The shaman sitting in my lounge looked like any comely ‘girl-next-door; so let me tell you … there are shamans and there are shamans … it takes more than a certain style of dress or studying the Medicine Wheel to become a shaman, as I was about to find out, but firstly I wanted to know why Sandra wanted to be one.
‘It was much more than simply wanting be a shaman,’ she tells me. ‘It was a Calling, a vocation, and just couldn’t be ignored!’
‘How do you mean?’ I asked.
‘Well, twelve years ago I had a dream – of standing in a mountainous place, looking down into a valley with lush green slopes and it felt like home; then a few days later I saw a photo of Machu Pichu – it was my dream exactly! it was an article about the descendants of the Inca and their Medicine, written by a man called Alberto Villoldo.
The Calling to go there was overwhelming but it was several years before I went to Peru to meet the shamans. I was accepted on their ‘Healing the Light Body School’ and so began my journey around the Medicine Wheel. It was an enormous and daunting privilege.’
‘I can imagine, so that was how it all started for you?’
‘Actually it stared when I was four – the memory is still so vivid; I was playing in a meadow and looking at the trees nearby – really looking at them and saw they were alive – truly alive. From that moment I felt a closer connection with tress, earth and sky and always wanted to be outside, close to nature and I loved to sing, I was always singing to myself and I started to develop second sight.’
‘What could you ‘see’?
Sandra paused then softly said : ‘A world within a world’.
I nodded, knowing what she meant *. ‘So, what happened next?’
Her answer shocked me.
‘When I was ten my world was turned upside down – a parent started abusing me; it lasted until I was eighteen and could escape to university.’
Sandra was so calm – I stared at her. ‘You’re healed.’ (It was a statement not a question.)
She smiled. ‘That is the hardest work when training to be a shaman. In order for the shaman to track a healed future for the client we have to have worked our personal history and this takes commitment and a lot of deep work. We need to clear our own luminous energy field of personal and karmic issues in order to hold a space of integrity and ethics to practice as a shaman.’
Phew! I sat back, realising I was in the presence of a Homo spiritus.
And I was curious. ‘What did you study at Uni?’
‘Art, 3D design and silversmithing.’
I laughed. ‘You were a silversmith before a shaman? that figures! So what next?’
‘I married and had nine years of hell.’
That rocked me … again.’
‘It dawned on me I was in a repeating cycle of abusive relationships,’ Sandra continued. ‘I tried to fix things – I escaped the marriage and embraced Buddhism, dance and singing; I did a second degree in Fine Art and Teaching and became a 6th Form teacher – jewellery making. I joined a Rock Band – that was fun and became a NLP Master. For ten years I also worked in a centre for alcohol & drug addiction and led group meditation classes …’
She paused. ‘… and then I dreamt of Machu Pichu.’
I puffed out my cheeks. ‘And everything changed?’
‘Forever; for the past ten years I have been working my Journey and also travelling the world teaching the Medicine Wheel’
‘Can you explain what that is?’
‘Yes, it’s a tool that helps us to understand how all things are connected in the circle of life; the four directions – North South East West and the elements of creation – earth, fire, water and air; and also our four illuminated bodies – the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. It is when these bodies become congested or full of Hucha – heavy energy – due to trauma, generational fears, burdens and curses that we become dis-eased and lose our way.’
I nodded for I had written about the dark side of love in Homo spiritus. ‘So, a shaman’s work is non-judgemental, non-religious, without dogma or creed.’
‘Totally. It is a spoken Earth-based tradition based on ceremony, symbols and sound. At our deepest ancestral core we know we are of and from the Earth; tragically, over thousands of years we have become disconnected from the Earth and its energies and those of creation.’
Sandra leaned forward a little and gave me a fixed look. ‘In the early 1950’s, when the world was still recovering from two terrible World Wars, a small group of Inca shamans came down from the mountain tops – they were the descendants of those shamans who had fled to the mountains to escape the Spanish Conquest hundreds of years ago …
‘…They knew it was time to share their knowledge with the rest of the world – that the earth and humanity needed healing – is always in need of healing – and that they had tools that could help.’
I glanced at her shaman’s tools, laid out on a richly woven Peruvian cloth. ‘You used some of these tools on me, the other day’
Sandra smiled. ‘Yes’.
I nodded and thought back to my short shamanic healing the other week – Sandra has a beautiful voice and while I can’t recall everything she spoke I do know it was like poetry – like a song, full of imagery and light and filled the space with an extraordinary energy.
‘And now you’re settled in Scarborough, to practice shamanic healing at Fountains Court? I asked.
‘Yes, it’s time for me to now concentrate … not only on teaching … but on healing and I am ready for my Work to begin.’
I nodded and glanced again at her tools and gently touched the feather of a Condor. ‘So, let’s now talk abut these tools and what happens during a shamanic healing.’
Sandra smiled. ‘Okay.’
And for that, my darlings, you will have to wait for Part 2.
*look out for my next book ‘Three Worlds’ to be published end of year.
Sandra can be contacted on 07849323137. e mail: Sandra@sacredvision.co.uk and do visit her website www.sacredvision.co.uk Sandra is a gifted and highly accomplished artist; you can find some of her work on her website and guess what … I found a white horse (my power animal) posted here with Sandra’s permission. (Think I may have to treat myself to a print)