What Is A Shaman?

What is a shaman?

The shaman in tribal cultures is the person who sees into the sacred world. The shaman brings their sacred visions of ancient spirits and power animals out as ritual. By this ritual process, most similar to prayer, imagery, and art, the shaman heals themselves, others, and the earth. By having visions of healing, and doing sacred ritual, the shaman makes the visions come true. The shaman manifests reality in the outer world, from the visionary world. That is the same way the world was created from Her vision. We are all Her vision on earth, we are.

What is a vision quest?

A vision quest is a quest for the visions in anyone�s life that will heal them and make them whole. In traditional first nations cultures young people were sent into nature to listen to the voices of the living earth. The elders taught them to do this to find their path in life and to find their power animal helpers. The person on the vision quest spent days in caves, on mountaintops, on rivers, in the desert, waiting, and inviting the voices to come to them. When they heard the voices and saw their vision, they would return to their people and know who they were and what they were to do. This book will be about how to evoke a similar experience for you in our own contemporary culture.

What is a spirit animal?

A spirit animal or power animal is the spiritual energy of the animal on earth. The spirit animal is greater than the actual animal because it embodies the essence of that animal. It is the animal. It is not a human form of the animal or a human dressed as an animal, it is the animal spirit itself. For example with a spirit bear, it is the voice of all the bears that have ever lived. It is the shamanic bear. It is the bear that can see itself and speak. A spirit animal appears to the shaman as a vision. It is the voice of the wild, the voice of nature, the voice of the earth. This animal informs the shaman of the earth energy it holds. It gives the shaman power and protection. It is a helper that assists the shaman on the journey inward. No shaman would attempt an inner journey without the help of a power animal. The power animal conveys to the shaman and their people an energy they need to heal.

Who are the ancient spirits?

The ancient spirits are the embodiment of the ancient peoples of the earth. Ancient spirits speak in the collective voices of ancient peoples. They are the spirit guides, the inner voices of the earth. Ancient spirits are archetypal visions given form. They appear to the shaman in visions to give them messages from the earth. They come you with the intention to communicate with you. They come to you to help you heal. Initially you see them from afar. They make themselves known to you. When it is clear that you invite them, their voices become clearer. Ancient spirits need to have a relationship cultivated to stay visible. They bring you back into forest. They coax you deeper into nature. They take you on their ancient paths. When you follow an ancient spirit, that is when you discover the feather and understand its meaning. The ancient ones take you on The Path of the Feather. The ancient ones tell us the story of The Path of the Feather.

What is a medicine wheel?

A medicine wheel is an ancient way of creating a sacred space. In a medicine wheel each direction has an animal that lives there and stands for one type of energy. For example in our medicine wheel the East has the owl and stands for change, the South has the lion and stands for passion, the West has the bear and stands for healing power and the North has the turtle and stands for grounding. Each person calls in their own animals that hold or represent for them each energy and each direction. The medicine wheel can be populated by many of the animals that live on the earth.

The medicine wheel is built by placing a small object that stands for the animal or energy in each direction around a circle. The circle can be as small as a hand or as large as the earth. The object can be a animal fetish, a feather, a seashell or a special stone. It is always something deeply meaningful to you, something you have found or been given as a gift. In the process a center is also created and another special object can be put there. Through this process you create a sacred space that becomes a mini vortex of power. It is used to create intention. Balance is created by the equal presence of all four energies acting at once.

By creating the medicine wheel, you make a physical manifestation of earth�s energies. It is a sacred alter which evokes the powers of the earth. Like an alter it brings your prayers in harmony with the energies of the earth. By actually making something real in physical space you act and create. The energy and prayer to heal is embodied and seen and can be touched.

A medicine wheel is simply a way of making sacred space more real and more visible. Ancient peoples believed that the medicine wheel in itself had great power and helped create change and healing. Medicine wheel are circles that were made all over the world. They come from the most ancient cultures and persist to the present. They were found throughout history in every culture.

Medicine wheels were always a place of ceremony and ritual. The rituals that were done at the medicine wheel are hidden or long forgotten. They probably were about the hunt, rites of passage, the stars, planting, migrations, and the spirits. They were done at a community level, and involved huge amts of energy. Often the making of a medicine wheel involved moving huge stones hundreds or thousands of miles. It was like the making of the pyramids in Egypt. The technology of making a medicine wheel or stone circle is not clear, how did they move those huge stones? Medicine wheel or stones circles exist from Europe to North America. There are stone circles in Florida cedar key England. They were certainly a place of great ceremony, a place for the gathering of peoples, and were often away from village sites. Sometimes they were places of burial and temples too.

Where were medicine wheels built?

Medicine wheel were always in sacred sites. The sites were often at the intersection of rivers, on mountaintops, in the center of plains between mountain and rivers. People could get there via the rivers. The waterways lead you to them. They were often on the high places, a point to look at the distant landscape. In any case, the places were deeply sacred. You can feel the energy. They are in places that are the intersections of key lines, energy lines, places where churches, and later sacred sites were built intuitively by more modern peoples.

Source: Path of the Feather


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