Transforming Trauma into Medicine through Sacred Relationship with Self, Spirit and Mother Earth

Shamanic healing is a process in reclaiming our power through expressing any pain tied to powerlessness, connecting with our spirit guides and helpers and tuning in to the needs of our soul in the moment. It is in this space we may find the spirit medicine required for healing.

Our soul speaks to us through ‘felt’ experiences rather than thought, so as we contemplate making changes in our lives that are authentic and soul-felt we need to formulate felt-experiences that engage, interpret and express this information to bring these changes into action.

Common day-to-day practices that help us with this are meditation, time outside in nature, dancing/exercise, a creative project, or listening to music/playing an instrument. Each of these are sensory experiences that cause us to pause from the busy-ness in our minds, connect with our priorities and oftentimes form a new perspective on our lives.

They do this because they draw us into the landscape of our soul where we can LISTEN to what is important.

The top of Apu Waumanlipa Peru

This listening reinforces our understanding of interconnection and helps us be conscious of what inspires us as well as what gets in the way. We can move stuck energy we are holding when we become aware of it; perhaps we sing it out, or dance it out… maybe it becomes a painting or sculpture, or a reason to make it to the top of the mountain.

Sometimes we are faced with issues where we need support and an outside point of view to help us in healing ourselves.

This is where a Shamanic Practitioner comes in; to guide you on a journey inwards that simulates your ‘felt-sense’ where you can gather the information that reinforces what is required for healing.

Felt Sense as defined by Peter Levine, author of ‘Waking the Tiger’;
The felt sense is the embodiment (bringing awareness inside the body) of one’s ever-changing sensory/energetic/emotional landscape. The felt sense moves our focus from actions and things happening outside us in the world to qualities of our present, internal experience (e.g. textures, colors, sensations).

Shamanic Journey

I most often use a Shamanic Journey to assist with this process, which is akin to a led mediation, the difference being I use sound instruments such as my drum, rattle or singing bowls. This journey is a collaborative effort; I ask you to share where you are and what you are noticing along the way as means to be conscious of what is needed for healing. Everyone senses differently, so this might be a literal visual experience or it may involve a sense of sound, smell or ‘knowing’. What is integral is trusting in yourself, as what we are doing is rewiring your consciousness to begin to re-member that the answers you seek lay within.

Most often we begin with setting an intention – getting specific about what you need help with – and then we look at the following within the shamanic journey itself:

• What do you need to feel safe in going inwards? – this will most likely involve a conversation with your practitioner before the Shamanic Journey and then starting the journey by visualising a place in nature that gives you a sense of safety and freedom to be yourself.

• Who is your team of support? – what power animal, ancestor or guide is showing up for you in your visualisation that is capable of helping you at this time in your life? What messages do they have for you, and how can you tune in to this?

• What gets in the way of manifesting your intention? What pain, beliefs, stories or ideas prevent you from healing? What does your soul tell you is needed here?

• Where is your power tied up and what can you do to reclaim it, or gather it to you, to move forward?

• Are there any gifts you have forgotten that you have brought into this world, which would be helpful in remembering or accessing at this time?

• What brings you joy, passion & purpose?

Other tools that are used in a session may be: 


Smudging – the smell of the sage/cedarwood/sweetgrass and the brush of the feather or wing, calls in the cleansing properties/teachings of the individual plant and bird helping us to clear our body/minds/spirits so we are prepared for something sacred to unfold. Our sense of smell knows something special is happening and our physical body understands the sensation of the wing as it brushes over us and removes any heavy energy we may be holding that will get in the way of our journey.
Prayer/Invocation – Calling in and naming our connection with all of our relation’s sets the pace for us to slow down and listen and tap into what is sacred in the moment
Stone – Your intention is placed into your stone at the onset of your journey through your breath. Throughout the journey other information you gather is added to the stone as well. Your homework is using that stone as a physical representation of what you are healing within.

Hands on healing

Hands on Healing – Reiki or energy healing is often used to help you in connecting with your body; clear heavy energy and bring forth a sense of peace.
Singing– there are songs which help us in gathering up our soul parts and bringing them home, songs that help us to reclaim our power, songs that help us give voice to grief… some practitioners know these songs and may use them in a session.
Fire – If there is a wood stove or the session is outside fire may be used for cleansing or ceremony.
Drum – Like the heart beat of the mother earth the drum helps us to find the natural rhythm of our soul and makes it easier to journey ‘in’.
Rattle – Also used in a journey and helps to break down barriers
Bowls/Bells – Helps us move inwards

Some of the tools of the trade… smudge tools, bells and I use crystal skull to help people in forming a healthy relationship with fear & death

As we venture in to the ‘unknown’ aspects of our own soul we discover meaning, clarity, transformation and empowerment. We notice that we do belong here on this planet and we are connected to the greater picture.

Each act of healing has an impact on the whole.

Blessings and Love,
Sarah Salter Kelly
White Raven Woman


  • Pictures of journey, smudging and hands on healing were taken at my old healing centre during shamanic practitioner clinic where I taught second year Shaman’s Path students shamanic healing as a modality. Picture of tools and session were taken prior to an individual healing session and as stated above, the photo of myself at the top of the mountain is in Peru at one of the sacred mountains of the Q’ero Nation. 
  • All Shamanic Practitioners have different means of guiding you and their method or style may be totally different than what I describe here. Have a conversation with who you are choosing to guide you prior to your session.