Are You a Modern Master Shaman?

I have been living a double life since 1993. You may know me from my spiritually-oriented websites, like, as well as my books, the latest of which is A Call to Greatness, the Exciting Adventure Your Soul Wants You to Take.  But I am also a management consultant who installs software in the apparel industry.  I have been working with computers in the corporate world for over thirty years, and it is this work that pays my mortgage. 

For most of my “spiritual” years, I have felt a conflict between these two sides of my life, a need to keep them separate, and a nagging feeling that I should be devoting myself completely to spiritual endeavors. And of course, there is that longing in my heart, for once I awakened to Spirit and felt that deep, loving connection, it seemed such a wonderful thing if I could spend all of my time there instead of in the demanding, noisy corporate world.

And yet, try as I may, my many fulfilling and fun adventures on the spiritual path have not enabled me to reach financial comfort.  And when a corporate severance package enabled me to put myself in spiritual service for a year, I earned only enough for a life of near-poverty, something that didn’t seem in the least bit spiritual!  And so, I continue to walk both paths.

In a recent Pathfinder session, a bio-chemist asked if she should leave that field to pursue life as a healer, even though she had not found financial success there. I understood this question completely.  And of course, there is a strong religious tradition for doing just that, a path that is clearly right for some. But in her case, and apparently in mine as well, Spirit answers: “This is not asked of you.”

And so, I would like to propose another path, one that also has a long and honored tradition, the path of the Master Shaman.  (In case you are not familiar with shamanism, please just think of a shaman as a healer who uses plants as medicines and animal spirits as guides to help people to get well, mentally, physically and spiritually.)

Here’s what Michael Harner says in his wonderful book, The Way of the Shaman:

“The shaman operates in nonordinary reality only a small portion of his time, and then only as needed to perform shamanic tasks, for shamanism is a part-time activity. Among the Jivaro, the Conibo, the Eskimo, and most other primitive groups, the master shaman is usually an active participant in the economic, social and even political affairs of the community.  He is commonly an accomplished hunter or gardener, craftsperson and artist, thinker, and responsible family and community member.  Indeed, the ability of the master shaman to operate successfully in two different realities is seen as evidence of power.”

What a wonderful, freeing concept!  Not only are we not expected to turn away from the secular world, but success in that world can be seen as an expression of great power, a way to show that you are able to navigate the passage back and forth in different realities, and be a shining light across the full spectrum.

And so, if you are like me, I invite you to become a Modern Master Shaman, to feel free to just be who you are, living and working, exploring and expanding in multiple realities, spending some time in the warm arms of Spirit and some out in the world, taking care of ourselves and our family in the best way we can. 

And every day, you can look at your life and its amazing variety, all of the experiences it brings to you and say:  I am a Master Shaman.  Everything I do is a spiritual experience.  I am this.

Love, peace & joy,



kay 27th March 2013 9:49 am

Nice perspective. Thank you, Carrie.

zorro 27th March 2013 10:53 am

I came to this same conclusion years ago and that is why I kept the hi-tech career in software and IT. The upside is it gives me real-life opportunities to be part of the transformational process of society by being actively involved in global projects. I also meet people I never would have met otherwise which greatly expands my universe and options. Plus, it is a lot of fun and very personally empowering to ride that fine edge in wearing 2 hats. Rather than run from the material, I like to dig right in and affect it.

Jennie 27th March 2013 2:18 pm

Thank you you have validated what I was beginning to believe was true moving forward.


netdragon 27th March 2013 5:36 pm

To Carrie Hart,

Don't be so hard on yourself and don't feel the need to label yourself, or compare yourself to an ideological image of a spiritual seeker. You do what you need to do in order to keep yourself nourished and enjoy life a bit. That's expected for any being who incarnates at this time. So long as you live in integrity, nothing more could be expected.

Btw, people who distance themselves too much from society and obviously its demands won't create the anchoring/grounding necessary to help uplift this reality.

learningtoflow 27th March 2013 11:08 pm

This mirrored a conversation I had with my manager in my annual review today.
I am a Spiritual Life Coach and felt for years that I was supposed to be doing that. I was laid off a few years ago and did that full time, but like you...I earned only a pittance. My wife eventually asked me to come back to the corporate world and even after doing so, I felt like I was supposed to be doing the spiritual stuff.
I have finally come to realize I AM doing the spiritual stuff every day in my job. I am modeling what it is to be an awakened spiritual being and what it means to conduct oneself with complete integrity. I coach others every day as they are going through the awakening process I went through over the past few decades.
But since I told someone today almost verbatim what you explain here, I wanted to let you know that I appreciate you sharing this.


Peg D. 28th March 2013 12:41 pm

There is deep healing that needs to be done. Wait till April when the population will begin to understand the deep pain business and corporations have caused earth and her people.

It sounds like folks here have just scratched the surfaces of their spiritual paths. Please keep seeking, keep allowing your heart to direct your paths.

There are levels of experience, not judging or placing value here, but as you heal spiritually there is a gradual deepening and depth of understanding.

Seek out those who have completed full kundalini awakening, this takes years by the way, and don't seek spiritual guidance from someone who charges money! I know this is difficult to reach this level but you can do it.

All permanent physical healing comes from within, not from a healer--it can't. The healing may happen but the base cause at the DNA level is not healed. When you reach mastery, you become the master healer within. And, you recognize that by healing someone, you take away their divine sovereignty.

If you don't understand some of this or feel angered, then you know your next step. Love

zorro 28th March 2013 5:26 pm

Peg D.

Can you give us some examples from what has been said above to explain your statement, "It sounds like folks here have just scratched the surfaces of their spiritual paths."? What experience expressed above sounds lesser or narrower than your "deep" knowing? How would you know if someone has had a gradual deepening and depth of understanding?

You said, "If you don't understand some of this or feel angered, then you know your next step. Love." Oh yes, we do understand, and yes, what did you say is the next step? We agree whole heartedly. And thank you for the beautiful reminder, "Please keep seeking, keep allowing your heart to direct your paths." Amen.

We are creating a new Earth here, and I would presume that it would be a little different than what we are leaving behind, a world of judgement. So please, lets be careful of our character "assessments". Let's see the best in everyone, their highest potential! In love and light...

bodyandsoul 30th March 2013 9:42 pm

i think the general message of this is good, i interpret it as "be where you are". but i don't believe that a modern day shaman (or spiritual person/ healer/etc) is someone who necessarily is contributing to both spiritual and "regular" lives. It's probably bc i am an indigo soul here to implement or create new systems, so being in the corporate world is not even a choice. i can't do it and i can't be there. in fact, i will literally be kicked out and directed elsewhere by my soul. does it make me less in any sense bc it's right for me to be "full-time spiritual"? no absolutely not (and i know that's not what this msg is saying). what it comes down to is what is right for me right now. it's right for some others, yes, to continue doing the "ordinary" work and the "spiritual" work, but definitely it's not for everyone. i don't think it's always the case either, that those who pursue doing their spiritual work full time are always poor. i have seen tons of cases against that. i think it's where you are personally, and likely how much you've healed that determines what you do.

Rainbow Princess 31st March 2013 5:29 pm

Thank You! :thumbs:



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Carrie Hart

I was raised in a non-religious family and for the majority of my life, had no particular interest in spiritual exploration.  Yet spirit came to me, unbidden.

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