johnny Burke: Welcome to Closer to Venus, I’m Johnny Burke and today’s guest is Steve Bull. He is a shamanic practitioner who is also a follower of Christ as incarnated in the man Jesus. Today we will be talking about his book, Jesus The Ultimate Shaman, which he co-authored with Sally Denny. We will also be talking about Shamanism and Christianity and the bridge in between. Steve , welcome to the show.
Steve Bull: Thanks, Johnny. Good to be here.
johnny Burke: A man of Christ, how did you find yourself on this path, learning about shamanism and that whole journey?
Steve Bull: well, it started, back in 86, 88, 90, going to a Christian charismatic church, a vineyard. It was one of the first times that I started to see the spirit move. Really what we’re talking about tonight is spirit, and how spirit moves, and whoever you are, whatever faith or philosophical perspective, there’s a spirit. a great spirit and little spirits. So the first time I ever encountered spirit in a powerful way was in this church where we saw healing and prophecy and extractions and discernment, words of knowledge. It just blew my world apart that that existed because I come out of an empirical, rational perspective like everybody else.
johnny Burke: Like many of the speakers we’ve met on the show, they come from a very left-brained background or orientation.
Steve Bull: Absolutely. That’s our culture.
johnny Burke: You had experiences, obviously connecting to spirit and when we have this type of discussion, you alluded to a big spirit and some little spirits. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Steve Bull: In my perspective, we have the spirit or the great spirit, the Christ spirit, in the Christian faith is called the holy spirit. In shamanism, but also in our book, we show people that they’re also helping spirits. They’re found in the Old Testament book of Daniel surrounding the throne of God, millions upon millions of these spirits. Some people call ’em angels, but the word angel means messenger. They’re there to fulfill the will of God to do whatever creator says to do. So these allies or helping spirits are actually available to us and we encounter them in different ways, through the environment, through animals, plants, minerals, mountains, et cetera. They’re there to help us, to bring us into greater wisdom and understanding as well as the great spirit.
johnny Burke: The helping spirits; it sounds to me that they have been described as spirit guides. It’s been explained to me many times, that some spirit guides can be angels and they are here to help us and everyone has them. Everybody
Steve Bull: I make a distinction between helping spirits and allies and spirit guides. Some people use those terms interchangeably. The spirit guides that I’ve had in my life were always male and female spirits of humans that had passed. The ones that I have now it’s actually a native spirit guide who helps me. It’s a native person that had passed that’s in spirit form. Those are different than angels or angelic spirits.
johnny Burke: I think some people that are not intuitives do get them mixed up, but I’ve been told that everyone has them and they change as you go through your life. So your experiences with the spirit guides or the helper guides, whatever you want to call them, was there a visual, or was it just a knowing? How did that happen?
Steve Bull: Are you talking about helping spirits or spirit guides?
johnny Burke: Either.
Steve Bull: Well, the first time I ever ran into spirit guides was through meditation. I’ve had a long, extended practice of meditation and 20 years ago, it started showing up one at a time. They showed up at a time when I really needed help because I had been in an evangelical conservative Christian practice for many, many years. I was pulling out of that because I just needed to get some fresher perspective in my spiritual walk, a broader perspective, which actually it led me out into Buddhism and Hinduism and Zen and things like that. Native American practices and what have you.
During that time, I was really unsure, because nobody around me was doing that. I was pretty much alone in a small town, 4,000 people town. So these spirit guides came to me one by one and just said, “Hey, we’re here to help. You called on us. “And they gave me their names and everything.
johnny Burke: Really? So do you remember any of their names?
Steve Bull: I have ’em written down because what happened is about six or seven or eight years ago, they said “we’re done, we’re moving on.” Sally and I had a native American tribe that showed up on our property and said, ” we’re with you now. We’re taking you under our fold. ” They were part of a vision quest that I went on up in the medicine wheel in Wyoming and it was just an unbelievable experience, and they were part of that. Then they guided both of us from that time on,
johnny Burke: Obviously they are no strangers to the practice of shamanism- I believe it is part of their culture. Is it not?
Steve Bull: They had their shamanic practitioners.
johnny Burke: Or something similar
Steve Bull: Yeah, something similar.
johnny Burke: yeah, that’s what I figured
Steve Bull: But we haven’t talked a lot about that. They know that I’m a shamanic practitioner. They did a ceremony where, they took me in as part of the tribe, as one of their shamanic practitioners consisted of putting a Buffalo robe around my shoulder in a feather in my hair. It was very powerful.
johnny Burke: It was a visual? How did you identify them?
Steve Bull: How does anybody who moves in the spirit? You can sense. You can see, you can hear, you can feel, I was driving down to Arizona to be with my future wife. She called me and said, “Hey, I’ve got people that walked on our property. “She lives on about an acre and a quarter. And I said, “well, what are they doing there? You need to tell ’em to go” she said, “no, they’re spirit people. I said”, well, what do they look like?” She said”, they look like they’re natives”. So when I got down the next day, both of us walked out into her prayer circle and I just looked up and I could see in my mind’s eye, I could see them dancing around us and around the prayer circle.
From there, it just, I can see them. I can sense them. I know, we know when they’re. They journeyed with me. They took me up to the large circle medicine wheel in Wyoming. They were there the whole time. I really needed them; I was struggling with a lot of stuff. They didn’t bring me the vision I had. I had a powerful vision, but they were there then they brought us back and then they betrothed us and included us in their tribe. From then on, they’ve been teaching us.
johnny Burke: That sounds like a very powerful experience. Let’s talk about the book. What prompted you to write the book? Jesus The Ultimate Shaman?
Steve Bull: Well, two things, Johnny first, I love the shamanic practice that we’ve been growing in, and I want people to know about shamanism. So one of the goals of the book was to just introduce shamanism to people,where’s he come from, are shamans bad people? Are they good people? What do they do? How, how do you interact with these helping spirits? How do you Intuit? Things like that. It’s all in the book, but I still call myself a Christian, I’m more of a follower of the Christ spirit.
Sally and I see a lot of times when people have grown up in a fundamental or evangelical setting, it becomes almost like a box that really restricts you. To try to break out of that box is very difficult because there’s not a lot of people around helping you to do that. And then if you do, you get the whole thing of, “oh, that’s demonic” and all this stuff. So I think what we wanted to do is to reach out and say here, grab our hand and let us draw you into this experience, this greater experience with spirit. And you don’t have to be afraid because it’s the holy spirit.
All these spirits are there to help you. So you don’t have to worry about that. We try to bring those two together. People searching out of the box towards a greater experience of spirit through shamanism and people that are just interested in expanding their spiritual experience, bring them together to shamanism and build a bridge.
johnny Burke: Excellent, really good point. The shamanistic practice is thousands of years old. I believe it might even be older than Christianity.
Steve Bull: Oh, it’s way older. It’s between 40 to 70,000 years old
johnny Burke: Wow, 70,000
Steve Bull: in cultures across the world.
johnny Burke: What about the people that are not followers of Jesus? Let’s go a step further and say there’s a group of people that believe in nothing. They call themselves atheists or agnostic, and a fair percentage of them, I would guess probably don’t even know the difference between the two. What’s the takeaway from them from the book?
Steve Bull: Well, that’s a good question. In some ways you could say an atheist or agnostic is no different than somebody that was raised like me in an empirical rational culture that said things that you can’t see and touch and taste, don’t exist. And so why don’t you turn on what Sally and I call your spiritual senses? We all have them. When Jesus said, he was eyes to see and ears to hear, what he was saying is, flip that spiritual radar on and start to pay attention to what’s happening around you.
In our book, we talk about when a person sees an incredible sunset they’re filled with awe and they make a connection that’s not just physical, it’s ethereal, you’re tapping into the void. You’re moving into that, stepping across that line into the spirit realm. It only lasts a few seconds, but it’s, but it’s there. Or when you pick up a newborn baby and you’re just overwhelmed with the whole nature of creation and the way it works. You push back out of the physical, into the void, the ethereal, you, get this rush and this sense of being timeless.
In our chapter in our book that Sally wrote on intuition, we talk to people about that intuitive sense, so that when they are out in nature and they can use nature as a steppingstone, into a greater experience they begin to connect with these spirits of the plant, spirits of the mountain, spirits of the sky, the sun, mother earth, or the moon. Then from there, I guess my only thing is, where do you think all that comes from? So we kind of track in our beliefs to a creator.
johnny Burke: What shamanic practices did Jesus perform? and how can others learn and practice those skills?
Steve Bull: That’s a good question. Sally started because she learned bioenergetic massage and they actually were teaching a lot of shamanic practices to her; how to turn your senses on without calling them shamanic practices, Sally and I have taken courses through the foundation for shamanic studies. We finished about two years ago, a year program with power path and we’re going back to get some more practitioner training. Sandra Erman offers courses. There’s lots of courses that you can take, with people if you want to connect in and learn more about formal education with shamanic practice.
johnny Burke: As far as the practices- obviously this is impossible to prove because you and I were not there 2000 years ago- whenever that occurred, but how did you discover the practices that he performed? Was it from the Bible? Was it from intuition? how did that happen?
Steve Bull: I think it was through intuition. You asked me about an experience; we had a friend who had a headache and we journeyed and were able to determine that he had a familial spirit, a friend of ours. And so we were able to extract that spirit and send it on. That experience, plus doing that on a remote basis. Then my vision quest and then being out in nature at a situation where we had a storm that was coming in. This happened with our friends in Santa Fe power path. They had a big fire was coming towards their Eagle Bear center. And I said, “well, I’ll just drum the fire away” because I did that with our fire that came near our town in the house. We spoke to the wind and sent it the other way.
When I started looking at the Bible, I find out Jesus went on a vision quest. He was out in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. He did remote healings. He healed a Centurion servant. He stood up on the boat and told the elemental spirits of the lake and the wind “knock it off. You’re done, stop it. ” So I saw him doing a lot of shamanic type practices, and how he learned that or how he found out I’m sure was a mixture of his culture and things like that. Some people take big issue because they say that Jesus wasn’t formally trained as a shaman,
johnny Burke: Well, how did they know that? Seriously? Were they there 2000 years ago?
Steve Bull: No, I think it’s a big assumption for them to say that. What happens in shamanism comes through spirit and since spirit speaks to everyone, we’re all sort of on this Wi-Fi of sorts. So I think it’s really easy for Jesus to sort of move into it, engage in some shamanic practices, even if he wasn’t formally trained, he was just doing the stuff.
johnny Burke: Have you had any experiences yourself of Jesus? I do actually hear this quite a bit.
Steve Bull: Oh, yeah, during my meditation times I’ve had him come and sit with me when there was a person that really needed a healing touch. Just lots of different experiences like that. I don’t really do that too often, but every once in a while, when there’s a real need, I’ll ask him to come into my space and gimme a hand.
johnny Burke: Okay. It’s a visual in the sense that you can see in your mind’s eye. It’s not him sitting right next to you, or is it?
Steve Bull: Not for me. It’s more of a sense than a visualization. One of the things I had to learn early on when I started practicing shamanism is that we think, “oh, if you imagine something, it can’t be real” but that’s not true. Our imagination, our ability to visualize, and see things visually is very much useful. You can see something visually you go, “oh, did that really happen? “And then you turn around and somebody says,” Hey, this just happened. ” I think it’s learning the longer you go when you’re practicing spirit is you, you just get a greater and greater sense. I’m right on track. Like I’m swimming right upstream, the spirit stream.
johnny Burke: I get a sense from your book that we are as a civilization, moving into a time where people are less apt to judge and be a little bit more open to listening- to tune in. Do you think this has anything to do with what a lot of intuitives describe as moving out of the Piscean Age and moving into the Aquarian Age?
Steve Bull: Well, we definitely are moving into a new age or have started. With power path we learned from Dr. Stevens about Toltec prophecies, we’ve just moved from the fifth sun to the sixth sun. The same thing as Pisces into Aquarius. In every age, as you shift from one age to another, which is huge. It’s not an automatic gift, like all of a sudden the scales are going to fall off our eyes. We’re going to go, “oh, wow. Well, look at what we’ve been doing or the land into each other.” People have to want to come into that greater understanding with the emergence of that higher level of consciousness, there’s also an emergence of darkness. So the question is who’s going to win? And so there is a battle that takes place where the people that are committed to a higher level of consciousness have to pray and commit to that and keep trying to get other people to come along. It just doesn’t happen overnight, and easily. It’s a struggle, but the six sun lasts, I think, 6,000 years or 3000 years. It’s a long time for us to get a chance to figure out what we’re working with and, and to change things.
It seems like sometimes with the whole evangelical, fundamental crowd their response is they just hunker down and get more legalistic, which is unfortunate. But I think a lot of people, even some Christians are starting to say, there’s a, there’s a bigger truth out there. And I want to know about it.
johnny Burke: I agree. The box that you mentioned earlier still exists today. I live in South Florida, and I have friends that go to the local super church here and some of them, God bless them, believe everything they’re told. I had one woman tell me that she had an online class, and she posted a picture of Buddha, which I think is very cool. And her instructor said, “you need to take that down.” “So what do you think about Johnny? “I said, ” I think this person’s living in the dark ages. You need to get out of there. ” This is 2022. This isn’t the Middle Ages, at least not the last time I looked at the calendar.
Your effort with the book is evidence of people waking up and thinking ‘There’s a bigger truth out there’, and there’s no reason, regardless of what faith community you belong to, or even if you belong to none that you can experience spirituality.
Steve Bull: I totally agree with what you just said. Sally came up with this phrase that’s in our introduction, it just simply says this; truth is truth no matter where you find it. If you’re finding truth through Native American practices or you’re finding it through Buddhism or wherever, I just believe that the truth has to be truth that doesn’t harm people. It blesses people and grows people and things like that. Then you’re on track, spirit is going to use that to develop you and grow you, which is what is, is all about.
johnny Burke: We just mentioned the box just now with certain faith communities, some more than others, obviously. What message are you sending to, the Christians, maybe not the hardcore Christians- we know they’re going to think-
Steve Bull: I think it’s don’t be afraid. Put your fear aside and realize that creator, the Christ spirit is universal size. It’s as big as the universe and bigger. When you look at God through a keyhole, you can only see so much. So maybe it’s time to put the key in the door and open that door up and begin to broaden your perspective on how large this creator is and the fact that the creator put himself or herself, itself into everything. Into the mountains, into the trees, into the rocks, into us. So we’re all connected, and quantum physics is showing us that, that we’re all interconnected.
So that fits really well with a whole shamanic perspective that we’re all interconnected through spirit. So that’s my message to them is, Hey, get ahold of life. Cuz it’s a lot of fun and you never know what you’re going to experience.
johnny Burke: That’s a really good point. It seems to me that people can learn more by learning meditation. Going to a Reiki healer. Learning about shamanism, then they can by going to a Bible study class. Do you agree?
Steve Bull: Well, it just depends on who teaches the Bible study because when Sally and I teach, people get turned onto spirit. We start to show them. You see, that’s the problem with a lot of what goes on in Christianity is that people look at the Bible and they say, “oh man, that’s really narrow.” There’s a whole lot of spiritual empowerment in the Bible. We talk about people being healed and things like that happen all through the New Testament. So the question is why isn’t it happening? Because it should be happening. The thing that really bothers me is, of anybody that ought to be out there teaching about how the spirit moves, it should be the Christian community, but they’ve shut all that down.
So the assumption is that there’s nothing spiritual about the Bible, but Jesus, man- if you can’t see that Jesus was one of the most spiritual people, I’m not saying that Buddha wasn’t because I love Buddha , but Jesus was an incredibly alive, turned on human being that was filled with the creator’s spirit . So why shouldn’t we find that energy and that excitement and that power and that authority, why don’t we find that in the Bible and in the Christian life? And you know what? We can, and, and we do, you just got to find it.
johnny Burke: Depends on the teacher.
Steve Bull: It depends on the teacher. Yep.
johnny Burke: Steve. Thanks so much for joining us. Really great stuff here. How can our listeners learn more about you online?
Steve Bull: We’re on Facebook under transforming lives. We have a website www.transforming-lives.us. It’s got some writings of mine and Sally’s, it’s there just saying, Hey, if you need some healing, we’re here to help.