Archive for the ‘Questions About Shamanism’ Category

I found this wonderfully concise explanation here: http://www.shamanlinks.net/shaman.htm

“Shamans work with the spirit or the soul. They heal illness at the soul level. They gain knowledge and insight from working with the spirits of nature such as rocks and trees, the land, and they gain knowledge from working with spirits of animals and humans such as their ancestors. For the shaman everything is alive and carries information, you can call this spirit, energy, or consciousness.

In order to communicate with the spirit or consciousness of these things, the shaman will shift his or her own state of awareness. Shamans can do this through various means, such as meditation, repetitive sounds such as that of the drum or rattle, or through the help of plants. The shaman will then “see” through a new set of eyes, they will see what is going on with you on a spiritual level. The shaman’s practice is also characterized by the soul flight. The shift of consciousness that the shaman makes, which allows the free part of his or her soul to leave the body. The shaman can then go retrieve information for your healing and growth. They can retrieve healing power, or things that you have lost along the way in living your life. During the soul flight the shaman is both in the room, and going on this “journey” so that he or she has an awareness of both at the same time.”

I have always been drawn to the Native American culture. When I was younger, people often asked me if I were of N.A. descent. I’m not sure. I don’t fit the generalized description. I have light, almost translucent skin, and a pudgy nose. I’ve often wished for a long, straight, beautiful nose and darker skin though. Perhaps people asked this question of me because I have very high cheekbones. I don’t know. I don’t want to offend anyone by making these blanket generalities about the appearance of Native American people either. I’m aware that we all come in different shapes, sizes and colors.

I cannot really trace my heritage because both of my grandmothers (paternal and maternal) were adopted.

In the town where I lived as a girl, the biggest ski resort area would open itself up to different cultural “festivals” during the summer. They were huge cultural festivities, each a week or more long and included Polish, Celtic, Country Western, (yeah, I know), Italian, Native American and more. The Native American festival was the one I never missed. In fact, even after moving from this area, I’d still trek the few hours it took to get there just to see the dancers and listen to their drums.

Then I started seeking out local pow wows. Always, it was the drums calling me in. Making me feel lightheaded sometimes, other times, grounded as firmly as an old oak tree. But always it was the dancing and the drums that drew me. That, and the smell of sweet grass and sage.

So, as I read that quote above, I realize that this transformation is happening within me even as I sit here and type.




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I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder if using the term “Shaman” is waaay too presumptuous of me. I mean, I’m a newbie. I only want to learn. I enjoy the journey. I would love to manifest a trip in my future. A trip that includes living and learning among real Shamans.

Or have I manifested this already? One of the biggest lessons I’m learning right now is that I don’t have to travel anywhere else but right here to experience the things I need to experience.

I have a teacher now. I can’t say that I know a lot about her, but I do know that when I’m in her presence I can feel her power. She is powerful but humble and and has many interesting stories to tell of her own travels and teachings from real Shamans. So perhaps she is a Shaman herself.

I don’t want to get caught up in the semantics of it all but I just want to clarify that I don’t think of myself as a Shaman. Yet.

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I ask myself this question a lot lately. I’m quite sure the beginning of this journey began when I decided to find a “higher power” whom I chose to call God. This journey began in earnest 13 years ago.

My background was well-suited for this endeavor for a few reasons. First, I was not brought up with any particular religious or spiritual belief system. Secondly, as a child and an adolescent, I spent countless hours walking in the deep woods, sitting beside babbling brooks and roaring waterfalls, contemplating life. And, thirdly, I spoke with animals and grew up watching my very quiet and spiritual grandmother do the same.

I may often refer to different things such as the Universe, Energy, as “God” because I believe that the word God encompasses everything. And I mean, literally, everything. I also believe that We are God. I know this is often difficult for some to wrap their minds around, and some might consider it blasphemous even.

I believe simply, that It Is All The Same.

That is a simple sentence with a profound meaning.

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