Shamanism: Seeing in the Dark

We often think of non-ordinary reality as the land of mysterious miracles and the paranormal in which only the wild-eyed few who have ESP can communicate. Not true. Shamans are ordinary people trained to enter the non-ordinary world to bring its benefits to the aid of the everyday world. We all have the innate ability to do this. Much of the art, music, and wisdom that we enjoy in our daily lives come from ordinary people who know the power, beauty, and ecstasy of the non-ordinary world even though they may not travel there consciously.

The world of non-ordinary reality is the world of the energy, mystery, and magic that created our world and holds it together by threads of an interconnected web that is the Spirit that moves in all things, referred to by many traditions as The Great Web of Life. Everything is alive with this soul essence that is both the source of life and the giver of life and vitality to everything everywhere. Through the simple techniques of journeying and performing ceremony and ritual the veils that separate the worlds are lifted and the Web can be seen, sensed, experienced, and accessed, and the Helping Spirits can be contacted. It is by entering this world of non-ordinary reality that shamans tap into the infinite life force energy that heals, creates miracles, and reveals wisdom.

A shaman or journeyer enters a trance state in order to access the Otherworlds in an ecstatic state that is commonly termed the shamanic state of consciousness (SSC) and/or non-ordinary reality (NOR). This state of deep awareness allows the journeyer to place the conscious critical left-brained mind at rest while exploring the realms of vast possibility in the Otherworlds. The trance-state used by shamans and journeyers is the theta state of brain wave activity, a state that is the close to sleep. Thus, many shamans are called "dreamers" or are said to be "dreaming" the journey.

This state feels similar to daydreaming though much, much deeper. The shamanic trance is often entered into with the assistance of monotonous rhythmic drumming, rattling, singing, or movement.

Once the shaman enters this altered state of consciousness, they journey to meet with their Helping Spirits and fulfill the intention of the journey whether it be for growth, guidance, or healing for personal use or on behalf of the community or a client. Helping Spirits are ambassadors of the Great Web, and may appear as energy or may take the form of Power Animals or Totems, Angels, Religious Deities, Mythological Beings, or Ascended Spirit Masters to name a few.

We are a part of this Great Web of Life. The omnipotent force of the Web is the source of your life and the giver of the energy that you need to live your life. This life force energy within you is your soul essence and constitutes your soul-self. Anytime your connection to your soul-self or the Web of Life is compromised an imbalance and disharmony is created. If the imbalance continues it eventually develops into an issue, a symptom, or a syndrome.

This is your wake-up call. It is your inner wisdom sending a message to your consciousness that something is out of balance. If you don't get the message, or if you choose to ignore the message, it will eventually develop into a chronic condition. To put an end to this spiraling decline you must become aware, listen to yourself, and express your soul-self and connect with The Great Web of Life.

Within your soul-self lives your inner wisdom, inner healer, inner guide, and inner peace. Becoming aware of, and connected to these aspects of yourself is integral to living a life full of energy, vitality, passion, purpose, health, and wisdom. You can achieve this by living shamanism.

Learning how to journey, and journeying on a regular basis, will help you get to know yourself and these important inner aspects for self-healing and self-fulfillment. Bringing this energy and information into your everyday life in real, practical ways makes subtle shifts in your senses, perceptions, experiences, and life. In doing so you learn how to energize and heal yourself by becoming centered in your universe.

You learn how to find your center space within your soul, body, mind, emotions, energy field, life, the Web of Life, the world, and beyond.

Shamanism connects us with the powerful forces of energy, spirit, and our own soul-self by using our thinking machinery, wits and senses, awareness skills, and fact-finding abilities to shift our focus from ego to soul/spirit. In the beginning, a person learns about animism, the nature of spirit, navigating through the cosmology of the worlds, multiple effective methods to perceive and receive energy, and techniques that open the doors of the soul to power and energy.

Shamanic initiates learn how to stand strong in their own personal power, and find that this power is soul power, not ego power. To advance beyond the basic level, the initiate must build a consistent daily spiritual practice, cultivate intimate relationships with their Helping Spirits, and use their mind, senses, and spirit connections to "see" the world with clarity and act accordingly.

3/30/2010 4:00:00 AM
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