman, even if you don’t know it.
In the shamanic community (which is a bit like saying “in the wild cat community”), disagreeing over the definition of a shaman and who determines the definition and who meets that definition ranges from an idle pastime to a rancorous art form. I generally fall into the “call me what you like, it won’t change what I actually do” camp, but even so I feel Lissa might be playing a bit fast and loose with the definition of “shaman.”
To my mind, shamanism involves working with the spirits / spirit world, whether on a separate plane of existence or as part of the “ordinary” world we walk around in daily. (There’s actually a bit more to it, but that should suffice for our current purpose.) I tick off most of the boxes on Lissa’s list, but I’m pretty sure a lot of people would hit many of them without anybody’s definition of shamanism being involved. To me, this looks like a list of signs that you are at least a semi-aware, perhaps awakening human being.
Take a look at the list and let me know what you think in the comments! How many signs do you see in your own life? Do you consider yourself a shaman?
Are you a shaman and you don’t know it? Here are some telltale signs that you might fit the archetype.
1. You sense that you’re meant to participate in the global shift in consciousness that is currently underway.
We can all feel it, this impending shift that New Agers have talked about for decades. But those with the shamanic archetype don’t just feel it, they feel it pulling them, like a magnet, towards leadership positions that help facilitate this transformation of human consciousness and evolution of the species.
2. You’ve been through a difficult initiation, which has prepared you for this leadership role.
In indigenous cultures, the village knew who the shaman was because he or she was struck by lightning and survived. In modern culture, you may not literally be struck by lightning, but you may have survived some other life or heart-threatening ordeal. You may have experienced childhood abuse, sexual violence, a near-death experience, or some other trauma that put you through the crucible and forged you into the healing earth shaman you are becoming.
3. You are an introvert.
Shamans are multi-dimensional beings who dance between the realms of the seen and unseen worlds, so if you’re of the shamanic archetype, you may have a hard time navigating the 3D realms of this dimension, which may cause you to withdraw into yourself so you can visit the realms of consciousness where you feel most at home.
4. You feel most at home in nature.
The shamans of a culture are the bridges between nature and humans, serving as translators between the mountains, oceans, rivers, animals, and people. You may sense that nature is talking to you or that you get your most tuned in downloads when you are surrounded by the natural world.
5. You’re very sensitive.
You may feels things others don’t feel, see things others don’t see, hear things others don’t hear, smell things others don’t smell, and sense things others don’t sense. This may make it hard for you to be out in public, where you may feel accosted by over-stimulation of your senses. If you embody the shamanic archetype, it’s likely that you’re the kind of person others may feel is “too sensitive.” But this sensitivity is a blessing. It’s part of your gift.
6. You feel a sort of spiritual calling to ease the suffering of people, animals, and nature.
Many health care providers are called to medicine the way priests are called to the priesthood. But you don’t have to be a health care provider to have the shamanic archetype. It may transmute itself into healing service to animals, sacred activist causes, or conservation of Mother Earth.
7. Physical ailments that fall under the category of “shaman sickness.”
In the indigenous cultures, shamans who have been called to service but haven’t yet said “yes” to the call often wind up struck with physical ailments. In modern culture, these shamanic sicknesses may fall into difficult to treat categories like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic Lyme disease, chronic pain disorders, and autoimmune disorders. Acceptance of the call to shamanic service often resolves the symptoms of shaman sickness. If you’re suffering from one of these illnesses, ask yourself, “Am I a shaman who hasn’t said yes to my calling yet?”
8. You tend to have vivid dreams.
The unseen realm may be communicating with you through your dreams, so try analyzing your dreams. Pay particular attention to any animal totems that may appear in your dreams. Google search the animal and “spirit totem” and see if you can find any messages from the animals in your dreams. Or try a Jungian analysis, like the one described here.
9. You may discover unusual spiritual superpowers, or what the yogis call “siddhis.”
You might be psychic. You might get healing visions like the one in my previous post about the meeting of Western medicine and Shamanism. You might realize that you can heal people with your hands or that you can telepathically communicate with animals, people, or even inanimate objects.
10. You’ve always felt like you don’t quite belong anywhere, because you are a bridge.
Shamans tend to live on the outskirts of the village for a reason. They are not like the others – and this is a blessing! In village life, this is understood and recognized. But in the modern world, it may leave those with the shamanic archetype feeling like they don’t ever fit in. But don’t despair. You DO fit in. Your role is essential. You may find that you fit in best with others who share this shamanic archetype. Among your fellow shamans, you will feel like you are with family.
Read the full article at http://www.thesacredscience.com/blog1/10-signs-youre-a-shaman-dont-know-it