How to Become a Shaman

When you know you want to become a shaman, what happens next? This 5 step list contains my must-dos on the path to becoming a shaman. 

by Sarah Petruno, Shamana

Being chosen as a shaman happens before our birth. Our own Spirit and our Spiritual Supporting Cast of Guides, Ancestors, Angels, and Advisors decides that we are to become a shaman in our next life. (Read more about this process here.)

A shaman is born a shaman and becomes one in this life only by choosing to do so.

While chosen by Spirit, and with our own Spirit, no one has to become a shaman.

It is a choice and being born a natural does not automatically make you an expert in your craft.

You could be a born natural baseball player, but never become one if you do not choose to play baseball.

Even a chosen baseball natural has to decide to pursue the path of baseball and hone their craft.

A shaman has to do the same.

A chosen shaman has to intentionally choose to become a shaman.

The path to becoming a shaman, once you have some level of awareness that this is your path, differs wildly from person to person, but there are some key features along the way.

Typically, this awareness can come through:

  • An unraveling process known as shamanic initiation (you may already be going through it and not know!)

  • A soul-searching process

  • A Spirit or a living intuitive telling you that you have these gifts

These are my loose stepping stones on the path to becoming a shaman after you have gained awareness that shamanism is your path

When you know you want to become a shaman, what happens next? This 5 step list contains my must-dos on the path to becoming a shaman. 

How to Become a Shaman

1. Decide you want to be one

Being a shaman means commitment. It means committing to the spiritual work that you do, and to the Spiritual World that you serve. You have to want it. You have to have a passion for the work. You have to decide that you actually want to do this work and serve in this role on this Earth. Your path to shamanism has likely been difficult, and there have likely been times where you have questioned your faith. Before you go any further, you have to decide if you’re in or if you’re out. Are you committed to this Spiritual Path and the work you will do, to the fullest extent of your being? Answering this question may take a period of soul searching. Look within and decide.

2. Find Mentors - In Physical and In Spirit

To become a shaman, you have to start learning skills, techniques, and practices. There are many teachers, and the true teacher, are the Spirits for whom you will work. You can learn from them through living teachers, you can learn from them directly in the development of your practice, or you can choose a combination.

Eventually, you will be working directly with Spirit and will need no physical world teacher as a mediator. However, those with an already honed link to Spirit and years of practice in shamanism can be immensely helpful to you in your own learning. Find a mentor or mentors, and start learning the craft. It doesn't have to be expensive or hard to work into your schedule - I have a suite of eCourses, meditations, intensives, and books that can prepare and mentor you - at a distance and for $100 or {much} less! 

3. Start developing your gifts

Shamans work to heal in both spiritual and energetic realms. You have to develop a working relationship with and a knowledge of the Spiritual World and related healing practices and techniques. You also have to begin to understand the energetic world and how to sense, manipulate and move energy for the purposes of healing. You have to learn how to do both of these things safely, responsibly and ethically on your behalf and on your client’s behalf. Get started on the energetic portion of developing your gifts in the Healer Activation: Energy Attunement eCourse - click here learn more and enroll. 

4. Take practice clients

Once you get a grasp on spiritual and energetic safe and ethical practices, you’ll need to start trying these things out on physically living subjects and taking your abilities out for test drives. Plants, animals, friends, and family are all potential individuals who may be willing to allow you to practice your gifts - you just have to ask. You’ll learn things as you go, and your Spirits will teach you new techniques and skills incrementally this way. The best way to learn is by doing.

5. Identify your niche

Your gifts and role as a shaman are unique. You have a specific audience, purpose and niche as a shaman in this life. After all, you’ve likely been a shaman for many lives before this one and there’s a reason that you are a shaman again. The lessons are different in this life, as is your purpose. Identify what you are meant to do, specifically. Reflect on your life up until this point, look at the individuals with whom you have worked, and identify themes. Identify commonalities. Start finding your specific niche as a shaman and purpose in this life. Who are you meant to serve and why?

After that, keep going. Keep practicing, keep learning, and keep moving forward when things get hard.

A shaman is always learning and growing, just like all other souls on this planet.

Each path is different, respect yours and try not to compare.


With love,


Get cliff notes on shamanism! the  ebook, shamanic basics, breaks down core practices in short,  concise, and easy to understand language - click here to learn more and get your copy!

P.S. Find out what it means to be a shaman here, and read part one of this post, How a Shaman is Chosen, here.

LAST UPDATED: June 19, 2015

Disclaimer: By law, we are required to state that we are not a medical doctors, the information presented here is for education purposes only, and our advice is not meant to be replaced for medical diagnosis and/or treatment by your doctor. This website is run by a shaman and an herbalist. The statements made on this blog and website represent our view of the world given our unique set of life experiences. These are truths as we see and understand the world at the time the words were written. Statements here have not been evaluated by the FDA and are meant for educational purposes only. We cannot guarantee successful outcomes. Your health is your responsibility. Please view our full terms & conditions and site disclaimers, located in the webpage footer.

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