What is Shamanism?
practiced for more than 60,000 years
Shamanism is the ancient practice of entering into an altered state of consciousness through what is traditionally known as the Shamanic Journey in order to bring back important information or healing for members of the community. Shamanism has survived 100,000 years, which speaks to the potency of the work. The word "shaman" is rooted from the language of the Siberian Evenki people, and very roughly translates as: "one who sees in the dark."
Archeological evidence of shamanic cultures has been found on every continent and culture throughout the world, proving that shamanism is the most ancient method of healing and divination. What is most intriguing is that there are practices and healing ceremonies from various parts of the world that are not only ancient but remarkably very similar to the core, which gives credence that a shaman just had to dial into Spirit for the information! There is something to be said about why shamanic healing has stood the test of time.
Shamanism differs from other healing modalities in that in order to receive messages from Spirit, a practitioner must journey into realms with Helping Spirits. Traditionally, the use of sound is the tool used to travel to these realms. The sounds used can be from drums, rattles or bells, rhythm sticks, and didgeridoos that assist in accessing this state of consciousness. The shaman is the conduit between Ordinary Reality (our world) and Non-Ordinary Reality (Dimensions of Spirit), it is the combination of the shaman and the Helping Spirits that induce the power to heal.
In indigenous cultures, it is the community that recognizes the shaman. Historically, the survival of the community rested upon the success rate of the shaman to work on the behalf of the community to find safety from invading peoples, to find reliable food sources or shelter during inclimate weather. Indeed the community depended on the shaman to survive. If the person working with Spirit could not clearly divine information or healing, he or she was not recognized with the word "shaman." In modern times, there had been a disconnect from these reliable techniques, due to the advance of Western culture and disconnect from the Earth and our own healing potential available to us. The practice of shamanism nevertheless survives and holds the capacity find answers to questions and to heal what science has not yet discovered. The ancients knew this.
Shamanism recognizes that everything is alive, and that we are a part of that Being-ness and co-creation.
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