Archive for the ‘Initiation’ Category

Shamans have always been activists.

December 27, 2016

For as long as time remembers, shamans have worked to negotiate life-giving harmony in the world.

When a person in the clan fell ill, it was the shaman’s job to confront the spirit of the sickness, restore the patient’s life force and call on the intelligence of plant allies to help the person get well. If a disharmony occurred within the clan, the shaman would be called upon to work with the spirits of the ancestors to renew alliances, to heal wounds and support a restoration of cooperation for the good of the whole. If the clan fell out of harmony with their environment, the shaman would be responsible for taking point to reestablish a balanced and harmonious relationship between all parties and so doing, restore the flow of Life.

Shamanism has also always been connected to our survival. By being in reverent participatory relationship with all beings, shamans are able to access the powers of the elements, of landscape features, of the animals, plants and birds; and the ancestors—for healing, gaining insight, getting guidance, and generally making life better.

While our living situations have changed a great deal over the millennia, the shaman’s role remains the same. However, now we find ourselves at a juncture when achieving balance, harmony and a restoration of our collective soul has never been more critical or urgent.

We are experiencing an enormous threat in our human society. The tyranny of patriarchal culture has created enormous divides, whereby a small group of individuals and corporations control wealth and power at the expense of the natural world, other species, women, children and the majority of men, as well. It is a social structure with a fear of loss at its foundation. This fear generates a desire for wealth and power at the expense of other beings, cultures and the environment.

So what can we do to preserve our biosphere and all the beings who inhabit it?

First, we need to understand that those who dominate the power structure do these things because they erroneously believe that they are somehow separate from the rest of the human family and from the Earth. In their ignorance, they subjugate people and despoil the environment with a greedy arrogance that is ghastly. The rest of us are disempowered and more easily controlled because of our own perceived disconnections. We may experience a disconnection of our bodies, minds and spirits. We may feel disconnected from other groups of people and focus on our perceived “differences.” We may also have fallen out of relationship with the natural world. The constant rhetoric from those in power tells us that we have a reason to be afraid and also influences us to revile “others” as the source of our discontent to further fuel the destructive fires of discord. This is designed to keep us from seeing the truth– that we are actually one human family of enormously creative and powerful individuals.

To change our collective trajectory, we need to heal our own individual wounding and recognize that coming together to uplift each other and to defend the environment is the only way to provide a safe future for us all.

And this healing can begin with you.

To do your part, you need to experience your own soul’s healing and learn how to assist in the global healing. In this way, we can collectively shed the illusionary partitions that separate us from each other.

The shamanic rituals, healings, and journeys that the shaman performs are grounded in methods that have endured because they are effective. In living a more powerful, healthier, and more loving life, you can affect the other people whom your life touches. Your positive shifts will become healing ripples throughout the entire web of life. And the renewal you feel will support you to take positive actions that are in alignment with your soul’s brilliance. In my decades of doing this work and helping many people find their way along this path, I have come to believe that this is how the world can and will be healed.

We need to relearn the art of living in reverent participatory relationship with the spirits, our human family, the Earth, and all of her creatures, so that this relationship will become the dominant way of being for all people.

I believe that we have a responsibility to help bring our world back from the brink so we can deliver it safely into the loving care of all future generations of human beings. I want you to join me in being a part of shape-shifting our world in a more positive direction.

©2017 Evelyn C. Rysdyk

As a shamanic teacher, I want to make sure that future generations have a healthy world in which to flourish and grow. To support this process, my partner Allie Knowlton and I have offered intimate residential training programs in advanced shamanism and shamanic healing for over twenty-five years. We work with our apprentices in small groups so that we can assist each individual to integrate the work more deeply into their everyday life. In our two-year program, you can experience all traditional shamanic healing methods to restore your spirit and life force. In addition, you will learn to do this healing work on behalf of others, for animals and for dispirited places. It is our goal to inspire your heart, nurture your hope, give you courage, and engage your mind with both magical and practical solutions for your life.

The program starting in April will be our twelfth apprenticeship. I’d love to have you join us. To find out more, click HERE.

With warm blessings,

5 books Evie SIllhoutte
Evelyn C. Rysdyk is the author of several noted books on shamanism including, The Norse Shaman, Spirit Walking: A Course In Shamanic Power and A Spirit Walker’s Guide to Shamanic Tools. Along with her writings, Evelyn is an impassioned shamanic teacher. She was featured on The Shift Network’s Global Shamanism Summit and is a presenter for the innovative, international program, A Year Of Ceremony.

Whether through face-to-face contact with individual patients, workshop groups and conference participants, or through the printed word–Evelyn uses her loving humor and passion for opening people’s hearts and inspiring them to live more joyful, fulfilling and purposeful lives. Her website is


How are you using your shamanic training?

August 9, 2015

Space drumYou’ve taken a shamanic training program and have learned a lot of amazing skills.

Now what?

The role of the shaman has always been to benefit their community or tribe. Transforming, creating harmony, educating and supporting the people around you can help to provide you with a stronger sense of your worth, boost your confidence, relieve feelings of isolation, help you gain your true voice, find a personal passion and provide a sense of belonging that you may have never experienced.

Our graduate training is designed to deepen your personal transformation and also mentor you to expand your gifts to better serve the transformation of your local community, town, school or workplace.

One of the ways we mentor is to assist our graduate students to create and implement projects in their local area.

Some individual projects have included:

  • Working with municipalities to change green space use
  • Creating marked trails and plant identification guides for a small city park
  • Volunteering to create outdoor programs for local schools
  • Organizing community garden projects
  • Working with developers to create greener projects that have saved mature trees.
  • Bringing the tenants of Reverent Participatory Relationship into corporate trainings
  • Working with a community to found a church–specifically to address homeless issues
  • Developing a odd-job business with the focus on spreading positive energy as service
  • Learning effective herbal medicine practices to assist in underserved communities
  • Mobilizing community to protect a local water source
  • Using shamanic skills for animal communication at wildlife rehabilitation center
  • Being trained to become an Advance Directive Facilitator
  • …and many others

In addition, our graduate students are supported to deepen their personal transformations, to work with the elements, to engage with fellow students in creating support and much, much more.

Graduates of our program have been very diverse. We’ve mentored business people, nurses, physicians, teachers, tech workers, financial planners, lawyers, laborers, artists, counselors, engineers, mothers, fathers and many others from all across New England, New York, Virginia, the Mid-West, Florida, Georgia and California. Each of them is continuing to make a powerful difference where they live and work.

Our eighth graduate program begins in 2017 and will meet for a total of four intensive, long weekends at a lakeside location in coastal Maine. You will be bringing the work home by doing journeywork, specific exercises and ceremony on your land or near to where you live.

More details and registration information may be found here underneath the text about our next two-year training program:

© 2015 Evelyn C. Rysdyk 

Nationally recognized shaman teacher/healer, speaker, and author of Spirit Walking a Course in Shamanic Power,A Spirit Walker’s Guide to Shamanic Tools, Modern Shamanic Living: New Explorations of an Ancient Path, and contributor to Spirited Medicine: Shamanism in Contemporary Healthcare; Evelyn C. Rysdyk delights in supporting people to remember their sacred place in All That Is. Whether through face-to-face contact with individual patients, workshop groups and conference participants, or through the printed word–Evelyn uses her loving humor and passion to open people’s hearts and inspire them to live more joyful, fulfilling and purposeful lives. Her web site is