In the selection of a shaman for ritual ceremonies, it is important that you know if your shaman is genuine or if he’s a fraud. It’s not easy to find out this, especially if you have little experience on matters as this. The best way to know this is by trusting your gut instinct.
A shaman will definitely never work for free, because everyone would love to get value for their services rendered, but a shaman should also not be too money conscious if they are not delivering quality services for the fees collected. ALL shamans worth their salt offer free hearings, when they feel led, ask how many free ones they have done. Something like 1 for every 5 or 10 is a good number. Try and remember that a shaman outside of a tribe, has to eat, pay bills and live in this society. He or She may also need to travel to do healing either individually or in ceremony. If the gods/goddess or the spirits have called you to this healing modality what “others” think will not concern you in regards to how you charge. Stay in your lane, do your work and let others do their work.
A good shaman does not only give you value for the fees collected, he also guides, protects, and supports one during the ritual or the ceremony. One trip to the shaman may just be enough to determine if he’s a beginner or the real deal, but it is also quite inadequate as one cannot necessarily have a reference for what represents value.
Shamanic Healing Ceremony
A few people seem to think that shamanic healing Ceremonies and trips overseas with traditional and indigenous shamans are the only way to go, but what they often fail to realize is that sometimes “traditional” comes at a steep prize. Their mind changes after an encounter in which they have been in ritual ceremonies and have been treated by plants that have worked their magic into healing them of serious illnesses, as well as given them insights, wisdom’s, and deeper knowledge into the workings of the mind and the world. Right there and then, they realize and understand the true meaning of value services, sometimes going as far as saying that they would have paid ten times the amount if it was requested of them.
Here are some of the important questions that you can raise up when in a situation of selecting a good shaman:
What are your expectations from this ceremony?
What particular issues or illnesses do I want to treat?
What does the ceremony entail?
What are the protocols it entails?
What are the possible side effects?
The following are also few points to take note of when not sure of the shaman:
Ask to just observe without participation – You do not have to make up your mind on the spot, you may just attend the ceremony as an observer without any participation. Take no psychedelic mushrooms and just put your mind to rest. Although this may be an issue with some shamans, you can always ask before attempting it. Be prepared also to pay for your space whether or not you are taking the psychedelic mushrooms, as it may have been sold out to someone else if you hadn’t been there.
Watch out for the procedures of the shaman – For this aspect you have to watch if the shaman made the room safe from evil wandering spirits, if the room is protected and spiritually clean. Real shamans perform a ritual of sacred space, to clean and sanctify the room from spirits before the ceremony begins. So, if he’s a real shaman he’s sure to start by cleansing his room and its occupants.
Watch out for the results of the shaman. Is it really benefiting you or him? A true shaman is not only powerful, a true shaman uses his power and presence to add benefit to you. He makes sure that everyone receives the same attention, care, value, and results for their time or money’s worth.
Is he an active or passive shaman? A real shaman is always active during the ceremony as he is the one to control and guide the flow of the ceremony. He uses songs, drums, music, prayers, plants chants and songs with his knowledge and spirit of the plants and the spirits/ancestors of the participants to invoke their presence in the ceremony.
Is there hands-on healing? Hands-on healing is achieved through the use of limpia, chupa, agua florida (flower water), rape’ sacred Mapacho, the rattle, etc. that the shaman uses when you are struggling with the ceremony.
The answers to the points mentioned above gives you a clear view on the kind of shaman that you are dealing with.
In view of the points above there are also some things that you can do for yourself or others when taking the ceremony leadership helm to ensure that you have a safe and controlled environment for the ceremony.
Ceremony for Soul Loss
Control the set and the setting – By controlling the set (the state of the mind) and the setting (the external environment), you create an easy flow to allow the tendency of bad trips to reduce totally. For most shamans there is no such thing as a bad trip however, there are shamans that do nothing to alleviate your fears of the visions that you are having. My personal opinion is that is not helpful.
Make good use of entheogens – Entheogens are agents of teaching and healing, as well as the process that shows us things that we have repressed and chosen not to see. The entheogens do not just provide visions which the plants plants in us (mind the pun), they provide us with things that are already within us. The visions are brought to us so that our consciousness will deal with them and release their hidden energy to help us become aware of the freewill we have over our fates. Any shaman should help you connect with the plant spirit. Coaching you during a ceremony to allow and surrender to the plant so that it can help you completely. This is the core of shamanism
Set an intention for the journey – Your intention provides your mind with a framework and a road map for the psychedelic trip you are about to embark on. It helps you avoid difficulties as it gives you a direction and purpose because going into a psychedelic trip without intention is a dangerous thing to do. It leaves one confused, overwhelmed, at risk and panicky. Purpose and direction guides you to get the best out of the trips, although they may end up more intense and definite, it’s definitely worth it.