This type of healing has been flying under the mainstream radar for decades, but we’re noticing a trend shifting how we view healing. In traditional society, when we’re not feeling well, physically or emotionally, we schedule an appointment to see a doctor or a trained therapist. Sometimes, we’re told to “take a pill” or “rest” to feel better. This can often become a revolving door of doctor visits with no proper form of genuine healing.
Sure, we may feel better for a little while, but then we find that there’s still something we can’t seem to shake. The problem with most healing these days is that it fails to address the core of what caused the imbalance in the first place.
And what has been left out in traditional healing methods is nurturing and healing the spirit. This is where Shamanism comes in. Shamanic healing is different. It’s not just about physical or emotional treatment, but the balance of all parts of the soul.
What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is the oldest documented spiritual healing modality of all time. Our ancestors practiced it for millennia, going back to prehistoric times. The word ‘shaman’ stems from an ancient tribe in Siberia that interpreted spiritual messages and helped the tribe to interpret these messages to cure their illnesses.
The main goal of Shamanism is to restore balance and harmony to a person’s energy fields. They do this in several ways by focusing on bringing alignment of the mind, spirit, and body. A shaman works as a guide to help restore a person’s connection to all elements, most importantly earth and nature.
Shamans are spiritual healers who have been called by their spirits to help others. They use the energies of nature, such as fire or water, along with their own inner wisdom to bring about transformations in people’s lives.
The practice of Shamanism is not just about healing. In fact, the shaman performs a wide variety of tasks for their community. They are often healers and psychics but act as mediums between the material world and the spiritual realm.
Spiritual healing can deepen our awareness to take charge of our health and wellbeing in ways that traditional methods might miss.
The Shamanic Journey
Humans have always had a deep relationship with the natural world. This connection has been ingrained in us, perhaps even before we were humans. As we developed and constructed our own world, it was only natural that we would want to interact with earth (the name of the planet) and Sky (the realm in which spirits exist). The shamanic journey is how a shaman travels to other worlds. There are three worlds, the lower, middle, and upper worlds.
All healing begins in the lower world, and this is where most of us reside. This is called the collective unconscious. Much of the shadow work that we need to process begins here. The underworld energies are directly connected to the womb space, sexual energy, the shadows, and the lower chakras in general. Most of us are disconnected from these energies.
It’s believed that this is where our ancestors and spirit animals dwell and is considered the earthly plane. It includes the landscapes of the world, deep values, vast mountains, and desserts. A shaman will enter the lower world through a hole, a tunnel, a tree, and even a deep pond to connect to the spirit world. The guides here tend to be more practical.
The middle world is our Earthly world. It’s the human existence. It encompasses both the spirit and the soul. It’s essentially the spiritual world of our physical plane. The middle world is unique because it lies between our physical reality and the non-physical realms of existence. It’s where shamans can travel to when they are going on a spiritual journey. It’s a dimension within (and yet also without) our own plane of existence. This realm of pure imagination is where probabilities are born, life-force energies flow, and the consciousness of all things resides.
The middle world has many layers and many different spirits that reside within it. The shamans will travel here for specific information relating to a place, a spirit, or any rituals needed for healing to work on the soul.
The upper world is located high above the earthly plane. Remember the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory scene where Charlie is walking along a corridor of life-sized chocolate bars, each displaying rare and exotic fruits and nuts? That’s an idea of the upper world. An utterly magical place that can be inhabited by angels, spirit guides, cosmic beings, elementals, animal spirits, fairies (dragons are not one of these, they live in the lower world), and anything your imagination can perceive.
The shamans travel here so they can channel divine and philosophical guidance for their spirit guides. The upper world is the home of our higher self. It is home to pure love, joy, and innocent light—everything here is of pure consciousness. In this world, guides communicate with us through imagination and fantasy.
Shamanism is a spiritual practice that involves communication with a spirit world. The shaman is believed to be able to navigate between the realms of the living and the dead. Shamanic healing consists in entering into a trance state to access extra sensory perception (ESP). Shamans will first enter into an altered state of consciousness (ASC) through trance, which is achieved through rhythmic drumming or chanting. They use these techniques to journey between worlds, retrieving information about the cause of suffering and returning with instructions for healing.
When a healer enters their shamanic state of consciousness and travels throughout these worlds, the healer becomes the vessel for healing forces to work through. Together with the individual, they create a space for that person to tap into their forgotten power. The person may receive messages on what, how, and where the healing can begin.
How Does Shamanic Healing Work?
There are three main goals of shamanic healing; cleansing, restoring balance, and providing a sense of wholeness for the person to return to wholeness. Shamans do not always work alone; sometimes, they work in pairs or small groups with specific roles within the group, such as healer, seer, etc.
Shamanic healing is based on believing that everything in the universe is connected through energy. Our thoughts are connected to one another through this universal energy, which connects all living things. When we experience pain or illness, it means that part of our soul has become damaged or lost — usually because someone else has broken our trust or hurt us somehow. We lose that power within, and it causes negative energy fields. And if parts of our soul become damaged, it can cause health problems in the physical body and affect our emotions too.
Shamans can find and help us to replace that lost power, remove negative energies and help restore balance. The healing process is completed when the illness is identified and removed, power is replaced, and negative energies are gone.
The way that shamans heal varies from culture to culture. In many cultures, the shaman heals through prayer and ceremony. Shamans will sing, pray, chant or dance to bring healing energy into their bodies. They may also use objects such as sacred drums or rattles, which are used in healing ceremonies.
They have learned how to use their minds and connections to the spirit world to heal themselves and bring answers to others. They have learned how to connect with their inner selves using different techniques such as meditation, fasting, and prayer. They also use plants or herbs with healing properties, such as sage or eucalyptus leaves. In some cultures, shamans also use plants as medicine in their healing practices. These plants include psychedelic mushrooms, wachuma, or plants such as ayahuasca, peyote cactus, bufo, and even kambo.
Shamans believe everything has a spirit; even rocks, rivers, and trees have spirits inside them. They believe that disease comes from outside sources (spirits) entering our bodies; this is called ‘spiritual illness.’
Shamanic healing involves entering an altered state of consciousness where they communicate with spirits from other worlds — often called ‘helper spirits’ — who help us repair our souls. Shamans perform healing ceremonies. Many non-shamanic cultures have developed their own healing methods, sometimes with the help of shamans. These ceremonies are used to heal and often involve traditional singing, chanting, music, and dancing. The shaman may use a spirit journey to travel to different worlds.
Shamanic healing is an alternative medicine that uses spiritual practices to treat physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual illnesses. In the spiritual realms, the shaman works in tandem with spirits, often called ‘helper spirits.’ ‘Summoning’ these spirits to repair a soul, who may then experience real, physical healing in the earth realm.
To contact these spirits, the shaman will go on a journey by entering a trance state. The more practice and training a shaman has, the easier it will be for them to enter this powerful state. The shaman asks helper spirits to invoke shamanic healing by pulling ‘power’ from the sufferer’s oversoul (the combination of our spiritual and physical selves) and retrieving lost spirit guides and animals.
People who have been through a life-altering mental or physical trauma may have lost a part of their soul or damaged their ‘spiritual force field.’ This makes them vulnerable to illnesses. Many shamans don’t believe in mental health diagnoses. Many believe that what’s happening to an individual is a spiritual illness and an imbalance of the spirit.
Shamanic healing can be used for many purposes, including:
- Healing physical illnesses
- Healing emotional difficulties such as depression or anxiety
- Healing past-life trauma or karmic issues
- Finding answers to spiritual questions
Shamanic healing can take many forms, depending on what works best for the individual that needs healing. It may be a combination of several different practices, including:
- Chanting or singing sacred songs called the Icaros
- Dancing and drumming or rattling
- Spending time in nature
- Fasting or other kinds of purification rituals
Soul retrieval is one of the central practices of Shamanism; it restores personal power to a person who has lost it due to trauma or any other reason. Soul loss is seen as causing illness and disruption in life. Shamanic healing can also help people with addictions and other issues.
Shamanism as a practice is inherently empowering—it gives us the knowledge that we can affect our own health through connection with spirit. We can heal ourselves by building our power sources and strengthening them while communing with nature, the elements, and spiritual practices.
The shamanic path is a powerful yet intimate and personal journey in which one journeys to the world of the spirits, divinities, and other realms to communicate and facilitate healing for the community. Shamans have a deep relationship with the spirits and energies of nature. Shamans can treat various issues and become healers by connecting to these universal forces. They can work with clients to help them find inner peace, release negative emotions, and thereby find balance within themselves.
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