All About Shamanism and Shamanic Healing
“Shamanism is not a religious doctrine in the traditional sense; rather, it is a spiritual practice that may reach incredible levels of ancestral memory.” This allows it to be practiced by people of many beliefs and religions. It is a primitive belief system that predates institutionalized religion, and as such, it has its own symbolism and cosmology. “It is populated by creatures, gods, and totems that reflect similar qualities, despite the fact that they appear in diverse forms depending on where they originated.”
~John Matthews, The Celtic Shaman
What is shamanism?
The spiritual practice known as shamanism may be found in civilizations all across the globe, from ancient periods all the way up to the present day. In the first place, the rituals and practices of shamans are very useful and versatile. Over the course of millennia, these traditions have coexisted with a variety of civilizations, structures of governance, and institutionalized religious rituals.
Numerous established faiths, ranging from Buddhism to Christianity, have ancient shamanic origins and continue to contain the shamanic threads of a profound connection to the divine in all things. Shamanism was the foundation for each of these religions. However, the practice of shamanism in and of itself is neither a codified set of ideas nor an ideology.
Rather, it refers to a collection of practices and adventures that shamans from different cultures all over the globe have in common. These behaviors are malleable and may coexist with a variety of diverse civilizations, forms of governance, and structured religious rituals and observances.
Shamanism is now researched and used as a spiritual discipline in non-indigenous civilizations all over the world. Individuals that adhere to a shamanistic worldview make it their goal to establish a connection with the spirit that resides in everything. They look for ways to glean knowledge and direction from other realities in order to consciously shape the experiences they have in their own lives.
This viewpoint is not fundamentally incompatible with just about any religious practice that permits a person to have a personal interaction with a higher power, regardless of how that power is interpreted by that individual.
Consulting with shamans
In the same way that people did in earlier civilizations, individuals in the present day consult with contemporary shamanic practitioners to find practical and pragmatic solutions to problems in everyday life. These problems can range from physical illnesses, career satisfaction, or family problems to ancestry-related concerns.
Shamans do their job while in voluntarily induced trance states of ecstasy, which change their states of consciousness and allow them to access the realms of the unseen worlds. Their capacity to learn things and effect changes in the unseen worlds is directly proportional to the quality of the working connections they cultivate with the spirits who dwell there. In this view, shamanism may be seen as a relationship-based discipline that entails creating alterations in realms that are not visible in order to influence the healing of people or communities in the domain of everyday reality.
A shamanic practice may be an integral part of the mainstream culture of certain groups of people, while for others it may be completely at odds with that society. Some people are instinctively prompted to seek treatment from a modern shaman, typically after other choices have been exhausted, even if they do not understand what a shaman is or how they operate. This may happen when other alternatives have been exhausted.
What is a shaman?
Shamans, in the opinion of the renowned American psychologist and pioneer in the area of consciousness, Stanley Krippner, are “community-assigned magicians and religious leaders who consciously alter their states of consciousness in order to communicate with the “spirit world” and obtain information from it.” They put this information and power to use in order to assist and heal both individual members of their community as well as the group as a whole.
Shamans were the earliest doctors, diagnosticians, psychotherapists, religious officials, magicians, performance artists, and storytellers, according to Krippner. Shamans also had other important roles.
In cultures that practice shamanism, all adults are held accountable for their relationships with various forms of spiritual energy. These forms of spiritual energy may include those of their home environment (geography, animals, and plant life), their ancestors, their own personal helping spirits, and Spirit, the force that was responsible for creating the world.
The shaman, on the other hand, is one of a kind because not only does he or she have an increased facility for traveling in non-ordinary realms but also because they use their relationships with spirits to bring about changes that will manifest in the physical world for the purpose of healing individuals or the community as a whole. Shamans are distinguished from several other sorts of practitioners by virtue of this definition. For instance, mediums make use of altered states of consciousness, yet while they are in these altered states, they do not take any action. And while in their changed states, sorcerers perform their spells, but not always to cure.
Abilities of shamans
A shaman is a practitioner who has reached a level of mastery in the following areas, as described by Christina Pratt in The Encyclopedia of Shamanism:
- Altered states of consciousness, the capacity to consciously enter and exit such states, as well as the ability to maintain control over oneself while doing so.
- Serving as a bridge or mediator between the requirements of the spirit world and those of the material world in a manner that the community can comprehend and put to good use.
- Providing for the requirements of the community that cannot be satisfied by practitioners of other professions, such as doctors, psychiatric specialists, priests, and community leaders.
A shaman is therefore a specific type of healer who uses an alternate state of consciousness to enter the invisible world, which is made up of all unseen aspects of the world that affect us, including the spiritual, emotional, mental, mythical, archetypal, and dream worlds.
Categories of healers
There are three distinct types of shamans practicing in today’s society, including those who:
- Originate from a lineage of unbroken shamanic practitioners and maintain their shamanic practices in accordance with the tenets of their ancestral cultures.
- Originating in a shamanic tradition, but serving as a bridge between that tradition and the current Western world. This is often accomplished by including rites and rituals into their practice that were not required in their native culture.
- Are summoned by Spirit to serve the needs of their community as shamans, despite the fact that they may have been culturally disconnected from their original shamanic origins for a very long time.
How exactly may practicing shamanism improve your overall health and well-being?
People may turn to shamanism as a kind of treatment for a wide variety of illnesses. If someone is living within a culture that practices shamanism, then shamanic healing is likely to be a part of the multidisciplinary approach that is used to treat any disease or imbalance. This may involve working in conjunction with other types of healers, medicinal plants, dietary adjustments, and other treatments.
The majority of non-indigenous people living in modern western civilization are not acquainted with the practice of shamanic healing. In spite of this, more and more individuals are turning to modern shamans for help with a wide variety of health issues, but in particular for situations in which they are not making adequate progress using traditional ways.
Shamanistic perspective on disease
The viewpoint that is taken on an individual’s illness in shamanism is distinct from the viewpoint that is taken in traditional medical practice. In the perspective of shamanism:
- The same underlying fundamental energy issue is not the cause of illnesses or symptoms that are similar to one another.
- Discord in a community often finds expression in the form of individual sickness.
- It is possible that a large spiritual or energy problem is the root cause of any sickness, regardless of the shape that illness takes, whether it be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or relational.
It is more probable that some diseases have a spiritual component, which means that certain illnesses may respond to shamanic healing approaches. Among them are psychiatric conditions such as melancholy and anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and addictions.
There is a possibility that illnesses with a bodily manifestation might have major spiritual roots. This is particularly true for diseases that have unusual or early presentations, such as a degenerative condition that generally happens in older years but appears in a young adult. Another example is a disease that normally affects children but occurs in adults.
The perception that “something is missing” or that “I haven’t been the same since…” may often be an indication of an energetic loss of some kind, including a loss of soul energy. Shamanic healing is perfectly compatible with both traditional medicine and other forms of integrative therapy, and it is commonly used as part of a multi-pronged approach to the treatment of a disease.
Traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and a host of other alternative medical practices are examples.
The practice of shamanic healing consists of two distinct phases:
- The precise identification of the visible and invisible energy that are driving the issue at its core.
- Putting into action the particular dance of energies that will be required to address the challenge.
It is possible for the shaman to be of use by either recovering energies that have been misplaced or eliminating energies that are improperly present. This involves retrieving lost aspects of one’s soul in order to facilitate healing and wholeness via this process.
There is time and support available for a person to undertake the integrating and processing that is necessary to complete the majority of the healing processes when that individual is living within a community that encourages such work. In today’s modern culture, both the client and the shaman share the responsibility of establishing the resources and framework necessary for a person to adapt to a change in their own internal energy.
The goal of shamans is to restore equilibrium, not just inside the person but also between the individual and the community and between the community and the spirit world. Shamans direct and move energy in order to accomplish this.
More definition of Shamanism:
WHAT IS SHAMANISM?
Shamanism is an old healing practice that’s also more of a way of life than anything else. It is a means of establishing a connection with the natural world and with all of creation. The Tungus people of Siberia are responsible for the creation of the term “shaman.” This phrase was invented by anthropologists, and they’ve used it ever since to designate the spiritual and ceremonial leaders that are found in indigenous societies all over the globe. Shamanism is a term that may be used to describe the traditional spiritual activities that were practiced by these indigenous societies in the past. Clearly, the continuous broadening of the meaning of the term was helped along by the innumerable parallels that existed between the many different historic traditions.
Over the course of the last several decades, the practice of shamanism has become more well-known throughout the western world, particularly among new-age communities. In today’s world, it may be difficult to differentiate between ancient forms of shamanism and contemporary activities that often include esoteric concepts yet nevertheless use the name.
One way to look at shamanism is as the spiritual knowledge that is innate to all indigenous peoples across the world. Shamanism is the technique by which we, as human beings, may develop that natural connection. Since all traditional spiritual practices have their origins in nature, shamanism is the appropriate approach.
ASPECTS OF SHAMANISM
- CONNECTION WITH NATURE
- The practice of shamanism has its roots in the natural world. The old indigenous teachings are based on the fundamental principles that may be gleaned from nature, and shamanic activities are a means by which these principles can be accessed.
- HEALING OF SELF & COMMUNITY
- The practice of shamanism is concerned not only with the wellbeing of the individual but also with the wellbeing of the community as a whole. This encompasses not just human beings but also plants, animals, and other forms of life.
- SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
- Regular engagement in spiritual practice paves the way for continuous and accelerated development in both the body and the soul. The objective is to bring about an internal and exterior harmony with all that has been created.
- PILGRIMAGE TO HOLY SITES AND LOCATIONS
- The practice of shamanism requires one to acquire the skills necessary to approach and make a connection with holy locations. We revive and rejuvenate the vitality of the land when we pay respect to natural marvels like rivers, lakes, mountains, and caverns. These features are all examples of natural wonders.
- VISION & CEREMONY
- Harmony and balance are encouraged by holding rituals to respect the spirits of the natural world. The shaman’s journey is one that never comes to a conclusion. It is thought that so long as these rituals are carried out, the world will continue on its merry way.
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