Dear Mary-

I love your website it is very informative and not BS like other websites that I have been on. My question would be, and I do not know if you have addressed this before so forgive me, but what was/is the relationship of Shamans and Spirits? The reason I ask is because what I get from most practitioner’s relationships with spirit is romance, jobs, money, court cases, etc. Why do Shamans work with Spirits and vice versa? This applies to all types of spirits.

Thanks Mary and keep up the good work.



Hi Nicky-

Thank you for submitting this question. It is an important one, and one that is often overlooked for various reasons.

There are a few sub-questions here that I will bring up– such as why do spirits work with us? and what is working with actual spirits like? along with your excellent question of what is the relationship of Spiritual Workers (I use that word instead of Shaman for a lot of reasons people are pretty tired of me talking about by now) to Spirits?


So first things first. Most people do not work with spirits, or more accurately, they likely do not know what or who they are working with… or they have not achieved any depth in their spiritual relationships. 

What does this mean? It means that a lot of people self-create spirits and energies to work with. They are a part of themselves. I harp on this a bit because if you are working with something that you self-created it can only have so much power. Meaning it can only have up to and including how much power you personally have. If you are working with an actual spirit, you are working with not only your own power but theirs as well. This is a really important distinction.

So if we self-create spirits they can be our indentured servants, or slaves. They are typically one-dimensional, without much personality, show up whenever you want them to, and will do whatever you want. They also tend to agree with whatever you say, or will only say things to you that come from either your conscious awareness or from one of the more surface layers of your subconscious.

I will say that working with parts of yourself, specifically integrating them, is really important work. But it is different than working with actual spirits.

Also, a lot of people have no idea what or who they are working with. They may be working with a spirit but the spirit is not showing their true form either because you are not ready for them to (a very common reason), you have been taught that spirits are intended to be these indentured servants and are supposed to act in particular ways (hello upper and lower world cosmology) and so your own mind and belief systems (basically your issues) are stopping them from completely coming through. Or coming through in their true form.

Another reason is that a spirit (for example a former human) may say that they are your guide, or an Archangel, or whatever, so they can attach to you. It happens more than people might think. People aren’t really taught discernment and practicality when it comes to the spirit world, so they will accept anything that comes their way at face value. If someone were to come up to you in a bar and tell you that they were a multi-millionaire film producer who wants you to be in a starring role in their next movie, you would likely have the common sense to realize they were full of it. But if a similar thing happens in the spiritual realms, people don’t question it. Odd, isn’t it?

The other question here is one of depth. Most people do not have the skills, or more likely, the patience to develop significant spiritual relationships. It takes time. I have worked with spirits for years who have put me through trials, or wouldn’t even tell me their name for a period of time. They were checking to see if I was worthy of working with them. This happens, especially if you are working with more powerful energies/spirits/beings.


So back to your question…

Why do Spiritual Workers work with Spirits? In simplicity, if you are an actual spiritual worker (and don’t just play one on tv or in weekend workshops) it is dangerous to work by yourself. You need to have working relationships with Spirits, basically.

Spiritual workers do work with spirits because spirits can more easily travel and understand the spiritual realms than humans in their meat suits can. They can be intermediaries, bringing through messages from other spirits and energies that may not be able to talk directly to you for whatever reason. Also, a spirit or energy that I am working with that is attached to someone may not want to talk to me, but they often are willing to talk to one of my spirits that I work with.

We also need to talk about power here. A Spiritual Worker is as powerful as their network of spirits. If you have developed deep, significant working relationships to your spirits, they will not only do work for you, but they will bring their power and protection to the session.

More simply put, if you are not connected to spirits and you are doing work only through yourself (with self-created spirits or you just don’t have the skill or depth yet to work with actual spirits or have working relationships with them) and try to do moderate to difficult spiritual work you will get sick, you will be attacked, and you will walk around tired most of the time. This is because a single human isn’t that filled with power, no matter who they are. They are only so protected. So what happens is that if you do not have a “network” of spirits working with you, you burn out, and are more open to be harmed.

The above is incredibly common, by the way. I have heard about so many “shamans” getting sick, being tired, or being attacked all the time, and it just doesn’t have to happen. Not saying some work will not be tiring some days (like all work is) but if you develop proper spiritual relationships (as well as know what you are doing. Sigh…) it just doesn’t really happen.

So in my work my spirits do most of my work. I am there to direct them (sometimes, most of the time they can do better work and in different ways than I can), but mainly my job these days is to talk to the client and take them through the mental-emotional aspect of things so that they can consciously accept the work that I, and my spirits, are doing.

Spirits are also my teachers, guides, and elders. I have deep respect for them. Most spirits that I have developed working relationships with have more power than I could possibly ever have… but also they have much more wisdom than I do. They are my teachers, my guides, and my elders. This is only because I trust them and know who they are, though. I don’t go to spiritual workshops any more because the spirits I work with have a lot more wisdom and guidance than any human source could. This happens to most actual Spiritual Workers over time– they are taught directly by spirits and it is much deeper, much more wisdom and power than any book or workshop or whatever. But again, this is only if they are not self-created and quoting law of attraction type stuff (which most self-created spirits tend to do, it seems).

So now let us explore the other half of this… We have talked about how spirits can bring us power, they can protect us, they can work for us. They are important teachers, elders, and guides. This is only if we are in a working relationship with them, however. Just like you wouldn’t ask a random person at a bar to loan you a thousand dollars (well, most of us wouldn’t) you wouldn’t ask a random spirit to do work for you.

If we do not have a working relationship to spirits, to power external from ourselves, we burn out. We are intended to be in a network, to have power other than our own support us, guide us, and so forth. We either burn out or we are doing just life coach style psychological shamanism with no real power. And without power, we can only do so much work. Again, it just doesn’t happen. But I have seen this happen so much with people– they are doing spiritual work and are constantly talking about being attacked, sick all the time, or their work simply doesn’t do much (or all three). While there is a psychological component to the whole “shaman sickness” thing in some of these cases, it is mostly because the “shaman” hasn’t developed either their own power or external/network of power.

Those people that you refer to that are just asking for money or want things from spirits without giving anything back are not in a real relationship with spirits, by the way. It just isn’t how it works. Especially if you haven’t developed a relationship. Nothing drives me up the wall than random people calling on some archangel or saint or some random goetic something or other without developing a relationship with them. Because best case scenario it won’t do much. Worst case scenario they can really piss something off.

It is not like you can’t petition a spirit for money, or help in a relationship, but again, it takes time and effort to build a strong relationship with a spirit where they are willing to do something like this for you. And then, you typically don’t need the type of help that most people self-creating spirits and asking random spirits for things are looking for. If you do find a spirit willing to bring you money, or whatever, without knowing them, I suggest deeply questioning why they are doing so. If some random dude at the bar wouldn’t give you money, why would a “spirit guide”.

There is trust that is necessary, there is time and patience that is required to build relationships (especially a working relationship). Like all relationships, working with spirits requires respect, time, patience, and depth.

So why do Spirits work with us?

In a real working relationship, spirits work with us for a variety of reasons. It might be their job, quite frankly. Certain spirits enjoy working with humanity, and to do so lets them help aid humanity.

Some spirits may enjoy bestowing their wisdom on people, and acting like elders.

As mentioned before, some spirits are specifically meant to be ambassadors to the spirit world, to be a link between the physically dense world and other realms. It is their job, basically

But in a lot of spirit relationships, spiritual workers learn how to give proper offerings. This is a whole blog in and of itself, but many spirits do not work for nothing. They want specific offerings from the spiritual worker as payment. This is the most common reason spirits (as in actual spirits) work with humans.

Other spirits who are more powerful may want to claim a spiritual worker. Although this sounds odd, basically what happens in a spiritual relationship (well, some of them) is that you have a hierarchy of spirits. Some spirits wish to be the most important spirit in your life, and will only form a bond or work with you if you agree to terms like this (and/or other terms that work for the spirit).

As mentioned, some spirits test Spiritual Workers over the course of months, or years (or decades… Sigh) to develop a deepening relationship with the Spiritual Worker. Each test that you pass that shows your worth allows for you to work with the Spirit on a deeper level, and to access and be able to be in a “network” with more of their power.

It is worth mentioning that some spirits just like to screw with humans, to cause them harm, or to essentially make fun of “shamans” who don’t know what they are doing by attaching to them and draining their energy, or finding some sort of inlet inward to form a contract or agreement with the “shaman” without them being conscious of it to not only drain energy but also disrupt their life, attach to their clients, and so forth. This happens a fair amount, especially because there is a lack of discernment and practicality in learning how to be a “shaman” and it is treated like something that anyone can do for fun on the weekends these days.

And finally, some spirits work to elevate themselves. There is a hierarchy to the spiritual realms, and some spirits work with accomplished spiritual workers because the work itself (doing spiritual work) as well as aligning to a spiritual worker allows for them to become more elevated, or basically, go up a few spots (or a lot of spots) in the hierarchy of the spirit world.

I hope that answers your questions, Nicky, and again, great question!


If you would like to submit a question for my spiritual advice column, you can contact me here. Please note, I do not answer all questions, and am not an allopathic physician (meaning go to your doctor if you are concerned about something, and take my opinions/thoughts with the proverbial grain of salt).