What is Shamanism?
The term “shaman” which is now widely used, originated in Siberia and means “walker between worlds” or “one who sees in the dark”. A shaman essentially mediates between this and the spirit world on behalf of others for healing, guidance, and information (not unlike priests or ministers, but without doctrine). Shamans have been responsible for a host of practical matters as the counselors, ministers, doctors, peace makers, dream tenders, prophets, storytellers, seers, and earth keepers.
It’s important to note that shamanism isn’t a religion. Michael Harner (Founder of Foundation of Shamanic Studies) said that he once taught a convent of nuns how to journey. The U.S. is a country of immigrants who were not so far removed from the roots of the shamanic practices from the region they came from, including Europe and the United Kingdom. Each culture has its unique ceremonies, rituals, stories and practices that have evolved in relationship to the land, nature, and the cosmos. And, as varied as each shamanic culture may be, anthropologist and those who have worked with shamans in different parts of the world have found that they have in common universal core practices. Michael Harner, Ph.D. refers to this as “core-shamanism”.
Today, shamans still continue to be a primary source of healing and assistance in many parts of the world. There is also a vital re-emergence of shamanism in the western world, as we wake up the memory in our DNA of our ancestral indigenous ways. Shamanism has much to offer our world at this time as we’ve created a world out of balance. As we heal, restoring balance and harmony within, we also effect healing and harmony without. Like the Butterfly Effect, where the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Japan can effect the weather in Texas, so can the power of one person effect the whole. As we heal ourselves, we also contribute to healing the Web of Life, that which connects and influences everyone and everything.
A shamanic practitioner is trained to recognize that all illnesses have a spiritual component and that everything is connected–the spiritual, emotional, physical and mental. Therefore, if one of these systems is out of balance the disharmony can be felt within the entire energetic field or web. The goal of a healing is to create balance within this web and create harmony where the spirit is suffering. A shamanic practitioner is trained to step into the unseen world and locate the cause of the disconnection from Spirit. – The Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange.
What does a healing session look like?
In a shamanic healing session, Sonia will work with the client through journeying and guided meditation to release old patterns and pain that keeps them stuck, and to re-balance body, mind, and spirit. This deep work requires the client’s active participation and sincere desire to release these old patterns and wounds and to move forward.
Spiritual or “psychic” intrusions are energies that become lodged in our field. They may be experienced physically as illness, pain or physical discomfort or emotionally as anger or fear. A shamanic practitioner is able to identify intrusions and safely remove and transmute the misplaced or negative energy with a process called Extraction.
Symptoms of spiritual intrusion include: localized pain or discomfort, illness, fear, anger.
Soul retrieval restores vital essence, or soul parts, that left as a natural coping mechanism to shock and trauma like accidents, surgery, loss of a loved one, divorce, drug or alcohol abuse, changing schools, or even a simple bump on the head. When we suffer loss, experience a traumatic event, shock, or fright, we can have soul loss. In Latin America illness from fright is called Susto.
Soul loss can also result from soul theft. This can be experienced in cases like abuse, issues of power over another, jealousy or envy, for example.
Soul retrieval, restoring the vital essence that was lost, imparts greater integrity and wholeness to one’s being. With this comes the ability to experience more energy, create more joy, greater meaning, and harmony in one’s life. People report improved emotional, physical or mental wellbeing; resolution of old patterns , self-empowerment and greater ability to move on from painful situations.
Symptoms of soul loss include:
- Unresolved grief
- Problems in relationships
- Not feeling like yourself
- Feeling empty or disconnected