To be shaman is not a question, it is a metaphor of shamanism itself, being shamanic is a natural calling to a life best served. Shamanism and its origins are far removed from the outdated understanding of being called to service of ones community. Tribes have ended, villages consumed and towns divided, so why be a shaman at all in these current times?
As mentioned in the opening sentence and now being expanded upon during the remainder of this article, to be a shaman, one has to receive a calling to be so. This calling cannot be learnt, it cannot be bestowed and it cannot be passed from one to another. In so many cases of definition, shaman are called to be shaman usually during a particular difficult or traumatic time of their life.
Normally, shaman are called to be during a period of serious disease or illness which has taken the individual to near death experiences. During this state of being (sick) the shaman is usually saved from his fate through the aid of spiritual guardians or in the words of this author, spooks! These spirit guardians never leave, they cannot be forgotten and as is the norm for a shaman, they never shut up!
During the calling of a shaman, the individual may experience extreme psychological imbalances which can manifest themselves in various forms of psychosis. Hallucinations, voices in the head, manic euphoria, aggravated depression, feelings of being alone, seeing ghosts or spirits, these are just a small selection of intuitive words to describe the impact of being shamanically called to service. These psychotic manifestations never last forever, they simply become balanced once more as the shaman grows comfortable with other forms of existence previously unknown or thought of. However, the question must be asked, to what service?
The answer to this question can be summed up easily in one short sentence, which was 'dictated' to this author during his own shamanic experience ... 'for the good of the whole'. The whole being, the whole planet, the whole universe. It seems such a gargantuan task that it surely cannot be completed by one individual? ... or can it?
A shaman understands that he / she (some of the greatest shaman are women) is within himself an universe, everything he/she sees, touches, associates or communicates with is a part of the shaman, a part of the whole. Therefore when a shaman is speaking or communicating with the universe and travelling (the term commonly used to signify a deep shamanic meditation or trance) to other realms to seek answers to a particular question or problem asked of the shaman he / she fully understands that all answers are contained within.
So, what does a shaman do, you may ask. A shaman does whatever it takes to perform a service to his / her universe. This may be in the form of healing another (putting one at ease), healing the environment (many landscape gardeners are shaman), seeking answers to questions or problems (both from the shaman and from others) and believe this or not financial solutions (yes, some debt doctors are shaman).
As a final departing gift, this shaman will say this, if you are thinking about becoming a shaman by investing large amounts of money in training to become a shaman, then please don't. It is unnecessary to do so and ultimately foolhardy. You can be a shamanic seeker, but the answer always remains the same, the spooks choose you!
David 'Goldie' Edwards is shaman, chosen to be so as nature intended. He is more than happy to discuss and involve himself with all things shamanic. If you require the services of a shaman or are curious about shamanism, then please visit his website The Dragon Shaman where you will find contact details and assistance in many forms.