Ya’Acov Darling Khan, the author of the best-selling Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart – the Real-Life Initiation of an Everyday Shaman (Hay House 2017), and the recently released 'Shaman – Invoking Power, Purpose and Presence in the Core of Who YOU Are' (Hay House March 31 2020), is known for his blend of down-to-earth strength, humility and uplifting humour.
He is acknowledged as a practicing shaman by the people who work with him world-wide and by many indigenous elder shamans and communities from the Arctic to the Amazon.
Travelling the world for more than three decades to work with groups delivering Movement Medicine, Ya’Acov has spoken to audiences across the globe at some on the most pre-eminent platforms driving the transformation of world culture and sustainability (California’s Esalen organisation, The Embodiment Conference), as part of line-ups which include our most influential voices of spirituality today including Marianne Williamson and Ken Wilber. Presently, he is offering his work online through 21 Gratitudes and his one-to-one work.
Ya’Acov’s message? Contemporary embodied Shamanism, and the Inner Shaman in YOU, far from being irrelevant, fantastical and a way of avoiding reality, can provide keys to restoring and evolving our connection to ourselves, to each other and to the power and beauty of nature and solving our interpersonal and world issues in the process.
As early as age 7, Ya’Acov, the son of an entrepreneur raised near Liverpool, felt drawn to the connection with the spirit world that shamanism invites.
With age, the calling to explore this world intensified. After struggling for years to come to terms with a perception of life that only traditional Shamanism could explain, it was being struck by lightning on a golf course that proved to be the awakening which was to change the course of his life forever.
So began Ya’Acov’s three decades of study and practice with spiritual teachers and Elder Shamans from the Sami (European tradition), and Achuar and Sápara peoples of the Amazon.
“Along the way I had to carve out a sense of normality and accept my soul speaks the language of dance, ritual and prayer. Re-awakening a sense of the magnificence, potential and splendour of creation, and providing tools for being as creative as we can with our healing and the more challenging aspects of life in a body on earth in as many people as possible, is the blessing I am lucky enough to call my job.” says Ya’Acov.
His work is inspiring, contemporary and practical, and Ya’Acov’s audience includes people from all walks of life. In a time in which western society has become disconnected from ancestral and natural wisdom, much of his work is about education and removing the unhelpful mystique of the term ‘Shaman,’ meaning traditional healer.
His 34-year marriage and partnership with ‘Movement Medicine Woman’ and wife, Susannah, with whom he is Co-Director of The School of Movement medicine and Co-Author of Hay House published Movement Medicine, forms the loving foundation and union for a life dedicated to the transformation of our world.
“As a species, we are at a cross-roads. I have a strong vision for a future in which we have evolved our way of living to a more equitable, sustainable and ultimately much more fulfilling existence as part of the web of life that sustains us. Our work? To reach as many people as possible and support them to know who they really are, find their purpose and live meaningful lives.”