What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is NOT a religion; Shamanism is a spiritual practice.
What is a Shaman?
The word “shaman” comes from the Tungus tribe in Siberia, and refers to a spiritual healer or "one who sees in the dark." A shaman uses the ability to see “with the strong eye” or “with the heart” to travel accross time and space to mysterious, hidden realms. The shaman interacts directly with helping spirits to address the spiritual aspect of illness and perform spiritual healings, such as finding and restoring lost parts of one's soul, retrieving lost power, and removing spiritual blockages. The shaman also may divine information for specific individuals or for the larger community.
What is a Shamanic Journey or Journeywork?
One of the major ceremonies a shaman performs is called a shamanic journey. The shaman goes into an altered state of consciousness -- much like self hypnosis -- and travels outside of time into the hidden realms that many term non-ordinary. Non-ordinary reality is a parallel universe to our day-to-day reality. Australian aborigines refer to these hidden realms as the Dreamtime. It is also referred to as the Other World in Celtic traditions.
In these hidden realities there are helping spirits, compassionate beings who offer guidance and healing on behalf of all life on earth. Each shaman works with a specific group of spirit teachers who helps the shaman during the journey, leading and protecting him or her as they travel through hidden realms. Typically shamans use some form of percussion, especially drumming or rattling, to go into an altered state that allows the free soul of the shaman to journey into the invisible worlds.
What tools does a Shaman use?
The central tool of the Shaman is the drum. The Shaman's drum is connected to his or her spirit, and is typically the primary tool used by the Shaman to travel across time and space to other realms. Most Shamans do not like their drums to be touched or handled by others; some ancient practices purport that when another touches a Shaman's drum, the Shaman will die soon after. Many Shamans, including Tess, prefer to make their own tools so that the bond between them is strong; during the creation process, the Shaman's intention and healing energy becomes part of the tool. It is for this reason that Shamans would prefer that no one else other than him- or herself touch their tools used in healing; when you touch a Shaman's tool, you are mixing your energy with the Shaman's, which can cloud or derail the healing process for a client.
What do you mean by Spirit Teacher?
A Spirit Teacher is an ancient spirit that connects with the Shaman in the other worlds for the purpose of helping him or her administer healing and to protect themthe Shaman from harm during the healing process. It is very important that the Shaman never work alone when working on a client; the Spirit Teacher is always present for guidance and protection. A Spirit Teacher may be in human or animal form, and is a trusted teacher and guide for the Shaman during his/her time on the earthly plane.
What is a Spirit Council?
A Spirit Council is the gathering of a Shaman's Spirit Teachers, Spirit Animals, and Spiritual Guides. On occasion, a Karmic Master will join the Council. The Karmic Master is there to ensure that the client's healing session does not interfere with his or her Karmic Destiny. The Council members and the Karmic Master will then work together to come up with a healing strategy that will help prepare the client for his or her Karmic destiny.
What does a Shamanic Practitioner do?
A Shamanic Practitioner works with Spirit Teachers to help clients heal on a spiritual level, which promotes healing in the emotional and physical bodies. In the words of Sandra Ingerman, award-winning writer and internationally-known teacher of shamanism: