In his exclusive MysticMag interview, Jonathan Hammond, a distinguished author, teacher, shamanic practitioner, and spiritual counselor, shares profound insights into shamanic healing, spiritual counseling, and the transformative power of “men’s work.” Drawing on his extensive background, including Harvard University and the University of Michigan education, Jonathan discusses the essence of shamanic healing—either returning vital elements or removing harmful ones. He delves into the unique nature-based approach of his spiritual counseling, emphasizing alignment with one’s authentic essence, and more. You don’t want to skip this one.
What can you tell me about yourself and your professional journey?
I am a full-time shamanic practitioner, energy healer, and spiritual counselor. I’m also a teacher of shamanism and spirituality, as well as an author. My book, “The Shaman’s Mind”, is about how to attune one’s own mind with the ways of the shaman and how the indigenous healers tend to think and see the world. Essentially, the is about the mental cosmology of the shaman; how the shamans tend to think, and how we can learn to adopt their mystical/magical psychology for ourselves.
How does shamanic healing work?
Shamanic healing is really about two dynamics. Either something that is vital to us is lost and needs to be returned, or we are holding something that is unhealthy for us that needs to be removed. That’s it – we’re either taking something out that shouldn’t be there, or we’re putting something back in that we need. That’s really the crux of it. We do this through a whole series of ceremonies, rituals, and practices.
It is also important to bridge traditional shamanic healing with what we know about psychology because when one receives, say, a soul retrieval or has an extraction, the personality/ego will have to adjust to new paradigms of being that occur after the healing.
In shamanic healing we work with nature, universal energy (chi or prana, if you like), and the spiritual support of guides to change what we don’t like, or to make better what we do.
What can people expect from your spiritual and intuitive counseling?
There’s a lot of different counseling, therapy, and psychotherapy out there. The work that I do is specifically nature-based. What that means is that we’re looking at nature to teach us how to align our psychology with it.
In nature, everything is natural unto itself. It is spontaneous and unapologetically itself. Nature doesn’t shirk away or shy away from that which is life-affirming to itself. Nature has a glowing and formidable self-esteem, and everything in nature only takes actions that move it toward further growth, creation, and evolution. So, the work that I do in counseling is about helping each client recognize that they too are a being of nature; and that they too can live life from their most authentic essence.
Further, every event and circumstance in our lives has an underlying hidden story that is the spiritual context of those events/circumstances; the “myth” that exists underneath all the surface happenings. In spiritual counseling, we investigate this mystery, the hidden or unconscious story that is often more real that the external happenings of our lives. This becomes a deep examination that looks deeply at life purpose, meaning, soul, spirit, ancestral currents, beliefs, synchronicity, manifestation, psychology, human/earth cycles, sexuality – all of the energetic and spiritual dynamics that attract and create our lives.
Our outward world is merely a reflection of our inward world. In spiritual counseling, we go deeply into ourselves so that we have a more co-creative say in what our lives can become.
What is “men’s work” and how can it be helpful to a person?
Men have been acculturated to avoid their feelings and their pain, and they have been conditioned to not be vulnerable (or honest) with each other. This is the reason why women, or those who love men, often complain that they don’t feel felt into or truly seen by their men. This is because men often have a hard time feeling into themselves.
In Men’s Work, men come together with other men and have an honest conversation about what’s real, about the hidden truths of their inner world – their fears, their shame, their habits, their addictions, and their shadow. Men tend to hide these shadow aspects from themselves and from the world. But when men show up and support other men a sacred community and a new sacred masculine starts to emerge.
Men have needed to explore what it truly means to be men for a very long time, and this is relatively new work, beginning in the late 90s. At the heart of Men’s Work is understanding masculine and feminine polarity. The integrated masculine is about the integration of the feminine within the masculine – the feminine being that which is vulnerable, soft, emotional, and intuitive. It doesn’t mean that all women only have those characteristics, but these qualities typically tend to be largely absent in men.
Men have a gift to give the world, the power of their embodied attention and awareness. But to align with this power, men must release the pain, shame, and lack of feeling that block it.
What’s your view on the direction our society is heading into?
Right now, I think we’re in a dire situation ecologically, politically, and culturally. We have turned away from nature and from the Earth. In doing so, we’ve gone into our heads, out of our hearts, and away from the reality of the interdependence of everything. In indigenous cultures, sacredness was considered imminent in all things. If it existed and was alive, and everything was considered alive in indigenous wisdom, it was sacred. The Divine was manifest in Nature.
Since then, we have pulled away from the sacredness that is right here on this very earth. We have turned away from the old Gods/Goddesses and have started to worship new kinds of “gods” – capitalism, socialism, homophobia, racism, status, social media, etc. And yet, the spiritual forces that are imminent here on Earth remain. If we can take our cue from how the Earth-based pre-Christianity traditions lived, we would find (and return to) a new, healthy, and sustainable way of being.
Nature is the template to teach us about ourselves.
To learn more about Jonathan and his work, you can visit www.jonathanhammond.com