Traditional Medicine for a Modern World
by Itzhak Beery
Shamanic Healing: Traditional Medicine for a Modern World is a great introduction to the power and scope of traditional medicine techniques from cultures that stand outside of Western medicine. Itzhak Beery opens the book, his third, with a compelling chapter on the need to integrate the wisdom and personal approach of shamanic healing wisdom with the benefits of Western medicine. He then takes the reader on his personal journey to shamanism, starting with his first workshops with Michael Harner and John Perkins, both of whom were instrumental in popularizing cross-cultural shamanic practices and sponsoring indigenous teachers and shamans. Beery’s stories of the education and testing he received from his two primary teachers, Don Jose Joaquin Diaz Pineda, an Ecuadoran yachak, and Ipupiara Makunaiman (Bernardo Peixoto, Ph.D), a Brazilian paje, are wonderful. I also had the privilege of studying with Ipupiara and felt him alive again in Beery’s tales, especially in Ipu’s statement: “You are all shamans, every one of you! Don’t think that just because someone wears feathers on his head…that he is more powerful than you are.” Beery describes the different healing work done by specific “types” of shamans in his traditions and the difference in practice between those who work toward healing and balance and those who work with what some consider “darker” techniques, like cursing and hexing. In the section, “Who Can Become a Shaman,” he discusses the intuitive gifts that each of us possesses but also emphasizes the training, integrity and commitment necessary to reach a place where one is able to use those gifts in service to others. Beery devotes a chapter to explaining shamanic healing, how it is used, the forces with which he aligns and the conditions he has encountered in clients. He also provides a chapter on healing teachings, ceremonies and techniques, including la limpia (a powerful purification ceremony), egg and flower cleansings and divinations and working with trago (sugarcane alcohol), the drum, rocks, sound and elements. The book closes with a lengthy chapter of healing stories from Beery’s clients, whose names and genders have been change to protect their privacy. In their own words, the clients describe their experiences during Beery’s healing work and the shift in their conditions, outlook and circumstances following the sessions. The stories are powerful and I am certain they will pique your interest in learning more about shamanism if you have not already taken the plunge.
The book is an excellent read; I especially enjoyed Beery’s stories of his experiences with his teachers, told with humor, affection and great respect. Beery makes a compelling case for integrating a shamanic emphasis on living a life in balance with the world around us as a path to good health with mainstream medicine’s acute lifesaving techniques. As he says, “ The Quechua strongly believe that all physical, mental and spiritual problems are essentially the results of an imbalance in our energy bodies.” While we currently must consider factors like novel coronavirus in staying healthy and bolstering our life force, we can see how our failure to live in balance with the energy systems of the natural world may have allowed this virus to “jump” and spread around the world. Beery’s descriptions of the healing techniques and ceremonies he uses are a great resource. It’s possible to use this section as a tutorial to begin a simple practice of your own. The techniques may seem simple, but when mastered, are quite powerful! This is good, solid book for someone interested in exploring shamanic healing and practice written by a teacher with experience and integrity.
Itzhak Beery is an internationally recognized shamanic teacher, healer, speaker, community activist, and author of three Amazon bestseller books. He is also an artist and was the owner of a boutique Ad agency in New York City. ?Itzhak is the founder of ShamanPortal.org, The Andes Summit, and co-founder of the New York Shamanic Circle. More information about his work and his offerings is available at http://www.itzhakbeery.com/
About the Author:
Susan Rossi is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanic Arts. She is a long-time explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body, spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. Art, exploration of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of her practice.
Susan trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax. She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern under which their soul choose to incarnate.
Open Channel Astrology www.openchannelastrology.com
Flying to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com