Shamanism is a spiritual practice whose roots can be found in virtually every single ancestry on the planet, dating back in estimation anywhere from 40 to 100 thousand years. It is not a religion, though most religious have shamanic practices. A Shaman is a man or woman who enters an altered shate of consciousness at will to contact and utlize an ordinarily hidden reality in order to acuire knowledge, power and to heal other persons. Though spiritual healers and masters from different parts of the world are called by different names, the term Shaman is commonly used to describe all these people.
Trance and Shamanic States of Consciousness
To experience a state of trance or enter a shamanic state of consciousness, means to achieve an ecstatic awareness and perception that extends beyond the physical series and functioning of the ordinary mind Each timea of has an inner biological need for ecastatic experience. Trances and Shamanic states of consciousness are part of the genetic structure of mankind. We were conditional to see the world through the development of defined programmes, but when we shift out awareness beyond the ordinary mind then we perceive the world in a different way. Shamans typically use drumming, chanting, rituals and hallucinogenic plants to transport themselves to access non-ordinary realities.
Assumptions and essential components of Shamanism
One of the basic assumptions of shamanism is that I am not a physical being: I am an energy field or I am part of the whole. Shamans also speak of web of the connects everything. Many of us feel a deep longing to experience our unity within this web of life and to heal sense of isolation. When we travel to non-ordinary realities, spirit helpers teach us to restore harmony and balance in our lives by living in unity with the natural world. Shamanism also teaches us to honor every human being regardless of color, gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and disability. Shamanism also teaches us the vale of operating with fellow human beings and fellow kingdoms beyond needs of personality, which brings a genuine sense of meaning and purpose to our lives.
The Description of non-ordinary reality from Shamanic Perspective
- We are in the world of duality, a world of the seen and the worlds of unseen. Shamanism typically divides non-ordinary reality into three worlds.
- Lower World, Realm of Ancestors and Power (Akin to earthly dimension where we connect with Power Animals and the portal can be entered through an opening like a hollow tree, a cave or a deep pool. To retrieve the power, the Shaman makes descent in to the lower world through dreeming or through altered states of consciousness).
- Upper world, Realm of Philosophical Spirit Guides, Cosmic beings and great wise elders (The guides appear in human or angetic form, Lessons of healing, personality transformation and one can also see the blueprint of life. Near-dath experiences are classic example to enter in to these realms)
- Middle world, Parallel non-ordinary version of our world (It is the world where psychic phenomena, telepathy, thought forms, extra sensory perception, unexplainable things happen. Where disease as well as illness manifest themselves before moving into the physical body).
Illness from Shamanic perspective
- There are three common causes of illness in the shaman’s view.
- Power loss (A person may have lost his or her power, causing depression, chronic illness, or a series of misfortunes. In this case the Shaman journeys in to lower world to restore the client’s lost power)
- Soul loss (It would be comparable to the psychological concept of disassociation. In severe trauma, a part of our vital nature goes into hiding so that we can survive what is happening. So in a time of extreme stress, in order for the whole self to survive, a soul fragment leaves. This soul loss results in dissociation, post traumatic stress syndrome, depression, illness, immune deficiency problems, addictions, unending grief, or coma. The shaman tracks down the parts that have fled and been lost due to trauma by performing soul retrieval)
- The third cause of illness from a shaman’s perspective would be any spiritual blockages or negative energies that has taken by the individual due to the loss of his or her power or soul. These blocks also cause illness, usually in a localized area of the body. Shaman extracts and removes these harmful energies from the body.
Power Animals are magical helpers bestow us the qualities needed to operate in the world. The messages existed in all of Nature but were most predominant in the animal clan. Animals constantly teach you how you should behave or what you should do to succeed in your physical world. Power Animals are often attracted by one’s emotional needs of the person – viewed as protectors, which help overcome fears and empower us. Your power animal at a given time can change depending on your life path at that time. Connecting with a power animal establishes a psychic link which helps you communicate in non-verbal terms. An animal can be called upon to help you with much needed quality to face the challenge.
Finding your power animal
- Think about animals to which you have always been attracted and remember that “animal” includes birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects.
- What animal do you feel is most like you?
- If you could be an animal what would you most want to be? What would you least want to be?
- Are there animals you dream about regularity?
- Before going to sleep each right ask for your power animal to appear
- Make the same request in meditation
- Be aware of the animal images you see in the course of the day.
The attributes of some of power animals
Eagle (Illumination of spirit, healing and creation), Crow (Secred law), Chicken (Fertility and Secrifice), Ducks (Emotional comfort), Humming bird (tireless joy), Ostrich (grounding), Penguin (Lucid dreaming and Astral projection), Owl (mystery of magic, vision in the night), Vulture (Purification) and raven (Shape shifting).
Ass (Humility), Bear (Awakening the power of the unconscious), Bull fertility), Cat (Wholeness), Art (Team work), Deer (Gentleness), Dog (Loyality), Dolphin(Breath of life), Chimpanzee (harmonious living), Elephant (Commitment), Horse (Power), Tiger (Being in the now), Snake (Transmutation), Lizard (Dreaming), Butterfl (Transformation), Beetle (Resurrection) and Fish (Adaptation).