Michael Watson, PhD

Welcome to my website and blog! Here you can read about my work, explore my writing, and see some of my photos and art based projects.

My work and art are heavily indebted to the spirituality of my father’s Native identified family and my shamanic teachers. I feel truly blessed to have many wonderful teachers, many of whom have gone on to the Spirit World.

About Shamanism

At age seven I had a catastrophic case of  Polio, an event that taught me much about challenge, struggle, isolation, and healing. For the past forty years my teachers have been shaman.  After I unexpectedly survived, it became my family’s expectation that I would honor and work with Spirit. It was only much later, in adulthood, that my journey into shamanism began.

That was more than forty years ago. In the years that followed I was graced with teachers from many traditions. Some of these teachers, notably Susan Grimaldi and Julie Soquet, have become lifelong friends. Some, like Susan, the late Amazonian shaman Ipupiara (Bernardo Peixoto) and the Andean shaman and curandera Clechia Toscano have been greatly honored by their people, and internationally. Some others were controversial. Together they represent the wide range of approaches to shamanism, the good and the bad, and shamanic paths that seem beyond either. Each spent precious time with me, and helped to mold my vision, and I feel enormous gratitude to each. Even though he died in 2011, I still deeply miss Ipu’s random late evening phone calls and constant encouragement.

In my family, my Grandmother Watson taught me to pay attention to the plants even as she wanted me to be safe and pass as European. My father taught me the power of story and metaphor, and insisted that Spirit transcends all  religions. My family and heritage are complex; you can read more about them here.

For me, the role of the shaman is to be an intermediary between the realm of spirit and that of the human community. We are all called to keep the world in balance, to acknowledge and honor the spirits and Ancestors, and to do what we are able to soothe suffering. This task is called Dreaming A Good World Into Being.

Today my work in shamanism, as a consultant and coach, and as an artist and educator draws from what was gifted to me by my teachers, rather than a singular tradition. It is also informed by the teachings passed on by my father’s family, teachings that reflect their life experiences and circumstances. I am not a carrier of any secret knowledge; I am just an elder human being, doing my best to help others, and striving to be a good person and “a good shaman.”

I offer shamanic aid both in person and at a distance, and often work with my wife, Jennie. I do not charge for shamanic aid; rather, I invite those who can to make a donation to cover my time and expenses. I am often asked what constitutes a fair donation. I suggest you decide what you might be able to readily afford on a scale of $5-200 for a session, and donate that amount. If I need to travel I ask that you keep in mind the added time and expense.