I study with the School of Shamanic Womancraft, and this is a wonderful explanation of what that’s all about!
From the website, What is Shamanic Womancraft.
Shamanic Womancraft is the art of facilitating transformation.
The School of Shamanic Womancraft creates the opportunity for women to find within themselves the skills and abilities needed to facilitate transformation for others on their journeys.
Womancraft can be seen as was the original perspective of Midwifery, the practice, art and science of being a midwife. To midwife is to facilitate, to assist someone’s learning through the Maieutic method (later called the Socratic method), this means to help and to guide the person to discover their own inner knowing through asking questions and ‘holding the space’ for them to travel within to do this.
Shamanic describes the inner and outer, multi dimensional spaces (called the lower, middle and upper worlds) that exist within and around us that the shaman journeys to and within. The worlds or realms of the shaman are both actual and metaphoric and are accessible by everyone. The Shamanic Journey is an inner journey.
As a woman journeys through her life, during her incarnation on the earth plane this time around, she encounters many a shamanic journey. These are the opportunities for transformation and development of her being. Menstruation, pregnancy, birth, and menopause are shamanic journeys. A woman travels deeply during these times into her inner world which reflects the landscape of the shamanic realms. She meets her fears, her obstacles and her deep inner knowing in her lower world, she plays out different scenarios in her middle world, connecting with what is and she meets her extraordinary strength, wisdom and available guidance in her upper world.
The shamanic craftswoman must be comfortable and experienced with the landscapes and possibilities of the shamanic journey in order to be ‘with woman’ in her inner and outer worlds. In our high-tech world where menstruation is barely honoured, where maternity care is highly interventionist and based on fear and risk, where menopause is avoided with drugs, the inner world and journey of a woman is usually not taken into consideration. This is a missed opportunity for deeper self awareness and healing and creates wounds. The shamanic craftswoman can best facilitate a woman’s journey through her life by holding her intact, seeing her as a whole complex being on her life journey, and helping her to do the same. The shamanic craftswoman guides the woman through the experiences of menstruation, pregnancy, birth, mothering and menopause helping her see the relevance of what happens and the lessons and gifts of the issues and situations that arise for her.
The shamanic craftswoman is best equipped to help the woman in this way if she has in turn brought this same level of consciousness to her own experiences of menstruation, pregnancy, birth, mothering and menopause. Working from the premise of “Healer Heal Thyself”, the shamanic craftswoman must be present to her own journey, attending to her own practice of self awareness and be connected with the energy of the Earth and the wisdom of the cycles.