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Trish Cormack, BSc, PhD: Shamanic Training and ExperienceTrish Coates

Shamanism is an ancient practice that runs deep in the veins of the Earth and all of the humans who walk it. These ancient whispers called to me as a child, and at age 5 or 6 I had a vision/memory of the pain and torture that can be part of the human condition, which I could not possibly have known from this lifetime. Whether this was from past-life memory or merely a deep insight into humanity from the perspective of the current life is arguable (and probably irrelevant). There were many other experiences that harked to a deep connection with spirit, and knowledge of worlds beyond the purely visible and tangible, but like many a child of these times, I was taught to bury this knowing deep. Bury it I did, but retained the knowledge that in some inexplicable way, all was connected. In the early 80s, at the age of 18 I received a profound vision from spirit (in an encounter with a plant spirit) in which much was revealed to me about the nature of reality, of love, and the human condition. I was shown that love was the fabric of the universe, and the only viable force for change and healing. At the time, I had no idea that this was a shamanic experience, but recognised it as a profound gift from spirit, and it served as a beacon of hope and a yardstick for the way I lived my life.

I was unaware of shamanism as a practice, or as a concept, until synchronicity, in the form of a book lent by a friend, gave me a name for this particular experience, the knowledge I had, the things I'd done with my dreams, and my mind – shamanism. A few years later, in 2000, I formally learned the practice of shamanic journeying, which had an extremely profound effect on my life and personal development. I then set about learning the many and varied tools of the shamanic practitioner. I trained in core shamanic healing practices and in the subtle and deep practices of the Path of Pollen with the Sacred Trust, and in Medicine for the Earth and Healing with Spiritual Light, and the teacher training programme with Sandra Ingerman.

Having been actively pursuing my own psycho-spiritual development since the early 90s, using a variety of techniques such as meditation, visualisations, mining the unconscious through non-dominant hand-writing, inner child work and dream analysis, the quantum leaps that came about through learning shamanic journeying in 2000 means that I have been an avid shamanic practitioner since then. I have been working shamanically on behalf of others since 2004, using the healing techniques of soul retrieval, power animal retrieval, extraction, as well as investigative journeying, seership, divination techniques, house-clearing and teaching journeying skills one-to-one or in groups. (For more information about shamanic practices, please see About Shamanism).

I have been teaching for many years in different ways; my natural instinct is to pass on my knowledge and experience in order to benefit others. In the 80s and 90s I was teaching skydiving; and until 2009, microbiology, biochemistry and statistics as a lecturer at the University of Bradford. In the last decade, in various ways, teaching my passion – shamanic practices, including dreaming practices.

In 2015, I married my beloved partner Alec, and Trish Coates became Trish Cormack. We had a wonderful shamanic ceremony in the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge.

 

 
Background

Born in the north-east of England in 1964, my world opened up at age 7 when I moved to the middle east with my parents, living and going to school there for 3 years before returning to a boarding school in the idyllic countryside near a fishing village in North Yorkshire. Travelling back and forth to the middle east and further afield, and being immersed in the coast, hills and moors of North Yorkshire gave me a deep appreciation of many different cultures and a love of nature and walking, as well as a fierce independence.

I am a seeker and scientist by nature, and by training, with a PhD in Microbiology. Indeed, when I first started learning shamanic practices, I had recently finished my doctorate in Microbiology, and taken up my first post-doctoral research post in the University of Leeds. Despite that some may raise an eyebrow that a scientist would entertain anything to do with the world of spirit, in fact, science and shamanism fit together perfectly. For me, shamanism is spiritual science. There is no requirement to unquestioningly believe in something that someone in authority tells you; shamanism is a very pragmatic, result-oriented philosophy. The individual learns certain practices and techniques which they put into practice and they then observe the results. The practitioner develops their own connection with spirit or the divine, which allows them to learn more about the universe we find ourselves in, and develop their practices further – it is a system of direct revelation.

 
Philosophy

My philosophy is fairly pragmatic; I use ancient shamanic techniques married, where appropriate, to modern technology, and with an eye on the fact that we are modern humans. As modern humans, we have much of the underlying hardwiring of the ancients, yet with an overlay of complexity in the form of our intellect, which has been heavily conditioned. Any shamanic work must not only be effective energetically and spiritually, but must also speak to the complexities of our modern psyche, and ultimately satisfy the intellect.

Pilgrimage