February 2011
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Warrior Priestess
Shamanism


Background

My introduction to shamanism began while reading Carlos Casteneda as a teenager. Captivated by his writing, I at last had a framework from which to explain experiences I had from an early age.

Often while playing in the woods as a child, I'd suddenly feel a shift in my perception and the look and feel of my surroundings would alter completely. I would be in this state for several minutes before awakening back into ordinary reality. Reading Casteneda gave me the language to explain these experiences.

Later, while studying metaphysics at the Healing Light Center, I learned about the techniques used by the indigenous peoples of North America. I also took a workshop with Michael Harner that further deepened my experience with shamanism.

I began using journeying and soul retrieval in my healing sessions. And, I even got the chance to take a workshop with Casteneda himself shortly before he left this earth plane.

I was then guided to study the Tibetan Bön tradition which is shamanic at its core. And, here I am, years later, still on a journey to discover a more meaningful reality.


Tibetan Bön Tradition

Tibetan Letter "A"

Learn more about the Tibetan Bön culture and teachings at The Ligmincha Institute.





Indian Conjurer

"Indian conjuror" engraving by G. Veen after a watercolor by John White. Printed in 1590. White and others distinguish between Native priests and conjurors. The latter seem to be more associated with trances.

Public domain source image


Definition

The word "shaman" refers to a person who jouneys to non-ordinary worlds or realities in an altered state of consciousness.

In his book, "Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy," Mircea Eliade concludes that

Shamanism underlays all the other spiritual traditions on the planet, and that the most distinctive feature of shamanism - but by no means the only one - was the journey to other worlds in an altered state of consciousness.

Shamanism is not a belief system. Its a system of knowledge that's based on personal experience. The shaman journeys to get information (healing, spiritual, etc.) for their tribe.

Source:

"Shamanic Healing: We Are Not Alone" An Interview of Michael Harner by Bonnie Horrigan, 1997.  Available here.


Gundestrup Cauldron Celtic Shaman

Gundestrup Cauldron Celtic Shaman Nature God
Surrounded by Animals

Source:

Public Domain Image taken from here.


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