What is Shamanism?
To quote Zacciah Blackburn:
"No one culture or group of cultures has a hold on what is "shamanic." Shamanism is a group of skills to peer into other worlds and utilize the intelligence and forces of Creation to bring us to greater wholeness, clarity and self-realization. The words, "wholeness," and "healing," literally are derived from "Holiness." This is the true nature of our path and realization - that we are Whole and Integral beings, Holy Beings of Creation, and Inheritors of Divine Right and Origin, ready, when we are ready, to participate as co-creators in our Universe and in our daily living realities."
Shamanism is the oldest form of spiritual practice known. The shaman acts as a bridge between the worlds. She sees everything as an inter-connected weaving of countless enspiriting forces that take a myriad of forms. Nature is regarded as a vast resource where one can access the transpersonal in the form of spirit intelligences that provide information that confers wisdom and illumination.
There are a number of different shamanic practices. Examples are that of healer, seer, oracle, psychopomp, midwife, magician and sorcerer, The shaman is skilled in the practice of ritual, conducting initiations, blessings, clearings and more. In indigenous communities there are shamans who work specifically with healing herbs, possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of local plants and their uses. Because of the far-reaching influences of modern culture, many of these indigenous healers are dying without an apprentice to absorb their great body of knowledge. It is in our interest that we endeavor to learn from and support these native healers.
VISIONARY PLANT MEDICINE:
As a shamanic woman who works with the sacred mushroom, I assist those who work with this powerful medicine to integrate the experience. Psychotropic plants and fungi are ancient teachers and they are a profound mystery. To say we have mastery over them is pure hubris. They deserve our humble reverence and respect. I offer wisdom on how to work with these substances from a place of appreciation and humility. It is important to prepare for such and experience and establish psychic protection. I cover these considerations in my consults with seekers on this path. After such an experience there is a period of integration without which, the seeker can lose the expansive insights he received. I assist in delving into the symbolism and profound teachings found via the plant/fungi teacher. Some of these experiences can be disturbing and it is most helpful to work with an experienced guide who can offer perspective on the deeper teachings these substances offer.
Shamanic journey takes you deep into the other worlds. My guided journeys are like storytelling, where I shift states of consciousness and take my client into an experience that shifts them in some way. Each journey is as unique as the people who come to me. Journey work is a profoundly effective tool for engaging the deep psyche to activate healing or revelation. Using the monotonous sounds of a rattle or simply voice technique, I guide my client into a deeply relaxed state where access to the transpersonal realms is had. This is very beneficial work and those who engage it are well served by its effects.
To the shaman, illness is a result of spiritual disharmony. Soul retrieval is a powerfully effective means of shamanic healing. The soul represents our life force or essence. Traumas encountered throughout life result in a piece of the soul fleeing the body to survive the experience. The shaman understands that this soul piece retreats to a place in non-ordinary reality. It remains there until a practitioner locates it in the transpersonal realms and returns it to the client, thereby empowering them to effectively heal the issue.
Symptoms of soul loss show up in the form of spiritual illnesses called by Mayan shamans, "susto." Examples of susto are depression, addiction, hopelessness, envy, apathy, etc. These states are brought on by some kind of past trauma or pain. Whether mild or severe, it was enough to permanently affect the individual. A soul retrieval brings the client back to a feeling of connection to the world and a sense of their place within it. The client is now free to move forward in life, unburdened by unresolved issues. I have had powerful experiences with clients during soul retrieval work. This is a treasured healing modality.
There are times in many people’s lives where they feel their path is being overshadowed or blocked energetically. Possession is more common than people realize and actually very natural as spirits are attracted to us for a host of different reasons. Historically, every culture had knowledge of this and they paid particular attention to how the dead were cared for. In our current culture, possession is rampant as people are assaulted with fear-based information and imagery on a daily basis through the media. This, and also drug and alcohol abuse will weaken the energy field, leaving one open to possession.
Demonic possession is not so common but can be severe. Most spirits that come in to a person are quite benign, yet this is energetically draining for the host. According to Betsy Bergstrom, “The average possession or overshadowing can result in illness, anger, fear, depression, mood swings, voices in the head, experiencing what seems like a past life, nightmares and sexual stimulation.”
Unlike the old paradigm of high-drama depossession, Compassionate Depossession is non-adversarial. The practitioner works with the help of benevolent intelligences to assist the attached spirit to retreat to release its grip. Both parties are restored to balance and harmony in an environment of safety and care.
CURSE & THOUGHT-FORM UNRAVELLING:
At different times in their lives, most people hear negative and potentially damaging criticisms about themselves. These remarks imprint within the psyche, creating a belief system that is out of alignment with the truth of the individual on the receiving end. Words are both powerful forms of expression and powerful energies. When words are combined with intense emotion, the energy carries the intention of the words right into the individual they are directed to.
Curses are ancient and have been used by every culture around the world. They have the power to knock an individual off balance and negatively affect them on a number of levels. Many people have some sort of curse or spell on them. People in this culture are less than careful with their words, with no awareness of the powerful energy that lives on. We curse ourselves and we curse others with words and emotions. Curses can bind a person energetically from creating the type of life they desire. This work helps unravel and undo both self-destructive thought patterns as well as any curses that have been directed to the individual.