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 upcoming 'Shaman – Invoking Power, Purpose and Presence in the Core of Who YOU Are' (Hay House March 31 2020), is known for his blend of strength, humility and 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 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.
Ya’Acov’s message? Shamanism, and a shift from society’s focus on acquisition to reciprocity, is a powerful key to restoring our universal connection and solving our interpersonal and world issues in the process.
Ya'Acov, the great-grandson of refugees, was raised near Liverpool. As early as age 7, though he wouldn't have known to call it that at the time, he felt drawn to the down-to-earth 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 that this being’s soul, speaks the language of dance, ritual and prayer. I have come to recognise the fact that reawakening a sense of the magic, potential and splendour of creation 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 32-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 in a crisis. 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.”
Ya’Acov’s latest book, Shaman - Invoking Power, Purpose and Presence in the Core of Who YOU Are' - is out March 31st 2020
“Our world is changing faster than we ever thought it could. The danger is immense, but so is the potential for utter - and beautiful - transformation. The strong, true, clear heart that Ya’Acov Darling Khan brings to his work and his writing is one of the things that gives me hope.
In the words of Greta Thunberg, speaking truth to power, ‘It is no longer enough to be the best that we can be. We need to be better.’
And if this books sings to you, as it can, and if you follow every ritual and meditation with integrity and depth and absolute dedication - as you can - then I can promise your world will be a brighter, sharper, more magical place. And you will be on your way to being better than the best you could be. The world needs you now. Go for it.”
Manda Scott. Author of The Boudica Series