Shamaan Ochaum A Tribute
I honor my elders in this new year, the teachers who’ve gifted me with rare perspectives and strong influences on this path my life has taken. At the top of the list now I wish to give Shamaan Ochaum a tribute (1941 – 2021). Shamaan was a teacher and practitioner of energetic bodywork, herbs, dream interpretation, and Earth healing. She began teaching more than fifty years ago until not long before her death in 2021. I was fortunate to work with Shamaan for five years in the 1970s. She was active within the communities of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Austin, Texas and Cortez, Colorado, integrating African-American, indigenous, plant-based healing into her life and the lives of those around her. Originally from northern California, she belonged to larger forces, her roots extended beyond these times. Her intelligence, intuition and attunement to subtle energies was profound.
I first met Shamaan in Santa Fe in 1975 fresh out of college, when a disturbing dream led me to look for help. In seeking dream assistance, Shamaan’s name kept coming up. After helping me with the dream, she let me know about the dream groups she facilitated. Her open sense of inquiry, her keen awareness, a certain kind of unflappable presence percolated thru every class she taught. And she taught many. Without Shamaan, I never would have undertaken the free-flowing life and work that I have now. She introduced us to prana, the free flow of energy. Ceremony, to respect the Earth. Humility and courage, in the face of one’s path. She had tremendous strength and passion, and a deep sense of justice. Her essence was a blessing for all Life. I mourn her loss.
Shamaan at the Pacific, image thanks to Dolores Chiappone