Spiritual Alchemy & Shamanic Healing
True Shamanic work is not something that a person chooses to do. Rather, an individual is called by Spirit to work with this medicine through their own difficulty and sickness. It is an inescapable path that results in either madness or medicine, dependent entirely upon the presence or absence of master teachers to coach an initiate as they move through their spiritual crisis and awakening.
This work of being the 'wounded healer' is what allows Shamanic Practitioners to understand the Alchemical process of sickness & healing; the ways in which we learn to derive spiritual 'gold' and enhanced meaning and growth from sickness, pain, or loss. These healers have learnt to see beyond the dualities of 'bad' and 'good' and peer into the great unknown where spirit & matter meet. There they encounter and learn to utilize the illuminating wisdom of non-duality: that all experiences are here for an evolutionary purpose, and nothing is truly 'good' or 'bad'. They learn the turns and twists of this difficult road to healing, and may then offer tools and medicine that allow others to navigate this journey as well. They teach how to pass through the the descent and decay that often occurs in our lives--the alchemical nigredo and blackness--and to move into rebirth and alignment.
Spiritual Alchemy is what calls your soul self, your power and your knowing back to you. There are many ways to travel the road of Alchemy & transformation, Shamanic Medicine is but one vehicle. It is, however, the most ancient, the most integrative, and the most empowering (imho), for it is what reconnects the human spirit with our true nature and back with all of existence. It empowers and awakens the natural wisdom within while simultaneously integrating the individual back into right relationship with their community and environment.
It has been said that there are many, many souls on our planet who are currently stuck in karmic loops and repetitions, lifetime after lifetime, unwilling or unable to step out of their repetitive cycles of craving and abuse and pain. These souls have forgotten that they can engage with their lives in a conscious manner, and by doing so will end up with a wholly different experience and sense of self. They have forgotten that they hold great power within them, and that this power is interactive with the forces of the universe, and capable of shifting everything. These wandering souls have also lost interest in and capacity for understanding a key truth of existence: that life is not better because it is easy. These are the souls who wish for a pill or a quick fix, an immediate solution with no work on their behalf.
This is not the medicine for those people, and, fittingly, those people don't seek this medicine. Shamanic healers are not a quick fix. They may, at times, offer temporary relief of symptoms and imbalances through cleansing and energy practices so that an individual may experience and remember what it feels like to be whole (making it easier to get back to that place), but to remain in a healed state we must all do our work, and dedicate ourselves to living in alignment with both our inner knowing and the influences of spirit and environment.
If you are called to this work, the world needs you to do it.