We are all shamans but few put in the time, effort and focus to truly awaken those inner powers. An awakened shaman is a person who is in constant alignment with the spiritual realms and receives continuous spiritual "downloads" from the spirits of the universe. A genuine shaman does not "specialize" in one kind of spiritual connection, but is able to open up to all spiritual levels, from the lower Astral, through to the highest spiritual levels. In addition, he or she can align with the ancestor spirits and nature "devas" or fairies of all kinds and in all circumstances. For many this kind of focus takes years of training and dedication. Training is always first-hand apprentice-type trainings because shamanism cannot be taught from a book, a large classroom or the internet course because it is not intellectual, but via intuition and focus. In most cases a shaman is born as an Empath and/or a StarSeed.
Traditionally a would-be shaman would find a medicine-man/woman and train with them. I was fortunate enough to do this with both Cree and Blackfoot people in northern Canada, as well as my Navajo, Hopi and Comanche teachers, later down the track. However, one common wisdom thread they all offered me was to align with the highest teachers -- the spirits of the sacred places. One old teacher told me: "The spirits can teach you anything, if you go to them with humbleness, respect and gifts of honour. The spirits are the best of all teachers, because they can take you far beyond the wisdom of mere human beings."
Once awakened, the working shaman can connect to all and every culture. For those who know, a shaman can literally read the Earth signals left by other shamans of every culture because the "song lines" or power places are all written in the same language. The regular language may be different, but the unspoken vibrations are the same world-wide.
Because my training occured with traditional people in Canada and the United States, I tend to work mainly with those patterns and traditions. However, this is just one of many techniques to access the energies. The traditions could be seen as a special password that unlocks a spiritual machine. I know this works, because I have used my “Native American” methods worldwide on every continent and with all kinds of shamanic cultures and it always works. It works because the shamanic energy is multi-universal and way beyond the restrictions of various cultures. I use these techniques to access the wisdom within the “etheric data bank” which is available to anyone who has the ability to align with the answers. The ancients seeded this wisdom into the etheric realms knowing that only those with the “password” or shamanic alignment could access their magical library, and thus it was protected from those who had the wrong motives. This is a universal law and definitely includes the ancient land of Australia.
No doubt you have heard that many traditional Aboriginal people say they do not want “outsiders” to access sacred sites, or attune to the various song-lines. You will hear that some elders have denounced those who do this. That may be so, but all I can say is that from my experience I have never been blocked or evicted from a sacred place by the spirits of that place, and spirit is my authority.
The obvious key is honour and respect, along with motive, of course.
The only reason I wish to attend sacred sites is because I have been energetically invited by the spirits to do this, and they rarely tell me why, until later. I receive dreams, visions, clairvoyant messages, along with confirmation experiences, clues and serendipitous “coincidences” that gently push me to certain places at certain times, and I have learned never to resist or question this.
A little while I go I was literally pushed to go to Uluru / Kata Tjuṯa for the solstice. This was pretty challenging, for a number of reasons, but I had a series of signs and strong pushes from spirit that made it obvious that I had to go, and so indeed I made my way to this sacred place, in the middle of the icy cold desert.
Each year Grandfather Sun sits still in the sky, momentarily, and gives us signs and opportunities of spiritual or energetic evolution. There are four major points -- two solstices and two equinoxes. The winter solstice is in June in the southern hemisphere and the coldest, darkest time of winter. It is also a time of rebirth, renewal and change because this is the time of renewal moving towards spring and away from the cold winter. Spiritually it is the time to release attachments to loved ones who have passed over giving them thanks and appreciation and valuing the lessons they have gifted you. It is also the time for forgiveness and allowing the past to dissolve so we can empty ourselves and receive new direction and new guidance. As we do this, we allow Grandfather Sun to return into our lives as a path of enlightenment. You may have visited, or at least heard of major sundials such as Stonehenge in southern England, where the sun sends a shard of strong sunlight to a marker stone at the very moment of solstice.
There are dozens of these sacred places throughout the British Isles, and into France and Germany. In northern Scotland there are magical caves you can visit and see the sun beam shoot through the entrance to illuminate ancient symbols. Most of the marker stones are carved or painted with a series of sacred spirals that indicate star constellations that have a sacred connection to that particular tribe or group of people. Yet it goes deeper than this, because certain messages and powerful gifts havebeen left for those with the sensitivity to see/feel them. In all cases, in every corner of the world, the marker stones or the wall illuminated during a solstice or equinox can only be seen properly at the exact moment the sunbeam hits it. At other times, even under the strongest artificial lights, the patterns look disjointed or unclear.
There is a reason for this, and this reason is the gift. We are gently taught by the ancient ones that sunlight or illumination from our “Grandfather” Sun is always available to illminate what appears to be asleep or unavailable within. Just as a dry, insignificant seed contains the blueprint and potential to be a magnificent tree that can offer countless fruits and live for hundreds of years, we all carry spirit seeds in our spirit-hearts. By placing ourselves, with humility and openness in these sacred places, and witnessing Grandfather Sun illuminate the sacred paintings/inscriptions, and then absorbing them through sight, feeling and emotion we trigger those dried up, insignificant spirit seeds within us to sprout. At that moment, we also create a spirit line between ourselves and the ancient ones who created this portal of spiritual awaking for our benefit. These are true gifts and echo down the centuries.
This is the real download; the transformative download that can only occur when we sacrifice comfort, surety and old patterns for the eternal voice of our Creative Spirit Elders.
These experiential journeys are the true essence of shamanism because they are enacted for the purpose of healing and awakening from the dream of suffering. My Elders would say that as one of us steps forward and embraces the spiritual truth of our world, we all grow collectively because the shaman’s essence is offered out to his/her tribe. They are not offered for show, or to impress anyone, in fact few people even know these events are occurring. People who saw me tramping through the cold desert trails probably thought I was just another tourist! But I knew why I was there, at least I thought I knew why I was there.
There are many sacred places in and around Uluru and Kata Tjuta, in fact the whole place buzzes with spiritual and psychic energy. I had been there before, and naturally went to the caves and secret places, yet it was the cooking area, called a kitchen, where I was led. My tradition is to offer tobacco, but the spirits said no, we want water; and so the water was sprinkled where they directed me. Then at the moment of solstice, in a cave I had seen many times before, a shard of light ricocheted across the dark wintery cavern like a spear of silvery gold. It shone onto a wall I had also seen before, but today, on the solstice, it was shimmering with sacred spiral glyphs painted in gold and red ochre.
I gasped for a moment as I felt the beautiful vibrations connect with my heart. I just had to sit down slowly allowing the dizzying energy of the rapid spirit download, and the hum of many spirit voices all calling at once. I recognised the image because I had seen it so many times before. It was the familiar illusional-daze-dream world glyph reconstructed on so many walls and marker stones right across the world. Of course they vary in size and detail; and they always reflect the particular culture that created them, but I spotted it immediately.
The illusional-daze-dream glyph is an organic organizational pattern that many of us doodle without realizing it. It is an unconscious pattern that reflects the reality, or dimension, or world, we have infiltrated.
To the rishis of Vedanta it is Maya, to the Hopi people it is the web or cape of Spider Woman, to the Celts it is the caldron of Ceridwen, so many names, but always the same pattern, the same formula, because it describes the same knowing. The knowing is one you already know, and have heard countless times when spoken of by the masters, it states simply that this world is not your home, and that you have chosen to get tangled, enmeshed, enfolded in the web of Spider Woman, and like a fly, you are stuck. Every solstice, right across the planet, a shard of true Creator light, shines on these images, reminding us that we can break free from the web of forgetfulness (and this now doubt includes the world-wide-web!) All you need to do is focus on your eternal, unchanging truth, and you are freed! While we think that there is value in the web, we will put all our energies into making it a comfortable web with all the mod-cons. But it is still just a comfortable prison cell, rather than true home.
This is why the Universal Elders ensure these magical earth clocks are set to the exact time, and that these reminders, or “alarms” set to go off like clockwork. Trouble is, we keep hitting the snooze button and falling back asleep!
My journey, and the gifts exchanged were perfect. After the download, we were guided to traverse the sacred rocks and gullies leaving and receiving gifts; remembering those who had shared the life journey as companions for a while, and the many gifts they had shared. As the sun set the shadows stretched long and tall, but we were not alone. The glow melted across the purple sky and dancing pulsating shadows of a dozen spirit-women rippled across the frosty grass, joining us in a corroboree. The dreamtime was dancing and like the Avalonian mists, it shimmered with many open doorways to hundreds of worlds, all within reach.
Every spiritual pathway sprang from ancient shamanic roots and they still offer us the shamanic threads, if you look carefully. Yet shamanism is not a formalized system of beliefs or an ideology. True shamanism is solitary and very personal. Traditionally a shaman would leave home and study or serve through apprenticeship. Under their guidance the new shaman would practice ecstatic trance states, which alter their consciousness enabling them to travel to the realms of the invisible worlds. Their ability to gain information and make changes in the invisible realms relies on the working relationships they develop with the spirits. In this sense, shamanism is a relationship-based practice of making changes in invisible realms to impact healing in ordinary reality.
The key points are: Altered states of consciousness * mediating between spirit and the physical world and serving the needs of the greater community.
A shaman is therefore a specific type of healer who uses an alternate state of consciousness to enter the invisible world, which is made up of all unseen aspects of the world that affect us, including the spiritual, emotional, mental, mythical, archetypal, and dream worlds. There are shamans who come from an unbroken shamanic tradition and continue to practice in that tradition, usually in their native culture. There are others who may spring from a shamanic tradition, but serve to bridge between that tradition and the modern Western world, often by adding ceremonies and rituals that were not necessary in their indigenous culture. Many Native American Indian healers fall into this category. However in all cases, every shaman is called by Spirit to serve the needs of their community.
If you would like to study and embrace Native American Indian shamanic traditions, I recommend my series of books: The Shaman's Door. My book: Sacred Circle, is the workbook which contains all the information on the Medicine Wheel and sacred herbs. It is available through this site and also on AMAZON.
The eBook is available via Amazon.