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Shamanic Wisdom: Ancestral Healing

Shamanic Wisdom: Ancestral Healing Jan Engels-Smith

I worked for many years as a licensed psychotherapist and counselor treating people with traditional methods to promote healing. I found my work to be satisfying and successful. I engaged with clients who had deep emotional wounds, and many times these difficult conditions manifested in physical problems and social reactions. I was personally comforted when I created conditions in which clients could heal and retake command of their lives. As with any healer, my sense of success came in the recognition of another individual’s success in overcoming difficulties in life choices and finding a way to thrive.

In 1990, I had a spiritual awakening that led me to practice shamanic healing. (My story is published in Shamanism in the New Millennium, an anthology of sixteen people’s call to shamanism.) Shamanism and energy medicine became a natural evolution for finding ways to affect healing deep within the soul, beyond the mind and body. The psyche is complex and multifaceted. Even the best traditional therapy, while providing help in healing, cannot fully resolve the more intricate and complicated conditions that are a result of the fact that the body, mind, and spirit are intricately intertwined and interdependent.

The healing arts compel practitioners to seek out and apply practices that offer new approaches and provide resolutions that go deeper and further to address problems that are part of the infinite universal condition defining our existence. The universe is one, and we are one with it. Healing must account for this condition of timelessness and unity that speaks to our future, present, and past. We are part and parcel of our descendants, our immediate existence, and our ancestors.