How can I provide shamanic help in cases of natural or human-caused disasters?

Shamanic healing is powerful and can produce miracles of healing. It also operates outside of ordinary reality time and space, so distance healing can be just as powerful as in person work. Where there is trauma from disasters such as war, earthquakes, terrorism, hurricanes, pandemics, massive fires, and so forth, distance shamanic work can bring spiritual healing to souls in need.

The issue of permission is always an important consideration in proceeding with shamanic work. An extra layer of complexity is added when doing distance work, whether for an individual or for large numbers of people. It is crucial in the ethical practice of shamanic healing and divination to obtain express permission, in ordinary reality, from any person for whom you are doing work. This is because none of us can presume to make decisions on behalf of another person’s soul, even if we feel sure that what we want to do is only for healing or “for the highest good.” See “Ethical Considerations in Shamanic Healing” for more:

Given the permission issues involved, there are generally two ways to proceed in cases of mass trauma. One option is to journey to the area of suffering and ask your helping spirits how best to help on a spiritual level. Here, the ethical issues discussed above are paramount. For instance, if in your journey you find living people experiencing pain and suffering, you cannot get permission to do shamanic healing for them from a distance. Remember, permission to work on behalf of living humans must be granted in ordinary reality, not telepathically or spiritually or by communicating with their soul. If, on the other hand, you encounter deceased human souls, you can offer psychopomp work; but again, only with each soul’s express permission and only if you have been trained in this work. Remember, too, that the Earth and all lifeforms and earth forms are ensouled and permission must be sought to use shamanic means to help. See also Shamanism for Local and Global Healing and Assistance.

A second way, often neglected, is to gather in ordinary reality factual information on the issue, then journey to your helping spirits to ask what you can do, in in ordinary reality, to help. The collection of information is an important preparatory step to successfully consulting with the spirits. Once you have done your ordinary reality work, the spirits build upon it and may offer surprising and elegant concrete and spiritual activities to help ease the suffering of the people, life forms, and earth forms involved in these larger disasters. For training and experience in using shamanic methods for addressing both local and largescale healing of our planet, please check out the new FSS advanced workshop, Shamanism for Inspired Local and Global Change: NOW online: Shamanism for Inspired Local and Global Change (online):

Due to climate change and other factors, these days we are experiencing an overwhelming amount of trauma and damage to the earth itself. Many shamanic practitioners want to work in partnership with their helping spirits to relieve the associated pain and suffering. Before proceeding, since the land, the water, the forests — indeed the Earth itself — and all of creation is inspirited, we must ask permission before doing any shamanic work. We do this by journeying to the soul of the land, the water, the trees, and other earth and life forms. And always, we consult with our helping spirits about how to proceed in a wise, ethical, and humble way, never assuming that we know what is best and have the final answers.

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.