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  • Sam Polakoff

Shamanism Means What, Exactly?

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

A look behind the scenes of the writing of Shaman.

Most of us have heard the word, “shaman,” but likely don’t know exactly what a shaman is. Learning about shamanism while writing the 2019 thriller entitled, Shaman, was an interesting journey. Through extensive research and multiple interviews with a practitioner in Canada, I gained a deeper understanding of shamanic practices and beliefs including reincarnation and the existence of the Akashic Records. As you read this blog, I offer humble apologies for any oversimplification, error or omission. The concept of shamanism is extraordinarily complex and varies greatly from culture to culture. This blog seeks only to provide the most basic and modest explanation in order to indoctrinate readers for the upcoming publication of Shaman.

Let’s start with this. A shaman is someone with the ability to access spirits, often in an altered state of consciousness, for the purpose of healing. Shamans can also see the future. Cultures around the world embrace shamanism. Ceremonies and rituals vary by culture, but the common threads are healing and clairvoyance. The same powers that enable a good shaman to heal the sick can also be used for evil. The only substantive difference between a shaman and a sorcerer is intent. Often, shamanic practices are handed down from generation to generation.

Shamans believe that the human body is an energy field that flows like a river. If the river damns up, the body is stricken by “heavy energy.” Until the river flows freely, the patient will experience any number of physical or mental maladies. In South America, a shaman might clear heavy energy by transferring it from the patient to another object or even a small animal.

Shamans see existence in three dimensions commonly described as the lower, middle and upper worlds. In simple terms, the lower world represents the past, the middle world represents the present and the upper world, the future. A shaman might use a plant extract which acts as a hallucinogen to enter an altered state of consciousness to “travel” across the three dimensions.

Shamans believe in what we might commonly call, reincarnation. This premise provides that the soul is the life force of existence and inhabits bodies over indefinite numbers of lifetimes in search of a more perfect existence. Once the perfect existence occurs, the soul would ascend to a blissful state in the upper world. This dimension is where the shaman will travel to “see” the future.

Everything a person does in each lifetime the soul occupies is recorded for all eternity in the Akashic Records. Shamans travel to the lower world to learn of past lives lived in order to “clear” conflicts that may be causing heavy energy in a current lifetime. For Shaman, I submitted to an Akashic reading and learned of many past lifetimes my soul has lived. One of the most interesting things I learned was that souls tend to reincarnate in groups over many lifetimes. So according to my reading, my daughter in this lifetime was my sister in a prior lifetime. My wife in this lifetime was my daughter in yet another time period.

Flashes of scant memories from past lives lived can and do “appear” in the minds of current lifetime occupants. One of the most compelling examples of this surfaced during my own Akashic reading. Throughout my life, I have always experienced “flashes” of a brief memory making me feel as if I once lived in the Old West. I dismissed these feelings using the excuse that I had watched too many Clint Eastwood westerns. In fact, other than my wife, I had never told anyone about the feeling of having lived in the Old West. Lo and behold, during my Akashic reading, a previous lifetime my soul lived did, in fact, take place in the Old West. This revelation created a new level of realization for me.

With the aforementioned lessons in tow and wanting to do something unique, I set out to create a lighthearted piece of entertainment in the thriller genre that anyone could understand and enjoy. Shaman tells the story of Dan Alston, a US senator from Maryland who had been haunted throughout his life by a strange voice and visions. A mountain climber, Dan experiences the most vivid episode while on Mt. Ausangate in Peru. The epsiode shows him a future relegating the earth to its early demise from an environmental apocalypse.

With help from his chief of staff, Talia (Tally) Clayton, Dan is reluctantly pushed to learn about shamanism, reincarnation and the Akashic Records. During this process, he discovers he once lived as a shaman during the final days of the Inca empire in 15th century Peru. From there, he must reconcile events from that time period and their devastating effects on the future of the planet.

Shaman is a thriller unlike any you have ever read. It is my hope that you enjoy it!

Sam Polakoff

July 31, 2019

Shaman is scheduled for release by Komodo Dragon, LLC on September 16, 2019 and will be available at online booksellers across the world. Read a complete description of the novel and pre-order for Kindle at


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