Shamanism (/ˈʃɑːmən/ SHAH-men or /ˈʃeɪmən/ SHAY-mən) is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world. …Shamans are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul.
“Because it is not an organized religion as such, but rather a spiritual practice, shamanism cuts across all faiths and creeds, reaching deep levels of ancestral memory. As a primal belief system, which precedes established religion, it has its own symbolism and cosmology, inhabited by beings, gods, and totems, who display similar characteristics although they appear in various forms, depending upon their places of origin.”
~John Matthews, The Celtic Shaman
A Shaman is a healer & visionary for her/his community. Walking in two worlds, a Shaman bridges the gap between the sacred, metaphysical world, and physical life here on Earth.
Shamanic practices found in indigenous cultures around the world have long-celebrated the interconnectedness of people, plants, animals, celestial bodies, and the Earth.
The first thing those with shamanic abilities discover is that the hidden inner worlds are inhabited by various forces that the traditional peoples call spirits—the spirits of nature, the spirits of animals, the spirits of the elementals, the spirits of our ancestors, the spirits of the dead, as well as higher angelic forces, many of whom serve humanity as helpers and guardians, teachers and guides, and many more. The ‘imaginary friends’ many of us had as children most likely fall into one or more of these categories.
The ancient art of shamanic healing seeks and addresses the root cause of a physical illness or emotional dis-ease.
Tuning into foreign ‘intruders’ that cannot be seen, such as energy pollution caused by the energetic residue of lingering past events, and negative energies in the form of spirit attachment and possession by unfriendly entities. Shamans have learned how to ‘see,’ in order to diagnose these intrusions of the body, mind and spirit by using simple shamanic healing tools and techniques to cleanse and protect the system to empower their clients to help heal all aspects of modern-day illnesses. Shamanic healing practices can be used to ease stress, anxiety and fatigue, chronic conditions such as pain and limited mobility, emotional challenges such as PTSD and grief, even relationship disharmony.
The goal of shamanic healing is to restore power. Power loss is seen as the spiritual cause for illness, an unhappy life, addictions, accidents and poor luck. How do we lose our power in the first place? In the shamanic view of life, traumatic events in our lives often cause us to lose our power, our soul. In order to alleviate pain during a traumatic event, our soul flees. In our modern culture we have forgotten the knowledge of the impact of traumas on our soul essence. Soul loss is a defense mechanism and is in itself a positive occurrence. However, in most cases, the soul does not return on its own. Other examples of soul loss are what is called ‘soul stealing.’ When in relationship, we give away pieces of ourselves or they are simply taken from us. For example, a depressed parent can steal a child’s Light inadvertently in order to help themselves feel better.
Amidst the indigenous peoples of the world, it is generally understood that traumatic life experiences, when they are serious enough, can result in the fragmentation of our inner, vital essence or soul. Often, these traumatized soul aspects dissociate, resulting in a condition generally known as ‘Soul Loss’.
In tribal societies, it is understood that this loss is only meant to be temporary, assisting the sufferer in dealing with the psychological consequence of a truly shocking experience. Problems come up, however, when the soul loss becomes ongoing, this is viewed as a leading cause of serious illness and possibly even premature death.
Soul loss may occur in response to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; a molestation experience during childhood or being ruthlessly teased and bullied; a bitter divorce, a shocking betrayal, a sexual assault, a serious surgery, or a terrible car accident, to name just a few. The post-traumatic stress syndrome experienced by military veterans is a classic example of soul loss.
Shamans who specialize in soul retrieval work are sometimes called ‘soul catchers’ and they are seen as being in a league of their own as healers. They are aided and assisted by their spiritual allies, their helping spirits, and working as a team, they track the lost soul parts, find them, and return them to the person who has lost them, restoring the individual’s soul to its original, non-distorted state.
In the process, the person’s vital essence returns to its original owner, an experience that clients often experience as life-changing. This is ultimately achieved with the willing assistance of the client in creating a sincere call for this work, as well as the integration of their soul parts back into their overall vital essence.
Another practice to restore power is a Power Animal retrieval. The practitioner journeys to seek out a spirit protector for the client to help them in their daily lives. Other shamanic practices include divination, extraction and psychopomp. Divination is a journey the practitioner does to her/his helping spirits on behalf of the client to obtain relevant information for the client’s question. Extraction is a shamanic healing method to remove spiritual intrusions from a person’s being. In psychopomp, the practitioner journeys to passed-on ancestors of the client, to obtain information or, with their permission, to perform healing on them, or to help them transition.
Soul Retrieval , Power Animal retrieval, Divination, and Extraction Healing are just some ways a shamanic practitioner can help return power to a client. The effects of all these healings can be quite profound, and can bring peace and power to a person seeking healing.