It’s been a walk through the ancient ways; each discovery taking me one step closer to the shamanic traditions–the same traditions that are at the core of all healing practices and are 30,000 years old–so far. As a young girl growing up in Seattle, steeped in the Catholic traditions with a loving dose of spiritualism from my mom–she was a Catholic practicing Zen–my dreams were filled with premonitions of daily life occurences along with an overwhelming pull and connection to the Native American traditions.

After moving to L.A. in the mid 80’s to pursue acting, I relinquished my Catholicism embracing Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. This deepened my spirituality connecting me to my father in a healing presence that I had not experienced during his lifetime. Through other alternative means like past life regression, psychic journaling and automatic writing, I found my world cracking open to the unseen. My life began to fill with ancient voices, benevolent middle world spirits and an insatiable quest to make sense of the longing I have always had to help others heal. I was eventually introduced to Native American Pow Wows, Sweatlodge and Vision Quest. I made of point of traveling to sacred places like Bear Butte, The Painted Desert, Sedona vortexes and Taisekiji Temple in Japan.

In September of 2007 I began a shamanic herbal apprenticeship with Julie Charette Nunn.  My mother was quite ill at the time but we weren’t yet sure about the cause of her illness.  I remember Julie gave us each a seed and told us to walk her land with the seed. We were then to ask the seed what would life be a year from now.  I was told one word, “motherless”.  My mother passed away that night.  The wisdom and healing of the plants shaped me in ways I continue to carry today.

Still seeking, in 2008 I took Michael Harner’s The Way of the Shaman Basic Workshop with Beth Beurkens from the Foundation For Shamanic Studies (FSS).  I distinctly remember how quickly and abundantly the room filled with the Ancients as she held the candle and whistled them in.  I wasted no time in signing up for the Two Week Intensive and then I knew I was home.  Everything fell into place.  I was experiencing the beautiful paradox of learning and yet it was all familiar.  I continued my studies with FSS completing the Three Year Program in 2012.  I have also trained in Shamanic Counseling with Arvick Baghramian as well as Compassionate Depossession, Curse Unraveling and Mediumship with Betsy Bergstrom.

It is the incredible beauty of the compassionate helping spirits that surrounds us daily; speaks to us through all life forms: the animals, the trees, plants, rocks, rivers, lakes, mountains and oceans.  It is within this beauty that I find solace, wisdom and a well of healing that never runs dry.

© Copyright 2018 Denise Paulette. All rights reserved.