Ancestral Medicine Women

A vision for shamanic healing in the Western Medical System – a perspective from the Naturistic Shamanic Tradition.

So, if you are a Shaman and you enter into, let’s say, a hospital where there are people have had operations, maybe they are there because they’ve had accidents or they have an ongoing illness, this type of thing. You look at these people, maybe you speak to them, you look at their families and the people that are around them. If you really look at these situations it is absolutely amazing the things that you can see.

For example, perhaps there is a child has who broken their arm. And you have to ask yourself, just generally: ‘Why has that child broken their arm?’ Now the response will come from the parent: ‘Well, they fell from a tree.’ That’s of course what western medicine wants to know right? This is what happened to them because otherwise, the hospital would have to call the Police right? The medical professionals have to know the story.

But as a Shaman that’s not what you’re really interested in. Ok, they fell from the tree and that’s how they broke their arm. But why did they fall from the tree?

‘Oh well, they were too high and they were playing around’.

Ok so they were too high and playing around, but WHY were they doing those things? And so, as a Shaman you are really looking beyond the physical realm. You are looking beyond even, sometimes the mental and emotional realm. You are looking beyond that.

Some people say you’re going into the spirit realm. But the spirit doesn’t always make you have accidents, doesn’t make you have cancer. So, you can’t say: ‘That’s what the spirit is doing’.

But as a Shaman you are looking beyond what is presented to you in this physical realm and if we just took a situation, and you look at that child and discover he was wanting attention. You look further and you might see that the child was trying to stop a fight between the parents. You might see that the child doesn’t want to do something and this is one way for them not to do it, or to give them a break from something and so on.

When people hear this they say: ‘Oh it’s so simplistic what you’re saying’, and you know: ‘How can you know this’ and this type of thing and: ‘Is that really important? Well, that’s the important thing. Why they’ve done it? Why they did it? Not how they did it, but why they did it.

Why did they break their arm at this particular point in their life? And as a parent even, you can look at your child and say: ‘Ok, what is going on. What are they trying to avoid? What attention do they want and so on and so forth’, and from that the parent can really get, not just the physical picture but the physiological picture, emotional picture and an emotional picture and a spirit picture of what’s going on. Not just for their child, but for their whole family. Not just for their family, but maybe for the school that the child’s at, or the community that the child is in.

Right, so start to build up this is what my child is either absorbing, experiencing, seeing, feeling and they can really go to work then, not on the broken arm, because of course you have to get that set, but you go to work on what’s behind the broken arm. And that’s how you heal the child. Not by putting the pins in and the plaster on the arm. That’s superficial. You actually need to go to work underneath that.

And as a Shaman, that’s what you do all the time. You go to work underneath what is there visible. And this is where sometimes people in the west they get a bit confused. Let’s just say that you have something wrong with you and you have to go to the hospital. There are many people who are in the healing arts, apart from this Western medicine and some people in the west, not all, but some of them will want to try many different things, herbal things, energetic things, Shamanic things and so on, and we believe that exploring what’s right for you is a great thing. However, you have to deal with the physical aspect and what we mean by that is, if you are in a lot of pain, an enormous amount of pain, physical pain, emotional pain, what have you. You have to deal with that.

Let’s just say its physical pain because that’s the easiest and you need to be actually not-in-pain to work on what’s underneath. If the pain is there it completely consumes you and that’s all the people in the Western medicine will be really worried about is the pain. We’ve got to find the source of the pain, right? And so, they will try this and that, poke and prod and so at the end of the day, your physical realm needs to be dealt with and sometimes that means you have to go to the Western medicine, right? If you like for that quick fix and then you go find what’s underneath.

Because then you have the clear head. I’m not in pain. I’m not bleeding, my arm is set and all is going well so the physical side of me is good, but this is going to happen again, again and again, maybe the same, maybe in different ways, maybe more seriously, maybe less seriously, but it’s going to keep happening unless I look at what’s underneath.

You won’t be able to look underneath unless you have that physical world in a sort of, if you like a “healthy compartment”, right so you don’t have to think about it.

So as a Shaman walking around, if you walk around a ward, let’s just say it’s a mixed ward, there are lots of different things there, you can see that one is here because they are lacking attention in their life. There is a married woman, the husband works, the children are older, they are never around anymore, but she devoted her life to bringing up the family, the children have gone to university, they are having their own children and what have you, the husband is still working and she’s there and her life has come to a sort of an end, because she devoted herself to her family. Now They’re all gone and her attention was received from the family through her devotions. Now they are gone she’s not receiving that attention and maybe she has the stomach problem the terrible headache problem whatever she has to be hospitalised for because it’s so bad. What does that do for her?

It brings the family. It brings the people. People say: ‘Oh that is very heartless. This person might have something.’ Yes, they might have something and they probably do have something, but the point is: ‘Why do they have that something? What is underneath the physical expression of that ailment/condition or whatever?’

This person here you go to the next bed and they want to avoid something in their life. They don’t want to have children, right? But the wife wants children, the parents and the parents-in-law want children, but the man just can’t do it it’s too much for him, right? It’s too much for him to have children. He gets cancer, maybe he gets prostate cancer, but he’s young! Why would that be? Maybe he’s middle-aged, it doesn’t matter.

The point is that he’s avoiding something, but he doesn’t have the voice to speak. He doesn’t say: ‘I don’t want children! I don’t want that in my life! I can’t do it! Because society says that’s the normal thing to do, have the family – that’s the expectation, right? They want the reproduction to keep the family line going and you know the relationship will suffer if, there are all of these restrictions and boundaries on this person.

So, as we said as a Shaman when you go into any kind of health place, like a hospital you are looking yes, that person has appendicitis, that person got an accident and so on and so on, but what you’re interested in, is what’s underneath.

And that’s where we deal with. What’s underneath, right?

So, if you then move that idea into mental health, right into the mental health of people, not the physical health, but the mental health and people that might have bipolar, depression, anxiety, phobias, schizophrenia, schizotyphol, all of these different things, let’s look at these things which are common in the adult and young teenage world.

We would look at the people at whatever they’ve got, exactly the same way: ‘Oh you have got depression. Why have you have got anorexia? You have got this and you have got that.’ Why do you have that? Why do you have that?

Now let’s look at the anorexic. Maybe the anorexic is trying to punish somebody in their family. Maybe they are trying to punish themselves. That’s just one possibility. Where is the punishing energy coming from? Is it created in this lifetime between the people that are involved in this life time or is it an ancestral thing? Is it a societal thing? Where is that need for punishment coming from?

So that’s the first of all, as a Shaman you would say: ‘What’s underneath?’ The first thing you come to is the punishment. Who are they punishing? Themselves or other people? Often it is both. Two sides of the same coin. Why are they punishing? Where is that energy coming from? Is it, as we said before, is it this created in this life time or past life times, from them from ancestors, is it society or whatever.

So, you’re going in and you’re trying to build a picture or conceptualisation from the top down. And even when we get to the foundation of this, we have to pick the foundation up and go underneath that and see what is crawling around underneath that foundation. That’s where we go.

And so , as a Shaman, when you look at people who have a mental illness, just as if they have some other kind of physical illness, you are constantly going down, down, down, down, looking, looking, why, why, how, who, where, what is going on here? Where did that come from, all of these types of things, right? So that you’re building this very big, broad picture.

So, if you think about it, if you look at it as a visual thing. It’s like an umbrella. You’ve got the person at the top, or their issue at the top and it’s like the spike of the umbrella and then you know how the umbrella has the metal pieces, they are coming down right? So there are why’s and how’s and who’s, but then this umbrella has grades, it’s not in one big piece, it’s in piece, piece, piece, so it comes down like that.

So, you start with the one at the top and you start to build this very large schema and in the end what it looks like is a family tree. An upside-down family tree. That’s what it really looks like: a family tree, that kind of idea.

But we are going backwards, right, we are going underneath.

So, when you are looking at somebody with a mental illness, you are not looking at the way they are expressing their mental illness now. So, for example with the anorexia they are expressing it by not eating, starving themselves, exercising or what have you. That’s how they’re expressing it, right? That’s not what we are interested in.

Western medicine can deal with that. That’s what they are interested in. They go a little bit into the psychology of it. A little bit. They might find out this bit about punishment, right? They might find that out. That’s as far as they can go. They can’t go any further. But a Shaman has the tools and the actual ability to go all the way. They can go on the spiritual journey all the way until they find out what’s crawling out underneath the foundations.

And so, you know what would be so wonderful is that is Western medicine and the Shamanic Tradition would come together, especially in the area of mental health and physical health, and when a person goes for any kind of help, physical or mental they’re only seen as what they’re presenting in symptoms and the immediate presenting cause.

Say for example, you go to a hospital and you have fallen over and you have a bad cut on the head or something and you smell of alcohol, or you have some drugs in your system. Western Medicine will see these lacerations which is the physical thing, but what they see as well is the spirit aspect of you is somebody that drinks and has caused this themselves. Or somebody presents with something else on drugs. So medicine will see you or the person on drugs in this negative part of humanity. That’s what they see and treat.

But for the Shaman, if a person had some injury and they were bleeding profusely, they would deal with that, stop the bleeding and clean them up, but that’s not what they are really interested in looking at. They might feel the vibration and the energy associated or coming from that wound, right? Because that will lead them into the spirit energy of this person, which will guide them to underneath the foundation.

But they wouldn’t necessarily look: ‘ Oh this person is drinking, or they’re on drugs. Not a good person, they have caused this themselves’. They might say: ‘Oh, Why? Did they need to have this drink or these drugs to have this situation? Could they not bring about this cut on the head that is bleeding profusely themselves without the intoxication? Yes, really. Could they not get themselves into another state to do that? Why would they have to do that or did they get themselves into that state and that brought on a spiritual change within them that caused this?’

You see, it is just not cut on head from falling over and drinking and drugs, right? It’s not that, that’s just the physical expression. We’re really not interested in that; we are only interested in what’s underneath. How it’s expressed gives us the clues, right? We are like the detectives picking pieces and pieces and pieces and putting them together and when you put them together then you start to dig. You get out the shovel and you start to dig.

So, if Western medicine could come together with Shamanic Tradition, it would be a longer recovery, it would take a longer time for the person to be healed. They wouldn’t just have the cut on the head sewn up, and they are sober before they leave. The healing would address what actually caused this whole system of events. If not, they still got whatever caused that, which is going to just keep going and maybe it’s going to get bigger and bigger until it bursts its banks again. So, in the long run, bringing Western medicine and Shamanic Traditions together is a shorter version of healing.

Then in the short run where it seems like a longer version of healing, right? But imagine that those two could come together, so they go to the Western medicine all healed up, and pain free and now you are going to see the Shaman! Can you imagine? I mean we are laughing as well. You are going to see the Shaman and the Shaman is going to find out why you are behaving in this way, why you broke this arm, why you have cancer, why you are schizophrenic, why you are anorexic, why you have the pains in your stomach. That’s what the Shaman, not the psychologist, not the physiotherapist, not this or that but the Shaman is going to find out what is underneath all of that. And what you find underneath you are not going to like it, we could probably guarantee you that, and that’s where it becomes difficult.

You can’t force people to know themselves.

You can’t. So, people have to want to know themselves, they have to want to know why they or their body is behaving in this way. And so now we go back to the very beginning when we were talking about the parent with the child and the broken arm.

If parents started looking at their children when they were crying, injuries, sicknesses, food intolerances, not wanting to eat, not being able to go to the toilet properly, all this type of things, if the parents started to look at the child in a holistic fashion, say: ‘Ok, this is the physical expression. What happened today that could have caused that? What is going on in my life that maybe the child is absorbing? What is going on at school? what is going in my relationship with my partner, what is going in their relationship with their siblings? What is going on?’

If the parent did that and started to build the picture, what would happen is, the next generation of children would be able to tolerate the coming together of Western and Shamanic tradition because the child was imprinted to think by their parents to automatically think as an adult: ‘Oh, I fell over and I fell off the ladder as I was cleaning the roof and I have broken my arm, I got to get it fixed and then I need to then work it out why I did that. Why did I choose to break my arm today? right?

So we believe, that the Western and the Shamanic Traditions are not ready to come together yet, because you can’t force people to know themselves, but if parents could start to look at their children when they have problems and themselves of course, then you start to get the children into the same way, because the parents say: ‘What happened at school today? Did you speak to such and such? What subjects did you have today? Do you have any exams coming up? Have you not done an assignment? Are you working this week? You don’t want to go to work? Is there a problem…?’

So, you start then to ask the children these questions. You might get no answer to begin with or that ‘yes’ ‘no’ ‘don’t know’ type answer, but the point is you start to get people into that way of questioning and digging and digging and digging.

So eventually the Shamanic Tradition and the Western Tradition can come together to start helping people, all people, be well, because there is an understanding, or a movement really that humans have to work at being well, right? But what they work on is their physical.

If they do some exercise then the happy hormones start to be excreted in their body. If they do exercise, right? So it is all physical, but we would say, yes do exercise because it is very good for the body, the body needs to be kept moving, but those hormones that are being produced then become superficial if you are not dealing with other things in your life that are causing you to be unhappy, or causing you to be stressed.

They just become a band aid, a little bit of a tonic but it’s not really dealing with the issue. It’s not really going there.

And that’s what the Naturistic Shamanic Tradition does when it comes to health and healing and well-being. It means you are well without having to make yourself well.

Yes, you have to do work, right, but you are not doing all of these superficial things to create a feeling of wellness because you are well.

So, you are not going to exercise so that you can have endorphins and make yourself happy, you’re exercising because you know the body and that’s a part of keeping the body well.

Blessings to you all,

Mother Sha-Riah
Shamanic Representative




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Brad Dunn / Hinorayam

Hi, I'm Brad.
The Ancestral Medicine Women are a lineage of healers from my Mothers ancestral line, and I'm delighted to be able to share the experience of these amazing people from our past.
I am an apprenticed shaman and healer. I have more than 10 years consulting experience, and a love for spirit, gardening, farming and people.