Ethics and Boundaries
I learned early strong ethics and boundaries of shamanism; and am a stickler for practitioners having permission to journey for others. I am also a stickler for people NOT scaring the general public in regards to shamanism.
Before I teach a class I like to have a conversation with each potential student to find out why they want to learn Shamanism. One woman I knew from another class we took together found out I taught shamanism and confided in me that she sees “dead people” and they are freaking her out. After numerous stories I was convinced that she had a good need to learn shamanism; and perhaps psychopomp work after she gets more experienced in journeywork.
Experience comes with practice, practice, practice, having good communication and a working relationship with your helping guides and power animals.
My course was two six-hour days and as usual during the first day the students learned how to retrieve power animals. All went as planned and each student was successful in accomplishing the task as they went around and shared the results of their journeys.
The next morning as we met again each student had time to share or ask questions regarding the day before. When it came to the woman who sees “dead people” she enthusiastically shared with the class that she and her husband had gone out to their favorite restaurant after class. She further explained she saw lots of people she knew and she ran up to each person (her arms flying around in the air) and TOLD THEM ABOUT THE ANIMAL she saw hanging out in the air around them.”
I asked what their response was. She said she was surprised how each person looked at her like she was “crazy.” She said she was just so excited to know her power animal that she wanted everyone to know theirs.
Then we had a group discussion AGAIN about the ethics and boundaries of the practice of shamanism. Although I was careful not to directly point at that woman's actions she became enraged. She told me “I can’t tell her what to do and that she can do whatever she wants because she's “GIFTED” and sees “dead people.”
We took a break and I talked with her privately about her outburst and her inappropriate actions with the general public. She continued to make uncomfortable comments.
I explained that many of the students this weekend had unusual spiritual gifts. Yet, she was bound and determined to do whatever she wanted now that she “knows how to journey and she doesn’t HAVE TO FOLLOW Pam’s rules.”
I told her I would be willing to work with her privately to help her understand and work with the deceased spirits that show themselves to her. However for now, we need to finish the rest of the class. She was NOT interested in my offer and continued to be overly angry; therefor I asked her to leave and refunded her the fee for the class. I called her at the end of the week to see how she was doing hoping to have a constructive conversation. I never heard back from her.