Shamanism isn’t a phase or a fun little getaway activity that you do over the weekend to get in touch with your spiritual side. A shaman has a duty to serve his people and to connect with the universe in order to see things that are beyond what our senses allow us to perceive and feel. Many tribes around the world have had their own forms of shamanism throughout the years, and it’s a tradition that will persist for as long as the tribal culture still exists.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the nature of shamanism, how one becomes one, and what becoming one entails.
HOW TO BECOME A SHAMAN
In most tribes around the world, Shamanism is believed to be a heritable trait, meaning that if either one of your parents is a Shaman, then you will become one too. It’s still expected that you have to go through some sort of spiritual journey or be taught in the ways of Shamanism by the elder or by your Shaman parent.
In other cultures, Shamanism is a skill, and one would have to go through years of training before taking the initiation rite, much like in a school or an academy. The apprentices will have to learn how to connect and communicate with their inner selves, their deepest fears, and of course, the spirits. Shamanic rituals usually involve some sort of trance or a dream-like state that doesn’t involve the physical form, which is not easy to achieve. For that reason, an elder Shaman can only know that one is ready to join the next generation of shamans once they have passed the initiation rites.
Some Shamen have come to a realization that they had a spiritual connection through a unique experience. Some may have psychedelic dreams, others may feel it in a near-death experience, while some may even be triggered by a traumatic memory during their childhood. The calling is different for each person, and the different cultures have their own ways of interpreting them.
What does a Shaman do?
One thing that all tribal cultures agree on is this: A shaman is a link between the physical and the world beyond what our senses can understand, and they must be able to contact the other side at will. This means that they must be able to tap into those worlds voluntarily and communicate with the spirits from the other side while warding off evil from entering through their body. Shamen prioritize balance of the world over all else, and that’s what they strive to achieve through communication and being the messenger between the worlds.
How to embark on a Shamanic Journey
A Shaman takes a journey into his own mind and connects his consciousness with the world beyond. They usually do it in one of two ways:
// Through a Trance
A trance is when a body is in a hyper-focused state, and other senses, thoughts, and feelings are deprived, leaving behind only a vessel or a husk for the consciousness to return to. Usually, this state is induced through meditation and rhythmic tapping or music.
// With the Help of Plant Medicines
Some trance-like states are induced by the ingestions of plant medicines - Ayahuasca, for instance. Many have tried the ancient medicine, and the results differ wildly from person to person. Some have reported being in a heightened state of consciousness while others feel nothing at all. The effectiveness of the medicine depends on a few factors, such as the innate connection one has with the spiritual world, open-mindedness, and even their diet. A Shaman has to prepare himself for years and years before they can connect with the spirit world, and it’s not hard to see why it would be a rather unpleasant experience for the majority of people.
If you would like to experience the healing offered by ayahuasca and are looking for a retreat to participate in, contact us today! We would love to have you along with us and play a part in your healing process.