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  • 8/2/2019 Shamanism Overview


    Shamanism - Overview

    By Carla Goddard

    This is only a general overview of shamanism. This is only to familiarize you with the

    some of the guidelines and terms used in the both traditional and contemporaryshamanic experiences.

    Shaman is one of the few spiritual paths that has remained relatively unchangedthrough the centuries. While many spiritual paths have evolved into the many practicesof neo-pagan groups and Christian frequency religions, Shamanism has outlasted thetest of time which leads to its continued popularity. There is no way for any website orbook to translate the necessary training nor experience of Shamanism. One must studywith a teacher or Master to truly have the shamanic ecstasy referred to.

    What is shamanic ecstasy? The word itself comes from a Greek term ekstasis meaning tobe placed outside. This is a state of joy that transcends the ability to describe in words. Itliterally means to enter a form of trance or state of consciousness that allows theshaman to journey to stand outside of themselves. During the state of this Shamanicecstasy a Shaman is journeying to engage in a soul retrieve, to guide the soul or thedead, to divine answers or to add their personal knowledge by associating with higherbeings.

    The Shaman may also enter a state that is for pure Prophetical purposes during thisjourney. This form of Divination is seen many times during the workings of John theBaptist. It is a seer ship that is entered in which they are retrieving certain informationin regards to the events of the future.

    The last state we will discuss is the state of Mystical journey. This is when the Shamanenters a state of consciousness to become closer with the Divine Masters. This state oftrance is usually done through the use of mantras and tends to bring a greater or higherlevel of spiritual understanding and awareness. Many Shaman use meditation,contemplation, visualization or spiritual concentration as well as mantras to reach thisstate. This is a state of consciousness that allows the out of body journeys so oftenreferred to by contemporary Shamanic journeys. They invoke physiological, emotionaland intuitive responses. On the physiological response the body will exhibit aninvoluntary response related to being electrically charged. The emotions of the Shamancan run a gauntlet of feelings and emotions that can range from complete overwhelmingjoy to a shocking fear. The mind and body completely blend together allowing the an

    expanded state of consciousness for greater awareness.

    It is important to note that this is not the same state of consciousness that is referred toas astral projection or transcendental meditation that is so popular in today's New Agegroups.

    A traditional Shaman is one who is associated with a group or tribe of gathering orhunting peoples. This can be anything from Native Americans to the aborigine groups of

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    South America. It is not to say that a contemporary Shaman of today that followstraditional practices lives in the middle of the forest by themselves or in a tribe. It doeshowever imply that every Shaman I have met is involved / participates on some level wita society of traditional nature and engage with training within this tribe. For the mostpart, these societies will not train one who is not part of their own tribe. In certain cases,

    this has happened; however, it is the exception not the rule.

    There are modern neo-Shamans who practice principles of Shamanism but have notengaged in the traditional initiations and training of Shamanism. Does this make themless of Shaman's? No. In all Shamanic cultures the basis of a Shaman is a healer andspiritual consultant. Although in many cultures they also have other roles in which theyparticipate such as priest, the primary role of a Shaman always has been the interactionof the people and the Spirit World to enlighten and heal.

    By definition, a Shaman is a person who can enter the described state of consciousnessat will.

    Shamanism is considered by many as the oldest form of spiritual practice. It doespredate all known religions. It is important to understand that Shamanism is not areligion in itself. It is simply a set of beliefs, behaviors and guidelines followed by aselect few. These beliefs and practices allow the Shaman to obtain informationunavailable to others, heal, retrieve souls and seek ancestor guidance. As stated, it is inits traditional form nearly unchanged over the centuries. The best description I haveheard is from Tom Cowan's book Shamanism: As a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life,Shamanism "...draws upon what is best in our society while it reforms those areasharmful to the human spirit and the health of the planet."

    The word Shaman is from the Tungus word to mean "to know". Tungus are a tribe

    located in the Altai Mountains in Siberia. In the Tungus language the word means a wayof life, experience and belief. There are some who say that the word came from a Tibetanword samana which is the word for Buddhist monk. The word is, in relative comparison,a word. The derivative of the word is insignificant as the definition remains the same inevery debate. It has come to represent a variety of persons from Witchdoctors, medicinemen, diviners and healers. The Shaman may go by a variety of names in these varioustraditions, but all practice nearly identical techniques. From the Angakok's of theEskimos to the Geilt of the Celtics, they are persons who have the ability to reach thehidden truth accessible only by journey to the Otherworld.

    What is Shamanism really? It is not a person, it is not a religious path, it is not a

    spiritual calling. Shamanism is a avocation. The ability to reach the altered state ofconsciousness in journey upon stated will is what makes a shaman a shaman. It is whatdefines the term.

    There are two primary ways of becoming a Shaman.

    Hereditary. Literally having a Shaman in the family. This never happens in neo-shamans.

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    The receiving of the Call. This is being appointed by the tribe or choosing to do so ofyour own free will. The self taught, self made Shaman is never as powerful as theappointed tribal Shaman or the hereditary Shaman.

    What is receiving the call? The first is being appointed. The Shaman is selected as an

    apprentice from an early age because of some difference in personality. A solitudeseeker or some sort of fit that causes a mental unbalance. This is not the same thing as amental disorder that is often confused in modern times with epilepsy. The Call is simplya temporary moment of a shift of consciousness unfamiliar to the person. In many casesit comes with other patterns such as being attacked by an animal, struck by lightning ora near death experience. It is common for a hereditary Shaman to receive this call froman ancestral Shaman relative to indicate it is their time.

    A personal choice is a conscious decision that a person makes to study the beliefs andpractices of the Shaman. For most this self appointed Shaman will remain less powerfuland less likely to experience the state of communication with the Otherworld ascompared to the appointed or hereditary Shaman. This is the path that most neo-Shamans follow.

    The traditional apprentice of the Shaman will follow a oral teachings of their ancestrallineage or from their tribal leader. This training can happen in two different methods.One is an ecstatic method which is training through vision and dream. This training isdone by the ancestral guide or spirit guide and involves a definite initiation into theOtherworld. No book or article can exchange this information or even come close todescribing the experience. The second method is traditional training by a currentShaman or tribal elder. This is the typical training of today's Shaman.The neo-Shaman training of engaging in reading how to books or attending a seminarshould only be the journey to lead to a teacher qualified to teach the practice and beliefs.

    The initiation of the Shaman is a phenomenon that is so involved that it has been knownto cause death or permanent disability. In some traditions organs are actually removedand replaced with a crystal or other object. Many do not survive the initiation process. Itis said the reasoning for the physical initiation first is to ensure the readiness andworthiness of the Shaman. This is only the first part of the process. The second is theinitiation into the Otherworld. This is a initiatory dream or vision that includes aritualistic death that last three days. In many cases it has been described as the Shamanbeing dismembered and reconstructed by the Divine.

    Many in the neo-Shamanic belief reproduce this experience through meditation ordrugs. It is vital to understand that in no way does the use of drugs have any place in

    traditional Shamanic belief, ritual or initiation. That is not considered shiftingconsciousness at will by traditional Shaman, but rather the manipulation of free will.The initiation of Shamans regardless of process will have a common theme. The Shamanwill have a ritual dismemberment of the body and the replacement of organs withanother matter such as crystals. It will include time alone in the wilderness, beingsymbolically dead, symbolically descending into the Spirit world through a self inducedtrance, a following of training ending with the rite of passage through torture. It is not ajoyous easy process that is related by some neo-Shamanic groups. It is not a walking

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    into a bright light and a feeling of joyous release. It is filled with highly ritualistic featsthat test the pain and fear of the Shaman. It is not a five minute process. It can take daysto complete. The purpose is to embark on a spiritual or prophetical quest which willprove ones worthiness as a Shaman.

    The role f the Shaman varies greatly in cultural areas. They are truly dependent uponthe natural gifts of the Shaman. There are some who are medicine men, warriors, priestsor even a simple carpenter. The service of the Shaman will always be the same - healingthe spirit. Not always a healer of the body, but always a healer of the spirit. A Shaman'sprimary functions are for soul-extraction, -retrieval, and -restoration. Soul extraction isthe process of removing the soul from that which is attacking it either psychically,spiritually, or mentally. The soul-retrieval is the process of retrieving pieces of soul thatis lost. This will always require assistance from the Other World. The beings of the OtherWorld will assist the Shaman in determining what is wrong with the person, finding whythe piece is missing, lost, or stolen and to do battle to retrieve the missing pieces. Thesoul restoration is literally what it says. When a person is near death a soul will want tomove on. The Shaman can assist in guiding the soul to where it needs to go.

    Many Shaman have natural gifts, this is especially true of hereditary Shaman. Herbalhealing is one such way. Herbal healing goes back for centuries and is why manycultures looked at the Medicine Man as the Shaman. A Shaman may be a Medicine Man.A Medicine Man is not always a Shaman.

    Body work and hands on healing through modularities of Reiki, massage, energy work isthe energy or spirit of the Shaman practices. Divination or prophecy, dream work, visionquests, soul leading and spiritual healing are all others natural gifts of the Shaman.Again, it is important to remember that a person can be Shaman and have any, all ornone of these healing gifts. A person can have one or all of the healing gifts and not be a


    One misconception is that all Shaman shape shift into animals. Not all Shamans possesthis ability. Not all who possess this ability are Shamans. Shape shifting is the ability tochange your physical form into an animal or change the physical form in the astral planeto a particular power animal. While most Shaman can do this, it is not an ability thatdefines Shamanic practices.

    Another misconception is that black Shamans are evil. There are not white or blackShamans. Just as with other spiritual movements that discuss workings of white magicand black magic, it is not the ability to work within the Divine Spirit or Spirit Worlds

    that define white or black - but rather the intent of the one working within these realms.This is true of every being. There are no evil or bad spirits but rather the intent of theperson working with the spirits that determine the positive or negative influence.

    In many tribal cultures the Other World or Spirit World is not as the rest of the Spiritualpaths think of. For example in some cultures there are nine levels heaven while in othercultures there is only this world and Dream time. Most look at three worlds as thesymbolic levels. These are the upper, middle, and lower worlds. These are the levels that

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    most neo-shaman will speak off. These are the worlds that are located on the Tree ofLife. Symbolically the Upper World is the world of the branches. Where spirits and godsare. The trunk is the middle world and is the here and now. The roots are the lowerworld and is considered a very powerful place. It is the place of the ancestral knowledgeand where many answers lie hidden.

    The process of how Shaman travel is widely variant in description. This is partly due tothe inability to express into words certain aspects of Shamanic journey. It can bedescribed by some as traveling the tunnels of life. The Tree Life being the central objectto travel through. The roots leading to tunnels to both the upper and lower worlds.There are some who speak of the inner tunnels being the chakra system. There is noright or wrong description. The variance in terminology is based solely upon the cultureof the Shaman and the creative imagination of relating the indescribable to the world.The actual journeying to the Other world is leaving the here and now and allowing thespirit to leave the body and journeying to the spirit realm. This Shamanic state ofconsciousness is both a trance state and a learned state of being completely aware ofwhat s occurring and in control of the situation. A guided journey is merely a journey tolearn and has no comparison to the Shamanic state of consciousness. A guided journeyis different in one vital way. A Shamanic journey is at will and instant. A guided journeyis where a guide (spirit, animal or of this world) takes control of the dream ormeditation and leads you to where they want you to go. It is not always pleasant. Muchlike other types of Shamanic journeys, this is not a simple joyful encounter. The purposeis to take the Shaman to a place where they can learn and grow in there powers. It iswhere they can meet and learn from the the guide lessons that are vital in their training.The guides referred to are spirit helpers. They can be an ancestral god or figure, animaltotem, or Shamanic ancestors. An animal totem or power totem is something that hasspecial powers or meanings to that particular Shaman. It is more important as to waythe totem represents rather than what it is.

    There are no rules, nor redes in being a Shaman. There are certain beliefs and behaviorsthat guide a Shaman. A moral code of ethics of sorts. They are truths for the Shaman.For example the physical world has physics and boundaries that are linear. The Spiritworld is not bound to inflexible laws of the physical world. All in life is connected andinterdependent upon one another. All power is connected to life. Shaman must knowthe entrance and exit to the Other World. There are beliefs and behaviors that Shamansmust follow that are innate to their souls.


    BY NORMAN WILSONWhen one feels a lack luster daily existence, that is, a lack of a personal dynamism intheir being, the shaman views that as a sign the individual has experienced soul loss.Such a loss is believed to be the leading cause of illness, both physical and emotional.

    There are several indicators of soul loss. Chief among these is chronic illness. Othersinclude feeling emotionally empty, depression, lapses in memory, and in some cases, outof body experiences.

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    Because the shaman believes soul loss is the cause of illness, he becomes concernedabout the depletion of one's spiritual energy. That depletion becomes all the moreserious if the soul permanently leaves the body. If that happens the body dies. Theprimary goal of the shaman then is to retrieve the parts of the soul that have left or thewhole soul in order to return the person to a natural harmony and zest.

    Only parts of the soul may leave the body. When they do they don't go to a soulrepository and remain in limbo. They continue to exist, to live a parallel existence innon-ordinary realms of reality.

    What causes the loss of soul and for one to become ill? Generally, there are three causesfor soul loss.

    1. The individual has suffered a frightening trauma

    2. The individual experiences a sense of abandonment

    3. The individual's soul is stolen

    The shaman's first task is to determine the cause of the soul loss. Once that has been

    determined he may than begin the procedures for retrieving the soul.Dr. Wilson has forty years experience in education at the junior high school, graduateschool, and community college. He is the author and co-author of textbooks in literarycriticism and in the humanities. Besides having over 100 articles published on theinternet, he is the author of The Shaman's Quest, Adam: The Transformation, andApocalyptic Adam.




    Humans are instinctively inquisitive and are always investigating and modifying the two

    worlds in which they exist: the physical world and the inner world.

    Both the physical and inner worlds, in turn, work upon the human equation. No matterthe claim to the contrary, man is inexorably a part of both worlds. It is this recognitionthat the shaman readily integrates into his world view.

    For the shaman, man, animals, plants, rocks, wind, rain, sun, stars, and moon are alivewith Spirits. Unfortunately, early films and television programs have conveyed asomewhat inaccurate image of Spirit making it ghostly. Those entities that make noisesand rattling sounds during a seance designed to commune with the deceased is not theintent here.

    Some writers suggest a better word for Spirits would be essences, meaning that which

    makes a man human, a tree a tree, or an eagle an eagle. Aristotle's 'substances' is not anequivalent, nor is Plato's 'pure forms'. The shamanic concept of Spirit is closer to theAncient Egyptian notion of BA, which may translate as 'soul' or 'spiritual manifestation.'

    From a practical viewpoint, spirit is that which makes a thing what it is. It's thenoumenon. Spirit. as consciousness, has the problem of death as an issue. If, however,death is a 'rebirth' into another life, much as a child from its mother's womb emergesinto another life, then consciousness as Spirit/Soul is acceptable.

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    Even though Spirit and Soul are essential to a shamanic world view and thecohesiveness they provide, there is no denial of various categories or of other forms, orqualities. The shaman accepts all; denies nothing.

    Norman W Wilson, PhD

    Dr. Wilson has forty years experience in education at the junior high school, graduateschool, and community college. He is the author and co-author of textbooks in literarycriticism and in the humanities. He is the author of over a dozen articles on shamanism,and has over 125 articles published on the internet. He is a reviewer for The New YorkJournal of Books.

    Article Source:




    To be shaman is not a question, it is a metaphor of shamanism itself, being shamanic is

    a natural calling to a life best served. Shamanism and its origins are far removed fromthe outdated understanding of being called to service of ones community. Tribes haveended, villages consumed and towns divided, so why be a shaman at all in these currenttimes?

    As mentioned in the opening sentence and now being expanded upon during theremainder of this article, to be a shaman, one has to receive a calling to be so. Thiscalling cannot be learnt, it cannot be bestowed and it cannot be passed from one toanother. In so many cases of definition, shaman are called to be shaman usually duringa particular difficult or traumatic time of their life.

    Normally, shaman are called to be during a period of serious disease or illness which hastaken the individual to near death experiences. During this state of being (sick) theshaman is usually saved from his fate through the aid of spiritual guardians or in thewords of this author, spooks! These spirit guardians never leave, they cannot beforgotten and as is the norm for a shaman, they never shut up!

    During the calling of a shaman, the individual may experience extreme psychologicalimbalances which can manifest themselves in various forms of psychosis.Hallucinations, voices in the head, manic euphoria, aggravated depression, feelings ofbeing alone, seeing ghosts or spirits, these are just a small selection of intuitive words todescribe the impact of being shamanically called to service. These psychoticmanifestations never last forever, they simply become balanced once more as theshaman grows comfortable with other forms of existence previously unknown or

    thought of. However, the question must be asked, to what service?The answer to this question can be summed up easily in one short sentence, which was'dictated' to this author during his own shamanic experience ... 'for the good of thewhole'. The whole being, the whole planet, the whole universe. It seems such agargantuan task that it surely cannot be completed by one individual? ... or can it?

    A shaman understands that he / she (some of the greatest shaman are women) is withinhimself an universe, everything he/she sees, touches, associates or communicates withis a part of the shaman, a part of the whole. Therefore when a shaman is speaking or

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    communicating with the universe and travelling (the term commonly used to signify adeep shamanic meditation or trance) to other realms to seek answers to a particularquestion or problem asked of the shaman he / she fully understands that all answers arecontained within.

    So, what does a shaman do, you may ask. A shaman does whatever it takes to perform a

    service to his / her universe. This may be in the form of healing another (putting one atease), healing the environment (many landscape gardeners are shaman), seekinganswers to questions or problems (both from the shaman and from others) and believethis or not financial solutions (yes, some debt doctors are shaman).

    As a final departing gift, this shaman will say this, if you are thinking about becoming ashaman by investing large amounts of money in training to become a shaman, thenplease don't. It is unnecessary to do so and ultimately foolhardy. You can be a shamanicseeker, but the answer always remains the same, the spooks choose you!

    David 'Goldie' Edwards is shaman, chosen to be so as nature intended. He is more thanhappy to discuss and involve himself with all things shamanic. If you require theservices of a shaman or are curious about shamanism, then please visit his websiteTheDragon Shamanwhere you will find contact details and assistance in many forms.Article Source:




    Whenever the word shaman is mentioned people conjure up an image of a half-nakedwild aboriginal dancing around an open fire. That's as wrong as is the movie version ofNative Americans who say "ugh" and "Me want wampum." There's so much more.

    Images of drugged up glazed eyed hallucinating chanting figures calling up spirits from

    the nether world are just as illusionary as the late Jeff Chandler playing Cochise. Then,what is this more?

    Some anthropologists have classified Shamanism as an archaic magical-religiousphenomenon in which the shaman is the great master of ecstasy. Ecstasy needsdefinition if we are to come to an understanding of what a shaman does. We are talkingabout a state of being carried away by overwhelming emotion not a drug.

    It is known that some shamans do use drugs to induce a state of ecstasy. When this isthe case, it is generally for the purpose of experiencing the subconscious. This writerdoes not advocate the use of drugs. There are safer ways of arriving at an altered state.Those who use meditation also generally frown upon the use of drugs.

    The sham creates emotional ecstasy in a patient, besides through the use of drugs, bythe use of music. In aboriginal terms this might be flute or the repetitive resonating beatof a drum. It can also be created by the voice of the shaman when he makes a high-pitched sound.

    Unfortunately, many westerners have turned to the aboriginals in the jungles of SouthAmerica and the mountains of Tibet for the experience of enlightenment by takinghallucinate drugs. A healing shaman does not necessarily pursue this approach despitethe fact he is primarily a holistic thinker.
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    The shaman uses various herbs and plants from the natural world to help his patient.Poultices, steam with an infusion of herbs, and rich broths are standard. Many have thefunction of cleansing the human system.

    The use of music, sounds, and the dance is more for effect and show. Yet, one may notdiscount the psychological affect they produce in the patient. Evidence suggests the

    human body can heal itself. The shaman's goal is to increase that potential.Dr. Wilson has forty years experience in education at the junior high school, graduateschool, and community college. He is the author and co-author of textbooks in literarycriticism and in the humanities. He is the author of three speculative fiction novels. TheQuest, Seeking the New Adam, Adam's Transformation, Apocalyptic Adam.




    Intent + Emotional Control + Knowledge = A Shaman

    There are many things a Shaman comes to know over a lifetime of learning and practice.Many of these things are impossible to explain with language. The same can be said forcertain tenets in Taoism, Buddhism and other religious philosophies - for example,faith.

    As a Shaman studies, one meets with knowledge of good and evil gradually and canpractice mastery in increments. For a Shaman to share all of his or her knowledge withyou at once would fill your heart with such dread it could cause illness of body and mindbecause you are unpracticed and unprotected. However, everything a Shaman knowscan be obtained through good practice and constant learning. I am always happy toshare what I know and walk with you on your journey. There is certain knowledge Iwould share with everyone as we all need to protect ourselves.

    Everything has spirit; every rock, tree, fish, animal, person, ocean, planet, has some kindof spirit. The spirit showing itself as a rock is not necessarily just a rock, however. Lookscan be deceiving. But the quality or level of the spirit is evidenced in its physical form.For example, the spirit of a rock has a slow and low vibrational rate. It takes a long timeto act but it has a long life span in this reality. A butterfly has a higher and fastervibration but a shorter life span than a rock. It makes one wonder whether we are allgiven the same amount of spiritual energy and our life spans vary only according to ourvibratory rate.

    There are also various forms of non-visible spirits. More than you can imagine. Shamansspend lifetimes learning to "see" and perform various tasks using these spiritual forms.

    Some of these forms are neutral and some are beneficent. Some of them are predatory. Iwant you to know about the predators as they affect your health and happiness.

    The only spiritual form that can gain spiritual energy or grace "gong" is the humanbeing. It is the only thing we can absolutely take with us when we cross over intoanother life. This has been a fact for ancient religions and philosophies for thousands ofyears. You can find this in Taoism, Buddhism, and even Catholicism. It is only throughexperiencing life as a human being that Spiritual energy can be obtained and one'sspiritual self can evolve. So there are many non-human entities that would do anything

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    to have the life experience you are having here on earth. All they need is for you to invitethem to come into you and they can then share your experiences and eat your "chi" orenergy and perhaps get some of your spiritual power or "gong" so they can incarnatehere themselves.

    These entities also have limited powers and abilities as you do including the powers to

    attract and repel; the ability of precognition or foretelling the future; mindreading andlimited healing abilities. The predatory entities offer to barter their abilities to you soyou will invite them in. They also offer vainglories of wealth, business success, fame, allfleeting and limited to entice you to make a deal with them.

    A man lost his wife of forty years to cancer and was very lonely. One day he sent up awish for a new wife. He didn't care what he had to do or how she would come about. Hewould do anything to have a new wife. The predator entities heard the invitation and anew wife did arrive. The Man had accepted the predator entities and felt as though hehad a monkey on his back. He started going down to the local bar hoping to wash thatfeeling away. But the entities loved all this experience and the man became an alcoholic.Now, he didn't know why he drank or that he intended it for himself. But unless he met

    someone who could remove the entities, he was stuck.

    Most disease can be traced shamanically to spirit possession. Spirit possession is foundin the book of knowledge of almost every religion in the world. For example, theCatholic Church and Lutheran Church offer Exorcisms. Soul retrieval is one Shamanicway to heal spirit possession. Soul Retrieval can be described as a Shaman going to thesespirit entities and bartering, tricking, negotiating or forcing these spirit entities to leavethe person afflicted. It is highly dangerous for the Shaman, as the entities do not wish toleave and can attack the Shaman causing mental or physical harm and more. It takes astrong Shaman who can protect himself or herself from harm and use his or her powerto wield the shaman stick effectively.

    But the knowledge is here for you to be aware of these entities.Another knowledge is that there are 3 bodies to each person. You have your physicalbody, that self you have known and used all your life. ON the right of your physical bodyis your Master Self, which is your higher self, that part of you connected directly to theUniversal Knowledge or God and whose little voice you can here giving you the bestadvice when you listen. And you have your second self on the left side of your physicalbody. Your second self is just like your physical body but not attached to your body. Thisis the body that Shamans use to travel to the Inner Worlds. It just obeys what you putout for it and can hear and sense in other dimensions. It is your shaman working body.It is the part of you that manifests your intentions.

    Your emotions come from your physical body; your intentions come from your Master

    Self body (hopefully) and your second self goes out and accomplishes those intentionsfor you. Spiritual predators can attach to any of these 3 bodies so you must learn toguard each of them.

    How Do You Protect Yourself?

    One way to protect you in this reality are to not go anywhere near developing Shamanicskills. It does not actually protect you but at least it does not attract entities to you asgreatly as if you do practice. Entities are most attracted to people with power. If you do

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    choose to practice, learn all you can about the Inner Worlds. Always travel with yourspirit animal who will guide you and defend you from entities. Your spirit animal walkswith all 3 of your bodies and by being aware of its presence you will sense well being orfear even in your daily life and you should respond appropriately. Contact me to learnmore about working with your totem or spirit animal.

    But the best protection whether you practice Shamanism or not is knowledge.Knowledge plus intent plus emotional control equals the power of a shaman. (For sakeof brevity, the reference to a shaman below is in the masculine form but implies noprecludence of the female gender.)

    A Shaman is a warrior, a hunter. He is on his highest alert, fully prepared, movingdeliberately with his intention held firmly in place in the forefront of his mind. He isready for anything, being emotionally centered although feeling the excitement of thehunt and the anticipation of the successful outcome. No one could sneak up on a goodhunter. It is he who is doing the stalking. The hunter knows his skills, has practiced along time, and knows where to look for the game he needs. A hunter has heightened hissenses so he can smell the wind and see in low light. He knows a bear can attack him or

    wolf at anytime so he does his very best every minute. To do less may mean his death.

    He knows there is no one there to help him and he knows that he himself can do it bestanyway. He would not be a hunter if he wanted someone else to do it.

    You too are a hunter here on this planet. You chose to come here, to have this experienceso you could gather the one thing that you can take with you when you leave - spiritualenergy. To be successful you must develop your skills impeccably.

    You have all the abilities that you need to gather great spiritual power here. It is yourtask to gain the knowledge about your skills and how to use them. Skills given to you byother than your own means are just borrowed from entities who take more of you thanthey give to you and are not worth the cost.

    A Shaman walks this dimension in pure peace and joy using his physical body tocommunicate and maintain a physical presence with emotional power using his Higheror Master Self as his sail and rudder. The constant small voice of the Master Self (intent)and his second body self used to work, to create and to destroy, to attract and to repelwhatever he intends with its knowledge of the Inner Worlds.

    I invite you to walk the way with me through the course I offer on Shamanism found at Each of us must learn to use his 3 bodies, as they are thetools you brought here with you. I can light a torch along the path you have chosen andhelp to protect you by giving you the knowledge and the skills to protect yourself.


    Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls_________________________________________

    Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls has been a practicing Shaman for over 50 years. Sherecently received a dispensation to reach out to those who have a desire to learn about aShaman s path and now offers an online course at people on this earth have been Shamans in other lives and only need to reconnectwith their lost knowledge and skills to bring shamanic healing back to Mother Earth and

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    its peoples. This is Shaman Elder s goal. Please visit her website at or write her an email for a free consultation [email protected]

    Article Source:



    Are you called to be shaman? If you are how do you know? If you aren't how do youknow? If you don't want to be a shaman but would like to take advantages of some of theshamanic practices and techniques. Can you? Are you allowed to or not? Do you have tobe initiated to be a shaman? These are all questions that I once had after I finallysubmitted and embarked upon this quest. And I will share what I have learned with youfrom my experience.

    First it is important to understand, that every world culture has an individual or group

    of individuals that has acted as a mediator between the spiritual and the physical. Theseeccentric individuals have been called medicine man/woman, viziers, spiritual healer,witch doctor, etc. but the most prevalent term used today is shaman and the practice iscalled shamanism. Shamanism is the general term that has been used incorrectly todescribe any person that feels that God, the Great Spirit, the ancestors, spirit guidesand/or guardian spirits have called them to help others through spiritual means, whichhas contributed to the confusion of the term. So to clarify, it must be understood that ashaman can be a preacher, psychic, counselor, medicine man or woman, herbalists,priest or priestess, medical intuitive, psychic healer, etc. but a preacher, psychic,counselor, medicine man or woman, herbalists, priest or priestess, medical intuitive,psychic healer, doesn't necessarily have to be a shaman. The key difference being that a

    shaman usually has a unique perspective about life whereas the other healers do not.The reason the shaman's viewpoint is so different from the other healers is because heor she have undergone either a formal initiation (e.g. apprenticeship, ceremonial rites,etc.) or informal initiation (e.g. life transforming event via gross misfortune, illness,etc.). During this (formal or informal) initiation, the initiate is forced to overcome oldtraumatic issues, including their anger, fear, hatred, feelings of abandonment and otheremotional wounds, in order to learn how not to be controlled by their emotions butrather guided by their intuition. During this transformative period, the initiate comesface to face with death, where they learn that death is not "the end" but simply a stage inthe cycle of birth-life-death and rebirth. In this unique experience, which cannotaccurately be intellectualized, but has to be experience, the initiate usually meets her or

    his ancestors, spirit guides or spirits, which leads them to adopting a new perspectiveabout life reflective of this experience. This new perspective about life that the shamaninitiate adopts, usually becomes the cosmology or cosmogram that the initiate follows.

    It is through this cosmogram the shaman initiate is able to move beyond their personalpreferences and societal imposed prejudices, which allows them to see everything(plants, animals, human beings, etc.) in the universe as an interdependent part of awhole. It is here the initiate begins to see him or herself as a microcosm of a greater

    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]
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    Macrocosm, and learns that all is composed of divine energy. The life cycle the initiatesoon learns is based upon a natural exchange between the spiritual and the physical. Itthen becomes apparent that in order to implement any positive change. They have tolearn how to petition the right the force that will bring about the type of change that theydesire. The shaman learns about this exchange by observing these forces in nature and

    seeing that just like the right conditions are needed in order for wild game to return to aparticular area. The same conditions are needed to make an individual prosperous andso on.

    It is this observation that makes the initiate take responsibility for her and his actions.This is how the true shamanic journey begins because the initiate is not perfect by anymeans, but is expected to perfect his or her character. This is the reason why shamansfrom all over the world may not profess to be Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Hindu,Muslim or any one religion. They will easily practice the tenets of major religions likeloving their neighbor as themselves, and acknowledge that seeing ourselves separatefrom one another will lead to our ultimate demise. Where shamanism differs frommajor religions, is that it is not governed by religious dogma but by the calling, which is

    dictated by the laws of nature.These laws are taught to the shaman initiate by the same one(s) that called them perthat individual's culture. Therefore, violation of these laws may not be punishable byman but they are punishable through God, the Great Spirit, ancestors, spirit guides, orthe guardian spirits that called the individual to be a shaman, because the rapport thatthe initiate has developed with his or her guides through the initiation process is verystrong and personal. So when a true shaman breaks a taboo they make amends as soonas possible, and try to live in harmony with others, because it will weaken their spiritualpower, connection with their spirit guides and may result in them losing divine blessingor grace. No true shaman would risk jeopardizing this for a quick selfish, monetarythrill.

    Because shamanism differs in every country, culture, region, etc. what may be norm inone area may be completely different in another. For instance, in South America,Amerindian shamans use entheogens like peyote, whereas Amerindian shamans inNorth America do not. All shamans don't engage in "vision quest" just to get an answernor do they have to use a drum and rattle to enter and maintain an ecstatic state oftrance. Clearly, all shamans are not created equal but there are some general norms thatexist about shamans. For one, they are not chauvinistic nor are they feminist either.They see the purpose of both natures. True shamans also do not have on their walls theirlist of accomplishments. They do not sit back and brag about their accomplishments ordrop names to prove how strong and powerful they are to impress people. One look intotheir eyes and you will be able to see if they are for real or a charlatan.

    Now, don't get me wrong, all shamans are not extremely humble or meek individuals,nor are they all eccentric individuals either. They do boast but their boasts, which maycome off as arrogance is not meant to impress the living. It is to glorify their spirits onone hand, cause negative spirits to tremble and flee on the other, and strengthen theirown faith. Another thing, true shamans don't go looking for trouble or imbalances.Trouble or imbalances seems to find them (at least this has been my experience), andthey use the situation to create balance.

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    Overall, I must admit that the shamanic journey is a wonderful and rewarding journeybecause a shaman helps him or herself by helping others. This is why it is said thatshamans a wounded healers because most shamans specialize in healing situations thatthey have or had to overcome themselves. This is what makes shamans exceptional overother healers, because they are a reflection of what they have accomplished and

    believed. If a shaman will heal a relationship between a husband and wife, it is becausethey usually have done the same for their relationship and so on.

    As your intuition develops, you will know when it is time to help others because you willfind yourself (with no effort of your own) being asked to assist another in resolving asituation. You may be walking down the street to the park and get a hunch to say aprayer to bless and protect the children at the park from harm. Then, you may get anidea to solidify your prayer by building a small makeshift altar out of sticks and rocks.These are all signs that you have been called to put your skills to service.

    The great thing about shamanism is that it is honest and a powerful universal practicefull of wonder. True shamanism doesn't lie and tell you what you want to hear just to getyour money, participation and membership. It is a real gut practice that presents to you

    the problem and helps you to find ways to resolve it so that the problem never occursagain. It tells you what you need to hear (in the gentle or harshest way possible). Inorder to get you to do what you have been called to do, which is fulfill your destiny orpurpose in life. These are some of the things that I have learned in my own journey,which by the way is unique per individual. It is through this shamanic walk I alsodiscovered that if you are called and ignore your calling. You will wish you hadn't, notbecause your spirit guides will punish you, but because the next stage of yourdevelopment requires that you accept your calling in order to advance forward. Anotherthing I learned that just because you accept your calling, it will not eliminatehumiliation, misery, pain and suffering out of your life. Shamanism will however, helpyou to develop the peace and power needed to navigate right through it, thus making

    you a more resilient and strong individual.But, the shamanic journey is not an easy path to follow because it can be verychallenging at times. Not to mention that finding a true spiritual teacher in thesecontemporary times can be painstakingly difficult. And, if you have been called tobecome a shaman or just to partake in the practice. It can be a bit confusing especiallywhen there is no one to help you. So to help ease the headache, here are somerecommendations I have compiled based upon my experience.

    Instead of wasting your time and money, borrowing and imitating another's culturalpractices without being sure if you have been called or not. I suggest that you begin byinvestigating your own spiritual heritage. For instance, if you come from a Christiantradition, try to understand how you or your family got into that tradition and why youare or are not in that tradition today. Ask yourself the hard questions like are youinvolved in the religion because you were raised in it and know nothing else? Are younot in this religion because you don't agree with their political or social views? In otherwords you don't like what they said, etc. This will help you to clarify your purpose ofembarking on the shamanic path. Far too often, many of us jump around from faith tofaith because we don't know what we are looking for.

    Once you have done that, then I would recommend that you research and learn about

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    traditional practices of your ancestors. If you cannot do this then learn about thetraditional practices of your distant ancestors. For instance, I being of African andNative American descent in the Unite States, was not able to learn about my ancestralpath due to slavery. I was however able to learn about the Kamitic (ancient Egyptians)civilization, which was the greatest, longest standing and most influential African

    civilization that has existed. That many scholars have culturally tied to Sub-SaharanAfrica. It was through my research, Kamit became a gateway that led me to discover thatmy family has a heavy Kongo influence. Through this I discovered the shamanic paththat I walk today, which is why I refer to it as Kamitic shamanism.

    So, research your distant ancestral path because through it you will discover your Wayand find if you have been called to be a shaman or a "keeper of the flame" sort-of-speak,which is someone meant to help their family, friends and others they come in contactversus being a shaman who services an entire community. When you have honestlycompletely these two steps. If you have been called you will have a stronger conviction ofyour calling because you will be find yourself being initiated (formally or informally).

    Derric "Rau Khu" Moore grew up in a loving strong Christian household in Detroit,

    Michigan. He has studied religion, mysticism, metaphysics, folklore and spiritualism forover ten years. Educated as a chemical engineer, he is an academic instructor, poet, folkartist and urban shaman. He is one of the main contributors of the Land of Kamwebsite. He is the author of MAA AANKH: Finding God the Afro-American Way, byHonoring the Ancestors and Guardian Spirits ( ), in which he shows how to make thetransition from the linear Western religious thinking to the holistic African mindset,using his own life experiences, and. Kamta: A Practical Kamitic Path for ObtainingPower ( ), which explains how he usedAncient Egyptian philosophy, African American folk practices and Afro-CaribbeanSpiritualism to improve his finances, escape poverty and recover from the debilitating

    illness lupus.Article Source:




    "Creation consists of the emanations of the Eagle. There are forty eight distinctemanations of the Eagle, of which humans through our ordinary perception canperceive two of them."

    Don Juan - the Yaqui Indian and teacher of Carlos Castaneda.

    There is a lot of discussion and opinion on what a shaman is. The word itself is rooted inthe word saman from the Tungus people in central Asia. Definitions vary greatly inmodern society, this varies from people who enjoy trancing out to music at dances and'tribal' gatherings calling themselves shamans to a very precise definition as per MerciaEliade who in his book Shamanism - Archaic techniques of ecstasy specifically definesthe term shaman as distinct from medicine man, sorcerer, healer, diviner, magician,herbalist and so on. Eliade's specific differentiation is that the shaman who may be andpractice all of the above is defined as, "the shaman specialises in a trance during which

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    his soul is believed to leave his body and ascend to the sky or descend to theunderworld". This definition is sometimes employed in a strict sense, and appears to meto be limiting in scope. To me a shaman means more than that definition.

    To quote Joan Halifax from her book Shamanic Voices; "The shaman, a mystical,priestly, and political figure emerging during the Upper Palaeolithic period and perhaps

    going back to Neanderthal times, can be described not only as a specialist in the humansoul but also as a generalist whose sacred and social functions can cover anextraordinarily wide range of activities. Shamans are healers, seers, and visionaries whohave mastered death. They are in communication with the world of gods and spirits.Their bodies can be left behind while they fly to unearthly realms. They are poets andsingers. They dance and create works of art. They are not only spiritual leaders but alsothe judges and politicians, sacred and secular. They are familiar with cosmic as well asphysical geography; they know the ways of plants and animals, and the elements. Theyare psychologists, entertainers, and food finders. Above all, however shamans aretechnicians of the sacred and masters of ecstasy."

    Leo Rutherford in his book The Shamanic Path Workbook, also sees a shaman from an

    inclusive and holistic perspective. He defines a shaman as "someone who has fullywalked the path of transformation and chosen to become a healer, helper, seer, prophet,in service to the people".

    The most important and consistent point in all the above views is the emphasis oncommunity, whether healing, divining, or prophesising, it is done in service to others.Shamanism is not shamanism if done in isolation.

    Contemporary Shamanism

    Shamanism has always been a way for living as humans in relationship to all things onour planet Earth. Some thousands of years ago at the dawn of human civilisation aquantum change happened to this way of being. It was not the introduction of religion

    but something far more powerful, the shift from a hunter gathering and ad-hochorticultural society to agriculture. This change had enormous consequences. Frombeing in relation to all things; we became the 'managers' of the living world. The ways ofanimal husbandry, crop rotation and irrigation of fields led to permanent settlements,the human tribes no longer had to follow the migration of the animals and foraging forplants, we could have it all in one place! The early civilisations started, from where thesocial and religious structures, systems, and worldviews (many of which we stillexperience today) came into existence.

    The ancients knew and experienced that there is an energy normally invisible, whichconnects all that exists, and they lived with the knowledge of this energy and how to useit. This concept of the inter-relationship and understanding that man is a part of nature,

    not separate to it, a part of the connecting energy has been expressed in many ways andin many cultures but unfortunately not in ours. As Chief Seattle said in 1855 in hisaddress to the American Congress;

    "What befalls the Earth befalls all the sons of the Earth. All things are connected likethe blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand init. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself."

    The separation in Western society from the natural world with it's accompanying myth

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    of man having "dominion over all living things", has led to spiritual disconnection fromthe universal energy field. At some level we are aware of this, and many are experiencinga heart-led desire to reconnect to the universal field of energy and consciousness whichwe are part of.

    Many people are being drawn to spiritual paths such as shamanism as one of the ways to

    meet this deeply felt desire, to heal the pain of separation, and rejoice in the ecstaticbeauty and possibilities of simply being alive on this rich and beautiful planet.

    Shamanism contains time tested healing practices, ceremony and teachings to supportpeople in this re-balancing of themselves. These practices are fundamentally healing,not only for the physical body but also for our inner sense of being and our soul.However the challenge is to build a bridge between the ancient wisdom and practices insuch a way as to be useful , effective and meaningful to the modern Western individual.

    One of the most significant separations between modern Western approaches and theshamanic approach is one of perspective i.e. between energy and physicality. From theshamanic perspective you could say that we (and everything else) are fields of energy,and the actuality that we experience as the physical world is but the description of ourphysical senses rather than being an absolute inherent fact. In some respects quantumphysics is now pointing in the same direction as have the ancient shamans for fortythousand years.

    In shamanic Healing we work with energy. Another word for this energy is life-force,soul, or the 'vital nature', and in shamanism there are many traditional ways of healingworking with soul or life-force. It comes to fundamental questions and challenges towhat is reality. This fundamental conception is so vast, that it seems that it can only bedescribed in terms of metaphor.

    "Nature shows us only the tail of the lion. But I do not doubt the lion belongs to it eventhough he cannot at once reveal himself because of his enormous size".

    Albert Einstein

    The Path of the Shaman

    The distillation of shamanism in the 21st century is the recognition that we and our god(whom we have made in our image) are not separate from creation, but discrete awareelements in a vast unending timeless ocean of consciousness and energy, and that weare all connected to each other, simply because we are each other.

    All the traditional and indigenous shamans that I have encountered share one unifyingcharacteristic , they will do whatever is required to help a person into health and well-being by catalysing in one way or another that persons inner belief system, to guidechange in that persons reality so that they come to feel and 'know' that they will get well.

    This is just as important as the 'real' and tangible medicine work. They know that we aregreater than we have been led to believe we are, and can influence and co-create our'reality'. Creative visualisation and other practices to influence the unfolding of our livesare not new-age, they are very much 'old-age' and belong to all of us. If we go back in ourancestral lineage, you would find that we all came from shamanic cultures, it is ourbirthright.

    One of the beautiful aspects of shamanism is that it is a true spiritual democracy; there

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    are no priests, no hierarchy. We all have the same rights of access to the universal fieldof love , life-force and consciousness because that's where we are at. We have justforgotten about it.

    Howard G. Charing, is an accomplished international workshop leader on shamanism.He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the

    Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organises specialist retreats tothe Amazon Rainforest at the dedicated centre located in the Mishana nature reserve.He is the author of the best selling book, Plant Spirit Shamanism (Destiny Books USA),and has published numerous articles about plant medicines. He was baptised into theShipibo tribe of the Upper Amazon, and initiated into the lineage of the shamans of theRio Napo. Howard is also an artist who's paintings have featured in major exhibitions inLondon and elsewhere. His artwork has also been featured on book covers.

    His website: email contact:[email protected]

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    I approach the subject of shaman, shamanism, and shamanic powers with considerableconsternation. And I do so despite the fact that the word shaman has become a part ofAmerican landscape. I use the word(s) because of its recognition and ask that those whohave objections to accept a single fact: I mean no disrespect. Likewise the term'medicine man' is not a term used in Native American Culture(s).

    The word shaman as I understand it, is an import from the Siberian Tungus (Evenks)

    with some hint of a Sanskrit connection. Literally, it means one who knows-aPromethean quality. The question that needs to be asked is a simple one: What does theshaman know?

    To answer that question we first have to accept the notion a shaman operates with abasic premise: The world is composed of invisible forces and/or spirits that affect alllife-human and non-human. Within this premise lies the notion that plants, rivers,lakes, oceans, trees, and rocks are all imbued with their own special qualities. Sciencetells us that there are invisible forces; invisible to the naked eye so the idea that certainindividuals can tune into those forces should not be shocking.

    Because the shaman has this ability to tap into this 'universal consciousness', he or she

    is called upon to function as a healer. Here the shaman's role is to heal the community;to bring harmony to man and nature, as well as to individuals. To do this, the shamanretires into an altered state of consciousness.

    Some cultures as well as individuals use a variety of drugs to induce the shamanic state.I am an opponent to such use. Grave permanent dangers lurk for the novice. On thatbasis, there will be no specific hallucinogenic drugs mentioned. The shamanic state maybe produced by the use of sounds. Drums have been used for eons. Flutes and humminghave also been used. Today there are tapes, CD and videos for altering the state of

    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]
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    consciousness. The use of OHM in meditation is a popular choice. Notice I have chosennot to use the word trance. It suggests a lack of control. The seeker should go into ashamanic state with just a single question in mind; not a shopping list. Disappointmentwill be the end result.

    There are, according to some authorities, three levels in a shamanic world. These levels

    have no connection to religions. The first level of the shamanic journey is called theunderworld. At this level emotions, memories, and psychic healing take place.Sometimes, one's power animal is encountered here. Generally speaking, access to theunderworld is achieved by going through a tunnel (as Enkidu in the Sumerian myth ofGilgamesh), or flowing down an underground river. Other times, one may achieve thislevel through a sudden flash or a rappelling. The second level is the middle world. Hereplant spirits, spells, curses and ghosts are located just outside of reality. And please,don't ask for a definition of reality. (Note the popular television series, Ghost Whisperertakes place at this level.) The upper world is the third level of the shamanic world. Herespiritual teachers and Jung's archetypes exist. The teacher arrives unbidden quite oftenand at first experience, and at first may not be recognized.

    The third level may be obtained through extensive meditation and the production ofaltered states. Native American musicians David and Steven Gordon, R. Carlos Nakai,the Native Flute Ensemble or Scott August certainly would help set the tone for suchmeditation. Listen and let their song carry you. The harmonics are surreal.

    One does not just become a shaman. One may achieve shamanhood throughtransmission. That is, one may inherit that ability. Second, one may experience a'calling' or what is sometimes called spontaneous selection and finally, one maypersonally quest it. In this case, expect long, long periods of training. One of my formerstudents had been in training by his grandmother since he had reached puberty. Hehoped to be ready by the time he was in his mid-twenties. It's not a semester course or aweek-end seminar at a resort.

    Back to my question: What does a shaman know? Generally, the shaman is a sensitiveand knows, intuitively, what someone else is feeling. He or she has a substantialbackground in organic plants and herbs used for healing, and certainly he or she knowshow to pray to whatever power there is. A shaman tunes in to the psychic and emotionalneeds of a person and leads that person's energies to help heal.

    A cautionary word is essential in view of the recent tragedy in Arizona. Beware of theself-proclaimed. And I'm not implying the person(s) responsible for that sweat lodgeexperience is, but it's always a good policy to know your guide. The shamanic state is notfor everyone. Massive spiritual cleansing and renewal is not for everyone. A shaman bywhatever name you wish to call him or her is not a catholicon. It that were true, then we

    would be living in harmony and peace and be disease free. Am I a shaman or in trainingto be one? No!

    Dr. Wilson has forty years experience in education at the junior high school, graduateschool, and community college. He is the author and co-author of textbooks in literarycriticism and in the humanities. The main character in his three novels is a shaman. TheQuest: Seeking the New Adam, Adam's Transformation, and Apocalyptic Adam.

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    The Shaman's Journey

    Intent + Emotion + Knowledge = ShamanThere are 3 elements to being a Shaman: intent, emotional control and impeccableskills. Here we will look at intent.

    "Intent is not a thought, or an object, or a wish. Intent is what can make a man succeedwhen his thoughts tell him that he is defeated. It operates in spite of the warrior'sindulgence. Intent is what makes him invulnerable. Intent is what sends a shamanthrough a wall, through space, to infinity." - Carlos Castaneda

    Intent is the basis of manipulating this reality for anything including healing andmanifestation. Reality is quite malleable really. It is just that we don't use our will orintent to make it the best it could be.

    "Inflowing thoughts come to an end in those who are ever alert of mind, trainingthemselves night and day, and ever intent on nirvana." - Buddha

    Often we say we want something, but deep down in our hearts be really don't want that.And then we cry out in anguish because we don't have that "thing" in our lives.

    Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common sense roundedout and minutely articulated." - George Santayana

    Our reality is completely and entirely based upon our intent. You say, How can that be?I did not create this world, this country or this house. But you do accept the intentionsgiven to you by your parents, your relatives, your school, your community, and yoursociety. We have been taught as babies to accept the realities of others for generations.

    This is simple psychosociology 101. We are even taught to fear anything but theserealities and so life changes at a very slow pace indeed!

    So yes, you aligned your intent for housing to that of your relatives. Your idea of socialsuccess is the same intention as your society at large. This is not necessarily a bad thing!But it shows the power of intent. One more example is the phrase we hear "If it is notgood for me or meant to be then God will not give it to me." I think this is probably agood intent to inherit because you intend only good things for yourself this way. Withoutintending only good things in some way, you would have to assume responsibility for allthe bad things that happen to as well. Get my drift? You are responsible.

    "It is a sign of considerable advance when a man begins to be moved by the will, by his

    own energy self-determined, instead of being moved by desire, i.e. by a response to anexternal attraction or repulsion" Annie Besant, The Ancient Wisdom.

    So how do we bring more good things into our lives?

    By intending only good things. Dwell only on good things. Whenever you think anegative thought, immediately replace it with a good intention. Picture abundance inyour life. Practice looking for goodness around you. Intent creates your reality-what areyou intending for yourself? For others? You know the phrase, "Be careful what you wishfor, you might just get it" I guarantee you will get what you really wish for.

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    First, you must be in touch with your real wishes, not just your fantasies. You realwishes are the ones with emotional buttons on them. The wishes that make you cry orscare you enough to make you cringe, or bring a huge smile across your face justthinking about them. They are buried deep inside and sometimes are really echoes ofother people's intentions for you. If your father intended for you to be a doctor but you

    didn't want to do that, you may still walk through your life without a purpose becauseyou accepted your father's intent for you all along. This is the stuff counseling is madeof.

    But for a Shaman, it is using intent properly now that can heal issues of soul loss likethat for others. All healing begins with intent. Unless the patient himself intends to getwell, the reality will be his own intent of illness.

    This knowledge can be very frustrating to the healer who knows that complete healing isjust a change of mind away. But intent is free will and no one has the right to usurpanother's free will. Many times I have wept bitterly before the campfire for those peoplewho chose to suffer rather than to heal. There is only one reason for the intent to notheal and that is fear.

    Isn't it odd that people fear change more that anything else in life? And yet, that is theone thing that is guaranteed with your passage! I invite you all to embrace change.Embrace each new day, each gray hair, each meal, each encounter, and each tinyadventure of every day. Learn to enjoy the most natural thing in life - change. And learnto use it to your advantage.

    Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls has been practicing Shamanism since her Mom beganteaching her at age 3. She has written and published many articles including a book title Eclear: the Journey Homeward and teaches an online course in Shamanism at She is available for a FREE consultation and will notturn anyone away.

    Article Source:



    Shamans guide and protect a community that depends on them. They heal people,animals and the environment, find lost things and people, and work to keep thecommunity in harmony with nature.

    Shamans receive their power directly from the spirit world. They do whatever theirspirits guides and teachers tell them to do. Shamans do whatever they must to protectand heal their people and to keep the community in harmony with each other and the


    Shamans go into deep trance (theta state) to journey to the spirit world to do their work.In trance shamans actively work with energy and manipulate images and metaphors tocause change to happen in the real world. When the shaman is successful, the sick andthe mentally ill are cured, and lost people and things are found.

    In the spirit world the shaman may bring back lost souls, battle with spirits or withsorcerers, finding lost items, get spiritual guidance, or find remedies for injuries or

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    Shamans also often guide the dead to the spirit world, help hunters find food for theirpeople, and help bring rain or protect their people from extreme weather. ShamanicCeremonies In the shamanic world, ceremonies are powerful magical events held forspecific purposes. Ceremonies are done to change the energy of the past, present or

    future, or to cause things to happen in the spirit world and in this world.Shamanic ceremonies generally include some ritual elements, such as cleansing, prayer,and protection. The ceremonies themselves, and even the ritual elements, depend oninteraction with the spirits and energy.

    No ceremony ever happens exactly the same way twice, because the energy is differentevery time. The shaman must be constantly aware of the energy and the response fromthe spirits throughout the ceremony.

    The shaman constantly adjusts what he or she is doing according to what is happening.For example, the time spent on cleansing and protection may be longer or shorter,depending on what the shaman senses from the spirits at the time.

    Shamans may do public ceremonies where they may sing, dance, do surgery, recitepoetry, make sand paintings, do sleight-of-hand, or administer plant medicine.Shamans do whatever the spirits lead them to do to get the desired results.

    A single healing may include physical, spiritual, magical, theatrical, and psychologicalcomponents. Shamans use whatever works.

    Shamans also use private ceremonies to heal themselves, increase their skill and powers,and protect themselves and others while they are working with the spirits.

    Making a Living Members of the shaman's community and the families of the peoplethey help usually give them gifts, such as animals, food, or money in return for theirhelp. But most shamans still need to support themselves.

    Most shamans must also work, gathering food and plant medicines, hunting, gardening,herding animals, or whatever else people in their culture do to make a living. Where atraditional culture exists alongside a modern, westernized culture, a shaman may evenhave a modern day job.

    Want to know more about shamans, shamanism, spirit animals, shamanic healing, andsoul retrieval? You'll find a wealth of resources for everything shamanic White Cranes has taught and led shamanism groups since 1992 and isthe organizer of a 135-member Shamanism Meetup group. For more information onshamanism and animism, see and



    Certainly the knowledge of herbal remedies is a given for the shaman in the treatment ofhis patients. Such a knowledge is not gained from a semester course or an on-lineseminar offered by someone claiming to have correct knowledge.

    Nor can one learn all the subtleties of herbals by using a book on herbal medicines.

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    Gathering herbs in the wild is a dangerous activity and should never be undertakenwithout an expert guide.

    One plant leaf may closely resemble another and it can be poisonous, if not deadly.Tasting a leaf here and there is not recommended. Poison hemlock is often mistaken forwild parsnips or as wild carrots. All parts of the hemlock are poisonous. The name

    actually comes from the Anglo-Saxon hemieac which simply means 'shore-plant')Berries of various plants are usable in the treatment of ailments. A shaman knows whichberries can be used as an astringent, which can induce vomiting, and/or act as alaxative. Don't go off into the woods on a berry picking expedition unless you knowwhich specific berries are edible. Not all blue berries are huckleberries. All berries thatare the color of blue are not edible. The Inkberry, for example, is poisonous.The shaman uses herbs in teas, salves, pastes, poultices, and rubs, as well as body andenergy building nutriments.

    In today's modern scientific world we forget that the plant kingdom is vast reserve ofchemical compounds. That is changing. It is now estimated that over 40% ofprescription drugs sold in the United States contain at least one ingredient derived fromnature. Herbs encompass at least 25% of all known flowering plants; yet only about 2per cent have been investigated for their medical use.

    Perhaps the shaman has had it right all along. Herbs are good for you.

    Dr. Wilson has forty years experience in education at the junior high school, graduateschool, and community college. He is the author and co-author of textbooks in literarycriticism and in the humanities. Dr. Wilson is the author of The Quest Seeking the NewAdam, Adam:The Transformation, and Apocalyptic Adam. Soon to be released is arewrite of The Quest Seeking the New Adam which is now called The Shaman's Quest.He is the author of over 100 articles that appear on the internet.




    The goal of the shaman is to commune with the spirit world to bring about his quest. Todo so, he must go into a trance state. Some aboriginal shamans use specifichallucinogenic drugs. Because of the inherent danger of such a use they are notrecommended as the way to induce a trance state.

    The use of drugs is not only dangerous psychologically but also physically. Additionally,they may very well limit the control and cooperation the shaman may achieve within thespiritual world. Other writers will undoubtedly disagree. The ability to control a trance

    is essential and takes strong mental conditioning. It is not something you gainovernight.

    A trance state may be achieved through self-hypnosis, by altering the brain's thetawaves, through deep meditation, and through astral projection. Music, dancing,chanting may be used to induce the trance state. During this self-induced trance theshaman's spirit (soul) leaves the body and enters the world of the supernatural-to mind-walk-seeking answers to his quest.

    The shamanic trance is non-focused. He acts as an information receptacle until a

  • 8/2/2019 Shamanism Overview


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    specific message is received from the spirit world. Once the message is received and themessenger is acknowledged, the shaman will come out of his trance and provide aninterpretation.

    Joseph Bearwalker Wilson in a 1978 treatise provides an excellent discussion of a theoryof trance. He has said the shaman uses the trance state to fine tune his senses. Using

    those enhanced senses, the shaman then, is able to mind-travel to the spiritual world, toenter a different dimension.

    Norman W Wilson, PhD

    Dr. Wilson has forty years experience in education at the junior high school, graduateschool, and community college. He is the author and co-author of textbooks in literarycriticism and in the humanities. In addition to over 90 published articles on theinternet, Dr. Wilson is the author of three speculative fiction novels: The Quest Seekingthe New Adam, Adam:The Transformation, and Apocalyptic Adam.