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WERU - Shamanism  
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"WERU Radio Esoterica Series"


Hi, this is ChandraMa for Estoterica, a short feature
where I speak about topics beyond the five senses.

What Is Shamanism?

The term shaman originated from a word in Siberia and eventually came to be applied to all medicine men and women of indigenous cultures whose practice includes the flight of the soul. Anthropologists studying indigenous societies throughout the world began to find that for different cultures, there were similarities in the way the medicine men and women worked with healing and connecting to the spiritual aspect of people and the universe. While there were differences specific to traditions, removing the cultural reference revealed a basic system of practice. These practices are called core-Shamanism - a phrase coined by Michael Harner, founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies.

Shamanism is the practice of these central techniques, either for healing or to gain spiritual knowledge. Because of the direct nature of the work, it tends to create growth in every religious faith. People will share shamanic experiences in groups, but the insight you gain from shamanic practice are unique to you. As a healing practice shamanism has been very powerful for both the people of today and those reaching back into the beginnings of recorded history. The reason that it is so powerful is because each healing is tailored to the needs of the individual being healed. Western medicine seeks to find one cure that works for many. The shaman provides unique treatment, which holistically addresses what a person needs at that time.

What Do Shamans Do?

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, and the land. They receive 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 shifts his or her own state of awareness. Shamans do this through journeying with a drum or rattle which shifts consciousness so that the shaman can 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.

In most cultures, even in current times, it has been the case that a shaman will be particularly gifted working with one or another shamanic activity. A shaman may be more called to do soul retrieval, extraction, to work with death and dying, or to work with the land to name a few. Some will specialize in one particular activity; some will be gifted in several areas.

Most of the techniques of a shaman are particular to the individual or the culture. The shaman must do whatever he or she is guided to do to bring forth the energy for healing. There can be a wide variety of tools or techniques used such as rattles, drums, stones, water, fire whatever is necessary for the shaman to complete the work. The effectiveness of a shaman is ordinarily measured by the results they are able to achieve. A gifted shaman is able to call power animals and spiritual guides to aid healing. The teaching of detachment, letting go of one’s ego and compassion are essential lessons for a good shaman. Shapeshifting, merging, journeying and seeing are some of the skills a shaman may or may not possess.

Most folks seek the services of a shaman when they feel stuck, unable to move forward or if something feels missing in their lives. Another reason to see a shaman is before or after a medical procedure so that energy can be moved for faster recovery. The feeling that something is attached or that a part of you is missing is a time to work with a shaman. Wanting to find out information about past lives or needing help with death and dying are other good reasons to visit a shaman. There are many ways a shaman can help.

So when seeking the services of such a healer, ask other trusted energy healers that you know, or friends that have had experience with a shaman for a referral. Be open to the process and trust that Spirit is guiding you too. To learn more there are several books available on the subject or look for a class or workshop. It just may open the door to growth, amazing healing and fun.

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