As first-time home buyers, we were apprehensive about this new experience. The house in the San Francisco Bay Area was more than 100 years old and several families had lived here before us. Even though the structure is old, it felt alive with fresh possibilities and welcoming when we moved in a couple years ago. We sought shamanic help from a local core shamanic practitioner to see what the house and land needed, to remove any problematic “energies,” and to work with us as we improved the property and settled in. The shaman did some work as requested, gave us some direction, and brought back a power animal guardian for the land and home. We also learned what plants the property desired and how to serve the birds that frequently visited.

There was huge tree in the backyard with a large hollow in its trunk. The tree was about 80 feet tall and the base almost 5 feet across. We were concerned about the hollow weakening the trunk, and the tree falling over onto the house or an adjacent building. We asked the shaman to communicate with the tree to find out if it could remain standing for a long time more, and thus our communication with the tree started.

The tree identified itself as a mother, and seemed to indicate that it had many years to live. But within a few months, the tree grew mushrooms along its trunk, speaking to us directly that she was indeed dying. I think the tree wanted to tell her stories and have her life recognized before leaving this world. We had a shamanic ceremony recognizing the life of the tree, and thanking the tree for growing mushrooms and talking to us. Cutting the tree revealed that a catastrophe was averted, as the interior trunk was indeed rotting. The same morning the arborist came to cut the tree down, a squirrel fell out of the heights of the tree. We had never seen a squirrel fall out of any tree ever before. So we felt confident that the large tree would be safely removed, because any “accident” energy was absorbed and dispelled by the squirrel. The tree was removed with care and her wood distributed to a local mill, bowl carvers, spoon makers, and wood artists. We feel content that we honored the tree and are grateful that her spirit lives on in the many beautiful creations her body will provide.

Elma Kim, FSS student

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FSS Core Shamanism Chronicles features brief personal shamanic healing accounts and practical applications of shamanism in daily life. By sharing our inspiring stories with each other, we hope to reveal the power, effectiveness, and beauty of shamanic practice.

If you have a core shamanic practice story to share, use our CONTACT FORM and put “Chronicles” in the subject line. Submission guidelines: Accounts should be no more than a few paragraphs long and offer a specific personal example of healing or applying core shamanism methods in everyday life. As always, keep in mind ethical standards of confidentiality and permission: Ask your clients for permission before sharing and do not reveal their names. If your submission is selected for inclusion in the Chronicles, you may use your name or choose to be listed as anonymous.