An excerpt from the new book The Practical Power of Shamanism: Heal Your Life, Loves and Losses
We are living in challenging times; perhaps the most challenging in thousands of years. With the problems we are all trying to cope with, many are seeking answers through various spiritual practices that traditionally have offered knowledge and healing from the realms of non-ordinary reality. This spirit realm can provide information and guidance not available through purely logical means.
Shamanism has been practiced for thousands of years, and it can be used now to address the practical problems we all face in our daily lives. Problems like not having enough money to pay our bills, much less save for college or retirement. Problems like finding a new job and career decisions, moving or relocating, and personal relationship issues.
Major life changes of marriage, starting a family, and dissolving a relationship can cause anyone to question their judgment and feel powerless. And then there are health conditions that can be challenging or incapacitating. These are the types of situations that all of us deal with constantly. With shamanism, we can know that we are not alone and that help and advice are available for the asking. We can regain the confidence and the power to control our fortunes and our destinies.
Central to the ancient system of shamanism is the shamanic journey. This is a technique to travel to the spirit world, to meet and work with helping spirits and ask for guidance or healing. Shamanic journeying in and of itself is a fun and enlightening experience. It allows access to other worlds and realities, to knowledge previously hidden and to insights previously unattainable. It is possible to get personal answers from helping spirits through direct revelation, where the journeyer interacts directly with spirits to gain information, guidance and insight. It is extremely empowering to be so proactive in one’s own healing and development.
Some of the situations that can be addressed through journeying include:
- Problem-solving: You want to ask a question about a problem in your own life that you have not been able to resolve through conventional methods. This may involve a career or relationship situation that you find distressing or a decision that must be made.
- Guidance: You are contemplating a lifestyle change and need to consider aspects you may not have thought of. You will gain insights and be able to set priorities.
- Personal Growth: You want to determine your mission in this lifetime and ask for confirmation that you are on the right path.
- Healing: You feel powerless and out of balance and want to re-establish control and harmony. You need to integrate physical, emotional and spiritual healing.
- Contacting Your Spiritual Helpers: You want to maintain a relationship with your helping spirits so that you can trust the information you receive from them.
In ordinary reality, to empower someone is to give them the authority to do something. In shamanic terms, the concept of empowerment is giving an individual the means to access their own spiritual guidance with the aid of compassionate, helping spirits. Whatever it is you seek, the practice of shamanism gives you the power to fulfill that need for yourself. When you are consistent in your shamanic practice and you have established a relationship with your helping spirits, you can rely on the guidance you are given. The spirits are here to help, but only you can affect change in your life by taking back your power and applying it. When you tap into the realm of non-ordinary reality, all answers are available to you.
Let me be clear: shamanism does not take the place of professional help. In fact, it often works best when used in conjunction with modern accepted therapies such as psychotherapy, counseling, hypnotherapy and medical practice, to name a few. But using the guiding and healing techniques of the shamanic journey can restore balance and harmony to our lives, with peace, serenity and confidence. It re-affirms that we can determine what is best for us and helps us achieve it.