I have devoted my life to the study of the deep wisdom seeds of Mother Earth Mysticism found in many traditions–from Buddhism to Native American spirituality to western shamanism to esoteric Christianity–to assist others in reaching their highest potential as human beings, to healing trauma, and ending violence, and bringing a lasting peace to the world. There are so many threads in my life that somehow miraculously came together to prepare me for stepping into my calling to be a healer and spiritual teacher, from spiritual to academic:

  • My transformative healing journey using energy medicine and other modalities to end symptoms of PTSD
  • My training in psychodrama for survivors of trauma and shamanic energy medicine
  • My study of Native American spirituality with Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo in the 1990s (a meeting which dramatically changed my life) and other teachers, including meeting paqos (medicine people) of the Andes in Peru.
  • My lifelong study of Buddhism jump started by my spiritually maverick mother and then, when I was an adult in retreats with teachers at Insight Meditation Society where I was privileged to sit with teachers like Jack Kornfield (along with a hundred or more other students).
  • My meetings and study with new shamans like Alberto Villoldo, founder of the Four Winds Society.
  • My long years’ academic research and teaching about trauma, violence and peace and about the new shamanism in the West.
  • Consulting with organizations like Naropa University, a Buddhist university seeking to bring contemplative psychology into the mainstream for peace or like the Virginia Domestic Violence and Action Alliance which seeks to educate, bring awareness about and end violence.
  • My love of and life with dogs!  Especially my Great Pyrennees, Sym (short for Tea & Sympathy–which we offer a lot of) who is one of my greatest teachers about staying happy, funny, peaceful and wise in the midst of change and even death.

I am so deeply grateful for the never boring journey of my life and especially for my many teachers and friends along the way! I am particularly thankful to my Native American teachers who had the courage to follow their calling from Spirit to offer their deep wisdom traditions to a world in crisis and in need of tools for finding balance, cultivating harmony and attaining inner peace. They did this despite the harm that has been and continues to be done to their cultures.  They did this because they love Mother Earth and us messy, complicated human beings! They are great teachers of the walk of power, integrity and love.   I am inspired by them.

Read on if you want to more detail on my background and training! And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to connect with me.

For over a decade, I have had a healing practice using shamanic energy medicine. I also offer teachings in the U.S. and internationally on the mystical system of the Great Medicine Wheel of the New Earth which combines the deep wisdom teachings, meditation practices and ceremony from Native American spirituality , Buddhism, western shamanism, and depth psychology. My work is also inspired by esoteric Christianity and my lifelong, interdisciplinary, academic study of spiritual healing of the causes and effects of transgenerational trauma and peacebuilding.

In 2007, I left a 25-year academic career to get formal training in The Four Winds Society Healing the Light Body School. I combine the energy medicine of the Amazon and Andes learned from Alberto Villoldo, PhD with principles and practices from depth psychotherapy and psychodrama.

I have spent over 20 years studying Native American spirituality and western shamanism.  My teachers have included, Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo, Chief of the Green Mountain Band of the Ani Yun Wi Wa of the Tsalagi (Cherokee) people. I have also studied the mystical traditions of the Q’ero Nation in Peru.

My interest in Buddhism began as a young child influenced by my spiritually maverick mother. As an adult, I have engaged in a deep study of the Vipassana tradition and have sat in retreat with various teachers at the Insight Meditation Society, including Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg.

I continue to straddle the boundary between the alternative healing world and Academia.  I parlayed an MA in Soviet Studies and a PhD in Slavic languages and literatures with an emphasis in anthropology and folklore into the study of the causes and impact of violence and how to heal through spirituality.  From 1997-2013, at the University of Virginia, I developed innovative undergraduate courses on racism, sexism and transgenerational trauma drawing on the contemplative practices and perspectives of Buddhism and Native American spirituality.  Course topics included “The New Shamanism in the West”, “Gandhi and the Native American Peacekeepers,” “Cultural Identity and Conflict”, “Story and Healing”, and “The Contemplative Sciences”.  From 2013-16, I have been a faculty member at Atlantic University which offers an MA in Transpersonal Psychology and teaches on the topic of “Transpersonal Research in the Human Sciences” and “Leading Issues in Transpersonal Psychology”, among others.

My lifelong interest in healing individual and collective trauma led me in the 90s to get training in psychodrama for trauma survivors and to be a part of various initiatives to bridge alternative and mainstream approaches to addressing individual and collective trauma.  Among other activities, I have been a guest speaker at the Seven Souls Colloquium on Healing Trauma and was a participant in a the CERI: Re-Imagining Peace after Massacres of the Center on Violence and Community. I was the co-director of The Art of Surviving, a traveling and digital exhibit of poetry, art and personal narratives by survivors of sexual violence, sponsored by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance.

I offer healing sessions and/or intuitive, soul readings to support and assist people on their journey of transformation at various locations, including:

My writings on healing, spirituality and shamanism have been published in Spirituality & Health, YourLifeisaTrip, Awareness Magazine, ECHO World, and Wildfire, a publication founded by the great Native American teacher, Sun Bear.

You can find interviews with me at Sancit Holistic Podcast and the Trauma Therapist (coming soon).

I am available to give talks on Mother Earth Mysticism, shamanism, healing, spirituality, violence and peace in spiritual, alternative, medical, and university settings. I am also available to give teachings and serve as a healing practitioner and to give intuitive, soul readings at conferences and special venues in the US and abroad.

For more information about me and my work, call 434-227-0538 or email rachelmannphd@gmail.com.