What Is Shamanism?

              It’s hard to find a good definition of shamanism that doesn’t resort to words like “animistic” or “altered states of consciousness.” So here’s my own explanation:

            Shamanism is based on the belief that there are multiple dimensions to reality. There’s the reality we perceive day to day, and then there are the invisible dimensions.  We may not know exactly what they consist of, but we all have had experiences of hard-to-explain phenomena. Perhaps it was a strong premonition, a feeling of being tapped on the shoulder, an event we called "coincidence" but which felt like something deeper. For shamans, the invisible dimensions are resources or potential healing energies that are called, for lack of a better term, Spirits. Some shamans work with spirit animals; others with spirits of ancestors, or spirits of the natural world, or what Western thinkers call "archetypes." Whatever way they conceive of Spirit, the connection to these energies is the basis of a rich and sustained sense of wholeness. So shamanism is a process of establishing that connection and then letting the connection be a source of healing and change.

            Shamanism has been around a long, long time---some say since the beginning of human society---and evidence of it has been found around the globe. This isn't a "New Age" invention, but an ancient (and in many cultures still vital) practice. I studied with a Mayan shaman named Manuel Flores, and his mother, Paulina Betanco. They taught me to trust my connection to Spirit, and once I was able to tap into those remarkable energies, they showed me how to use it to help others.   


How Does Shamanic Counseling Work?

             Shamanic counseling is not like talk therapy. When we work together, we go beyond mental analysis---the rehashing of events and personal history---and focus on creating pathways for you to connect to your healing energies, or Spirits. Our goal is to heal the total person—mind, body and spirit.

               As we shape a healing ritual together at my mesa (altar) we create a collaboration not only between us, but between my Spirits and yours.
Because of my religious upbringing, I have an inherent distrust for mediated spiritual experience. That means I don’t set myself up as the Healer, but I see myself as a guide who can help you learn how to do it yourself.  To me, this is much more empowering and exciting than the guru or priest model, where you go to someone else to feel whole.  I am the facilitator who can help you access your own abundant and kind connection to Spirit. And I can show you how you can integrate that connection in your daily life.

             I have worked with clients of all backgrounds and spiritual beliefs. Some come for one session; some work with me over a period of time until they feel they’ve made the changes they need. We work together by identifying the best healing path for you.  I help you to connect to your Spirits, and then we create a ritual together to bring in the necessary energetic shifts to create a pathway for your own spiritual support. 
Most of the people I work with don’t come to my mesa believing or disbelieving in this invisible realm, but they bring an open mind.

What Is Shamanic Mentoring? 
               I will teach you how to find the path or the practices that fit you the best so that you can connect to your Spirits. I will also teach you how to create a spiritual practice based on shamanic principles, and how to build and work with a mesa. People who come to me for shamanic mentoring have often already been my counseling clients, but it’s not a necessary prerequisite. If you’re interested in learning, I’m interested in teaching you this rich and wonderful tradition.  I am happy to mentor by phone for those
who don't live in the Tucson area. 

                         Getting Started

           If you’re curious or already know you want to work with me, please contact me and I'll happily answer your questions and walk you through how it works.
  My mesa is located in the Tucson Mountains, about 10 minutes from downtown Tucson.



                                           Mary Kay (MK) LeFevour

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