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‘Shaman’, meaning ‘intermediary between spirit and the natural world’, has become a much overused word in the West. It’s not a job title one can give oneself, and in indigenous societies, a shaman is usually born to this role. Ya’Acov Darling Khan is one of the few westerners who have been acknowledged as shamans by indigenous elders or teachers.
After being hit by lightning, Ya’Acov took a 30-year journey into the heart of shamanism to seek his own healing, and to learn how he could serve others with the wisdom he acquired through his experiences. He has studied with indigenous teachers from the Arctic Circle to the USA and South America, and has taken part in ceremonies in such diverse locations as Welsh caves to the depths of the Amazon rainforest. Nowadays, Ya’Acov continues to study and regularly journeys to the Ecuadorean Amazon to work alongside the Achuar and Sápara people.
For thousands of years, shamans helped the people in their communities remain in balance with themselves, each other, the natural world and the spirit world. This beautifully written book is not only a powerfully honest, humorous and inspiring memoir, but a guidebook for those from many cultures and walks of life wishing to return to their indigenous roots, and be part of midwifing a more benign human presence here on Earth as part of a new dream.
From a young age, Ya’Acov has been drawn to the down-to-earth connection with the spirit world that shamanism invites. He has pursued this yearning throughout his adult life, studying and practicing with many gifted teachers around the world. He has been recognised as a practicing shaman (*) by Elder Shamans from the Sami (European tradition), and Achuar and Sápara peoples of the Amazon. His Movement Medicine workshops are inspiring, empowering, contemporary and practical and are attended by people from all walks of life.
Ya’Acov’s creations include the CDs: Movement Medicine CD 1 (with Susannah). You can hear him on the Long Dance CDs 21 Gratitudes and Another 21 Gratitudes. His second book, Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart – the 21st Century Initiation of an Everyday Shaman, will be published by Hay House in the Spring of 2017.
(*) Ya’Acov writes: ‘Shaman’ means traditional healer. It is a much over-used and maligned word and I use it with caution. It is not something that one can call oneself. It is a vocation and a student is traditionally given this ‘job title’ by their elders and teachers at a certain point in their journey. As with any vocation, one initiation is just the preparation for the next.