The Shamanic Ways
Shamanism and Shamanic practices are important in my own transformation to my grounding in my story and why I believe that they may be in yours as well. Shamanism is the oldest spiritual tradition on the earth. More importantly, it is fundamentally and literally "grounded" in the earth itself. Through Shamanic practices such as journeying to other worlds, I came to understand my story in a completely different, more positive, more celebratory way. When I began to understand that many of the extreme hardships and "breakdowns" in my life were initiations into my life as a healer, listener, and wisewoman, their importance and significance in my life became much more than victimization and tragic circumstances, rather they mirrored some of the lives and training of Shamans. I am a long way from being a Shaman, have never had the opportunity to study in person with an indigenous Shaman, but I am a "follower of the Shamanic Ways" and bring my work to the telling of my own story and to the guidance I can give to you as you unravel and re-weave your own story. Below is a brief (very brief) summary of Shamanic beliefs.
All Shamanic traditions put the relationship between the Shaman and Nature as intrinsic to their work among the people and in their own lives. These men and women work to 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. Shamans work closely with their special guides and spiritual helpers from the plant and animal world, so it is natural that these relationships are invaluable in any Shaman's work. Every Shaman has a power animal or totem and works with spirit guides and their Inner Shaman. It is difficult to describe how Shamans practice as there is no one way that applies to all. There are some beliefs that are shared by all Shamans regardless of culture or tradition however. (see chart)
Many Shamanic practices contribute greatly to the integration of emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of our lives. I hope that you will choose to investigate some of these practices with me.
Shamans and those who engage in Shamanic practices universally accept the belief that all beings, all of nature, all animals--everything is alive and filled with the Spirit of Life.
There is also a belief in a multi-level world beyond that which we see. Time is not linear and the Shaman's guides and guardians are found in every level of this multi-layered understanding of reality.
Shamanic practices rest on the notion of wholeness--of nature, the world, the community and each person's soul.
Direct revelation is primary to Shamanic practices and to the Shamanic life. Revelation can come through guides, animal helpers, and through nature herself.