A recent Internet search turned up multiple courses on how to become a shaman that were either given through schools and universities or had an implied college credit. They teach fundamental shamanic healing, energy healing, earth-based spirituality, shamanic travelling, how to awaken spiritual powers, receive soul knowledge, discover shamanic wisdom via mask creation, and how to heal in non-ordinary reality. Is it possible to become a shaman by taking a college course, attending a lecture, or attending a weekend retreat? No, that is not the case.
What does it take to become a shaman? The first of the seven paths to becoming a shaman is by heredity. A family member who is a shaman can pass on shamanic power, knowledge, and abilities. The beginner is taught the ‘secrets’ of the art through this passing-down or on. It does not happen as a result of the last will and testament being read aloud.
Second, a person who survives a terrible life-threatening disease and recovers miraculously may be able to share his or her healing experience with others. If this is the case, the person is a shaman. The proof of the pudding, so to speak, is whether the person who receives the previously ill person’s care also recovers.
Third, children with extraordinary abilities for seeing, travelling, and healing are given special care. A shaman will put them to the test when they reach maturity. If they pass the exam, they are considered a shaman.
Fourth, training can be paid for. The instructor is a shaman who agrees to teach the healing methods, which include unique ceremonies and herb use. The objective is to have a well-known shaman as the teacher, which will be expensive. The training will not take place over the weekend or over an extended period of time. It might last for months.
Fifth, one is visited by a spirit and is assisted in learning from the spirit by a shaman. This type of ghost visitation is most common at night. The willingness of the person to receive spirit visits is essential to this method. The shaman assists the initiate in asking the correct questions of the spirit visitor.
Sixth, the person is placed in seclusion for several days or weeks. In today’s world, it may be an isolation chamber, a cave, a pop-up tent, or anything else that provides complete darkness and silence. The person does not eat or drink throughout this period. This is what is known as a “vision quest.” If you are to take on a shamanic role, a spirit will make itself known at this period.
Seventh, one enters a condition of altered consciousness. This can be caused by drugs or by auditory stimuli like drumming, rattles, or any of the current binaural recordings. The individual’s body gets dismembered while in this altered condition. A guide should be present during the altered state, whether hallucinogens or sound are employed.
As a word of caution, keep in mind that the human mind is a fragile, sensitive, and enigmatic component of the human person. The brain is well understood, but the mind is a different storey. It’s easy to misuse or ruin it.