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10 Signs You’re a Shaman & Don’t Know It

As I feel indebted to the shamans who saw themselves in me and helped me understand why I have always felt like I don’t belong in mainstream medicine, the intention of this article is to respectfully honor the shamanic tradition, and not to violate it in any way.  

Because modern culture doesn’t have a role for the shamanic archetype, many people who grow up outside indigenous villages are shamans and don’t know it. Many naturally wind up in overtly healing professions, such as medicine, psychology, or life coaching. But some wind up in professions where they may feel like they don’t fit in at all. Even those who enter the healing professions may feel out of place, because the systems of Western medicine and psychology leave little room for a shaman to practice his or her natural healing art. But many will wind up in various forms of sacred activism, healing the planet, for example, rather than healing people.


Are you a shaman and you don’t know it? Here are some telltale signs that you might fit the archetype.

1. You sense that you’re meant to participate in the global shift in consciousness that is currently underway.

We can all feel it, this impending shift that New Agers have talked about for decades. But those with the shamanic archetype don’t just feel it, they feel it pulling them, like a magnet, towards leadership positions that help facilitate this transformation of human consciousness and evolution of the species.

2. You’ve been through a difficult initiation, which has prepared you for this leadership role.

In indigenous cultures, the village knew who the shaman was because he or she was struck by lightning and survived. In modern culture, you may not literally be struck by lightning, but you may have survived some other life or heart-threatening ordeal. You may have experienced childhood abuse, sexual violence, a near-death experience, or some other trauma that put you through the crucible and forged you into the healing earth shaman you are becoming.

3. You are an introvert.

Shamans are multi-dimensional beings who dance between the realms of the seen and unseen worlds, so if you’re of the shamanic archetype, you may have a hard time navigating the 3D realms of this dimension, which may cause you to withdraw into yourself so you can visit the realms of consciousness where you feel most at home.

4. You feel most at home in nature.

The shamans of a culture are the bridges between nature and humans, serving as translators between the mountains, oceans, rivers, animals, and people. You may sense that nature is talking to you or that you get your most tuned in downloads when you are surrounded by the natural world.

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5. You’re very sensitive.

You may feels things others don’t feel, see things others don’t see, hear things others don’t hear, smell things others don’t smell, and sense things others don’t sense. This may make it hard for you to be out in public, where you may feel accosted by over-stimulation of your senses. If you embody the shamanic archetype, it’s likely that you’re the kind of person others may feel is “too sensitive.” But this sensitivity is a blessing. It’s part of your gift.

6. You feel a sort of spiritual calling to ease the suffering of people, animals, and nature.

Many health care providers are called to medicine the way priests are called to the priesthood. But you don’t have to be a health care provider to have the shamanic archetype. It may transmute itself into healing service to animals, sacred activist causes, or conservation of Mother Earth.

7. Physical ailments that fall under the category of “shaman sickness.”

In the indigenous cultures, shamans who have been called to service but haven’t yet said “yes” to the call often wind up struck with physical ailments. In modern culture, these shamanic sicknesses may fall into difficult to treat categories like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic Lyme disease, chronic pain disorders, and autoimmune disorders. Acceptance of the call to shamanic service often resolves the symptoms of shaman sickness. If you’re suffering from one of these illnesses, ask yourself, “Am I a shaman who hasn’t said yes to my calling yet?”

8. You tend to have vivid dreams.

The unseen realm may be communicating with you through your dreams, so try analyzing your dreams. Pay particular attention to any animal totems that may appear in your dreams. Google search the animal and “spirit totem” and see if you can find any messages from the animals in your dreams. Or try a Jungian analysis, like the one described here.

9. You may discover unusual spiritual superpowers, or what the yogis call “siddhis.”

You might be psychic. You might get healing visions like the one in my previous post about the meeting of Western medicine and Shamanism. You might realize that you can heal people with your hands or that you can telepathically communicate with animals, people, or even inanimate objects.


10. You’ve always felt like you don’t quite belong anywhere, because you are a bridge.

Shamans tend to live on the outskirts of the village for a reason. They are not like the others – and this is a blessing! In village life, this is understood and recognized. But in the modern world, it may leave those with the shamanic archetype feeling like they don’t ever fit in. But don’t despair. You DO fit in. Your role is essential. You may find that you fit in best with others who share this shamanic archetype. Among your fellow shamans, you will feel like you are with family.

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Embrace Your Bridge Work

Because shamans are always operating between worlds, you may find that you’re connecting mainstream culture and the culture that wants to be born in the new consciousness, and this may feel uncomfortable, as if you don’t quite fit in. When I realized that I am a bridge between mainstream medicine and the new world of medicine that is being co-created by others who share the shamanic archetype, it brought me such a profound sense of relief! This relief is shared by the health care providers who participate in the Whole Health Medicine Institute, which I founded for doctors and other stealth shamans. If you’re one of those bridge workers, please know that you belong with all the other stealth shamans in this program, designed to merge medicine and spirituality, and we’re enrolling for the 2016 class now.

In our culture, it can be quite challenging to be a stealth shaman. Yes, it’s a blessing to have the opportunity to help people end the story of separation, to dissolve the apparent duality into Oneness, to fulfill our callings to bring the worlds together, to heal people, animals, and the planet. But it can be lonely and disheartening and scary and isolating. I sense that many of us stealth shaman bridge workers have scores of past lives during which we were persecuted for our attempts to connect the worlds, so no matter how much we know in our hearts that we are all One and we DO belong, we have cellular memories of past traumas, during which we were literally killed because we refused to fit in. So it takes tremendous courage to come out of the spiritual closet as someone who embodies the shamanic archetype. In order to keep being brave, we need to feel safe. To feel safe, we need to foster a sense of belonging so we don’t feel isolated on top of feeling scared. In order to feel safe enough to keep bridging, we need each other.

Are you a shaman who is still in the closet? If so, please know that there are many of us, and we hold you close in our hearts while you muster up the moxie to claim your place in the world.



11 thoughts on “10 Signs You’re a Shaman & Don’t Know It”

  1. I’m a Psychic/medium and Reiki Master but I continue to feel as though something is missing. I gravitate toward Native American culture and live the outdoors. It is there I feel at home. I HAVE felt as though I have a calling toward being a Shaman. I’ve read the books etc. my question however is, just what is it one needs to do in order to become a Shaman? I live in a place that just now opened its first Yoga studio and that’s being advanced!
    Any information or input would be appreciated.

    • You don’t need to do anything to become a Shaman. It comes to you gradually and eventually. Go to Yoga, there like minded/spirited people will reach out to you and you to them as you are meant. I believe that is your one first small step. Keep reading, studying and growing. The Shaman calling will come as meant in, sometimes quietly and slowly. Trust your inner Spirit. It will put you where you need to be to become the Lightworker you are meant to be. Even if that path is not clear now, looking back one day it will be 🙂 Brightest Blessings

  2. This is me and I please please need to find a way to finally do what I was sent here to do. I need a mentor please. I just posted a status on FB three days ago that I need an apprenticeship opportunity but I didn’t state for which occupation because I can’t even describe in writing or even verbally what I want, need and HAVE to do while on earth. I was born on 11/11/1970 with a stellium in Scorpio besides my Sun with Saturn in my 12th House EXACTLY opposing my natal 6th House Sun. I abused alcohol for DECADES, I hated myself, just absolutely loathed my existence and pissed off that I was sent here, I did not want to come here but I now know I HAD to come, I’ve overcome the alcohol problem and through Astrology learned about myself and finally love myself. Now I’m ready at 45 years old to continue on and complete this mission for the sake of others and this planet. I am not conceited, I’m the furthest from conceited person you’d ever know in this lifetime, I’m only expressing all this with all the passion I can possibly have come across to the right person, the ONE who was meant to read my comment and KNOW what to do next. My mission is no more important than any other shaman’s or lightworkers mission but it is JUST as important and a MUST. I live in Wisconsin USA. If you’re the ONE please please please reach out to me as soon as possible. Thank you all and many, many blessings on your journey. ♡

    • Wow, your post buzzes with energy! I can tell how excited you are and usually that is a sign. It is Spirit celebrating that thank Light, you are entering back to the path you are meant to walk. You eagerness is wonderful and inspirational. However,sometimes it is hard to hear Spirit over the noise of eagerness. Sometimes we have to quiet that to get the info we seek. Sometimes we get so excited and overlook that our best mentor is within, not without. Be very careful putting your excitement and energy out there because not all that will be drawn to “help” you, will be in your best interest. I believe you are mean to to help others from the insights you gained from your past suffering, as we most times are. Hang in there, the ones meant to come will come:-) Brightest Blessings

  3. Yes to all. I answered the call many yeasr ago but there was interference and i could not handle the pain of massage and touching only led to transference and more pain. No matter what I did it wasn’t right. The psychiatrists got a hold of me and shut down my entire connection. I became a personal trainer and even that field rejected me and the belly dance fitness I wanted to teach. More spinal surgery took me out of the game and a cancer scare and an assault however I discovered that I could use the Reiki 1 technique to make plants grow ginormous! I even made a little rhyme to go along with it. I do communicate with animals and yesterday was proof that I can even talk to canines. I am usually good with cats but since I am a Sirian star seed and Sirius is dubbed the dog-star I tested this out. I was in meditation here in Amity and I was at the end of a street near my street looking out over the water at the energy. I hear two dogs bark next to me I look and there are two beautiful wolf like dogs behind the fence. I simply turned took my sunglasses down looked, blinked and said hello I am from dog-star It is a beautiful day. I turned back to gaze at the water as they fell silent I said “NO hurt” and they went on to play with each other thereafter and I continued meditating. There was no fear. Granted they were behind the fence but it was so weird that I literally quieted them down. I was bit by a dog as a 4 year old child I had to unlearn that fear and ironically my best friend in NC is a dog trainer as well as a horse trainer and bird trainer now she trains cats. I get the Intel about dogs from her.

  4. Hi I am Lisa. I just wanted to say Hi. I liked the Article. I love Native American Culture. I love to help people.I hope you have more posts like this one.


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