Shamanism, climate change and urban life

The ongoing climate change and the increasing urbanization concern people all around the world. From the disappearance of insects in our own garden to extreme weather conditions, the changes shape our news. Furthermore, more than half of the population worldwide live in cities nowadays. A central question in the future will be, how to organize urban areas sustainably and integrate them in the natural environment.

Shamanism as a living tradition and long-established methodology is downright predestined to approach current challenges with the knowledge of the spirits to open new ways for the good of all. For this reason, there was a meeting in Munich in August 2019 where representatives of two shamanic traditions as well as numerous shamanic practitioners came together to work on these topics.

Report of a powerful evening in Munich

Roland Urban, Managing Director of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies Europe, and the Nepalese shaman Suraj Rai guided the shamanic work. They built cultural and spiritual bridges between the core-shamanism and the shamanic tradition of the Kirati in eastern Nepal.

How do we recognize the effects of climate change and how do we handle them to the benefit of all? Which advice do the spirits give us for city life? With the involvement of all attendants, results came to light that inspire confidence and hope:

  • Everything is there what we need. We have all the possibilities to approach our problems and to implement solutions. Modern as well as spiritual technologies (such as the shamanic journey) are sufficiently available.
  • Respect and care for our necessities of life – resources such as water and food – is important and can be easily integrated in daily routine. A sustainable ecological way of life starts with the small things.
  • The earth heals itself. Above all, we have to make sure that we can live sustainably on it and ask ourselves whether we really want to take responsibility for the death of other life forms.
  • We can achieve a lot - not alone, but in a community with other humans and spirits.

In a lively discussion, practitioners shared these and other experiences, which in essence remind us of the results of our shamanism and ecology conference. (1) A participant subsequently reported how he took the S-Bahn through Munich a few days later. At an exposed spot on a wall he discovered a new graffiti which said: “The climate can change. You too?”

Shamanic work for concrete changes

Especially in difficult times, it is the job of shamans to question the spirits and carry their help, strength, confidence and hope into the community. We continue the dialogue and work. Including the new seminar ‘Shamanism for Inspired Local and Global Change’, held in September 2019 for the first time in Europe by Susan Mokelke, the President of the FSS. The focus is on the use of shamanic divination to develop effective, sustainable and everyday solutions for collective problems.

To the workshop: "Shamanism for Inspired Local and Global Change"



(1) Cf. Urban, Roland; Huguelit, Laurent (2018): Schamanismus und Ökologie. Chamanisme et Écologie. Wartberg ob der Aist: Foundation for Shamanic Studies Europe.

Photo: Bertrand Carlier