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Shamanism

What is Soul Loss and How Can it Help with Understanding Your Emotional Wounds?

Healing, ShamanismGuest WriterComment
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Do you feel like something is missing – an aspect of yourself that you know will help you to move forward but no matter how much you search, there still feels like there is something missing?

Soul Loss

Most shamanic cultures around the world believe that all illness is due to the loss of the soul.

There are many common symptoms of soul loss. Some of the more common ones would be dissociation where a person does not feel fully in his or her body and alive and fully engaged in life. Other symptoms include chronic depression, suicidal tendencies, post traumatic stress syndrome, immune deficiency problems, and grief that just does not heal. Addictions are also a sign of soul loss as we seek external sources to fill up the empty spaces inside of us whether through substances, food, relationships, work, or buying material objects.

Anytime someone says I have never been the same since a certain event and they don’t mean this in a good way, soul loss has probably occurred.

Lost soul equals lost vitality.

Soul Retrieval is not a method that creates miraculous results after one session. It does for some but this is not the norm. Soul Retrieval is a process.

Why?

Life is not so simple in the Western world. We are not always supported to live a life filled with meaning. We often cannot "connect the dots" to how our lifestyle has created the emotional and physical illnesses we are dealing with today. People lose parts of their soul at very young ages and show up to shamanic work or Soul Retrieval work many years after a trauma occurred in their lives.

Shamans in indigenous cultures did not have to go back 40, 50, or 60 years looking for lost soul parts.

And shamans in indigenous cultures did not work with a psychologically sophisticated population, like our world today.

It is believed that whenever we suffer an emotional or physical trauma a part of our soul flees the body in order to survive the experience. The definition of soul that I am using is that our soul is our essence, our life force, the part of our vitality that keeps us alive and thriving.

The types of trauma that could cause soul loss in our culture would be any kind of abuse: sexual, physical, or emotional. Other causes could be an accident, being in a war, being a victim of a terrorist act, acting against our morals, being in a natural disaster (a fire, hurricane, earthquake, tornado, etc.), surgery, addictions, divorce, heartbreak, betrayal, or death of a loved one.

Any event that causes shock could cause soul loss. And what might cause soul loss in one person might not cause soul loss in another.

It is important to understand that soul loss is a good thing that happens to us. It is how we survive pain. If I was going to be in a head on car collision the last place that I would want to be at the point of impact is in my body. My psyche could not endure that kind of pain. So our psyches have this brilliant self protection mechanism where a part of our essence or soul leaves the body so that we do not feel the full impact of the pain.

In psychology we call this disassociation. But in psychology we don’t talk about what disassociates and where that part goes. In shamanism we understand that a piece of the soul leaves the body and goes to a territory in what shamans call non ordinary reality where it waits until someone intervenes in the spiritual realms and facilitates its return.

Although soul loss is a survival mechanism the problem from a shamanic point of view is that the soul part that left usually does not come back on its own. The soul might be lost, or doesn’t know the trauma has passed and it is safe to return.

It has always been the role of the shaman to go into an altered state of consciousness and track down where the soul fled to in the alternate realities and return it to the body of the client.

When soul parts leave because of a trauma, they unfortunately, take with them gifts and strengths such as how to love, trust, be creative, be joyful, etc. 

When we talk about soul we are really talking about light. In returning the soul parts and lost vitality to the client we are really returning light. 

I stress the need for the client to fully absorb the light from the returned soul/essence into every cell of the body.

The first step is to help the client come up with a metaphor that will help them to absorb the light of the returned essence. It is crucial that the client come up with the metaphor that will work for them. Some examples I share are a dry sponge that has been put in water and how it absorbs the water. A flower that has been in the rain too long and then the sun comes out and the flower soaks in the light and warmth of the sun. Or maybe the reverse where a flower is growing in an area suffering from drought. And on the day the rain comes the flower soaks in the water. Another example I give is of a darkened room and the curtains are opened flooding the room with light. These are just a few examples that I share and then let the client think about a metaphor they can relate to.

The instruction I then give is for the client to focus on this metaphor. I ask clients to put their hands on their belly and breathe deeply as they experience themselves absorbing the light of their soul.

I wait to share the story of what I saw in the journey. For to share the story right after the soul part returns to the body would move the client’s energy from her body into her head.

I ask the client to breathe and absorb the light of the soul into every cell of the body.

Then I share my healing story focusing on the gifts and strengths that have been returned. I believe that once a person has his or her soul brought back the client now has to do some work. If the person has done a lot of personal work the soul retrieval might be the end of the work. If not the soul retrieval would be the beginning of the work.

After experiencing a soul retrieval, I have a greater sense of self and security. In working with spirit return I can track these sorts of changes to the work that I’m doing, but they may be subtle and if you’re not paying attention or you may not necessarily put these two and two together without the help of a Guide or Mentor.

Source : "Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self" by Sandra Ingerman 

Healing Power

After the soul retrieval it is up to the client to look at how to create a healthy life style and attract healthy relationships that will support wholeness and a life filled with healing. How do we want to use the energy that was returned from the soul retrieval and our returned vitality to create a positive present and future for ourselves? And how do we bring passion and meaning back into our lives again so that we thrive instead of just survive? All these issues I call “life after healing” and are crucial to create long term healing after a soul retrieval.

Self Healing

It is important to note, that you don’t have to “think” and work hard to figure out how to integrate these parts of your spirit back, nor do you need to figure out “what gifts” have returned… I have found myself realizing things like- Wow I have tears again when I see something emotional and realized I hadn’t been able to cry at things like “hallmark commercials” in years, but used to be the kind of person that could cry at anything that made me feel.

The Key Role of Ceremony In Healing

Ceremony is an essential part of Shamanic healing. Because physical and spiritual health are intimately connected, body and spirit must heal together. Shamanic healing ceremonies promote wellness by reflecting indigenous conceptions of Spirit, Creator, and the Universe. They can include prayer, chants, drumming, songs, stories, and the use of a variety of sacred objects, and medicinal plants.

Healers may conduct ceremonies anywhere a sick person needs healing, but ceremonies are often held in sacred places. Wherever they take place, traditional healing ceremonies are considered sacred and necessary for the wellness of the individual.

The Medicine Wheel and the Four Directions

The Medicine Wheel, can take on many different forms cross culturally in Indigenous Healing cultures, and it has been used for generations for health and healing. It embodies the Four Directions, as well as The Sky, Mother Earth, and Tree of Life—all of which symbolize dimensions of health and the cycles of life.

Movement in the Medicine Wheel and in ceremonies is circular, and typically in a clockwise, or “sun-wise” direction. This helps to align with the forces of Nature, such as gravity and the rising and setting of the Sun.

Meanings of the Four Directions

Different tribes interpret the Medicine Wheel differently. Each of the Four Directions (East, South, West, and North) is typically represented by a distinctive color, such as black, red, yellow, and white, which for some stands for the human races.

The Four Directions can also represent:

Stages of life: birth, youth, adult, elder (or death)

Seasons of the year: spring, summer, winter, fall

Aspects of life: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical

Elements of nature: fire (or sun), air, water, and earth

Animals: Eagle, Bear, Wolf, Buffalo and many others

Ceremonial plants: tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, cedar

Source : Native Peoples' Concepts of Health & Illness

To read more about Native uses of healing plants and healing communities go here: Medicine Ways: Traditional Healers and Healing



Learn to source your own power and be in greater service to the world: Walking the Path of Purpose Apprenticeship Program


Chloë Rain is a Spiritual Guide & Visionary. She is the the Founder of Explore Deeply and the Explore Deeply Movement.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and JOY in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and joy in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!

Is Shamanic Healing Right for You?

Ceremony, Retreats, ShamanismGuest WriterComment
Is Shamanic Healing Right for You

How Does One Find The Right Healer?

Healers, Shamans, and Medicine People, are people. For that, just like anyone else, they come in all shapes, sizes, attitudes, personalities, and colors. In order for one to find the right shaman, it is advised to follow these guidelines:

Methods and Specialties

Just as all shamans have their own unique preference and style of healing, every person who seeks healing has their own preferences, as well. For that, there is a lot of beauty to be found in the vast variety of shamans and their various methods of healing — one shaman may be perfect for one person but not-so-great for another.

Some shamans work a lot with stones and crystals, while others focus on rhythm and chanting. Some shamans personally train clients to embark on their own shamanic journeys, and others journey alone. Some work one-on-one, while others work in a group setting. There are also shamans who specialize in specific fields such as addictions, PTSD, soul-retrieval, and energy balance.

In order to get the most out of shamanic healing, the right client must be matched to the right shaman.

Qualities

It is of great importance to note that although someone has the title of “shaman,” this does not automatically make them a patron saint of ethics or a supernatural, God/Goddess-like being. Someone can claim that they are a shaman but that does not always mean they have had proper training or are working in integrity. Below are some positive shamanistic qualities to look out for:

  • They are humble — a real shaman does not walk around as if they are a rock star;
  • They are trustworthy;
  • They do not push personal boundaries;
  • They let you come to them, they will not pursue you to sit in Ceremony with them (it is common in South America for “shamans” to approach tourists on the streets and offer them Ceremony; this, typically, is not coming from a genuine Healer or Medicine person);
  • They accept you as you are, without even the slightest hint of judgment;
  • They possess a playful, peaceful demeanor;
  • They are of pure spirit.

However, it is primarily about whether or not one feels good and comfortable around the shaman.

Qualifications and Training

As there are no formal standards to becoming a shamanic healer, it is important that the shaman can provide positive feedback from her/his other clients. As well, they should be able to tell a genuine story of how they became a shaman and be willing to discuss how they learn from the spirit realm.

For example, if a shaman wishes to do a soul-retrieval, but has no prior history of training or can’t explain how they learned soul-retrieval from the spirit realm, they perhaps have not been fully trained to perform this higher-level task.

Personal Intuition

Above all else, it is advised to listen to your intuition. If something feels off with a shaman, it probably is — listen to that. If in the depth of your being everything feels right, you have found your shaman.

Let the journeying — and most profoundly, the healing — commence.


Below are characteristics of someone who may find it  appropriate to explore shamanic healing:

  • Possesses a strong desire to create more meaningful relationships with oneself, others, nature, and the spirit world;
  • Is ready to move forward beyond old thought patterns, limiting belief systems, and unhealthy habits that no longer serve them;
  • Is ready to dig deep down and willing to seek genuine self-inquiry into order to move into a greater self;
  • Wants to create real, positive, and lasting change within themselves but feels somehow “blocked” and wishes for guidance on how to move forward;
  • If one chooses the plant medicine route, they are willing and able to fully surrender to the experience and trust that they will be guided to exactly where they need to be;
  • Is willing to put forth the effort needed to fully integrate new wisdom and healing;
  • Is patient and willing to take the time that may be needed to heal.

If you believe that shamanic healing may be the answer you’ve been searching for, then you may want to consider experiencing sacred Ceremony in Cusco Peru with our Ceremonial Team.

Shamanic Healing Experience

The Seven Sacred Ceremonies

Ceremonial Immersion for Life Healing in Cusco Peru

 

 
Spiritual Journey to Machu Picchu

Spiritual Journey to Machu Picchu & Aya Vision Ceremony


Natasha Wanderly | Writer

Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying ancient hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Her mission is to connect with many hearts, walk in many shoes, and help people to understand their value. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1.) Be here 2.) Be love.

Please connect with her at www.lucidadventures.com

This article was originally published on the MindValley blog : Shamanic Healing: What Is Shamanism And How Can It Heal You? and was edited and republished with the Author's permission.

More in this series on Shamanic Healing:

The Causes of Depression & Illness | A Shamanic Perspective

The Basics of Ayahuasca | Plant Medicine Ceremony

Shamanic Healing | Methods & Practices

Plant Medicine Can Alleviate Depression, Anxiety, & Addiction

Why People Don't Heal and How They Can

 

 
Chloë Rain is a Spiritual Guide & Visionary. She is the the Founder of Explore Deeply and the Explore Deeply Movement.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and JOY in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and joy in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!

The Basics of Ayahuasca | Plant Medicine Ceremony

Ceremony, Healing, Rituals, ShamanismChloë RainComment
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One must feel called — not pressured — to participate in a plant medicine ceremony. They must be ready to make a change in their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual lives by applying what they have learned during their ceremony, meaning that these plant medicines are to be taken seriously, with great intention, and not dosed recreationally. One must also be ready to completely surrender to the plant and let it take them where they need to go; the plant spirit always knows exactly what one most needs to see, feel, hear, experience, and thus, learn.

Since these plants are so powerful, they are oftentimes looked at by shamanic cultures as Spiritual beings. Many common shamanic plant medicines include, but are certainly not limited to: Ayahuasca, Iboga, San Pedro cactus, psychedelic mushrooms (though not exactly a plant), Salvia, and Peyote cactus.

To give a brief overview and an example of what a plant medicine ceremony is, we will discuss the most currently popular of these plant medicines, Ayahuasca.

Ayahuasca

Unlike any other sacred plant medicine, Ayahuasca is comprised of two separate plants: the chacruna leaf (Psychotria viridis) and the Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi). Alone, neither of these plants produce medicinal nor entheogenic properties. However, when combined, they work together and become a very powerful and sacred medicine.

Both of these plants are found in the Amazon rainforest in South America. Astonishingly, in this particular rainforest, there are over 80,000 cataloged leafy plant species. Yet, somehow, the psychopharmacologists of the Amazon (the shamanic healers) knew exactly which two unsuspecting plant species would create such a magical and psychoactive medicine when combined.

The history of Ayahuasca use dates so far back that anthropologists and researchers have yet been able to trace its origins; however, the shamans claim that the plants, themselves, told them during a Middle World shamanic journey.

The plants are collected from the jungle and brewed into a sacred tea. The tea, when taken ceremonially, throws open the gates to the spirit realm and reveals mystical, non-ordinary worlds that are unperceivable in ordinary consciousness.

Currently, the use of this brew has positively evolved to reach more and more people; now, any interested person can experience the extraordinary healing power of Ayahuasca.

Unfortunately, many Western cultures have yet been able to fully understand the healing and medicinal properties of this unique plant substance. For that, it is illegal in many countries. Yet, it is not only legal but highly praised in it’s birthplace: the Amazonian countries of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Brazil. In these countries, foreigners have the opportunity to partake in an Ayahuasca ceremony with a trained shaman.

It is during these ceremonies that participants are able to face the root causes of their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual illnesses head-on and delve deep into the healing process by allowing the spirit of Ayahuasca to take them on a journey to these realms of non-ordinary consciousness. Within these realms, deep-seeded issues that have long been hidden within one’s subconscious mind are revealed to them.

Mother Ayahuasca, as the plant spirit is often referred to (due to it’s feminine and mother-like qualities), will always teach the participant precisely what they most need to learn in order to fully, truly heal themselves.

An Ayahuasca Ceremony

As specific traditions within Ayahuasca ceremonies will vary from shaman to shaman, these following customs generally remain the same:

Preparation — Ayahuasca diet

Ayahuasca is a total spirit, mind, and body cleanse; for that, a special diet (or dieta, as it is commonly referred to in South America), is required.

Usually, during the first half of a ceremony, there is a fair amount of purging; from either or both ends. This is because Ayahuasca is purifying the physical body of heavy energy before it moves on to mental, emotional, and spiritual body purification.

A great way to lessen, or, in some cases, completely avoid, the purging process is to begin the purification process the week before the ceremony. Specific dietas vary, but usually require one to abstain from sex, drugs, alcohol, pork, coffee, and chocolate. In some cases, dietas even require the absence of salt, meat, spice, and sugar.

If the diet is followed properly, one is sure to reap the benefits soon after the tea is ingested. Plus, it is considered respectful to follow a dieta prior to sitting in Ayahuasca Ceremony.

The Ceremony

Each shaman has their own personal way of setting up the ceremonial area. However, ceremonies are typically held just after sunset in a safe, relaxing, and comfortable environment, most notably within high energy places on the land.

Authentic and safe ceremonies, are small groups of participants, 2 to 7, and one shaman and their apprentices sit with you during a ceremony, all of whom ingest the brew. The shaman creates a very open and safe space by setting up an altar, and playing soothing music. He or she will also clear and protect the energy of the space by filling the room of, and blowing onto the crown of each participant, a form of sacred tobacco called “Mapacho”.

Then, the shaman suggests that each person set an intention for their journey, whether that be to heal past wounds or to learn self-love. The group then prays together and gives thanks to Mother Ayahuasca.

Finally, one by one, each participant drinks the brew and begins to journey. . .

Once the medicine kicks in, the shaman will begin to sing icaros, or healing songs, which help to intensify the medicine and further protect the energy of the room.

The Return

Ayahuasca typically lasts around 5 hours. As everyone in the ceremony begins to return to normal, conscious reality, the shaman will again use Mapacho to clear the energy of the space and ground each individual.

The floor will then be open for sharing and heartfelt communion.

Afterward, each participant can personally discuss their experience with the shaman, who will then help to integrate their experience to this physical reality and provide advice on how to incorporate their newly discovered wisdom into their lives for optimal healing.


Natasha Wanderly | Writer

Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying ancient hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Her mission is to connect with many hearts, walk in many shoes, and help people to understand their value. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1.) Be here 2.) Be love.

Please connect with her at www.lucidadventures.com

This article was originally published on the MindValley blog : Shamanic Healing: What Is Shamanism And How Can It Heal You? and was edited and republished with the Author's permission.


 
Plant Medicine Ceremonies Ayahuasca Retreats

The Seven Sacred Ceremonies

Advanced Plant Medicine Ceremonial Immersions

 
Authentic Ayahuasca Retreat Peru

Aya Vision Ceremony & Spiritual Journey to Machu Picchu

 
Chloë Rain is a Spiritual Guide & Visionary. She is the the Founder of Explore Deeply and the Explore Deeply Movement.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and JOY in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and joy in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!

Shamanic Healing | Methods & Practices

Healing, Shamanism, Shamanic Drum JourneyGuest WriterComment
Shamanic Healing Techniques

Albeit an ancient practice, an increasing number of people are currently turning to shamanic practices to support their well-being. As Healers or Medicine people exist in nearly all cultures, their exact customs vary, but the essence of what they do remains the same. They act as a sort of conduit or an intermediary, by merging with the spirit realm and connecting with helping spirits to channel energies and wisdom in order to aid in healing individuals in the physical plane.

The helping spirits of the healer are able to diagnose the cause (since they are spirit, they can easily see all that is happening on the spiritual level) of an illness, give insight, and then help to facilitate the required treatment for healing. For that, during a shamanic healing ceremony, the shaman may go on a shamanic journey to retrieve this energy and information — journeying in the Spirit realm is at the core of a shamanic healing session. Many shamans may also use energy medicines or energy work in order to integrate the healing offered in the journey, and to locate and release blockages, and increase the body’s ability to heal.

What typically happens in a shamanic healing session?

Please keep in mind that, as this is a cross cultural practice, specific customs vary. Every Healer is unique, but there are a few elements that generally remain the same.

Setting

A typical healing session can take place inside or outdoors, it is of the client’s preference; whichever way, the area must be quiet, safe, and relaxing. A “sacred space” is created. This space is dedicated to opening, releasing, and healing. Effects such as a candle display, incense or palo santo (holy wood) burning, an altar with crystals or special stones, soothing music, and a comfortable place to lie down on are usually included.

Open Conversation with Shaman

The first thing that will happen is an open discussion between the client and the shaman; for this, the shaman will hold a respectable, non-judgmental space. They may discuss the client’s history, and/or how their soul is feeling at the present moment. The shaman will inspire and encourage the client to dig deeper into their story and really open up as they both hunt for truth and healing potential.

These conversations are usually effortless and productive, as the shaman is trained in fostering and nurturing that safe space, and the client is willing to be transparent in order to heal.

Energetic Work

Next, they move into the ceremonial work. At this time, the client can lie on their back, wearing loose and comfortable clothing. The shaman will then assess their various energy centers (usually found along the 7 chakras of the body). At this point, the shaman can sense where unnecessary energy is being stored, where stagnant energy can be released, and where empowering energy can be placed.

The Shamanic Journey

When the energy work is complete, the shaman will then describe to the client what they may experience during the following part of the session: tingling and warming sensations, meditative-like states of consciousness, an emotional release, and/or the energy of the spiritual communion itself.

The shaman is then ready to access non-ordinary reality, and proceeds to induce a trance (theta brainwave state) via rhythmic percussion (generally using a drum and/or rattle).

Then, there are the shamanic journeys…

Within a shamanic journey, the shaman connects with his or her spirit helpers/guides and travels through the 3 different worlds (as mentioned previously) in search of wisdom and healing for the client.

While in this non-physical trance, the shaman may also do either hands-on or hands-off energy work, by channeling energy from the spirit world and moving it throughout the client’s body accordingly.

This portion of the ceremony typically lasts about an hour.

The Return

Once the shaman has returned from their journey, they are again ready to hold space for discussion. Here, they will discuss with the client what was experienced (on both ends), what wisdom and advice was gifted to them from the spirit realm, and what the client can then begin implementing differently in their lives in order to heal.

Integration: an Essential Step

Following a shamanic healing session, many deeply rooted energies have been shifted. Therefore, for the days, weeks, and even months following the session, it is advised that clients take special note of how they are feeling — they can do this by keeping a journal to keep track of progress for future insight and guidance.

The client will normally feel changes and shifts in their energy, and need not fret, for this is all part of the healing process — toxins that have long been stored in one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual body have been released, as well as unhealthy habitual thinking. It is the shaman’s greatest advice to listen to and accept the energetic changes one may feel following a session; any discomfort will pass and new, vibrant, life energy will take its place.

For the following months after a session, the shaman may check in with the client to see how everything is enfolding for them and to offer any comfort and/or additional guidance that may be needed.

 

Healing With Sacred Plants in Ceremony

Although the healing is still done from the very core of one’s being (the spirit), this second healing practice differs quite greatly from a typical healing session as the client goes on a spiritual journey.

With much relaxation and deep meditative techniques, non-ordinary realms can be accessed organically using the same trance-inducing methods as shamans.

However, there is another route one can take to achieve this healing and access these non-ordinary states: plant medicines. The difference is that the plant serves as a conduit into the Spirit realm, and each plant has it’s own unique way of touring these worlds.

In recent years, the curiosity of many people in the Western world about indigenous cultures and their plant medicines have peaked. This recent attention, however, has been accompanied by the misperception of the medicine, the experience provided, and its immense healing properties.

In shamanic culture, these plants, although entheogenic, are not considered a drug; rather, they are considered highly respected and sacred medicines. Shamans believe that these plant medicines are deeply connected to the Spirit, or Source, and can easily show us to these non-ordinary realms where great knowledge can be attained, growth can be accelerated, and true healing can take place.

That being so, these plant medicines are to be ingested and experienced in a ceremonial context, and with a trained shaman. The shaman’s job during one of these ceremonies is to join the client in his or her journey, hold a safe space, guide, protect, and intervene if needed. The Shaman also helps the client to later interpret, understand, and integrate their experience.

One must feel called — not pressured — to participate in a plant medicine ceremony. They must be ready to make a change in their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual lives by applying what they have learned during their ceremony, meaning that these plant medicines are to be taken seriously, with great intention, and not dosed recreationally. One must also be ready to completely surrender to the plant and let it take them where they need to go; the plant spirit always knows exactly what one most needs to see, feel, hear, experience, and thus, learn.

Since these plants are so powerful, they are oftentimes looked at by shamanic cultures as Spiritual beings. Many common shamanic plant medicines include, but are certainly not limited to: Ayahuasca, Iboga, San Pedro cactus, psychedelic mushrooms (though not exactly a plant), Salvia, and Peyote cactus.

Read more about Plant Medicine Ceremony:

The Basics of Ayahuasca | Plant Medicine Ceremony


Natasha Wanderly | Writer

Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying ancient hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Her mission is to connect with many hearts, walk in many shoes, and help people to understand their value. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1.) Be here 2.) Be love.

Please connect with her at www.lucidadventures.com

This article was originally published on the MindValley blog : Shamanic Healing: What Is Shamanism And How Can It Heal You? and was edited and republished with the Author's permission.


Chloë Rain is a Spiritual Guide & Visionary. She is the the Founder of Explore Deeply and the Explore Deeply Movement.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and JOY in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and joy in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!

The Causes of Depression & Illness | A Shamanic Perspective

ShamanismGuest WriterComment
The Causes of Depression | Shamanic Perspective

How Do Shamans Perceive Illness?

With life, there is suffering in the form of illness. We believe that is it microbes, viruses, bacteria, and injuries that cause our physical bodies illness. In the same respect, we believe that it is primarily an imbalance of brain chemistry that causes mental and emotional illness, such as depression, addiction, and so on.

Shamans, on the other hand, perceive these as the effects. They believe that, for true healing, one cannot simply mask and suppress these effects, or symptoms, with medication — they believe that we must address the root cause. The root cause is something far beyond viruses, bacteria, and brain chemistry; the root cause comes from the internal, non-physical realm: the spirit.

The 3 Causes of Illness

From a shamanistic perspective, there are 3 classic causes of mental, emotional, and physical illness:

DISHARMONY (OR LOSS OF POWER)

Disharmony, or the loss of personal power loss, oftentimes occurs when someone has lost an important connection to life, or when life seems to lose it’s meaning. This can happen either subtly or catastrophically; either way, we experience a loss of livelihood and meaning, and experience disempowerment in the process. This loss of will, or life power, strongly and directly affects our energetic matrix, and can cause us to become quite vulnerable to illness.

A common, yet tragic, example of this is when there is an elderly couple who have spent most of their lives together and one of them dies. The survivor oftentimes goes into a life crisis upon the loss and, shortly after, incurs an illness (such as cancer) and dies — that’s disharmony.

FEAR

Fear is the most common cause of illness. Fear is responsible for emotions such as anxiety, stress, anger, jealousy, etc. Scientists and researchers also heavily agree that when these stress-producing hormones are present, they quickly begin to disintegrate the protective mantle of the body’s immune system, as well as it’s overall energetic matrix. Illness, as a result, is inevitable.

Half a century ago, the Renaissance physician, Paracelsus, honorably noted that “the fear of disease is more dangerous than the disease itself.” Shaman’s would surely agree with Paracelsus’ findings.

SOUL LOSS

Soul loss is the most extreme — yet, sadly, still common — cause of illness; in fact, it is the most serious diagnosis and a major cause of severe illness and even premature death.

Soul loss is most often experienced after a traumatic experience takes place, such as fighting in a war (an all-too-common trigger of PTSD), a bitter divorce, or intense bullying. In some cases, these experiences can be so shattering that one’s soul can begin to fragment and dissociate. In the most extreme and overwhelming cases, these soul parts get too far lost and fail to return.

We have heard people say things like, “I have not been the same since the incident,” or “a part of me died that day.” These remarks are red flags for soul loss. As well, the following symptoms are also commonly present:

  • Feeling “not all here,” or fragmented

  • Blocked memory

  • Emotional distance, or complete apathy

  • A lack of joy, motivation, or enthusiasm

  • Addiction

  • Suicidal tendencies

  • Chronic depression and negativity

This all may seem a bit heavy, that’s okay. The point of all this talk about suffering is to enlighten about possible healing methods — not the traditional pill-form “healing” methods that only mask the symptoms, but real healing methods that nurture and mend the root of the problem: the wounded spirit. Learn more about soul loss and soul retrieval → here.

What Is Shamanic Healing?

In the shamanic perspective, true healing — spiritual healing — cannot be done on a physical level. Healing means to return to wholeness, and returning to wholeness is purely an inside job. Spiritual healing addresses the root — the spiritual — problems that cause dis-ease.

It is important to note that shamans believe that despite their great accessibility to the spirit realm, all healing is self-healing. A shamanic healer knows how to move and manipulate the energy of another’s body and can pass wisdom through from the spirit realm, but true healing must take place inside the spirit of the individual.

In other words, a person must be willing and ready to take full responsibility for his or her own healing—  there is no magic pill that lies outside of one’s spiritual body. A shaman can be an outstanding tutor, but will not give all of the answers. It is also important to note that shamanic healing is not to be a substitute for conventional medical or psychological services, but is to instead be worked with adjunct to.


Natasha Wanderly | Writer

Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying ancient hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Her mission is to connect with many hearts, walk in many shoes, and help people to understand their value. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1.) Be here 2.) Be love.

Please connect with her at www.lucidadventures.com

This article was originally published on the MindValley blog : Shamanic Healing: What Is Shamanism And How Can It Heal You? and was edited and republished with the Author's permission.



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