Shamanic / Animist Healing Explained
What is Shamanic / Animist Healing?
These days, we have heard the Word Shaman used by media, healers and others. They all try to say that it is Native American, or another Indigenous tribe of the Americas, Mongolia, Siberia etc. The Origins of the Word comes from the Sami and indigenous Finno-Ugric people. The Word is now associated with any healer that works as a bridge between our world and that of Spirit. The actual term that should be used in place of Shamanism is Animism. As the intermediary, they do not perform the healing or direct its outcome. What Spirit sees as necessary, may not be what we expect. I use a Celtic tradition, not Irish or from Britian. The Celtic peoples were first cited by the Greek historian as occupying the region from the head waters of the Danube River encompassing the areas of Austria, Bavaria to modern day Alsace region of France.
The Shaman uses various ceremonies, otherworld Journeying, Trances, Drumming, their connection to the various elemental spirits of the Natural world, Ancestral Spirits, and others to bring things back into Balance.
Humans are only one aspect of the work.
THE WORD ANIMIST, comes from the ANCIENT GREEK word ANIMA , MEANS HAVING A DRIVING ENERGY or Life Force or Soul
Simply said, we believe everything has an energy signature. In my tradition that signature is considered a Song. (Consequently, Nasa and other Scientific fields, have played the vibrations as music. Each unique to that object).
We believe that these Songs are just pieces of a Greater Song and are in contact through a Web or filaments. (Physics knows this as string theory)
When we are exposed to Traumatic events, our Song creates a shield to protect the individual. This shield or Armor is added with every later trauma. This Layering begins to change the original Song. This creates a loss of soul or as we call it a form of Amnesia or Dissociation from the True Song.
When we lose track of that True-Song, we are deceived into thinking the dissociation is that True-Song. So, we try to force it into all we do in our lives. This forgetting of our True-Song is caused by Fear.
There are three main Fears that we integrate into those false songs, to fill the forgotten notes of Our True-Song. They are what are known as the Primary Fears of Man. These are Fear of Abandonment, being seen as different from all the other Songs of creation and last the fear of Being Alone. These three fears by themselves are illusionary. The damage comes from how we react to these Fears. When we respond to these Fears, we are They create Self-Judgement and Shame with in us. This then allows us to view the world through this damaged view of ourselves. Thus, we react to others based on this false narrative. We see dragons lurking in the darkness, waiting to consume us. As we feed these dragons, they tend to grow larger and harder to defeat. It’s the fears that shine the spotlight on what we are afraid of, amplifying and allowing the shadow to grow larger and Larger. We do not realize all we have to do is turn off that amplifying light and the Dragon goes away. This is done by confronting our fears.
In Animism, there is no Devil as we know the concept. There is a Spirit that places difficulties along our path, to test us. There is no need for a tormenter, we do that way better to ourselves, than any other could dream up. When we cannot see or choose to ignore the tests before us, we get caught in a Hell of our own creation. We create the chaos, pain and despair that holds us from change. The Traumatic event creates the void However, the choices we make afterward and continue to make allow us to justify self-medicating, refuse help, or embrace Negative behavior others expect of us or see ourselves as Victim.
So How does this apply to me?
First, Shamanic Healing is not Psychotherapy or a Medical or Psychological Crisis intervention.
We help the person with the help of Spirit, to look inside themselves. The Goal is to find the parts of ourselves, or Songs that we have forgotten or have hidden from our conscious mind, by burying it deep in our subconscious.
The Shamanic Journey to the Other world, is in fact an inner world journey. This is possible, because in Animism, all space and time exists at the same time. Our human concept of reality does not exist, because it is a shared illusion. This Journey work creates what is known as extra ordinary reality. Since all creation shares a connection, the memory of the True-Song, is recorded with in the shared subconscious or as Jung called,” The Collective Unconscious”.
Shamanic healing has two components to work. First everyone has free will, so they must be a willing participant. Second, the participant must be willing to accept the change, knowing it could be emotionally or physically painful. (Some emotional wounds manifest as physical illness) No pain medications will be used to cope with such pain, as to do so is hiding from the cause. The exception is Psychiatric meds used to stabilize moods such as Bipolar and Schizophrenia. They are never stopped unless your physician decides to reduce them.
Shamanic healing can work in conjunction with therapy or other medical care. It can open the person up to remembering or addressing things they refuse to talk about out of shame or perceived judgement by their provider. End of Life counseling for the terminally ill, or those that have experienced an unexpected death or life altering event. It can also help the individual u see the string of events that led to problems with substance abuse, anger, domestic violence, etc. That lead to interactions with law enforcement and the judicial system instead of blaming others for this path.
When some individuals experience trauma, their emotional growth gets fixed at the age they were when it happened. Through Journey work and transition rituals, we can slowly move them along through those lost developmental stages, into the present.
The Goal is to bring Balance, into the person’s life. Allowing Mind, Body and Spirit to exist in Harmony and allow the individual to see this connection to every aspect of their lives.
How does Shamanic Healing differ from other Alternative Healing Modalities?
Most healing modalities such as Metaphysics, focus on changing the thought processes that allows the individual to change from a process of negative thought to positive. This is done through, repetition of affirmation statements, meditation on these statements or a word, as we try to connect to the greater or universal consciousness of the universe. This is helpful and recognizes the concept of positive and negative energy, knowing that like attracts like. This is what a lot of healing traditions focus their work on. They draw in positive energy and discharge or remove that which is classified as negative. Their work uses a connection to Spirit, God, Divine energy, Universal consciousness and a host of other names. They also are intermediaries here on earth, that bring the connection between the individual and Spirit together.
Shamanism does not see a deference between positive and negative energy. All energy emanates from one sole source. It is present in all things, and it is the ego of humans that defines the intent and usage for healing or destroying. Humans create the concept of light and dark energy. Before everything we see and believe to be our world, there was the darkness of the Ocean above. There things existed and still exist. These are the things that feed off Fear and primal emotions. They are neither good nor bad, they just are as they were created. Their actions are to survive and feed, no different than humans. They can influence and attach to humans. Many times, we seek out their attributes when we experience Anger, Passion, War, Protection of our families and other basic responses to fight or flight. They can teach us lessons that shape who we are What some call beings of light were created when this Ocean, out of loneliness called to the Creator, who sent the Lightning in response, bringing everything we see into being. Just as the darkness had beings so does the light. These can also use the same energy, they use passion to inspire, create things and teach. They use Anger to get us to make changes to our world for the advancement of others. Just as the Darkness, these same energies can be harmful and create chaos based on intent and our ego.
There are many stories talking about this. In some Native American stories, it’s the Two Bears, Northern Europe has the Two Wolves, some it takes the form of Ravens, Spiders and other Totem Animals. In all the stories both light and dark exist with in humans. They all talk about a constant internal struggle between the two. They all have this same wisdom, when asked the question, “which one is stronger and will win the battle”? The answer is always the same, across all traditions, “It is the one you feed more”! There is just one of us inside and out. One person, One energy. Our intent and wounds create the duality that we see around us.
We all have terms based on our traditions that describe our journey as shamanic healers. Some walk the “Red Road”, Others the “Knifes Edge”, Personally I am the walker between worlds, the finder of paths the Wolf that stays on the edge of human world and the forest. Between humans and the rest of creation. Trying to help them find their way back into the forest from this toxic dream we have created. Our self-imposed separation created by our fears. As such, I do not lead anyone out of the darkness they are trapped in and into the light. I stand beside them, guide them to understand what shadows they are caught in. Understand that the pit in which they stand, will not get deeper if they stop digging. Aid them on their journey of self-discovery. Understand when it’s time to feed the dark wolf or the light wolf. Therefore, understanding who they are, their past lessons and how to move forward again. There is no Savior that will pull you into the light, magickly heal you and make you happy . Rather in Shamanic/Animist healing you are the one that takes control of the changes in your own life.
What if I fear that the change will cause me more Pain and Chaos?
Change is not easy; it takes commitment and a desire to change. Emotional wounds are definitely painful, as I know from my own healing journey, Healing requires us to revisit these places and events that have created pain in our lives. The benefit is that as we work through the pain, we start to see benefits in our lives. We change unhealthy patterns that have magnified the pain. We start to see people in our lives for who they are. We shed that which does not serve our own soul song. We gain strength to make decisions for ourselves. we regain our free will. There may be a disruption in your life. This is because as you heal inside, some people will push back against it because it agitates their own wounds. Others will notice your transformation and embrace it. Think about this, we have spent many years in that state of chaos. We may have burnt bridges, created rifts in relationships and let our self-deception led to deceiving others. These things take time to correct. Actions speak louder than words. Part of the healing process is learning how to let go of the unhealthy, and rebuilding our lives based on the new understanding of who we are and taking responsibility for our future actions.