Shamanism is commonly understood as a healing method that is nature-based, experiential, and guide-facilitated. It isn’t a formal system or ideology, and is pluralistic in its origins. The word “Shamanic” probably comes from the TungusicEvenki language of the Siberian region, and was the name Western explorers gave to the healing ceremonies they witnessed. Over time, it was noticed that many cultures around the world practiced similar healing traditions. The term has been used and applied widely since that time and has evolved modern meanings and understandings. Outside of specific indigenous practices, it has come to mean a set of practices (described below) that can coexist with different cultures and religions.
Spirit is alive in all things
Some definitions of “Shamanism” include the idea that guides are messengers between the spirit and manifest worlds. Under this description, guides or Shamans help clear ancient wounds, mend the soul, and initiate healing in deeper realms. It’s core principle centers around the idea that Spirit is alive in all things, an idea called “animism.” In many traditions, healers are said to operate in the Spiritual realm and initiate healing on the deepest levels of consciousness. Once these deeper levels are “touched,” they can initiate change on all levels.
Shamanistic perspective on the personal journey
For those not connected to a specific indigenous tradition, the Shaman’s way is often utilized as a method to seek guidance on one’s personal spiritual path. In this way, Shamanism isn’t a religion, but a method, where the seeker uses information and guidance from Shamanistic healing and wisdom to intentionally form their life philosophy.
At its core, Shamanic healing usually involves a reconnection of the body to nature, to the joy and aliveness, the mystery and wonder that arises naturally when our body and spirit are unified. The spirit world can be taken literally, or in a more metaphorical way: an expressive, healing artform that, through the use of ceremony and structure, allows pain and hindrances to be expressed in unique, and often non-ordinary ways, witnessed by a guide, and released.
Healing is a mysterious, individual process that must be honored. Many that support the Shamanic perspective believe that healing must come with some reconnection to our child roots, our animal aliveness, and the deep acknowledgment that we are part of nature. Firm dividing lines between mind/body/spirit, between ourselves and spirit/nature represent a misguided and unhelpful way to understand human life.
Embracing the Grey
Most healing occurs in the grey area between concepts, and by letting go of these strong and limited notions, our healing and creative forces can be harnessed and used for good: clarity of mind, wholeness of being, aliveness of body and emotions, wisdom of our entirety.
Nature’s system is so wildly complex we can’t even begin to understand. How does life begin? What processes are involved in the rapid and finely orchestrated growth after conception? We don’t have to know the answers to be excited by the questions. The more connected we are to life and death, to birth and rebirth, the more we live in the flow and energy of creation. We are part of creation, yet humans have an intrinsic need to understand our place, not only live within its wildness. Shamanic healing can bring you back into your body, into the flow, but also unite you with your questions, with your wonder and creativity. Now reconnected to the source, you can step into the flow once again.
SpiritQuest offers both private custom or group retreats. We offer session with Shamanic perspective and many of our practitioners weave Shamanic healing into their sessions. We also offer a Shamanic Group Retreat.