The Shift Network Blog

Walking in Light: The Everyday of Shamanic Life

By Sandra Ingerman

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and although I lived in a city I felt so connected to nature. I loved life and the Earth! I came home from school everyday and sang to a tree outside of my house, to the birds, and then to the moon at night.

I always had a spiritual connection not just to nature but also with the invisible realms that are spoken about in the practice of shamanism. At the age of seven I was hit by lightning, and when I regained consciousness I returned with a heightened spiritual awareness.

When I was twenty I had an exquisite and classic Near Death Experience when I drowned while swimming in the ocean. Throughout my late teens I entered into a wealth of numinous states that led me to experience Source, unity, unconditional  joy, peace, and love.

As a child I felt fully empowered in life and believed all was possible. Overtime I was exposed to the darker states of consciousness. As I grew up and observed the suffering of others I felt burdened by the pain I perceived. In the late 1960s I demonstrated against the war in Viet Nam. Although I supported the veterans I did not support the war. As my efforts did not seem to create any change I was left feeling disempowered.

Between feeling so burdened by the suffering of others and powerless to create positive change  I entered a period of depression and lost the joy and unbridled excitement about life I experienced as a child.

There was a deep divide between my numinous experiences and what I experienced in the world around me. I had no tools to heal the split between what I experienced  in my spiritual visions and what I observed in the ordinary world so I began studying different spiritual teachings to try and find answers to some of my larger questions.

My love for the environment led me to get my BA in Marine Biology. My desire to help people led me to get my MA in Counseling Psychology and become a licensed therapist. And destiny led me to the practice of shamanism.

In  1980 I was divinely guided to a workshop on shamanic journeying. Shamanism gave me a concrete practice to work with to help me heal and tap into my creative potential.

I became internationally known for teaching the ancient shamanic healing practice of soul retrieval to heal people from emotional and physical trauma.

Although I still  perform this powerful work, as well as other shamanic healing methods, I am inspired to teach people how to step into the non-ordinary realms that shamans have traveled to for tens of thousands of years. In these realms there are an abundance of  helping and compassionate spirits who volunteer themselves to guide us in our personal lives and in how to be in service to all of life and the Earth.

There is a difference between becoming a shaman and living a shamanic way of life. A major part of my work is teaching practices that people in shamanic cultures integrated into daily life  to live in balance and harmony with themselves and nature.

I wrote my new book Walking in Light: The Everyday of Shamanic Life to teach people the art of shamanic journeying,  introduce them to the love and guidance of the helping spirits, and to share empowering daily shamanic practices to engage in. My vision for the book is to help people tap into their creative potential,  to reconnect with nature, learn how to gracefully ride the waves of both joyful and turbulent times, and return to a state of harmony and balance.  I am devoted to help people cultivate a rich inner landscape so light and joy shine through their eyes and to live a life of honor and respect for all of life and the Earth. And I believe part of my soul’s purpose is to raise awareness to the exponential power we have to create positive change when we work together in unity as a global community in behalf of the Earth.

I love to drum, and I have been studying taiko drumming for 7 years. I invited a local taiko performance group in Santa Fe to join me in creating Shamanic Visioning Music: Taiko Drum Journeys to help people enter into the worlds that shamans travel to receive guidance and healing from their helping spirits.

This has been such a creative time for me. I created the App “Transmutation”, and I have another book and CD that will be released in the summer of 2015.

We all have pieces of the puzzle to share to help people heal, grow, tap into their creative potential and be in service during this time of great transition. I am passionate about sharing the tools I have learned that helped me and others to move from feeling disempowered to empowered and how to walk in light.


Sandra Ingerman, MA, is the author of nine books, including Walking in Light: The Everyday of Shamanic Life, Soul Retrieval, Medicine for the Earth, Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide, How to Heal Toxic Thoughts, The Shaman’s Toolkit, and Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation. Sandra has been teaching for over 30 years. She teaches workshops internationally on shamanic journeying, healing and reversing environmental pollution using spiritual methods. She has trained and founded an international alliance of Medicine for the Earth Teachers and shamanic teachers. Sandra is recognized for bridging ancient cross-cultural healing methods into our modern culture addressing the needs of our times.

Sandra is also a faculty member with The Shift Network and teaches courses on Shamanic Journeying.