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Shamanic Training: Releasing Shame and Embodying Power

Updated: Feb 23

Shamanic Training & initiation represents the profound exploration of self, navigating the world of spirit. Shamanism is about finding one's place in creation, whilst building a reciprocal relationship with nature and the spirit world. The process of the Shamanic initiation in the Western world involves identifying and shedding the out-dated programs that have kept us distant from nature and the world of spirit and in doing so, releasing stagnation and embracing the continuous cycle of transformation, in other words, releasing shame and embracing power. Understanding these two opposing forces, and how they function as energy, greatly enhances this healing process.

Understanding Shame

What Is Shame?

Shame is a mysterious, destructive energy that is hidden in dysfunctional behaviour that is defined as normal on the surface. It is normalised on the individual and collective levels, which makes it difficult to identify as there are normally various emotional layers that hold it in place. It can be defined as the projected restriction of what we are worthy of having. When one doesn't know how to deal with their shame, they pass it on to those around them. Because Shame is an energy that is passed on, Psychology cannot effectively deal with it as a core aspect of it is metaphysical. Every wound or pattern that cannot be broken has shame that is holding it together, therefore, it's essential to understand the different types of Shame, before we can work towards releasing it.

The Two Types Of Shame

  • Projected Shame - As mentioned above, when one doesn't know how to deal with their shame, they put it onto those around them. For this reason, it is the core driving force behind all abusive behaviour - the shame is projected by the abuser, and the victim then internalises it and causes them to carry false principles of lack into their own lives. In most cases, it goes back to childhood as a child cannot handle the thought of its parents being defective, as that poses a threat to survival, so always concludes that everything is its own fault. So the abused child carries all the shame of its parents. It is important to note that the abuse is not always overt. Many of us have suffered from some form of covert sexual abuse, which is anything intangible that produces shame, such as being criticised over their bodies or appearance, having their privacy constantly invaded, or simply being exposed to sexual behaviour they are not ready to understand. The only way to heal this kind of shame is by identifying where it comes from and then sending it back to it's source, which can be done through Shamanic Journeying.

  • The Shame Of Unforgiven Mistakes - This is self-inflicted shame that often starts with projected shame, but then follows onto us carrying out similar behaviours which go against certain parts of ourselves. For example, a child could have certain experiences that trigger unwanted emotions, causing them to make an unconscious agreement with themselves to never carry out that behaviour, but later in their lives, they end up following the same pattern anyway. This is an example of a broken alliance with the inner child, resulting in the self-inflicted shame. Another example is if we are shamed for rebelling in our teenage years, we make an agreement with ourselves to break those rules but end up moving into adulthood with a continuous power struggle; this would be an example of a broken alliance with the inner adolescent. When we are holding these broken alliances with ourselves, we use them as reasons not to move on, which is what causes stagnation in our lives as deep down, we don't see ourselves as worthy of that positive change.

How Shame Is Released

Because shame is a metaphysical problem, Shamanic practices pose many effective methods of releasing it, but there will ultimately be layers that need to be dealt with. First, we must look at identifying the shame that has been projected onto us from others.

Identifying Projected Shame

For many, it is coming to the realisation that they are holding shame that is the most challenging part as there is often guilt by simply acknowledging that there is a problem in the first place. We indentify the shame by finding what holds lack in our lives; we do this by looking at the aspects of our lives that we are struggling to change. Ask yourself, "what is causing the stagnation here" or more importantly, "if I was to make this change, what would go wrong?". We are wired to neutralise the feelings that are uncomfortable, so the way in which shame disempowers us is by simply learning to accept certain things as they are, because the feelings that are associated with failure is too painful, but this does not originate from us, because as children, we are in our authenticity, so we do not have the capability to effectively project, so we end up internalising the beliefs that we are exposed to (be that parents or in school), so the original lack in that area has been placed upon us by certain individuals or aspects of the collective and then classed normal - this is shame. So continue to question this by asking "when did I first experience this feeling?", or "who made me feel that I wasn't capable of such a change?". You will likely identify various individuals or groups that have put their shame onto you, all of which can be returned to them through tuning into the given person or group, feeling the emotions that are associated with the memories, and consciously squeezing the shame out of you and returning it to them. Shamanic Healing Sessions can also assist with the deeper-rooted projections and the shame-release program goes into various advanced ways of executing this. Understand that returning shame to where it comes from does not harm the person you are returning it to, in fact it is beneficial to them in the long run. Be aware of any guilt that is felt for doing so as this is also a core aspect of this projected shame. Once the projected shame has been returned, there is no hinderance to stop you from forgiving yourself.

Identifying Self-Inflicted Shame

To identify your self-inflicted shame, you need to first identify what you are not forgiving yourself for, and which part of yourself that holds the broken alliance. We do so by answering these four triggering questions: 1. Generally. What's the most horrendous thing you can think of that you could not forgive?

2. Consider why that is unforgivable. What does this say about your values and principles? 

3. What have you done which has gone against these values and principles?

4. What part of yourself have you gone against? Inner Child or Adolescent?

It's by identifying what we deem as unforgivable and then defining when it is that we have gone against those values and principles ourselves. So for question one, think of the most triggering, horrendous thing that you couldn't forgive anyone for - as an example, this could be murder.

With this in mind, proceed to question 2 and ask yourself why this is unforgivable and what this says about your values and principles. Referring back to the example of murder, it's unforgivable because it is a deliberate violation through the removal of the power, freedom and opportunity that life provides; therefore, this suggests that my principles and values are focussed around everyone having the equal amount of freedom and opportunity.

Now, ask yourself when you have gone against these values and principles yourself, and you will find what you are holding shame towards. For example, I could have taken certain actions to limit the freedom and opportunity of others through my own underlying lack; this doesn't mean that I've committed murder myself, but rather gone against my own core values and principles in order to deflect my own lack.

Then ask yourself, which part of yourself you have gone against when going against these principles - the inner child or adolescent? As a child, I may have experienced the the restriction of my own power and opportunity and therefore, sworn that I would never carry out that behaviour but have ended up doing so anyway. Whilst for the adolescent, I could have refused ownership of my own power and restricted my rebellion against these rules, causing me to move into my adult life with a power struggle, resulting in me feeling I need to project this shame onto others. Releasing the shame of our own mistakes requires us to tune into the part of ourselves that holds the broken alliance, breaking the contract of that behaviour and then rebuilding the connection. This can be done much faster through Shamanic Journeying.

Understanding Power

What Is Power?

Power can be described as the polar opposite to shame. Shame is the force of stagnation, whilst power is the force of transformation; therefore power is the energy that is behind our drive for growth and change in our lives. In our society, power has automatic, negative connotations that are associated with it, as power is often mistaken for greed and misuse of authority. It is this which causes us to fear the impact that our power will have on ourselves and those around us. The parts of ourselves that we haven't forgiven also feed into this illusion, as we use our own insecurities and past mistakes as mechanisms to fuel this fear of our power. When we take on the shame from the world around us, we are internalising the collective fear of power and change which installs a false program in our psyche and energy field which wires into automatic power loss.

What Is Power Loss?

Power loss occurs when we place our ability to change within the actions of the external world and it occurs individually as well as collectively. All power loss occurs through projected shame, causing us to internalise the shame and give away our power in the process. The power energy then becomes entangled in that person, story or event, causing it to remain separate from it's source (us). There are typically five things that initiate power loss:

  • Force - The typical big person telling the smaller person what to do, projecting their unprocessed shame and taking their power away. If this doesn’t work then the next level of taking someone’s power is to use fear.

  • Fear - The big person will make the little person scared so that they give in. Once the little person gets used to giving into fear, other fears can be used against them, individually and collectively, even the illusionary ones.

  • Image Manipulation - Something or someone else creating an image of how they feel we should be and anything that goes outside of that is wrong. This creates a feeling of not being good enough. Quite often it's based in chauvinism - where the masculine is seen as straight and the feminine is seen as curved. If somebody is curved it is seen as if something is wrong with them. 

  • Lies - These control us as well, because we haven't got the information we need to make the best decisions for ourselves. 

  • Altruism - This can also be a form of manipulation. We have altruism simply because we have compassion and sensitivity to other people because we care about them. What altruism does is it says you have to give up everything for someone else, to a point where people are ready to die for their country. Well it's not the country who benefits; it's just a few rich people in control. A common issue we see is people giving to others and not giving to themselves. It gets so bad that if they were to benefit, they'd feel so guilty it wouldn't be worth it. If everybody wants to give to others rather than themselves, nobody's going to receive.

Power can be taken from us but we can also give our power away. We give power away by seeking approval, or through jealousy. When we are jealous of a person, we affirm that they can create something that we can’t, so that creative power is given away. When we are envious of another person's qualities, we give even more power away. It is essential to reflect on when in your life you have fallen into the above categories. Only by doing so, can we take the power back. Retrieving Your Power Using Shamanic Journeying In order to be able to take power back, there needs to be space for it, hence why shame-release should always be first in the process. If we try and take our power back without processing the shame, the process is counter-productive as the old programs will cause you to give it away again. The most effective method to retrieve power is to do so through Shamanic journeying as you will move into an altered state of consciousness that is further from the rational mind. In the journey, we move down to the lower world which is the collective unconscious and the realm of the ancestors, which takes on the symbolic form of a dark forest. In this forest, we take a stick and draw a circle around ourselves in the ground and invite our higher-self energy in to imprint this circle with protection. We then call the spirits of those who have taken our power away - typically 3 - 5 core people will come through who are holding the majority of the power. We then need to go up to them one by one and demand the power back without guilt! If there is guilt, there is still shame that needs to be given back. Once you demand the power back, the spirits will start to take you back to memories in which your power had detached, whether it was taken or willingly given away. Once this process starts, we mustn't attach to the past events, but use them as insight to trigger the emotions. After a while, you will start to perceive the person holding your power, which normally takes on a symbolic form such as an orb of light or shiny object. You will need to willingly take it back and breath it in to every corner of your being and repeat until you have it all. Once you've got all of the power, release the person's negative influence from you and allow them to walk away. This may need to be repeated a number of times with a particular person. This process is also helpful for taking back power from collective groups. Shamanic Healing is also an incredibly potent and effective tool for retrieving power as you can be guided through a the above power retrieval journey, whilst the shaman and the spirits are performing a thorough healing and retrieval process as well. In my Foundation Course Into Shamanism, we also take this much further through the transmission of powerful rites of passage that will help to awaken the Shamanic power within you, alongside many other potent healing techniques.


Shamanic training, with its profound exploration of shame and power, is a transformative journey that goes beyond the realms of ordinary understanding. As individuals unravel and release the layers of shame and harness the intrinsic power within, they embark on a path of self-discovery and spiritual empowerment, guided by the wisdom of great spirit.

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