Benefits of Shamanism

“Shamanism is a term to describe a general practice of using the wisdom of the natural world and the Earth’s energies to heal oneself and to add beauty to one’s life… Shamanism includes many spiritual practices and does not have one doctrine of belief to follow.  Everything in the universe is made up of energy- even the human body! Everything has its own unique energy and is connected to everything else.  The energies of the universe and everything in it are accessible to each of us all as we are a part of that creation; this means each of us can speak directly to the Creator (or any other name you give to the Divine). Shamanism gives you tools to learn to communicate with those energies and to hear their responses.  From the answers, you can gain knowledge and wisdom that can be applied to your healing and can bring balance to your life.”

-From “THE MAGIC CIRCLE: SHAMANIC CEREMONIES FOR THE CHILD AND THE CHILD WITHIN” by Ann Dickie, Jennifer Engracio and Katherine Inksetter

Everyone on the planet has access to Great Spirit and can be the agent of healing in their own lives.  We live in a time where we have forgotten that we are co-creators with Spirit.  Life doesn’t just happen to us; we are attracting into our lives the situations, people, and life lessons that are helping us to refine our characters.  Each moment, no matter what is happening is a gift from a benevolent universe that is supporting us in growing and maturing towards our own enlightenment.  In other words, we are each born with a purpose and healing ourselves helps us to walk out our journey with more ease and grace.

I haven’t met anyone in my lifetime that has nothing to heal.  As long as we are alive, we are healing.  Many illnesses and imbalances have their roots on the spiritual level.  When folks go after the spiritual cause, the issue is often resolved. Indeed, we cannot grow and learn unless we are in a human body.  Sometimes, those spiritual issues come from other lifetimes that we came back to heal.  I have seen people heal themselves of diseases that doctors said were impossible to cure.  I have seen people heal themselves from traumas and shock including rape, loss of a loved one, and physical abuse.  There is nothing, it seems, that a sincere intent to heal cannot achieve.  The key is whether the individual really wants to heal the imbalances.   If they do, working with a shamanic energy practitioner can be a good support.

Some people have asked me, “I don’t get it.  Why wouldn’t someone want to heal?”  Well, a commitment to healing means taking responsibility for EVERYTHING that one has experienced and what they have created out of those experiences.  The truth is that it is easier to remain a victim than to take responsibility for what we are creating in our lives and not everyone is up to that challenge.  However, those who are will reap the rewards.  Those who are not ready will simply be presented more opportunities until they achieve their enlightenment.  This does NOT mean that we asked to be raped or to lose a loved one.  It means that life presented us certain opportunities to grow.  We see the differences in choices folks make all of the time.  For example, why do some people perish in jail when they are wrongfully interred while others, like Nelson Mandela, take responsibility for their reactions and learn instead to strengthen their characters?  Nelson Mandela once said that he did not become bitter because he realized early on during his incarceration that no one could control his mind and that it was the place where he was always in control of what he did and what stories he told about what he was experiencing.  He chose to never let go of his intent of freedom for his people.  This, to me, is a great example of someone exercising his shamanic root of power and quieting inner dialogue to move towards a goal (healing intent).  In shamanic terms, the intent to heal created a pathway in the universe for that reality to manifest.  Our beliefs about what is possible can stop us from accomplishing incredible things because they create static realities.  The more we can learn to take our thoughts less seriously, question our beliefs, and keep them fluid, the more freedom we are bound to experience.

In other words, committing to our own healing means being a light warrior:

“Having warrior’s freedom is to act on your free will and be responsible for your actions, learn from your mistakes and refine your character. Let life be your teacher. The very act of living your life will expose you to both your weaknesses and your strengths and allow you to grow within your own individuality. Right response to your weaknesses comes from seeking your inner balance, also known as your inner council of law.”

-From SHAMANIC CEREMONIES FOR A CHANGING WORLD by Marilyn Keffer and Gael Carter

I believe that every person on the planet can be a light warrior in his or her own lives.  My teacher once told me that the battle is always on the inside because the inside is the only thing we have control over.  Every person who does this battle on the inside makes it possible for others to follow.  The journey, then, becomes more easeful for all our relations- human, animal, plant, mineral, and ancestors.  When each of us has freedom from our ego and shadow selves, our species will evolve past violence and suffering.

I believe in empowering people with energetic tools they can take into their own lives to go after their own healing.  When you come in for reiki or lomilomi, you are taking a step toward your own healing.  You will leave with knowledge and tools you can take into your everyday life to continue healing.  Reiki is great for clearing lower vibrating energies from the auric field.  Reiki is a way to connect to your spirit guides as well as healing past life issues.  Reiki releases stagnant energy patterns in the body/mind/heart/spirit over time, allowing life-giving patterns to emerge.  Reiki can support someone in finding out the root causes of persistent issues so that they can be shifted through awareness and energetic tools. To book your one-hour reiki session with me in person, contact Our Angel’s Center for Wellbeing (403.226.7665).

Reiki can be done from a distance and hands off for folks who are sensitive to touch via Skype for those who do not live in Calgary or are not mobile.  To book a long distance session, you can email me directly at

written by Jennifer Engracio

The Ancient Art of Lomilomi

The Ancient Art of Lomilomi: Hawaiian Shamanic Bodywork

Written by Jennifer Engracio (Snow Hawk)

“Healing is the inalienable inheritance of each human.  Healing transforms the person into an actual temple in which time, space, and will converge.  Each person is a temple.  Then, knowing of such healing, each person can say, ‘Lomilomi is a commitment to myself.  My presence here is a sacred manifestation from me to myself to shower gratitude, growth, and bliss to my whole being.  I focus to enter into and sustain my temple in the heart, the pu’u.’  The body knows more about healing than your mind does.  Healing is creating a new thought pattern in your body.”

-from “WISE SECRETS OF ALOHA: LEARN AND LIVE THE SACRED ART OF LOMILOMI” by Kahuna Harry Uhane Jim and Garnette Arledge

Lomilomi is one of the most ancient, sacred art forms in Hawaiian Medicine.  One of the meanings of the word Lomilomi is “to shift.” Although Lomilomi is commonly recognized as a massage, to Hawaiians, Lomilomi is much more.  Lomilomi is a spiritual ceremony that opens up the physical body to allow more of the person’s spirit’s energy to shine through, therefore, increasing their ability to walk out their life’s purpose.  Lomilomi is a way of showing reverence for the body by connecting with the spirit of aloha- the breath and unconditional love of Spirit. Lomilomi restores the body’s natural state of relaxation by reminding it how to release stuck energy. Lomilomi teaches the receiver and giver both how to live in a state of aloha where the energy of Spirit moves through the body with ease and grace. Lomilomi is not something that is done TO a person. The universal energy of aloha moves the person to shift trauma and lower vibrating energy patterns trapped in the body by helping the receiver remember who they really are at the spiritual level. In this way, Lomilomi is a sacred gift the individual gives him/herself.

How is this different than going to see a Massage Therapist?

One RMT (Registered Massage Therapist) who came for a session said she’d never experienced anything like that in her life.  She said that as an RMT, they are trained to relieve pain but Lomilomi has the potential to get to the heart of what is creating the pain in the body and release it.  Of course, the amount of “releasing” that is done is completely up to the receiver (the client).  The giver (Lomilomi practitioner) simply works with the receiver’s personal healing intent for the session.

What can I expect in a session?

Well, with spiritual ceremonies, we can expect the unexpected!  Every session is different.  Every person is different.  The giver’s job is to listen with her spirit and heart and let the Divine move though and do the work.  Auntie Margaret Machado (deceased Lomilomi Master) used to say, “Lomilomi is praying work.” Unlike a regular massage session, there is prayer, singing, smudge, sound therapy, and other ceremonial aspects woven into each session.

Why do I do what I do?

I’ve been working pro bono in the Healing Arts since 2003. I’ve had years of training in neutrality and shamanic healing. I’ve put in many hours volunteering on healing teams and being of service in sweat lodges via The Institute of Shamanic Medicine ( I also have experience- not only from working with others but from doing personal ceremony and healing my own past and patterns that were not life-giving. I’ve become a warrior in the light through facing my own shadow side. With the support of my shamanic teachers, I healed a lifelong food addiction. I’ve had lots of experience working with children and families as a teacher and learning consultant. In short, I know the power of undergoing a journey of healing.  I also know the benefit to having mentors and a support system along the way that can guide one on his/her path with heart. And I know that life is a healing journey and that as long as I am alive, I will continue to heal myself.

My personal Medicine lends itself to gentleness and fierceness at the same time: Snow Hawk. I’ve known since I was a kid that I was good with my hands. Some of the earliest memories I have are of massaging pain out of relatives’ bodies.  “Magic hands,” my goddaughters used to say when they were littler.  I can see what people might need and how to make a difference. I have a way of seeing into the heart of things with my hawk eyes.  I am able to explain things at a level where the individual can understand it and act on it if s/he chooses.  I have a passion for supporting and inspiring others with an open heart and mind.  I offer my creativity, imagination, and spontaneity.  I offer the healing gift of song.  I am willing to follow through with what’s needed- to accompany others on their healing journeys. I care about the healing of the planet and Spirit’s children.  The Healing Arts are my contribution to this as a way to give back while I am in a human body.

I am happy to offer my services at Our Angels’ Center for Wellbeing ( starting in mid-June with such a stellar staff of intuitives and practitioners of the Healing Arts.

May the spirit of aloha move through you with ease and grace today and always.