A shamanic journey to discover and heal your primal wounds

The past no longer exists, and the future is an illusion, we only have the present moment. So why does it not feel like that? A shamanic journey may help you uncover why you spend so much time thinking about the past or trying to control your future. I would like to share with you how shamanism can support your inner healing and self-discovery on a mind, body and soul level.


We can often spend more time thinking about the past or future than being present. We recreate our past and bring our hopes and fears about the future to life through the stories we tell ourselves. We build unique neural pathways in our brain to recall or imagine our version of events and our autonomic nervous system brings up feelings and emotions equal to these thoughts. 

This process takes us out of the present moment and our lives can feel like a replay or record of the past that we are living on a daily basis. When this happens, it is difficult to bring about change. We feel stuck in the past or spend time hoping for a better future or risk assessing to avoid past mistakes. In either event, we are draining our energy and are often missing the only moment we actually have – the present.

Why do we spend so much time avoiding the present moment?

Shamans believe it is because our souls carry information and memory that is beyond our conscious awareness. Your soul is magnetic in nature and draws to it the experiences and life circumstances that you are “working with” for learning, integration, and healing. The patterns we work with can be ancestral, past life, soul contracts, karma, unprocessed emotions, mental and physical scars, attachments, and drains. It is this unseen unconscious energy that directs much of our lives and pulls us out of the present moment.

Until we know our wounds, we keep replaying the past. We think we are making conscious choices, but our wounded and unhealed parts are recreating drama and pain to be seen, felt, and released. It is our soul’s way of healing and learning, yet if we are not conscious of this, life can feel like one mishap or mistake after another. Therefore, our past and future can feel the same.

We can feel stuck and unable to make changes.

It is the stories, events and narrative in our present life that begins to illuminate the healing we need to address. Until we make the unconscious conscious, we repeat old patterns in our life in an attempt to reach a resolution. To heal we must deal with the impact of crisis, difficulties and trauma on all levels – mind, body, and soul. 

Shamans know the importance of the stories we tell ourselves. They know that time is an illusion and that the past, present and future all exist simultaneously in the ever-expanding infinite present moment. We can in fact heal the past and write a new future, but this all must be done in the present moment, which is the only time we have.

1.  What is the primal wound your story is hiding?

A Shaman can help clients look more deeply at the events in their lives that are causing pain, distress, and difficulty. Through this process the client can find and track underlying patterns or themes, it is these and the accompanying emotions that need to be transformed. 

Feeling unsafe, not worthy of love, being unsupported, not trusting, not expressing needs, and not getting needs met are to name but a few of the most frequently occurring unresolved wounds. 

These wounds often occur in early childhood and are stored somatically, in the body and the energy field. Childhood is a time when our brain waves are predominantly in delta, a dream-type state in which the world around us is absorbed without question. We download our relationship blueprints, scripts about families, how the world works and how we survive and fit into the world. 

This early learning is subconscious and therefore we find it hard to access, name and talk about. However, working consciously with our personal narratives gives us a doorway into our unconscious programs. Our beliefs, values and the way we view our world are all held in the language we use and the way our lives unfold, our story can reveal the primal wounds that are deeply buried. 

Shamans are trained to help clients access this unconscious program. One of the tools they use is a shamanic journey. The shaman works with the stories and energetic template or luminous energy field of the soul which holds our unique blueprint of how we may live and what we need to heal. (I believe we all have this skill; it is innate to our functioning, we just need training to expand our awareness so that we can access and work with our luminous energy fields).

The shaman can set an intent to find out information and journey for the client. On completion, they reveal what they were shown using story, images, and metaphor so that the client can easily understand the themes they are working with and the stories and wounds that need releasing.

When we understand the original wound, the story becomes less powerful as the understanding gained is empowering. The client does not feel like a victim of circumstances but understands the deeper process they are working with and how they can take control of this. 

2. Detachment from the story to reveal the emotion

Once we understand the primal wound, we can begin to work with the unprocessed feelings which accompany it. These are often difficult feelings that the body and energy field has not been able to process and release. If we can work with feelings in a way that is detached from the story, then the events no longer trigger the same responses, and the client can break the thinking-feeling cycle and work directly with the somatic experience of the emotion.

It is important to note that all emotions give us vital feedback, and all emotions are useful. In optimal functioning, we fully feel the emotion, use that energy, learn from it, and release it. This is done by letting it “wash through” us and our nervous system by not attaching to the feeling, not clinging to it, numbing it, or rejecting it. Emotions are designed to ebb and flow.

For example, if we feel scared our survival instincts are activated. Our bodies become primed to overcome the threat. This is a vital part of our survival; we use these emotions and the accompanying instinctual responses, and the energy released from the body to evade the threat. Once we have done this, we must help our bodies reset, literally shake it off, breathe more deeply, rest and process what has just happened. Then we can let it go and return to homeostasis and balance.

If, however, we have difficulty in feeling and releasing emotions, they can become “stuck” or stored in the body. Our soul needs to heal from the experience and release the emotions, so it continues to attract the same type of experiences to us until we can resolve and overcome it. The mind, body and soul want us to experience, learn and make the unconscious, conscious.

3. Releasing emotions and resetting the nervous system

Energetically these emotions need to be released. A shaman can help the client feel where these are held in the body and the luminous energy field that surrounds the body. The client can then be supported to safely release these feelings.

There are various ways to help the nervous system release emotions and complete the feeling cycle. However one of the most important factors in facilitating change is to feel safe. Safety is important for the nervous system. If you do not feel safe your nervous system will prioritise that first and you will not be able to release anything.

Even though you may be physically safe your body may be primed for protection, so what would make you feel safe? What do you need to feel seen, safe, soothed, and secure?

Using and moving your body is an essential part of the release process. Regular movement, walking, running, jumping, and dancing help transform the trapped energy. Whilst listening to music, being in nature, drawing, creating, laughing, singing and connecting in a meaningful way are all ways in which the nervous system can be regulated and primed for rest and relaxation.

4. Integrating the healing and creating something new

It is vital that the unconscious processes which you have been working with are processed and discussed. You must be able to take the learning from what you have been through. 

Your soul must learn from the experience. It is from this empowered place that you no longer repeat similar situations. You can then address this primal wound so that your soul no longer needs to mirror these events and emotions to you through your life circumstances. You have healed what you need to and can move on.

The final stage after the healing and learning is to consciously create a space of compassion and love for yourself. It is building a new foundation from which to step forth from. When old stories, patterns and emotions are cleared there is a space for something new to grow and be created. 

What would you like to consciously create? This can be a confusing part of the work. When you have cleared out unconscious patterns, the things you thought you wanted may no longer seem relevant. Perhaps the new job or relationship you longed for was actually your unconscious trying to address feelings of not being good enough, not loved or feeling lonely. 

When the root cause is addressed your needs and wants change. It can often be at this point that client’s like to explore who they really are at a soul level and what values are important in their lives. A deeper, more authentic and fulfilling way of being emerges from this starting point.

If this article resonates with you and you would like to explore your stories, narratives, and soul wounds, or if you would like to know more about working on a deeper soul level with shamanism and consciously creating your life, contact a counsellor today.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Carlisle CA6 & CA2
Written by Jayne Forster, Psychotherapy, shamanic healing and breath work.
Carlisle CA6 & CA2

Jayne is an experienced Shaman, psychotherapist & HeartMath practitioner. She provides a blend of modalities for those who wish to work on a deep body, mind & soul level.

One to one sessions and training days with Jayne are available online & in-person.

Contact Jayne to discuss your individual needs or to book shamanic teaching sessions.

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