Laurelann Porter, The Singing Shaman

“See Beauty. Choose Joy.”

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Laurelann talks about how and why she decided to become a shaman.

Excerpts from the transcript.

My name is Laurelann Porter and I wanted to just share with you why I started on the path to being a shaman. And of course it started like most mythic hero’s journeys. It started with a refusal of the call. About 20 years ago I read the book “Shaman Healer, Sage” by Alberto Villoldo. And I was very inspired. I wanted to be a shaman right then and there. I wanted to just make that be my life path. At the time I didn’t see how that was possible. I was a young single mother and it all felt like a pipedream or a fantasy, like something that couldn’t happen in the real world. However I did convince one of my best friends to do the training. So one of my best friends is a trained shaman and I really enjoyed hearing all about her healing journey. They call us wounded healers when we train to be a shaman because we have to heal our own wounds in order to heal others. And really truly, it’s not that we are doing the healing. This is one of the most profound teachings that we learn. All we are doing is holding sacred space so that the client and spirit can enter into a healing relationship. And then what I do, is I act as the magnifying glass for that intention. So I help you help yourself. And that’s kind of the beauty of it is that we all have the capacity to heal ourselves. We just have to take the steps to do it.

So it wasn’t until 2020 that I had a bit of a mental and physical health crisis that I even thought that I could be on the path to be a shaman. So after several months, I took a medical leave of absence and I began working with an acupuncturist and a naturopath and I started meditating in a couple of different meditation modes. And I thought “Oh I’m gonna Google The Four Winds Society,” which is the training program, the school for shamanism that Alberto Villoldo founded. Sure enough, they were doing online teaching. They were well equipped to begin teaching folks during the pandemic. And I learned so much. I transformed so much. It’s all been a really beautiful, sometimes very profound and sometimes a bit painful, the transformations that I have been going through. But it’s all on a really gorgeous path. And I’m so grateful that I get to be of service to my community now, to help other people to find their own healing journey. So the thing that I also really love about the work that we do is that every single shaman has slightly different fortes. A lot of shamans are also trained in other healing modalities. In fact a lot of the people who trained with me are either medical doctors who wanted to incorporate more spiritual healing into their practice or they are counselors or therapists who want to also bring in these kinds of deep energetic healing modalities into the work that they do. So for me, my unique approach is, I happen to have a real facility with dreams, so I get to work with people understanding what their dreams are trying to tell them and understanding how to incorporate the messages from the higher self that come through our dreams. Also because I am a creative person and a theatre person and a creative writer, ritual and ceremony are very important to everything a shaman does and for me in particular I find that when I add in the elements of production into my healing services it becomes something even more profound than what I would have just learned in the training. Being a singer I never realized until I got a message from one of my ancestors who said “Don’t forget to sing.” And so I incorporate singing as a kind of sound healing into my sessions as well. My clients have told me not to give that up. When you think about it the singing is a vibration and that vibration is a kind of healing vibration that helps our energetic system get re-attuned to a vibration that is more aligned with healthiness, wellness and being aligned with a person’s destiny.

The other part about what makes me unique is when I did my doctoral degree I trained in what we call critical autoethnography. In a nutshell what critical autoethnography does is it asks us to dig deeply into understanding what our own culture is, the culture of “me,” however you define your culture. And it asks us to look at what beliefs from that culture, what habits from that culture, what structures and systems from that culture might be preventing us from living our best lives. So I have built into what I do some aspects of critical autoethnography, specifically taking really deep looks at who we are and how we exist in the world and how our inherited or learned beliefs are either helping us or harming us on our journey toward wellness.

So, if you are the kind of person who has tried a lot of things and you just haven’t found the right mix, you’re in the right place. If you are dissatisfied with the way Western medicine handles (or mishandles) holistic wellness and the way a lot of our medical practitioners tend to be sort of pharma-heavy in their solutions to unwellness, and you are sick and done with that, you are in the right place. If you are willing to do the inner work which is going to help you on your healing journey then you are on the right place. If you are not willing to do that inner work then our work together is not going to be very effective. Because I can only magnify what your intentions are. If you don’t have intentions to truly heal yourself from the inside out, then what I do might be very relaxing and that might be great for a lot of people but it won’t give you the kind of deep transformation that … if you’re looking for it, you’ve probably found me here. You need to be open to having energy and spirit do the work with you. If you don’t believe that that can work, you could give it a try and it might work but you really have to be at least willing to give it a try. You have to be willing to allow spirit and energy with with you and your intentions while I hold sacred space for you and be a witness for your journey.

I also work with the tarot. I’ve been doing the tarot for myself and friends for 20 years. And so I just recently started incorporating it into this healing practice. There are a lot of different ways to use the tarot. I love using the tarot in combination with dreams. Both dreams and the tarot are speaking to us in symbols and when we put those symbols in conversation with each other we can come up with some really profound insights.

Welcome, I’m really glad you’re here and I’m super grateful for the opportunity to help you on your healing journey.

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