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Written by Sarah Kirton | Updated On April 01, 2023

Contemporary Shamanic Practice and Wisdom - Trevor Cowan

Contemporary Shamanic Practice and Wisdom - Trevor Cowan

Trevor Cowan is a Contemporary Shamanic Practitioner. Once an engineer/project manager, Trevor went to a yoga class and so began his spiritual journey. This progressed to meditation, then Reiki, and then to an introductory weekend to Shamanic work…Trevor left his past life for one of true connection to nature and followed his true calling. MysticMag finds out more.

Why do you describe shamanism to be “an arduous, challenging path”?

Challenging because Shamanism holds a mirror up to yourself, everything is reflected back at you. There is no hiding or escape from it. You cannot hide from any thoughts or issues, especially while training.
Reconnecting with and listening to nature is an intense process, there are no days off and things come up as and when they want and need to. It can quite literally pull the rug from under your feet sometimes, and this is something that one needs to be prepared for. In this sense training is highly recommended so at least you have the tools and techniques to deal with the challenges. I am so happy I went through the training and I was certainly called to do this. My teacher was somebody that I would never have connected with in my previous life and she turned out to be the best teacher I have ever had. She was raw and held nothing back. There was certainly no hiding from what she had to reveal.

How would you describe shamanic wisdom and how can we access this portal?

I think anyone can access this portal. A major part of shamanism is connecting back to nature and listening to and trusting the natural world, especially as we have all become quite disconnected in the modern world that we live in.

For me, a useful part of the shamanic process is spending time in nature while having an intention to work upon. If you want to release something (trauma, relationship, job) a very simple practice would be to hold your intention in mind and allow yourself to be guided to an object in nature that represents what you are trying to let go of, an object that resonates with your intention.
Take that object, hold it, look at it, rub it or tap it on your body where you feel your issue predominately sits, blow emotions into it…and if it is something negative, visualize this negative stuff coming out of you, almost being pulled out by the object, and then physically throw the object away somewhere where it will not be discovered again, maybe with a shout or gutteral sound of letting go. See how you feel.
I find this a very powerful tool as you are mentally, physically and emotionally going through the motions to release or let go of this negative issue. It highlights the psychological link that we have with nature, almost as if we are on nature’s couch working through our ‘baggage’.

Why do people generally come to you and how do you work with them?

Most of the time people have usually tried other treatments or therapies with unsuccessful results, or have come to me via recommendation or just a feeling. If it is a one-to-one direct session I will use my medicine bundle which contains all my sacred objects…there is a bit of hands-on healing, perhaps some guided meditation and I will probably use my various shamanic tools such as the rattle or drum. I connect to my Spiritual guides and helpers to bring back information and healing to the person concerned and normally there is an energetic rebalancing that takes place.

Would you say that there is an element of shamanic trance that takes place within an individual while undergoing shamanic healing, consciously or other?

Certainly when I am drumming or rattling, there is an element of trance because of the repetitive sound. I call myself a Contemporary Shamanic Practitioner because in the traditional sense, a shaman would be from an indigineous tribe where they would go into a deep trance connecting with the Spirit realm to perform the healing. I tend to have a more “present” approach but I still get information and trust what I get.
The clients always feel lighter afterwards and certainly feel an energy shift. There is definitely a connection but the client probably goes into more of a meditation than a trance.

What can you tell us about your book Shamanic Engineering?

This book is my introduction to contemporary shamanic healing and offers various tools and techniques for people to work upon themselves for healing, reconnection or to discover deeper meaning in their lives. Additionally, my background in the logical world as an engineer and project manager allowed me to put a more rational spin on some of the more esoteric and spiritual ideas presented. The practical and useful techniques presented can be used by anyone with no training required. It is for people looking to explore their own spiritual being and to help them access shamanic wisdom themselves, without having to pursue formal training.

If you would like to find out more about Trevor Cowan, visit or see his book Shamanic Engineering, visit

About the author
Sarah is a keen and passionate advocate of the spiritual and healing components within the mystical realm of the world we live in. She resides in Cape Town, South Africa, where she enjoys spending time in the outdoors, kite surfing, and playing guitar.