Shamanic Healing, Shamans and Shamanism

Shamanic Healing

Shamanic healing is an ancient practice of spiritually cleansing the mind, body and soul damaged by illness, disease and disharmony. Shamanic Healing originated from the belief in shamanism, a term used to describe the ancient religion of the Turks, Mongols, Tungusic and Samoyedic-speaking people.

While shamanic healing was placed on the back burner for many moons due to the rise of modern medicine, the practice of shamanic healing is known to exist on all timelines, and on all continents inhabited by man, only in different forms.

What is a Shaman?

A shaman is a person skilled in the art of shamanic healing.  

Shamans can see souls in a physical form as well as in the spiritual realm and can traverse within it. 

Shamans heal damaged holes in the soul by calling upon spirits by going into an altered state to reach the spiritual world.  Shamans believe in the physical realisation of the soul. They believe that as a person transcends through the various stages of life and undergoes different experiences, the soul gets damaged, and this results in different ailments and disorders.

For example, a trauma or an accident may leave you with mental and physical disorders, and this will also have an adverse effect on your soul. This is where shamanic healing comes in; a shaman can use his high level of concentration to cure this adverse effect on your soul.

Shamans are said to be able to see the soul and examine the glitches within it. They believe that all illnesses can be cured by simply fixing these glitches in the soul.

While shamans apply shamanic healing in different ways, the core ingredient remains the same; the shaman, through some method of deep concentration, reaches a higher state of consciousness and enters what is believed to be the spiritual world. The shaman then contacts the spirits and asks them to cure the ailment by fixing the broken part of the soul.

Shamanic healing is not limited to curing any specific disease; it has a vast range of applications. It can be used to cure physical disabilities as well as mental disorders such as anxiety, depression and memory loss. This technique of healing the soul can also be employed to heal one’s own self. Usually, shamanic healing requires you to go to a shaman but the technique can be learnt by anyone, with proper guidance and training.

Shamanic Healing for the Body

Shamanism is not a religion but it has been practised by people belonging to different faiths, including Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism.

Shamanic healing is a powerful tool. In contrast to Western healing methods, shamanic methods can be tailored to meet the needs of the patient. Western methods, on the other hand, work on the principle of “one cure for all”.

Shamanic healing deals with illnesses on a spiritual level. In other words, the part of the illness that affects the soul, spirit or energy of the body is dealt with in shamanic healing. Shamans believe that the soul is affected by the illness or injury first. After it has affected the soul, the illness then gradually moves to the body. If there is an injury in the body, the spirit is also injured.

Shamanic healers are of the view that if a person’s soul or spirit is healed, illness can be prevented from affecting the body. If a symptom or a condition of a disease does appear, healing the soul can help cure the disease.

Shamanic healing is different from Western healing styles in that it does not follow the ‘one method or pill cures all’ approach. The cure for an illness in one person may be different from the method applied to cure the same illness in another person. The way an illness affects each soul is not necessarily the same. This is the mysterious aspect of shamanism. The shaman does not know whether the method would or would not produce the desired result for an affected person. Shamanic healing does not involve any medication. It is a purely spiritual form of healing.

Believers of the shamanic healing style are of the opinion that shamanic healing can heal all sorts of illness and diseases. There is a cure for all conditions in shamanic medicine.

However, the terms ‘healing’ and ‘cure’ are not the same. Healing can occur on many different levels. Healing your relationship with other individuals, or with the planet, all come under the broad term of ‘healing’. ‘Cure’ on the other hand is one dimensional. A cure is essentially a source of elimination of the illness. It does not affect your well-being, and neither does it deal with your wealth or power.

The basic task of the shamanic healer is to perform healing of the soul. This healing of the spirit may or may not result in the cure of the illness. Although shamans have been helping people by providing cures to their various diseases, a shamanic healer cannot say for sure whether an illness can or cannot be cured. The only sure way is to try shamanic healing for a particular condition and check whether it works for you.

Shamanism does not encourage one to forgo Western medicine. Neither can a shamanic healer claim that shamanic healing can replace Western medicine. As a matter of fact, shamanic healing works just as well if the patient is taking Western medication in conjunction with spiritual healing. A healer acting ethically would never encourage a patient to give up on medication. The patient, however, can consult their doctor if they feel the need for any adjustments to their medical treatment.

Shamanic healers have a compassionate heart. They understand the pain that you’re going through and want to appease your suffering. They have your best interest at heart. However, you should take care while choosing a shamanic healer, as one may encounter unethical shamanic practitioners as well. In that case, as soon as you realise that the practitioner does not want the best for you, stop receiving healing from them. The healers know that sometimes illnesses can be a very good teacher. In fact, it is the shamanic healers’ own suffering and survival through difficult times that have helped them develop a compassionate heart.

A shamanic healer is aware that simply curing the disease might not be the best for you. A true healer will let God/universe or the spirits decide what is best for you and then become the vehicle for bringing about the change. A shamanic healer strives to achieve the greatest good for the patient so he does not form any premature notions as to what would suit a patient, and this decision is left to the spirits.

We have many stories of people who claim that their illness helped them to achieve something or taught them a valuable life lesson that they might not have been able to understand otherwise. They worked through the illness and it taught them the lesson of persistence and determination, of never giving up and courage, and the will to live. What they learned from their illness helped them in other fields of life as well.

A healer is not sure of the effectiveness of a method for the cure of a condition for a person, so they will not make an assumption about it. The practice that shamans follow is to call on the healing forces present in the universe and request them to do that which brings the greatest good to the patient. Shamanic healing is meant to heal emotionally and physically but the greatest benefit that it provides is imparting spiritual power to the soul.

There have been reports of miraculous healings achieved through the practice of shamanism. Shamanic healers have been able to cure diseases for which no cure is available yet in Western medicine. One such disease is cancer. The treatment for this disease is painful, time-consuming and expensive. Shamanic healing, however, is said to have cured this unbeatable disease. There are documented cases to support this claim. Shamanic healers have also cured blindness in some individuals. The key to allowing yourself to be healed is to open yourself to the healing powers. The more you open yourself to the spirits and the healing power of the universe, the more effective the treatment is likely to be.

A term “placebo effect” is widely used in the testing of new drugs. This effect is produced by tricking the mind into believing what is not true. Whenever testing for a new medicine is carried out, there are two groups. One group of people is given the actual medicine while the other is given a placebo. A placebo is not an actual medicine but a sugar pill. The reason behind using the placebo is that there are always individuals who show improvement or will be cured regardless of the effectiveness of the medicine. Thus, a certain proportion of people in the group that has been given the placebo will be cured even though they have not been given the actual medicine. This is known as the placebo effect.

Certain theories have surfaced explaining the reason behind the effectiveness of the placebo effect. Some say it is the power of belief that causes the individual in the placebo group to heal. Others believe that the medical attention that is given to the individuals taking the test results in their healing without medication. A shamanic healer’s take on this situation is that individuals believed that the pill that they were taking would heal them. This belief opened ways for them to engage with their own healing power and benefit from it. The connection with one’s own self-healing power leads to the treatment of disease without medication.

Shamans operate on a spiritual level. They clear spiritual blockades and return lost power, but they have the important task of connecting the patients with their own healing power that is present inside of them. Through this power, patients can recover as is proved by the placebo group case. The shaman healers act as guides to lead to this inner power. The inner power is a force that can heal physical injuries and emotional traumas, and make the soul stronger and less vulnerable to the outside world. This can then help in improving one’s life and make one spiritually strong.

In addition to these, also ensure you eat well, exercise and have plenty of rest.

Shamanic Healing for the Mind

Shamanic cultures promote a lifestyle that allows people to live in harmony with each other and with nature. Illness, particularly that of the mind, is due to disharmony among body, soul and mind. Shamanism focuses on the importance of self-reflection for curing this state of disharmony and striking a balance.

Shamanic healing for the mind is essentially a journey for guidance through which you can identify issues of the mind that might have manifested in the form of a physical illness or emotional upheaval. This process is not focused on a shaman performing a healing ceremony; rather, it is a self-help journey with the shaman playing a passive role. You, as the patient, play an active role in terms of examining the lifestyle changes that you can make in order to return your mind to the state of desired harmony.

Introducing changes in your lifestyle in general and in the manner of perceiving things in particular results in greater spiritual harmony, which is essential for the long-term healing process of the mind. This, however, is only the beginning of the healing process.

Shamanic healing for the mind begins with self-reflection. It involves an examination of your manner of living, relationships and work. As an individual, you have to identify the points where there is disharmony between nature and your lifestyle. Each individual is responsible for their own healing process.

The effects of shamanic healing for the mind vary from individual to individual. For some people, the healing process may produce immediate effects. For others, it might be a slow journey. If that is the case with you, then it requires you to put in more effort into self-examination. If your journey lacks objectivity, it might hinder the healing process. In such cases, a shaman can be of assistance and undertake the journey on your behalf. When you undertake a journey into the spiritual realm, it is important to identify the distinction between what you want and what you need.

Shamanic healing involves journeying to the lower world or the upper world. An individual can seek help from a guardian spirit in order to resolve any emotional issues for shamanic healing of the mind. If you have already identified the issue of the mind that has manifested itself, you can tell your guardian spirit about that issue and ask for assistance in terms of healing. However, if you have not been able to identify the issue and are unsure about the type of healing that you need, you can request guidance. In order to have a focused journey that results in the desired effective healing, it is important that your intentions are clear. The journey is a powerful tool for self-help and it must be honoured by giving it due time.

In order to reconnect your mind with nature and to go further into the healing process, you need to open up your senses. Start with a place that offers proximity to nature. Use your senses to take note of things. Observe the landscape of the area. Listen to and identify the various sounds of nature. Use your olfactory senses to take in the fragrances of nature. When you are fully aware of your surroundings and you have embraced what nature has to offer, begin your journey to the upper or lower world. Your focus should be on the healing process and the intention should be clear. You must be receptive to all the changes that occur.

Once you feel that the journey is complete, you must show gratitude to your guardian spirit. Retreat into the physical world and reflect upon the changes that you observe in yourself. If the healing process has been effective, you will observe a change in your mental energy. While you were embracing nature and opening up to your surroundings, the spirits were carrying on with your healing process.

Often, it is observed that the shamanic healing process results in the resolution of a number of problems apart from the one for which it was intended. The human mind is highly complex. You might be aware of the conscious part of your mind but the unconscious mind has numerous hidden components.

Shamanic healing of the mind not only addresses the conscious mind but also the unconscious mind. While you embark on a journey to heal the conscious components of your mind, the spirits identify the unconscious components that require healing and spontaneously heal them as well. Spontaneous healing is a beautiful process that will leave you feeling revitalised and healed. It is a gift from the spirits and has a lot to do with the timing of the journey.

Shamanic healing for the mind is not a process where spirits do all the work. A number of times, the spirits will assist you in identifying the mental issues that you might have due to previous experiences. For instance, if you have had a bad experience in a previous relationship, your mind is still likely to be affected by it, and this might manifest in issues with other relationships. Shamanic healing for the mind will help you to identify such issues so that you can make relevant changes to your way of thinking. In ideal cases, the guardian spirit will perform the healing process to release you from that bad space but if it does not do that, it will open a door for you to identify the issue and resolve the problem yourself.

If a person is battling depression, shamanic healing for the mind can accelerate the process of finding closure. Most people who turn to shamanic healing to deal with depression have told the story of being led to a body of water by their guardian spirit. They are encouraged to submerge themselves in the water and express their grief. In some instances, the spirit might try to rid your mind of negative energy by brushing your hair. There are a number of other tools, such as feathers and crystals, that a spirit might employ for cleansing. These techniques are particularly useful in bringing a person out of trauma or loss. By expressing their grief and being encouraged to embrace their pain, they are put on the path to healing.

The way to deal with trauma is to first find the courage to face it. Once you face it, you need to embrace it. Find closure of your grief within the pain. Derive strength to deal with it through that pain. It is an empowering process that might take time but is sure to leave you revitalised and in a positive state of mind.

Shamanic healing for the mind is essentially a process of working with energies. They are amorphous and hence complicated, just like the human mind and conscience. The spirits assist in calling forth the specific energies that are required to accelerate the healing process. The healing process might also take the form of a dream. The spirits might manifest themselves in a dream and help you on your journey to find peace of mind and harmony with all the components of nature.

Dreaming is considered a shamanic practice as dreams are considered to be a portal into the spirit realm. Dreams open up your unconscious mind and more often than not, issues of the mind are hidden in the unconscious part of the human brain. Dreams bring forth that part of an individual’s mind. Healing through dreams is mostly spontaneous but it is possible for an individual to ask for healing through dreams. It all comes down to the intention. It might take time and determination. The key is to ask the spirits for help and healing through dreams. Pray with determination and it will come in due time. Healing dreams require persistence. The spirits might show you a way to deal with a challenge you might be facing in your life. They might also help with any mental illness that has manifested itself in a physical form. The way to go about it is to offer gratitude for being provided with a peaceful sleep and request for a healing dream as you sleep. If you wake up feeling revitalised, it is possible that your request has been granted even though you might not have any memory of it. It indicates that work has been done in the unconscious part of the mind.

Shamanic healing of the mind through dreams can also be metaphorical. If a person is stressed, they might have a dream of a garden where the plants are wilted. The spirits might assist in the healing process by plucking, pruning and weeding out the garden.

Shamanic healing for the mind can also take the form of a daily exercise where you call forth the spirits to help you get in touch with nature and bring your mind back into a state of harmony. In this manner, all issues of your conscious and unconscious mind will be addressed.

speaking of dreams and the mind …

Dreams

In shamanism, dreams are of great importance, as it is a shamanic belief that every being dreams. The sea, rocks, animals, plants and even planets and celestial objects dream.

This concept is directly related to the belief that every object, be it living or dead, has a soul. Human beings, naturally, are also a part of this dreaming.

However, the concept of dreaming for us is different; we only regard what we see in our sleep as dreams. Dreaming has a much wider range of meaning; it can be referred to as the visions or experiences that an individual sees or goes through in a different state of consciousness.

Most of the dreams we have are idiosyncratic and once we have experienced them, we forget most of the content. There are some vivid dreams in which we experience the events so clearly that we tend to wake up; it is a strong trait of a shaman to experience these kinds of vivid dreams.

Dreams in which you realise that you are dreaming and can participate are known as lucid dreams. Some shamans even claim that the mystic journey to the spiritual world is a sort of a lucid dream.

A shaman is said to be a master dreamer, and can even participate in the dream by interacting with the characters that he encounters. According to a shaman, the dream and the spirit world are the same, as when a person sleeps, his or her soul leaves the body and travels to the spiritual realm. There the soul may experience events of the future and when it returns to the body, these experiences may manifest in the form of dreams and memories.

A shaman has the ability to enter the spirit world in his dreams while still being wide awake, a concept that is related to lucid dreaming. Inside these dreams, the shaman may be contacted by the spirits or receive visions of the future.

In the case of interpreting dreams of others, a shaman asks each and every detail about the dream and continues to do so for a prolonged period of time, until he is at home with all the details and thinks of the dream as his own. The shaman then dreams the dream, encounters the spirits, and tries to understand the meaning.

As shamans are the messengers between the spirit and the human world, spirits approach a shaman in his dream and convey messages. Also, in divination, the shaman receives visions of the future through his dreams. There are three levels of dreams that correspond to the three levels of the spiritual world, and are as follows:

  • The upper level pertains to the intellectual and spiritual knowledge. In this type of dream, you may see objects related to intellect, such as library buildings, pillars, and classrooms.
  • The middle level is where most of us dream, or where a normal human being dreams. However, for a shaman, this level is of less interest as it provides very little learning capital.
  • The third level, known as the lower level, relates to cardinal knowledge. Here, you may dream about animals and nature.

Here are a few exercises that you must do in order to carry out shamanic dreaming effectively. Regularly ask yourself while you are awake whether you are dreaming or not, and this practice will naturally extend to when you are dreaming.

When you ask this question during a dream, you will realise that you are in fact dreaming. This will lead you towards lucid dreaming and you will be able to participate in your dreams. Sometimes the line between reality and dreams may become blurred and it may be difficult for you to discern between the two.

In such cases, it is helpful to remember that when in a dream, your hands look blurred, you can’t make out your reflection in the mirror, and all sorts of technology seem to malfunction.

Look out for signs when you are in a dream, including things related to a deceased person’s life or his death, holy symbols such as the trident or cross, animals, etc. Also, you need to discern the level on which you are dreaming, something that is only possible when you have gained control over yourself in the dream and have realised that you are dreaming.

Unless you are an expert dreamer, it is highly likely that upon waking, you will have little recollection of the dream. Therefore, you must employ these techniques to help you remember the details of your dream better:

  • Keep a detailed dream journal, and record in it all that you saw and experienced: the people, animals, and objects while especially keeping an eye out for symbolic representations. This journal will help you in interpreting the dream and understanding it in a better way. It will also help you in analysing your dreams and connecting recurring ones.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed.
  • Practise meditation, as it helps in increasing focus and boosting memory.
  • Affirm to yourself that you are going to remember your dream. Do this repeatedly and your unconscious mind will be programmed into remembering the details of your dream.

Journey To The Spiritual Realm

We have finally entered the phase of the course where we address the most important aspect of shamanic healing. The journey to the spiritual realm has been mentioned time and again in the previous modules and now it’s time for you to learn the actual skill.

However, before we proceed, it is absolutely essential that you read the previous modules and understand them perfectly.

The information and guidelines provided in the previous modules serve as pre-requisites to this module, and proceeding without learning and understanding them will not only give failed results but will also be harmful to your psychological and physical well-being.

Before commencing the shamanic journey, you must observe the following guidelines:

  • Don’t eat a heavy meal before the journey; a lighter meal will help in getting a deeper experience. You can also experiment with different diets to evaluate which one helps the most.
  • Consuming recreational drugs such as alcohol, caffeine and marijuana 24 hours before the journey can hamper or limit your experience.
  • Doing some light exercise along with meditation can enhance the productivity of the brain and naturally help in obtaining a higher state of consciousness. You can try yoga with light music in the background and later indulge in some relaxing meditation exercises. These practices will release tension in the muscles and give clarity of mind.
  • Make an altar around you and decorate your surroundings with things found in nature. The place where you carry out the journey must be in accordance with the spiritual aspect of it.
  • Turn off the lights and draw the shades, as you need to be seated in a dim surrounding.
  • Turn off all electronic gadgets in your proximity; these include mobile phones, tablets, Wi-Fi, etc. This is because the electromagnetic waves from them interfere with the gamma waves your brain is aiming to achieve.

Shamanic Healing for the Soul

Shamanic healers have the ability to talk to plants, animals and nature in a state that is different from our normal conscious state. Shamans learn the secrets of the universe from the universe itself and from ancient spirits, and then they apply this knowledge to heal physical and mental illnesses and make the soul strong and less vulnerable. For example, shamans talk to plants and know which of them can be used for healing. Similarly, they know which minerals to use to cure what illness.

The knowledge about the universe and its secrets is accessible to shamanic healers in Dreamtime. Owing to this, shamans can travel to the past and can also make prophecies. It needs training and discipline to master the art of shamanic healing and develop the ability to communicate with the spirits. When one has mastered the art of shamanism, all knowledge of the universe is available to them.

Shamanic healing practices may involve a shaman making a journey to diagnose on the spiritual level. The problem on the spiritual level may be different for different people with the same illness in reality. A one-to-one correspondence cannot be drawn between apparent and spiritual illness. It varies for each person. Thus, the shaman needs to find out what is the nature of spiritual illness and carry out the required treatment.

A shamanic belief suggests that people who are not spiritually powerful are prone to accidents, illnesses and bad luck. This is quite different from how we normally define illness. The shamanic healer’s task is to help the individual connect with their inner power. Inner power, also known as spiritual power, can be thought of as the immune system for the spirit. However, it is just an analogy and one-to-one equivalence cannot be drawn.

Spiritual power is what makes one resilient to diseases. If someone is frequently ill, it is obvious that they are in need of a connection with their inner power. A healthy person may also want to discover and engage with their spiritual power. Shamanic leaders help those who cannot make this journey of exploring this power. Their job is to guide them and lead them to their inner power.

The belief that the body is connected to the mind is not a unique concept. The mind-body connection has been known to mankind for thousands of years. What’s unique about shamanism is the belief that shamans are not alone. It is believed that they have the help and guidance of the spirits. Shamans help ease the pain of those who are suffering through their sense of compassion and empathy. This compassion and generosity of the shamans get the helping spirits interested and involved, and this leads to healing miracles.

According to shamanic belief, damage or some loss of the soul can lead to emotional traumas. Soul is the term used to describe the essence of the spirit that is essential for the human being from conception to the hour of death. A technique that is very important in shamanism is soul retrieval or healing the loss of soul. According to this technique, the lost portion of the soul can be retrieved if one goes on a soul-searching journey.

Most people previously believed that soul searching and retrieval are not valid and are nothing more than superstitious practices. Things, however, have changed now. This has been due to the efforts of practising shamans, and increasing awareness and desire to learn more about shamanism among the educated community.

For women who had been victims of physical abuse during their childhood, they have claimed to have removed themselves spiritually from the situation when they were being abused. Sandra recognised that the only explanation that made sense was that some parts of these women’s souls had left their body. Only a small portion was lost because if the soul had left the person completely, the person would not be alive. Sandra realised that the solution was to go on a journey of soul retrieval to bring back the lost portion of the soul so that it could become whole again. Thus, Sandra helped these women bring back lost portions of their souls and the results were miraculous. The work done by Sandra Ingerman and her soul-retrieval practices forms a significant part of the shamanic healing practices of the West.

You must have heard people talk about losing a part of their soul when they go through a period or incident that leads to emotional distress. You might have experienced this yourself as well. Indeed, if you ask a hall full of people the question:

How many of you think you’ve lost a part of your soul?

the majority of the people will raise their hands. This shows that deep inside, perhaps in the subconscious mind, there is an awareness of the problem of loss of soul. It has been proven that even minor trauma can lead to the loss of some portion of the soul, which can be restored back to its whole using shamanic healing practices.

Extraction is another important technique in shamanism. This technique is used to remove spiritual intrusion. Just like the presence of infections in the physical world, similar intrusions can take place in the spiritual world. That is not to say that ‘evil’ spirits have intruded the soul. It is similar to how termites infect a wooden house. Infecting your house doesn’t make the termites evil; it’s just that you would like to get rid of them. Similarly, this practice is to help the soul get rid of all intrusions. The practice of extraction isn’t accomplished through journeying, which is important for soul retrieval. Extraction is carried out by altering the state of consciousness to reach the state through which it can be accomplished.

Disclaimer:I do not claim to be an authority on any of this information.
I have gathered the information on this page from undertaking studies in shamanism and shamanic healing, from elders and from the website provided.
I will always continue to research and learn, and welcome all and any advice offered on this rich history.
If any information is incorrect, consult with me and I shall change it to reflect the true histories and stories, then consult with the institution who taught me to correct their records.
Each Nation deserve the histories and events of the past to be represented in a respectful, and honorable manner.
Thank you for your time and for your understanding.

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