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Shamanic Journey Workshop

Awaken to Shamanic Journeys

Shamanism teaches us that the world of the seen and the unseen are one. Through Shamanic journeying we can access information and healing for our betterment and that of others and our planet. Shamanic journeying opens a sacred space within which invites ‘Spirit’ to help us remember our Souls journey.

This one day beginners experiential workshop teaches you the basic skills of Shamanic journeying where you will re-awaken ancient skills to access the wisdom and support that lies within. You will be guided by the experience of direct revelation with Spirit and journey into the lower, middle and upper realms to meet your power animals, spirit teachers and helping allies who aid you on your life’s path.

What to bring: A pen and notebook/journal, some type of eye-cover eg. scarf, bandana etc., something of personal significance to you if you want to add it to the altar, eg. special crystal, photo, bird feather, flower essence etc., a rattle or drum if you have one, pillow, light blanket or cover for comfort (optional), a bottle of water (saves spills) and vegetarian lunch to share.

Enquiries: Sheryl Gottschall 0431 856 556 Email: info@bodylight.com.au


 


 

 
SHAMANISM

SHAMANISM - AWAKENING TO THE SPIRIT WORLD

Shamanism is an ancient and powerful spiritual practice that can help us thrive during challenging and changing times. In our modern-day technological world we’ve been led to believe that what we see, touch, hear, smell and taste with our ordinary senses connects us only to the world that is visible around us. Conversely, shamanism teaches that there are doorways into other realms of reality where helping spirits reside who can share guidance, insight and healing, not just for ourselves but also for the world in which we live.” – Sandra Ingerman

The practice of shamanism is not easily defined. It is many things to many people. Shamans can enter realities greater than the one in which we ordinarily exist. Here they access knowledge with the aid of their helping allies eg. power animals, spirit teachers and angels, and work with these guides for healing individuals as well as planetary healing. They also help people who have died pass on to another place. They release unwanted spirits from the earth plane who have become annoying to the living, heal the sick, receive messages from the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, and even control the weather.

The world of the shaman does not follow the laws of physics or time, quite the opposite. Shamans have an understanding that everything has a spirit and we are all connected to each other by the web of life. At the heart of Shamanism is the experience of ‘direct revelation’ with Spirit. No intermediaries, just a clear connection which is accessed through the practice of shamanic ‘journeying’.

Journeying is performed in an altered state of consciousness and during this state the shaman can access knowledge to heal, see the future, and problem solve whether it be for an individual, community or the planet. They are guided by this direct revelation (communication) from Spirit in their actions and behaviour.

There are many different ways an individual is initiated into becoming a shaman. This can occur through severe illness, near death experience, emotional crisis, genetic heritage, a visit from a powerful spirit-being or be called by a voice from ‘nowhere’. Through their experience they are ‘symbolically’ removed from their ‘tribe’ (family/community) to undergo an isolating experience, then to be dismantled (experiences the death of ego) and reborn/rebuild their true identity. They ‘return’ from their experience to their tribe , when they overcome the experience or are healed by it, and begin to teach what they have learned about a ‘greater reality’. They often return with healing abilities or clairvoyance and possibly because of this they are never fully reintegrated into their tribe but remain living on the ‘edge’ of the life they once knew. In other words they remain are in the world, but are no longer of it.  

Although there is a classic image of indigenous shamans as medicine women/men well versed in these ancient practices, in the modern western world there also exist shamans who are unwittingly initiated into shamanism through these experiences too. However, generally westerners don’t recognise these experiences for what they are and are often confused or traumatised by them rather than understanding what is happening to them and how this will change their role in society.

Most westerners have no context for these experiences and can find themselves confused or alienated by their experiences , feeling like the black sheep. All that is needed is some understanding that these experiences lead certain individuals down a path that many have walked before and will continue to walk in the future.

What happens in a Shamanic Journey workshop?

During a workshop you will be taught the practice of journeying which is entered into via an altered state of consciousness induced by drumming or rattling. You will be led to make a connection with your spirit helpers who will from that point on teach and advise you. These helping spirits support our growth and progress through our life stages and transitions with grace and power. We are unique individuals so each journey is unique and relevant to us. After you have a journey and if you so choose, you can then share your journey with the group.

Your very first journey will be to meet your power animal(s) who exist in the underworld. Contrary to western ideas, the underworld is not that known by Judeo-Christians as hell, full of fire and damnation. In shamanism it is a magical place that looks more or less like ordinary reality. This is where you’ll go to connect with your power animal, to consult and spend time getting to know them.

The Upper world is where you’ll go to meet your spirit teacher(s), and the middle world is where you can travel across time and space to specific locations. Your journey work will be conducted while lying on the floor with your eyes covered to the sound of drumming or rattling. You will at no time be pressured to talk about your experiences while journeying, but it is helpful to your own understanding to hear other peoples’ experiences.

A Return To Shamanism For our Western Culture

There is no doubt that the place of the animals and the spirit of the land is missing in our western perception and understanding. Consequently western progress has made huge technological advances but at a great price to our future generations. The planet and the web of life has been stressed by this western ‘progress’ but the planet has its own ways to deal with stress just as those who inhabit it.

I consider that humans are now living in a melting pot of climate, planetary, social and cultural change, in a hothouse of conditions if you like. But what happens when you put a living entity in a hot house? It doesn’t die, it actually speeds growth and the magnified creative energy produces a prolific amount of blooms and shoots.

So too with our western culture which is now producing children far in advance of our own understanding at the same age, highly creative individuals who are pouring out innovative solutions to current planetary challenges, and fantastic artists whose music and voices touch us like angel wings. This creative hotpot has been steadily brewing for decades and while we may perceive no positive changes occurring on the surface of our society, over the years the planet has been throwing off ‘new seeds’ to scatter over the earth and plant themselves for the future which is now here. Soon there will be a larger emergence of this creative outpouring, as times change and conditions come into play, This is the nature of creative energy, and no one can hold it back. It is the cycle of life that is forever in a state of flux.


Merlin’s Prophecy

Historian and master of Celtic shamanism, Tom Cowan, asks us to draw upon the archetypal figure of the wise old shaman Merlin, the mythic advisor and mentor to Arthur Pendragon, the legendary sixth-century king of the Britons:

“With the approach of the end of his days on earth, Merlin gave all of us who would follow a prophetic vision, one that ends with a startling scenario: Root and branch shall change places, and the newness of the thing shall be thought a miracle.

Of course there are many ways to interpret old prophecies, but I like to think that this particular image of the tree being inverted is profound in encouraging us to view the transformational changes that are occurring in a positive light. Perhaps this tree is the great archetypal World Tree that connects the many worlds, and now after many centuries, the roots from which we sprang will be fully seen and honoured as branches. And the branches that were formerly upper parts of the tree-responsive to the winds and rains of the past ages-will become the new roots and be revitalized in the fertile soil of the Earth, and in so doing revitalize the Earth itself

We who practice shamanism spend time in the juice and sap of the World Tree, exploring the Upper, Middle, and Lower Worlds of existence. If anyone should be prepared for this transformation, it is us. In that way we are the seed people who will shape spiritual practices for the future. We will bring "root wisdom" into the light for coming generations, and we will plant the "branch wisdom" of earlier ages into the soil for renewal.

In addition, we are experienced in seeing things from other perspectives, such as upside-down. In faery traditions, there is an image of the inverted tree whose roots become the branches of the underworld beneath the surface of the earth. 'This image reminds us how we on the surface of the visible earth share energies and life forces with the spirit-folk who live in the invisible places within the earth, in the hollow hills and springs, and behind the waterfalls.

 In ordinary terms, shamans are bridges who have relationships with the spirit worlds and who can be both branches and roots to carry the life force back and forth between the ordinary and non-ordinary realities.”


Related links

Near Death and UFO Encounters as Shamanic Initiations. Some Conceptual and Evolutionary Implications by Dr. Kenneth Ring http://www.near-death.com/experiences/articles011.html

Sandra Ingerman website http://www.sandraingerman.com/
Sandra Ingerman, MA, is the author of eight books including Soul Retrieval, Medicine for the Earth, Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide, How to Heal Toxic Thoughts, How to Thrive in Changing Times, and Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation. 

Shamanic Journeys and UFO Encounters: A Consideration of Two Avenues to an Expanded Reality by Sue Jamieson and John E. Mack  http://www.transcendencies.com/2010/10/shamanic-journeys-and-ufo-encounters/

Exceptional Human Experience Network http://www.ehe.org

The Omega Project Near-Death Experiences, UFO Encounters, and Mind at Large by Dr Ken Ring http://www.near-death.com/experiences/experts04.html

Supernatural Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind by Graham Hancock
http://www.grahamhancock.com/library/book.php?bookID=91

Sacred Encounters Spiritual Awakenings During Close Encounters by Janet Elizabeth Colli, PhD.
http://becolli.home.mindspring.com/book.html