Boulder Daily Camera
Boulder Daily Camera Staff Writer
Boulder practitioner finds feeling of belonging in shamanic traditions
The rain pelts the outside of Chris Davidson's home, nestled comfortably amid the backwoods of Boulder's foothills.
Thunder echoes in the distance.
Davidson sits, relaxed, on an overstuffed floor pillow, surrounded by nature artifacts and crystals.
This is where the magic happens, she says, for those who believe.
Davidson, 50, is a longtime practitioner of shamanism, a belief system that encourages individuals to deepen their personal bond with the spirit world.
Founder of the Ancientways Center, an organization created in 2000, she offers a variety of shamanic practices such as soul retrieval, shamanic journeys, wisdom gathering - for healing and guidance.
"My role as a shamanic teacher is to support people in finding their way home," Davidson says, "into a place where they can interact with their own Spirit Helpers and Teachers directly.
"So I'm constantly working myself out of a job," she adds with a laugh.
Like so many Boulder transplants, Davidson felt spiritually estranged growing up, despite being the daughter of a traditional pastor and the graduate of a traditional spiritual college.
"My spirit was very strong, but there was the lack of a sense of spiritual kinship with others and with the belief systems around me," she says. "So in many ways, I became a spiritual outcast."
It didn't help that she was from a tiny town in Iowa, population 95.
"That's counting the dogs," she adds, laughing.
From an early age, Davidson was aware of the energetic landscape overlaying the physical world, she says - an intuitive knowledge that was a source of confusion and consternation to her.
For example, she would go to parties and be in a group of people and know what the other people were thinking - who just had an argument with her husband, who had just gotten a new job.
"I felt I was nuts, that I was out of step with everybody all of the time," Davidson says. "But the truth is, there wasn't something wrong with me, there was something right with me."
That revelation was a long time in coming, however.
The turning point was in 1991, when she traveled "in spirit" to visit her friend Billy, who was dying of AIDS.
"I went into a gray place that I found out later in shamanism is called the veil between the worlds," she says. His soul was emerging, she remembers, and he was terrified. But she welcomed him into that world between worlds and made him feel comfortable.
"When the Light came to embrace him, it was everything you could imagine about the Light and more," she says.
And so she helped her friend pass into the next life. She later called his caregiver who confirmed that he had in fact died.
"I realized either this was real or I was crazy," she remembers. "I couldn't walk the line anymore."
At that time, she still hadn't been introduced formally to shamanism; she had simply been searching, keeping what felt right spiritually and setting aside what didn't.
Two years after her experience with Billy she moved to Boulder and began sampling the area's "spiritual buffet."
That's when she bumped into shamanism.
"And I discovered it has exactly the same kind of spiritual practices that I'd been doing all my life," she says.
Today, Davidson earns a living as a shamanic teacher, guiding others on their path.
"I wonder if what most people are searching for in our culture is really the magic, their authentic selves," she says.
The first thing Davidson often does when somebody comes to her is offer a shamanic session where she communicates with the person's spiritual helpers, discovering and addressing a person's most pressing needs.
Later on in the process, if it's desired, she will guide a person on a shamanic journey, helping the person experience his or her spiritual helpers directly.
"You would close your eyes, lie down on a mat, usually with some sort of drumming tape," she says. "This helps shift the focus from the intellectual mind into the intuitive place and that's the piece we're trying to engage."
"You will often hear (internally) actual words. Sometimes you'll see visions on the first journey, like a mini-vision quest. Your Spirit Helpers can show themselves to you in the form of Hawk, Eagle, Bear, Angel, Ancestor, and others."
Davidson has worked with hundreds of people over the years, she says, even before she started Ancientways Center.
"I think she's an amazing mentor," says Michele Allen, a 49-year-old from Denver who makes the trek up to the Boulder foothills. "Her essence is healing, just to be around her."
Allen used to be a successful interior designer, very mainstream, she says, before finding out she had a brain tumor. Her disease introduced her to shamanism, and changed her world.
"Most of us make choices in life that have nothing to do with who or what we really are and then we go through some mid-life crisis or we find out that we have a serious illness before we take a step back and start to view what we're all about," Davidson says.
Allen says she can talk endlessly about shamanism and credits it with helping her overcome her disease.
"I was kind of able to make friends with my life and be at peace," she says. "To me, that's what shamanism is all about, making friends with who you are in life and your place in this world."
About Distance Shamanic Sessions:
There is no loss of energetic support and presence through distance shamanic sessions. In fact there is often a deeper connection. This is because interaction by voice and energy is often stronger without the distraction of the physical. It is important to have privacy for your session and to schedule at least 15 minutes to relax and prepare. A time for integration afterward is also important. A quality telephone headset is a very good idea but not crucial for single sessions or short series. Please note that ear buds (without mouth microphone) as well as speaker telephones do not carry the energetic qualities needed for this work.
After you've explored the different information and associated costs on the website you're welcome to schedule a 15-minute telephone conversation with Chris Davidson to see if this work feels right for you (please note that this cannot be a shamanic session, which requires formal preparation).
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Shamanic Training Programs and Shamanic Practices for healing, insight, and growth