The Healing Gift

By Marguerite Elsbeth

Shamans and medicine people do not just wake up one morning and say, Hmmm, I think I'll be a healer. The knowledge and wisdom attained by those who wish to doctor the sick does not just drop down from the sky. In fact, many who receive the haling gift are hesitant to accept the responsibility because they realize that their lives will no longer be their own. Long-term study or apprenticeship in working with stones, herbs, massage, emotions and the spiritual beliefs of a particular culture or tradition, accompanied by selfless work and great personal sacrifice, is what it takes to gain acceptance and status by the local people, tribe, or community in which the healer resides.

Where Does the Healing Gift Come From?

A true healer acknowledges the real source of healing power as the universal energy that animates, vivifies, and ensouls all creatures and things. We all know this universal energy or healing power source by many names electromagnetism, spiritual etha, limitless light, prana or prakriti, Great Spirit, Great Mystery, God or Goddess. However, no matter what we chose to call it, this universal power is both the healer and the medicine. The shaman or medicine worker does nothing. All the totems, helpers, and guides the spirits, animals and ancestors are very real friends and allies that the healer may call upon for guidance, but it s not really all that necessary.

Healing Customs

Tribal and rural village people rake the healing process very seriously. Among many traditions, there is usually much discussion by the patient with family, friends, and elders. Everything and everyone involved the healer, the illness or issue demanding treatment, as well as the suggested therapy must all be synchronistically correct and in its proper place according to custom before the healer is called upon to perform the work. It may require several sojourns between the healer, the patient and his or her relations before the patient accepts the healer and the healer accepts the patient. Then there may also be certain preliminary activities before the actual medicine work takes place, such as fasting, seeking a vision, sweating or purification prayers, offerings and feasting. The concept behind shamanistic medicine work is to alter the patient s consciousness because a glimpse into non-ordinary reality may bring about spontaneous healing, and thus affect a cure. Nor will the healer ever seek to help a person who does not formally ask, as this would be considered a violation of natural principles and laws.

Faith is a most necessary ingredient for successful healing. This spiritual virtue forms an emotional connection between the healer and the patient, allowing the healer to transmit vital life-giving energy via the methods selected for healing. The patient should expect to be healed, for if there is any doubt in the healer or his or her abilities, the results may be unstable. A healer must be ready to compensate for any physical, emotional, mental or spiritual imbalance within the patient. This makes the healer a spiritual go-between due to his or her ability to speak with the spirits, animals, plants, and stones, and receive an answer to how to achieve wholeness.

Do You Have the Healing Gift?

A Quiz

Answer yes or no to the following questions and statements:

  1. Are you knowledgeable, bright and productive?
  2. Are you humorous, cheerful, and compassionate?
  3. Are you forbearing, strong, and disciplined?
  4. Are you bold and imaginative?
  5. Are you fair, mindful, and alert?
  6. Are you wholesome, calm, and clear?
  7. Are you aware of the spirit world and well grounded in this world?
  8. Were you born with the gift, is it hereditary, or was it willed to you?
  9. Do you have the calling, which may come in the form of a dream, vision, accident, illness, near-death experience or even actual death?
  10. Can you communicate with sprits, dead people, animals, birds, insects, rocks, monsters, space aliens, and/or elemental beings?
  11. Did you receive your guardian spirit, healing and spiritual knowledge, power objects, and doctoring tools through your dreams and visions?
  12. Are you often lonely and misunderstood by others?
  13. Have you sought spiritual aid, courage, and training through vision seeking and power quests in sacred natural spaces, such as by the ocean, beneath a waterfall, on a mountain, in the deep desert, or in a remote forest?
  14. Have you been led to an older healer or medicine person who acknowledged your gift and became your mentor?

If you have the a majority of yes answers to the questions and statements above, your personality type, along with your unique qualities and experiences, may indicate that you indeed have the healing gift.