Who is a Shaman?
Every indigenous culture and wisdom tradition throughout the world has it’s own version of a shaman who is a community leader, a ritual leader and very often a healer. A shaman is someone who is dedicated to the wellbeing and service of their community. They call on their connection to, and relationship with, both the divine presences in the natural world as well as with the community that they serve. This sense of relationship and connection is what creates the context for traditional healing. The essence of this healing is divine mystery itself. And yet shamanism is also extremely practical. It dances with the seemingly paradoxical union of acknowledging deep mystery while engaging with the practical demands of our everyday world.
Apprenticing to become a shaman
Authentic shamanism involves years of apprenticeship and training. Prema has spent 6 years of apprenticeship under the tutelage of shamans in the Huichol tradition of Mexico. In this tradition apprenticeship includes both tutelage as well as pilgrimage to prescribed sacred sites that allow the apprentice to forge a deep relationship with the divine beings and forces present in the natural world. In 2007, Prema was initiated as a marakame, or shaman, in the Huichol tradition under the supervision of Eliot Cowan and Don Jose Sandoval de la Cruz.
Causes of illness or imbalance from a shamanic perspective
A marakame is often the bridge between the seen and the unseen. So much of what is experienced as symptoms and disease arises from what is unseen by our culture that relies heavily on the mind and science. From the shamanic perspective there can be various causes of illness of which these are a few:
• All physical conditions we experience are a mysterious interweaving of the state of our mind, our emotions, and our relationships – with our loved ones, our community and with the natural world around us.
• Illness can often be a prompting to follow a calling in life, take a new direction, or to bring awareness to an unacknowledged need.
• Sometimes we can inadvertently get into trouble with nature spirits or sacred sites without even knowing of their existence or their effect.
• Certain energies can sometimes attach themselves to us to create a condition known as Possession.
• Loss of part of our soul through trauma can have a powerful effect on our health.
Prema works with people at the Blue Heron Retreat Center near Asheville, North Carolina. Treatments are offered by a consecrated fire in a tipi and involve counsel as well as healing.
“Prema’s healing work is exceptional, as is her capacity for loving compassion. My work with her has been deeply revealing and profoundly healing. I was not aware of the cage I was living in and the rage I held. I am out of the cage….and I find myself embarking on my path with a joyous heart.”
Sherry Morgan, Development Director
“To know Prema is to love Prema. To experience Prema’s healing is to be elevated into higher planes of consciousness; to know oneself as Divine. Prema’s perceptive and profound shamanic wisdom affected me deeply. Prepare to be transformed.”
Julia Carroll, M.A., A.T.R., Author, Teacher
“I have done a lot of inner work but I found the healing sessions with Prema took me to a level of my being that was not available through the therapy or coaching I had done. Although I had intuited some of the things we touched on, I had never been able to consciously access or process them. It was done in such a subtle, gentle and artful way that it slipped under any resistance that I had. It has allowed me to move very naturally into a new way of approaching things. I highly recommend Prema’s work to anyone who has challenging physical, emotional or spiritual issues that are getting in the way.”
Maria Connolly, MFT