The Shamanic Grail Cup––The Sangraal

This month we are republishing an article written by our editor Nita Renfrew that we published in our print journal in the fall of 2013. Her article, “The Shamanic Grail Cup – the Sangraal,” traces the origin of the Holy...

The Art of Marketing Your Medicine: Part 2

Mapping Your Path to Service In part one of this series, I talked about the importance of understanding the relevance of your innate gifts and honing in on your WHY--- to help focus your work, improve your marketing...

Coming Home to Power: Backyard Shamanism

We recently had the opportunity to connect with a group of shamans from Mongolia who offered to hold ceremonies to help heal the effects of the COVID 19 virus here in the US. They partnered with the spirits of their home...

Don Jose Matsuwa’s Triple Challenge

​The shaman's path is unending. I am an old, old man and still a baby, standing before the mystery of the world, filled with awe.    ~Don Jose Matsuwa I've been haunted by this statement from the renowned Huichol shaman Don...

Black Lives Matter: Calling on Our Spirit Guides

Dear Shamanic Community, The shamanic path teaches us responsibility to the collective dream we live within. It calls us to recognize our part in creating injustices in our communities, to take action to make amends, and to...

The Art of Marketing Your Medicine: Part 1

​Insights for Growing a Shamanic Business Each one of us has an Inner Shaman or True Self that carries unique medicine and great potential to bring love and healing to the world. The trick is that our ego, the very thing...

Perceiving Covid 19 As An Ally

In the shamanic perspective each person accumulates allies along the path of their life. Some of these allies are other human beings that show up throughout your life to help you in times of need. Some of them offer limited...

It’s WAR!!! (Or is it?)

Reporters covering the coronavirus keep referring to this as a war. So too do health-care personnel, politicians, and commentators. Certainly there are enough aspects of this pandemic to warrant the war analogy. We hear...

Taking care of ourselves serves humanity

As shamanic energy medicine practitioners, we are called to serve. We are stewards of the earth, bringing beauty and healing to all life. We serve as a bridge between the visible world of form and the invisible world of...

BEYOND SURVIVAL: Managing Fear and Anxiety with the Invisible Predator

“The presence of fear does not mean you have no faith. Fear visits everyone. But make your fear a visitor and not a resident.” —Max Lucado As this crisis continues to unfold it becomes increasingly challenging to know how...

The Journal of Shamanic Practice

The Journal of Shamanic Practice is a forum about the practice of shamanism: what shamans and shamanic practitioners do and why they do it. It includes diverse perspectives on shamanism and explores both traditional practices of shamanic people around the world as well as all types of contemporary shamanism. The journal pays particular attention to the many ways that shamanism is re-emerging and integrating itself into personal lives as well as contemporary societies.

If you are interested in submitting an article, please visit our submission guidelines.

Modern Perspectives

It’s WAR!!! (Or is it?)

It’s WAR!!! (Or is it?)

Reporters covering the coronavirus keep referring to this as a war. So too do health-care personnel, politicians, and commentators. Certainly there are enough aspects of this pandemic to warrant the war analogy. We hear about the president's War Powers Act, wartime...

Feeling Small

Feeling Small

​As the coronavirus spreads around the earth, we may teeter on the brink of despair. Despair that there’s nothing we can do, or despair that things are not going to get better, or despair that the good things may be gone forever. I’d like to wallow in this despair for...

Rumi’s Field

Rumi’s Field

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field.  I'll meet you there.”  —Rumi We've described the United States and other nations as polarized for so long now it seems this condition is normal. Government, societies, churches, schools, towns, families,...

Why Poetry?

Why Poetry?

Like shamans, poets have visionary experiences which they share with others through their poetry.  If a poem is mystical, or even semi-mystical, it resonates with something deep within us.  We feel that our souls understand the poet's vision. Aristotle said that image...

Western Fire Season 2018

Western Fire Season 2018

As the fires rage in California and throughout the west, I have been prodded to respond by those who know me as a shamanic practitioner whose specialized work is with earth healing, nature spirits, and elementals. I feel and sense the frantic plea for help: “Stop the...

Praying at the River

Praying at the River

Unless they are flooded and overflowing their banks, rivers pretty much keep to themselves, flowing through channels cut into the land since ancient times.  Although many rivers are powerful, even mighty, they can become somewhat helpless in the face of human abuse. ...

Personal Practice

Tying Knots of Wind

Tying Knots of Wind

When the first wind breathed life upon planet earth, no one was there to listen. As the planet evolved, people settled in places where the wind already lived. Wind was here before any of us, and informed all of life with the sublime wisdom of the ages. Wind is the...

Follow Your Name

Follow Your Name

“I received a letter containing an account of a recent suicide: ‘My friend jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge two months ago. She had been terribly depressed for years. There was no help for her. None that she could find that was sufficient. She was trying to get from...

Faerie Presence

Faerie Presence

There is a type of fairy encounter often dismissed as less authentic and less significant than other types, and yet possibly the most common encounter and one with the most positive, uplifting effects on the human spirit.  This is what I call encountering the “faerie...

Becoming Prayers

Becoming Prayers

Prayers are silent, Prayers are sung, Prayers are danced, and Prayers are spun. What does it mean to live in prayer? My own expression of prayer has changed over the years as many of my prayers have become my reality, and many others not. I still like to give thanks,...

On Prayer

On Prayer

‘You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer’. Thich Nhat Hanh When the request...

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

September, 2014: Devon, England After a half-hour climb, I stand in an outcropping of rock at the top of a hill covered in heather and gorse. Below me, shrouded in mist, lie the wild lands of Dartmoor National Park. I have come in search of Grimspound, the remains of...

To Be a Pilgrim Shaman

To Be a Pilgrim Shaman

Each of us is on a journey. This is something we know if we pursue any kind of spiritual practice. This knowing is inescapable when we follow a shamanic path. After all, journeying is what we do. Many journeys await us. We are on a journey from birth to death; we move...

Why Prayer?

Why Prayer?

I have often wondered what place prayer has in my life and in my work of bringing shamanism into contemporary western life. After all, I can do a shamanic “journey” to helping spirits to make requests and to have a direct relationship with the Larger Order of Things,...

Shamanic Offerings

Shamanic Offerings

There are specific locales on Earth that hold great power, contain the ability to heal and can quicken the awakening process. These areas, sometimes referred to as power spots, act as portals to the spirit world and often reside near natural expressions of beauty such...

Teachings & Stories

Don Jose Matsuwa’s Triple Challenge

Don Jose Matsuwa’s Triple Challenge

​The shaman's path is unending. I am an old, old man and still a baby, standing before the mystery of the world, filled with awe.    ~Don Jose Matsuwa I've been haunted by this statement from the renowned Huichol shaman Don Jose Matsuwa since I first read it back in...

Re-imagining Imbolc

Re-imagining Imbolc

Astronomically, February 1 is the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox. In the Celtic shamanic tradition, this is an important day dedicated to the Goddess Brigid. SSP offers you this overview of the Celtic Goddess of new life, of new fire, Brigid,...

The Journey of Rewilding

The Journey of Rewilding

This year I returned to beekeeping and bought a package of honeybees for the first time. I’ve avoided packaged bees and prefer to catch swarms because in the process of swarming the bees have proven their vigor. I wanted a sure thing, though, so I shelled out $180 for...

The Tastes of Life Ceremony

The Tastes of Life Ceremony

I learned about the world of Ifa, the indigenous religion of the Yoruba people, from Oba Odumade, a babalawo from Nigeria. Oba was a traditional healer and diviner as well as a master drummer and ceremonial leader. I met him in Los Angeles in 1992 and remained his...

Transition Blanket

Transition Blanket

I created a Transition Blanket in preparation for my father's imminent death. To this day, this sacred object continues to bestow life-altering blessings on my entire family. I'm convinced that this divinely inspired gift is meant to reach far beyond my own family...

Healing Methods

Healing Trauma: A Shamanic Approach

Healing Trauma: A Shamanic Approach

Trauma can leave imprints in our energy body that influence our current life. These imprints cause us to attract people and experiences that recreate and repeat the traumatic stories. Both psychology and shamanism support this idea. Indeed, science is now able to show...

My Journey With Cancer

My Journey With Cancer

I am alone at home, on a Wednesday in January 2014. My wife Noelle is teaching a shamanic workshop across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The phone rings. The doctor’s voice is somewhat shaky, “It is cancer, stage 4 advanced lung cancer, with metastases.” I...

Shamanism Without Borders

Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Shamanism in the Ice Age

BOOK REVIEW: Shamanism in the Ice Age

Reflections on Kim Stanley Robinson's novel Shaman by Tom Cowan Often we derive secret pleasure when informing people who label shamanism a “new age fad” that shamanism is 35,000 to 40,000 years old, maybe older, more ancient than the world's “major...

BOOK REVIEW: Speaking with Nature

BOOK REVIEW: Speaking with Nature

Authored by Sandra Ingerman and Llyn Roberts Book Review by Tom Cowan ~ Sandra Ingerman and Llyn Roberts have written an engaging account of how they incorporate their love of the natural world into their shamanic practices. Each writes from personal experiences about...

Do You Have an Article to Contribute?

 The Journal of Shamanic Practice welcomes articles and stories from people who practice shamanism professionally, often in a healing capacity, and those who use shamanic practice for daily life. If you are interested in contributing to the journal, please review our submission guidelines..