The shaman holds the special power to be able to communicate with and exert some control over the Spirit World. For this reason, the community looks to the shaman for help and guidance in matters of sickness and health, feast and famine, and even good and evil.
Great shamans, like for example Nanabush, possess even bigger powers, given to them by the Great Spirit. Using those powers, great shaman’s can keep the world in balance. That is, the earth, sky and underworld can be kept from intruding upon one-another. In this way, the People can be kept safe from calamities.
In this picture we see a great shaman using his powers to save the earth, the horned serpent, from being swallowed by heaven, also known as the sky, shown here as the feathered serpent. Thus we have the cycle of day and night kept in balance. Besides the great shaman flies a butterfly; a soul and spirit helper to the shaman.