Lauren, and All,

VERY INTERESTING…and what a group of wise, articulate folks who think things through before discussing! I am very glad to read these discussions as with the shamanic teaching we have a very different “playing field” than for instance, my having a paid apprenticeship program for people to learn Earth Acupuncture. We work together on 12 properties and they have to gradually deal with the client, the job, the entire installation, the finished drawings of the properties and the re-interview of the family. And now, beginning the professional Sleep Study for Adults with Earth Acupuncture, we will be following a more stringent set of guidelines and criteria or we will never get a a grant.

In shamanism, where we are not, thankfully, certified where we are honoring the Ancestors and the oral traditions handed down for generation after generation, it does make it interesting out in the world of “business”. A moral compass, I like to say.

Best to All, Karen

Dear Dee and all –

I basically agree with the other posts. As for people calling themselves "shamans" – feh, I need to pick my battles and that ain’t one of them, annoying as it is. The use of your name… that personal and completely different. I come down a lot stronger in terms of the use of your name. The same thing happened to me some years back (a former student of other studies, but only peripherally of shamanism, implying that I’d trained him to teach). I didn’t ask the person to remove my name – I TOLD him. Do the workshop if you want, but remove my name. Turns out he thought maybe no one would show up to his workshop without my name to attract them! I suggested he could find out, since he would be removing my name. (He ultimately decided not to offer his workshop, a one-time thing at a large wiccan-pagan festival.)

Many of us have worked for years to establish credibility and good reputations as teachers and practitioners of shamanism. Often we’ve done that in relative isolation, gradually becoming known to students and clients who have no other frame of reference for what ethical and appropriate shamanic practices and teaching can look like. To ALLOW my name to be used inappropriately (not via permission, but by not speaking up once I was aware of it) is like a new, convoluted way to sabotage myself!

And where does that leave our students who have REALLY done the work? They deserve to not have that association devalued, which is what happens when others are untruthfully allowed to claim it. And lest "devalued" sound too monetary: People PAY for workshops/healing practices because they understand that what we do has value. The person has used your name BECAUSE IT HAS VALUE.

I don’t have a referral list on my site, since our former SR students can qualify for Sandy’s practitioner list. But having read the comments here, I may add something to my website, i.e. "I gladly verify references for those who have studied and successfully completed trainings with me. If you have questions, please contact…" Something like that may weed out (and discourage) the most egregious misuses.

So, while I agree that the universe does take care of weeding people out, I’m part of this universe and I’ll help as I can with the weeding that shows up on my patch.

Respectfully, and with bright blessings,

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