Saturday, July 31, 2010

Should We Do Shamanic Work on the Gulf Oil Spill? Or Not?

We often want to jump in and do healing automatically. But that is not always a good idea. 

And it is not the shamanic way. Shamans do healing work at the behest of the spirits, not because a situation makes them feel uncomfortable and they want to fix it.

Just as there are individual humans who are in a crisis because the spirits are trying to get them to change something in their lives, there can be crises intended to shake us up collectively. 

Just as there are individuals who are already going through a healing crisis, in the process of releasing toxic thoughts, patterns and substances stored in their bodies, and interfering can set them back, so it is with all of humanity.

There are local, global and regional events and situations that exist to call the attention of humanity to the need to change our ways---and our thinking and beliefs.

We may need to change our laws and even our governments to remedy the deep causes of such situations. Superficial healing can just delay the inevitable or require more extreme measures by spirit to get the attention of enough humans to change things.

Jumping in on impulse to "fix things" may even make the underlying situation worse.

How do we know when to help and when not to? We ask for spiritual guidance.

We do not do healing on people who have not asked us to, so that we do not interfere with their free will. In an emergency you can send healing to the higher self of an unconscious person or a child, but send only "whatever is for their highest good."

The same is true for situations such as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. There are so many ramifications from that spill, and the seriousness of it indicates how large the effects may be on the future of our planet. 

We should not just jump in and assume that we know best what needs to be done. We should ask the spirits.

I have written a column on whether or not to do shamanic healing on the oil spill situation on Houston Shamanism Examiner. I hope you will go there and read it and then leave comments with your experiences and ideas on the situation.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Where Did the Word "Shaman" Come From? And Why?

"Where did we get the word shaman?" That is actually a more interesting question than it sounds like at first, I think.

Clayoquot shaman in full shamanic regalia

Most people who are interested in shamanism know the word shaman came from Siberia. But that's about it. That's true, but that's not the interesting part.

For that matter, most people think Siberia is part of Russia---or of the old Soviet Union. And that's not true.

In fact, Siberia is a vast region of the continent of Eurasia. Siberia encompasses at least two races and many countries, ethnicities, cultures and languages.

Many of the languages are from completely different, unrelated language groups. Chinese, for example. And Turkish. Plus a whole bunch of languages you probably never heard of, too.

Most people do not remember that shaman and shamanism were words that only anthropologists used till 1980, when anthropologist Michael Harner's book, The Way of the Shaman, became a best seller.

I wrote a new post on my Houston Shamanism Examiner column about the interesting things we know about the origins of the word shaman. Reading it may change a lot of your ideas about what shamanism is and how it started, about who can be a shaman, and why.

Or not. Take a look.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Shamanically Retrieving the Spirit of Universal Love

Shamans are chosen by spirit (or volunteer) to serve the world of the spirits by keeping the humans they serve in harmony with the spirit world. Serving the spirit world means also protecting the natural world in which they live.

Our modern world has lost sight of the importance of harmony with the natural world, of going with the flow, or walking in beauty. The result is ugliness, war, disease, overpopulation and destruction of the environment.

What can we do? As shamanic practitioners we are charged with the task of restoring the balance, the harmony, the universal love. Read more in this Examiner column:

Wherever you happen to be next Saturday night, February 13, or whenever you read this, I hope you will join us in journeying to the spirit world to experience universal love and restore it to is natural place in the ordinary world.

It is never too soon or too late to help.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Plant Spirit Shamanism

For shamans, being able to work with the spirits of plants is as important as being able to work with the spirits of humans and other animals and with the spirits of stones, weather and other phenomena.

Plant Spirit Shamanism is a book by therapist and workshop leader Ross Heaven and shamanism instructor Howard Charing that teaches how to honor and work with the spirits of plants. I have just reviewed it on Houston Shamanism Examiner.

You can find the review here:

I really like the book, and I think you will, too. It is not another book on adventures while drinking ayahuasca (though the authors write a bit about that, too).

Plant Spirit Shamanism really talks about how to get in touch with plant spirits in many ways, and it offers exercises for doing that.

If you have read Plant Spirit Shamanism and/or worked with the exercises in the book, please leave a comment, and tell us what you liked about it (or disliked). I would love to hear about your experiences.