Do you know what Shamanism is?
Not long ago I was having a coffee with a friend and the topic of Shamanism came up. I was so comfortable in the swing of my discussion that it took me a beat to notice that my buddy was experiencing confusion. I took a moment to query and she laughed. “Ann-Marie” she said, “our conversations are always very interesting and I sometimes take a moment to process. Although right now I literally have no idea what you are talking about. What exactly is Shamanism?” I was surprised because it feels as if I have always known of Shamans and it fascinates me to realise that there are people who don’t.
Since that discussion I have wondered when my awareness of Shamanic practices occurred. I am Australian and the native aboriginal inhabitants of my homeland have a wealth and knowledge about such wonders. I was at school and still quite young, I remember learning about “native witch doctors” who worked with sprits, spells and potions to heal or condemn.
This information was not shared with us in a positive manner, indeed they seemed terrifying. As if these stories were used as a warning about such things, cautionary tales. A method of control by fear, maybe. I see now that many of our stories around Shamanism are negatively entrenched and disempowering. The joy in my journey is that I have come to learn the opposite is true. Shamanism is powerful and liberating and freeing. I live with wonder and gratitude for this healing practice.
Is Shamanism the original healing practice?
Shamanism is the oldest healing methodology known to man. There are references to Shamans and Shamanic practices for over 50,000 years. Native cultures and traditions have used Shamanism for physical, emotional and spiritual healing for almost as long as there has been recorded life on this planet. Ancient communities that never had the ability to communicate with each other have all recorded very similar mechanisms for treating their populations, nature and themselves. There is evidence and records of shamanic practices having being used for millennia by citizens on every corner of this planet.
What is Shamanism?
This ancient healing tradition is a spiritual practice with it’s own symbolism, it’s own language. Re-connecting us with nature (earth, fire, water and air), power animals, our ancestors, our native lands, spirit guides and ancient wisdom. A body of knowledge and insights that are stored deep inside us and have been accumulated over the milenia. Shamanism teaches us how to change our view of the world and with it, our perceptions of reality.
Practitioners of Shamanism intentionally access states of non-ordinary reality to seek insights, receive guidance and healing. A Shamanic journey, as it is known can help individuals access the deepest parts of their non-physical consciousness (also known as their spirit or soul) to understand and heal imbalances that have created difficulties and distress in their lives. A journey can provide safe, direct and controlled access and guidance at this level.
Other modalities such as deep meditation can also allow you to quiet the conscious mind long enough to receive guidance. Although, anyone experienced with meditation will tell you that your mind doesn’t enjoy being silenced for too long and the practice is actually quite a challenge for some people.
Experiencing a Shamanic Journey
The beauty of Shamanic journeying is that it is incredibly individual and no two journeys will ever be the same. Some may experience vivid details and visions and others may have more subtle and abstract journeys. They are all highly personal and evidential of the individuals lived experiences and soul journeys. The intention is agreed prior to the undertaking of a journey to give guidance to the answers that are sought.
With the use of rhythmic and repetitive music, rattling, drumming or dance the participants enter a state of trance. The beat used mimics the theta frequency of the earth which induces a state of relaxation and peace. From this place the journeyer can enter one of the three non-ordinary worlds known as the lower, middle and upper worlds. The journey will always involve communication with a power animal, spirit guides and guardians to receive guidance, knowledge, wisdom and healing.
Elements of a Shamanic Journey
Lower World: A place of peace and natural beauty, the Gaia consciousness. This is where you will find your power animals and communicate with the earth elements. This world is entered at the beginning of each journey and is considered to be the easiest world to reach. Travelling down deep into the earth through the roots of a tree, diving down into a waterfall, entering through a burrow or animal hole or simply taking a staircase down will have you in the Lower world.
Here in the Lower world you will become acquainted with your power animals who are an integral part of each journey as they are powerful guides and spirit helpers in the form of the elements of earth, fire, water and air. One of the central aspects of the shamanic lower world is the deep connection to your power and transformation. A strong relationship with the guides and guardians in this realm is one of the foundations of a solid and powerful Shamanic practice.
Middle World: The Shamanic middle world is the same as our earthly world whilst including soul aspects and spiritual dimensions of our past, present and future, ancestors, biographical points. In this world the journeyer, travelling with their power animals and spirit guides has the opportunity to discover specific information about places and events from their own, their ancestral or the earth timelines that can offer guidance and healing.
Upper World: This Shamanic realm exists high above our earthly world. Accompanied by their power animals and spirit guides the journeyer travels beyond the furthest reaches of our universe to receive knowledge and guidance as they connect with the celestial realms, spirit guides, guardians, archangels.
The upper world has a very different vibration than the other worlds. It offers an opportunity to seek valuable insight and assistance with a higher perspective whilst showing the journeyer ancient healing forces that offer the gift of viewing their lives and the world very differently.
Benefits of Shamanic Practices
The world around us is expanding at a phenomenal rate and some of these changes create fear, uncertainty and disempowerment. The beautiful gift of ancient Shamanic practices is to return us to a place of knowledge, empowerment and healing beyond the external. Shamanic journeys offer us a world that exists beyond the physical, beyond the ordinary and beyond anything that is visible. Once visited we return with clarity, openness and intention to live richer, fuller lives because we know that there is so much more to our journey than what we have been led to believe.
If you would like to know more about Shamanism or participate in a shamanic journey please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org