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.

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.


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.


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

  1. interesting article. I would definitely class myself as a shaman, even if only 4 out the 10 above apply though….

    1. The rest will come in die time you are in a spiritual path of awakening of you need any guidance let me know

        1. Hey Sean how old are you? Yes my spiritual journey has started to snowball…I have a lot of inner self learning and shamanic soul searching…I have been in contact with pyschics the universe guides me too…try that avenue trust in you and listen to your gut you are more powerful then you give credit…I receive readings by 3 different ones in the area I feel need of guidance in….I got the ones who offer small free readings for 2 reasons…right now financially a bit short (changing) and no matter what you will be unable to fail your spiritual guides will be on your ass….I have so much love and truth as you do its there….do you just know answers to laws of our universe without any reason? Hey give me a heads up on your progress bro…email me anytime….I love to help and see truth an love prevail! The more each individual sees their true light the more confidence we gain to evolve as light here on earth….we are on the brink of truly amazing era and time of our evolution…..The 3rd dimension is and has been expired…outdated….the tide has and will turn to a higher level….no stopping no matter how hard the baby boomer generation remains stubborn and ignorant to the era of the 3rd world, which is an old outdated Darling Theory..which has created racism, classification of worthiness by careers and salaries….worship of falsehood and survival of the physical fittest…love of objects over true love of our brothers and sisters…..all illusions ruled by our egos…we cannot be ruled by man made laws of control…all “isms” are obsolete the new dawn of 4th and 5th dimension has already begun a long time ago…we are waking up realizing…. all mighty creators of our own destiny..we are one! Technology like anything else is a yang and yang….make or break…..but balance yet chaotic….we were picked to be part of a truly amazing phenomena.. sorry to ramble…I am excited to be a part of a revolution…enjoy and savor the ecstasy of our evolution my brother…shine your light! We indigo children finally are able to crack our protective shell ….:)

  2. I’ve been interested in shamanism for a good minute I’d love to attend your teaching please notify me of your courses the time and place your holding them and if there is a enrollment fee

  3. I’ve been told by outhers that I was a shaman, and an intuitive and spiritual and i believe it because I’ve healed people with my energy but I don’t like to talk about it because a lot of people think I’m wired and want to argue with me about these things I’ve always since I was a kid felt like I didn’t belong here on this planet out of place

  4. All my life I believed that something was wrong with me. You just gave me the answer!

  5. Greetings, I am deeply moved by your words, deeply moved. I am all 10 of what you described and would like more information regarding the course and were to connect with a Shaman community/family. Is there anyone to connect to in Fresno, Ca???
    Respectfully from the heart of Ms. Alesia

  6. Interesting. I was struck by lightening through a window, it was quite an experience. I don’t think Im a shaman though although I have shamanic abilities Im a star seed which brings many similarities. I was told by a shaman that true shamans are chosen by spirit and are continually being testing with life or death situations. Not something to wish for lightly!

  7. Am I a shaman? I don’t know, but I dream very vividly, and often see spirit in dreams, If down, I sleep to dream, I am an outsider in many ways, though superficially liked by people generally, they only befriend me when they are low in someway, I starting working with complimentary therapies but find them a little limiting in someways as I find myself conflicted in the aspect that makes this a business, it is not a choice it is life. Everything leads me to it. Fear: that I will cause harm by trying to heal and get it wrong, low self esteem maybe. Time is ticking now and I am aware I must do something, as yet I do not know what or how 😉 Suggestions gratefully received. Thank you

  8. I believe most of this apply to me. Have been dreaming of spirits since childhood and have very vivid dreams and as Julia I sleep to dream. Recently I have had dreams of bridges between heaven and earth. I also have that feeling Julia has that time is ticking and I must do something but there is no need to ‘go out there and be a shaman’. The purpose is just to be aware of our inner being and pay attention. Thereby we will help others too.

  9. I’m 10 for 10; it’s not easy being different and even more exhausting trying to explain to others how you know what you know; or how you did what you do to heal them; even worse how you know such intimate things about them, when you don’t even know them. Yes, I am greatly loved from a scary place by most.

  10. “upright shaman” in the tarot is the magician, high priestess and somewhat the Queen of cups. the “reversed shaman” in the tarot is definitely the “devil card”

  11. I am a shaman and I just said yes, thankyou,brother you have done your deed. I am 25 now and well…….its been a rough one but i understand why all the abuse for so long. I understand now. My heart is huge mother Gaia is hurting we must protect herand look after her and her children, (all life) we are all her children all plants al of it. We can do this together

  12. thank you for the information..as of now i am in this kind of spiritual healing, my case was brought to the ministry of healing, many questions are in my mind right now.. since birth i knew i have this power coz my father and my other ancestors is a shamman, our family are too deep into this kind of healing..

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