The Shamanic Drum Calls To Us From Within!
Shamanism is both a healing tradition and a way of life that is linked directly to nature and spirit. It originates from First Nation people the world over who live more in touch with the Earth, and believe a higher power to be present in every living, breathing thing within all of creation.
Within indigenous people, be it in the Amazon jungle, plains of North America or tundra of Scandinavia, shaman exist in very similar ways as if there was once just one tribe of people alive upon the planet. Elders of the various communities become aware that certain individuals carry with them all the properties needed to be a shaman, the hollow bone, within childhood. As these infants then grow up they begin to become a pure channel for spirit through various rites of passage and initiation ceremonies they undertake.
Then as a fully fledged shaman they are capable, in altered states of consciousness, to relay spiritual messages to the society as a whole or a particular individual when required. They are able to connect with the spiritual realm and perform healing at a personal or communal level, whatever is needed in the journey towards wholeness. For these highly respected members of the clan, medicine men or women, their entire life is dedicated to this one calling for the benefit of all.
In Shamanism however it is also believed that every one of us has this ability to connect with spirit to some degree or capacity, if we are only able to re-establish a similar link to the divine for ourselves. When we tap into this direct guidance from a higher power it can enable us to become our own shaman in our own right.
Trainings can be undertaken from the original shamans themselves or people that have connected with this authentic lineage, often for many years. If one wishes to pursue a personal development path in this way there are any number of teachers that are all capable of guiding us back to where we naturally belong.
It is with respect to the native people, and this way of living, that within Western culture shamanic practitioners and healers exist rather than shaman. This is because a culture immersed in nature where direct spiritual connection is ingrained within society is not in evidence within modern day living. We are only just beginning to reawaken to this possibility, rediscovering our lost world along the way.
In traditional society, where a shaman exists, it is understood that some sort of exchange needs to take place for the shaman to do his or her work, there is a value in it. A gift of food, clothing or livestock has been traditionally given without any need for monetary exchange, mainly due to the cost of living being fairly low in tribal culture and native people belonging to the land rather than owning it.
However, for the modern day Western shamanic practitioner circumstances are very different, especially if trying to operate solely in this one capacity within society and not supplementing it with another career, a monetary exchange soon becomes applicable. Every shamanic practitioner in touch with spirit will no doubt have wrestled with how much to charge for what is deemed to be spiritual work. That's if they are acting with any degree of integrity and not unscrupulously, wishing to charge a fair fee where one can reasonably exist, have their needs met and follow their calling without being exploitative in any way.
Again, it comes down to a question of value, both for the practitioner and the client alike to value themselves highly enough in order to undertake the work in a fair exchange. It is necessary for the client to operate their own degree of discernment in deciding whether this practitioner or any other is the right one for them given the package that they are being offered and the individual they are being invited to invest in. Handled correctly however, it should be a spiritually enriching experience for all concerned.
When encountering a shamanic practitioner or healer the journey you are likely to undertake with that individual is less about the human being that you come into contact with and more about how spirit wants to relay its messages to you through them. If the person feels right to you, trust that you have been drawn together for the right reasons and the energies at work will be channeled to you in the right way.
Shamanism has no dogma attached to it and every shamanic practitioner or healer is likely to work with spirit in a slightly different way depending on how they connect to the spiritual realm themselves. They maybe drawn to working in nature, interpreting signs the flora and fauna wants to give them, or within dreams and the subconscious gaining direct messages from spirit guides and power animals. In both instances the practitioner is able to use metaphor in interpreting any visions encountered or given through spirit.
The shamanic practitioner will use various tools to assist him or her with that spirit contact, drums, rattles, feathers, herbs, smoke, holy water or even flower essences could be used. The shamanic practitioner will be guided to use whatever is required to create a sacred space to do the necessary work so the healing can be carried out with the upmost integrity. In this way the practitioner can uphold the traditions as much as possible, where Shamanism can continue to evolve in the way spirit would like for the greater good.
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