Shamanic Woman

The Institute for the Shamanic Arts recognizes the conscious power of shamanic women.

ISA honors the divine feminine, earth based practices, and sacredness of all.

To do this we use the tools of the shamanic journey, rituals, mindful ceremony, calling upon Spirit Guides, staying centered and heart based, working closely with nature, dance, movement, sound, technology, shamanic performance, rites of passage, divination, practitioner training, and incorporating “sacred” in all aspects of our lives.

Here are some quotes from contemporary Shaman Women from the book called, Shape Shifters by Michele Jamal:

Rowena Pattee

“I voluntarily and consciously can go into visionary states of consciousness where I meet with spirit beings and traverse many realms. It is important that one keeps the highest truth uppermost and not get lost along the way.”

Lynn Andrews

“For women in particular and for men also, it is very important to make an act of power. Agnes told me to write my book. I thought she wanted me to write a book about her teaching. But what she was really asking me was to make an act of beauty, an act of power, a mirror of who I am. How do you see who you are? You have to create something in the world that shines back when you look at yourself.”

Luisha Teish

“It’s interesting that my Goddess is a vulture. There’s at least two ways to look at it. The vulture doesn’t kill anybody. She simply removes the debris, eats it, and passes it through her body, then drops it as compost somewhere.”

Joan Halifax

“We don’t want to be driven by desire or hate; nor do we wish to be caught in confusion. Moving past these 3 poisons means that we discover simplicity, harmony, relaxation, compassion, and wisdom. From this awakening arises the impulse to help others.”

Larissa Vilenskaya

“When people actually see someone doing something that seems impossible (e.g. walking on fire) they experience an instantaneous shift in the belief system which makes it possible for them to “unlearn” their limitations and to instantaneously “reprogram” themselves.”

Petey Stevens

“Running” or moving energy deliberately through my channels gave me much more control. It became obvious to me that negative programming about myself and the world “hung out” in an aura around my body and that I was filtering every experience through this programming. Unpeeling these old programs became my every-day work. As programs that created a dissonance in my aura were dissolved, I began to know my own psychic energy.”

Vicki Noble

“When patriarchy crystallized about five thousand years ago, the sacred women became “harlots,” “whores,” today’s “sluts.” The patriarchal mind-set split the female archetype in two. The “Madonna/whore” syndrome was invented by the patriarchal mind-set. It is a false splitting of the female. The “virgin/priestess,” which meant a woman who belonged to herself, was perverted into “prostitute” which means someone, a woman bought. The chaste woman was turned into a drudge. She is someone who is owned. All women suffer I believe from this split. Inside ourselves we intuit the sacred sexual woman self. It’s here within our form.”


“Magic is the practice of constantly working on deepening awareness of the world around you.”

J. Ruth Strock

“Color ties in very closely with one’s moods and emotions. It can remind us of early childhood memories-when we first saw red as a baby, or past-life pictures of ourselves in battle. The color experience magnifies our life experience.”

Sandy Ingerman

“When I use the word power I don’t mean power over other people-I mean the power to create what is needed in one’s personal life. The power to move from one’s intuition and center and not from one’s fear and negative belief-systems…In order for people to get in touch with their personal power they must love themselves.  Many people have the cellular memory that goes back before this lifetime of misusing power, and of being punished for it. Many women have some unconscious or conscious memory that they were burned as witches.”

Susana Eger Valadez

“My education gave me the competence to find small solutions to many of the world’s problems. But the “school of life” has given me the skills to use my potential and to be competent at what I do. To just get through life, and not be affected by the surrounding structure, but to create your own structure, that is what matters. I still have the sentiment of the 1960s that “love is the answer.”

Brooke Medicine Eagle

“I believe that one of my tasks in this world is to challenge straight lines and boundaries, to soften them into natural curving flow. For example, take your arm and hand out from your body as far as you can easily; then move it around reaching gently up and down and forward and back and all around. What you’ll find is that your movement is circular curved. (power resides in circles)”

Christina Pratt

“Your passion is the “hotter-hotter.” When you are feeling depressed and passionless that is the “colder-colder.” That’s how the universe gives the signal. It’s that simple. But if you live in a culture or follow a religion or live in a way that tells you that your passion is bad, then you’re in trouble. One of the first things in finding your soul’s purpose is to get back to feeling passion freely.”

On this same day, we delved into the past of shamanic women by reading history from Max Dashu. You can read more here:

Max Dashu also offers a very insightful video here:


Shamanic women overcome obstacles.

This is a powerful subject and one worthy of much exploration. As we discussed, we realized the deep relevance of  overcoming obstacles.

Here are thoughts to share regarding overcoming obstacles:

“In Gandhi’s view, nonviolence was by no means a tool to be used by the weak; instead it was a sign of strength. In his own words,

It does not mean meek submission to the will of the evil-doer, but it means putting of one’s whole soul against the will of the tyrant…” (Inviolate Action by Glen Kezwer)

In the magazine article, Fierce Music, by Madronna Holden, (Parabola, Winter 2002), Holden wrote, “Henry Cultee, elder of the Chehalis people of the Northwest Coast, told me that many ethnographers misperceived the “wars” his people spoke of, assuming they were like bloody European engagements. But in fact they were spiritual “fighting” of the kind illustrated in Chehalis tales, as when Ant and Bear sang against one another for the time of the world, or Rabbit saved himself from Cougar with his power song.”

In the journal from Shamanism, Spring/Summer 2004 and Fall/Winter 1999, Myron Eshowsky wrote about some of the tribal beliefs, rituals, and ceremonies surrounding shamanism and peace. Here are some quotes from her two articles.

“In a shamanic worldview, revenge can be seen as a spiritual illness of the soul. Revenge is not “hunger” as it is sometimes portrayed, but rather another kind of craving from deep within. It is an attempt to relieve the intense pain within the soul and give it release to someone else.”

“People who offend against another-are to be viewed and related to as people who are out of balance-with themselves, their family, their community and their Creator.”

“Among the Yanomami, a form of ceremonial dialogue called wayamou is used. In preparation for this ceremony, the aggrieved parties paint their bodies and adorn themselves. As they enter a sacred circle, they are greeted with shouts, whistles, and the sounds of arrows beating on the walls. They get into hammocks. The Elders may say a few words. Often, they are offered tobacco to chew and perhaps food. Once night falls, the dialogue begins. They argue, with full and open expressiveness, saying what they need to say. In the turn-taking, the listener must do so meekly, awaiting a turn to speak out. The volume and tempo of the exchange tends to go in waves. At some point there is a “calming” and the anger subsides. The ceremony always ends at the beginning of the new day’s light, after which there is a gift exchange and a sharing of food.”

Here are some gleanings from our journeys that we are sharing so that we can reach out to other women.

I would like to say that this circle meeting today inspired me to learn to be more patient with people, more understanding and to also learn to get and receive knowledge of how to accept being alone and to learn to cope with rejection from my family and to gain insight on why people react the way they do towards me because of my disability and because of my tattoos and lifestyle.  I’m not cut from the same cloth as most people and I live outside the box. I do have lots of love in my heart and understanding.

We all want to be listened to and heard. Your enemy, in her heart wants your empathy for her pain. Offer it. Sometimes the kindest thing we can do in conflict is give space… even when we don’t want to. GRRRRRR

Anger is helpful, and can be deadly.
A woman’s emotions of love overcomes all obstacles. Healing conflict wounds takes time, sometimes many lifetimes. Using our emotions to hurt is dangerous for us as well. Sometimes, we need a tribe to heal. And it helps to have a circle, a fire, and sacred ground on which to love each other-
Even though resolution may elude us for the moment.

If you are faced with conflict, and you will be, because we all are, use the spiritual gifts that you have been given. Check in with your spirit guides. Ask-what is my part in this? Can you show me a part of this story that I am not understanding that will help to clarify? Can you help me rewrite this story? Am I ready to rewrite it? Also, as part of your own well being and self-protection, surround yourself in love. If you aren’t able to pull this love to yourself on your own, ask for your guides and the universe to shower you in it. Remember this-you don’t have to keep the same story you’ve always had. Ask for new ways to see and feel things. This will help with connecting and resolving.

safety-the golden door of choice, the gate to illumination. All around was and had to be a threat. There is a little relief in the sparkle of a candle, the richness of a color, the sweetness of a sound, the comfort of a voice. There…there…there on that ground is the first step to peace. My valiant fighter, my protector. Walk, walk, walk to it, stay curious. Maybe this is a wonderland too-maybe just maybe there is joy-now, now, now in this room.

Thank you to all women that were able to participate in this moving circle and to those that were with us in spirit.