What is shamanism? Shamanism is the world’s oldest spiritual healing practice.
A shaman would be described as someone who has the ability to navigate the mind where all things are possibe in order to find information, seek the truth and help others heal.
A Shaman is the spiritual leader and natural healer of the tribe. Also referred to as a Medicine Man, Native Healer, Spirit Walker, Sage, Visionary, Mystic, Prophet, or a Holy Man or Woman. They are the ones who can walk between the physical and spiritual worlds and can communicate with the spirit world.
There are several different types of Shaman. A shaman can either be a man or a woman. Some cultures will call a man a Sha-man, and a woman a Sha-ma. In more modern terms, both are referred to as a Shaman.
A true Shaman is not likely to claim to be a Shaman or any other title that would set them higher than anyone else. But the people in their tribe, family, business, or any other type of group, clan or community will tell you that he or she is their Shaman. Shamans may claim to be a shamanic practitioner and study shamanism. Just as a true healer will not claim to be a healer, they will be more likely to claim to practice healing work, or call themselves a healing practitioner or facilitator.
Some shamans may find it difficult to live in modern society. They prefer to spend more time in nature studying the animals, the weather, the elements, and all-natural things. Spending too much time in modern society could throw the Shaman off balance, and they could ultimately lose their connection and begin to forget why they are here. After all, when you practice something you get better at it. When you stop practicing, you forget.
What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is the oldest spiritual practice known to humankind. Shamanism comprises of a range of traditional beliefs and practices concerned with communication with the spirit-world. A practitioner of shamanism is known as a shaman. There are many variations of shamanism throughout the world, but several common beliefs are shared by all forms of shamanism. Shamans are intermediaries, or mediums between the human and spirit worlds. They are capable of entering supernatural realms to obtain answers and solutions to the problems of their community. Someone would come to a Shaman for guidance, healing, clearing, answers, clarity, direction, and to treat illnesses.
Shamanic Healing and Practice
Shamanic Healing is a natural way of bringing your mind, body and spirit back into harmony and balance. With the assistance of the earth, animals and prayer, you can learn how to heal yourself. Anyone can learn and practice the healing techniques of Shamanism.
There are many different forms of shamanic healing, different healers will use different techniques, tools and medicine to assist their patients. Some shamans may help remove illness and disease, physical pain, bad dreams, ghosts, etc. Some are also teachers who can help you find your spiritual path.
Characteristics of a Shaman
Some characteristics of a shaman may include: teaching through being an example, they are humble and practice humility and can recognize when and how they can be in service in every moment and situation. A Shaman will often be found in nature, taking time to be in silence knowing answers are found within self, or in nature. They trust their inner guidance and learn to watch for signs and act on them accordingly.
They practice moderation and will always honor another’s path regardless of religion and differences in beliefs. They may express unconditional love for themself and all relations and Practice non-judgment of themselves and others. A Shaman will take care of and heal their physical self and can facilitate the healing of others. They will keep a clean and simple environment and generally practice living on less. Other characteristics may include knowing and studying the solar cycles and plan ceremonies, activities and other events accordingly. They study and understand the elements and the natural laws of the universe.
You would go to a shaman to help understand your dreams as guidance in the physical world.
A shaman will always speak the truth, usually in a positive form knowing that the truth will bring us more freedom. They look for the good in everyone and every situation and bring more focus and attention to that.
A shaman may study and practice herbalism. They know the medicinal properties of plants and herbs and use them accordingly in their practice.
Some shamans practice the art of shapeshifting. This is an ancient technique that allows them to alter their physical self into anything they wish. In history it was most common to hear about them turning into bees or deer. Not much is known yet about this mysterious subject.
A Shaman can speak to the animals and interpret their messages. Many Native tribes believe that the animals were the messengers from the Great Spirit, and if we learn to watch and listen to them, they could help us understand all of life.
As always a shaman will continue to study and learn to become a better teacher, they will never reach a point where they think they know everything.
Tools of a Shaman
Some of the tools of a Shaman may include Sage, braids of sweetgrass, cedar, lavender, blue corn, drums, rattles, prayer feathers, stones, bones, a taking stick and a staff or spirit stick.
Sage is best known for smudging ceremonies. This practice is used for cleansing, clearing, and purifying negative energies. Scientific studies have shown that sage, when burned, gives off negative ions. Negative ions are known for clearing mental blocks and work with the non-physical, psychic self. These are the same ions that you would get from standing at the edge of the ocean and breathing it in.
Blue corn is one of the most unique corns found in the Southwest and is a symbol of life by the Hopi.
The drum is one of the most important tools of a shaman. It is used for meditating, vision quests, shamanic journeys, healing and breaking up old patterns and negative energies. It is also used for grounding, centering, calling in the spirits for ceremony, and of course, dancing. The deep, earthly sound of the drum represents the heartbeat of mother earth, loving, giving, and nurturing. It brings us back to the comfort of being in our mother’s womb, safe, secure, and surrounded with unconditional love. The heartbeat connects all of life and reminds us that there is no separation. The plants, animals, stones, trees, fish, stars, planets and the universe are all one. There is only one universal heartbeat.
The drum is also considered the centerpiece of a powwow. It’s like the earth is round and everything in that circle, it touches.
Places you might find a Shaman
There are many shamans walking the earth today, they are all over the planet. Some don’t even know that they are a shaman yet they are practicing shamanism every day. You may find these healers and shamans near vortex sites, sacred sites, and where the earth’s ley lines connect around the planet. When you are looking for a shaman, all you have to do is put it out there and you will always be guided to the perfect one.
Known Shamans or Medicine Men of past times
Geronimo, leader of the Chiricowa Apache tribe was a Medicine Man. Black Elk. Sitting Bull.
Shamanic related healing techniques: