This week’s show is with Jez Hughes. Jez is a British shaman, having studied intensively the path of shamanism for 30 years. His healing journey began when, as a teenager, he experienced a fit that propelled him into an altered state of consciousness. It took a long time to integrate that experience and find healing for the physical and mental disturbances it initiated. This journey that he now understands as a shamanic one lasted for around 17 years and took him through healing and spiritual traditions across the earth until he finally came home to shamanism and found practical methods to cure himself. He has studied with various teachers and indigenous elders across the world.
Jez’s work has featured in the national press, as well as TV and radio and magazines including Sacred Hoop, Natural Health, Kindred Spirit and Soul & Spirit. His first book, The Heart of Life – Shamanic Initiation and Healing in the Modern World, was published in 2015 and his new book The Wisdom of Mental Illness – Shamanism, Mental Health and the Renewal of the World was published by Watkins in 2021. Jez’s passion is empowering people to reawaken their ancestors, the land where they reside and their spiritual heritages to heal the relationship between the human and natural world.
In this conversation, Jez and I explored shamanic wisdom when it comes to mental illness. We spoke about how out of balance with the natural world we are as a culture and how that manifests as mental illness, amongst other things, that although we tend to see mental illness as a personal issue, it’s really a cultural issue being expressed though individuals, and lastly, how some form of more extreme mental illness may actually be shamanic sickness – seen as an important and necessary part of the initiation of indigenous shamans.
And we ended the show with Jez giving some practical suggestions for moving towards balance and healing.
I’d love to know what YOU think about this week’s show. Let’s carry on the conversation… please leave a comment below.
What you’ll learn from this episode:
- Our modern culture doesn’t really understand that there’s a balance that’s out of balance, so its no wonder we are where we are when it comes to so many things, and especially mental health. For us to understand there’s a natural balance between humans and the unseen powers behind nature, allows us to begin the work of returning to balance.
- As you heard, Jez was not saying that all forms of mental health issues are shamanic sickness – and yet, it’s important to understand that some may well be, that gives context and meaning that can be healing in and of itself, both for the person and ultimately the community they’ll serve to bring back into balance.
- Jez suggested going into nature and making offerings and also building and sitting with a fire… these are ways to bring us back to our bodies and begin to create balance, however small, with the natural world.
Resources and stuff that we spoke about
- Jez’s Official Website: Second Sight Healing
- Jez’s Book:
- Follow Jez’s in Social Media
Thank you for listening!
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Lian & Jonathan