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Shamanism
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Shaman
(especially among certain tribal peoples) a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces, etc. Origin of shaman Expand.


10 Signs You’re a Shaman
1. You sense that you’re meant to participate in the global shift in consciousness that is currently underway.

We can all feel it, this impending shift that New Agers have talked about for decades. But those with the shamanic archetype don’t just feel it, they feel it pulling them, like a magnet, towards leadership positions that help facilitate this transformation of human consciousness and evolution of the species.

2. You’ve been through a difficult initiation, which has prepared you for this leadership role.

In indigenous cultures, the village knew who the shaman was because he or she was struck by lightning and survived. In modern culture, you may not literally be struck by lightning, but you may have survived some other life or heart-threatening ordeal. You may have experienced childhood abuse, sexual violence, a near-death experience, or some other trauma that put you through the crucible and forged you into the healing earth shaman you are becoming.

3. You are an introvert.

Shamans are multi-dimensional beings who dance between the realms of the seen and unseen worlds, so if you’re of the shamanic archetype, you may have a hard time navigating the 3D realms of this dimension, which may cause you to withdraw into yourself so you can visit the realms of consciousness where you feel most at home.

4. You feel most at home in nature.

The shamans of a culture are the bridges between nature and humans, serving as translators between the mountains, oceans, rivers, animals, and people. You may sense that nature is talking to you or that you get your most tuned in downloads when you are surrounded by the natural world.

5. You’re very sensitive.

You may feels things others don’t feel, see things others don’t see, hear things others don’t hear, smell things others don’t smell, and sense things others don’t sense. This may make it hard for you to be out in public, where you may feel accosted by over-stimulation of your senses. If you embody the shamanic archetype, it’s likely that you’re the kind of person others may feel is “too sensitive.” But this sensitivity is a blessing. It’s part of your gift.

6. You feel a sort of spiritual calling to ease the suffering of people, animals, and nature.

Many health care providers are called to medicine the way priests are called to the priesthood. But you don’t have to be a health care provider to have the shamanic archetype. It may transmute itself into healing service to animals, sacred activist causes, or conservation of Mother Earth.

7. Physical ailments that fall under the category of “shaman sickness.”

In the indigenous cultures, shamans who have been called to service but haven’t yet said “yes” to the call often wind up struck with physical ailments. In modern culture, these shamanic sicknesses may fall into difficult to treat categories like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic Lyme disease, chronic pain disorders, and autoimmune disorders. Acceptance of the call to shamanic service often resolves the symptoms of shaman sickness. If you’re suffering from one of these illnesses, ask yourself, “Am I a shaman who hasn’t said yes to my calling yet?”

8. You tend to have vivid dreams.

The unseen realm may be communicating with you through your dreams, so try analyzing your dreams. Pay particular attention to any animal totems that may appear in your dreams. Google search the animal and “spirit totem” and see if you can find any messages from the animals in your dreams. Or try a Jungian analysis, like the one described here.

9. You may discover unusual spiritual superpowers, or what the yogis call “siddhis.”

You might be psychic. You might get healing visions like the one in my previous post about the meeting of Western medicine and Shamanism. You might realize that you can heal people with your hands or that you can telepathically communicate with animals, people, or even inanimate objects.

10. You’ve always felt like you don’t quite belong anywhere, because you are a bridge.

Shamans tend to live on the outskirts of the village for a reason. They are not like the others – and this is a blessing! In village life, this is understood and recognized. But in the modern world, it may leave those with the shamanic archetype feeling like they don’t ever fit in. But don’t despair. You DO fit in. Your role is essential. You may find that you fit in best with others who share this shamanic archetype. Among your fellow shamans, you will feel like you are with family.

Embrace Your Bridge Work

Because shamans are always operating between worlds, you may find that you’re connecting mainstream culture and the culture that wants to be born in the new consciousness, and this may feel uncomfortable, as if you don’t quite fit in. When I realized that I am a bridge between mainstream medicine and the new world of medicine that is being co-created by others who share the shamanic archetype, it brought me such a profound sense of relief! This relief is shared by the health care providers who participate in the Whole Health Medicine Institute, which I founded for doctors and other stealth shamans. If you’re one of those bridge workers, please know that you belong with all the other stealth shamans in this program, designed to merge medicine and spirituality, and we’re enrolling for the 2016 class now.

In our culture, it can be quite challenging to be a stealth shaman. Yes, it’s a blessing to have the opportunity to help people end the story of separation, to dissolve the apparent duality into Oneness, to fulfill our callings to bring the worlds together, to heal people, animals, and the planet. But it can be lonely and disheartening and scary and isolating. I sense that many of us stealth shaman bridge workers have scores of past lives during which we were persecuted for our attempts to connect the worlds, so no matter how much we know in our hearts that we are all One and we DO belong, we have cellular memories of past traumas, during which we were literally killed because we refused to fit in. So it takes tremendous courage to come out of the spiritual closet as someone who embodies the shamanic archetype. In order to keep being brave, we need to feel safe. To feel safe, we need to foster a sense of belonging so we don’t feel isolated on top of feeling scared. In order to feel safe enough to keep bridging, we need each other.

Are you a shaman who is still in the closet? If so, please know that there are many of us, and we hold you close in our hearts while you muster up the moxie to claim your place in the world.
http://www.thesacredscience.com/10-si ... re-a-shaman-dont-know-it/

Shamanic Wisdom - Shamans Explain Shamanism
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OugMow3F9Z8&t=614s
A couple of modern day shamans explain what the practice of shamanism is. Trent Deerhorn of www.deerhornshamanic.com shows us his view of Shamanism, followed by Sue Moondragon.

Shamanism is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world. A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.

The word "shaman" probably originates from the Tungusic Evenki language of North Asia. According to ethnolinguist Juha Janhunen, "the word is attested in all of the Tungusic idioms" such as Negidal, Lamut, Udehe/Orochi, Nanai, Ilcha, Orok, Manchu and Ulcha, and "nothing seems to contradict the assumption that the meaning 'shaman' also derives from Proto-Tungusic" and may have roots that extend back in time at least two millennia. The term was introduced to the west after Russian forces conquered the shamanistic Khanate of Kazan in 1552. The term "shamanism" was first applied by western anthropologists to the ancient religion of the Turks and Mongols, as well as those of the neighboring Tungusic and Samoyedic-speaking peoples. Upon learning more about religious traditions across the world, some anthropologists began to also use the term to describe unrelated magico-religious practices found within the ethnic religions of other parts of Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas, as they believed these practices to be similar to one another.

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Posted on: 2/7 4:42
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Re: Shamanism
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Interesting read, Master Octagon, thank you for the write up :)

Posted on: 2/7 6:38
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Really interesting! I especially love the bridge. That's a beautiful metaphor. I can't make any sense out of the medicine wheel though... Do you know much about it?

Posted on: 2/7 11:47
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I first learned about the medicine wheel when I was drawn to the symbolism of the mandala many years ago. The mandala is a symbol that has been used in art therapy to help troubled individuals find balance. It is the representation of extremes finding balance through harmony. All the extremes have a place and should work together to strengthen the whole.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.

In my meditations last night I was reminded that each section of the mandala represents an element, earth, air, fire, water. And has been used in many religious and spiritual and magical practises. I was also told that we each (symbolically)stand on a medicine wheel and that the goal is to stand in it's center for a balanced life and to help balance the lives of others. We are here to practise balance of extremes and find harmony in the center.

This is the surface and goes much deeper, as an aspect in better understanding how the Force works.



Posted on: 2/7 12:58
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http://www.addictionalchemy.com/how_to_make_a_medicine_wheel.html
HOW TO MAKE A MEDICINE WHEEL
by Renee Bledsoe

The Medicine Wheel is a map of the spiritual universe. It is both a physical and a philosophical communication and navigational device which connects the above and the below. By establishing the coordinates on the wheel through the universality of the sacred directions, the context is established to properly interpret spiritual messages and synchronicities, which can reveal a great deal of "hidden" information. The alchemical process begins, in consciousness.

The wheel is a model and a blueprint for wholeness. It holds the power to bring into our conscious existence deep knowledge of the Self and therefore reveals the nature of the forces of the Universe, so that we can better command ourselves and navigate our lives. It teaches us to see with second sight, hear through deep listening, speak with truth, feel with creation, touch with joy and relish taste by biting into life.

The wheel is the keeper of the portal of all that is. It is all things and yet it is nothing. It doesn't exist in space and time! Yet, it is a masterful creator and healer. In a sense it is an archetype of all creation, from a microcosmic, as well as a macrocosmic perspective. It can be used for healing, as well as enlightenment and creativity. It helps us to make sense of our existence through our connection to all things and helps us regain a profound awareness of what we already know. It phases in and out of manifestation as quickly as we can step in and out of a circle, yet we can ignite its power within our own psyche and carry it with us always. It's power is made most evident by the positive results that it produces in our lives.

The best way to experience the power of the Medicine Wheel is to take a journey on the wheel. After all, no two people have the same experience of life and no two journey's are the same. Yet, this is precisely what empowers the Medicine Wheel journey. When the diverse energies that are brought forth by a group of people who are journeying together is co-mingled, powerful healing, enlightenment, consciousness, transformation and massive openings of creativity ensues. The wheel is the mechanism that releases these energies and allows the members of a group to heal each other by healing their own self!

Each Medicine Wheel has an intention set by the person or persons that lay the wheel. It is a place where addiction, abuse, obsession and compulsive activities may be studied as lessons. It is also, not only a place for healing, but a place for creation and enlightenment. All things are welcome in a Medicine Wheel or Sacred Circle, with the understanding that they are lessons and actions to be studied and learned from and ultimately integrated in peace.

The Medicine Wheel opens us up to higher levels of consciousness and can help us develop, refine and master intuition, gut instinct and common sense. The wheel helps us utilize archetypal, animal, elemental and other creator forces. These forces can be extremely potent agents for change when used with conscious intent and good will. The Medicine Wheel can help us create and bring into reality a new dream, a new way of being in the world.

Where to Setup A Wheel
When building a Medicine Wheel or Sacred Circle you are preparing a place you can go for spiritual strength, information and discipline. A Wheel can be constructed inside a room or outside in nature. The place you choose can be plain dirt or grass or near natural water sources such as a pond, lake, river or ocean. A personal wheel is typically 4 feet in diameter, a family wheel is 8 feet in diameter, a community wheel is 16 feet in diameter. The area above the wheel or circle should be clear and open to the sky with no tree branches or limbs covering it. The circle should have an open and clear path to the Stars. If the wheel is being constructed in a man-made structure, it is important to sanctify and clear the space. You can smudge the space using sage/sweetgrass.

Preparing The Sacred Space
When you create your wheel or circle, you need to collect rocks that have a special meaning to you. They all must be clean and free of negative energy, you may want to smudge them first. No anger or negativity is to be connected to the place or the rocks chosen to build the wheel. The ground should be clean and raked. The grass should be healthy. If indoors, it is advisable to use space clearing practices to clear negative energies from the room. In addition to removing negative energies you will want to call in positive energy to support you. See below for prayers and rituals for this purpose.

Building The Wheel
Elaborate Method
Place thirty six stones or crystals utilizing the Addiction Alchemy diagram. This model has been especially created with the intention for Recovery work. The four largest stones are placed at the four cardinal directions. Begin by placing the stone in the North, the place of physical birth, where life on earth begins. Then move to the East, to animate the circle with air, the carrier of Spirit, then place the next stone in the South, where we ignite the fire within, and the West, where we go to dream our creations, then place the Center stone, which is the place of convergence within us unifying and integrating Self and Spirit. In the center of the circle you can place a rock or candle or even create a beautiful altar.

You may then place the remaining stones to create the spokes and complete the concentric rings around the outer edge and inner circle according to the diagram below.

Now, having said that, it is my intuition and guidance that there is truly no "wrong" way to set up the wheel, so long as the 4 sacred directions and the center (which implies the above and below) are honored. My studies have revealed that every indigenous culture has a version of the medicine wheel, which is pretty miraculous when you think about that. However, while they all connect up fairly consistently with the directions, North, East, South, West, Center, Above, Below...the other correspondences, such as animal totems, etc, can often be different.

I personally have traveled the wheel using a variety of differing techniques. They ALL have worked! It is my belief that this is so, because it truly does not matter in which order you deal with yourself and your life, but that you deal with it in a holistic manner and touch on ALL aspects at least once in the journey. It is also my philosophy that how you travel the wheel, what you gravitate towards in your quest for healing is exactly what you need from a higher order perspective. And that is part of the healing power of this wheel; the mystery of the whole process is a study in the art of letting go!



Simple Method
For a simple medicine wheel you only need either a set of 5 stones. They can be beautiful crystals, tumbled rocks or river rocks. I enjoy ones I have find on the ground that have "spoken" to me, as well as crystals that carry spiritual energies that compliment the intention of each node on the wheel. Simply arrange them like you would a compass and place one stone in the center. You may also substitute the center stone for a candle.

Setting Sacred Space
Once the physical wheel has been built, it is time to set sacred space. This is done by any number of rituals or practices which could correspond to the energies that you connect to. If you are versed in Qabalistic ritual, you may wish to create a magick circle and call in the WatchTowers. If you are more connected to Shamanism, the Apache Prayer or any words spoken from your heart calling to the seven directions would be appropriate. In this case you would face each direction and shake your rattle three times in each direction as you invoke the elements, ancestors and guardians at each quadrant. Or if you do not have a rattle, rest assured that your fervent and sincere prayer will be heard. As each participant enters the circle each would individually give thanks for all our relations, simply by saying the phrase, "All my relations", as they enter through the east.

When you are about to close your ceremony or ritual, it is important to do so in reverence and give thanks to all those who have come to support you. Simply standing and speaking your gratitude to all participants would suffice as you step outside of the circle, right foot first. Some close circles, hands in prayer position and bowing to the center of the circle sending thoughts of gratitude as they say "Namaste" or "Thank you" and step out of the circle.

The guidelines above are not hard and fast rules, although there are some components you would never want to leave out. Intention and gratitude are the main elements that are vital. It is my personal opinion that there is value in "doing things by the book" simply because they are time tested and respected. There may come a time through a collection of your own personal experiences and deep connectedness when you may be guided to do some things in new ways. It is important to trust your intuition, but you also got to learn the rules before you can "break" them. <smile>

Posted on: 2/7 23:24
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It reminded me of the sri yantra! It's fascinating that so many vastly different cultures have the same basic elements. I reminded me of chakras, too.

The idea of extremes balancing each other out is one I'm still learning and grasping at. It applies to so many things and individuals...

Have you ever made a medicine wheel?

Posted on: 2/9 17:04
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Yes, the Sri Yantra is a mandala that is a medicine wheel, used for healing and balance when you focus on it during meditation. All roads lead to the same place, which is why the heart of spiritual religious experience is one, and in the end the only thing that really matters is love.

I'm looking into using a western medicine wheel which I've never used. I've used the mandala for self healing and healing others as an art therapist for years.


Utilizing the Concept of Mandalas in Art Therapy
The very nature of creating a mandala is therapeutic and symbolic. The shapes and colors you create in your mandala art therapy will reflect your inner self at the time of creation. Your instinct and feeling should inspire and guide you through the process of creation. Ultimately, you will be creating a portrait of yourself as you are when creating the mandala. So, whatever you are feeling at that time, whatever emotions are coming through, will be represented in your mandala art therapy.

As with most art therapy, it’s not about the final product…it’s about the journey. When you reach your destination, you will have a representation of something meaningful and personal…a snapshot of you for a brief moment in time expressed through your mandala.
http://www.arttherapyblog.com/art-the ... ral-idea-worth-exploring/

Posted on: 2/9 17:32
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