Introduction to Shamanism – Tripping the light fantastic (with no hallucinogens in sight)

20150322-_KAM6936“He (the Shaman) is a self-reliant explorer of the endless mansions of a magnificent hidden universe.” Michael Harner (Anthropologist)

I have been on many journeys.  The one I wish to talk to you about today started four years ago, and is still in progress.  I didn’t realise back in 2011 that I was choosing to start this particular journey, and I certainly don’t know when it will end, but I’m sure as hell having the time of my life in the process. 

I came across shamanism quite by accident; it was my work that led me down the path of starting to investigate this ancient form of spirituality.

When I first heard about it, I have to admit, I was sceptical.  “Here’s another one of those new age woowoo fads” I thought to myself.

But it turned out that I couldn’t dismiss it quite so easily.  Shamanism tugged at me, and played through my mind all the time.  I would be working, and a little voice in my head would say “maybe you could just try shamanic drumming, surely that’s not too weird”.  I’d go to a trade show, and there’d be a stand selling shamanic drums and rattles, and I’d have to pick one up and have a play.  I’d also often, although I didn’t know it back then, have run-ins with middle world embodiments of my power animal.  It just never quite went away, until one day I found myself online researching shamanic training courses.  This led to my attendance at an introductory shamanic workshop in January 2011.

It was a great day, the group was lovely, the teacher was inspirational, I was introduced to new ideas and concepts, and I was taught how to enter a shamanic journey.  I got to the end of the day after a lot of trippy experiences, and on the way home I thought “Wow, well that really was WEIRD!”  I think there may have been a kind of footnote thought that went something along the lines of “Who knew that could be possible without the aid of drugs?!?”.  I found myself comparing the day to having found myself unexpectedly caught up in the plot of Alice in Wonderland.  I felt I had been down the rabbit hole and could fully empathise with Alice’s predicament.

CrowInFlightI could have left it there, I could have walked away, but before we rounded up the workshop we had been advised by our teacher to go away and research all the images and metaphor that had come up in our journeys.  Curious to find out just what kind of difference this might make to how I viewed my experiences I went home and hit the internet.  MIND BLOWN!

What I thought were a series of random images and scenes that played through my head in a daydream style, actually held meanings and hidden messages which couldn’t have been more appropriate for me at the time.  I knew from that point on that this Shamanism business really was something special.   That was all it took to convince me, I took the first tiny steps, and found myself hooked into a journey of new experiences, wonder, learning, and personal healing.

And here I am four years later, having completed my practitioner training, and integrated shamanic practice into my daily life.  It has been a rollercoaster of a journey so far.  I have made leaps of self-discovery I never knew could be possible, I understand myself better now and therefore can grow and develop in ways I couldn’t have dreamt of before.  I have had highs and lows as healing has taken place and been integrated.  The best thing to come from this though is that I have re-established my connection with the earth, and my place in the scheme of life, and that has allowed for a flow to enter my life which I have never experienced before.

And the journey continues…

Shamanism really is something special. If you’d be interested in finding out more about it, receiving some shamanic healing, or even attending an introductory workshop so you can experience the wonder first hand, get in contact.

Rachel

Upcoming Introduction to Shamanism Workshops:

Edinburgh – 5th September 2015

Leeds – 19th September 2015