An Introduction to Shamanism
The teachings of traditional shamanism are being revived in our times and have permeated many fields of contemporary life and work, with deep roots of connection to practices such as mindfulness, and a host of healing and therapeutic techniques.
‘Shaman’ is a word originally used by the Tungus tribe in Siberia, and is translated as ‘the one who sees’, ‘the one who knows’ or ‘the one who sees in the dark’. A shaman can be female or male.
With evidence of practice as far back as the Paleolithic, shamanism is a spiritual tradition, a mysticism, more than a religion. It is a way of understanding and perceiving reality that has similar traits in tribal cultures across the globe: everything has consciousness and soul, everything is alive and is animated. Therefore all manifestations of life are to be respected, whether rivers, mountains, trees or stones. They are an expression of a greater mystery that links us all.
There is a visible world, ‘this reality’, as defined by the senses and the rational mind. There is also an invisible world, the world of spirit and energy accessed through psychic ability, meditation, trance, and contemplation. For there to be harmony and balance in life and in society, both realms (the visible and the invisible) need to be given their proper place. The shaman is a messenger between these two worlds; they know the art of travelling back and forth between them; they bring messages to and from the spirit world in order to heal what needs re-balancing, creating equilibrium in the community, and in the greater cosmos. Thus shamans have the ability to transcend: to see and understand that which is hidden. When bringing healing to people, the shaman works as a vessel for spirit and is not the source of the healing.
To find out more, explore the articles by Chris below
A shaman is ‘the one who sees’. What kind of seeing is this, and how can a person enter into it safely, and with respect for the origins of shamanic knowledge and practice?
Let the beetle teach you about the protection of trust – very different from that of fear – and the power of perseverance.
One of our most common birds, pigeons bring us the challenge of ‘seeing’ in the shamanic way that opens the heart.
Here is a bird that demonstrates a mastery of invisibility, yet also teaches the power of sharing what is in the dark.
Learn from the jaguar to trust your journey into the mystery, embracing mortality in order to live your life fully.
The journey from your head to your heart can be a long one. Our hearts know the deep joy of just being alive, but fear can confuse us.
Knowing a power animal can benefit not just the individual in their authentic self, but also the whole circle of life. Read more about how a power animal can enhance your access to the guidance of your instinctual wisdom.
What does it mean to walk the path of the Lone Wolf? Find out more about leaving behind the world that you know, being willing to take a risk, and set out into the unknown in order to find yourself, your power, your true destiny.
There are two fundamental aspects to the mind: the inner mind and the outer mind. The inner mind is a shamanic mind that has a spiritual essence, and it understands that all of life is connected…
Chris explains what is involved in authentic shamanic training which is true to traditional shamanism – training in which the heart and spirit of this ancient tradition is kept alive and vibrant, and this essence pervades all the teachings.
Chris explores the nature of Shamanism – an ancient spiritual path of awakening, raising consciousness and healing, seeing the essential truth, the nature of reality and the place of the human within that reality…
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