About Shamanism

Shamanism is one of the oldest spiritual practices on earth. As humans evolved in small bands of hunter gatherers, shamanism evolved alongside as tribal people began to utilise magical means to ensure their survival and well being. Whether this was through divination, healing, hunting magic, weather magic, finding lost things (including souls), healing the dead or consulting with their ancestors, the shaman’s principal role has always been there to serve and ensure the preservation and flourishing of their communities. 

They are also present to ensure that the spiritual forces of nature that hold the world together are well fed and respected and that humans don’t encroach too much on their environments. To remind us of our place in the intricate web of a life and that humans only exist as inter-dependent beings with nature. Shaman’s are individuals who are the communicators between the two different worlds- the invisible world of spirit that is present in the environment, and the human community- to ensure that both are kept in balance. 

In the modern world, where we find ourselves completely out of balance with our environments, as reflected in the destructive impact we have on the natural world, a return to our shamanic roots is possibly needed more than ever. 

Within modern civilisation, where our day to day survival needs are met by the societies we’ve created, one of the principal roles of the shaman has become that of healer- for individuals, their communities and their environments. This is the pathway that Second Sight is dedicated to renewing.   

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Everything has a life force

Cross culturally, from Siberia to South America, Europe to Australia, shamans perceive reality from an animistic perspective, which means everything has a life force, or spirit – it is animated. So, a rock is alive, in the same way as a tree is, in the same way as a human, an idea, or the ‘spirit of a sickness’ is.

Animism is the oldest living tradition on the planet and the foundation for all human religion and spiritual understanding of the universe. It is enjoying a revival in the modern world through renewed interest in paths such as paganism and shamanism. It is also at the heart of the modern movement to re-enchant the universe after a generation of materialistic science has precipitated our separateness from life. 

The nature of illness is often perceived as being a disease of the spirit, something that is out of balance in the invisible fabric of reality.

Nature righting itself

It is this invisible realm that holds the blueprint for all of reality – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. If there are problems in any of these areas, then the root cause of the problem can be found here. 

Shamans are masters at altering their consciousness by using trance states to communicate with and, at times, manipulate these invisible forces governing reality, for the health of others. They do this in partnership with spirit helpers or allies, beings that populate the invisible worlds and hold the power to change manifest reality. Once the invisible cause of sickness has been treated, outer symptoms can then organically heal – nature will right itself.

Shamanic Initiation

Before anyone can be taught the techniques of healing, they first have to be initiated – to connect them with the invisible powers of nature, their ancestors and the helping spirits. Through these initiations they learn how to contain these powerful, healing energies, to protect themselves and others when working shamanically. Our courses provide the deep work necessary to prepare you to live and practice as a shaman.


Those who undertake our 3-year Shamanism Practitioner Course spend the first two years undergoing a series of challenging, initiatory rites. This involves an experiential immersion into the world of the shaman, whilst also offering a container for all future work. After the initiation then comes the study of utilising the power that has been generated for the benefit of others in a safe and effective way.


Meanwhile, our 9-month online foundation in Shamanism course takes participants on a intimate journey into the ancient practice of shamanism, covering all the key tenets of the path. This is the groundwork for further practice and provides a clear structure to act as a foundation for any advanced study.

Wixárika Nation

Second Sight is honoured to hold a long-forged collaboration with the Wixárika Nation of north central Mexico. Also known as Huichol, the Wixárika are a rare tribe in Meso America, who managed to resist both the Aztec and Spanish empires and keep their culture and traditions alive. They have a largely unbroken lineage stretching back at least 5000 years, as their traditions tell it. Again, this is rare in indigenous cultures in the modern world. 

The Wixárika have a unique role in helping us to reconnect to our own ancestors and spiritual heritage here. This was why they began sharing their traditions in the first place, after resisting any outsider influence. The fire spoke to them and told them directly it was westerners who were causing a lot of environmental destruction and needed reminding of their ancient ways. Traditions that are unbroken and have the rich heritage of a thousand-years-old animistic culture behind them, can teach us a great deal.