Schizophrenia—Gift or Illness?

In Western medicine, schizophrenics are considered to have a mental illness with symptoms that include hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, and dysfunction. The current treatment for schizophrenia (with no cure) involves antipsychotic medications with side effects, such as tics, tremors, muscle spasms, weight gain (as much as 60 to 100 pounds in a short-time period that can lead to development of diabetes and high cholesterol), over-sensitivity to sunlight, and sleepiness or restlessness. The medications also dull the patients’ emotions, leading to apathy and withdrawal from life.

Shamans (indigenous spiritual leaders) have a very different opinion of schizophrenia. They believe that schizophrenics are spiritually gifted people who have a strong ability to communicate with spirits. Schizophrenics are in the midst of a spiritual awakening.

As soon as signs of schizophrenia are detected, shamans perform healings on the schizophrenics to remove any negative entities that may be attached to their energetic bodies. Without an overload of negative thoughts, the schizophrenics’ minds become clear. Next, the shamans teach these people to shamanic journey — a spiritual practice that allows them to utilize their gifts to converse with divine spirit guides, power animals and ancestors to receive healing and guidance for themselves and others.

I was given the chance to prove this age-old belief when “Andrew”, a schizophrenic, middle-aged truck driver, contacted me for a healing. He was constantly assaulted by negative voices and desperately wanted relief.

After I completed his remote healing, Andrew emailed me a lengthy description of what he had experienced while the healing took place. His details perfectly matched what I had seen and heard. This showed how spiritually connected he was. Ten months later, Andrew stated that the negative voices were bothering him less and less, and that he was doing well and able to keep his job.

Not long after this, a young man named “Steven” came to me for a healing. He was suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness, possibly schizophrenia or clinical depression.

Steven sat across from me not understanding why he felt this way or what to do about it. I explained to him that people who have schizophrenia are gifted with the ability to connect with spirits—a very powerful tool for a shaman who understands his gift and uses it wisely.

During this young man’s healing, it was revealed that he was once a powerful shaman in a previous life—but a shaman who had become consumed with his own power and misused it toward the end. He still held these tremendous powers, but didn’t yet realize it. However, the negative spirits could see his gift and were attacking him before he could remember his power and soar.

Steven’s healing consisted of learning the circumstances of his past and its effects on his current life, as well as forgiveness for his previous transgressions. He was also given a message to be careful not to commit the same error in this lifetime.

The negative spirits that had attached themselves to him were removed, and several angels agreed to help prevent the negative spirits from contacting him in the future. Four months later, Steven informed me that he had successfully gone off of his medication and was feeling noticeably better.

Since these early healings, I have performed dozens more for schizophrenics with life-changing results. Recently, a Stanford University graduate student who is undertaking a clinical study to examine the possibility of a spiritual component to schizophrenia contacted me. She wondered if I would pass along the information to my clients. I was more than happy to post it on social media and my blog. After her article is published, I hope the open-minded therapists who read it will consider the possibility that schizophrenics are in the midst of a spiritual awakening, and, if properly cared for, will become our future healers.

Shaman Elizabeth Herrera is a healer and author who began her shamanic path in 2002 and furthered her learning through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and is a student of A Course in Miracles. Elizabeth inherited her rebellious spirit from her father who was raised by his grandfather, a full-blooded Apache who smuggled sugar and flour from Mexico into Texas, exchanged gunfire with Texas Rangers, and crossed paths with Pancho Villa. To read the extended version of the healings mentioned in this article, read her book Shaman Stone Soup.

Sources:

  1. “…the sensitive would be given guidance by the shaman to walk in the world of spirit without coming to any harm. They recognized that there is more than one dimension where both light and dark beings reside. The lesson is to not stop the voices so much as work with them in a way that you are in the control seat rather than being controlled by the energies tormenting you.” SuccessfulSchizophrenia.org
  2. “In the shamanic view, mental illness signals ‘the birth of a healer,’ explains Malidoma Patrice Somé.  Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born… we in the West are not trained in how to deal or even taught to acknowledge the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world.  In fact, psychic abilities are denigrated.  When energies from the spiritual world emerge in a Western psyche, that individual is completely unequipped to integrate them or even recognize what is happening.” — excerpt from the book The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia by Stephanie Marohn.
  3. The Shamanic View of Mental Illness
  4. Schizophrenia or Possession? by M. Kemal Irmak

Why a Healing May Not Take Effect

There are many reasons why a healing may not take effect:

Conflicting Wishes

If a person has two wishes that conflict, then obviously they will experience disappointment of one of them. For instance, if a person wants to be healed of a physical or mental disability, but doesn’t want to go back to work, they have a conflict. Because going back to work can involve fear, the desire to stay home may triumph over the request to be healed.

A true-life example of conflicting wishes occurred when a mother requested a shamanic healing for her teenage daughter, who because of a difficult birth had become severely mentally impaired, needed constant care, and was prone to violent outbursts. During the shamanic journey, I requested a healing for her daughter, but was told by the spirit guide that the young girl had agreed to this disability before coming into this life to learn a tough life lesson. In previous lives, she had been extremely beautiful and enjoyed many privileges. She also had been unkind and sometimes cruel, because she could get away with it. She now was experiencing a lifetime with that same beauty, but with no way to take advantage of it and was relying on others for help.

As the spirit guide explained this to me, the young girl’s spirit watched in the background hoping for a healing, because she did not want to complete this difficult life lesson. But, the spirit guide said it would be a waste of an important life lesson if she were healed.

Her current wish to be rid of this disability conflicted with her first request to make spiritual progress through a difficult life lesson, and only one could be honored.

Fear
Why would a miracle cause fear? When a person experiences a transformation in this reality that cannot not be explained with laws of this world, they have to accept that there is a greater force outside of this reality. This could result in uprooting their entire belief foundation and cause fear.

The Spirit will withhold a healing if it will induce fear, however, when the person is ready to accept the healing without fear, it will be waiting for them.

Removing the Root of the Problem
Your entire being is created by thought, as is the universe. Your thoughts are extremely powerful and have the power to create your life, including happiness and love, and, on the less positive side, illness and misfortune.

For instance, if you are holding a grudge against your mother because she was emotionally abusive, this anger, even if it is openly expressed against her, is held within you. You experience the negative thought flowing through your mind—which manifests into this reality in the form of negative energy/stress, coursing through your body looking for an outlet, and, if it is sustained long enough, may cause an illness to develop (over and over).

The thought must be removed from your mind for a complete healing to occur. You may temporarily ease the symptom through medications, or time may seem to heal it, but it most likely will recur because the root problem still exists, although it may change form. It’s like crabgrass where you have pulled out the green blades of grass above the surface, but the roots remains, ready to regrow.

To completely remove the cause, you must release it through forgiveness. This can be hard work, and I recommend that you ask the Spirit’s help with this one (see the meditation technique, ‘I Give This to the Spirit‘). If you have suppressed your emotions, it may take a lot of honest reflection to reveal your true state of mind.

Guilt
Guilt can easily project its negative energy into the body to induce and retain illness.

The ego uses guilt to keep you focused on seeing yourself as a body, instead of a perfect spiritual being. A great diversion tactic!

Guilt is a worthless emotion. You were created a perfect spiritual being and have remained so in eternity, but the ego would have you believe that your guilt has made you unworthy of love and healing. Again, I recommend the meditation technique, ‘I Give This to the Spirit‘ for releasing this emotion, because guilt can be a tough one to release on your own!

Acceptance
A healing once given needs to be accepted, even if on an unconscious level, to be effective. If a healing is not immediately accepted, it will not dissolve, but it will wait patiently until a person is ready to accept it.

Blessed journeys!

Soul Retrieval 101

Soul retrieval is a common healing technique in shamanism, in which part of person’s soul is believed to be lost during a trauma or series of events. The soul part is found in the spirit realm and reunited with the person’s main soul.

During a shamanic healing, the trauma that led to the soul loss is seen either literally or symbolically. If symbolic, the event might conceptually represent an abusive childhood as a whole. If literal, it would show a specific trauma. Either way, the situation needs to acknowledged, recognized as a mistake, and forgiven. The person can then move on—having successfully learned an important life lesson.

Healing the Healer

We each attract those we need to learn from.

After a recent healing, it became very obvious to me there is no difference between the teacher and the student. Or in this case, the healer and the client. During the healing, I listened carefully to the words that she spoke, and to what I said to her, because the Spirit will use these interactions to give messages we both need to hear. As I talked of the difficulties of following a spiritual path, her loving response gave me encouragement. But, as she offered me advice, her own dreams came to the surface. When she spoke of her concerns, I offered advice that I hoped would inspire her and found the words rang true for me as well.

Then a soul retrieval was performed to heal one of her painful childhood memories. With this trauma forgiven and released, and her soul part reunited, she was now open to receiving the energy from her true self and the Spirit more abundantly.

A power animal provided a message that she had been become chained by familial and societal expectations, and offered its archetype power to help her set on a course that was uniquely hers. Her healing provided a message for both of us… “follow your unique course in life… living up to others expectations isn’t working for you… have the courage to live it!” We offered each other a gift, and received more than we gave.

Every healing reminds me that my clients bring me as much healing as I offer them. We open a sacred space, where love and trust can flourish, if only for a little while, away from the harsh realities of the world.

Blessed journeys!

It Might Get Worse, Before It Gets Better

“I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats.”  Eckhart Tolle

“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.”
Eckhart Tolle

Our higher mind is split between listening to our ego and our Divine self, and is always choosing which side to listen to. When a person meditates, the ego realizes that the person is no longer listening to It and will use attack methods to get the person’s attention. The ego may induce fear, old grievances, anger, anxiety, random thoughts, etc., switching from one to another in an effort to force the person to pay attention to the ego’s concerns instead of their Divine self.

Because of the ego’s attacks, you may initially find meditation difficult
During meditation, you may remember old events or feel deep-seated, negative emotions. You may become fearful or angry when these arise, but keep in mind this is an opportunity for healing (although it might not feel like it). Each unwanted emotion or thought that comes to your attention is an opportunity to release it through forgiveness. With each release, the veil becomes thinner and your connection to the Spirit becomes stronger. For more on releasing unwanted thoughts and emotions, read Meditation Techniques.

Another common frustration is feeling that nothing is happening when you meditate. I assure you that just by trying, you are achieving something. I spent months meditating before I felt the ‘connection’ to the Divine. Suddenly I knew why so many people touted the benefits of meditating! For a brief moment, I “lost” myself in the golden rays of love. It felt wonderful and still does!

Through meditation, you will:

  • Realize that the ego’s negative thoughts are not true
  • Train your mind to listen to your divine self instead of the ego
  • Quiet your mind and feel peaceful
  • Reduce fear, anger, anxiety and other unwanted emotions through recognition and release (forgiveness)
  • Let the love of the Divine flow through you, which energizes and restores your mind and body

The Role of a Healer

My role as a healer is to help people understand the reason their life is not as they would like it be. I help them face their fears and acknowledge that they have created their life circumstances. I offer advice, given to me by the spirits, on how to correct their perspective. It usually involves forgiveness and a willingness to let of the past. The healing is accomplished by the person. I act as a catalyst to help them help themselves.

People may be angry about their childhood or a recent injustice, fearful, depressed, or ill. All of these emotional or physical concerns are manifested by the thoughts of their higher mind. We create our own lives — for better or worse.

During a shamanic healing, I am shown visions that help me (and them) to understand what thoughts and actions created their circumstances. Sometimes these thoughts were created in a different lifetime and a past life healing will be performed, or sometimes the thoughts are from this lifetime and a soul retrieval healing is needed. If a person is suffering, it is because they have a thought that needs understanding and forgiveness, and ultimately a shift in their perception.

What is the single requisite for this shift in perception? It is simply this; the recognition that sickness is of the mind, and has nothing to do with the body. What does this recognition “cost”? It costs the whole world you see, for the world will never again appear to rule the mind. For with this recognition is responsibility placed where it belongs; not with the world, but on him who looks on the world and sees it as it is not. He looks on what he chooses to see. No more and no less.
— A Course in Miracles, Manual for Teachers, page 18

The outcome depends on the readiness of the person. If a healing will cause them distress because they are not ready to acknowledge that they created their world, the healing will wait.

Blessed journeys!

Choosing a Healing

People often ask for specific shamanic healings, such as a soul retrieval, past life healing or aura cleansing. All are powerful healings that help to remove blocks in our mind that keep us from fully connecting to our spirit. All of us have many blocks, and can spend many lifetimes trying to remove them before reaching enlightenment.

When I shamanic journey, I prefer to let go of the ‘agenda’ and keep an open mind that the Spirit will bequeath the best healing for myself or another. For instance, I was to perform a healing for a young man who was angry and depressed. Neither he or his family could understand why he felt this way. He had years of traditional treatment, but nothing made any improvement. During the healing, I saw one of his past lives in which he was cruelly murder. With forgiveness and ‘restructuring’ of his past life, the ties to the past were removed. In a second healing, his energetic body was repaired (which helps to keep out negativity from daily interactions in this life). He was also given guardian angels to help venture out into the world without fear. He felt an immediate improvement and has continued to improve for over a year.

If a specific healing had been requested, such as a soul retrieval, we might have missed the past life healing which removed the significant cause of his ongoing depression and anger issues. But, because we allowed the Spirit to lead the way, we were offered the best healings in the proper time and order.

Blessed journeys!

Distant Healing

People often wonder how distant healing is possible. Many believe that distant healing is more difficult than an in-person healing. If you look at people as a body, then everyone is separate and every healing distant, even if they’re in the same room. But, if you look at everyone as a spirit and part of the collective consciousness, you would see that we are all connected and that every healing is done “in-person.”

As a shaman, I perform shamanic healing in the spirit realm. It’s a meeting place where spirit guides, enlightened beings, the person being healed and myself will gather to perform the healing. And sometimes other spirits will join us. For example, during a healing for a client, I noticed a spirit watching my client’s spirit. After the healing was completed, he sat next to my client and hugged her. I mentioned this to the client and she asked what the spirit looked like. I describe the spirit as a man in his early 40s or late 30s, plaid shirt, dark hair, and thin build. The client started crying. Her friend, who met this description, had died the night before.

I believe that every healing is an “in-person” healing no matter how far apart we are or whether we have a physical body. The time and space limitations of this world do not exist in the spirit realm.

Depression — A Dark Cloud on a Sunny Day

I believe that depression is caused by a blocked connection to our Divine Spirit. The spiritual connection can never be severed, but a person can create blocks that reduce their awareness of the Divine Spirit — like black clouds that block the sun. The longer the separation, the harder it is to remember a sunny day, and the depressed person’s world becomes a darker and darker.

Depression is not the only symptom that can be caused by Spirit disconnection. There are others, such as anxiety, possession, addiction, anger, compulsive behavior, etc. that manifest.

Through shamanic healing, some of the blocks can be removed. But it takes more than a few healings to alleviate depression, and people must take responsibly for building their own spiritual connection. I recommend that people learn to shamanic journey or find another method that builds and maintains a strong connection to the Divine Spirit to offer healing for themselves. It’s a life-long endeavor to maintain a spiritual connection and make sure that the black clouds stay in the distance or pass quickly.

Blessed journeys!

Can I Pray for You? Is Permission Needed to Heal?

When is the last time someone asked your permission to pray for you? Were you offended if they prayed without your consent? Most of us would appreciate the effort regardless of whether we had different religious beliefs (or none).

But, if you ask most shamans, they would say that it is unethical to perform a healing for someone without their permission? Why is that?

I have performed many healings for friends without their permission and sometimes without their knowledge. Why? Because I cared about them and wanted them to be healed. I wasn’t concerned about getting permission, because ultimately, the healing is not from me. I may request the healing, but I do not have the power to give it. The divine source provides the power to heal.

It’s my role as a shaman to ask permission from my spirit guide, and if granted, continue with the healing request. If it’s not my place to ask, the spirit guides won’t grant the healing, and sometimes my power animal will block me from asking for the healing. If the healing is granted, but the person does not want to be healed—they won’t be healed. Our free will is never imposed on by enlightened spirits.

Sometimes during my shamanic journeys, the spirit guides will mention people who need healing and so I request a healing for them. Since the request was spontaneous, I obviously did not have the people’s permission, but I usually will tell them afterward that a healing was performed.

Even so, I do prefer that the person knows and gives permission for their healing request for several reasons. First, I want them to consciously accept the healing—it won’t happen if they don’t want it. I would also like them to experience the miracle for themselves. If they suddenly are well, but don’t know the reason, they miss out on knowing that they received a miracle and that the Divine Source cares about them.

Blessed journeys!

The Transference of Negative Energy

I recently picked up vertigo after performing a healing. I woke up in the middle of the night with the room spinning. Every time I turned over in my sleep, the spinning would happen again. When morning came, I was nauseous and dizzy. I waited several hours, and when I felt well enough to shamanic journey, I requested a healing for myself. The vertigo went away that day. I have not ever had vertigo before or since. My own healing worked, but it reminded me that I must protect myself before performing healings for others. Negative energy can be picked up in both remote or in-person healings.

This seems a strange concept for those that haven’t experienced picking up others illnesses or pain. But consider this… have you walked into a room after an argument and felt the heavy energy in the room? Or, felt someone staring at you from across the room? It is a similar experience of feeling or absorbing another person’s energy.

To protect myself, I visualize a bright yellow ball of energy above my head. I then draw the energy down through my body, slowly and deeper with each breath, until I am filled with this positive energy. I then visualize it surrounding me with a protective shield of love. If I am performing an in-person healing, I will also surround him or her with the positive energy. I have always been surprised that it works, and any time that I begin to doubt its effectiveness and don’t do it… well, I pay the price by once again absorbing the negative energy.

Dark and Light Force Healings

My mother told me the other day, that some people have expressed concern about whether my healings come from an enlightened source. They were afraid that dark forces are at work (perhaps in disguise?).

My answer was, “We are always following either a dark or light force. It’s a moment by moment decision, whether it’s conscious or unconscious.”

Our actions and thoughts reflect which force we are following. Every action or thought that isn’t loving is following the dark force. This doesn’t make us evil, just mistaken. A mistake that can be changed instantly by correctly our perception and thereby changing our behavior. By consciously choosing to follow the light force, we greatly increase our consistency in following this path.” Although we all make mistakes – it’s part of being human.

I respect people’s concern about the power source behind the healings I offer. It is easy to fear what we don’t understand, and there is some basis for their fears. There are shamans who follow a dark path, but you will find that in any practice or religion throughout the world. Although, most shamans and energy healers have the best intentions and follow a higher calling, I urge you to choose a healer as carefully as you would a doctor or spiritual teacher. Make sure their ideologies and skills are ones you admired and respect. A healer is a catalyst through which power flows through. It’s okay to ask where the power comes from.

Blessed journeys!