Tami Rogers Maine Guide and Shaman
By Sarah Holman
For as long as she can remember, Tami Rogers has loved nature and connecting with people. The Maine native was born with a dislocated hip, resulting in confinement to a cast for the first year of her life. As a baby unable to move around independently, Tami says she became attuned to energy at a very young age. The ninth child of ten, she was surrounded by people and quickly learned to read facial expressions, attaching those expressions to corresponding energies and intentions.
Tami’s large family went camping a lot, further solidifying her connection with the outdoors. At age ten, she had hip surgery and stayed in the hospital for several weeks. While she was there, she honed her people skills. “I would visit the other people in the hospital and ask their story.” When her mother visited, Tami recounted what each person she visited was feeling, whether they’d told Tami or not. “My mother never contradicted me,” Tami says. “She just listened.”
At the time, Tami didn’t necessarily realize she was setting the groundwork for a life spent connecting with the souls of others. She went on to study accounting and worked in the corporate world, marrying and having children along the way. After a while, though, Tami wanted to quit that life. “I missed my babies,” she says. “I was watching the world from the inside.”
She and her husband, John, bought a sporting camp in the middle of the woods and set to work rehabbing it. During that time, Tami began studying shamanic practices. For her birthday, John enrolled her in a Reiki class. “I didn’t know anything about it before the class,” she says. “But I fell in love with the practice.”
After her introduction to Reiki, Tami dove fully into shamanism and studying the soul. It turned out to be a perfect compliment to her lifelong love of the outdoors. “[Shamanism] is all about connections in nature, the elements, and vibrating with nature in a way that supports well being,” Tami explains.
Now, over twenty years later, Tami offers healing sessions, rites and ceremonies, and training for those wishing to become practitioners. Her modalities include core shamanism, shamanism of the Inca, the Munay Ki Rites, eight levels of Reiki, hypnotherapy, and past life and womb regression therapy. Tami believes strongly that physical and spiritual healing go hand-in-hand. “Our spirit has to heal before physical healing can take place,” she says. “It is healing from the inside out.”
Tami is also a Master Licensed Maine Guide. “It supports the work I do as a shaman,” she says of her guide license, “and allows me to offer retreats for women who want to know more about nature.”
She first obtained her certification in 1997 and went on to become a master guide after ten years acquired field experience (the state requirement for the master certification). After passing her initial exam, Tami wanted to help other nature-lovers achieve their goal of becoming Maine Guides. Together with her husband, Tami started Maine’s Outdoor Learning Center on the Mattawamkeag River where men and women train to become guides (passing an oral and written test administered by the state is required for certification).
“We met with IFW [the Maine Department of Inland Wildlife and Fisheries] to brainstorm how we could best prepare people [for the test]. It is one of the toughest outdoor guide tests in the United States,” Tami says. When she and John started their school in 1997, there were no training options as immersive or intensive as what they wanted to offer. “We are the pioneers of the week-long, hands-on Maine Guide training school,” Tami says.
They also offer a variety of retreats and skills programs for men and women who don’t necessarily want to become guides but do want to learn wilderness skills. “We teach others to feel confident getting out in nature,” Tami says.
One of the Outdoor Learning Center’s most popular programs is The Wild Women’s Wilderness Retreat, an empowering four-day session of skill-building and connection that Tami and John created five years ago. “So often women want to step into nature, but fear holds them back,” Tami explains. “It is highly important to give women the confidence to step into their dreams.”
During the Wild Women retreat, topics include map and compass reading, canoeing and fishing, and woods survival skills. Tami and John are joined by fellow Maine Guides Charlene ‘Cheeny’ Plante, an Air Force veteran, SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) Specialist, and successful survivor of the Discovery show Naked & Afraid, as well as Kandi Ward, whose therapeutic methods help achieve greater health through balance and connection with nature. Tami provides Sacred Fire and drumming rituals during the retreat, utilizing her extensive experience as a shamanic practitioner to share ancient healing traditions with participants.
To Tami, these skills and practices have become the necessities and joys of living her fullest, happiest life. “I want to be in nature as often as I can, which is basically every day,” she says. “It’s how I refuel and release what I shouldn’t be holding onto. I like to align other people to do the same.”
To learn more about Tami’s retreats, classes, or healing practices, visit tamirogers.com or mainesoutdoorlearningcenter.com
Sarah Holman is a writer living in Portland. She is enthusiastic about cheese plates, thrift shop treasures and old houses in need of saving.