In regard to my practice, I felt the need to clarify the difference between a Shaman and the Andean mystical tradition of the Paqos (Peurvian priests and priestesses).
Today, I feel the term "Shaman", is misused and overused. It has become a catch-all phrase, diminished by weekend workshops, that create "Shamans" like Hershey's creates chocolate bars. So, because of this, I have been troubled lately describing my practice as "Shamanic Healing Services".
The more I study the Andean Paqos and Shaman from indigenous cultures, the more I understand that although the work I do involves shamanistic journeying, plant spirit medicine and mystical techniques from the Q'ero, this does not make me a taditional shaman, any more than someone who plants a garden could call themselves a farmer. Even though I am a Mesa Carrier, in the Andean Paqo tradition, (which is a great honor and responsibility), this also does not make me a traditional Paqo.
I am an energy healer, who has been trained in multiple modalities. I am not a Shaman in the traditional sense, even though I have trained rigorously and have years of experience with many tecniques of the traditional shaman.
On a personal note, even though I do align spiritually closely with and practice the "mystical way of being" or "the beauty way" of the Paqos, I am also quite aware that I am a white woman from the Northeastern part of the United States who has been given a gift of healing which has deepened tremendously by integrating this beautiful way of being, as best I can, in my daily life. This gift that I am both humbled and astounded by.
So, as I stated earlier I wanted to write about this conundrum I have been experiencing. And as I researched it, I came across Joan Parisi Wilcox's blog regarding this very subject. She is so knowledgeable and her book Masters of the Living Energy has been so instrumental in my life and practice, I felt that I could only defer to her expertise. She explains it so clearly. I emailed her and received permission to post her article here. I added a link to her blog posts at the bottom. Please check out her informative blog.
Andean Mysticism or Andean Shamanism?
Kind Words from Others
Miriam is a truly gifted healer. The first time I worked with her, and every time since, I immediately felt safe and secure in her presence. Her senses and allies guide her to a deeper knowing of the individual she is working with and she works intuitively to shift the energetic patterning from there. She listens beyond words and sees beyond the physical body and through time. She reflects honestly and reminds each person of who they really are at their core. I have felt her work resonate powerfully within me and the ripple effects of positive shifts in my life as a result of returning to my own essence. I cannot express how grateful I feel to have had the opportunity to work with Miriam