1: The Shaman

“All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.” – Swami Vivekananda


The Shaman follows the Wanderer (more commonly known as the Fool) in the Wildwood Tarot deck. This progression marks the inner sojourn of the soul. While the Wanderer is just beginning his journey, propelled forward by fate and other unseen forces, the Shaman represents the awakening of the mind and integration into the oneness of the Universe.

In a more traditional tarot deck, the Shaman would be represented as the Magician instead. The Gilded Tarot Companion illustrates the Magician as “fully aware of the power of his will…and the importance of his choices” and “fully aware of the laws of cause and effect, actions and consequences.” He exemplifies the need to properly motivate yourself and to proceed responsibly, with determination and conviction, but to also be aware that power can be a manipulative, and the need for control can turn this lovely card into a nightmare. Heed the warning, and do not abuse or exploit what you have been given.

The Shaman is a mystical seeker, who is one with all of nature and the cosmos. The items displayed on the rock before him depicts his mastery of the four elements: earth, air, water, and fire. He embodies the traditional tribal medicine man, a walker between worlds. Therefore, we are experiencing this desire to delve deeply into the mysteries of existence, signifying the beginning of a new spiritual phase. We are being called forth by the Shaman within us all, to begin again, to gain more confidence in ourselves, to travel and experience new things, to expand our minds, and to recognize our Earth Mother and her healing and destructive capabilities.

Furthermore, the Shaman personifies clarity of thought, firm but flexible intellect, eternal wisdom and emotional stability. When we have achieved this clarity and focus within the mind, we can apply the wisdom we have gathered from our immersion into the unknown and integrate it into our daily lives. With this esoteric knowledge, we can help others to see that existence is truly magical. We have been given the tools; the Shaman calls us forth to use them.

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