My training in shamanic practice began in New Jersey where I joined local drumming and spirit journeying groups. In 1990 my studies took me to Saybrook Graduate School where I had the opportunity to study with incredible teachers. Courses relevant to shamanism included: dream analysis work with Dr. Stanley Krippner and drumming workshops with Dr. Ruth-Inge Heinze, interviews with folk mystic Vasily Vasilyevech Nalimov in Moscow, Russia, as well as graduate-level credit courses in healing touch, the psychology of shamanism and the psychology of out-of-body experiences. I attended Dr. Hank Wesselman and Jill Kuykendall’s Spirit Medicine: Vision Seeker workshops at Esalen Institute and Westerbeke Ranch in CA through the Advanced level. In 2010 I became an ordained shaman registered with The Circle of the Sacred Earth.
What is a Shamanic Practitioner?
A shamanic practitioner provides “direct spiritual revelation” through shamanic journeying and ritual and offers spiritual healing, counseling and training. Practitioners can officiate at weddings, funerals, rites of passage and adoption ceremonies after registering with the state. Additional duties can include cleansing, clearing and dedicating homes, land and work spaces. Most shamanic practitioners are also registered with non-profit training organizations. Many have primary training in conventional caring professions such as doctors and nurses, social workers, physiotherapists and psychologists.
A shamanic practitioner has the same responsibilities, rights and duties as a practitioner of any other belief system except that the shamanic practitioner has access to many different resources and practices. Shamanic practitioners accept and respect other religions and often incorporate spiritual leaders of these belief systems into their rituals: for example, Jesus of Nazareth, the Holy Spirit, and Buddha. A shamanic practitioner relies on an array of spiritual animal guides and other helpers to help provide healing, mediation, leadership, and assistance with preserving traditions and ceremonies within their community.
Since Dr. Smith was ordained in 2010, she has been training others in shamanic practices. Her current student recently completed two years of training. Students who have a serious interest in becoming a shamanic apprentice to Dr. Smith should contact t her for the entry requirement.