What is shamanic healing?

Shamanic“We have used Lena both for healing for ourselves and our animals. Soul retrievals and past life regressions have really enhanced the quality of our lives. She is accurate, compassionate and a great problem solver on many levels. We have referred her to both friends and family and they all have had really positive experiences and great results.”

Sue Leithold-Bowcock, Owatanna

“After more than a decade of ever more desperately seeking medical help through traditional channels, from GPs to specialists, to the Mayo Clinic and then widening the search for answers to chiropractors, acupuncturists, therapists, nutritionists, other alternative medical practitioners and finally, psychics and a hands-on healer, I still had no diagnosis and no relief in sight from my debilitating pain and expensive emergency room visits. All the medical tests and office visits and painful procedures had depleted my savings and retirement accounts. I had nothing left financially or physically. I could no longer force myself to keep working. I sold my house, lost my neighbors and all but a few loyal and dear friends disappeared. I wanted to die so many times that death was no longer an enemy but a savior. That's when I met Lena. She performed a soul retrieval, power animal retrieval and extraction and gave me some information I had blocked out from my past. I was somewhat skeptical – okay, pretty darn skeptical – and I took it cautiously at first, but from that day the pain that had plagued me never came back. I was able to function and get back to work. I won't say that I live in complete joy and bliss now, but it is a kind of bliss to know that I can trust that tomorrow when I wake up I can make that appointment and keep it and go to work and pay my bills and that there aren't any more agonizing ER visits in my future. Thank you, Lena!”

Carol H., Minneapolis


Shamanic Healing

Shamanic healing methods are tens of thousands of years old and are still practiced world wide by both indigenous peoples and others who are called to this work. Sometimes known as spirit doctors or medicine men, shamans view illness as disharmony in a person's life on the spiritual level. This disharmony can lead to mental, emotional, and/or physical illness if left unresolved.

A shaman addresses the spiritual aspect of illness by making journeys outside of time and space into what is called “non-ordinary reality” or a universe parallel to our own. There the shaman meets spirit helpers in the form of animals or human teachers. It is actually these compassionate spirits who perform the healing work with the shaman only acting as a conduit or “hollow bone".

Soul Loss

Soul loss is a survival mechanism that takes place during painful or traumatic events. Parts of our essence or soul may leave during trauma in order to help our psyche survive the experience. These parts are lost in non-ordinary reality (also referred to as the spirit world) and need to be brought back to the person so they may feel whole again. The universe does not like voids, therefore soul loss can be an invitation for pain, illness, and/or spiritual intrusions to enter and fill that space.

Symptoms of Soul Loss:

  • not feeling yourself or ‘all here’
  • gaps in memory (can be years)
  • physical illness or surgery
  • inability to move on after divorce or the death of a loved one
  • chronic depression
  • apathy
  • addictions
  • suicidal tendencies
  • multiple personality syndrome
  • incest
  • abuse
  • rape
  • miscarriage
  • abortion
  • wartime stress
  • experiencing a disaster

Important note:
Soul loss can be triggered by something that may be considered mild compared to this list. Children have a different perception of trauma so some events might seem quite minor in an adult's mind (i.e. falling off a bicycle) but to a child they are major.

ShamanicSoul Retrieval

During soul retrieval the shaman journeys on behalf of the client to find lost soul parts and bring them ‘home’ again. After the healing ceremony the retelling of the journey is recorded for the client to keep as a permanent record of the session. The resulting ‘wholeness of soul’ can have many beneficial effects at the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical levels. This process usually takes from two to three hours.

Soul Remembering

This process involves helping a person remember the true essence and original life purpose they were born with; their beauty, strengths, talents and gifts. For many people this true essence has been covered up and forgotten due to pressures from family, peers, teachers, and authority figures. The shaman journeys to find a symbol for this forgotten essence and brings it back for the client to be continually reminded of their beautiful original purpose.

Power Animals

Each of us has one or more power animals who have helped us survive the hazards of youth into adulthood. These animals come to us from the spirit world and represent the gifts and powers of the entire species. For this reason they are referred to as Crow or Bear and not any particular animal. In exchange for being able to live on the earth plane again through us they offer these gifts and powers to help and protect us in our daily lives.

Power Animal Retrieval

Our power animals may choose to leave us and this results in a loss of power for the person affected. Symptoms of power animal loss are chronic misfortune, depression, apathy, addictions, suicidal tendencies, and illness. A power animal retrieval restores a power animal to the client which then brings its gifts and strengths that will be of particular assistance to the client in her/his life. Forming a deep relationship with personal power animals can have a profound affect on day-to-day living.

ShamanicSpiritual intrusions

Misplaced spirits may enter a person who has suffered soul loss or the loss of a power animal. These spirits are not evil but are simply in the wrong place. Usually manifested in the form of a localized pain, illness, or emotional issue, the shaman removes the intrusion and puts it back into nature where it is neutralized.


Divination refers to the process of foretelling the future or getting information about the unknown through shamanic journeying. I journey on behalf of clients to gain information and insight about issues or situations affecting their lives. This type of guidance can be very helpful in decision making and setting goals and direction in life.

Working With Children

I have had extensive experience in working with children in both recreational settings and as an elementary school teacher for over twenty-two years. I have facilitated many shamanic healing ceremonies with children with wonderful results. Because the time needed is usually less than that for adults the cost is also less. I love working with children and the effects are usually quite profound.

Can this type of healing be done with animals?

Shamanic healing is very effective with animals. Animals’ souls can suffer from the same type of disharmony as human souls do. In addition they often carry the double burden of mirroring their people's dysfunction back to them as part of their purpose in our lives. As a professional animal communicator I have talked with many animals who say they cannot get well until their people move onto an appropriate healing path because of the strong commitment our animals have to us. Shamanic healing frequently has the ripple effect of helping harmonize whole households of four legged and two legged creatures.

Can this work be done remotely?

For some, traveling to participate in a shamanic healing ceremony in person is difficult if not impossible. For this reason I’m happy to perform the ceremony remotely and share the results by phone and recording. I have found that working remotely is just as effective as doing in-person ceremonies.

This seems right for me. What is my next step?

After a short phone consultation I will ask that you read Soul Retrieval, Mending the Fragmented Self by Sandra Ingerman in preparation for our work together. (It can be found in some libraries.) If reading a book is difficult I recommend that you listen to the audio version called The Soul Retrieval Journey, Seeing in the Dark, also by Sandra Ingerman. Before our session I will do what is called a diagnostic journey to ask my teachers and power animals what type of shamanic healing is needed at this time. We then set up an appointment for you to come to my healing space, the Spirit Garage. You may choose to come alone or to bring other people who will support you in this process. The night before we work together you will ask for a dream to help you open up to receive the healing.

ShamanicWhat results can I expect?

Results of shamanic healing vary depending upon the individual situation, a person's commitment to their own healing process, their belief system, and karmic destiny. There may be immediate relief of symptoms or a more subtle unfolding of health and harmony. The beauty of shamanic healing is that it can be used in conjunction with all other healing techniques including psychological, physical, and energy modalities.

Other suggested reading:

The Way of the Shaman  and Cave and Cosmos by Michael Harner
Welcome Home: Life After Healing and Medicine for the Earth by Sandra Ingerman

Classes in Shamanism

In addition to shamanic healing sessions I also teach an Introduction to Shamanic Journeying and advanced shamanic journeying techniques to both individuals and groups. The classes are typically one day long and include journeying skills for both the lower and upper worlds. The cost is $145 for the day, 9:30 am- 5:30 pm. I also have ongoing evening classes for people who want to make journeying in a shamanic circle a larger part of their life.

Medicine for the Earth

I teach Medicine for the Earth gatherings which are based on the body of work by Sandra Ingerman, a gifted shamanic healer and visionary and author of Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self. In this nine session course I facilitate the exploration of how to transform personal and environmental pollution by learning how to change negative beliefs and attitudes.

Spirit Garage Gatherings

The Spirit Garage is my healing and teaching space built on a beautiful bluff in Saint Paul. It’s creation was guided by shamanic journeys which revealed that the bluff had been the site of vision quests by the ancestors who had lived here. As a part of the healing of the soul loss to this land the Spirit Garage was constructed with the intention of being a space for healing and transformation. Spirit Garage gatherings mark special events in the natural world and bring people from all walks of life together to build community and create a common bond.

Session Description and Fees

I begin the process with a diagnostic journey to ask the spirits what type of shamanic healing is needed. (You need not be present for this journey.) The actual soul retrieval ceremony lasts anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 hours and includes a recording of the information I receive during the journey. The cost is $330 for both journeys. This is my full-time profession so I am available both weekdays and weekends. Please feel free to call with questions and/or to schedule a session.

Prior to our work together I recommend you read Soul Retrieval, Mending the Fragmented Self by Sandra Ingerman or listen to the audio version The Soul Retrieval Journey, Seeing in the Dark although this is certainly not a requirement. They are both very helpful in "jump starting" the healing process and preparing for the ceremony itself. The audio version is available at www.soundstrue.com.

Please note: Shamanic healing is not intended to be a substitute for traditional medical care.