Published by Herne on June 6, 2013

For this month’s interview Wyldwood speaks to June Kent, editor and founder of Indie Shaman.

Indie Shaman started off as a community in 2006, and by 2009 it had gained enough interest and funding that the magazine was launched. Indie Shaman now offers a community, a magazine and also 2 wonderful distance courses to train you in Shamanism. Wyldwood talks to June about the roots of the project, the future and her path in Shamanism.

Wyldwood: Indie Shaman began in 2006 as a discussion board and has grown into one of the leading Shamanic hubs for community, training, information and Shamanic products. What inspired you to start Indie Shaman?

June: I was asked to! That was the reason I began the first discussion board which evolved into Indie Shaman although undoubtedly there was a lot of synchronicity leading me in same direction. There was a small group of people looking for a supportive forum where they could discuss spiritual matters and an online friend of mine asked me if I would start one.

There were several discussion boards about at the time but nothing UK based specifically about shamanism and some of the other boards tended to be centres of lively debate rather than supportive sharing. The discussion board was moved to its own hosted website for privacy and forum members suggested they could help contribute to the running costs so Indie Shaman was formed as a company for ethical reasons (the company receiving the money rather than me as an individual). The shop was started because people asked where they could source ethical shamanic products and with the aim of financially supporting the free services we offered. By 2009 Indie Shaman had grown sufficiently to offer something more and we launched the magazine.

So what inspired me was a variety of wonderful people together with shamanism itself and I hope we provide a useful resource to pass on the inspiration.

Wyldwood: We see that you are a deeply spiritual person, what was your introduction to the Shamanic path?

June: As a child I had spiritual dreams I could interact with and would see and hear things that apparently ‘were not there’. I also have always had support from spiritual ‘animal friends’; the first being Horse when I was a small child and I used to chat to Spider while she wove her web as a teenager. Although like many people I kept that part of my life separate as I was grew up.

Then during my 30’s I began dreaming of a ‘Gypsy’ who would turn up every night and whose cart I would follow down the road as we chatted. He told me not to worry as you ‘are one of ours’ which made no sense to me whatsoever at the time and in fact I found the whole thing very embarrassing so mentioned it to no-one. Around the same time another Guide turned up, literally, in my bedroom one night while I was awake. A whole series of lessons began. Very shortly after both had arrived my life was affected badly by traumatic events culminating in post-traumatic shock followed by physical illness which floored me for a year or so.

It actually wasn’t until just before starting Indie Shaman that I was led to the term shamanism by other people who gave a name to my path enabling me to pass on their kindness to others. It was also around this time, in 2006, that I began researching my father’s family history for him and discovered that he was Romani and that the Romani I had ‘dreamed’ of, who had given me his name at the time, was an Ancestor.

Wyldwood: Who or what were your biggest influences in beginning Indie Shaman?

June: All the original Indie Shaman community – Nelly Moon and all the other friends who asked me to start the original forum. Plus all the other wonderful people who took the time to provide a kind word, or verification of an experience when I needed it in the beginning. And my guides and ancestors of course.

Wyldwood: As Indie Shaman has grown into a shop, course, community and magazine, What would you describe as Indie Shaman’s Mission?

June: The mission was developed by the community itself. “Indie Shaman aims to provide a means of helping people answer questions about life, promote self-discovery and self-development, and encourage respect for the self, the community and the land. We aim to do this by providing a supportive network for those interested in a shamanic way of life, as well as for shaman and shamanic Practitioners from all cultures and for those of mixed heritage as well as those who are unsure yet as to where their cultural heritage lies.”

We sum this up as:

Honouring our Ancestors

Honouring the Land

Honouring our Community and Ourselves

Wyldwood: How would you describe Shamanism to those who might not have heard about it before?

June: Shamanism is a term used to describe practices that have existed since the ancient history of the human race. These practices include the ability to enter trance and journey to the otherworldly realms inhabited by the world of spirit.

A shaman’s practice is characterised by walking in both worlds, freeing their spirit energy from the body to seek out healing or knowledge, in order to help their community.

In shamanism everything has a life force or spirit and we are surrounded by that energy all the time. Spirit is not separate from what we do but a part of everything we do. All of existence is interconnected. Our actions affect it and its actions affect us.

While not everyone will have the inclination to work as a shaman or shamanic practitioner it is my belief that anyone who is interested can apply the principles of shamanism to their life as well as, if they want, use journeying for their own personal healing and development.

There are still many debates around shamanism including whether the contemporary interest in it is as valid as indigenous shamanism but I believe it may be more useful to simply accept in the best principles of shamanism that ‘it is happening’. It may indeed be that as the world struggles with the repercussions of humankind’s development this resurgence in interest is exactly what the world needs.

Wyldwood: Indie Shaman has grown quickly from its roots as a discussion board, Where would you like to see Indie Shaman in 5 years?

June: Wherever it wants to be (*laughs*). I hope in 5 years Indie Shaman continues to provide services, support and information that people are looking to find.

Wyldwood: What are your plans for Indie Shaman for the near future?

June: We are planning to relocate hopefully within the next year so Indie Shaman’s physical home will be moving. As we are an online service that won’t affect services in any way apart from to make my life a bit easier allowing me to dedicate the amount of time Indie Shaman needs now as it has grown so much. So for that reason development plans are on hold for a while although I have a list of things people have said they would like us to provide that I will look at once I have the time. And the website has grown substantially since its birth and could probably do with a complete overhaul!

So my plans for the near future are to continue producing the magazine, running the forum and online course and providing and updating the information on our website. Continuing inspiration comes from all the Indie Shaman community, particularly all the volunteers who have helped in a multitude of ways including Yvonne Ryves who currently co-tutors the course. Indie Shaman wouldn’t be what it is without all of them.

Wyldwood: If you could take 3 items to a desert Island, what would they be and why?

June: Assuming I don’t need things for survival …. canvas to make a shelter, a long cool drink and a large book!

You can find out more about Indie Shaman on their website:

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