"Because it is not an organized religion as such, but rather a spiritual practice, shamanism cuts across all faiths
and creeds, reaching deep levels of ancestral memory. As a primal belief system, which precedes established
religion, it has its own symbolism and cosmology, inhabited by beings, gods, and totems, who display similar characteristics although they appear in various forms, depending upon their places of origin."
~John Matthews, The Celtic Shaman
The actual word Shaman comes from the Tungus speaking region of Siberia
meaning “one who knows” and “one who sees”.
Shamanism has no scriptures or dogma, it does not require you to worship God, or answer to
any outside authority, or to or to associate only with those who hold the same beliefs.
Shamanism is not a religion and doesn’t conflict with any religious traditions. People of all faiths can and do
practice shamanism. There are no rules or beliefs in Shamanism. Shamanic practice is based on the principle
of direct revelation. This means that you have a direct experience with the helping spirits and spirit worlds.
Shamanism is an ancient universal spiritual practice that dates back over a hundred thousand years, and
interestingly this old ancient practice has been brought right into our modern society. Shamanism
allows you to develop a relationship with the spiritual forces in your life and to develop
trust in the wisdom, insight, and healing energy you receive.
Shamanism crosses cultural boundaries and is practiced in every continent of the world by many ancient
civilizations and countless native traditions. Historically, there has been little physical contact
between shamans in many parts of the world. Yet researchers have repeatedly discovered that
the practices of shamanism are very similar everywhere.
Shamanism is perhaps the oldest spiritual system with which man has sought connection
with creation allowing us to be a part of a larger universe. This universe encompasses more than just
the physical world. Shamanism encourages us to be aware of the spirit around
us and connecting us to everything.
It is about exploring the natural flow of creation, your inner nature and your behaviour.
Shamanism is about becoming a true human and realizing your full potential on planet earth.
Shamanism is concerned with what goes on beneath the surface of things - why certain situations occur in our
lives and why we act as we do. It is concerned with the nature of our creation - why and how we came to be.
Formerly, Shamans were consulted for the purposes of: helping to find directions to hunt game, finding the best location to move the tribe, healing tribal members, story telling, resolve issues between tribe member etc.
With the evolution of human consciousness and culture, some of our needs have changed and Shamanism
has easily adapted to fulfill these needs because it is connected to the collective consciousness.
Shamans usually have a toolbox of many things to work with such as traditional techniques such as drumming,
rattling, healing songs and prayers, divination, herbalism, plant medicine, techniques in dream
working, grief work, and ceremony.
Shamanism is universal; it is neither a religion, nor a New Age trend. It is simply one of the
oldest methods of Healing known to man.
Duties of Shamans
The first role of a shaman is to heal the sick in the society. A shaman does so by connecting with the spiritual world and gaining knowledge about various diseases. The shaman then uses such knowledge to heal the ailing individual. Secondly, a shaman acts as a mediator between the living and the dead. In case of any questions or unresolved issues, both the spirits and people communicate with the shaman, who in turn addresses the relevant party. Thirdly, shamans have fortune telling abilities.
What is a Shamanic Journey?
Using the rhythmic sound of the drum, Shamanic practitioners enter an alternate state of mind in order to journey in the world of Shamanism. It's not the physical body of the Shaman that journeys, but their soul because he/she travels in the spirit world.
Why is It So Powerful?
When you enter the Shamanic world, you have access to other levels of consciousness. You can communicate with your own souls, with your spirit helpers and power animal and have direct information that otherwise would remain hidden or obscured. Shamanic journeying opens the door to the invisible world and allows you to see what is invisible to the naked eye.
What is Shamanic Power?
The practitioners' job is to become an empty bone (vehicle) that permits different energies to pass through it, thus enabling the healing process. The purity of the Shamans' heart determines the powerfulness of the session. Power is derived from power animals, natural elements, spirits of nature and the universe itself!
What is a shamanic journey?
One of the most important tools of shamanism is called a journey. Journeying is an invaluable tool for accessing the deep inner wisdom of our ancestors and the Spirit that lives in all things. It allows one to access intuitive and instinctual information that is often blocked by ego and the entrenched and unexamined beliefs and assumptions of our prevailing culture. By tapping into the larger field of Non-Ordinary Reality, the practitioner can find new ways to understand any situation, resolve seemingly unresolvable inner and external conflicts, and access information that the linear, belief bound identity could never resolve.
Shamanic journeying has been a common practice in indigenous cultures throughout history. A shamanic practitioner’s ability to retrieve vital information is achieved by going into an altered state of consciousness, beyond time and space, to travel into other realms of reality. It is a process that can empower us to find wholeness, balance and harmony in our work and personal lives. This process of direct revelation allows us to retrieve helpful information and guidance from what shamans call helping spirits.
There are many different ways to journey. It takes practice, but everyone has the capacity to enter this state of awareness and use these techniques. Shamans enter other realms, generally referred to as the Lower, Middle, and Upper worlds to access information. Typically, practitioners use some sort of percussion instrument like a drum or rattle to move from our normal beta state of consciousness, into an alpha or relaxed state and then into a theta state. This theta state is what allows practitioners to enter the invisible realms where we can connect with our spirit guides and power animals. With practice, focus and intention you can learn to access these states without using percussion instruments. They are used to assist us in entering these meditative states of consciousness. In these states, called Non-Ordinary Reality, we can bypass the limited worldview of our contemporary culture and our restrictive belief systems.
What are the Core Beliefs of Shamanism?
Everything is energy. Everything is alive. Everything has spirit.
Spirit precedes the physical.
Everything is part of an intricate puzzle that we call the universe. Everything is interrelated and interdependent.
We are spirits in bodies. This means that that our essential nature is as spirit. The body is the temple that holds our spirit while we are on the earth-plane. This does not make the body simply the container for our spirit but also the vehicle for our evolution.
Shamanism recognizes and celebrates that we live in a cosmos where everything is alive and a form of manifest spirit. We are all part of an intricate puzzle, and together with all the worlds of grandmother earth, we make a whole.
You have a sacred dream. You are a unique individual who brings to this world a distinctive gift (notice I didn’t say special or better). No one can replace you nor your gift. The world needs your special gift and if you for whatever the reason don’t find or give the world this gift, the world is seriously lacking for it. It is one of the true purposes of your spirit incarnating at this time to find and manifest this gift.
What does shamanism mean to you?
Medium and Shaman
Both affirm they have a relationship with the "spirits". In both there is a change in the state of consciousness, a modification that can be searched for voluntarily by both. In the Shaman’s case, the control of the relationship with the spirits is generally more energetic; while the Medium acts in a more passive way. Adapted to what is being elaborated in those moments, the Shaman can discuss with the spirits and appears to have more power than the Medium. He treats the "spirits" he finds as his equals.
Shaman activity can partially be described as a particular form of Mediumism. It can also be said the the Medium exists in the urban society and that his trance is passive, while the Shaman uses nature, the rural world, as a reference and his trance or Shaman state of consciousness is an active phenomenon with a general maintenance of control. M. Harner considers the State of Trance essential for Shamanism, which is described as a "journey" (Shaman state of consciousness). Once done, he is capable of remembering it. The Medium doesn’t necessarily remember what he did or happened during the trance.
According to the above criteria, while studying the work of American clairvoyant and psychic Edgar Evans Cayce, he would not only show himself as a Medium, but occasionally also as a Shaman. In his states of trance, he differed in the use of a technique called "canalization". In order for it to take place, one searches for a state of trance without possession. Cayce understood it as a power, as an influence that one can awake inside one’s self. He insisted in achieving a trance without possession:
CAN ANYONE BECOME A SHAMAN?
Yes, I believe anyone can become a Shaman. I think the myth people have created is that you have to be born into a tribe to be a Shaman, but it’s not the tribe that chooses the Shaman, it’s the spirits.
Shamans are able to connect with the spiritual world through various means and procedures. Some of those ways include dancing, music and songs, fasting, and vigils, among others. During these procedures, shamans use different paraphernalia like feathers, drums, rattles, gongs, pipes, sword, shakes, and roosters.