Spirit Teachers in Shamanism
Spirit teachers are the ones to whom the shaman is truly apprenticed. Certainly, a shamanic practitioner may have teachers and mentorship in what we commonly consider our ordinary reality. I am a teacher, for instance, and I have also had many teachers. However, when it comes to our shamanic practice, teachers like myself only train a practitioner in 'learning how to learn'. Then, the practitioner goes to their real teachers - their non-ordinary reality teachers - for what it is they really need to learn. People like me just get you started: it is our spirit teachers who we need to seek out as we pursue our shamanic education.
What does a student learn from a spirit teacher? All sorts of things. Perhaps, about life in general, or maybe about the student's life in particular. Don’t anticipate that a teacher will necessarily show up as some profoundly ancient and wise-looking elder woman or man. Spirit teachers can appear to us in all sorts of shapes and sizes, generally a form that they know we need to see them in, in order to best enable us to learn from them at the time.
Spirit teachers may be quite good at one or another type of healing, or working with one or another kind of person. They tend to know more about you than you might like, and they drive the lessons you need home because they are looking for your growth and ability to live into your shamanic potential. Otherwise, they won't give you the time of day.
It is generally the case that when you seek a spirit teacher, you have a much better opportunity to find one in the shamanic upper world, as there tend to me more of them in that realm.
The training and education of a shaman is different from that of many other people. As someone who teaches shamanism, I am just pointing in the directions where you will get your real education. Once you begin to develop a good shamanic journey ability, it is actually up to the teachers and power animals, and your experiences such as in the upper world and lower world to provide you with your deeper instruction.