Sarah Kerr, PhD, is a death doula and ritual healing practitioner. I’ve connected with Sarah and her work a number of times and was keen to follow up with her regarding a lecture she gave on the Shamanic Archetype, (part of a series, and just one of many resources she offers on contemporary archetypal shamanism).
In this conversation, I ask Sarah to explain the difference between The Priest/ess, The Shaman, and The Psychopomp as archetypes. (We also toss The Mystic in there for good measure).
We consider the implications of being white women doing work that is often called “shamanic”, and share our different perspectives and comfort levels around that. (It’s a site of struggle for each of us in our own way).
I also dig a little into a section of Sarah’s dissertation, Dreams, Ritual and the Creation of Sacred Objects: An Inquiry Into A Contemporary Western Shamanic Initiation. It’s a worthwhile read and this part of our dialogue will appeal to those who’ve long walked between the worlds but didn’t know what to do about it, or have had spontaneous initiation experiences and few places to turn for support. We talk specifically about how the Shamanic Archetype is often scapegoated by society, and how one way to heal through the Journey of the Walkaway is to choose to Return as Teacher/Interpreter.
Finally, Sarah shares a bit about her own initiation ritual and some personal parts that felt powerful for her. Some good ideas in there for those of us who adore that sort of thing.
If you’re in the Calgary area and you’d like to work with Sarah more closely on an on-going basis, you might want to check out the Calgary Community Healers’ Council.