Paul Sivert on Shamanism…
Shamanism is ageless and it provided healing before time and shall do so again in the future, though often times it has been hidden from mainstream society generally because of its earthliness. Shamanism bridges the gap between duality – masculine/feminine; light/dark; positive/negative – with its application of love. Love, in the language of Q’ero, is called munay (love and beauty). As a primal therapy it is quite possibly the most effective energy medicine not completely endorsed by science. Shamanism is metaphysical; it operates outside of linear time and is sustained by intention. Shamanism is the application of energy medicine that is practical and effective in service to the community and provides an ongoing engagement with the ecstatic journey.
All human beings are on a journey to return home. We originated from spirit and we will return to spirit as our soul never dies – it just transforms. Through an ever-changing physical process beginning at conception we develop our multidimensional bodies to adapt as they mature to the environmental circumstances we have selected for our life. However, the mental/emotional aspects of our self develop an ego to help navigate the course of our experience, which unfortunately may lead to misinterpretation and illusion. It is almost impossible for the human mind to always translate correctly what is being presented by the world of stimulation as we are influenced by karma.
The three dimensional world in which we live is filled with assumptions and symbols of our limitation. Generally the people of planet earth have relinquished their ability to expand consciousness and have become dependent on the concept – thought. This has lead to our socialization based on the precept and law, and left us somewhat separated and sometimes devoid of spirit. Every human being is striving in his or her own special way to experience a relationship with spirit.
The first job responsibility of the shaman is to provide service to his or her community by “holding space” which means that the Shaman has developed their spiritual awareness to connect to the available sources of power – such as the spirit of the mountain (an Apu) or the flow of a river – and hold in their consciousness the general positive good for the people, their crops, their animals, etc. Shamans are people of power, though they do not flaunt it. They have battled the shadows of their psyche of their minds and have won a deeper connection with the forces of nature – the sun, the wind, the earth, and the water. They have confronted their own personal wounds and succeeded in their struggle to heal and live free.
The practice of ceremony is the gateway to experience the ever expanding realms of energy. Shamans know energy; they can see it, hear it, and sense it. There are three major paths of engagement with spirit, which are prayer, meditation, and energy work. The shaman’s preface is the engagement of energy. They have developed their ability to journey into other worlds of consciousness and to perform divination practices. Modern shamans have learned to live in the world of precepts, but they are much more adapting to live in the world of percepts. They live by their perceptions and the experience that is provided. Shamans have experienced the subtleties of spirit and are empowered by the energies that spirit provides.
Shamans are bound to a responsibility to serve which means to be healed and heal others. Traditionally they go through their own transformation experience of healing and initiation. A Shaman who practices healing on others is only as good as the healing and the rites of passage they have received. Though some shamans have a birth rite to a tradition, they still must deal with their shadows and create ‘right’ relationship with their personal ego. The shaman learns how to be a channel and a conduit between the energies of spirit and this world that we are visiting.
Shamans hold that the human experience is sacred, just like all life, and knows that the perils of human misery and suffering will lead to transformation. Healing is the vehicle the shaman utilizes to create transformation. The application of energy is the catalyst to this creation. Unfortunately the modern shaman may have less knowledge about the application of energy than our ancestors. However, the knowledge is not lost; it just needs to be re-remembered. Shamans are participating in this re-remembering process all over the world.
Shamans are therapeutic facilitators of healing to others. They have a personal mission to help others heal and they know how to do it. Shamans know that consciousness is hierarchical and ever expanding. They also know from personal experience the common denominator to the Kawsay pacha, the world of living energy, is unconditional love (munay). They greatest gift a shaman can give to another is the experience of munay. Munay, or unconditional love, allows people to engage that which is ecstatic.
Again, shamanism facilitates a bridge between the unseen world of spirit and what we perceive to be reality in this world. Shamanism provides a support for the transformational experience that all life is engaged in, especially humans. When a human being experiences ecstasy, too often the feelings and judgment attached to the experience are foreign, uncomfortable, and maybe unnatural. The opposite realization is more appropriate, blissful, joyful, and natural.
Many people from many traditions have prophesied, “now is a time of a new age”. The transition to the embodiment of a new truth for the new human species can be stressful, as our ego can resist change. However, the glimpses of ecstasy we experience in our personal and collective spirit journey are authentic expressions of munay. Shamans serve the people in the claiming of their birth rite to heal, to grow, and to experience the ecstasy of their soul in communion with spirit.