For thousands of years, it's been common for potential shamans to exhibit signs of their calling early in life.
A shaman is typically chosen — she or he receives a calling from spirits, triggering a psychological crisis until the new shaman learns to cope with new spiritual and psychic abilities that can initially feel like madness.1
Mine started when I was 6. Wide awake and deathly sick with the flu, I saw a human-sized skeleton appear in the air over my bed. I heard its bones rattle — and then it laughed so loudly that I had to cover my ears.
Soon after, I brought home a ceramic necklace I'd made at school. Looking at its handmade wolf teeth, my mom said it looked like something a shaman would wear. I didn't know what a "shaman" was, but I knew that necklace was a link to something powerful and familiar inside me — a forgotten memory I desperately wanted to remember.
I started falling into trances — rocking and swaying rhythmically for long stretches, eyes wide open, staring straight ahead without blinking. When asked what I was doing, I'd reply, "talking to people" or "flying out of my body." In one case, my elementary school teacher and classmates watched me climb onto my desk chair, where I began speaking gibberish to an imaginary friend.
My parents were understandably freaked out. They shipped me off to a psychiatrist, who was no help at all. (Decades later, I discovered rocking & swaying were part of seiðr, a kind of shamanic magic practiced in Scandinavia for millennia).
My calling grew even more fierce. There were many times I thought I might've inherited my grandfather's schizophrenia.
A recently deceased friend showed up in my backyard and asked me to pass along a message to his mother. Spirits materialized to show me hidden things, or heal me. I witnessed time running backward. A visible shadow entity haunted me and my college roommate for weeks.
When I finally heeded my calling and embraced Shamanism, there was instant relief — like a memory I'd struggled to remember for decades had finally surfaced. My heart opened, and all the strange magic I'd witnessed my entire life finally made sense.
It turned out that Shamanism is in my blood. I share DNA with the Sámi, my ancestors who practiced Shamanism in Norway's Finnmark and Vestre Slidre regions. My great-grandmother was named Alta in honor of Norway's Alta Fjord, near the Arctic Circle — it's home to the Sámi, with shamanic petroglyphs there dating back over 5,000 years.
I also began practicing magick at age 11. Borrowing stacks of occult books from the library by Dion Fortune, Margot Adler, and others, I learned how to cast spells, talk to spirits, and glimpse into the future.
I discovered later that none of this was by accident — my Norse ancestors practiced spellcasting and divination while worshiping nature and the shaman god Odin for generations, and I've since learned how to draw upon their healing power.
Since so many old magical traditions have been partially lost due to religious suppression dating back to 300 A.D., resurrecting old ways of tapping into cosmic forces is one of my passions, and magick has proven to be a powerful complement to Shamanism for self-transformation.
For more details about my history & training, see my Curriculum Vitae (CV).
In addition to my private practice, I've been performing shamanic healing works publicly as a performance artist since 1990. I discovered that shamanically charged art rituals can be profoundly effective at purging pain, depression, and other intrusive mental patterns in both myself and others.
Inspired by psychiatrist Carl Jung, "Psychomagic" healer Alejandro Jodorowsky, and the magical genius of Austin Spare, I often combine Shamanism, magick spellwork, and performance rituals into "psychic spells" that work directly with the unconscious mind — and the universe at large — to bring about powerful personal transformations.
You can see photos of some past shamanic performances here.
Falcon Shamanic Healing & Magick was named after the gyrfalcon, the largest of all falcons that's common near the Arctic Circle.
Falcons also have a strong symbolic significance in magical history. Frigg and Freyja, Norse goddesses of prophecy and magick, wear cloaks of falcon feathers that let them shapeshift into falcons. Isis, the Egyptian goddess of magic, wears feathers of a black kite (a kind of falcon), and her son Horus — the sky god whose all-seeing eye is a protective symbol — is depicted as having a falcon's head.
Falconry also dates back to the 12th century in my ancestral Norway, making the falcon a fierce symbol of the cosmic power found in Shamanism and magick.
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