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Nature-Based Spirituality: Native American Spirituality and Shamanism

Date 8/26/2021
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Native American shamans have a deep spiritual connection to the world around them.

Native American shamans have a deep spiritual connection to the world around them.

Shamanism is both a spiritual tradition and a way of life. This is a nature-based practice that connects the individual with the earth on a deep level. Shamanism was widespread among Native American tribes in the past, but this isn't the only culture to have practiced it. South American, Siberian, and Indian cultures practiced various forms of shamanism as well. Today, this type of nature-based spirituality is pursued by people of many different cultures. If you feel a strong pull toward this type of spirituality, you can begin exploring shamanism regardless of your ethnic or cultural background.

What Is Shamanism?

Shamanism is a spiritual path that honors the life force present in everything. This practice is deeply rooted in nature and honors mountains, lakes, streams, rocks, and animals equally. Each of these things has its own distinct spirit and energy that individuals can recognize and work with. Every part of the earth and every creature on it is revered and respected as a mystical part of creation.

What Is a Shaman?

A true shaman is one who can travel between spiritual realms. They can connect with elemental spirits, the spirits of animals, and the spirits of ancestors. The shaman will sink into a state of trance where he or she can travel to a higher plane of existence. This has been accomplished in many ways. Some shamans fast, while others may use hallucinogens to reach this ecstatic state. Drumming rituals, isolation, and other practices are believed to help shamans reach this heightened state of awareness.

Getting Started With Shamanism

Shamanism is a spiritual practice that's not aligned with any one religion. As such, it's something that nearly any individual can pursue. The key aspect of shamanism is seeking connection with spiritual entities. This can include spirit guides associated with nearby geography, plants, animals, and people who have passed. You may also seek connection with the greater spiritual force that flows through all creation. As you begin to explore shamanism, you will likely find that a particular spirit or energy resonates deeply with you.

Finding Spirit Guides

There are many different ways to identify spirit guides that may help you on your shamanic journey. Meditation is one of the first approaches that you should try. Sinking into a deep meditative state takes a great deal of practice, but this is key to the practice of shamanism. In this state, you may find that your spirit guide approaches you independently.

You might also seek connection with a spirit guide associated with your zodiac sign. The Native American zodiac consists of 12 animals that are associated with different parts of the year. Find out what your zodiac animal is and try connecting with this spirit.

In some cases, a spirit guide will clearly approach you. Deeply rooted in nature, shamanism relies on animal spirits a great deal. If a particular animal crosses your path pointedly on several occasions, this may indicate that its spirit is trying to send you a message. If you need help receiving or understanding these messages, a psychic chat may help.

Shamanism as a Regular Practice

If you're interested in practicing nature-based spirituality and shamanism, this will become something that you work with on a regular basis. Some ways that you can include this type of spirituality in your life include:

  • Meditating daily.
  • Working on falling into a drumming trance, listening to a percussive beat.
  • Paying close attention to the energies and natural spirits around you.
  • Seeking to communicate with and identify spirits and spirit guides.
  • Exploring psychic sites and learning more about various spiritual practices.
  • Researching shamanic traditions from different cultures.
  • Spending time in nature, attuning yourself to the energies around you.
  • Keeping a dream journal and working to interpret the message you're receiving.
  • Seeking a spiritual teacher.
  • Holding rituals to attract spirits with chants, dances, or offerings.
  • Practicing divination using tarot cards, runes, pendulums, and other tools.

Working With Shamans

Becoming a true shaman is something that takes a great deal of training and work. However, you can adhere to the basic tenets of shamanism even if you're not a shaman yourself. In this case, working closely with an experienced shaman can be deeply enlightening.

Shamans have a great responsibility. They're tasked with carrying information between the spiritual world and the physical world. When they travel to the spiritual realm, they're often given complex messages that they must translate and bring back to the community as a whole.

Shamans serve their communities and seek to promote healing, wellness, and self-awareness among their people. They can provide a unique type of healing, which is focused on the energies around us. Shamans believe that an imbalance in these energies can cause physical diseases, mental illness, spiritual problems, and emotional disruptions.

How Shamans Heal

Shamanic healing involves the manipulation of energies. Shamans can either remove unwanted energies that are getting in the way or bring in energies that are lacking. The ultimate goal is a healthy balance that keeps the individual energetically aligned with nature. Restoring natural harmony is at the heart of what shamans do.

How Shamans Journey

Shamanic journeying is the process of sending the soul out of the body to different planes of existence. A shamanic journey is part of the initiation process for a new shaman. This type of journey often occurs during a near death experience. It is believed that individuals can also pursue a shamanic journey by sinking into a deep trance and using their pure intent to send the soul journeying outside the body. On a shamanic journey, one can pursue spiritual enlightenment, seek important answers, or work on overcoming emotional blockages. 

Each person's spiritual and shamanic journey is unique. In the early stages, these are often inwardly focused. However, if you grow to become a true shaman, you'll find that this path calls you to serve the community and earth as a whole more than yourself. There's much to learn in this pursuit.


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