I don't take it too literally either. I've been interested in learning more about the cultural practices of my ancestors, just so the memory is not lost. My tribe is not legally recognized, but we carry on anyway. I think it's great to learn from nature. Nature does what works, so you can observe an animal, or a river, or the whole ecosystem and learn their/its wisdom. I also know that this planet is sick, and people need to connect to the natural ways if they hope to heal it before it's too late.
Perhaps I am shamanic in that I believe there is a kind of spiritual energy connection between every living thing. There is a whole pulsing interconnected web of life, because I have sensed it. There is actually a level of 'something' to plug into that some people are aware of, and some aren't. Even if they don't know about it, they are still a part of it, but it is white noise that does not register. I haven't read this in a book, this is just my life experience. When I was a little kid and played in the woods all day and felt the energy coursing through the whole forest and right through me, I didn't question it any more than I would question breathing. I didn't even feel the need to mention it to anyone.
I also used to pick up on the vibes of human emotions from people. But whenever I would totally nail someone's emotions, they would deny, deny, deny. I always thought I was wrong and taught myself to ignore my intuition. It took me a good many years to realize that I've been right all along, and I am aghast at the lengths people go to to lie about themselves. People's spirits are so sick and confused. :(