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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is shamanism?
A: Shamanism is the most ancient form of spiritual practice known to humankind. It is a path of direct revelation, characterized by the spiritual practice of ‘journeying’. Physicists who study unified field theory today have uncovered what shamans have always known: there are visible and invisible layers of reality and they have an impact upon each other.
Shamanism is a way of understanding the connection between the visible and invisible worlds; that we are all united in the web of life. It is the mature realization that we are responsible for and having an impact upon each other consciously and unconsciously with all our thoughts and actions.
Shamanism understands that ‘thoughts’ are ‘things’ and create the fabric of our reality – despite the fact we cannot ‘see’ them.
Q: What do shamans do?
A: Shamans are skilled in traveling between the visible and invisible worlds. Once in the invisible realms, they work in partnership with enlightened, compassionate, unconditionally loving, benevolent helping spirits. These relationships are unique to each practitioner.
While in this altered state they work in tandem, receiving gifts of healing energy, wisdom and love to bring back to the ordinary state of consciousness to restore harmony and balance.
Sometimes the spirits direct practitioners to remove blocked or stuck energy. In fact, shamanic practitioners perform numerous functions! One of the many is as a soul midwife, or psychopomp, helping people who are dying or who have died, to cross properly between the worlds. As a great deal of the modern industrialized world has become so disconnected from its spiritual roots, this art of dying gracefully has been lost.
Q: What is Journeying?
A: Journeying is the art that shamans or shamanic practitioners use to travel between the worlds.
When journeying, you begin by altering your brain pattern from beta to theta, usually with percussion, to shift your perception to experience the invisible layers of reality. The universe is quite vast, so you set an intention. You decide clearly where you are going, which helping spirit you are going to consult, what you wish to accomplish, and for how long you will go – before returning to your ordinary state of consciousness.
This method has been used world-wide across all cultures for tens of thousands of years. It is still practiced because… it works!
Q: Is it possible for everyone to journey?
A: Everyone can journey if they learn the discipline and then practice. You would not expect to pick up a violin and play without some tutoring and practice. The parallel of playing an instrument is quite clear, except you are the instrument and you are learning to listen to and then transmit the music of the spheres.
In order to experience spirit you must be able to put to the machinations of your ego to the side. This requires some discipline. You need to become the hollow bone, or hollow bamboo to let the universe’s song sing sweetly to you and through you.
Journeying is your divine birthright, our brains are hot wired for it. It is one of the most blissful experiences you can have while alive, hence it is known as a path of ecstacy.
It is not a mental experience, though we use part of our mind; you actually have to transcend your mind when you merge with the divine, so in some ways it is like meditation. When meditating the ‘goal’, if there is any goal, is to become empty. When journeying, the ‘goal’ is to become empty of your ego so you can make contact with all-knowing, wise, benevolent forces: the enlightened ones who exist beyond form.
This is an awesome experience, a direct experience; hence why it is a called a path of direct revelation. You cut out the middle man, you take your power back and you are your own spiritual authority. You directly connect with God, Source, the Divine, the Goddess, the Oneness, whatever your name is for Divinity.
Yes, everyone can do it and what a happier and more harmonious place Earth is becoming as people awaken to their inner gifts such as journeying and meditation. For me journeying is akin to what Carl Rogers' person-centred counselling. Each person digs within themselves to get their own wisdom and guidance; hence self-revelation, direct revelation. There are no gurus to follow; the guru is within.
Q: What is the role of percussion in shamanic work?
A: Shamans use percussion to go into trance, to shift their perception between the worlds. This is why the drum is known as the shaman’s horse -- because it is used to ride into non-ordinary reality, the invisible worlds.
Percussion, whether it is the drum, rattle, sticks, stones, bells, etc., played at a steady rhythm between 4-7 beats per second, creates the sonic drone which alters the brain pattern from the ordinary state of ‘beta’ into the journeying mode of ‘theta’ – also known as trance.
It is quite interesting to observe while meditating our brains are in ‘alpha’ and while dreaming when asleep we are in ‘delta’ the slowest brain pattern. Theta, the journey frequency, is between alpha-meditation, and delta-dreaming. Some people can acheive this state without percussion; some do it in silence and some do it through song.
Q: Who are ‘Power Animals’ and ‘Teachers’ and where do they reside?
A: The power animals and spirit teachers, also known as tutelary spirits, are the unconditionally loving, compassionate, wise, all knowing beings who exist beyond form, who are available to assist, teach, heal, love and guide us in our lives.
One of the most beautiful experiences in life can be directly accessing them yourself and being immersed in that compassionate love, which is beyond thought and word. Love is an experience, not an idea, and they communicate directly to us for our own personal healing and enlightening as well as working in partnership with us to assist others.