Shamanism

Shamanism is a love story – this is about falling in love with yourself, life,

and the raw, wild beauty of creation.

Shamanism is native to all of us and is one

of the oldest animistic traditions in our human heritage

– we two leggeds have had some form of shamanic practice

in each of our ancestral cultures

on planet earth since time began.

In early times, when our people were unsure of

what medicine plants to use,

where to hunt for game, how to help a sick or

injured clanmate heal,

or how to work in harmony with the life-giving spirits of nature,

a shaman would enter an altered state of consciousness,

and journey in non-ordinary reality for information, and healing.

Shamans served their community by working

closely with helping spirits, and keeping

their tribes or clans safe, healthy, happy and

connected to the natural world.”~~Anna Dorian

          The powers of Nature are a priori to those who practice shamanism.  They build a close relationship with the various powers of the Earth and Nature.  They learn to utilize all the powers and sources of energy that are gifted to them by animals, plants, and other aspects of Nature. Sometimes the special guides and spiritual helpers are from the plant animal world, so it is particularly important to develop this relationship.    This is especially important if these are her/his spiritual helpers and guardians.  All shamans have power animals and spiritual guides which may be beings, or additional animals.  D.J. Connelly notes, “often these powers are not what would be considered usual, they can appear in different types of energies and powers to each shaman.  Shamanism is one of the most individualistic of practices...The purpose of a shaman’s work today, as well as in the past, is to help others...by helping others transcend ordinary reality, the shaman can help them transcend their pictures of themselves as sick or diseased.  When the individual can do this, she/he know from the results of the work that she/he has become a true shaman.[1]  John Matthews reminds us, “No shaman walks alone.  Each has his or her spiritual allies, who work alongside them and guide their steps.  These allies may take the form of mythic heroes, divinities, spiritual leaders or ancestors.  Their task is to be companions, friends who travel along the many secret paths of the otherworld.  They are there to act as wise advisors, making sure we follow the right path and travel with integrity and grace.”[2]

          In the preface to Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation Sandra Ingerman writes: “Shamanism reveals that we are part of Nature and one with all of life.  It is understood that in the shaman’s worlds everything in existence has a spirit and is alive, and that the spiritual aspects of all of life are interconnected through what is often called the web of life.  Since we are part of Nature, Nature itself becomes a helping spirit that has much to share with us about how to bring our lives back into harmony and balance.  At the experiential center of shamanism lies the potent path of direct revelation, revealing that in this spiritual discipline, there are no intermediaries standing between the helping spirits and ourselves.  We all can have access to the wisdom, guidance, and healing that the helping spirits and Nature have to share with us.”[3]

 

[1] D. J. Conway, By Oak, Ash, & Thorn: Modern Celtic Shamanism, (Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2017), 15

[2] John Matthews, The Shamanism Bible, (Buffalo, N.Y.: Firefly Books, 2014, 213.

[3] Sandra Ingerman, and Hank Wesselman, Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation (Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 2010), 9-10.

 

© 2018 by Carol Chambers -- Phone:  321.277.1356 -- carolchambersfl@gmail.com

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