Shamanism As An Everyday Way Of Life

with Jan Engels-Smith

The Question

What is shamanism and how is it useful to us in day to day life? Are there other realms we can journey to and experience? Has science disproved or given further evidence to support this ancient practice?

These are some of the questions I put to Jan Engels-Smith, a shamanic practitioner and the founder of the LightSong School of 21st Century Shamanism and Energy Medicine where she teaches shamanism and journeying techniques.

If you’re interested in shamanism and how shamanic practices can be incorporated into your day to day life, this episode is for you.

Our Guest


Jan Engels-Smith

Shamanic Practitioner and Teacher

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The Talk

Central to Jan’s work is the philosophy that shamanism is not the preserve of a gifted few seers or just for indigenous cultures to practice but that we all have the capacity to cultivate a shamanic skillset through journeying and practices that help move us from left brain focus into right-brain experience.

In her book, Through the Rabbit Hole, Jan talks about dominance of left-brained thinking in our culture and in particular the limiting belief that all we see is all there is. This belief keeps our imagination and our other subtler senses locked away from the wider world around us. Opening up our minds to other realms and possibilities connects us in new ways to the universe.

You might think scientific findings would be at odds with a shamanic perspective of life but actually there’s more correlation than you would first imagine. Relatively theory and quantum mechanics indicate there is a vast amount of the universe not observable to the human eye, indeed almost all of it is dark matter and dark energy.

Within that, it’s already been shown for some time that our consciousness has a direct impact on the world around us, a phenomenon known more widely as the observer effect and something that has been espoused in shamanism for millennia.

With this level of cross-over though, shamanism still remains a niche activity in popular culture today.

I caught up with Jan to talk about what has happened to shamanism in the West, the ways it can help cultivate a relationship with spirit and mostly importantly help us find greater fulfilment and peace in life.

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The Questions

  • What is shamanism and what does it mean for the average person?
  • Why has shamanism been traditionally seen as a craft of a select few?
  • How does shamanism, journeying and other ritual practices help people?
  • How does our left brain and right brain relate to the practice?
  • What is shamanic journeying and how do we do it?
  • What are the realms available to us in shamanic journeying?
  • What is a power animal and how does it relate to a person?

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