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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 14 My Shaman Grandmother

I come from a long lineage in this lifetime as my grandmother immigrated to America from her Ukrainian clan to evade persecution as a young girl. Imagine her mother and father trying to scrape up the money needed to buy her a ticket on an ocean liner ( in the lowest part of the boat) so they could send her away to a place they had never been and never see her again. That is how much they loved their daughter. That is how badly my people were being persecuted. Imagine this young girl spending 4 weeks huddled with sick strangers going somewhere she knew nothing about. She clung to her knowledge and heritage of traditional Shamanism. It became hugely important to her life and to her well being. Even there on the ship she used her skills to bring healing to the other passengers who spoke many foreign languages and came from many other countries.
I watched my Grandmother practice traditional shamanism all my life. I heard the knock on the door from those who needed her help and the freshly prepared meal that would come with it. My grandmother always gave her healing away. She never charged anyone and would only graciously accept whatever offerings grateful patients would donate. She was not rich but she was never left in need.
She always was laughing. Everything was such a joy to her and her grandchildren were her precious jewels. She would spend hours twirling my long hair into beautiful curls. As she twined her hands through my locks she would tell me the stories, the metaphors that were the key to understanding the ways of the Shaman. She taught me traditional Shamanism as I practice it and teach it today.
Later she would let me observe her work with her clients and help her in preparation. I watched her keen sense of observation as she would look at a person not just with physical eyes but with her "other" eyes that could see beyond the words being spoken into the heart of the truth. I remember listening to the plights of her patients and watching my grandmother take a totally different kind of healing path that seemed unrelated to what the patient said. My grandmother explained to me that what we think we want on the outside may be a long way from what our spirit needs.
Later as I studied with my friends who are Native Americans I learned that the totem animals of the medicine wheel also show a hidden spiritual quest behind the conscious wish. In my studies I found many things that my grandmother taught me were actually identical to the Shamanic practices of other cultures throughout time. The Celtic Shaman, The Native American Medicine, the Gypsy Shaman, the Inuit Shaman, the Japanese Shaman, the Incan Shaman all have the same core truths! I find that amazing considering the separation of time and distance.
My grandmother put my feet firmly on the path of Traditional Shamanism and I have spent the last 50 plus years studying and teaching this path. I have travelled around the world and sat at the feet of some of the most important Shamanic healers of our day. I have learned that nothing is ours without knowledge, intent and emotional control. This is what I teach. This is what my Shaman Grandmother taught me. She was a wise and incredibly loving woman. And I think the most precious thing she taught me was where love fits into Shamanism. Love is the key to Shamanic healing in any culture.
You are welcome to take the online course that I offer.
 Just go to  to read about it and to start today.
Shaman Elder Maggie

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