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About Shamanism


Benefits of Shamanic Journeys

The Shamanic Journey is Fundamental Shamans are known for their ability to enter an altered state of consciousness, called “shamanic journeying” to visit the spirit worlds. Professional shamanic healers understand the mechanisms for how energy moves, how illness operates, and how to enact healing. Shamanic practitioners who go on to become spiritual leaders serve as mediators between community members, the spirit realms, and the natural world. A lot falls under the umbrella of the shaman. We can get caught up…

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power of imagination

The Power of Imagination & The Shamanic Journey

The Power of Imagination The power of imagination is devalued in our culture. We are told to leave our imaginations behind in our childhood. The saying, “it is just your imagination” becomes a way to dismiss experiences we can’t explain via route of the five senses. We do everything we can to avoid talking about our imaginations and instead we brainstorm, practice creative visualization, dream up, and go on guided meditations. It’s all a silly ruse of semantics. We cannot not imagine. It…

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shamanism beliefs

Do Shamanism Beliefs and Other Religious Beliefs Mix?

Shamanism as a Container Unlike organized religions that tell you exactly what to believe, precisely when to worship, and literally how to talk to God, the practice of shamanism does not fill our worlds with things to do and think. I like to use the metaphor of a container, be it a bowl, vase, or basket, that holds our beliefs. Shamanism is that bowl. It is our hands cupped and open, ready to receive whatever we choose to fill them…

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is shamanism a religion

Is Shamanism a Religion?

Is Shamanism a Religion? Shamanism is experiencing a great resurgence. As everyone figures out how to pronounce shaman and shamanism (the first “a” is soft, like an “ah”), there are alternative terms adding to the confusion. “Shamanistic” and “shamanist” being primary contributors. Given that people are still getting accustomed to the words, it is no surprise that few know how to categorize shamanism. The question of “is shamanism a religion?” is a worthy inquiry.  Religion is typically seen as an…

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hero's journey shamanic journey joseph campbell

The Shamanic Journey & Hero’s Journey (Part 3)

Crossing the Return Threshold So far we have seen that a person embarking on a shamanic journey follows the path of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. In this last stage, the parallels remain. You may have noticed that we moved from a basic shamanic journey in Part 1 of this series on The Shamanic Journey & Hero’s Journey where any traveler or adventurer begins with the call, finding assistance from guides, and experiencing the road of trials, to a shamanic journey undertaken…

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journey circle gracious wild book

“Journey Circle” from Gracious Wild

In this excerpt from my book Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks, I share the story of the first time I ever taught a group to go on a shamanic journey. This was an incredibly frightening thing because the women I was teaching were of such high intellect and integrity. I was humbled by the fact that I could have anything of value to teach them and that they, these gorgeous, empowered women, would trust me with this piece of their…

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soul loss story about play

VIDEO: Soul Loss Story About Play

One of the main techniques of shamanism, and the method I use the most, is called “Soul Retrieval”, but to understand why you might want or need a soul retrieval you first need to understand “Soul Loss”. In this video of a portion of my talk to the Luminosity Group in Pagosa Springs, CO, I tell a story of soul loss and relate it to Dr. Stuart Brown’s “7 Properties of Play.” This is a simple way to see how soul loss…

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shamanic journey & hero's journey

The Shamanic Journey & Hero’s Journey (Part 2)

In Part 1 of The Shamanic Journey & Hero’s Journey we explore the trials the hero goes through to reach the ultimate boon. The Ultimate Boon When we embark on a shamanic journey we have so many expectations for what is to come. There is a climax to this story we are certain. We will come back with a new power, a supernatural gift, a better life. The promise of riches from this journey are so compelling that we can become…

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shamanic journey and hero's journey

The Shamanic Journey & Hero’s Journey (Part I)

Delving deep for the last few months into Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, I am astounded by the overwhelming wealth of information Mr. Campbell amassed in his studies. He did this all before the age of the internet. I picture him pouring over ancient texts, seeking myths across continents, sifting through shelves of books, and placing more than one inter-library loan. How he accessed the myths he did and was able to cite every work is beyond…

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Medicine Wheel by Season

How to: Prayers for the Directions

In an earlier post on “Calling the Directions & The Medicine Wheel” I shared a definition of medicine wheels, how to move about the wheel, and possible associations with the directions on the wheel. In this post, I share with you methods for composing a prayer to call in the directions. Prayers are peculiar things that can take on any nature. Just because we call something a “prayer” does not make it sacred. The ego can compose selfish, greedy, unconscious…

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