Shamanism is an ancient spiritual practice widespread in many cultures of the world. The shaman is a mediator between the visible and invisible world, able to offer protection and valuable advice to his community. But not everyone, according to the shamanic culture, can become a guide, it is the so-called call by the spirits to legitimize the role.
Nowadays it is practiced by many Westerners, who have revisited it in a modern way to make it accessible to a large number of people. We think of anthropologists such as Michael Harner and Carlos Castaneda, who even dedicated their lives to it. But also to numerous contemporary shamans who offer study courses focused on traditional teachings.
Shamanism is based on the idea that everything is energy
And that each energy system is contained in another energy system, which is itself connected to everything else. From this point of view, everything has the same importance, each element in the universe has its own role. In addition to the physical world, shamanism recognizes the existence of other dimensions, ignored by most of us as they cannot be perceived through the common senses.
The task of the shaman, as endowed with that sixth sense that most human beings lack, is to walk between worlds to help us improve the present. But the shaman does not access this wealth of knowledge through intellectual study but through practice and personal experience.
He doesn’t think, but he does things to get to know them. When his inner energy source is awakened, and following the advice of the guiding spirits, he progressively learns to navigate other worlds. By accessing a state of consciousness altered from normal.
The purpose of this journey is to create a constructive balance between the visible and invisible world. The problems of a given individual (diseases, depression, etc.), or of a given community (famines, epidemics, etc.), would in fact depend on a disharmony between these two worlds.
The shaman acts in this sense as an intermediary, he removes any invisible sources of disturbance. Or he helps us in individual cases, to recover some powers that have been stolen from us, restoring our soul to balance.
How the shaman works
Each shaman has his own personal way of operating, and each shamanic tradition has its own rituals and privileged practices but in fact, the purpose is always the same. In fact, the shamanic experience wants to help us find the main road.
By promoting the integration of those dark sides that we often turn away out of fear, rather than accepting them as parts of our self. This path of inner growth requires a precise will on the part of those who undertake it. Which must be moved by a sincere desire to transform one’s Ego and transcend it to access the resources of the soul.
This means taking on considerable responsibility, questioning oneself completely, facing one’s fears, learning to collaborate. It is the so-called way of the warrior that offers us the tools to awaken our conscience, and progressively remove the masks that imprison us in everyday life.
Shamanism, totem animals, and symbols
Moose – symbolizes respect and self-esteem as well as the ability to rejoice in one’s achievements. She is courageous and helps others to be courageous.
Whale – characterizes people with very fine hearing, particularly in tune with the information of the cosmos. It can also indicate the ability to communicate telepathically.
Bison – is the animal of abundance, it urges us to believe that everything is reachable as long as we learn to be grateful for the gifts we receive.
Dog – symbolizes fidelity, reliability, kindness, and patience.
Horse – hides both earthly and unearthly strength within itself. Inspire respect and a sense of responsibility. It is also perhaps the first totem animal of the shamanic tradition.
Deer – symbolizes the importance of friendship and unconditional love, encourages compassion.
Crow – helps to change the state of consciousness and to face the mystery, the unknown.
Dolphin – teaches us the importance of breathing and its rhythm, which can be changed to access other worlds. In fact, it symbolizes people capable of bridging the gap between the earthly and the invisible worlds.
Butterfly – symbolizes the transformation aimed at improving ourselves in order to access a higher state of awareness.
Lizard – is a prophetic animal, knows the future, also symbolizes the dream.
Bear – symbolizes the introspection that at certain moments in life is necessary to be able to observe oneself better and focus on oneself.
Puma – is a symbol of strength, used both positively and negatively. The puma man must be ready to take on important responsibilities.
Snake – a symbol of birth, life, and death, it conceals powerful energy that induces its owner as a totem animal to experience poisons (in a symbolic sense) to transform them into something useful and positive.
Mouse – is a fussy animal, so it teaches you to delve into things. It symbolizes a prudent, organized, fearful man.