An Introduction to Shamanism
© Suryavan Solar
There are many different ways and lineages in shamanism. Here, I am sharing with you a glimpse of my learning experiences and perspective.
Shamans are the people who use the forces of nature and universal alignments for healing purposes and ceremonies.
We find shamans in most of the indigenous cultures, such as native american tribes (i.e. Aumatas, Mapuches, Lakotas, Hopis), in some buddhism traditions or the beduins in Africa. They are the healers and in many circumstances the spiritual leaders. Their follow traditions that have been transmitted generation to generation for centuries. The elements are aligned with nature and the principles of life creation. They take in consideration the seasons, the native plants, the locations, the moon cycles, the astral alignment, the intention of each ceremony, purpose and conditions.
A sacred tradition
In shamanism all plants, minerals, animals and beings are considered sacred. We honor the presence of all living forces with respect and gratitude. This is why there is a strong connection with what people are calling mindfulness, meditation and law of attraction in the new era movements in the western world.
In most traditions the ceremonies are based on four or five elements. The shamans consider people and the environment as a whole, so all these elements are in direct connection and present in all ceremonies. In some healing modalities one element can be dominant while still integrating all the others honoring the sense of wholeness and connectedness.
In shamanic ceremonies, participants experience profound healing, life transitions, reconnecting with themselves, nature and spirit.
With the element of earth the shamans help people to ground themselves. Some shamans heal mainly in the form of touch. Thus, effectively moving the energies in the body healing ailments. In some rituals the body of the person is buried in the earth or sand for a few hours. A clear pathway to breath is created for the face and head. It is a ritual done with care, nurturing and preparation. At the completion, the shaman will guide the process for a rebirth sensation; a coming out of the earth. It is followed by a bath with purified blessed water to complete the cycle.
As water is considered a very sacred element, we find water ceremonies in most traditions. The shamans bless the water with chants and prayers. Then the person will drink the water for purification. The benefits and healing properties of those rituals have been scientifically proven by Masaru Emoto. Emoto is a Japanese scientist who proved how the power of thoughts and frequencies can damage or heal water molecules. Some teas made out of hallucinogens and/or medicinal plants are also used for healing. Shamans often use their native plants honoring the spirit of each medicine to proceed with integrative healing.
In the tipi del fuego people gather receiving the blessings from the shaman. Some shamanic traditions include firewalks as a form of transcendence. Fire ceremonies will clear fears and resistances of the ego.
Some shamans heal people by creating a circle of fire around the person to clear attachments and burn tides of karmic cycles. The temazcal ceremony, for example, integrates all the elements like most of the rituals. It is a ceremony of purification where people are gathered around a fire in the inipi (a native american tent for ceremonies). When the stones in the fire are hot, the guardians of the fire will bring some in the center of the inipi. Shamans lead the ritual inviting all the people to gather, chant, sweat and speak their prayers at the rhythm of the drums.
Some Shamans heal with the breath.
Shamans inhale the bad omen of the participant and then transform it in their own energetic space. The transformation happens through breath and chants. Some rite of passages, like the vision quest, has the purpose to nurture us through the prana in the air. While being in connection with all the elements, there is no food, no water, no people around us for a few days. There is only the air we breathe and that surrounds us. Thus nurturing our whole being and giving us a chance to clarify mind body and spirit. We open our vision, connecting with a other dimensions of consciousness such as the animal totem, the elementals, language of nature in very subtle ways.
Medicine wheels and altars
Through prayers and ceremonies shamans use sacred geometry and universal laws. Shamans create medicine wheels, altars for prayers based on the crosses of the andes, mandalas and other wisdom of their own lineage. In the ether element, healing happens in spiritual dimension. In space and spirit we connect within, above, below, all around.
The medicine wheels and altars are based on principles of alignment of all the elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether – into symbols for healing and transcendence. They integrate the symbols of animal totems, elementals and minerals on many shamanic paths. This is to honor the transitions of the seasons or the transitions of life cycles for the women and men of the tribes. They have specific dances, rhythms and chants to balance the frequency and to create a clear intention.
Law of attraction
Those ceremonies affect directly the quantum field and energies. It is a way to connect with the mass consciousness and to experience the law of attraction. Nowadays modern universities as well as sciences recognize how medicinal plants, nature and meditation can support healing in a profound way.
The resonance foundation offers encounters as shamans have done for centuries. They are sharing their researches, linking science and spirituality, in a more rational scientific language that is accessible to the people. Ancestral wisdom, spirituality and science are finding interesting points of connection.
I am thankful for all the great shamans, healers and masters from whom I could learn: Suryavan Solar, Aramsati, Aurelio Tekpankalli, Jan van der Stappen, Carmen Vicente, and many others.
Life is not linear, it is a multidimensional experience.
May your journey be peaceful and liberating.
PS: Amarun is my initiation name in the path of Condor Blanco since 1999