Shamanism– Anthropological term of the beliefs and or practices within ancient indigenous cultures. Specifically a trained shaman has the ABILITY TO TRANSCEND PHYSICALITY, to COMMUNICATE WITH THOSE WITHIN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD – ENTER INTO STATES OF ECSTASY – NOTE: accept in the case of female shamans who, Anthropologists noted how they “seemed to be overtaken with “hysteria” – this observance by “men” of “women shamans” was biased since the field of Archeology and Anthropology initially was dominated by men, therefore, in the field of scientific studies of Shamanism there was little if any documentation of the existence of female shamans. All “artifacts” pointing to the “goddess cultures” or sacred feminine orientation of early cultures had been ignored.
Within all Indigenous cultures throughout the world their existed Shamans, It was known that one is called to become a Shaman through dreams or visions – and upon finding the true and knowledgeable teacher they begin many years of study before they are allowed to practice as a Shaman. Shamanism is genetically passed through generations as a person can be born with shamanic abilities – although, that person already has shamanic abilities, it is essential and necessary that they seek a master teacher who guides them in the responsibilities required to serve the people – and to uphold integrity and gain necessary tools of discerning benevolent beings as compared to “tricksters” and those malevolent entities that exist within realms the shaman must enter, and that are always lurking, waiting to attach themselves to unsuspecting persons.
A “master shaman” is an intermediary a messenger between the human world and spirit world – and has the ability to safely enter supernatural realms and other dimensions – underworld – upper worlds – parallel realms to restore balance within the world or the elements – animals and systems of the earth and – to treat and heal physical aliments of body mind and spirit and to retrieve information that restores a person’s soul/spirit.
A “lost soul/spirit” metaphorically describes a sickness or illness or malevolent entity that has attacked persons and attaches itself to that person’s physicality – their mind and or spirit. Often it is required that a master Shaman journey to “retrieve a “lost soul” which specifically describes the Shaman’s ability to, search for a particular malady or entity which had affected or intruded upon a persons spirit/soul and had caused illness, disharmony or other.
This retrieval can be dangerous and the Shaman must have the capacity to battle the entity that is reluctant to be discharged from their host.
It is required, that a Shaman must gain generations of knowledge and specific powers in order to avoid danger and malevolent entities during the required ecstatic state – which is necessary for the Shaman to begin their journey to enter unknown realms and thus, will encounter archetypal organisms; demons and allies. – They must be prepared to experience the dismemberment of themselves, which is typical during shamanic journey’s - and have the ability to renew and regenerate them selves in order to return whole “without” carrying negative entities that the Shaman will be confronted with.
A master Shaman has the knowledge and ability to discern, to ward off malevolent entities - to retrieve specific allies and the necessary wisdom and remedies and what is required to heal a person and renew harmony within that persons spirit/soul.
The master Shaman is guided and assisted by benevolent allies he/she has “captured” and who with their help retrieves remedies and solutions. Other tools are required such as drums – rattle - chants – such as a spirit song given them by a benevolent helper – and specific incantations that protect them during trance states; some of which may be handed down through generations of Shamans.
Shaman’s are distinct in their abilities – Examples: Some excel in only specific areas of healing – such as communion both with the living and the dead – some excel in appeasing the spirits – clearing negativity from homes and or places where violence had taken place – to retrieve or repair either a “torn or captured” soul – dispel entities attached to a persons mind or physical self.
The difference’s between Western medicine and Shamanism are vast and clearly show how the Shaman as a practitioner treat the “whole person” body, mind and spirit” They understand the existence of divergent and otherworld sources of illness and completely engage with all aspects of the illness, maintaining an ability to communicate with these mysterious sources and the power to “capture the entity of the illness” Shaman’s utilize generations of knowledge and wisdom maintaining time honored practices that allow the Shaman success without use of drugs or other intrusive practices. .
Belief in the Shamans ability within the community is crucial and lends support energetically to healing.
The knowledge that their exists’ those negative entities to be dealt with, that not only affect ones psyche but the spirit/soul which can be the cause of numerous illness is an alien concept to western practitioners. The Shaman and their ability to change their state of consciousness is necessary to succeed in healing and retrieval – they have allies; benevolent spirits or elementals and the knowledge and ability to maintain them.
In today’s world people are longing for and seeking truth. Increasingly they are unsatisfied with what organized Religions offer – and they are being called by some faint memory of their ancestral link to nature and most significantly to return to their “tribe”
This longing draws them to spiritual ritual through Shamanism, I believe the increased interest in Shamanism fulfills and satisfies an ancient need.
Originally the meaning of the word “Shamanism” had designated that person as spiritually gifted and they represented and were viewed by their tribal community as the “ONE WHO KNOWS”
We can say with assurance that the Shaman, knows without a doubt that their spiritual gift is true – they harbor no doubt or fear and will never be overtaken by any outside forces of resistance or interruptions in order to succeed.
What is important to note and what can help the people today in their search for fulfillment is that they reconnect their spirit to nature – to return to the original indigenous ways spend prime time with the sacred Mother earth, nature beings and spiritual elements and make offerings and prayers. This will renew and harmonize you and bring healing and inner peace.
What is important for the people to understand is that Shamanism is a distinct ancient practice that takes years to develop correctly and is a great responsibility that a Shaman carries for the people.
Grandmother Barbara Threecrow, 2012 copyrighted