Showing posts with label Shamanism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shamanism. Show all posts

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Out Of This World - SHAMANISM Healing

Shaman @ Fremont Solstice Parade
Photo   by      adpowers 
Many of the ancient cultures of the world adhered to one or the other form of Shamanism. This is a tribal healing tradition where a Shaman is said to transcend the boundaries of the conscious world and travel to a world unbeknown to the ordinary man. Here, the Shaman converses with spirits and come back with secrets that allow him to heal others, foretell the future, control the weather and even ward off attacks.

The word ‘Saman’ is defined as a technique of ecstasy. A Shaman is a practitioner who is able to enter an altered state of consciousness where he can communicate with the supernatural. He acts as an intermediary between the world of man and the world of Gods and often has the power to descend to the realm of the dead. He leaves his body when he is in trance. This trance is induced by chanting, beating the drum or passionate dancing. In the more unsophisticated cultures, Shamans even used to take to fasting, ingesting psychotropic drugs or even undergo torture to achieve the trance.

As seen from the practices, Shamanism is based on the principle that the world is divided into 2 distinct parts – that visible to the ordinary man, and that visible only to the man with powers. In the second part, there is a miraculous world populated by the spirits who influence the world of the living and who are always willing to help. The Shaman acts as a link between the two worlds and works for the benefit of his society. Shamans are therefore experts employed by animistic societies.

Healing is the most important function of the Shaman followed by prophecy. Shamanism, in the larger sense of the word, is thus perhaps the oldest form of healing. It is a form of religious medicine that originated more than 25,000 years ago. The healing practices of most of the ancient cultures stem from a shamanic tradition.

The Shaman is often credited with magical healing powers and is crowned as the religious or spiritual head of a tribe. He is called upon to treat the sick and to drive away demons. It is important to remember that in most ancient cultures, sickness was considered to be the result of demonic forces acting on the individual. The difference between the ordinary man and the Shaman is that while the man is possessed by spirits, the Shaman controls the spirits.

All this may lead one to believe that Shamanism is an occult practice that is buried in the past and that it has no significance to the modern man. But Shamanism is still practiced all over the world, although it has evolved into different forms. Native Americans are said to perform Soul Flights to heal. In Tibet, the Shamans use a drum to help them in soul retrieval. In Kerala, Shamans are closely tied to the temple and use amulets and music to contact the spirits of the netherworld. Shamans in Africa often use hallucinogenic plans to induce trance.



Shamanism has found a place in modern day healing because of the importance it places on the soul, mind, and spirit. Shamanic healing includes relief from pain, anxiety, stress and emotional healing. It is believed that there is an inner Shaman in everyone – a force that can be released if one is able o concentrate hard enough. Unleashing the power of this inner Shaman will help cure maladies that afflict us.




Friday, August 25, 2017

Is SHAMANIC ENERGY Healing For You?

What is healing energy? First and foremost, energy healing is not new. Nearly every ancient culture had some form of energy healing. A form of energy healing can be found in both Eastern and Western religions. Archeological evidence suggests such healing is at least 40,000 years old.

"Hamatsa emerging from the woods--Koskimo...
"Hamatsa emerging from the woods--Koskimo"
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

Traditionally, energy healing meant the realignment of the body's physical energy to promote healing. Today, still relying upon the realignment of body energy, energy healing is viewed as an alternative approach to contemporary medical practices and is also viewed by many medical professionals as complementary.

All things are energy. This includes all plant and animal life forms. This energy is generated by the vibration of the molecular structure of these life forms. Quantum physics tells us that all things are in a constant state of movement. A wide number of things can cause a disruption of that movement resulting in illness, physical or mental. The healer's job is to realign the patient's energy so the body can heal itself.

There are several healing approaches currently available. Among these are the following:

• Reiki
• Qigong
• EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques and sometimes called Tapping)
• Biofield Energy
• Therapeutic Touch (TT)
• Spiritual Healing
• Faith Healing (Laying on of hands)
• Yoga
• Meditation
• ARCH (Ancient Rainbow Conscious Healing)
• Visualization
• Chakra Balancing
• Shamanic Healing

Much is being written about shamanism. Many people are taking courses in shamanic healing to become shamanic practitioners. Others are going on vision quests in South America, in Nepal or in Tibet. Please be aware that these people are not shaman. Going through training programs offered by various institutions doesn't make one a shaman; it makes them healers. Such programs train people in energy manipulations. In actuality this is similar to the manipulation carried on by a chiropractor.

The focus here is healing practices carried out by a shaman. Like other healers, the shaman makes a determination about the patient's conditions. He or she may do this by moving his/her hands over the individual's body. The shaman may then use sound to realign the patient's body energy. Drums, flute, rattles and the human voice are the sound producing instruments used by a shaman. Their vibrations aid in the realignment of the patient's energy. A wide variety of herbs may also be used in the form of teas, poultices, salves, ointments, or oils. Unlike many other healers, the shaman can and does travel to other realms to seek the help of the spirit world in healing his/her patient. Whatever the shaman does, it is energy based; either realigning the patient's energy, restoring energy through the use of herbs and herbals, or transferring energy from him or from the spirit world.



Two cautionary notes are appropriate at this point. Whenever you choose an alternative healing approach make sure you consult your medical physician. A second caution is that all of the alternate healing approaches are faith based. You must have faith or believe the healing approach works.

    By Norman W. Wilson, Ph.D
    Dr. Wilson is the author of a dozen or more books, hundreds of articles. He is a Reiki Master and a metaphysical minister. Among his nonfiction books are Shamanism: What It's All About, Activating Your Archetypes, and Shamanic Manifesting.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Spiritual Awareness Through SHAMANIC REIKI

Combining the concepts behind shamanism and Reiki into a single healing session increases the benefits of the beliefs and practices of both. Shamanic Reiki draws its foundations from concepts of shamanic journeying and channeling the living energy to create healing techniques that are powerful and effective in alleviating anxiety, depression, stress, fatigue, and even illnesses.

Shaman in Cemetery in Chichicastenango
Shaman - Photo by DavidDennisPhotos.com 
This Reiki technique fully encompasses treatments on the spiritual and energetic levels, allowing the practitioner to discover new ways of healing.

Shamanism is a very old system of beliefs whose roots can be found in pagan traditions and practices that uses the products of the Earth to heal. You’ll find different kinds of shamanism but all practices healing techniques that incorporate the use of herbs and communicating with spirits.


Other similarities of the different forms of shamanism include the belief that shamans are able to control or cooperate with spirits for the benefit of others that existing spirits can be good and bad, and that shamans are capable of treating sicknesses and illnesses. In other words, shamans are often seen as not only priests that communicate with the living world and the world of spirits but as healers, magicians, and teachers as well.

When integrated to the Japanese Reiki, shamanism becomes more encompassing and a lot interesting. With shamanic Reiki, the spiritual energy is used to see where exactly in the body do we need to concentrate healing techniques. In shamanism, the healing process revolves around the seven chakras in the human body. Determining which of the seven chakra or life forces are blocked will determine which area to concentrate healing techniques.

Once the area has been determined, shamanic Reiki practitioners combine traditional concepts of chakra healing techniques, the use of stones and crystals, as well as the use of medicinal herbs, all of which draws foundations from ancient shamanic healing. Combining these shamanic elements to channeling energy techniques from Reiki, and the results can be quite effective.

Among the most popular techniques used in shamanic Reiki is the use of crystal during the healing process. More specifically, practitioners of this Reiki technique use quartz, rose quartz, and amethyst as a means to channel the life force energy from the hands of the healer to the person being healed. The shamanic Reiki energy, together with the crystals helps increase the flow of spiritual energy regaining the balance that was lost. Mental, physical, emotional and spiritual imbalances will be regained after sessions of shamanic Reiki procedures.

To increase efficiency, there are combinations of crystals that seem to work well doubling the healing process. Shamanic principles are at play when choosing combinations of crystals, mostly pairing them with the colors that correspond to the chakras of the human body. For example, tailbone chakra would require black, red, or brown stones and the heart chakra would need to be paired with pink or green stones. The crown requires a white stone or crystal while the throat area requires blue stones.



Also, shamanic Reiki incorporates other shamanic healing elements like shape shifting techniques, the use of symbols, the use of spiritual guides and even the shamanic time journeying or astral travel. Shamanic Reiki can be complicated but the idea is rather simple.

The use shamanic traditions and techniques to channel the life force energy in all of us to induce healing. Everything boils down to this.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

SHAMANS And Psychic Powers

Even though you find many people will scoff at the idea that people have psychic powers, there are a lot more believers than non-believers. This is the reason that psychics have always been part of our culture.

Mongol on Jurkie Shaman with drum, Central Asia - Photo:  Wikimedia Commons


There will always be skeptics and those who are simply terrified of the prospects of someone else knowing everything about them or having the ability to do amazing things, but for the most part people are accepting if not appreciative of what a psychic brings to society.

Some psychics have learned to be psychics, while many more were probably already born with this power inherently in them. Psychics themselves don't know where this power comes from, as they will freely state, and they don't understand everything about it. But they do know that the ability to see into the past or the future, or to discern more about the present than most people do, is very real and very established.

In technical terms, it is called ESP, or extra sensory perception. As you might expect, this simply means that a natural psychic, or a person who has undergone psychic training has the ability to see or know more than other can perceive with their five basic sense.

While it's unclear exactly how many individuals possess psychic abilities, it is probably safe to assume that the number is small. This likely has something to do with the fact that the majority of psychics have never undergone any psychic training and aren't really aware that they have a gift. Of course, these people are probably aware that they are different from others and realize that they have some unique insights, but they usually dismiss this as nothing more than intuition. They would never consider calling themselves a psychic.

Of course, there are even people who have absolutely no psychic powers but who put on the act in order to make a living. Some do readings over the phone or Internet while others read tarot cards for a living. Most people who go in for these readings are doing it in good humor, though some may really believe in a particular psychic's abilities.

On the other hand, there are more altruistic psychics who use their very real abilities to help other people. Probably the most respected of these psychics are those who help the police locate violent criminals. In the past, police psychic have given the authorities invaluable clues that have lead to the arrest of countless killers.

Now, about you. Do you think you are psychic? Before you simply say 'no,' let's take a look at one simple fact: many respected psychics do believe that everyone has at least some innate psychic ability. However, it's blocked because most people aren't willing to open themselves up to the possibility that they are psychic. It may also be true that they haven't received any formal training (but need to), such that psychic abilities continue to be dormant, for so many.

We do believe that this is often true, and that with some educational intervention and some effort, you can learn how to tap into your psychic gifts, too. This 'educational intervention' can take the form of psychic training.

For anyone interested in psychic training, the first step is to clear the mind of anything negative. You want to do deep meditation, stretching, and other forms of relaxation and train the mind to focus on positive things, removing the negative thoughts and attitudes prior to beginning psychic training.

Any real psychic will tell you that fear and negativity will cloud both your mind and your senses which make it impossible to tap into your true abilities. Meditation is used in more scenarios than just psychic training. Many people use meditation to get rid of stress and open themselves up to their psychic abilities without even knowing it.

Meditation should be a part of the psychic training, and you should do this for half and hour each session. You should meditate in a quite place where you will not be disturbed. Many of the advanced students also meditate outdoors.

This is going to be the first and most important thing you do with your psychic training, so do some meditation every day. If you happen to dispense with regular sessions, when you go back to meditation, you're probably going to notice that you've lost a lot of ground since your previous training.

During your meditation sessions, be sure you use deep breathing techniques. These special breathing techniques are perfect for releasing negative energy. They are also perfect for helping to reveal you hidden psychic talents.



One important note is that when you train to uncover your psychic abilities, there is no set timetable. Instead, this is a personal journey all your own. When you feel you are ready, then it's time to go onto the next step.

New psychics ultimately develop and strengthen their skills by practicing with tarot cards. These are a main staple in the psychic's arsenal, so it is only fitting that new students pick up their own deck and start practicing at some point.

Most of all, remain patient and have fun. Offer to give free reading to your family and friends. Get lots of practice. If you take these steps you will undoubtedly find that your abilities are rapidly becoming sharper, clearer, and a lot easier to control.



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SHAMANISM As a Path of Transformation

Traditionally, shamanic practices are rooted in small communities and tribal societies that lived a primarily pre-modern life. While all shamanic cultures are most likely not expressions of the idyllic state of oneness with nature that is commonly portrayed, it is at least safe to say that shamanic cultures were certainly much more in tune with and nature-based than typical modern society. 

Shamanistic elements also can be traced back to virtually every religious and spiritual tradition, including the more widely-practiced monotheistic traditions of today. This is not to say that every religion or spiritual tradition is shamanic, but that there are common elements and practices inherent to these traditions that have roots in these older ways of relating to and understanding the world.

Shamans from several cultures at Shamanic Teac...
Shamans from several cultures at Shamanic Teachings in the Netherlands. Shamans are (from left to right): Ayako Goh from Singapore, Haka-teacher Klaus Wintersteller, Maori matakite Wai Turoa Morgan, Jew Orna Ralston, Aztec indian Nopaltzin, Siberian shaman Ahamkara, Afro-Cuban sangoma Elliott Rivera, North-American chief and medicinman Dancing Thunder
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

As small, earth-oriented societies began to condense, diversify, and eventually move towards more stationary, technologically-focused and complex systems, shamanism went through a similar transformation. The traditional role of the community's shaman was multifaceted: healer, sage, priest, ceremonialist; and sometimes political chief and war leader. These roles were not always held in concert by a single person or practitioner, but often the scope of the shaman's duties was to fulfill several of these various functions. The movement away from small communities to larger societies began to unravel these once unified roles into separate, specialized positions. Today we see these same needs being satisfied through a number of more refined roles: doctors, therapists, religious or spiritual leaders, and so on.

Shamanism has never truly been replaced or lost, however. It is a nicely packaged misapprehension that shamanistic practices and traditions are relics of the past. As already mentioned, there are traces of shamanism in the most widely recognized religions of today. In many places around the world there are active, historically rooted traditions that continue to serve communities and individuals. Moreover, and especially over the last several decades, shamanism has also seen a rise in popularity among traditionally non-shamanic, Western people. There are many avenues and expressions of shamanism still operating beyond the thin veneer of materialism upheld by modern Western culture. Some of them do exist in the far reaches of the world, and some are right smack in the backyard of this urban madness.

It would be more accurate to say that Western culture has gone through a process of losing its shamanic roots. The evidence that people are scrambling to get them back is apparent. There is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction and spiritual longing that seems to come hand-in-hand with the growth of modern society. Essentially, this is a crisis of meaning that points towards a deepening loss of identity, authenticity, and genuine spiritual connection. This meaninglessness could be acknowledged as both symptom and sickness -- a self-perpetuating, illusive and illusory spiritual emergency that leads its sufferers towards any number of possible outlets that promise answers and resolutions to the crisis.

One of these outlets is, or has become, shamanism. People come to shamanic practices looking for something that's missing. They are looking to solve the riddle of their life, to have the emptiness inside finally filled with something that makes sense, with something that makes them feel like they are alive again. They want purpose. Meaning. Or they come just as people have for millennia: to heal any and all illnesses sourced in any and all dimensions -- physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual.

People often look to shamanism as a way to help them live more fulfilled lives. But these needs and perceived deficiencies are not uniquely answered or sought after through shamanic means. Indeed, these questions are at the root of spiritual seeking itself. A devout Christian or Buddhist would undoubtedly find answers in their respective traditions. But for people who have no religious pedigree; or for those whose spiritual inheritance has proved to be arid, what choices do they have?

I know this path because I walked it. I still do. And the more people I see treading the shamanic current, the more I see how pervasive this longing for authenticity really is. How deeply people suffer for lack of meaning and purpose in life. How the fantasies of modernity have betrayed people. Sure, there are those that fit snugly into their seat, with seatback pockets nicely tucked, seatbelts on and tray tables secured. But there are many who just can't sit still. They stir. They writhe. They want to know. Is this real? Is there something more? Does magic exist? Where is Spirit?

Shamanism is not the answer to everybody's perils. It is not a panacea. But there is something that is peculiarly transformative about the shamanic path. This hearkens back to the role traditional shamans held. There were typically only one or a small number of practitioners that served a group or community. The training that was required of a young apprentice to grow into a fully functioning and capable shaman has been described in many ways, but it is usually said to be a path that brings you face to face with life and death. This is not just a metaphor; the student shaman went through the deepest trenches of darkness, death, hell, and sickness in order to ascend into realms of light, healing, medicine and knowledge. Usually this process took several years. Many times a student shaman would face a near-death experience at the beginning of or during their training.

Unlike the way that some contemporary people idealize shamans and shamanism, this was not necessarily a sought after vocation traditionally. There are many anthropological accounts describing the tremendous resistance and fear that new apprentices would cling to when their time came. They knew what was coming: a level of change and transformation that was going to require them to put everything on the line, leaving no stone, thought, fear, or desire unturned. Despite the gravity of the responsibility and sacrifice required, if undertaken with courage and determination, the outcome was inevitable transformation.



This kind of traditional training was very intense and all-encompassing. It required your entirety, and it changed your entirety. And it didn't and still doesn't necessarily change an initiate "for the better"; towing the line and having your integrity and duality tested is built into the path. There is no guarantee sainthood. There is no ingrained pedestal. Full-on shamanic training was and remains to be a serious and perilous path. But it is a path that changes you.

In physical and social environments that are already embedded with an active shamanic tradition, it wasn't necessary for everyone to go through the rigors of initiation and training. However, the services of the ones who did were not only available but an integral part of the social, spiritual, familial, mythological and personal lives of everyone who participated in society. The society itself was setup so that shamans were supported such that the mutual support from the shaman was offered to the society. All parties benefited.

Today, we don't have this kind of social structure that enables an apprentice or seeker to endure a traditional learning experience. Modern, urban society doesn't support it. The path isn't naturally lain. It has to be forged, the trail blazed. To go the traditional route, you would have to find yourself in the jungles of South America, somewhere in Central Asia, or amongst a tribe in North America. For most, this sort of committed pilgrimage isn't a very viable option either. For many, it feeds a deeply-rooted fantasy and longing that gets to the heart of what's really gone amiss. Hence, although intimately nostalgic, this "old path" may not be an option at all, and is certainly not the way it's imagined to be in storybooks. By definition, traditional training scenarios don't actually exist in the modern scene. Which brings us back full circle to the original impulse that craves some kind of return to the ancient and magical.

But this may not be what's needed. Perhaps ditching the modern world and life as you know it -- although it can certainly seem like a brilliant idea at times -- is not what's being appealed to. This is not what's really drawing seekers towards shamanism. Perhaps what draws people to the way of the shaman is the transformation that's offered. The power to change. To really change, and grow, and transform; not just fantasize about it while telling yourself you are going to do it. But to really harness the innate capacity for change that life offers you. Life is already a transformative experience. Your body changes. Your mind changes. How you think and what you know about the world changes. Life experience transforms you. You don't have to do anything special. You will change as you experience time. Shamanism can be looked at as a way to guide this process, to harmonize with the natural transformative flow of life.

So perhaps this calling is not to "become shamans" in the traditional sense, but to redefine what life means through shamanistic experience and practice. The way I like to see shamanism is not as a spiritual practice, but as a life practice. It is a way of being, a way of living life and exploring everything that life has to offer. Ultimately shamans are explorers and guides: of other realms, of consciousness, of the mind, body and spirit, and of the environment. And the environment around you is your life. You don't need a different life to deepen the experience of and find meaning in the one you already have. Shamanistic skills, tools, ceremonies and other forms of practice can provide you with a platform from which to engage your life that can ultimately solve the riddle. Not because you are going to get the answer, and live in a "New Age of Love and Light" fantasy -- but because there will be meaning in what you are doing. There will be clarity and consciousness in your thoughts and actions. There will be connection to your spirit and a world of spirit around you.

At the end of the big show, the quest for fulfillment is not found in the adoption of an identity attached to some external "thing". Fulfillment can't be consumed into being. It is not "shamanism" or "yoga" or "being spiritual" or "Burning Man" that fulfills you. Fulfillment is a mystical art, rooted within you that blossoms out into the world as you express what it is that you truly mean. Finding meaning is the true path, the calling for authenticity that hails you. This could manifest as anything. Being a gardener. An artist. A parent, friend, or teacher. It could be as healer. An athlete. A writer. Anything.

If it is a shamanistic calling -- then by all means, there are multitudes of transformational tools excitedly dancing their dance, waiting for you. Not because of anything else other than just: that is what they do. Spirits, journeys, other worlds, means of healing and purging and releasing, access to knowledge, access to spiritual resources, explorations of consciousness... But if it is not a shamanistic calling, and you find yourself groping into these realms because there is something missing, something that you are looking for... Then your true path awaits you not in the crafting of an illusory mesa or practice, but in the quest for authenticity and meaning. The quest to honestly discover what it is that lives you, as you live life.

But remember... this comes at a price. The price for meaning and authenticity is your delusion and fantasy. It gets really real... really, really real when you jump that ship and wander into the depths of who and what you truly are.

    By Matt Toussaint
    Matt Toussaint has been studying and training in shamanism for the last 12 years. He offers a unique blend of traditional and modern practices, incorporating the best of what he knows as a way share and explore the shamanistic path of healing, empowerment and transformation. For more information about Matt and what he offers, please visit: http://www.shamanicevolution.org

    Or email him at: matt@shamanicevolution.org
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Monday, March 6, 2017

SHAMANIC or REIKI Healing

Shamanic or Reiki Treatment

Both shamanism and Reiki are methods of healing. Shamanism has been around for at least 40,000 years and had a presence in most world cultures. The origin of the word shaman and shamanism has its own levels of disagreement. Reiki came on the scene in the 1920s.

Picture of Chujiro Hayashi
Chujiro Hayashi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Like shamanism, Reiki has its share of inconsistent origin stories. According to William Rand, Mikao Usui, while at a retreat, received Reiki. The word reiki is a Japanese word for universal energy. He used it on his family, friends and passed it on to others. Because of his own background as a student of qigong, medicine, psychology, religion, and the art of divination, he added those skills to his practice. He passed the learning and techniques to others, particularly to former naval officer and medical doctor, Chujiro Hayashi. He made some modifications to accommodate his own style. He trained Mrs. Takata who then introduced the form of Reiki healing called Usui to the West.

Does the fact that one predates the other make it a superior approach to healing? Personal experience dicates an unequivocal no!

A comparison will help. Both call upon the universe for healing energy and both use supplication in their efforts to connect with universal energy. Both function as conduits for healing energy. Shamanism viewed many of mankind's ills to be caused by the loss of spirit/soul; (Life energy) while the Reiki healer recognizes energy drain and incorrect energy flow.

The shaman uses an altered state of consciousness to travel to another realm where he or she seeks a solution to a patient's health or emotional issues. A Reiki Master does not travel or journey as it is sometimes called. The Reiki Master uses sacred or secret symbols, each containing its specific healing purpose. The shaman uses sacred objects to surround a patient; whereas, the Reiki may draw the sacred symbols on the patient using a finger to do so.

English: Doña Ramona, a Seri shaman from Punta...
Doña Ramona, a Seri shaman from
Punta Chueca, Sonora, Mexico
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
A Reiki Master will use incense as does the shamanic healer. Generally, this is used for cleansing the area around a patient. Soft music is the choice of sound for the Reiki Master; a monotonous drum beat serves the shaman's purpose of driving out evil spirits, altering the state of consciousness of the patient, or changing the direction of the energy flow.

The Reiki Master uses his or her hands to change the energy flow of a patient. The hands are allowed to choose the place where the physical issue is located. With patient permission, the Reiki healer will physically touch the patient. During a Reiki healing session, the healer remains quiet; whereas, a shamanic healer may be chanting, have a flute played, and depending on the location, may dance around the patient.

Thanks to Michael Harner, many of the world's best shamanic practices have been transferred to Western culture. We now have shamanic practitioners. They are different from a traditional shaman in that they are trained for the specific purpose of healing; a traditional shaman has other duties to perform.

If you are inclined to use an alternative healing approach, be sure you check the credentials of the practitioner, ask for references, and remember, you are the one who decides.

    By Norman Wilson , PhD
    Dr. Wilson is an authority on shamanism with several books and dozens of articles published about the topic. His books include Shamanism What It's All About, Shamanic Manifesting. He is a Reiki Master Healer, Level Three.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Monday, January 2, 2017

What Is a SHAMAN?

Urarina shaman in the Peruvian Amazon, 1988
Urarina shaman in the Peruvian Amazon, 1988 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A shaman is a particular kind of healer and magical practitioner who is on a path of service in an animist-shamanist culture. To understand what a shaman is, you must remember that while all shamans are healers, only a certain type of healer is a shaman.

A shaman is someone who has the ability to journey to the spirit world to find important information (such as where to find food, water, or shelter) and to do spirit work such as retrieving lost souls. To do that, a shaman goes into a deep (theta state) trance and journeys to the spirit world.

The person who fills the role of shaman serves an animist community by healing and harmonizing the humans with nature and the spirits.

All Shamans are Healers. Not All Healers Are Shamans  An important task of all shamans is healing. All shamans are healers. but not all healers are shamans.

A culture may have several kinds of healers who work in different ways. To be a shaman, a person must journey to the spirit world to do healing or other work that benefits the community or the spirits connected with the people or place the shaman serves.

A shaman may also be an herbalist. But a healer can be an herbalist without being a shaman (without journeying to the spirit world).

Indigenous women, who gather plants for their families, learn a lot about the use of plants as food and as medicine. Shamans use such knowledge, but so do all women in animist cultures.

Where Do Shamans Come From?  The word shaman comes from the language of the Tungus tribe in Siberia. It refers to  a person who does shamanic work for the Tungus people. Each Siberian tribe has a different word that means shaman. In fact, in cultures throughout the world, each tribe or nation has its own word(s) for shaman.

Shamans are found in many parts of the world, but they are almost always found in animist cultures. That means shamans hardly ever exist except in gathering-hunting, nomadic animal-herding, or horticultural (gathering, hunting and gardening) communities.

Once a culture turns to agriculture, the religion usually changes from animism to something else, such as the worship of goddesses and/or gods. Shamanism gradually disappears, though some cultures retain some elements of shamanic practice longer than others.

When Is "a Shaman" not a Shaman?  What a shaman is called in a given culture depends on the language spoken by the people of that culture. Bear in mind that people often casually and mistakenly describe any indigenous healer as "a shaman." That creates confusion.

Also, the various terms for native healers are sometimes wrongly translated as shaman by linguists who do not truly understand what the word shaman means.

If someone calls himself a shaman, he probably is not one. Indigenous cultures each have their own term for a person who fills the role of shaman, and only one of them, the Tungus tribe of Siberia actually calls that person a shaman.  A real shaman serves a particular animist community, and we generally do not have those in European and American culture anymore. So if a modern westerner tells you that he is a shaman, beware. He probably is not one, though he probably does not realize that.

With people of indigenous heritage, it is harder to tell. It is important to be very tactful and diplomatic until you find out more about who they are and what their background is.



But be cautious. There are people (indigenous and modern) who are all too willing to take advantage of the modern craze for shamanism.

Some are sincere but ignorant. Others are hoping to impress you, get your attention or money, or gain power over others by calling themselves shamans.  Learn as much as you can and use common sense before submitting to treatment by someone calling himself or herself a shaman. If the treatment is very expensive, the odds are that the person is not genuine.

Even if the treatment is quite effective, someone who is out to make a lot of money as a shaman is more of a sorcerer (someone who seeks personal gain rather than seeking to be of service) than a shaman.

    By Kathleen Gresham
    Want to know more about how shamanism began, about women as shamans, shamanic healing, spirit animals, shamanic journeying, and animism? Visit shamanista.com  White Cranes has taught and led shamanism groups since 1992 and is the organizer of a 135-member Shamanism Meetup group.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


Books about Shamanism at AMAZON

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Why Study SHAMANISM?

This is probably the most common question asked today. And you know why so many people ask it? Because we are brought up in a society that does not have Shamanism. Worse than that we are brought up without community.

English: Chapito, a Seri shaman from Punta Chu...
Chapito, a Seri shaman from Punta Chueca, Sonora, Mexico. Chapito wanted to be photographed this way, pointing toward the mountain caves.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the old days we were raised with a strong community around us. We lived together, played together, grew up together and sometimes even died together. We had elders and doctors and teachers and medical advisors right within this strong close knit community. Think of the Klingit tribes of Indians who live in Alaska. Although they may seem isolated from the outside, they are completely self contained with a very strong sense of communal identity.

But today, we are lucky to have a strong family or church community and in many ways we are less fortunate than long ago.

In the old days, the elders would watch the children and find what each child was strong in and had a knack for. Then that gift or gifts were encouraged and the child grew into whatever came naturally to him or her. If a child seemed good with numbers, that talent was grown and the child might become the treasurer for the community. If the child was given to visions he or she may be groomed to be the community's visionary. If the child could speak to the animals, perhaps the child would become the communicator to the spirit world. Each child would have one or more gifts he or she was born with. It was the community, the elders, the teachers, and the parents who realized the blessings and were happy to help the child be what he or she was meant to be in life.

Today we have no such possibility for ourselves or for our children. For the most part, we are raised to fit into a box; to learn what everyone else learns and to ignore or abandon anything that does not fit into society's box. If our parents see us talking to the birds we are taken to a psychologist and told not to do that. In fact there is very little encouragement to develop the gifts and talents that we were born into. And so our society is losing out on the largest talent bank ever assembled on this planet today.

This is the problem. Shamanism could disappear from the face of the earth because children of today are not allowed to study it and to grow their own special gifts of healing for themselves and for society. It doesn't have to be this way. We have a choice. It is not too late to look inside and find those special gifts we were born with. We may have pushed them down and buried them deep inside because our parents, our family, our society said they were wrong or worthless or should not be used. But they are still within us.

What are these gifts?
Healing the spirit is the primary function of a Shaman.
This includes
Soul-extraction,
Soul-retrieval,
Soul-restoration
Herbal healing
Hands on healing
Divination
Dream Work
Soul Leading
Soul extraction involves the Shaman extracting psychic darts or chords that have intruded upon the soul or etheric body of the patient. This is sometimes an attack from someone who has attempted to harm, maim, or kill the patient. The classic dart attack will often manifest as pains where no wounds exist. This involves, according to Michael Harner, author of The Way of the Shaman, a literal "sucking out" of the intrusion. This sucking out of the intrusions is done both psychically and mentally. There are other methods of soul extraction as well.

Soul-retrieval is the process by which the Shaman retrieves pieces of the person lost soul. This is often accomplished by journeying to the spirit world and requesting assistance from the spirits, ancestors, and guides that dwell in Other Realities or Worlds. These beings assist the Shaman in discovering what is wrong with the person and often help the Shaman fight a battle with the being now possessing those parts to win them back and bring them to the patient. Some of the classic symptoms of a person in need of soul retrieval would perhaps include those suffering from a mental illness; those abused as children, or those who sense that something is missing in their lives.

This is a dangerous act and often the Shaman if he or she is not trained well enough can fall into physical or mental traps laid by the possessing entities that may cause illness or psychosis for the Shaman.

Soul restoration is the literally restoring of one's soul. This occurs when a person is near death and his/her soul seeks to move on. This "death" could be the result of a psychic attack or an accident from which the body has recovered physically, but not spiritually. Again the Shaman will journey to the place where the patient has lost his or her soul and barter for that soul to bring it back and restore it to the patient. It takes much strength and power by the Shaman to deal with these otherworld entities and the Shaman must know how and where to wield that power for the good of all. Shamans are not in the business of destruction but rather healing. I cannot emphasize the role of personal power and education for the Shaman enough.

Hands- on healing or bodywork is most certainly a part of what a Shaman does. This technique is still widely used today by Reiki masters, massage therapists, chiropractors and Shamans. Shamanistic hands-on healing involves the energy or spirit of the Shaman working with the energy or spirit of the patient.

Divination is the means by which a Shaman can foretell the future, describe the illnesses of people and find their cure. Divination shows the path to the Shaman; which direction the patient should walk to receive healing. This is accomplished in varying ways and the method used often depends on the teaching the Shaman received from his particular tribe or elder. The most common shamanic method is journeying to the Otherworld and requesting information from elders, guides and spirits who live there. It is been said that Genghis Khan used his shamans that way. There are many other beings who are greatly involved in your life and wish to see you whole and happy. A Shaman has intimate relationship with these wise ones and uses this gift on the patient's behalf.

Herbal healing gives credence to the true belief that the Shaman is a medicine man or witch doctor. Herbal healing began with the beginning of the earth. Many of the hunting and gathering tribes had the ability to heal with plants indigenous to their area. Today this knowledge is fast disappearing and Shamans everywhere try to support the preservation of indigenous plantlife and the lore surrounding them. Many Shamans spend their entire careers discovering and recording these plants for the future of us all.

Herbalism is used in conjunction with spirit healing to facilitate recovery. All Shamans are herbalists.
Dreamwork or dream interpretation is another Shamanic tool to assist with healing. Shamans will listen to the dreamer's dream, sometimes for several days, until they fully connect with it. Then they will dream the dream themselves and resolve the conflict to the highest good of the dreamer. This again is a difficult task and requires rigorous training by the Shaman in his or her apprenticeship to accomplish.

Soul leading is another important function of a Shaman. This is the process in which the Shaman will escort the newly dead to their place in the Otherworld. This is done because the Shaman who is familiar and a frequent visitor to the Otherworld will be able to find the "soul" its proper place.


Not all Shamans are all of the above but a good Shaman is all this and more. What a Shaman is according to Eliade is a "Master of the Ecstatic." This is true for it is in the mastery of the ecstatic that the Shaman garners his or her power.

Each of us had one or more of these gifts buried somewhere inside our spirits. It is our gift, our right, actually our duty to find the gift, study the gift, gain power over the gift or gifts and use the gift to heal ourselves and others. Can you imagine how beautiful this world would be if each of us took responsibility for the gifts we were given? Who would be left sick? Or poor?

There is a course available called Shaman Apprenticeship 101 to help unlock those gifts and re-member the skills and the power to make one's life everything it is meant to be! Studying Shamanism will bring back the harmony in one's life and create a strong connection to spirit. Come Home! Allow yourself to be who you truly are! Find your personal power. Take charge of your situation. Find your sense of purpose in this world. Give that gift that is uniquely yours to give.

    By Maggie Wahls
    You can find out more about this course by going to http://www.shamanelder.com
    As a Shaman Elder, Maggie Wahls has spent years working with children, observing them in constructive and purposeful play activities designed to discover those gifts and talents within each child. As a community we can then encourage and nurture those gifts into the powerful skills that they can be for happiness, self-fulfillment, motivation, excellence, achievement and success. And so, she is also creating an experiential self-discovery course for children. Maggie is available for counseling in this area and would be happy to offer assistance in helping your child find his or her own true potential. It is the job of a Shaman.
    Aho!
    Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls is one of America's most loved teachers of Shamanism for today's modern society. Her classes are ongoing online and in 5 day intensives in New Mexico. She is currently writing a book on the art of Shamanism and also offers free counseling to anyone who wishes it. Learn more at http://www.shamanelder.com
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Saturday, June 11, 2016

SHAMANISM Today

"Hamatsa emerging from the woods--Koskimo...
"Hamatsa emerging from the woods--Koskimo" "Hamatsa shaman, three-quarter length portrait, seated on ground in front of tree, facing front, possessed by supernatural power after having spent several days in the woods as part of an initiation ritual."
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Some cultures retain shamanism longer than others. And some cultures retain some aspects of shamanism even as they transition through gardening to farming.

Reviving and Preserving Shamanism
It is hard to preserve animism and shamanism in modern life. The agricultural, dualistic worldview on which most world religions are based is incompatible with the animistic-shamanic reality.
The Foundation for Shamanic Studies uses proceeds from classes and memberships to help revive shamanism in cultures where it was stamped out by European conquerors,

In some countries, such as Tuva and Mongolia, shamans have come out of hiding, and shamanism has begun to flourish again after being brutally persecuted by the Soviet Union for decades.

Oneness vs Duality
The oneness, or nonduality, is very hard for modern people, whether religious or materialistic, to understand. Modern people, especially in Europe and North America, literally live in a different reality from traditional animists.

Duality is the belief that everything has an opposite: good/bad, black/white, up/down, yes/no. Nonduality, or oneness, is the reality that all things exist somewhere on a spectrum, a range from harmonious to less harmonious, like the continuous scale of grays from white to black. Nonduality also means that the same event can be harmonious or inharmonious, depending on the context.

Without an intuitive grasp of the oneness of animism, the reality of the spirit world, the world of the shaman, is unimaginable.

Yet the effort to break through, to be able to enter into the animist reality, is worthwhile. Shamanic practice is a road to health for individuals, for modern society, and for the survival of life on Earth.

Humans Need the Spirit World
Humans seem to have a deep inner need to sense and interact with the spirit world. Our mental and physical health seem to require it.

Without that interaction, people lose touch with themselves and become unhealthy. We see the results of that in horrendous wars and in the rape of the Earth.

Pitfalls of Calling Oneself a Shaman
Indigenous shamans almost never refer to themselves as shamans. That is not only because the word shaman is used only by the Tungus tribe in Siberia. Indigenous shamans tend to speak humbly about themselves because they don't want to offend the spirits or their own people (or cause envy). Shaman (in whatever language) is a title for others to confer. It is also because the spirits do not like bragging.
According to the book Fools Crow: Wisdom and Power, Lakota ceremonial chief Frank Fools Crow cautioned that if you brag about your powers, the spirits will take them away, and if you misuse your powers, the spirits will kill you. He said he had seen it happen several times over the years, and that while the death might look like a sudden illness or freak accident, it was, in those cases, the punishment of the spirits.

Always remember that spirits are real, and shamanism is serious business. We have to work at remembering that, because, generally speaking, in our culture only what is physical and provable is considered to be real.

Among people who have studied classic or core shamanism it is also considered is considered inappropriate and pretentious to call yourself a shaman. Those who understand what shamanism is, and what real shamans are, do not award themselves the title of shaman.


Without a community to serve, without a group of people who recognize us as shamans, we can't really be shamans. We call ourselves "students of shamanism" or "shamanic practitioners." So be aware that if you call yourself a shaman, people who have really studied shamanism will generally assume that you are not one.

And never, never brag about "your" powers. The spirits are listening.

Can We Understand Shamanism?
If we make the effort to understand the oneness of all that is, and the equality (not superiority) of humans with all other life, if we become humble, perhaps we can restore respect for all beings, including the Earth herself.

Perhaps we can save the elephants, tigers, wild orchids, orangutans, gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees, redwoods, native peoples, plant medicines, and all our relations. Perhaps it is not too late after all. If we try.

    Want to know more about shamans, shamanism, spirit animals, shamanic healing, and soul retrieval? You'll find a wealth of resources for everything shamanic at Shamanista.com. White Cranes has taught and led shamanism groups since 1992 and is the Organizer of a 200-member Shamanism Meetup group. For more information on shamanism and animism, see http://www.shamanista.com and http://shamanista.blogspot.com
    Article Source: EzineArticles



Friday, April 22, 2016

How to Become a SHAMAN

Copper carving depicting a Sámi shaman with hi...
Copper carving depicting a Sámi shaman with his magic drum (meavrresgárri).
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Are you called to be shaman? If you are how do you know? If you aren't how do you know? If you don't want to be a shaman but would like to take advantages of some of the shamanic practices and techniques. Can you? Are you allowed to or not? Do you have to be initiated to be a shaman? These are all questions that I once had after I finally submitted and embarked upon this quest. And I will share what I have learned with you from my experience.

First it is important to understand, that every world culture has an individual or group of individuals that has acted as a mediator between the spiritual and the physical. These eccentric individuals have been called medicine man/woman, viziers, spiritual healer, witch doctor, etc. but the most prevalent term used today is shaman and the practice is called shamanism. Shamanism is the general term that has been used incorrectly to describe any person that feels that God, the Great Spirit, the ancestors, spirit guides and/or guardian spirits have called them to help others through spiritual means, which has contributed to the confusion of the term. So to clarify, it must be understood that a shaman can be a preacher, psychic, counselor, medicine man or woman, herbalists, priest or priestess, medical intuitive, psychic healer, etc. but a preacher, psychic, counselor, medicine man or woman, herbalists, priest or priestess, medical intuitive, psychic healer, doesn't necessarily have to be a shaman. The key difference being that a shaman usually has a unique perspective about life whereas the other healers do not.

The reason the shaman's viewpoint is so different from the other healers is because he or she have undergone either a formal initiation (e.g. apprenticeship, ceremonial rites, etc.) or informal initiation (e.g. life transforming event via gross misfortune, illness, etc.). During this (formal or informal) initiation, the initiate is forced to overcome old traumatic issues, including their anger, fear, hatred, feelings of abandonment and other emotional wounds, in order to learn how not to be controlled by their emotions but rather guided by their intuition. During this transformative period, the initiate comes face to face with death, where they learn that death is not "the end" but simply a stage in the cycle of birth-life-death and rebirth. In this unique experience, which cannot accurately be intellectualized, but has to be experience, the initiate usually meets her or his ancestors, spirit guides or spirits, which leads them to adopting a new perspective about life reflective of this experience. This new perspective about life that the shaman initiate adopts, usually becomes the cosmology or cosmogram that the initiate follows.

It is through this cosmogram the shaman initiate is able to move beyond their personal preferences and societal imposed prejudices, which allows them to see everything (plants, animals, human beings, etc.) in the universe as an interdependent part of a whole. It is here the initiate begins to see him or herself as a microcosm of a greater Macrocosm, and learns that all is composed of divine energy. The life cycle the initiate soon learns is based upon a natural exchange between the spiritual and the physical. It then becomes apparent that in order to implement any positive change. They have to learn how to petition the right the force that will bring about the type of change that they desire. The shaman learns about this exchange by observing these forces in nature and seeing that just like the right conditions are needed in order for wild game to return to a particular area. The same conditions are needed to make an individual prosperous and so on.

It is this observation that makes the initiate take responsibility for her and his actions. This is how the true shamanic journey begins because the initiate is not perfect by any means, but is expected to perfect his or her character. This is the reason why shamans from all over the world may not profess to be Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim or any one religion. They will easily practice the tenets of major religions like loving their neighbor as themselves, and acknowledge that seeing ourselves separate from one another will lead to our ultimate demise. Where shamanism differs from major religions, is that it is not governed by religious dogma but by the calling, which is dictated by the laws of nature.


These laws are taught to the shaman initiate by the same one(s) that called them per that individual's culture. Therefore, violation of these laws may not be punishable by man but they are punishable through God, the Great Spirit, ancestors, spirit guides, or the guardian spirits that called the individual to be a shaman, because the rapport that the initiate has developed with his or her guides through the initiation process is very strong and personal. So when a true shaman breaks a taboo they make amends as soon as possible, and try to live in harmony with others, because it will weaken their spiritual power, connection with their spirit guides and may result in them losing divine blessing or grace. No true shaman would risk jeopardizing this for a quick selfish, monetary thrill.

Because shamanism differs in every country, culture, region, etc. what may be norm in one area may be completely different in another. For instance, in South America, Amerindian shamans use entheogens like peyote, whereas Amerindian shamans in North America do not. All shamans don't engage in "vision quest" just to get an answer nor do they have to use a drum and rattle to enter and maintain an ecstatic state of trance. Clearly, all shamans are not created equal but there are some general norms that exist about shamans. For one, they are not chauvinistic nor are they feminist either. They see the purpose of both natures. True shamans also do not have on their walls their list of accomplishments. They do not sit back and brag about their accomplishments or drop names to prove how strong and powerful they are to impress people. One look into their eyes and you will be able to see if they are for real or a charlatan.

Now, don't get me wrong, all shamans are not extremely humble or meek individuals, nor are they all eccentric individuals either. They do boast but their boasts, which may come off as arrogance is not meant to impress the living. It is to glorify their spirits on one hand, cause negative spirits to tremble and flee on the other, and strengthen their own faith. Another thing, true shamans don't go looking for trouble or imbalances. Trouble or imbalances seems to find them (at least this has been my experience), and they use the situation to create balance.

Overall, I must admit that the shamanic journey is a wonderful and rewarding journey because a shaman helps him or herself by helping others. This is why it is said that shamans a wounded healers because most shamans specialize in healing situations that they have or had to overcome themselves. This is what makes shamans exceptional over other healers, because they are a reflection of what they have accomplished and believed. If a shaman will heal a relationship between a husband and wife, it is because they usually have done the same for their relationship and so on.

As your intuition develops, you will know when it is time to help others because you will find yourself (with no effort of your own) being asked to assist another in resolving a situation. You may be walking down the street to the park and get a hunch to say a prayer to bless and protect the children at the park from harm. Then, you may get an idea to solidify your prayer by building a small makeshift altar out of sticks and rocks. These are all signs that you have been called to put your skills to service.

The great thing about shamanism is that it is honest and a powerful universal practice full of wonder. True shamanism doesn't lie and tell you what you want to hear just to get your money, participation and membership. It is a real gut practice that presents to you the problem and helps you to find ways to resolve it so that the problem never occurs again. It tells you what you need to hear (in the gentle or harshest way possible). In order to get you to do what you have been called to do, which is fulfill your destiny or purpose in life. These are some of the things that I have learned in my own journey, which by the way is unique per individual. It is through this shamanic walk I also discovered that if you are called and ignore your calling. You will wish you hadn't, not because your spirit guides will punish you, but because the next stage of your development requires that you accept your calling in order to advance forward. Another thing I learned that just because you accept your calling, it will not eliminate humiliation, misery, pain and suffering out of your life. Shamanism will however, help you to develop the peace and power needed to navigate right through it, thus making you a more resilient and strong individual.

But, the shamanic journey is not an easy path to follow because it can be very challenging at times. Not to mention that finding a true spiritual teacher in these contemporary times can be painstakingly difficult. And, if you have been called to become a shaman or just to partake in the practice. It can be a bit confusing especially when there is no one to help you. So to help ease the headache, here are some recommendations I have compiled based upon my experience.

Instead of wasting your time and money, borrowing and imitating another's cultural practices without being sure if you have been called or not. I suggest that you begin by investigating your own spiritual heritage. For instance, if you come from a Christian tradition, try to understand how you or your family got into that tradition and why you are or are not in that tradition today. Ask yourself the hard questions like are you involved in the religion because you were raised in it and know nothing else? Are you not in this religion because you don't agree with their political or social views? In other words you don't like what they said, etc. This will help you to clarify your purpose of embarking on the shamanic path. Far too often, many of us jump around from faith to faith because we don't know what we are looking for.

Once you have done that, then I would recommend that you research and learn about traditional practices of your ancestors. If you cannot do this then learn about the traditional practices of your distant ancestors. For instance, I being of African and Native American descent in the Unite States, was not able to learn about my ancestral path due to slavery. I was however able to learn about the Kamitic (ancient Egyptians) civilization, which was the greatest, longest standing and most influential African civilization that has existed. That many scholars have culturally tied to Sub-Saharan Africa. It was through my research, Kamit became a gateway that led me to discover that my family has a heavy Kongo influence. Through this I discovered the shamanic path that I walk today, which is why I refer to it as Kamitic shamanism.

So, research your distant ancestral path because through it you will discover your Way and find if you have been called to be a shaman or a "keeper of the flame" sort-of-speak, which is someone meant to help their family, friends and others they come in contact versus being a shaman who services an entire community. When you have honestly completely these two steps. If you have been called you will have a stronger conviction of your calling because you will be find yourself being initiated (formally or informally).

    By Derric Moore
    Derric "Rau Khu" Moore grew up in a loving strong Christian household in Detroit, Michigan. He has studied religion, mysticism, metaphysics, folklore and spiritualism for over ten years. Educated as a chemical engineer, he is an academic instructor, poet, folk artist and urban shaman. He is one of the main contributors of the Land of Kam website. He is the author of MAA AANKH: Finding God the Afro-American Way, by Honoring the Ancestors and Guardian Spirits ( http://1solalliance.jigsy.com/Books/Maa_Aankh ), in which he shows how to make the transition from the linear Western religious thinking to the holistic African mindset, using his own life experiences, and. Kamta: A Practical Kamitic Path for Obtaining Power ( http://1solalliance.jigsy.com/Books/Kamta ), which explains how he used Ancient Egyptian philosophy, African American folk practices and Afro-Caribbean Spiritualism to improve his finances, escape poverty and recover from the debilitating illness lupus.
    Article Source: EzineArticles