What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is the most ancient form of healing, practiced by humans world wide.
Through a change in consciousness, Shamans enter “non ordinary” reality to request healing and advice from compassionate animals, humans and other spirits. Spiritual healing is complementary to modern medicine, therapy and training. Often it is the missing link, the wind in the sails that allows healing, recovery and training to rapidly progress.
I practice core shamanism, a distillation of shamanic practices which are common to many diverse cultures. The methods of core shamanism are practiced by modern shamanic healers throughout the world. In core shamanism, the shaman enters a shamanic state of consciousness through listening to rhythmic percussion. He or she then journeys to the world of spirits and connects with spirit allies for healing work. These spirits are available to help everyone, and the shaman’s role is often to reconnect clients with their helping spirits, restoring their personal power. The best way to learn more about shamanic work is to learn to journey yourself! I offer on-demand training and live teleclasses to teach you how to meet your spirit guides and experience this magical world for yourself.
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My book, The Calico Shaman explains my work in detail and gives delightful accounts of my healing sessions . You can buy this and other great books in my store.
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What is Shamanic Animal Communication and how does is differ from telepathic animal communication?
Shamanism is the ancient practice of healing wherein the shaman goes into a trance like state and communicates with spirits. The reasons they do this are to get information and knowledge, and to request healings for other beings (and sometimes for themselves)
Medicine people are shamans. The term comes from the Tuval language from Siberia, but is used to describe medicine people who work in this way across the globe. All indigenous people use shamanistic practices for their healing work, and most “folk” cultures do as well.
Entering the trance-like “shamanic state of consciousness” is not hard to do, but typically involves some training. In shamanic animal communication we first enter the shamanic state of consciousness, we then connect with a personal helping spirit who loves us and who wishes to help us help animal. Then we connect with the animal with whom we wish to communicate. When we are in the shamanic state of consciousness we enter a world we call “non-ordinary reality”. In many ways is it like moving around on earth in ordinary reality, but it more dream like. When we are there our “connected self” is able to move about and reach out to the “connected selves” of other beings. I use these terms because they best describe the phenomena of this experience. You can experience this for yourself in one of my workshops.
The core difference between telepathic animal communication and shamanic communication is that in shamanic communication you always work with the help of a compassionate spirit. This spirit guides you quickly and surely to the client animal, he can diagnose the situation and give clear and helpful advice, he facilitates the communication session by interpreting confusing information when necessary, and most important, he can do direct and miraculous healing for the animals and the people involved.
Those people who have experience doing telepathic communication find working shamanically with the helping spirits to be richer and more beneficial for the clients. And those who are just learning find it very easy to connect with the animal using this method.
Some frequently used shamanic healing methods are soul retrieval, power animal retrieval, extraction, spiritual healing, and psychopomp (escorting “dead” spirits to the other world). Over the years the spirits have also shown me a deep clearing and healing methodology I call Spiral Healing. The spirits use Spiral Healing to clear deeply entrenched emotional and physical issues in people and animals.
Shamans believe that when a person suffers from a physical or psychological trauma a part(s) of the soul splits off and no longer contributes to the person’s whole being. Instead it stays fixed in the event, but in non ordinary reality. This dissociation is called soul loss, and it often results in loss of memory, or a feeling of incompleteness. This disengagement makes it easier to survive traumas such as accidents, abuse, or emotional disturbances. Children can suffer soul loss from events that are traumatic to them, but may seem trivial to adults. Soul loss can also occur when another person “holds” onto a part of us, and doesn’t let go. (An old lover perhaps.)
Once the traumatic event is over complete healing can occur when the soul part(s) that is missing is returned. The shaman facilitates this event by journeying into non ordinary reality and, with the help of spirit allies, finding the missing soul parts and bringing them back home. Then there is a period of integration, where the client gets to know the returned soul part(s) again, and together they work to heal the old wounds. This often takes several months.
The concept is the same for animals as it is for people with a few exceptions. Carla has achieved beneficial results doing soul retrievals for horses, dogs and cats.
All people and animals can enjoy the power, strength and comfort of an alliance with a spiritual power animal. The spirits of wild animals work with shamans, guiding them through their journeys, giving advice and performing healings. Often the first thing a modern shamanic healer does for a client is retrieve a power animal for them. The person then bonds with the animal by honoring it in ordinary reality, visiting it during quiet meditation, and dancing in a way that lets the animal move through his or her limbs. Domestic animals also benefit from power animal retrieval.
Often illness has a spiritual component as well as a physical component. When people and animals are vulnerable and disempowered it is possible for entities that don’t belong to enter our bodies. These misplaced entities can cause persistent sickness, soreness and other undesirable things. As a shaman one of my key functions is to work with my spirits to extract these misplaced entities and deliver them to a neutral place, where they can contribute to the overall good of things (instead of causing harm). This process is called extraction, and it is a very common healing activity in my work. The results are immediate and powerful. After an extraction we always fill the space with positive healing power of some kind.
These are the instructions that my spirits give to further the healing. They often involve giving herbs, essences, diet changes and touch therapy. So far the spirits have been completely right in their prescriptions. I’ve been given prescriptions for poultices, massage, aroma therapy, herbs, exercise and many other things. I work with various healing spirits to obtain this information. As I am not an herbalist or expert in most of these areas I always recommend that the person investigate the recommended treatment and confirm it with an educated ordinary-reality source. Many times the information I get is new information to me, so I learn as much as the client!
Imparting Spiritual Energy and Power
This has many forms. My spirit allies may touch the animal and impart healing power. This can be similar to “energy” healing. I may be instructed to impart the power of an element, plant, light, crystal and/or other powerful things into the animal. We also may chant over the animal. It is completely individual.
“The Way of the Shaman” by Michael Harner, Harper San Francisco, 1980.
“Soul Retrieval : Mending the Fragmented Self” by Sandra Ingerman, Harper San Francisco, 1991
Pat Homeyer’s web site http://www.soulretrieval.com/