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It’s not devil worship and it’s not evil, although being raised in a largely Judeo-Christian family I have struggled with accepting my clear interest in allowing shamanism to be my path of spirituality. This year I feel myself finally shrugging off my embarrassment of the topic as my acceptance and understanding that it isn’t something sinful blossoms. And really, I don’t believe in sin anyway.

When hubby and I were married in October of last year, we were married by three shamans who serve as our spiritual mentors. I was terrified many of our guests would have the same preconceptions about shamanism that I have struggled against (read: not a Christ-centered religion, or a religion at all for that matter.) You may be wondering too what this spirituality I am into is all about. Well here’s what it’s about for me.

Shamanism is not a religion but rather a way of being that can be practiced by people from all walks of life and from all backgrounds and religions. In the group I participate in, there are Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and agnostics…I’m sure that list could go on, but those are just the religious backgrounds I know of personally. Shamanism is not a New Age practice, either, although Barnes & Noble puts books on the topic (rather incorrectly) in that section.

In the Native American and Israeli tribes, among others, the shaman was the medicine man (or woman; in fact, check out this article on the discovery of the oldest shaman grave, a 12,000-year-old one found in Israel) and psychologist of the tribe. There would often also be a religious leader of the tribe. From my understanding, these individuals were not the same and their roles were unique.

To me, shamanism is about going within and healing yourself so you can in turn help heal others and the world. It’s about your connection to God, Great Spirit, the Universe, whatever you want to call it. The basic tenent at the core of the practice is unconditional love and acceptance for yourself and all others around you. There’s a lot more to it all, but I hope this basic insight can give you an understanding of my path to spirituality and what it is and is decidedly not.

My spirituality (along with hubby’s) is an important part of our lives and journey of conception, so I want you to understand where we’re coming from. Our love is centered around personal growth and helping others, and that feels really healthy to both of us. One day soon, I hope we’ll have a spiritually-aware family of three.

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