The Shaman’s Journey

By Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls


Intent + Emotion + Impeccability = Shaman


There are 3 elements to being a Shaman: intent, emotional control and impeccable skills.  Intent is the basis of manipulating this reality for anything including healing and manifestation. Reality is quite malleable really. It is just that we don’t use our will or intent to make it the best it could be. Often we say we want something, but deep down in our hearts be really don’t want that. And then we cry out in anguish because we don’t have that “thing” in our lives.


Our reality is completely and entirely based upon our intent. You say, How can that be? I did not create this world, this country or this house. But you do accept the intentions given to you by your parents, your relatives, your school, your community, and your society. We have been taught as babies to accept the realities of others for generations. This is simple psycho-sociology 101. We are even taught to fear anything but these realities and so life changes at a very slow pace indeed!


So yes, you aligned your intent for housing to that of your relatives. Your idea of social success is the same intention as your society at large. This is not necessarily a bad thing! But it shows the power of intent. One more example is the phrase we hear “If it is not good for me or meant to be then God will not give it to me.” I think this is probably a good intent to inherit because you intend only good things for yourself this way. Without intending only good things in some way, you would have to assume responsibility for all the bad things that happen to as well. Get my drift? You are responsible.


So how do we bring more good things into our lives?

By intending only good things. Dwell only on good things. Whenever you think a negative thought, immediately replace it with a good intention. Picture abundance in your life. Practice looking for goodness around you. Intent creates your reality-what are you intending for yourself? For others? You know the phrase, “Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it”, I guarantee you will get what you really wish for.


First, you must be in touch with your real wishes, not just your fantasies. You real wishes are the ones with emotional buttons on them. The wishes that make you cry or scare you enough to make you cringe, or bring a huge smile across your face just thinking about them. They are buried deep inside and sometimes are really echoes of other people’s intentions for you. If your father intended for you to be a doctor but you didn’t want to do that, you may still walk through your life without a purpose because you accepted your father’s intent for you all along. This is the stuff counseling is made of.


But for a Shaman, it is using intent properly now that can heal issues of soul loss like that for others. All healing begins with intent. Unless the patient himself intends to get well, the reality will be his own intent of illness.

This knowledge can be very frustrating to the healer who knows that complete healing is just a change of mind away. But intent is free will and no one has the right to usurp another’s free will. Many times I have wept bitterly before the campfire for those people who chose to suffer rather than to heal. There is only one reason for the intent to not heal and that is fear.

Isn’t it odd that people fear change more that anything else in life? And yet, that is the one thing that is guaranteed with your passage! I invite you all to embrace change. Embrace each new day, each gray hair, each meal, each encounter, and each tiny adventure of every day. Learn to enjoy the most natural thing in life – change. And learn to use it to your advantage.


The Value Of Emotions

The power of emotion is a subject that few have talked about yet it is a gift given to us of immense value. A Shaman not only realizes the value of emotion but learns to control that power to effect healing and manifestation of all good things. After all, healing is a manifestation of health. The hunter in the forest waits for his prey patiently and with emotional control. He does not shout out when he sees a deer or moan loudly when the day is rainy. He controls his emotions to manifest food for the tribe.


But what is the power of emotion?

Have you ever been to a football game and you really got into it and cheered and clapped and when the game was over you think that time passed really fast? Perhaps you have felt this when you have gone to a fantastic movie. Or have you ever sat in the dentist’s chair for 20 minutes and felt like it took forever? It was your emotions that caused time to speed up or slow down. When you are excited and happy and really into something, the time has a way of speeding up and the event passes quickly. But in the dentist’s office your were worried, frustrated, didn’t want to be there, and time took forever. So positive emotions speed up time and negative emotions can slow time down. This is only one example of the power of emotions but I offer this one to start because you have all experienced this in your own lives.


Shamans watch and observe and over thousands of years have honed this manipulation of emotional power down to a science. It is called time travel or time shifting in Shamanic terms and is used to create time to prevent an accident, time to allow for necessary things to occur, time for someone to change one’s mind. The power is in the emotion. Controlling the emotions controls the power.


A Shaman will tell you that the only reason for emotions is to manifest what is needed for healing! Don’t waste your time feeling jealous or hurt or angry. You will just extend the length of time of the apparent hurt. And if you want to savor a beautiful thing or

spend quality time with a loved one, don’t get too excited about it or it will be over in a flash.


People today run their lives by how they feel emotionally. Every single thing that happens, they judge its goodness by asking themselves, “How does this make me feel?” If you think about it you will admit that you ask yourself that question as much as one hundred times each day. But is that any way to run your life? Perhaps today taking a bath makes you feel terrible and so you do not take a bath but then next week taking a bath will make you feel good and so you take a bath. It becomes a whimsy, a folly, a willow in the wind without any reason or rhyme to run your life on your feelings. And yet, this is really how people judge everything that comes and goes in their lives! How can any decent choices be made like this?


Where did we learn this?

We learned to live based on our emotional responses when we were very little. If we wanted something we yelled and cried and carried on until we got it. We learned that expressing negative emotions would get us what we were looking for from our parents and siblings. We learned to manipulate others with our emotions to get what we thought we wanted. And what we wanted changed all the time. Every now and then we would reach a crevasse and not even know what we wanted! But it has always been, “How does this make me feel? I feel good, and then I keep it and get more. I feel bad then I throw it away even if it was really good for me or even if I will probably want it tomorrow.” We let emotions rule our life and they are nothing but buttons on a soda machine.

Emotions can’t gain you success, abundance, happiness, right relationships…or can they?


A Shaman says that by controlling your emotions you gain the power of emotions to manifest healing. And it’s true! By eliminating negativity in all its forms in your life you attract goodness to yourself. Positive attracts more positive. By actively controlling your emotions and seeing that each time you think a negative thought you immediately and consciously replace it with a positive happy, uplifting thought, you can completely turn your life around from losing to winning. Many of our modern gurus have written books on this subject. Read any one of them and they are saying, control your emotions and change your life.


Get an attitude of a winner and start winning.

Be in control of your emotions don’t let them be in control of you. Because if you let emotions run your life you have given up the rudder and sails and you are floundering around going no where.


It is imperative that a Shaman be in control of his or her emotions. Many forces in the universe know what “feel good babies” we are and come to play on our weakness. They tempt us and prick us with things that push our buttons to cause us to rely on our emotional selves. Why do they do this? Because they are not human and do not have the beautiful power of emotions. They are jealous and if they can’t play like us they want to watch us “play” in possibly not very nice ways. They too, know the power of emotion and they know that only some sentient beings have this power. They watch us as we

throw it away frivolously instead of taking control and using the power of emotions to manifest joy and healing and abundance and beauty. Can you imagine how silly and soft we look to outsiders?


If you want to heal, think healing thoughts, get excited about healing, work yourself up into a healing mode, and really put yourself into it. Shamans use drumming and chanting and power songs and dancing to bring the power of emotions into their healing ceremonies. Remember that football game? Get into your intent for abundance or healing or joy. Sing, dance, and pray out loud. With the proper intent set in place and the proper degree of emotion as well as the knowledge of the ways to accomplish it, anything can be yours, including a complete remission from cancer. I have seen this with my own eyes.


Many philosophers and psychologists have sought to do away with emotion, so that by eliminating all emotion we can be centered in mind and body. A Shaman says, embrace the power of your gift of emotion but find the knowledge to use it with wisdom in deliberate creation of goodness. Don’t get rid of anything about you. Learn all your tools and then practice with intention and emotional control.



The final key to living in this world as a healer is to incorporate our skills and disciplines into our hearts in the most impeccable way possible. It is not enough to have knowledge or good intentions. The Shaman strives constantly to be the most disciplined and the highest skilled hunter he can be.  He is not concerned with his own life, obsessed with any outcome, or allowing himself to give power away to anyone or anything. It is in the control and direction of his power that he hones his skills to become an impeccable hunter in the forest.


A Shaman is a warrior, a hunter. He is on his highest alert, fully prepared, moving deliberately with his intention held firmly in place in the forefront of his mind. He is ready for anything, being emotionally centered although feeling the excitement of the hunt and the anticipation of the successful outcome. No one could sneak up on a good hunter. It is he who is doing the stalking. The hunter knows his skills, has practiced a long time, and knows where to look for the game he needs. A hunter has heightened his senses so he can smell the wind and see in low light. He knows a bear or wolf can attack him at anytime so he does his very best every minute. To do less may mean his death.


What causes the Shaman to seek impeccability?

The Shaman knows that death walks with him on his left side close enough to reach out and touch him at any moment. It is in this understanding that all we have is today, right now, to be the best we can be, that we are called to be constantly walking the path of impeccability. When one’s mortality is always a present thought we begin to see our lives with different eyes. Ask anyone suffering from a terminal disease and they will tell you how precious it is to watch a sunrise, to see a child sleeping, to hug your child. We learn to wash the dishes as though it is the last time we may ever wash the dishes. It becomes a ceremony, an act of love and a joy to perform.  Death becomes a friend, an ally, a guide to what is most important right now in our lives, what we most need to do and be and say to those we love. There is no time to wait until tomorrow.


A life lived impeccably is filled with joy, with wonder and with satisfaction that every action, thought and word was the very best effort one could make. This is the core of loving yourself in the highest and truest form. This is the true source of personal power and this power is only available by living an impeccable life.


The hunter chooses to bring sustenance to himself and his people by being the very best hunter he can be. He is willing to accept any challenge he may encounter in that forest with skill, awareness and a sense of anticipation in success. Your life circumstance is the forest for you. Stand in your forest with impeccability and you will find yourself surrounding with love and joy and adventure for every minute of your short time on this planet. Become all that you can be. It’s a journey that continues throughout many lifetimes and stays with you for all eternity.


Copyright 2004, Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls, By Permission Only


 Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls has been a practicing Shaman for over 50 years. She recently received a dispensation to reach out to those who have a desire to learn about a Shaman’s path and now offers an ongoing course at Many people on this earth have been Shamans in other lives and only need to reconnect with their lost knowledge and skills to bring Shamanic healing back to Mother Earth and its peoples. This is Shaman Elder’s goal. Please visit her website at or write her an email for a free consultation at


Return to a Brief Guide to Shamanism