Itzhak Beery worked in advertisement in New York City when in 1995 he began to take shamanic courses. The rest of the story is below, I won’t give spoilers, just say that Itzhak is a leading shamanic teacher, healer, speaker, community activist, and author of three Amazon bestsellers books. He received ‘Ambassador for Peace Award’ from The Universal Peace Federation and the UN. Check our talk with Itzhak Beery below.
What made you leave your Advertising career to pursue your life purpose in Shamanism?
My life purpose, as I understand it is to be “A person with a message on a large stage.” In retrospect, everything I did throughout my life was in the same vein as delivering a message. I may use different platforms, but it was essentially the same undertaking. I was a fine artist trying to deliver a message to change the world, a graphic designer with a mission, an advertising executive that hoped to change the world. But that was not enough for me when I entered my midlife years. So, I felt I needed to do something more meaningful, which is how the Shamanic work found me.
How were your experiences in Ecuador and Brazil with shamans? We currently see the word ‘mentor’ a lot in the media. Did you have any Shamanic mentors?
I started taking shamanic courses in 1995 after reading, totally by coincidence, a book about that topic. Then, in 1997, I went to Ecuador with a group and met some Quechua shamans in the High Andes and Shuar shamans in the Amazon basin. I had a powerful and confusing visionary experience.
A year later, I joined another group, following a strange vision I had in New York. I met my mentor Don José Joaquín Pineda, again in his Quechua village, and I had another foretelling and strong experience during a Limpia healing session. After I shared my visions, he asked me to come back and work with him. That’s how I became his apprentice for intensive three years and continued to this day. Around that time, I met another shaman – Ipupiara Makunaiman, from the Uru-e-wau-wau of Brazil. Throughout our 12 years affiliation, he became my teacher, mentor, friend, and I assisted him in organizing many courses and trips to Manaus in the Amazon of Brazil and Italy.
Mentoring is essential to any proper transfer of skills and wisdom. Unfortunately, our society doesn’t have that system anymore. We need a master that went on that path before to guide us skillfully, to understand what we are experiencing, feel, and help us navigate our life challenges once we take on this responsibility.
How did you learn such a complex craft?
There were very few books, workshops, or YouTubes to get any factual information when I started. Today, I am happy to say there are many books, videos, websites, workshops, and events people can learn a lot from. But I want to say again that the best way to learn, and I am grateful I had that luck, was by assisting the shamans as they did with their ancestors. That’s how traditionally apprentices learn and study to become shamans—doing simple chores and tasks, carefully observing, and spending personal time with them and their families.
Honestly, I was a reluctant shaman who had the gift but not necessarily knew about it or wanted to commit to that. It took a few years for Don Jose to “push” me to believe in myself and start. I also worked with other shamans from the USA, Ecuador, Brazil, Inuit, Native Americans, Mongolia, and many other traditions. But my most impactful mentors, which I am grateful for, are those from Ecuador and Brazil.
How do your shamanic healing sessions work? Do you adapt your traditional learnings to a different audience?
Every tradition has a different approach to healing. Yet, the essence of the sessions is the sacred La Limpia, or the energy removal purification and reinstalling positive energy for people’s energy field. Of course, I can’t do the same healings my teachers do in Ecuador or use the same material as theirs, so I adapt it with what I have. It also includes Platica, which is the personal readings and consultation. I also spend a lot of time working with people as a spiritual consultant or coach on traumas, soul mending, and life purpose. My main goal is to reconnect people with their life purpose. Nothing can stop them after they realize what it is that they were born to achieve.
I believe those questions were the primary motivator behind your project, The Bridge. Can you explain what that project is?
When one of my kids was in High School, a teacher invited me to do a class for his students. The kids loved it and asked me to return. In the first year, I had three classes. A few years later, I’d be doing 18 to 24 classes a year. I found out that children have an intimate relationship with Spirit or working with power animals, music, dance, and drumming. They don’t develop yet. The corrupted mind adults do. It seems that they were immersed in that experience and learned a lot from it. Most importantly, they gained self-confidence.
The free program allows children to explore their intuition and inner voices through Shamanic tools (sound, movement, dance, sharing in a circle, and visioning) and be more independent and less fearful of the future and what others think of them, trying to fit in. I called it The Bridge because I am bridging the ancient tradition with everyday life in the US and attempting to bring these two together. I was very impressed by the results and started to ask other teachers if they wanted me to come to their school. So far, I have taught in nursery, elementary, high schools, and college. Of course, I appropriate it for every age.
Shamanic teaching is a powerful tool to open them up to a different life experience that the limited Western education system provides them. I stopped this project due to schedule issues, but I am incredibly proud of it because I know it made a huge difference for those children.
Please share a special message with us for these challenging times.
There are two messages. Firstly, a global message. Since 1993, humanity entered a new 500 years period of Aquarius time. This Pachacuti–correction of time/space–is prophesized by the Inca’s The Condor and the Eagle foretelling and also by other traditions. We are just at the very beginning of it. It’s a time of cooperation between all cultures. It envisioned a period of harmony, peace, equality, respect for women and all genders, and the return to a more heart-centered society.
Unfortunately, facing a new unknown, some people fear and resist the coming changes. Yet, I am very optimistic. Despite the difficulties of pandemics, fires, floods, and dictatorships worldwide, the world is moving into more love, cooperation, harmony, peace, and the feminine energy within us.
Secondly is an individual message. Ipupiara always used to say that “We are all Shamans.” We have the built-in DNA that allows us to survive on this Earth. We all dream, have visions, dance, sing, hug and love each other, give a glass of water, and listen compassionately to others. If we are all shamans, we must behave like shamans. We must take responsibility for yourself, your family, the community, the environment, and the world. We must take responsibility to make sure the human race continues to survive and prosper on this majestic Earth