"Over tens of thousands of years, our ancient ancestors all over the world discovered how to maximize human abilities of mind and spirit for healing and problem-solving. The remarkable system of methods they developed is today known as "shamanism," a term that comes from a Siberian tribal word for its practitioners: "shaman" (pronounced SHAH-mahn). Shamans are a type of medicine man or woman especially distinguished by the use of journeys to hidden worlds otherwise mainly known through myth, dream, and near-death experiences."Quoted from The Foundation for Shamanic StudiesThe word " shaman" comes from the Tungus language via Russian. The Tungus have no word for shamanism but the word came into usage by anthropologists and historians trying to describe the experience and practices of the shaman.The shaman has the ability to consciously move beyond the physical body into other realms of existence, to parallel worlds and other spaces physical and non-physical. These movements into other realms happen with a shift in consciousness, which is usually described as a trance state. The shaman, depending on what needs to be accessed can move in various levels of the trance state to help others. Once a person begins to travel this shamanic path he will soon realize that his everyday perceptions of the world are different than most people and there is no turning back..A shaman can be a man or a woman and in the past they held a place of honor in the tribe. When I use the word "tribe" I mean it to apply to all tribal people of the world. They were supported by the tribe and when someone came to them for help they brought a gift out of respect and also knowing that to ask for help is also to give help.People who find themselves on the shaman's path in the modern western world are no longer living in a small tribal setting. They find themselves helping people from all over the map, so to speak. They are not seen in a respected light and the culture doesn't support them in the same ways as their predecessors were supported. One of the main reasons is because the shaman no longer is living in a tribal society where everyone knows that they must rely on each other and to support each other's skills for the nourishment and safety of the tribe.
Shamans work with the spirits of this world and others in order to make positive change in people's lives -- in the case of shamanic herbalism, usually the overarching spirit of the plants used to heal. What this means is that you will be treated with herbs, and then the spirits of those herbs will be sung into you, where they will direct the healing energy of the plant. Specific points on your body will be pressed and used as doors to let the spirits enter. I might shamanically journey inside the ecosystem of your body to find or correct energetic imbalances. Spirit-energy might be drummed into you with a healing drum, or in serious cases negative energy might be pulled out of you very important aspect of Shamanism is the Shamanic Journey. Shamans are highly adept at journeying to other dimensions of reality in order to produce greater levels of empowerment, receiving guidance and healing self and others. The Shamanic Journey differs from daydreaming in that the journey is focused and purposeful. It differs from guided fantasy in that the Shaman just observes whatever comes, instead of actively creating the different aspects of the journey. The essence of journeying is to decide what you need, what you want, or what you are seeking; to state your intention and then visit the appropriate world to work on this theme or issue. The possibilities are practically endless: retrieve power objects; receive guidance; receive healing from luminous healers; finding enlightened masters to learn from or receive initiation from; etc. You can also journey for other people, bringing back gifts for them as needed. Two particularly important journeys revolve around retrieving your power animal; and retrieving lost soul parts and returning soul parts to others you may be holding on to. All aspects and possibilities of journeying are beyond the scope of this work. Shamans believe that we are born with a power animal(s) (a.k.a. totems); we often lose our connection with this power animal due to trauma or other events that lead to power loss.
In this journey, you can recover that power animal and once again make it a part of your life. There is some differentiation between Power Animals and Totems. As the Shaman is a Psychic, but a Psychic is not necessarily a Shaman, my view is that a Power Animal is a Totem, but a Totem is not necessarily a Power Animal. As I understand this, Power Animals are with is coming into this incarnation, and they remain with us. Power Animals may be with us all our different life times as their essence basically reflects our own soul essence or nature. Totems may include not just animals, but also plants and minerals or stones. Totems can come and go as they are needed in our life, and some may stay permanently. A power animal is an energy pattern, if not a divine being or entity, in animal form. It is an expression of the characteristics of that animal; i.e., its nature, attributes, qualities, strengths, energies and even its archetypal symbolisms. It is often a reflection of our most inner and true selves that is not always evinced to the outer world. ...The power animal’s medicine is the knowledge and abilities inherent to that animal that we can draw on—effectively reaching deep inside ourselves—to perform a task, to learn a lesson, to offer guidance, to protect or whatever is most needed at any given time or period in our life. I believe that power animals/totems are much more than mere reflections of inner self, or even of Higher Self. It is said that our totems or power animals choose us—we do not choose them. In that respect, their essence becomes part of us—or already is part of who we are. However, we then attain external help to develop the positive qualities represented by these power animals and totems. Power animals are divine manifestations; they are angels or even Archangels, Holy Spirits, that present themselves in animal form so that they can be recognized and understood in our human terms. They appear as that animal we are drawn to, that we do associate ourselves with, and they provide us the appropriate medicine accordingly. They come to us as Guardians, Teachers and Facilitators.
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