Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bridge the gap...


Shamanism is a belief system separate and apart from religious beliefs, it is a way of looking at yourself and the world. There are no hard-set rules; no hierarchy to try to work through growth within ones self is paramount. Shamanism is a time-tested practice, what works is kept, what doesn't is left behind. It is a personal quest for knowledge and inner power.

Shamans have held an important place in many different cultures throughout the world since our beginnings. They have been mediators, ceremonialists, healers, diviners, many different kinds of artists and much more. They learn and work with power for both themselves and the good of those around them.

They understand the connection and need for balance amongst all things, that all aspects of the world that we share with the rest of creation is alive, humans, animals, plants, rocks, and even the wind. People generally become shamans by deciding that it is the path for them, by being chosen and trained by an experienced shaman, or by inheriting the role from a parent.

Contrary to what many practitioners and "so called professionals and educated people say," any one can become a shaman. Although often people choose or are led to follow a shamanic path after a life changing traumatic experience, but that doesn't mean that you have to go out and try to kill yourself if you want to learn shamanism. Anyone can incorporate shamanic practices into their lives. You only need to believe and you can.

One of the most basic beliefs of shamanism is the belief in the web of power that runs through all things from rocks and rivers to the tallest Oaks. Shamans believe that everything is alive and connected in a symbiotic way to everything else in the world. This web of power is what brings sense of life and self to the world. The web has an unlimited amount of potential and power to send to the physical world.

Understanding this web of power, this spirit world, is necessary to understanding and learning shamanism. All objects in the physical world have "spirit." The spirit is the source of power. Shamans are able to communicate with the spirit of both living and (what most would consider) non-living things. Through this communication, they gain an understanding of the world around them and the more you learn the more power you have to draw from.

As a rule, shamans believe that unlike natural objects, plants and animals, each human has his or her own unique spirit body. (I believe all things do, but that's my twist on it.) This spirit body can be seen surrounding people like brightly colored flames or heat waves. (known to many as the aura) This spirit body normally extends around people anywhere from eighteen inches to about three feet and responds to how people feel and what they are thinking.

Brighter colors have higher vibrations and darker, duller ones have lower vibrations. Some believe that the size of a spirit body equates to how much power a person has. Since shamans deal so closely with the spirit world, it is easy to become "lost" between the real and the spirit worlds. People who are always daydreaming or are said to have their heads in the clouds are such unattached people.

Shamanic presence is the ability to live with a foot in the real world and a foot in the spirit world and not forget who and where you are. Keeping balanced, grounded and 'present,' or mentally aware of your physical presence does this. Shamans must know where they are at all times. This is one of the reasons shamans seem powerful to others, they always know where and who they are. Thus they live with a foot in two worlds, the physical one that we all know and the visionary or "spirit" world, the world of the imagination. Shamanism teaches how to bridge the gap between the real and the imaginary. The main tool of the shaman to this end is visualization, or simply put, their imagination. Put the idea that imagination is useless make-believe play out of your head right now if you want to learn anymore about shamanism.

It is not pointless mental activity and it is most definitely not just for children. It is the link to the spirit world. If you want to use Shamanic techniques in your life, get used to the idea of using your imagination. Children can access the spirit world easily, but learn to block this ability, as they get older. This is not a bad thing. Children need to learn the difference between the real world and the imaginary, but some people learn to shut it off too well and will need to relearn what they automatically knew how to use when they were a child.

Seven Shamanistic Principals

1. The world is what you think it is positive brings positive.
2. There are no limits the Universe is infinite.
3. Energy flow where you direct it to, Direction is the key.
4. Now is the moment of power, act on your insight.
5. To love is to be happy, love all things as family for they are.
6. All power comes from within, nothing happens to you without your aide.
7. Effectiveness is the measure of truth the means determines the end.

The Eight Shaman Talents

1. Seeing: To see things from an inner perspective.
2. Clearing: Keep the connections clear between all parts of yourself and the universe.
3. Focusing: Frequently review your motivations for doing whatever you do.
4. Presence: Remain in the present moment, the greater your presence the greater your influence and effectiveness.
5. Blessing: To Bless is to reinforce actual or potential good by word, image, or deed.
6. Empowering: You empower when you attribute special powers to an item, a person, a being, a spirit.
7. Dreamweaving: "Shamanic Healing" Have and take a healer's attitude and taking healing action, mentally or physically in every situation you encounter.
8. Dreamwalking: The Ability to walk between worlds and to gain insight an knowledge from both at the same time.


{Art by Tom Bagshaw/Programming by DPC}

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