Shamanism and Shamanic practices are important in my own transformation and in my interaction with the world. For those who may be unfamiliar, Shamanism is the oldest spiritual tradition on the earth. More importantly, it is fundamentally and literally "grounded" in the earth itself. My life story detailed in my memoir has not been easy in many ways. Through Shamanic practices such as journeying to other worlds, I came to understand my story in a completely different, more positive, more celebratory way. 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, and 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. As I indicated on my home page, I have studied Shamanism (beginning with Celtic Shamanism) for several years. My Shamanic toolbox also includes Journeying and Shapeshifting, and Guided Meditations. 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. Most Shamans have a power animal or totem and work with spirit guides and their Inner Shaman. Shamans and Shamanic Practitioners bring various techniques to their practice; however, there are some beliefs that are shared by all Shamans regardless of culture or tradition however. (see chart)
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 elements of nature herself.