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"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. ... There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter." —Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

At Heartwood, shamanism is one of many honored paths that support our reconnecting to nature and harnessing our personal power by respecting and feeling in tune with the energy of the spirit world. We do not profess to be shamans, nor do we follow one defined shamanic path, and instead share the basic principals and philosophy of varied shamanic teachings to help others understand that the wisdom of nature can guide us and support our health, wellness and spirituality. Heartwood offers shamanic journeys, retreats, and workshops to help students grow, learn, and benefit from the beautiful practice of honoring and being a integrated part of the natural world. Our medicine wheel, dream catcher, gardens and studio provide inspiration to convene with nature while inspiring deeper connections as a path to wholeness.  

What is the “New Shamanism” popular in today’s spiritual community?

Neo-Shamanism is based on the understanding that a sacred spirit dwells within each of us. This “inner-Shaman” already knows the answers to the most fundamental and important questions in our lives. Unlike traditional shamanism, where the mystical experience is sometimes only available to a single member of the tribe, Neo-Shamanism asserts that the mystical experience is available to all who are ready and willing to receive it.

Neo-Shamanism has absolutely nothing to do with any Native American tribe, because none of those cultures ever used the word “Shaman” to refer to their healers– the word Shaman actually comes from Siberia. What Neo-Shamanism shares with traditional Shamanism and Native American cultures is an emphasis on living in harmony with Nature, embracing the energetics of ceremony and prayer, recognizing that everything exists as vibration, and letting go of the logical mind so that we can be guided by non-logical ways of understanding. Neo-Shamanic practice places an emphasis on the individual spiritual journey and re-discovering our life purpose, guided by teachers who have already taken that journey themselves. Shamanic experiences often use special drumming and breathing techniques to safely access the subconscious.  Both classical Shamanism and Neo-Shamanism are really more about our responsibilities — to the Earth, to ourselves, and to others — than they are about acquiring supernatural powers of healing or intuition.