Episode 8: The Role of the Shaman

What this is – Hello and welcome to the “The Shaman Podcast”

Speaker –        Mark A. Ashford

                        I am a Usui Tibetan Reiki Master and Teacher for IARP

                        I am a Registered Teacher and Practitioner for Canadian Reiki Association

                        Tibetan Shaman

Some of the other sources are:

So, let’s get to the subject of this Podcast…. Role of the Shaman

As Healer and Guide

The shaman is a healer. This is their principal role. 

They have access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits. To reach out to these spirits, they undertake a Soul Journey during which they are in an Altered State of Consciousness or trance. The trance is induced during a healing ritual that seeks to divine and understand the cause of a person’s illness and gather information from the spirits to allow the Shaman to heal the recipient.

Mongol shamanism had ninety-nine deities:

  1. Fifty-five of these deities were White, i.e. Beneficent for mankind. 
  2. Forty-four were Black, i.e. Terribles to all the evildoers of mankind and to the enemies of the Mongol Nation. 

In total they are the national gods of Mongol Shamanism. They were the Spirits of Ancestors of every clan, the souls of dead chieftains, shamans and shamanesses who during their life had devoted themselves to satisfying the requirements of the members of their clans and who in the World of Spirits should solve the difficulties in the life of the current members of their clans, commoners and nobles and even serfs.[1]

Black shamanism is a kind of shamanism practiced in Mongolia and Siberia. It is specifically opposed to yellow shamanism, which incorporates rituals and traditions from Buddhism. Black Shamans are usually perceived as working with evil spirits of the lower and Underworld, while white Shamans work benevolent spirits of the upper world.

The banners of both white and black shaman flew in Mongol tribal camps and were each guarded by white and black Lord Spirits of the Clan. Nobles of the clan would escort the banners during ceremonies and feasts.

As Oracle

Shaman were astrologers and Oracles. Everyone, especially tribal leaders wanted to know what the future would bring. Will it bring war, will they be successful in the struggle? Will crops and animal husbandry be successful. Will the tribe merge with another though marriage?

The history of the shaman in this role goes back into the very remote past long before the advent of Buddhism in Tibet in the 7th century. 

Historically, Oracles, divination and Astrology were a feature of Bon religion the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet.

Bon held the spirit or soul of the individual was a world or realm of energy which humans are able to contact. For example, humans are able to connect with physical things such as food, a chair, and other people. On the spiritual level they are able to connect at the psychic level with other spirits and those on the different levels of existence.

When the Buddhist Dharma appeared in Tibet, they were able to include the Bon world view into their own. The Buddhist world exists in three parts: one solid, one psychic and one mental. 

The change happened when the famous tantric master Guru Padmasambhava came to Tibet and tamed the subtle world – the deities of the Bonpos – and bound them under oath to obey and defend Buddhist teaching. These deities became protectors of the Buddhist faith and of Buddhist practitioners. They became Cho sung, protectors of the Dharma. According to Tibetan tradition, he tamed these beings through powerful mantras and spells which bound them to obey those who held the power of the spells.[2]

The deities are sentient beings. They are beings, just like people or animals and anyone else, but without a body. They also have a mind or spirit, and, a voice. Without a body they cannot communicate with those who communicate on a bodily level. So, they are samsaric beings. 

Samsara is the term for the everlasting cycle of being. It is the cycle of becoming and passing away, or the cycle of rebirths in the Indian religions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

As such, they are not higher gods, as we would understand the great gods of India or Tibet. They are gods linked to the land, mountains, lakes and to the geographical features. We could in a way say that mountains and lakes are their bodily aspect. They are the subtle aspect: the speech and mind aspect of mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes, especially mountains and lakes.

Providing Continuity

They provided continuity to the tribe and a reliable connection to the spirit world. In this way they were a communicator from the human physical world to the spirit world and back again.

They were an educator of people about the spirit world as well as about medicines and herbs and natural healing solutions. They kept the tribal stories, myths and essential tribal wisdom that made the tribe they belonged to different from another. 

They understood and passed down information about their trance states, how to induce them and how to control them. Their clothing, symbolic regalia and objects were passed down to enrich subsequent generations of shaman.

They are the keepers of tradition, ancient texts, books, and scripts as well as way things should be done. Songs, dances, music, and observance are also carried forward from shaman to shaman within the tribe. 

Shamans usually have expert knowledge of medicinal plants native to their area and often prescribed a herbal treatment. It is believed shamans learn directly from the plants, harnessing their effects and healing properties, after obtaining permission from the indwelling or patron spirits.[3]

The chieftains and nobles may change, but the shaman remains.

As Protector

One of a shaman’s main functions is to protect individuals from hostile supernatural influences. 

The shaman may act as psychopomp conducting the spirits of individuals who have just died to the proper refuge for dead spirits.

Psychopomp literally means “guide of souls” there are creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. 

They do not judge the deceased, simply to guide them. Appearing frequently on funerary art, psychopomps have been depicted at different times and in different cultures as anthropomorphic entities, horses, deer, dogs, whip-poor-wills, ravens, crows, vultures, owls, sparrows and cuckoos. When seen as birds, they are often seen in huge masses, waiting outside the home of the dying.[4]

What next?

Click the link in these notes to find out more about our books, Online Courses, Social Media, our Patreon Page to support the channel, and more. https://bit.ly/3h3E6I0


[1] Ibid.

[2] Dr Fabian Sanders, “Tibetan Oracles and Himalayan Shamans.”

[3] Wikipedia, “Shamanism.”

[4] “Psychopomp.”

Shaman Energy Card reading for 2020/09/07

The Tree of Life – reversed. The World Tree, or Arbor Mundi. A sacred symbol from Siberia to the Americas, Australia, India and Europe. Two of its artistic embodiments, the Old Testament Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Norse world tree – Ash Yggdrassil have taken a special place in the world culture. Its roots descend into the Lower world and its branches rise up to the Heavens.

In the reverse, with the roots upper most instead of branches and leaves this is a message to you that you are too grounded. Your dreams, what you want to manifest are held down, held back, by you being too grounded. You are finding too many excuses not to let your dreams come into reality. You cannot manifest your desires because you are over thinking your dreams and finding excuses not to go forward. Stop Procrastinating!

Take a deep breath in when thinking of negative and reason why not to do something and release them with your breath out.


The Blade is a cutting tool. It represents your mind, body, and spirit. Pointing upward, it summons the power of heaven to help you manifest. It will cut cords attached to you that no longer serve you or are toxic in their effect on you. It is a thing of action. Use it now, use it with best intention and not as a weapon Use it to heal those old relationships or places by letting them go.

The blade is sent to help you with your dreams which are grounded and stagnant. Together with the Tree of Life in reverse, the Blade can help you move forward. Do not use it in anger or bad intention else the outcome will be worse than you had imagined. Always use the blade positively to help you move forward.

Shaman Energy Card reading for this week of 2020/08/17 – YouTube

Each week, I draw two cards from the Mystical Shaman Oracle Deck and provide my interpretation of the energy for the week. This week is 2020/08/17.

The Medicine Wheel

The shaman recognizes the four cardinal signs of the compass. The wheel represents the circular pattern of life and it will help you understand your inner self. 

Sit quietly, to the South. You are clinging to, old desires, relationships, friendships, or a job. Release them and make space for the new that is coming.

West and consider toxic relationships. Maybe at work, friends, a lover, look at the negative feelings they create in you, and how they drain your energy, they must go. 

North. Pride, not in an arrogant way. Your passions, do you show them? Are you an artist who never paints, a musician that never records? A writer who never writes? Why? Change this. When asked, be proud to say what you are. 

East. Anger. Think of how you want to live life, write it down. Visualize it in your mind with clarity. This is your future that you want to manifest. Anger is fire, use it to add energy, boldness, and drive to your future.

The Hummingbird

Tiny and beautiful, hummingbirds fly enormous distances relative to their size. They migrate between North and Central or South America to feed on the nectar available in the summer flowers. They are fiercely territorial and protect their home vigorously. As the hummingbird drinks its high-octane nectar to fuel itself it shows us how important what we eat is. Only eat what beneficial and nutritious.

The hummingbird bypasses flowers which may be attractive but do not have enough nectar, so must you bypass opportunities that are less than what they seem. Pay attention to the details of offers that come your way.

The buzzing of hummingbird wings is the sound of a hummingbird with a new adventure. Trust that your spiritual guides have brought you to the right place, the right moment, now it is up to you to take bold action and like the hummingbird drink the nectar. Trust that success is assured, even if there are still tests and challenges. Know that all will be well. All is in the small.

To learn more click the link: bit.ly/3h3E6I0

#shamaniccounsel #shaman

Shaman Energy Card reading for this week of 2020/08/17

Each week, I draw two cards from the Mystical Shaman Oracle Deck and provide my interpretation of the energy for the week. This week is 2020/08/17.

The Medicine Wheel

The shaman recognizes the four cardinal signs of the compass. The wheel represents the circular pattern of life and it will help you understand your inner self. 

Sit quietly, to the South. You are clinging to, old desires, relationships, friendships, or a job. Release them and make space for the new that is coming.

West and consider toxic relationships. Maybe at work, friends, a lover, look at the negative feelings they create in you, and how they drain your energy, they must go. 

North. Pride, not in an arrogant way. Your passions, do you show them? Are you an artist who never paints, a musician that never records? A writer who never writes? Why? Change this. When asked, be proud to say what you are. 

East. Anger. Think of how you want to live life, write it down. Visualize it in your mind with clarity. This is your future that you want to manifest. Anger is fire, use it to add energy, boldness, and drive to your future.

The Hummingbird

Tiny and beautiful, hummingbirds fly enormous distances relative to their size. They migrate between North and Central or South America to feed on the nectar available in the summer flowers. They are fiercely territorial and protect their home vigorously. As the hummingbird drinks its high-octane nectar to fuel itself it shows us how important what we eat is. Only eat what beneficial and nutritious.

The hummingbird bypasses flowers which may be attractive but do not have enough nectar, so must you bypass opportunities that are less than what they seem. Pay attention to the details of offers that come your way.

The buzzing of hummingbird wings is the sound of a hummingbird with a new adventure. Trust that your spiritual guides have brought you to the right place, the right moment, now it is up to you to take bold action and like the hummingbird drink the nectar. Trust that success is assured, even if there are still tests and challenges. Know that all will be well. All is in the small.

To learn more click the link: bit.ly/3h3E6I0

#shamaniccounsel #shaman

How a Shaman can help you

Speaker –        Mark A. Ashford

                        Usui Tibetan Reiki Master and Teacher and

                        White Shaman

What this is – Hello and welcome to the “The Shaman Podcast”

In this Podcast we talk about – 

  • Shamanism
  • Reiki – Reiki energy healing, especially the lineage I follow originated in Tibet
  • And everything else that is related

Media – 

  • This Podcast is one of several media available to you to help you understand and develop your awareness of energy healing practices, history, and traditions. 

The other sources are:

  • YouTube videos – “Reiki with Candice, Mark, and Opame” 
  • Books – eBooks and Paperback books – in full color available on Amazon.ca 
  • Online courses at Teachable.com
  • A blog at ThePracticalShaman.ca

Today, we are talking about Shamans and how they can help you.

Shamanism, as we have learned before, has existed for many millennia before the current organized religions were formed. A shaman may be male or female, young or old and is part of the community. Being part of their community, they blend in. In dress and behaviour, they are indistinguishable from ordinary people.

In the Shaman’s world view, spirits and demons inhabit everything around us. Every part of the natural environment is alive with sentient forces, in the mountains, trees, rivers, lakes, rocks, fields, the sky and the earth, there exists spiritual energy.

Healing is the principal role of a Shaman. They may also be counsellors, confidents, tribal leaders, diviners of future events and spiritual protectors. Shaman have access to, and influence in the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits.

So how do Shamans journey to meet these spirits and energies?

Using rhythmic drumming, dance, meditation, and experience and familiarity with their Helping Spirits the Shaman triggers a self-induced ecstatic state or Altered State of Consciousness [ASC] where they visit the spirits and souls beneficial to the outcome they seek.

Shaman do not use chemical or psychedelic drugs, or plant-based hallucinogens, or alcohol when initiating and entering an Altered State of Consciousness. To use drugs and stimulants would mean loss of control of the Journey. The Shaman is always free to start and stop the Altered State of Consciousness at their will. Shamans are not possessed.

Illness, pain and suffering frequently have a spiritual component. The Shaman seeks the spiritual connection to these afflictions in order to help bring the person they are working for, back into connection with the wholeness of the universe.

This may involve returning a soul or soul fragment to the person which has become separated due to some malevolent energy or some trauma the person has encountered or endured. They may also extract energies that do not belong. The Shaman is concerned with alleviating pain and suffering as well as reconnecting the person to their sources of spiritual power, the sun and moon, stones and streams, stars and trees.

The Shaman can help in other ways. Work and work environments, relationships, and the outcomes of new ventures. Untangling problems from past lives, and helping to make decisions. Providing meditations for relaxation and personal clearing or clearing unwanted energies from your energy field or home. Shamans remove curses, create powerful ceremonies, and bless events, marriages, and births. They assist the dead in crossing over to their next life and much more.

If you ever thought of traditional healers as involved with darkness because they do not fit in easily with modern medicine, think again.

Shaman’s do not diagnose or treat something such as a broken arm or something that needs surgery, these are best treated by a doctor and a Shaman will tell you so.

When we fall asleep at night it is restful and beneficial to us but it is a state of darkness we enter in order to receive these benefits. 

When we plant a seed in the ground, we cover it up with darkness and wait for it to sprout into a new plant. A baby is conceived in darkness and develops in darkness.

Creativity comes out of nowhere which is darkness and yet the result is bright and colourful.

What are you afraid of, why are we afraid of the dark, and who taught you to fear what is amazing.

You know what, Shamans are amazing to!

Mark is Registered Reiki Teacher and Practitioner

Canadian Reiki Association Logo
Canadian Reiki Association Logo

Mark is a Reiki Master Teacher

Seal of The International Association of Reiki Practitioners
Seal of The International Association of Reiki Practitioners

Shamanism is the oldest religion on the planet!

Shamanism is the oldest religion on the planet! It has existed for many millennia before current day organized religions formed by tens of thousands of years. A shaman can be male or female, young or old, this will be considered as well as the tools of the trade are all described along with the role of trance, possession and Altered States of Consciousness [ASC].

The shaman is a healer. Healer is their principal role in the tribe or the community. They may also be counsellors, confidents, tribal leaders, and spiritual protectors. They have access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.

In the Shaman’s world view, spirits and demons inhabit everything around us. Every part of the natural environment is alive with different types of sentient forces. Literally, the world is alive, in the mountains, trees, rivers and lakes, rocks, fields, the sky, and the earth. 

There are supernatural spirits and souls. Added to this, each region has its own native spiritual beings, and people living in those areas are powerfully aware of their presence. In order to stay in the spirits good graces, offerings are made, rituals performed and sometimes people will refrain from particular places to avoid the more dangerous forces.

The Shaman sees this world, the physical realm we inhabit, as well as an upper world of light, but which is not heaven, and a lower, darker world which is not hell.

Souls and spirits exist in all the realms. When it is necessary to soul journey any of these realms in an and Altered States of Consciousness [ASC] they do so to learn what is required to heal a recipient [person or tribe].

Let’s not think of the shaman or these realms as dark or evil. Darkness itself is not evil. Each night we close our eyes and fall asleep into darkness. When we meditate, our eyes are closed to cut out distractions around us. 

If we go out at night, we look up into a dark, black night sky which is studded with planets and stars, signs of hope and wonderment. Without the blackness the stars would not shine, and they could not be seen.

When we plant a seed, we put it under the surface of the soil. If we have a plant with roots, we dig a hole and put the roots, which feed the plant and allow it to grow, deep into the darkness of the earth.

Conception of a baby, happens in the darkness of its mother’s body, and it grows there until it is ready to emerge.

Creativity, seems to appear out of nowhere, out of the darkness that is nothingness.

So, why are we taught to fear darkness, why do we hide form it and why is evil associated with it when so many good things happen in it?

Ying and Yang, Fire and Water
Ying and Yang, Fire and Water

The shaman approaches darkness not fearfully, but in the knowledge that it is good, and that good comes from it. The Shaman sees the ying and yang of life, brightness and darkness, fire and water, and embraces both and is fearful of neither.To help with our discovery of Shaman and Shamanism, we will be starting a regular featured “Shamanic Counsel.” We will offer advice guidance from a Shaman’s view point. Click on our contact form to connect with our Shaman community. Enjoy!

Mark is a Registered Reiki Teacher and Practitioner

Canadian Reiki Association Logo
Canadian Reiki Association Logo

Mark is a Reiki Master Teacher

Seal of The International Association of Reiki Practitioners
Seal of The International Association of Reiki Practitioners