WHAT IS SHAMANISM?
The word “shaman” originates in Siberia and means “one who sees in the dark”. The term refers to a traditional healer or medicine person. Shamanism is a spiritual practice or group of activities and experiences common to shamans around the world from ancient times up to the present day. Suggested to be 30,000 to 40,000 years old (with some anthropologists saying over 100,000 years old), it is the oldest healing technique known to humankind. Its practices are adaptable and coexist with different cultures, systems of government, and organized religious practices. Nowadays, in non-indigenous cultures, shamanism is studied and practiced as a life path.
A core belief in shamanism is that everything – whether stone, plant, animal or human – is imbued by Spirit or life-force energy. Sometimes imbalances of this life-force can occur because of the presence of energetic intrusions, a loss of personal power or the fragmenting of soul parts. From a shamanic perspective, these imbalances originate at the spiritual level. A general feeling of fatigue, unease or even physical illness is often the result.
A core practice in shamanism is the ‘shamanic journey’, a time-tested method for accessing knowledge and receiving guidance. The Journey carries the shaman or practitioner outside of time and space into what is known as Non-Ordinary Reality. This is done to retrieve information and visions. Journeying can be done to find answers to all sorts of questions. It is often undertaken by shamans and shamanic practitioners on behalf of another individual or client with the intention of restoring their personal power and authority.
Shamanic consultations and healing work involves identifying the causes of a client’s energetic imbalance. Various non-invasive and intuitive methods can then be used to help restore understanding, harmony and well-being on all levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Artist CJ Shelton is a Shamanic Practitioner trained in the Algonquin tradition by Pete Bernard of the 8th Fire School of Algonquin Medicine Work (Shamanism). She offers one-on-one private shamanic consultations at her studio in the Alton Mill. For upcoming dates, cost and more details on the benefits of shamanic practices click here.