What is Shamanism?
“There are 3 primary concepts that define a shamanic practice; an animistic view that all things posses a spirit, a familial relationship with the spirit nations, and the ability to travel and act as a liaison between the physical and spirit worlds. To carefully and conscientiously walk between these worlds requires discipline, practice and dedication. Shamanism is not a religion or hobby, it is a conscious and active lifestyle that changes the way you experience the world around you. You may feel intrigued or drawn to shamanism, but it is poor form to label yourself a “shaman,” that is a role passed down through lineage and bloodline, or a role acknowledged and accepted by the community. However, you do have the choice to live your life in a shamanic way, attune your cycles to nature, learn the language of the spirits, and step into a role of service to your community, to the land and/or to the spirits. This is a path that requires an incredible amount of integrity, accountability and self-study. There is no certificate at the end of the program. This is a lifelong process of becoming and unbecoming that many feel as a call from deep within that must be answered.” Shana Welkin Kestrel
“The shamanic path is the path of the heart and the soul. It is a path of beauty, wholeness, sacred living, oneness and connectedness with all things and non-things, awareness, mindfulness, respect, honor, and gratitude. It’s a path of extraordinary moments when Nature and Spirit speak more clearly than the racket of our mental chatter and we stop everything for that moment and take notice, listening and feeling the message. It is a path where the central focus of life is creating balance, harmony, impeccability, and wholeness. It is a path that requires integrity and honesty – with one’s self and others. The shamanic path is a loving, healing path that invites all, while being a truth-revealing path, turning away initiates not yet ready to face the awesome truth of reality. For those who will continually accept the challenge, typically a daily choice, I invite you into the sacred circle of personal shamanic practitioners; a circle where healing, growth, change and transformation are constants and miracles happen.” – taken from “The Hollow Bone: A Field Guide to Shamanism” by Colleen Deatsman
“Shamanism is a spiritual practice dating back to prehistoric times. It has been practiced by indigenous people throughout the world. The practice of shamanism uses drumming, rattling, and song to place a shaman in an altered state of consciousness so that he/she can communicate with the spirit world and seek aid from the helping spirits. This is done for purposes of healing, divination, and self exploration.
The spirits that are worked with in shamanism are those of our spirit guides, spirit animals, ancestors, and the spirits of nature and the land. When a shamanic practitioner calls upon their spirits it is done as a partnership. The relationship between shamanic practitioner and spirit is the same as any relationship in life- it is founded on establishing a bond of friendship, trust, and respect. A shamanic practitioner is quite simply a liaison between those that reside in the physical world and those that reside in the spirit worlds.
The practice of Shamanism believes that physical, mental, or emotional illness often has a spiritual illness or imbalance that causes it. Shamanic practitioners engage with the spirit worlds to work in conjunction with spirit guides and spirit helpers to remove harmful energy and to restore a clients personal power and strength. This enables physical, mental, and emotional healing to start by removing the spiritual illness at its core.” Adam Kane Shaman’s Dawn Website
Artwork by Shana – “Night Journey on a Sea of Stars”