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Shamanic Quest

Contemporary Shamanism for the 21st Century

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Smudging - 8 Herbs in Shamanic Practice

Posted on 19 April, 2017 at 6:36 Comments comments (0)
Shamanic smudging is a tradition which has been used for generations to create peace and harmony. There are many different smudging ceremonies, and different shamanic practices use a variety of herbs for smudging. Shamanic smudging is the burning of herbs or incense for cleansing, creation of sacred space, purification, dismissal of negative energies and protection of both physical and spiritual bodies.

You can use herbs that are tied into a bundle, commonly called Smudge Sticks, braided herbs and botanicals, such as sweetgrass or loose herbs which can be burned on charcoal or in a fire pit. Shamanic smudging releases the energy as well as the fragrance of the herbs enabling them to heal, cleanse and purify.

Different shamanic traditions use different herbs for smudging. Some of the most popular herbs include desert sage, white broadleaf sage, juniper, pinon, sweetgrass, lavender and juniper.

Shamanic smudging can be used daily for practical purposes: to restore physical, mental and emotional balance and to shield against negative energies, and herbs can be used singly or together. One good combination we’ve found which covers all four elements of air, fire, water and earth is pine resin and sage (either desert sage or white broadleaf sage). This combination is appropriate for general use, cleansing, ceremony and ritual.
Desert sage

Primarily an air element herb though can also be used as for four-element general purposes.

Has a sharp, light and refreshing scent. One of the most sacred herbs in Shamanic practice.

Used to purify the mind, body and spirit before prayer, meditation, ritual or ceremony.

Also used to purify sacred items such as pipes, magical tools, tarot decks and eagle feathers. Can be used for area, house and personal cleansings.

Some people carry a small amount of Sage in a pocket ensure personal and spiritual safety.

Pinon Resin
Primarily a fire element herb, though can also be used as for four-element general purposes.

Has a pleasant fragrance and is cleansing and warming. Traditionally used for its spiritual and healing properties.

Produces a thick stream of smoke, and is excellent for refreshing the senses and reviving a tired soul.

Myrrh Resin 

Produces a lot of smoke when burned with a very earthy, piney scent. Gathered from an almost leafless Middle Eastern shrub called the Commiphora Molmol.

It was used by the ancient Egyptians in rituals of Healing and Passing. It is one of the ingredients used
by the Egyptians to embalm bodies.

Useful for spirituality, meditation, happiness, release, transformation, strength, confidence and stability.

Frankincense Resin  

Primarily a fire element though can also be used as for four-element general purposes. This is the resin of an African tree and produces a rich, dense smoke when burned.

Used extensively in meditation and healing. Frankincense's spiritual scent was believed to confer divine blessing.

White Broadleaf Sage

Primarily air element though can also be used as for four-element general purposes.

This is a broad leaf sage with strong aromatic properties (strongest of the different types of sage).

Considered the king of all sages. Excellent for meditation, divination, smudging, cleansing and purification.


Sweetgrass Hierochloe odorata gets its name from its sweet-aromic fragrance. Burned as an incense, sweetgrass is valued for its vanilla-like scent.

Clippings of sweetgrass is commonly braided and and then dried prior to burning and its light fragrance does not last long. Excellent for cleansing sacred space.

Traditionally, sweetgrass is believed to attract good spirits and positive energies. It is used as a smudging tool to purify peoples auras, cleanse objects, and clear ceremonial areas or healing spaces.


Juniper has a sharp, piney scent and is excellent to stimulate and revive when tired in body, mind or Spirit.

Traditionally used for ritual purification of temples. Its smoke is believed to aid clairvoyance.

Also useful for purification and to stimulate contact with other worlds.

Rose Flowers and Petals

Primarily water element. Produces a heavy, warm, aromatic scent with just a hint of sharpness and scent lasts a long time after burning.

Excellent for meditation, divination and increasing psychic abilities.

Traditionally associated with attracting love, conferring peace and enhancing beauty.
About the Author

Melanie Tomsett is a Shamanic practioner and owner of Shamanic Quest based in Hertfordshire in the UK. Shamanic Quest offer a range of opportunities for you to explore and learn shamanic practices.

These include Introductory Workshops, Foundation Course, Practitioner Course, Drum Circle, Sweat Lodge, Sun Lodge and Moon Lodge, Student Clinics and Consultations. Full details can be found at

10 Ways To Clear Your Root Chakra

Posted on 5 April, 2017 at 6:07 Comments comments (0)
Maybe you’re going through a hard time or feeling anxious, insecure, or vulnerable. Perhaps you just feel you can’t let your guard down or are finding it hard to relax. Or Sometimes the knocks of life can just throw us out of whack.

Sometimes when we feel out-of-sorts or a little unsettled in this way it can be helpful to clear and balance our root chakra. The root chakra is the first of the seven chakras.  And it can be the key to feeling grounded, safe, and secure in the world.

Clearing and balancing your root chakra can help you relax, feel calmer and more secure, and let go of some of those underlying fears you might be holding onto.  When you feel deeply secure, you can turn your attention to more exciting things such as your relationships, your creativity and art, your dreams for your career, ongoing learning, expanding your spiritual development, dyeing your hair blue, buying yourself a parrot – the possibilities are endless!

One really great thing is that you don’t have to be a trained energy healer to begin working to heal your own chakras.  Of course, it can help to get treatment from a professional energy healer, or come along to one of our courses (we’d love you to do that anyway!).  But there are many easy, down-to-earth, even fun things that you can do yourself to give your chakras a “tune-up.”

Here are 10 easy, effective things that you can do to really help you balance and ground that root-chakra!

What is the Root  Chakra?

The first or ‘root’ chakra is located at the base of the spine.  It’s keyword is “survival.”  It relates to self-preservation, survival instincts, our connection to our bodies and the element of the earth, and our sense of safety, security, and belonging in the world. 

Is Your First Chakra Healthy or Blocked?

If you have a healthy root chakra you will feel a basic sense of security and safety in the world. You are well-grounded and the practical side of your life will usually function fairly smoothly.  You will have a sense of having ‘enough’ of everything you need to meet your needs. You will likely be fairly at ease with your own body and mostly, though not always, your body will be relatively healthy physically.
If your first chakra is out-of-balance or ‘blocked’ then you may feel overly fearful about security and survival.  Perhaps you sometimes experience extreme anxiety, or panic attacks. This might also effect your physical body, and manifest itself in issues with your bones, feet, legs, colon, elimination, or weight.  Or maybe, as sometimes happens, you have become overly practical, plodding through your life and have lost your ability dream or imagine.

The Healthy Chakra

A healthy chakra is open, allowing energy to flow freely both horizontally, in an exchange of energy with the universe, and vertically, connecting it with the other chakras.
It’s very common, at one stage or another in our lives, to have one or more chakras that are somewhat blocked or just out of balance.  And an under-functioning chakra can cause disruptions in a person’s body, mind, spirit, and life.

10 Ways to Clear and Balance Your Root Chakra

If you feel you could perhaps benefit from clearing your first chakra, there are many simple every-day things that you can do.  Here are ten ideas:

  1. belly breathe
  2. walk, especially walk barefoot in nature
  3. let it all go and get up and dance
  4. take your time when eating and thank the universe for the food you are eating; make sure you eat healthy   food, especially root vegetables or healthy “comfort food”
  5. get out in your garden – or if you don’t have a garden of your own, find some space in nature
  6. create healthy order or structure in your life or home; clear that clutter
  7. give yourself a foot massage and use Nutmeg. This essential oil as this can activate a sluggish root chakra, whilst bergamot will help it function better. A foot massage can actually affect all of your chakras as all of our major nerves have their endings in your feet, so pressing and massaging them can dissolve a lot of hidden blocks, helping to relax your chakras and reset your emotional complexion.
  8. wear red; red is associated with the root chakra and can help bring your focus back into balance
  9. daily repeat affirmations such as: “I am safe.”  “I have a right to be here.” “I have a right to be me.” “Life is good.”  “Everything is going to work out just fine.”  “I belong.”  “I have all that I need.” ” I am.”
  10. as well as using nutmeg and bergamot for your feet, surround yourself with earthy smells, such cedar, clove, or patchouli.


If you have serious concerns about your physical or mental health, you should seek the help of a qualified medical or mental health professional. The ideas in this article are meant to complement your health, rather than replace qualified professional health care.

About the Author

Melanie Tomsett is a Shamanic healer and owner of Shamanic Quest based in Hertfordshire in the UK. Shamanic Quest offer a range of opportunities for you to explore and learn shamanic practices. These include Introductory Workshops, Foundation Course, Practitioner Course, Drum Circle, Sweat Lodge, Sun Lodge and Moon Lodge, Student Clinics and Consultations. Please contact me for further information. Full details can be found at

A Quick Guide To a Moon Lodge

Posted on 29 March, 2017 at 4:27 Comments comments (0)
In ancient days, woman of a tribe or village would retreat into a Moon Lodge, Menstrual Hut or Red Tent during menstruation. It was a sacred place for women to renew, recharge, connect with one another and receive spiritual guidance.

They would gather during their moon times and be taken care of by the elder woman and younger maids of the village. Foods were prepared and delivered to the moon lodge. Women were completely discharged from their other duties and responsibilities so they could turn their attentions inward and care for themselves.
During this time, they would bleed on the earth, throw it into the fire and with it cast away their pains and discomforts.

They would laugh about the small things, cry over the bigger things and put the world to rights. The Moon time was, and still is, a time of natural Sacred Ceremony for all women, a time of dedication to the God and Goddess and for a higher spiritual purpose and connection.
Moon time is still a sacred time for women, however many of us have forgotten this. The physical act of menstruation allows the body to purge itself of any negativity that may have been collected during the month of the menstrual cycle. Fortunately, this cleansing can be supported in many ways.
There is a great importance for a woman to take care of herself Spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. One of the best ways to support our Moon Time is to begin by reconnecting with the divine feminine within ourselves by honouring our body.

Our body is the only one we will have for this entire life time. So let us begin by prioritizing our body and nurturing her. This could include reduction or elimination of processed foods, sugars or caffeine from our diet and avoiding drugs or alcohol for the duration of moon time as these things may lead to a negative impact on the functionality of our body and her energy flow.
When women come together in a circle, we can find support for our Spiritual, mental and emotional well being, along with nurturing and person empowerment.
The Moon Lodge that is run by Shamanic Quest operates on the Monday around the time of the Hag Moon – the Hag being the Wise Woman – it is not linked to the physical act of Moon Time for any specific woman.
The Shamanic Quest Moon Lodge explores the Sacred Feminine within us all, utilizing shamanic practices and principles, other ancient traditions of understanding and some Jungian archetype information so that we may explore and understand ourselves more deeply, connect with others and enjoy the company of women in the beautiful environment of the Mongolion Yurt.
The Goddess still lives within each and every woman, and to nurture that part of our soul and care for her is to accept the divine feminine in each of us.
For more information about Shamanic Quest and our Workshops, Courses and Lodges please contact Melanie Tomsett at Our Moon Lodge dates can be found here.

A Guide to Shamanic Quest Foundation Course

Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 8:49 Comments comments (0)
This course consists of eight modules spread over twelve one day workshops. Criteria for acceptance on the course are attendance of an Introductory Workshop. 
The principle aim of the course is to help you with your own, multi-dimensional personal development, re-establish your connections with the earth and nature and enable you to practice shamanics on an on-going basis to empower your future and help those around you with the knowledge and techniques learned.
Participation in the course will impart a deeper understanding of shamanism and its principles and practice.
You will learn how to access the extra-ordinary worlds of the shaman though shamanic journey techniques and develop a deeper experience of these non-ordinary realities.
You will:

  • learn the appropriate use of shamanic tools and techniques

  • come into an awareness of the subtle energies that surround and interpenetrates our physical body and learn various shamanic techniques that will enable us to sense these subtle energies and facilitate any required changes

  • begin to comprehend our own multi-dimensional nature – Body, Mind, Soul and Spirit – and learn how the intelligence of the physical body may be contacted and communicated with in order to correct any energy-imbalances that may be causing us problems

  • examine the mental ‘self’ and come to recognise how ‘conditioning’ has prevented us from expressing our ‘true’ self. At these workshops we shall be extending our levels of awareness to obtain the energy-patterns that are needed to deal with the concerns of everyday life, and also to discover the guidance and inspiration that can only be found within

  • examine fully the world around us from a shamanic perspective, using the medicine wheel as a guide in making our own personal links with nature and finding direction and purpose in our personal lives. We will experience for our self the Spiritual Ecology and learn how to work with the Elements and with benevolent powers of nature and by so doing obtain personal guidance that is of value in our life at the present time. We will come to understand through personal experience that the trees, plants, animals, birds, even rocks and stones can be our teachers

  • examine the nature of the Soul from a shamanic perspective and its relationship with the physical body and the Mind. A unique technique of Life-Energy Restoral is taught based upon a shamanic tradition of Soul therapy

  • examine how to retrieve information from subtle essences that are carried from previous lives and stored in our personal energy-system and how this information can help us better deal with the conflicts and challenges being faced in our present life. A unique method of past life therapy is introduced and experienced

  • There will be opportunities to consolidate your learning and understanding so that your can continue your development on completion of the course

There will be an opportunity for certification on completion of the course, the criteria of which will be discussed in workshop one

Melanie Tomsett  at Shamanic Quest offers One-Day Introductory Workshops at the  Clophill Centre, providing an overview of the Basic Principles and Practices of Shamanics.

For more details on the Foundation Course contact Melanie, and for our current Workshop dates see  here.

What is a Shaman?

Posted on 13 March, 2017 at 5:16 Comments comments (0)

Shaman are spiritual beings with the ability to heal, work with energies and 'see' visions. Shamans work with the spirit healing illness at the soul level, using knowledge and insight gained from working with the spirits of nature such as rocks and trees, the land, and from the spirits of animals and humans such as their ancestors. For the shaman, everything is alive and carries information.

You can call this spirit, energy, or consciousness. In order to communicate with the spirit or consciousness of these things, the shaman will shift his or her own state of awareness. Shamans can do this through various means, such as meditation and repetitive sounds such as that of the drum or rattle.

For centuries, shamans have also been involved with earth healing by using their ability to communicate with land, bodies of water and other such natural features of their landscape.

Whether by determining why crops would not grow in a certain location, or the reasons for drought; working with growing things, the weather, and the land has been a traditional activity for the shaman.
Melanie Tomsett at Shamanic Quest offers One-Day Introductory Workshops at the Clophill Centre, providing an overview of the Basic Principles and Practices of Shamanics.

For more details and our current Workshop and Celebration dates see here

What is Shamanics?

Posted on 6 March, 2017 at 3:48 Comments comments (0)

Shamanism is an ancient healing tradition and moreover, a way of life. Shamanism is the universal spiritual wisdom inherent to all indigenous tribes and where all ancient spiritual practices are rooted in nature, shamanism is the method by which we as human beings can strengthen that natural connection. Put simply Shamanism is a way to connect with nature and all of creation.
While people of many religions practice shamanism, Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, and Jews, not all shamans are members of an organized religion. Shamanism is not a religion but an application of beliefs. These beliefs are spiritually based and applied to the Shaman's healing work and as such there is commonality with religion, as most religions also have an element of spirituality which propels one to help others.
Shamanism organically arose from ancient tribes as a response to the needs of the people. Shamans have always been highly valued in their communities healing the injured and sick, performing sacred ceremonies, singing, chanting and dancing, expressing themselves artistically. Shamans often act as the bridge between the living and the dead, communicating with the spirits to receive knowledge and teachings of plants, animals, and the elements.
Over the past few decades the term “shamanism” has been popularized throughout the western world and ‘Shamanics’ amalgamates the ancient knowledge and practices of the Northern Hemisphere Shamans to form contemporary shamanic practice and is a form of deep spiritual, personal development and healing, based in nature and developed by Kenneth Meadows.
This form of Shamanics is a contemporary distillation of Northern Hemisphere Shaman knowledge (northern European, Amerindian, Hawaiian Kahuna and Doaist) that is based in the common truths held within all of these traditions, but without the dogma or ritual.
The techniques of Shamanics are simple but profound and can be easily practiced in any circumstance or location by the person using them. The teachings are experiential and found to be deeply meaningful for many people.
By utilising and traversing the ancient knowledge of the Shaman, the modern Shamanic Practitioner can undergo massive personal growth and an understanding of themselves and their place on the earth; experience deep balance and healing; and can also help others on their earth walk.
Melanie Tomsett at Shamanic Quest offers One-Day Introductory Workshops at the Clophill Centre, providing an overview of the Basic Principles and Practices of Shamanics.

For more details and our current Workshop dates see