I think of myself as a very modern "Shaman".
I do not have a pony tail, braided hair or any other affectations that some Indians wear as part of their persona.
I am a card carrying Indian, and I have no need to engage in behavior to make me feel “more” Indian.
Believe it or not, the federal government makes Indians get ID cards and they have to prove they are at
minimum 25% Indian blood to qualify.] As to whether you believe I am a shaman, or in the existence of shamans at all,
is not my concern. Your reality is yours, not mine.
My mother was a full blooded Mohawk Indian.For those who do not know it, Mohawk is a tribe, not just a haircut.
The Mohawks were the “keepers of the eastern gate” one of the five tribes of the Iroquois Nation.
The name Iroquois is a French attempt to pronounce “Hilokoa”, which means “killer people”.
The current Mohawk (Akwesasne) reservation is partly in New York State and partly in Canada.
My father was a full blooded Italian, who was born (and died) in Italy.
My last name “Barnaba” comes from St. Barnabas. He was one of the original disciples of Jesus.
His original name was Jonses, but was given the name Barnabas, which means, Son of Exhortation/Son of Consolation.
So in more ways then most shamans, I am a bridge to two different worlds.
My metaphysical abilities came to me through my mother,who had it and never once,(consciously) applied it.
I get other energetic benefits through my father because of this lineage back to being a disciple of Christ.
I did not know I had this “gift” until late in life. I grew up “normal” in a modern city, off the reservation.
I was an altar boy in the Catholic Church, (fortunately, without incidents).
I went to public schools (when they actually taught useful things, well) and got good grades.
I later abandoned the faith, lost mine and became an agnostic, then an atheist.
I was a non-believer in all “alternative” beliefs, and had no faith in medical doctors, TV evangelists or politicians.
By extension, I had lost faith in myself, although at the time I did not understand the connection between god and self.
After a strange event at a meeting, I listened to some stories from the person I had just met, a chiropractor.
Soon after, with much cajoling by the chiropractor friend, I agreed to try a few sessions with an energy healer.
I became convinced there was more to life than we knew (and organized religion was telling us).
I realized I had a gift only after looking at other “alternative” healing modalities and getting a Reiki attunement.
I have looked into and tried all sorts of things: energy healing, Reiki, holographic re-patterning, sound therapy,
light (color) therapy, breath work, Sukyo Mahikari and other things. I looked into and/or tried brain gyms,
NLP, kinesiology, acupressure, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, natural path healing and herbs.
I had inner child therapy, hypnosis (and later regression hypnosis), crystal therapy, Psych-K and other things.
I studied astrology, tarot, Greek mythology, Feng Shui, re-birthing, dowsing, the chakra systems,
psychology and re-visited the bible. I learned about ghosts and what the experience of death is like.
I learned about what has been excluded from the bible, the Knights Templar, astral travel, candle magic,
Gnostic Christians, Atlantis, Cathars, dream analysis and using crystals.
I met wounded healers, wannabe’s, charlatans and some very gifted people.
I saw psychics, went to seminars and just became a sponge, wanting to know of many things
firsthand and learn if they work and how they work.
I met witches and warlocks, had spells cast on me and learned of the “dark” side of spiritual affairs.
I looked at other belief systems and religions, read books and went online to learn.
I have tried to integrate (or in some cases discarded) what I have seen and heard.
After this whirlwind of learning, which took years and a hefty percentage of my income,
I got to where I am today. During this period the energy healer I was seeing just said to me one day,
“I can’t see you any longer”. I was dismayed at first but then she said I reached the top of her ability to
assist me and she was passing me on to someone who could continue my growth.
That person was a practicing (Sioux) shaman. He was very good and powerful. I went to him for a long time.
Eventually he began to tell me I was ready to “take clients”. I waited a few more years, wanting to “perfect’ my skills.
In reality, I was using that as an excuse for NOT practicing. Frankly, I never wanted to be a shaman.
Knowing things I do is often a burden. Finally I arrived at the point where “Spirit” was past cajoling and pressured me
into using my gift,(Free will is not as free as you may have been taught it is).
I have come to believe and indeed “know” of things that most people simply can not believe.
I now am ready to utilize all of this knowledge. I believe my resistance to “hanging out a shingle” has paid off,
allowing me advance beyond where I would have been had I begun to “practice” earlier.
I still have reservations and will only work with clients who are open minded and willing to help themselves.
I have a limited practice.