The Ten Attributes of Shamanism

schotDear Friends,
I am just so lucky and blessed how the world works for me, i have to all the time share – in order not to burst ;-)!! After my last two posts about how a shaman works with the blessings of the physical body as divine temple of growing consciousness, and the “10 signs you are called to be a Western Shaman“, there have been a few comments that this ideas could be understood as racist or offensive to indigenous shamans. So lucky as I am, the minute I read the comments, I also pumped into this wonderful article. It describes perfectly how shamanic practices have not only been used for thousands of years all over the world, and therefor are not at all region or culture specific or limited, but also does it shows that shamanic working people all over the world – show the same attributes. I hope you enjoy her piece as much as I did!!
Blessings and Good Guidance on your Path!!
Edith

Article by Jone Forest Mage:
As a contemporary shaman living in the urban setting of Chicago, people often ask me, “What is shamanism?” and “How is shamanism different from other forms of meditation and energy work such as Reiki, chi gong, prayer or creative visualization?” Shamanism is an ancient form of spiritual healing that has been practiced by virtually every culture in the world throughout all of human history. Some people think of it as the origin of all other forms of spiritual expression and energy work. Your image of shamanism may be of indigenous peoples drumming, singing and dancing in rituals to create healing. There are cave paintings in Europe created 40,000 years ago which depict shamanic-style healing rituals, and it’s likely that shamanic practices are even older than that. Many people think shamanism is exclusively a Native American tradition, but it is actually found all over the world. In fact, the word shaman comes from the Tungus tribe of Siberia. Shamanic practices are well known in India, Korea, Africa, Britain, and Australia, among many other places. Both men and women throughout the ages have been shamans. Shamanic healing works on the principle of restoring the vital energy, or soul.
The classic example is when an individual has lost parts of his or her soul due to traumatic events in life such as accidents, major illness, physical, sexual or emotional abuse or the loss of a loved one. To remedy this, the shamanic practitioner performs a soul retrieval healing, by doing a shamanic “journey” meditation to find and return lost parts of the client’s energy (“soul parts”). However, shamanic healing is not limited to soul retrieval, or only to the healing of the individual person. It also includes mending the broken ties of community on every level: within human society, with nature and with the spirit realm. This may mean restoring the connection an individual has to her body; encouraging a dialogue among the various soul parts within an individual; introducing a person to his spirit guides; connecting a client to the more-than-human matrix of nature; or helping a person find her expressive “voice” through singing and dancing. Shamanism shares many traits with other forms of prayer and energy work, but we can identify ten characteristic ways of working in shamanism. Not every shaman works with all of them, but the more of the ten you see in a practitioner’s work, the more that practitioner is shamanic in his or her approach. 5The Ten Attributes are:
1.) Works with spirit realm and spirit guides – Shamanism deals with going into altered states of consciousness to find healing and wisdom. In this altered state, we perceive all existence as being a big energetic field. The world is filled with spiritual beings and energies: angels, ancestors, totem, animals, gods, goddesses, nature spirits. These helpful spirits guide us to healing and wisdom.

2.) Heals through shifting energy – As contemporary shaman Bradford Keeney says, “Shamanism has nothing to do with how many beads someone has on a costume. The goal of the shamanic practitioner is to shift energy.” Healing is accomplished through returning energy that has been lost or unblocking the flow of energy, which may happen through direct energetic healing or through gaining information.

3.) Solves problems in daily life – shamanic work is not about simply having visions of the spirit realm, but to help self and others gain healing and wisdom in our daily lives. We work in concert with the spirits to improve the whole Web of Life.

4.) Travel out of body to the 3 Worlds– shamanic work involves “journeying” out of body into the spirit realm to work with the spirit guides for healing and guidance. Journeying is done to three different Worlds or planes of existence: the Upperworld, Middleworld and Lowerworld. The typical vision is to go through a tunnel, come into a place of nature (Journey Center) where you meet your team of spirit guides to ask for healing or information.

5.) Empowers the soul – shamanism heals and empowers the soul, which is the vital essence or unique individual Self. Through healing and restoring this spiritual power, many physical, mental and emotional issues are resolved. Soul is in between ego and spirit. Ego is the surface and limited sense of self, while spirit is the Great Cosmic “Soup” of all energy that encompasses all that is. Soul is what you came to this lifetime to accomplish: all the talents and the mission you were born with to contribute to the world.
23a6.) Heals the Web of Life – shamanic healing is not only about healing the individual, but equally includes healing human society, the spirit realm and nature: the whole Cosmic Web of Life. Some shamans work almost exclusively healing nature, or with the spirit realm.

7.) Grounded in nature – the shamanic practitioner gratefully utilizes the powers of nature for healing, transformation and restoration of energy and to stay grounded in the physical plane.

8.) Grounded in the body– shamanic work is not just about having mental visions nor does it try to transcend the body. It addresses feelings and intuitions from within the body and heals what psychologists would call psychosomatic issues.

9.) Grounded in expressive arts – shamans throughout the ages have used singing, dancing, drumming, storytelling and visual art as ways of shifting energy, expressing their visions and creating healing. The healing that shamans perform encompasses the work done in such modern healing modalities as movement therapy, sound healing, psychodrama and color therapy.

10.) Face shadow side – shamanic healing often confronts the “shadow side”, drawing out the full range of energies and emotions including anger, sadness and fear to create cathartic healing.

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Why not to take Ayahuasca?

Sanango , Izabal, Guatemala

aya

Thank you so much hermano Sanango from the Sinchi Runa Center in Izabal, for this beautiful article. I totally agree with him on the need for a good preparation, a deep personal understanding of the process, a good mental and physical health state and lots and lots of transparency in the communication with the facilitator/assistant. Each of this parts are important for the success of a session. For the integration I watched the following: with every day you spend in a loving self-embrace; with smoothing, self-love evoking, balancing and harmonizing music; breathing deeply and consciously, while planting seeds of positive thought pattern – the deeper roots of your past (this and every other life on the spiral dance of creation), your destructive pattern and emotional body, the medicine can reach and shift in vibration. This can go on for days and days after the ceremonial encounter – totally depending on your invested degree of awareness, attention, devotion, surrender and passion. REMEMEBER – we talk about engaging in a relationship with a spirit!
I saw similarity in our few about finding the right helper match, which made me smile. I believe in guidance and the good of obeying the free will! So for me it is: 1st let the medicine call you! Feel a pull – in best case more than one’s – feel attracted, sense passion that comes from within, sense nervousness similar to stage fright….All of this are excellent signs of a “call” from your spirit guides. As next step, you can take full responsibility for yourself by clearing deep inside, what you might need in your servant. From there you are well equipped, to choose – from the heart – your work partner for the process. As a last step: with your feet on the ground, make a leap of faith, trust your choice of person and trust the process! 🙂
I found myself laughing out loud, when he calls the Ayahuasca a “des hallucinatory substance” :-).. AHO – I soooo agree!! The nice colors, the geometries and sounds are lovely and amazing also very good for the emotional body – as they are of high vibration and can fill up our “feel good account”. But they are barely a blue print of each individuals soul potential . A blueprint that wants to be manifested into our materialized world – in the alchemical wedding of your spirit in human action. The deep healing, the creational existence of self, the endlessness, we find in the layers beyond.
Isn’t it funny, that even the physical body in compressed form proves to contain 99% emptiness :-)…

Love and Blessings
Edith

There are many indications against taking ayahuasca. At the physical level, the most important is a major cardiovascular disorder. Problems could be caused not so much through the biochemical action of the brew, but through the stress caused by the intense work or circumstance that might come with the session. An ayahuasca session is a great opportunity, but demands a lot of mental and physical strength, for which it is important to have a history free of cardiovascular complications.

At the mental level, there are individuals with serious emotional problems that may hinder the dynamic of the session. These emotional problems can be expressed in daily life by uncontrollable impulses, states of explosive anger or deep states of loss of control. If the participant suffers from so-called black outs or have been diagnosed with a psychiatric mental disorder, a prior personal consultation is needed before the session to evaluate the inner state.

Moreover, there are situations such as addictions or consumption of psychiatric drugs to take into account. If the participant is using any kind of substance, it is very important to have a prior detoxification period. This is preferably done in the center that will realize the ayahuasca session. The use of substances such as cocaine or dopamine stimulants requires a detox period that can vary from 15 to 30 days before the intake of the plant. If the participant discards this indication and wishes to attend a session without disclosing data regarding these issues, it signifies a lack of understanding. Such a participant does not realize the type of medicine that ayahuasca is and will not be ready to participate in a session.

The attitude of the participant seeking their own search for truth, trust, transparency towards himself and to the process, is the most important thing in front of an ayahuasca session or any kind of spiritually based healing.
If the participant is not clear of what type of process he is approaching and has information based only through the impact of online videos, seeking a psychedelic experience or only expecting to receive lights and colorful shapes that can cause great excitement. If the expectation is a spectacular trip or a magic potion, the participant should not drink ayahuasca.

It is important to understand that the mission and spirit of ayahuasca is to heal through comprehension. The great opportunity of humanity with this entheogen is to surpass the barrier of the mind and go beyond the illusion of the state of alertness to obtain wisdom of the universe.
Ayahuasca is not an hallucinogen, is a des hallucinatory substance. Ayahuasca is a portal to the essence of humanity, a portal where memories of the species can be opened. This opening can bring understanding of the higher self and the purpose of each one, not only as an individual, but as humanity. Ayahuasca is a chance to heal the soul and reach the truth that lives within each one.

It is very important that the guide is honest and truthful. Do not take ayahuasca with guides who have new age speeches or messianic ideas. Make sure that the guide or facilitator is not improvising and that has really done a deep work of personal comprehension or a discipular spiritual path. It is advisable to analyze the ethical level of the guide or facilitator, the profusion of “shamans”, “avatars”, “guardians of the medicine” and other bizarre characters is something to avoid when choosing where and with whom to take ayahuasca. An apparent native guide or facilitator does not guarantee anything. Not be swayed by prejudice or pre concepts, neither believe in “shamans”, “natives”, who lives in cities or that are characters full of names or egotistical self-imposed titles.

If you have financial constraints, it is best to wait to fix them. Never make a decision based on finding the cheapest option. Do not trust sessions that only ask for a “collaboration” or are “free”, these are usually desperate acts of the guide or facilitator and is generally a lack of transparency. It is recommended to not do sessions carried out in cities or proceeding from them, in which the guide or facilitator is a multi-task professional.

ayahuasca

A genuine ayahuasca ceremony requires a prior preparation, a purge and a preliminary assessment. It is recommended that ayahuasca sessions be done preferably in a center in the jungle or in the countryside where the participant can disconnect from the everyday world. It is recommended to rest after the experience and make the space to take it seriously.
If the participant has a big schedule which is more important compared to the healing process and the session is one of the many experiences of the itinerary, the participant definitely should not take ayahuasca.

The participant must make a careful choice, free of cultural preconceptions, making the proper space and having the respect it deserves. If the previous points are not taken into account, one should not take Ayahuasca.
The best practice to decide where and with whom to do a session is to listen to one’s heart. It is easy to see who is real or not, this is very important when making this decision.

The participant has a decision to make this experience a chance of understanding something far beyond anything imagined. It’s the opportunity to open the heart, mind and being to the universe. The session is an opportunity to heal and be healed through the compassion of the universe. If the participant reaches humility and pureness of heart, it may understand the most important thing of their existence.

Source: http://ayahuascaguatemala.com/existen-varias-contraindicaciones-para-evitar-tomar-ayahuasca.html