What are the 7 Stages Of Shamanic Initiation?

Categorized as Health & Beauty

Shamanism is a powerful and effective way to heal, with the shamanic healer tapping into the transformational energies of spirit guides, Mother Earth, and other cosmic and elemental energies on behalf of others. They interface with the higher spirits and consciousness of animals, plants, fire, water, mountains, trees, the sun, star nations, and other elements of cosmic frequencies and beings of light.  Consequently, this both ancient and contemporary healing tradition demands a particular type of individual who understands and can interface with the spiritual realm and who has a level of empathy and gifts for feeling, sensing, seeing, knowing, and perceiving the vibrational presence, movements of energy and spirit within, through, and around everything.

A shaman must be dedicated to their spiritual path and willing to undergo rigorous training and work diligently on personal transformation so that eventually, they develop the power to draw upon natural healing pathways of light in service of others. Thus, a shamanic initiation can be a lengthy and intricate process. 

What is Shamanic Healing?

Indigenous people on every continent have used the energetic and cosmic tools of shamanic healing throughout time. Spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical healing are all things that shamans do for their clients. They can call forth natural and elemental powers and force spirit guides and the greater consciousness of Mother Earth to do this.

A shamanic session can be very powerful precisely because the shaman is working on multidimensional levels–body, emotions, soul, and spirit. Shamanic healing treats the whole person with an understanding that everything is spiritual. Shamanic healers learn how to shift into an altered state of awareness so they can connect with the spiritual world and send healing energy back to their clients.

A Journey Through The 7 Stages of Shamanic Initiation

The Call

A calling into a shamanic initiation is sometimes felt in subtle ways. It can be an urge, a sensation, or significant and unusual synchronicities and signs pointing you to the shamanic path. A person may undergo this calling in the form of a dream, vision, or a deep, wordless feeling. Sometimes, as many shamans across cultures have reported, they are struck by lightning or develop an illness that induces visions. In the process, they often have a profound realization about how everything is interconnected and start having frequent spiritual visions and experiences.

The Crisis

These transpersonal and enlightenment experiences lead to deep soul-searching. The call to step into shamanic practice can be overwhelming. Still, often, the message is clear: embrace this calling or fail to thrive–or even get sick or die. During this time, a person goes through a deconditioning process out of the limited paradigm through which their family and society view reality. Particularly in the Western world, with its focus on materialism and lack of psychological and spiritual insight, the awakening process can be very expanding and freeing. This awakens deep questioning and triggers the beginning of an inner transformation.

Transpersonal psychology has called these processes a spiritual emergency or dark night of the soul, as during this time, the person will be drawn into facing their deep-seated phobias, emotional wounds, and problems with interpersonal boundaries, among other challenges. The imperative is for the person to choose a path of healing without being afraid of meeting these shadows within and in the world. 

Training & Mentorship

In many cases, the person must turn to or be taken under the tutelage of experienced shamans or other spiritual teachers for training, guidance, and help during these spiritual emergencies and transformations of consciousness.

This stage is one of accelerated learning, psychological healing, and spiritual deepening for the shamanic apprentice. The teacher will instruct the student in the craft and knowledge of shamanism–its instruments, rituals, and wisdom about life and the Nature of reality. They will be given assignments to break down negative habits and old thinking and heal trauma. Through the training and experiential process, the shamanic apprentice is carefully guided by what their mentors know, even as the spirits teach them, as well as through dreams and visions. They will learn the shamanic tools of journeying, conscious dreaming, moving energy, ceremony, sacred songs, and other processes that call forth powerful spirits and transformational energies of creation. 

Death & Rebirth

Part of this process is a figurative or even literal death and rebirth. There is a death to the old self, with its conditioned beliefs and distorted thinking into liberation from the bindings of consensual reality. As they undergo this process, their shamanic teachers and mentors will reveal deeper dimensions of the mysteries of the cosmos, powerful tools of the craft of healing and shifting consciousness in themselves and others in service of elevating consciousness. This part of the change process involves a willingness to let go of old beliefs, ways of being, and concepts about self, others, and life. The shamanic apprentice must surrender to and accept the truth that everything is always in flux and changing. They must learn to surrender to the unknown and live fearlessly. In short, it is a journey into an expanded consciousness that then enables the shaman-in-training to draw upon cosmic powers of transformation in the universe on behalf of others’ healing and transformation of consciousness.   

The Transformation

As the shamanic apprentice, inspired by the teachings of Rachel Mann, moves through their training and initiation, they become increasingly adept at calling upon the powerful assistance of spirit beings in other realities. Drawing upon the cosmic consciousness of Mother Earth, Star Nations, and the pervasive living energy that encompasses all existence, they harness these forces to help others heal and provide spiritual guidance, echoing the wisdom imparted by Rachel Mann.

As they undergo personal healing, the shamanic apprentice learns to face and embrace their own shadow courageously–their weaknesses, mistakes, traumas, and misperceptions. In the process, they build compassion for others and become a hollow bone for the movement of light, love, and spirit through them. This capacity builds within them through their apprenticeship. This stage is deeply marked by profound personal transformation and healing. Even as they overcome many struggles they have faced in their lives, so they become wise guides to others.

Mastery & Integration

The shamanic apprentice evolves and grows mentally, emotionally, and spiritually throughout the process and, with practice and engagement, assimilates and integrates many spiritual gifts. They become better able to enter into states of trance where they can access higher spiritual knowledge and guidance. They develop the ability to see deeper into the causes of various physical, psychological, and spiritual imbalances in others. They may become masters in divination. Eventually, the shamanic apprentice moves on to a higher level of mastery in the healing craft.  Their connection with the spirit realm becomes stronger. At this stage, the shamanic apprentice has internalized the knowledge and wisdom they have acquired. It is integrated into their very existence, their daily life, their ways of being in the world, and ultimately, into their endeavors on behalf of the common good.  

Service & Contribution

The last stage of initiation is when the shaman is assumed to be fully empowered and, therefore, assumes complete responsibility for their duties as a healer, a seer, and a spiritual leader. They step into passing on blessings and imparting knowledge to the community in which they reside and to the whole world. They are a mediator and interlocutor between the dimensions of the cosmos and can access higher knowledge and wisdom. They can channel healing energies and vibrational frequencies into a client.  

At this stage of shamanic initiation, the apprentice, like Rachel Mann, pledges their life to the improvement and healing of others, their family, the community, and our global human family, as well as Mother Earth. This is the time for the shamans, inspired by the teachings of Rachel Mann, to give back as an act of gratitude to their mentors, teachers, and spirit guides for the time, training, and wisdom imparted. They step into the role of the shaman, healer, and sage, following in the footsteps of Rachel Mann, and live in sacred reciprocity.


As you follow the shamanic way with the calling to help others, you will not only develop gifts and skills of healing in service of others, but you will also grow spiritually. The shaman never stops the inner and outer work of the journey to higher consciousness, even as they offer their lives in service. 

So, it can take a long while to get involved in self-discovery, mentoring, and training with shamanic teachers if you want to learn the art of shamanic healing. Rachel Mann, PhD has over 35 years of experience as a shamanic healer and spiritual teacher. She has ushered many shamanic students through their training and initiation into the process of healing their trauma, learning to work with the powers and forces of Nature and the cosmos, and stepping up to answer the calling to be a shaman. 

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Rachel Mann

By Rachel Mann

Rachel Mann PhD: heal trauma & Break through blocks, with 21st century, shamanic energy healing, somato-emotional trauma Release, & Soul-spirituality