This blog does not represent the views, beliefs, traditions, etc. of all Pagans. This blog does not claim to be 100% correct, nor does it claim to have every answer. This blog represents the personal views, beliefs, and morals of one Pagan. This blog represents the belief system and spiritual journey of one Pagan. The blogger in charge of this blog is not looking for followers or others with the same outlook on life. The blogger believes that every individual is exactly that, an "individual;" with individual beliefs, individual paths, and individual outlooks on life. The blogger stresses how important it is for people to discover their own spiritual paths, their own system of beliefs, and their own morals.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Shamanism - A Stepping Stone In The Journey Of Spiritual Realization

As a child, I had always told my parents that I could see "angels." Whether we were at a funeral, cemetery, hospital, or at the grocery store, I could see what I, as a young child, could only describe as "angels." These ghostly, mist-like forms, ranged from full figures to hovering orbs, and many times they would distract me from whatever task was at my hand. Being a young, naive little Christian girl, I simply summed them up to be little "angels" floating around and watching me.

Having had a grandfather who spent a good six months to a year in a local hospital, until his quiet passing, I was surrounded by death and misery for quite some time. After his passing, my family members and I sorrowfully left the hospital. As we were crossing the main lobby, I looked up at the glass ceiling, to see a hawk sitting on the corner of the building. Perhaps it was a gut feeling, or the flash of its head when it turned to look at me, but I could sense, and almost see my grandfather's spirit, with that hawk; in that hawk. "Look!" I pointed to the bird, showing my family members, and we all watched in awe as is quickly thrust itself skyward, its wings pounding the air as it quickly flew out of our sight.

Does this mean I believe in reincarnation? Not necessarily. In fact, I believe in a bit of both afterlife and reincarnation. I believe the soul gets its afterlife, but the body is reincarnated into the circle of life. My belief of reincarnation heavily comes from the science of physical decomposition and the popular phrase "ashes to ashes, dust to dust." Our bodies were - in my opinion - through evolution, created from the earth, and we decompose back to it. From our decomposed bodies, new life is enriched, allowing grass, trees, and other plants to grow. That's the circle of life. Where one door closes another opens.

As for afterlife, well, I've never been there, so I can't really tell you what it is like.

So what of this hawk and all these "angels?" It is clear that my third eye was very open and active as I was a child. For some odd reason however, perhaps relating to some personal traumatic experiences, that eye closed sometime around high school. Subconsciously, I closed my door to the spiritual world.

Until recently, I had never thought too much about reopening that door. In fact, it would have never crossed my mind until my child started pointing at every crucifix and telling me "mommy, angels." It was weird. I had never talked to my child about angels or crucifixes, or anything of that nature. Yes, my child goes to church every once in a while when the two of us are dragged to it, but our priest has never talked about angels in his sermon. I asked my parents if they had mentioned anything about angels and crucifixes around my child, and both shook their heads no. I summed it up to a fluky thing until my child did it again...and again. Once is an accident, twice a fluke, three times and it's serious. I thought maybe my child learned it at daycare, but none of the daycare workers are very religious, and if they are, they keep it to themselves. So why had my child pointed at every crucifix and told me "angels, mommy, angels?" Is it possible he has an active third eye like I once did? I know children are more sensitive to spirits and unexplained phenomenons.

Needless to say, it got my mind remembering the "angels" I used to see. I finally made the decision that I wanted to reopen my third eye, and the door to the spiritual world. Have I made many steps toward this? No, not really. I have a ouija board, which due to proper instruction has sat untouched and unused under my bed. I have increased my attempts to meditate - I say attempts, because I haven't been very successful, but that's another story entirely - but that's all I've really done.

I think part of the struggle has been identification. I know, I'm big on identification. I'm still struggling with the identification of my deities, let alone identifying myself as a connection to the spirit world. It was a door I never foresaw reopening, so I kind of surprised myself and brought it up last minute, so to say. So what the hell am I trying to be? A psychic? No...psychics always seemed to phony, like simple "is this your card" kind of thing. A medium? I get a medium is the middle ground - the middle man - between death and life. But I'm not just about dead spirits. There are spirits in everything, both living and non-living.

No long ago, while listening to the band Omnia, - which is an awesome band and if you are into New Age music you should check them out - it finally clicked in my head. Shamanism.

When it comes to spirits, Coleen Deatsman explains it perfectly in her book "The Hollow Bone: A Field Guide To Shamanism:"

"Shamans know that the helping spirits speak to them continually, not just when the shamans are within non ordinary reality, but also in everyday life. Spirits communicate in many different ways, so shamans pay attention, watching and listening for signs from animals and nature, as well as significant happenings in their day and interactions with others."

So what do shamans do with spirits? Coleen explains:

"When shamans connect with their helping spirits, they tune in to and draw into themselves the high-vibrational energy of those spirits and the web. Shamans know that the more often they enter non ordinary realities of higher-vibrational energies, the greater their capacity to operate at a higher-vibrational, or more spirit like, level becomes. And increasing their capacity to work at this level, in turn, enables shamans to literally travel the spirit worlds and garner more and more spiritual energy and power to utilize in service to the people. Shamans also know that connecting with helping spirits and the web helps them remain energized and healthy."

What do shamans believe spirits are?

"To shamans, helping spirits are not only teachers and guides; they are allies, friends, soul-brothers, soul-sisters, soul-mates, and soul-family members. They are cherished companions. Often, shamans spend as much or more time with these partners as they do with their ordinary-world friends and families. More than a valued friendship, the connection with helping spirits is part and parcel of who the shaman is. 

But what many don't realize is that shamanism is more than just a connection with spirits. "Shamanism is a path of direct revelation that is not subject to definition, censorship, or judgment by others [...]. Additionally, shamanism is personal, idiosyncratic, cross-cultural, and not owned by any person or peoples. The earth is shared by all people, yet individuals experience the earth in their own ways. Similarly, shamanism is shared by people around the world, yet each person experiences shamanism in his or her own way."

Furthermore, "shamanism is not a religion, nor does it have a doctrine, dogma, holy book, or set of rules to adhere to. Shamanism embodies the most widespread and time-tested practical system of spirituality and mind-body-soul healing known to humankind. It encompasses a timeless wisdom of indigenous cultures shared around the globe and passed down through tens of thousands of years to us, the recipient descendants.

Shamanism Facts:

  • Shamanism has been around for well over 50,000 years, since before people were even people
  • in 1972, French archeologists unearthed a 50,000 year old Neanderthal burial site, containing a man wearing a leopard hide, with claws still intact, but without leopard bones
  • A rock containing sandstone carvings clearly depicts over 2,000 years of life activity in Fremont, Anasazi, Navajo and Anglo cultures, found in Canyonlands National Park in Utah. 
  • Shamans gather information and energy through extrasensory perception (ESP), through visual images, feelings, insights, flashes, direct knowledge, telepathic messages, gut feelings, sensations, and direct experiences 
  • Modern quantum physics proves that many worlds, dimensions, and realms overlap and interact with one another
  • Animism is the belief that all things are souls created from, filled with, and sustained by life-force energy
  • Bare awareness is the place within each person where the mind falls silent, and inner knowing is all that exists

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