SPRING 2016 -

As we move towards the edge of Summer, I look back on the Springtime and its many bounties. Being in residence at Schumacher College for six weeks with Zara was a very special experience that brought so much together for me from my 30 years of teaching. We taught several courses but our presence there was also much more than that. I was able to call on all the gifts I have learned and received from my shamanic path, and share it with others. It showed me how shamanism can be at the heart of a community, and does not need to be at the edges of society. We experienced that many people are hungry and thirsty for what shamanism offers, for healing and ceremony, making time and space for the sacred. What we experienced in this international gathering place was a deep acceptance that another way of life is possible and it naturally includes the more-than-human and unseen parts of our world.

During our time in community, something special happened: I came to realize again, even more clearly, how deeply simple the task of the shaman is. Simple does not necessarily mean easy, but it does mean simple – clear, pure and essential. The shaman’s primary task is to grow into a deeper and deeper relationship with his Spirit teachers and helpers. This is the essence. This comes before becoming a healer, before becoming a carrier of traditions, before becoming a ceremonial leader. We cannot become any of those things without the help of the Spirits, and learning and living what they are teaching. The shaman’s path is not for personal power, but for the power and ability to better serve the Community and the Spirits. This means surrendering what we want for what is needed, until, finally, what is needed becomes what we want.

Surrender can be daunting. We are afraid of doing something wrong. But the fear of doing something wrong should never be allowed to be greater than the knowledge of having to do something right. And we are so blessed to always have the Spirits by our side and the Earth under our feet as we walk, as we consider, as we choose and as we act. May our roots grow deep in the coming Summer months.

- Jonathan -