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For more information about healing and counseling sessions with Mara, to access the blog and other articles, and to find out about events and other resources, contact:


Mara Bishop, MS, ThM, CSC, Reiki Master
Telephone: (919) 419-1074


Mara Bishop is a shamanic practitioner, intuitive consultant, teacher, author, and artist. In her Personal Evolution Counseling™ practice in Durham, she combines shamanic healing, intuitive consultations, and energetic healing. She works with clients locally, nationally, and internationally. She is the author of Inner Divinity: Crafting Your Life with Sacred Intelligence, and the companion CD of guided meditations.


She holds master’s degrees in Energy Medicine and Theology and a bachelor’s degree in Art and Communications. She is a graduate of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies Three–Year Program in Advanced Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, Sandra Ingerman’s Shamanic Teacher Training program, and advanced training with Betsy Bergstrom. Mara is the only Harner Certified Shamanic Counselor® in North Carolina.

Seeing in the Dark:
Diagnosing Imbalance Shamanically

By Mara Bishop, MS, ThM, CSC, Reiki Master

Mara Bishop

When we are suffering, we want a solution to alleviate our pain. We hope a diagnosis will define the cause of our symptoms and illuminate a clear path for treatment. Shamanic practitioners train extensively to receive information from non-physical sources and then use that information to diagnose and treat illness and imbalance. Shamanic sensing, or “seeing in the dark,” refers to the shaman’s ability to see beyond the physical.


Join me for a Healing with Spiritual Light virtual gathering. We use shamanic sound, guided meditation and the Healing with Spiritual Light method to bring calm and balance, and to connect to our innate sources of healing. No experience necessary, simply call in.
Telephone: (919) 419-1074

I use several methods with clients to diagnose how to proceed with treatment. I listen to their issues and analyze what is happening on an energetic level. Valuable information comes from my intuitive scanning and from trusted sources of spiritual guidance. For example, frequently I “see” energy that clearly does not belong with my client. This can be located in specific areas, as when I perceive intrusive energy in the neck or back of a person who is experiencing neck or back pain. Or intrusive energy can present in less site-specific ways, as when there appears to be a fog around a person.

In the first example, by removing the intrusive energy we often see relief of the symptoms in that specific area. A general haze of built up energy can present in one person as physical pain, such as chronic muscle or joint pain, and in another as anxiety, depression, or fatigue. There is not necessarily a decision tree for diagnosing and treating with this work. There are many ways to approach bringing energetic balance to a client. I typically use several methods in concert.

How a diagnosis is delivered, and whether it fully explains what is happening holistically for a patient, is also important. My focus is not primarily on my client’s imbalances or trauma, but rather on the state of health we intend to restore. If I concentrate on the trauma so does my client, but if my attention is on the healing possibilities, the client’s attention shifts there as well. Shamanic practitioners can affect the energy of a client in the session, but also plant seeds of healing with their words. Clients have come to me after hearing discouraging prognoses like, “Nothing more can be done for you,” and “Your pain is only going to get worse.” These are not healing words. As practitioners we have a responsibility to communicate in a way that enhances, not diminishes, our clients’ capacity and openness for healing.

Healing With Spiritual Light

In the big picture, I focus more on a vision for my client’s health than on the specific symptoms or traumatic experiences. One particular method that I use frequently is called Healing with Spiritual Light. Based on some remarkable experiments conducted by Sandra Ingerman, MA, with cleansing polluted water, this work shifts attention away from a client’s symptoms to their innate wholeness. So often we’ve absorbed messages about what is wrong, where we fall short, where our bodies are breaking down, and what continued disintegration is likely to come in the future. We spend a lot of energy trying to attain a state of wholeness and balance, which feels like it is in some future time, but not in the present. This work turns the approach upside down and engages the client as if they are already in a state of wholeness. We recognize suffering, but don’t get stuck in it. I offer individual healing sessions in this work, and am also currently holding a series of free virtual “Light” Lunch healing gatherings where anyone can call in to connect to a bit of this radiant energy for individual and collective healing.

These are intense times and many of us are struggling to take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and the community. Whether seeking accurate diagnoses for health issues, guidance about our personal lives, or ways to serve the greater good, having flexibility in the way we receive and process information can lead to a greater understanding of what we need to be healthy.