This is an ongoing US and global project to help enthusiasts, scholars, practitioners, and curious parties learn more about shamanic living in a contemporary culture. The space here is devoted to sharing info, experiences and opinions about all forms of shamanic expression covering shamanism's multiple permutations. Among subjects explored are traditions, techniques, insights, definitions, events, artists, authors, and creativity. You are invited to draw from your own experiences and contribute.

What is a SHAMAN?

MAYAN: "a technichian of the Holy, a lover of the Sacred." CELTIC: "Empower the people...by changing the way we think." MEXICAN APACHE: "Someone who has simply learned to give freely of themselves..." AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL: "...a teacher or healer, a wisdom keeper of knowledge... (who) takes people to a door and encourages them to enter." W. AFRICAN DIAGRA: "views every event in life within a spiritual context." HAWAIIAN: "...human bridges to the spiritual world and its laws and the material world and its trials..." QUECHUA INDIAN: "embodies all experience." AMAZON: "...willing to engage the forces of the Universe...in a beneficial end for self, people, and for life in general."

-- from Travelers, Magicians and Shamans (Danny Paradise)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Shift Happens!

While going through the process of shamanic initiation, we apprentices have done a good deal of work with journeys, soul retrievals and hands-on healings. We act as both the shaman and the recipient. I find that this is a very powerful learning tool, not only to develop and practice our own shamanic skills but also in experiencing what it is like for someone who is going through the process of healing and transformation.

I’ve noticed that after every workshop, or after I’ve had powerful transformational work done on me, I’ve been experiencing some negative side-effects. I feel, to some degree, there is a retrograde effect. There is a very strong need for “down-time” and recuperation in the week that follows. On a few occasions, I’ve also been physically ill as it feels like I was working something out of my system to accommodate the shift in energy that was about to occur. I physically and emotionally reach a very low point. I throw myself back into my Muggle world, repress any shamanic inklings, and sleep as much as the demands on my Ordinary Reality will allow. And then just when it feels like all the work and healing that were done were for naught, a shift occurs, and I pull out of it. I find I have the energy and zeal to do dive into the shamanic realm, connect with Spirit, and get my work done. Transformation comes not only through having a healing done on you, but in holding up your end of your contract with Spirit to do the work.

Much of the work we are doing in our shamanic apprenticeship is to help us establish find our purpose and greater Life’s Work. I often feel at our group gatherings, and in time as I’ve grown in this process, I have a better sense of what my purpose is. After receiving so many healings to aide me in that transformation, I find there are definite side-effects and a need for my body and life to catch up to the changes occurring. Once the shift begins to occur, the upswing is as swift, and I find that my sense of purpose is not only something realized, it is also felt.

At our last gathering at the beach, after checking in with some of my fellow apprentices, it occurred to me that we are all having very similar experiences, shamanically as well as in our personal lives. So I’d love to know if anyone else in the tribe or anyone in the community at large has experienced the side-effects of performing and receiving shamanic work.


fearless.woman said...

I agree, I definitely need to consciously integrate after a weekend or fter working with Robin or tribe members. It is more than the "re-entry" issue of arriving in the mundane world after spending time in awareness of the greater possibilities, there seems to be a need to accomodate the physical-spiritual shift that is taking place. It seems that you are dealing with it through awareness and honoring your need to accomodate change and growth.

I have also realized that there is more than re-entry and "Monday Morning blues" involved, and as much as possible, am trying to honor my body and spirit's needs. In a way it is like a cleanse. You need to honor the body's mode of processing- if not, who knws what will happen where?

In my case, ordinary reality is complicated by the fact that I increasingly dislike my job, and yes, there is a message from Spirit and I am listening. It appears that my job frustrations rise with the shifts that I am making, and that compromises, loke cutting back, which can't happen anyway due to a crop failure are no longer cutting it.

I'm beginning to feel cleaned, purged, and cooked. I am also aware that change is happening, and that whatever occur is worth it.

walksinsacredspace said...

I know and feel greater shifts in myself after our weekends together. My consciousness is expanded, perspectives widen and deepen while my body craved additional sleep for the first few days. I felt a deep stillness upon returning from our beach weekend.

I know I'm still processing, being interiorally altered, and loosely holding the awarness of reality and non-ordinary reality at the same time. May I approach formlessnesss and Spirit be the container.

She.Who.Remembers said...

I can completely relate. I usually find that I need time to integrate after our weekends away. I went into depression upon my return from the beach and got a case of bronchitis that I am still dealing with. Things were very intense when I got back and alot of conflict arose at work. I had a hard time reintegrating myself into my usual surroundings.

Being at the beach was like being in a different time and space. I felt a freedom within that I have not felt in a very long time. It is as though I was holding my breath for years and not realizing it. Something in me realized that there is something else and I could not ignore it's presence. Walking out of that experience and back into my ordinary life was not easy. I hope that worlds seeps into this one. It is very much needed.

Walks In Two Worlds said...

Hi all...good discussion! Yes, this is normal. Often, I have to integrate after powerful work. There is a lot that goes on that we don't "see" so it is hard for our thinking minds to think anything happened. Yet we feel it. Give yourself the time that you need...it is good to not always be go, go, go. The muggle world demands are real, as well, so it is important to know what revives us. For me, I've started my summer reading of fiction! Hugs, Robin