What is Shamanic Healing: A Path of Empowerment

What is Shamanic Healing

I meet so many people who are apprehensive about receiving a shamanic healing as they don’t know what to expect or really what it is or some of the terminology appears ‘frightening’. For me, shamanic healing is a grounded yet deeply spiritual practice. Shamanic Healing requires that you be ready and willing to heal. It is powerful and magical; the most ancient, time-tested, healing practice on earth.

Shamanism is thousands of years old, some say 40-70,000 years old, some say older, but it certainly is the oldest recorded form of spiritual practice. It was and still is for many, the primary spiritual practice for indigenous cultures around the world. Shamanism is not a religion and one can use the practices without conflicting with other spiritual paths. 

At the root of Shamanism is personal empowerment. It provides various practices with which we can come to acquire trust in our ability to find wisdom within and restore our own power, vitality and life force.  Shamanic can be used for personal growth, spiritual development, and even ancestral healing as well as stagnancy in life, repeated limiting thought patterns and disillusion with life itself.

There are different lineages which practice in different ways. I am trained in the Irish-Celtic Shamanism lineage with An Slí and Chroí. We don’t give ourselves the label of ‘shaman’, we are Shamanic Practitioners.

Why have a shamanic healing

Shamanic healing can help with feelings of stuckness or stagnancy, anger, loss of vitality, negative thought patterns, limiting beliefs, grief, feeling disconnected, fear, fatigue, stress, ancestral trauma, wounding and patterns. 

It opens you to self-love, aliveness and guides you on your life’s path. It supports to restore you to wholeness and balance in body, mind and spirit. It can help you shift perspective so life can become a gift, an adventure where you learn how to navigate all the phases of life and embrace each day as it comes.

What is Shamanic Healing

A shamanic perspective on life and healing

1. Interconnected

Shamanism sees that everything in the universe, including humans, animals, plants, and even objects, are interconnected and have a spirit or energy that can be accessed for support, guidance and healing. It’s about building a reciprocal relationship with nature.

2. Spiritual Reality

Shamans perceive a spiritual reality that coexists with the physical world. They believe in the existence of spirits, deities, and other non-physical entities that play a role in the well-being of individuals and the community. Shamans often communicate with these spirits through rituals, ceremonies, and altered states of consciousness.

3. Balance and Harmony

Shamanic practices often focus on maintaining balance and harmony in the individual and the community.

4. Healing and Transformation

Shamanic healing helps to address the root causes of the challenge.

5. Nature and the Elements

Shamanism places a strong emphasis on nature and the natural elements. They are sacred and essential to our way of life. We learn to bring ourselves into right relationship with nature. This can involve many aspects - acknowledging the spirits, sharing offerings, seeking guidance and assistance whilst being humble and respectful, and always being reciprocal in our relationship with nature and spirit.

6. Ritual and Ceremonies

Shamanic practices involve a wide range of rituals and ceremonies that are performed for various purposes, including healing, divination, and communication with the spirit world. These rituals are considered essential for maintaining a connection with the spiritual realm.

8 Deep Transformative Benefits of Shamanic Healing

Shamanic Healing Techniques

A shamanic practitioner doesn’t diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Shamanic healing helps to create the spiritual conditions under which a person can heal at a root level. Imbalances could be perceived as stemming from excess energy, power loss, soul essence loss, ancestral and generational imprints as well as other aspects.

The Shamanic healings I share are – Imbas, Extraction, Soul Retrieval, Psychopomp, Death Rites, Shamanic Ceremonies and Shamanic Counselling. Some of the healing practices may include: 

Imbas / Illumination

Clearing Imprints and Restoring Balance

Negative experiences, trauma, and emotional wounds can create energy imprints or ‘blockages’ in a person’s luminous energy field. These imprints affect how we move, think, feel and engage with life, ourselves, our community and the world around us. We may feel the imbalance in our life in a variety of ways from nothing changing and you feel like you are going in circles, you feel a past event is holding you back from being yourself fully, you feel like life has lost its spark and you’re going through the motions.

Imbas also known as divine inspiration or illumination, facilitates the release of stagnant energy through the chakra points to allow the aura in the body to be balanced and to flow freely. It is the foundation of all shamanic healing sessions. During the Illumination process, we work with breath and intent to remove heavy energy from the chakra and then we overwrite the imbalance with light. 

When the imbalance is removed in this way, you are no longer informed by the past imprints. You are free to begin the process of stepping into life differently with deep peace and lasting transformation.


A Release of Non-Supportive Energy

Extraction involves removing any negative energy intrusions that are in an individual’s energy field that may be causing physical or emotional distress, so order can be restored within the system. 

Intrusions can be seen simply as energy that is in the wrong place, doesn’t belong to you and is of no use to you. It is energy that cannot be used or enjoyed so it weighs us down.

Intrusions can become held within our bodies via conscious or unconscious thought projections and they are more able to take hold when there has been a loss of power or if the Soul is fragmented and depleted through Soul Loss. 

Just like a spider in the bath, there is nothing ‘bad’ about this energy, it is just in the wrong environment. In essence, it is a clearing of the client’s energetic field to allow space for further work to restore realignment with harmony.

Extraction is usually the starting point for every client in the sense that it creates more space, as energy that is no longer conducive to us is released thereby creating ‘space’ for our energy field to be further illuminated. After the extraction is complete, imbas / illumination is shared to replace the departing spiritual intrusions with more positive loving energy.

Soul Retrieval

Reclaiming Your Vital Essence

In simplified terms, through shock or trauma a part of our life force, ‘soul’ or ‘essence/energy’ can leave our body and thus deprive us of our full power. Soul retrieval is about retrieving vital essence or “soul parts” that left at times of trauma in a person’s life. The return of those soul parts gives people access to the talents, gifts and energy that were their birthright. When “all of you is here” you are more able to deal with the challenges and opportunities in your life.

You could see soul loss simply as losing touch with aspects of your Soul. We often wonder where did the carefree, joyful child go? What happened to that confidence I had? Where did my sense of self go? When was the last time I felt whole and complete? 

Soul loss can be seen as a built-in survival mechanism; the human psyche will fragment when it perceives itself to be in danger of harm, and part of our essence will leave the body to go somewhere ‘safe’. The body will survive without this part of our essence and sometimes the part will quickly return by itself. If the trauma is too big, or we do not know how to call ourselves back then we are left open to dis-harmony. 

The first signs are often felt as a loss of connection to one’s surroundings. Soon it becomes a feeling of loss of connection with one’s self, the inability to function as we once did. Feeling empty, feeling ‘as if you are not all there’, feeling numb, lack of motivation, memory loss, anxiety, depression, difficulty in recovering from a loss, addictive behaviour; all these and more are signs that we are not at full power. It’s important to know that what causes soul loss in one person, may not cause soul loss in another – we are each unique in how we respond to life’s challenges.

Soul retrieval is a process where the shamanic practitioner journeys to the spirit world and retrieves any lost parts of an individual’s soul, which may have been lost due to past traumatic experiences.

It is not the wound that we bring back, it is the part that had to go into hiding to survive i.e. the pure energy of an aspect of your soul essence (this does not return any of the original trauma but instead brings wholeness and relief). 

With the retrieval of these ‘parts’ the gifts of joy, strength, creativity, imagination, confidence, presence and aliveness among many other previously inaccessible qualities may be reinstated.

Soul Retrieval is a deeply beautiful and life-enriching experience which brings power, energy and life force back to the individual. Many clients feel empowered, balanced, more present, and have a stronger sense of self. Each experience is personal and unique to the client.

One soul retrieval can make a huge difference but throughout our lives, we may need additional soul retrievals as we feel a desire to reclaim aspects of ourselves and integrate them back into our lives and self-expression.


Guiding the Soul Home

One of the distinguishing features of shamanism is that the shamanic practitioner not only helps the living but also the dying and the deceased.

Psychopomp work assists the release of the soul/spirit of someone who has died to completion and freedom. When a Spirit goes to the Light, it is said that their Soul is at peace. Psychopomp is the process that can bring a soul to peace by assisting them to cross into the Light, to go from the physical realm to the non-physical. 

This healing can take place in the weeks, months or years after their actual death as sometimes, those in Spirit need help to move from one world to the other. There are many reasons why an individual’s spirit may need support – disbelief, worry, trauma, hesitation, scepticism, and concerns. The shamanic practitioner in essence can hold their hand and walk them through the process, releasing worry, removing fear, addressing concern, and answering questions so they can find their way safely to the appropriate destination in the spirit world.

This healing supports the spirit of the individual who has passed but it also has ripple effects for the family.

Death Rites

Supporting the Souls Crossing

Are given to the person who is departing, to assist them with the release of their soul with serenity and consciousness in a gentle and meaningful way. This is a very sacred and privileged healing to share with clients and their families and loved ones. A shamanic practitioner can be called in by family members to assist their loved ones in crossing over during the dying process or shortly after death.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our loved ones is support as cross over to the other side. Besides our presence and our prayers, we can also offer them death rites which help clear their chakras (‘doors’ in the Celtic tradition) so they can leave their body easily. Every once in a while a loved one can need help fully leaving the body and finding the way to the guides that will help them into the light.

Shamanic Ceremonies

Celebrating and Honoring Life's Sacred Moments

A shamanic ceremony is a ritual or sacred event held by a shamanic practitioner to engage with the spirit world, seek guidance, perform healing, celebrate a spiritual or cultural occasion, or address various aspects of life, such as transitions, healing, or the honouring of the natural world.

The shamanic practitioner does additional spirit work before and after the ceremony but generally as a participant, you may experience these aspects.

Intent and Purpose

Shamanic ceremonies are held with a specific intent or purpose in mind. This could include healing, addressing challenges, celebrating a harvest or seasonal change, conducting rites of passage, honouring grief, celebrating a birth, honouring a new project or creating a personalised ceremony around an intention.

Sacred Space

A space space / Medicine Wheel is created for the ceremony. This space is often seen as a bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds and is purified and protected.

Ritual Objects

Shamanic ceremonies may involve the use of ritual objects, which can include drums, rattles, feathers, crystals, sacred plants, and other items with spiritual significance.

Energy and Healing Work

Many shamanic ceremonies involve healing practices, where the shaman or practitioner channels energy or performs energy work on participants to address physical, emotional, or spiritual issues.


After the ceremony, there is often an integration phase where participants reflect on their experiences, insights, and healing processes. Shamans may also provide guidance or follow up.

Shamanic Medicine Bundle

The Journey of One’s Soul

In my Irish-Celtic lineage, we are supported by a Mála Naofa (pronounced Mawl-ah Neigh-fa,)or Corr Builg (“the healing medicine bundle”). The Mala Naofa is a sacred bundle or a collection of power objects, often in the form of stones, crystals, herbs, and other items that hold spiritual significance to the individual. It is also a personal altar as it maps out the journey of one’s soul. The sacred items within the Mala Naofa hold specific energies and healing properties. In my lineage, the Mala Naofa is used for healing and energy work, for energy clearings, extractions, divination or balancing work on individuals as well as other aspects of a shamanic session.

A man is standing in the middle of a wooded area, exploring the wonders of Shamanic Healing.

How does Shamanic Healing differ from Reiki?

I’m going to talk briefly about Shamanism and Reiki as these are my two disciplines. 


Originating in Japan and is seen as being developed by Mikao Usui. Reiki means universal life force energy. If you learn reiki, you are initiated into Reiki, a spiritual practice that encourages balance throughout a person’s system. When receiving a reiki treatment, the benefits arise naturally from the balancing that occurs when the body shifts into ‘rest and digest mode’ as this is where healing happens. 

Reiki practice is passive. Practitioners gently and passively place their hands on the recipient’s body (on or off the body) which can evoke a response from within the individual. Reiki practitioners don’t actively manipulate the receiver’s energy body. Reiki primarily focuses on energy healing and balance, leading to relaxation, stress reduction, and support for the body’s innate healing processes.


Shamanism is an ancient indigenous practice found in various cultures around the world such as Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Siberia. Shamanic practices are purposeful interventions with specific goals or intentions. In shamanic healing, the practitioner is actively ‘doing something’, and is engaged in the process, but the individual seeking healing also plays an active role through dialogue, integration and in the case of shamanic counselling, they go on a shamanic journey for themselves guided by the practitioner.

Shamanic healing often involves addressing the root causes of the issue and challenge which may involve addressing spiritual disharmony or the retrieval of lost aspects of the soul. Shamanic practitioners vary their approaches and skills some will share as part of their work rituals, ceremonies, drumming, working with spirit allies and animals and journeying to the spirit world. 

A person is holding a woven basket full of colorful items related to Shamanic Healing.

A Journey Home to Self

Shamanic Healing is a journey back home to the self – a self that is more joyful and engaged with life. Shamanic healing is not just about addressing the symptoms; it’s about engaging with the root of our challenges, restoring the soul’s vitality, and retrieving power and life force that was always with you but through life’s challenges was diminished.

Shamanic Healing connects you to the sacredness of life – the healing that happens supports you in your life but also your ancestors and descendants. The healing is personal and universal. Whether you are desiring to heal from the wounds that are present in life and preventing you from nourishing life or you simply desire to explore your vast inner landscape, shamanic healing holds a place for you.

We don’t have to heal alone. Shamanic healing reminds us that we heal in community and we are never truly alone as we are surrounded by allies, guides and ancestors whose wisdom we can seek. 

If your heart and soul are yearning for a space to be witnessed or your soul is longing to break free then perhaps it’s time to hear the call of a shamanic healing.

Are you ready to release the weight of the past and embrace a future of balance and vitality?

Contact me now to schedule your Shamanic Healing session and take the first step towards a nourishing and uplifting life.

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A woman in a floral dress standing in the woods.

I'm Roseleen

Your guide to navigating those life shaping moments.

All of my work is shaped by the beauty and wisdom held within nature. We grow by learning to be relationship with ourselves and nature so you can be your most present, aligned and embodied self.

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