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Shamanic Wisdom: Say Yes to the Mystery

Shamanic Wisdom: Say Yes to the Mystery Jan Engels-Smith

The beginnings of my connection with shamanism began some years before I even knew what a shaman was. In 1990, my husband and I were living in Dallas, Texas, with three small children, and I had an active practice as a professional counselor. I generally used traditional psychological approaches with clients who suffered from the generic problems of depression, doubts of self-worth, inordinate fears, and all the other conditions common to our industrial society.

I also worked in the dissociate ward in a local psychiatric hospital. Many of these clients suffered from multiple-personality disorder, frequently brought on from a history of satanic ritualistic abuse. I was affected emotionally by the horrors they had encountered. I regularly felt stretched thin by the expressed terrors, the complexity of their reality, and my desire to bring them relief.

I had success with many clients, but I was far from satisfied. I also developed an awe for mystical, unexplainable realities that I had no familiarity with as I witnessed physical and sensational transformations daily.