Humanity has reached an inflection point—an unprecedented situation where one species can determine whether the Earth itself fades or flourishes.

The confluence of a pandemic, racism as graphically and inescapably laid bare by the homicide of George Floyd, vast disparity in global wealth and necessities for living, climate change and the desecration of our Earth’s ecosystems worldwide, has ripped away the illusion that we can continue on our current path.

Disillusionment, though painful and frightening, is the first step toward real change. One cannot find effective ways to help if the problem is unclear. So, in relationship with our helping spirits, let us find the strength within to open our hearts to the enormity of the suffering and allow ourselves to mourn—yet steadfastly refuse to let despair overwhelm us. And when we can see clearly, from that centered place, let us get to work healing our world. We work from a place of compassion, because we deeply desire it, knowing that as in all healing efforts, the outcome is not guaranteed. We go on because we have chosen this way forward and “we can do no other.” We strive for a restored Earth and a humanity that lives up to its promise, evolving toward an inspired future.

We are so fortunate in walking the shamanic path. We know that we are not alone in our efforts; we walk this path with countless numbers of people of knowledge, power, and kindness. And, we know that there is a vast realm of compassionate powers, the helping spirits, who guide our steps, hold our hearts, and feed our souls.

Here are a few resources to help provide context and insight on ways shamanism and shamanic methods can help us in these times.

In case you feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task facing us, and at a loss about what you can do, I would like to offer an anecdote that spoke to me. It is from an article in The Atlantic by Anne Applebaum. The entire article is notable, but in the last paragraph, Ms. Applebaum tells of a WWII member of the Polish underground, Władysław Bartoszewski, who had been a prisoner of both the Nazis and the Stalinists, and later the foreign minister in two Polish democratic governments. Toward the end of a long life, he offered this simple philosophy that had guided him though such chaotic times: “Just try to be decent.”

I think the compassionate spirits would approve.

Susan Mokelke

Polestar logo design by Carolyn Fee ©2010 Foundation for Shamanic Studies
FSS Polestar highlights some of the questions we are frequently asked about contemporary shamanic practice. “Polestar” is defined as “something that serves as a guiding principle.” It reflects our commitment to helping practitioners stay oriented to authentic shamanic methods and ethics, while maintaining their own independent spirituality, which comes from learning directly from the compassionate spirits. Send us your practice-related questions for consideration for Polestar. Use our CONTACT FORM, and put “Polestar” in the subject line.