So You Want To Be A Shaman?

By Tommy Lightning Bolt

In today's world, from what I am seeing and hearing from the people, there is a deep longing for a "real" spiritual connection in light of the perceived disillusionment by organized religion, which is to say that mainstream Christianity has robbed the people of their own personal power. Ironically, the same power Jesus (one of the greatest "Shamans" in history) tried to restore to the people from the hands of the Monarchy. I am seeing people who are fed up with their personal power being robbed from them, their sense of powerlessness, who are starving for something real, who are desperately seeking a way to take back their power. Now, for the record I need to say that I in no way intend to slight true Christians (who I have a profound respect for, but who I can count on one hand the true ones I've met). I hope people do not get offended by this, and please allow me to elaborate on this point, but this touches on an issue no one seems to talk about, and the question no one seems to be asking, which is the question, "Why are so many people taking an interest in mysticism today."

I am not in any way meaning to imply "Christians and followers of Christ are disillusioned." I am, however, totally meaning to state that corrupt organized religion is robbing people of their power, and people are trying desperately to find some meaning and truth, they want a better life now (which is getting harder and harder) not some promised paradise later. From my observation people are "seeking" more now than at any other point in human history. They feel more disconnected and alone than ever before. One of the ways that the monarchy that enslaved Christianity has robbed the people of their power is by separating people from everything around them and isolating and disconnecting the individual, thus the old saying "united we stand divided we fall" this is how they "divide and conquer", and this is one of the ways they conquered and crushed people and entire cultures. Main stream Christians do not like it when I remind them about Jesus saying the kingdom of heaven is all around you and with in you not within mansions of wood and stone." Because it means that I don't have to go to church to find god, I can find god in the wilderness, just like Jesus did. So the "church" (the monarchy) has no control over my spirituality, my powerful connection with "God"! A true christian told me once, "If heaven is where all the Christians are going then I want to go to hell." I know the Christians she was referring to are the same ones Jesus mentioned about when he returns there will be those who say "Didn't I do all these thing in your name?", and Jesus will say to them, "I know you not." These are also the ones who play a big part in robbing the people of their power and subduing and subjugating them.

Some people have looked to indigenous cultures and their traditions for this "real" connection. Some have looked to American Indian spirituality under the concept of "Shamanism." Now, It must be said for the record the word "Shaman" is not even Native American but Russian. It comes from Siberia and it means "teacher." This being the case one could say we are all "Shamans" especially children. In Native American culture "Shamanism" is more associated with the act of sorcery and negative spiritual power and manipulation than good solid healing and positive "Medicine."

I trained under a spiritual person for 10 years, and what I witnessed and experienced is a far cry from the romanticized notions of "Hollywood" and the New Age movement. First thing that happened when I agreed to start the training in which I smoked off a sacred pipe and thus signed the contract, my life fell apart! The Great Creator had to bring me to my knees to get my undivided attention. I soon realized only one force has control and it is not human, and certainly not me. It is Creator. I soon learned that walking a spiritual path starts with the individual taking personal inventory and "cleaning house" so to speak. The spiritual person is nothing but a hollow bone that the power flows through. If that hollow bone is filled and blocked up with old angers, resentments, fears, ego, pain, emotional suffering and scar tissue then the power and spirit cannot flow through to help the people. That is who the power is for, the people not the individual. Then I went through the process of what Anthropologists call a "Shamans Death." When one enters this process it is like entering a black hole, once you cross the event horizon there is no turning back, you either make it out the other side or you are dead (emotionally/mentally and possibly even physically). During this process Spirit breaks you down and shows you all of you negative traits and the things hindering your spiritual growth. It is as if they put you in a room made of mirrors with no where to turn, everywhere you look you see yourself and your dark side, your faults and flaws and ambitions and all the truths you try to hide from yourself. It can be enough to drive one mad, even to the point of suicide.

During this process one learns the true "Reality" which is unlike anything we are programed into growing up. This is also when one learns about the gifts "medicines" they were born with, and how to use these gifts. They learn how to work with the spirits powers and forces of the Universe. They learn how to commune with the deceased (ancestral spirits) and how to commune with their animal helpers and spirit guides. The Human body is also not meant to channel this kind of extreme power. Usually the body of the "Shaman" has to be genetically altered by "The Grandfathers" and so the true "Shaman" frequently gets exposed to unearthly forces. Also, the human mind is relatively fragile. If the mind gets opened too much too fast it can crack. You will get "Split." It is very common for an "Apprentice" to go into a training in which they never come out of alive. They end up actually dead. If one does survive then they have to undergo the metamorphosis and resurrection process like the Phoenix, rising from the ashes of their own death. What makes this so scary is the fact that one has to go through this process alone, the teacher or mentor cannot hold their hand and comfort them. If the apprentice or student is strong enough to survive this, then the are strong enough to carry the medicine, if not they get weeded out! When I underwent this process my mentor told me before hand it would take me to the edge, but what he didn't tell me was it would be up to me to find my own way back, and by the time I got to the edge and realized this point it was too late. I was tricked by Coyote! Thus the weeding out process. I learned also that this kind of experience cannot be gotten from a book, nor bought from any New Age sources or "Shamanic foundations", you acquire it through suffering and sacrifice, you acquire it through hands on experience and that is what gives you the qualification to help others. By helping yourself, and healing yourself, you gain the knowledge and insight to help and heal others. The journey of the mystic or "Shaman" is not a journey without, but a journey within! If you are not ready to jump into your own interior and you truly step onto the path of the Shaman, you will slit your own throat. From my own experience, after this point I found it near impossible to relate to people in an ordinary fashion ever since, as my own relationship and view with the world drastically changed forever, forever seeing the world the way it really is the good and the bad.

So when I read or hear people promoting "Shamanism" as a wonderful and beautiful way of life I get offended and concerned at the disillusionment they are promoting to people. For Example, they do not tell people that it is a very, very, lonely path. It is disturbing to see people trying to scam people, to rip them off, by promoting false concepts about Native American spirituality and to dare suggest you to can be a Shaman for $19.95, or in some cases with certain "Shamanic foundations" $10,000 for a total of 8 weeks of "training", 2 weeks (14 days strait) a year for 4 years. It is not that easy to get. I met someone who trained at one of these "Foundations" who performed a "healing ceremony" on someone and right after words they came down with a major sickness because they were not given adequate knowledge. I told them, "well, for another $500.00 they might tell you the part they left out." People have no idea what it means to be "One with everything" They have no clue what they are asking for because they are disillusioned. They see the light side but they don't see the dark side, or, "the darker side of the light." There is a duality in the Universe. To be one with everything means to be one with all the joy and pain of the earth, The beauty and the clear cuts! You will feel the power of the Earth, and you will feel her rape. You will experience the voices of all these things Earth, Animals, People, Water, Wind/Storms, Mountains etc... going through your head... and you will see things, spirits, powers and forces... You will hear things and see things... What Psychiatry calls psychosis.

One With Everything

By Thomas J. Lightning Bolt

(Copyright 2008 federal copyright laws applicable, all rights reserved)

I am the water, river flowing.

I am the grass on Great Plains growing.

I am Aurora Borealis, see me glowing.

I am the Stars within the Sky.

I am the Wind that’s blowing by.

I am the Eagle flying high, hear my cry!

I am the Gold in the Sunlight.

I am the dark within the night.

I am the spirits, that whisper threw the trees.

I am the tree that’s been cut down.

I am the leaves upon the ground.

I am the Grizzly Bear, I’ll do just as I please.

Feel the weight of the World on your shoulders,

the agony it can bring!

Feel the weight of the World on your shoulders,

when you’re one with everything!

I am the Raven passing by.

I am the clouds within the Sky.

My voice is in the Thunder, hear my cry!

I am the Hawk that’s flying free.

I am the roar within the Sea.

I am the silence in the Redwoods, hear me be.

I am the night, behold the Owl.

I am the Sasquatch, smelling foul.

I am the Wolves within the timbers, hear my howl.

I am the Earth Paint on your face.

I am the blood of every race.

I am the Cougar, always on the prowl.


Feel the World, upon your shoulders,

the torment life can bring!

Feel the weight of the World on your shoulders,

when you’re one with everything!


My tears are in the rain,

Tears of joy and tears of pain.

I am the land, from Washington to Maine.

I’m every clear cut, plundered Earth.

I’m every Elder of your birth.

I am the knowledge that’s been lost, and yet to gain.

I am the flames in the sacred fire.

I’m Golden Eagle, flying higher.

I’m Lightning streaking threw the Sky, like tangled wire!

I’m cracking Thunder, hear me breaking.

I am the fault Line, Earthquake shaking.

I am part of all that is, Magick in the making.


Feel the World, upon your Shoulders,

The misery it can bring.

Feel the weight of the World on your shoulders,

When you’re one with everything!

Feel the weight of the World on your shoulders,

The pain and grief it can bring.

Feel the World, on your shoulders,

When you’re one with everything!


When you’re one with everything!

I ‘m every stone upon the land.

I am the Beach, I am the sand.

I’m every Tribe, each & every Band.

When you’re one with everything!

I’m every woman, man, & child.

I am the Earth that’s been defiled.

I am you’re destiny, come & take my hand.

When you’re one with everything!

I am the Moon, I am the Sun.

I am the prophecies begun.

I am the Trees, each & every one.

When you’re one with everything!

I am the Snow that’s falling down.

I am the Seasons turning ‘round.

I am the Shadow World, I move without a sound!

One with every thing!

There is no glamour in being a "Shaman" in spite of what it is made out to be by the ignorant. Indigenous healers and spiritual people see the absolute worst of society. As a healer/spiritual person I have had people come to me and have had to rehash some of their ugly past to be healed and I had to sit (or stand) there and not be judgmental. For example; try being an Earth loving person and have a logger come to you for healing with an ailment they got as a direct result from their part/transgression in raping Mother Earth. Are you going to say, "That is what you get!"? Or are you going to find it in your heart to love that person and heal them with love? Because love is the greatest healer. I have found myself in many awkward positions on this path. On this path I have seen things and witnessed things that would turn a dark skinned person WHITE! At times I have been truly scared. I have experienced joy and pain, sorrow and regret, happiness and unbearable sadness and the deepest loneliness in my life (Even married). The price I pay for this gift is not near the price I will pay (and my family and the Universe) if I refuse to do what has been asked of me. This path is unbearable, but the alternative is even more unbearable. The only way anyone would be willing to pay for something like this is if they were seriously misinformed, misguided and misled.

Here is some comical sarcasm about shamanism from my web site.

Being a "Shaman" is great fun and a real pleasure. For those who are eager to be a big wig "Shaman" expect this;

You will be laughed at, ridiculed, called crazy, ran out of town or flat out crucified. You will live on the fringes of society, if you can even call it living. You will experience a "Shamans' death" (as referred to by Anthropologists) and dance the spiral dance of madness into oblivion ALL ALONE as you face your darkest side with nowhere to run but into it, all the while hoping to return to sanity with the power you acquire from the edge of madness where you meet Creator and make the connection all the while undergoing an excruciating metamorphosis sprouting wings and becoming like the Phoenix as you rise from the ashes of your own death. You will be slandered behind your back, and stabbed in the back. The more good you do the more you will be targeted and attacked even by your so called own people. You will have people come to your door and want from you with giving nothing in return. You will more than likely not even be appreciated or respected, and you will help people usually at your own expense. You will be demeaned, dishonored and defamed.

You will walk the most lonely and selfless path on the planet and suffer, suffer, suffer, sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice, giving everything you have for those who will more than likely not even appreciate it. You will enjoy the company of all kinds of spirits (good and bad) entering your home and haunting you all hours of the day and night wanting help and tormenting you in waking state and dream state, until you do. You will experience the fun of the dark ones trying to stop your good works in any way they can. You will have great fun watching in visions those you love die a hundred times over, and the places you love destroyed, and the most terrible visions of future events you could possibly imagine, images burned into your mind that you will never get out of your head and have to live with for the rest of your life, and one by one watch them come true knowing there is nothing you can do to stop them from manifesting.

At around this point you will more than likely land on a Psychiatric ward that will sedate you with psychotropic medications which tear down your psychic defenses and leave you psychically and spiritually vulnerable, as you go insane from the visions and spirits that torment you, all the while trying to piece your mind back together in spite of the visions and spiritual forces (and doctors) you deal with on a daily basis.

Hey! Are you having fun yet? Isn't being a "Shaman" a wonderful way of life? If that is not enough, your family and loved ones will be targeted by the dark ones (evil spirits), and your own family will go through every kind of medical problem you could imagine just so the good spirits can fine tune you into a good healer, a good healer for people who will more than likely not even appreciate it or respect what it is you do for them. And if you screw up bad enough??? The spirits kill your family members one by one picking them off like flies! But hey! Being a "Shaman" is a wonderful way of life!

So... You want to be a "Shaman"????