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What is Shamanism all about?

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Shamanism is the oldest healing tradition and form of self-empowerment that contains timeless principles which attune us to nature and with other dimensions. It’s about experiencing the extraordinary while living an ordinary life. The word Shaman originates from the Tungus tribe in Siberia and has been a practice in healing for centuries. It’s a spiritual practice, but it’s not a religious practice as many people seem to think.

Shamanic energy medicine can really help you change your life whether you need healing from physical problems or emotional distress, changing your behavioral patterns, relief from trauma or loss, removing ancestral energy or karma, finding your life’s goal, and primarily in recovering your true identity.

The term Shamanism has been popularized throughout the western world, especially in new-age circles where it’s widely been modernized and has fallen away from the traditional indigenous practice of it. Although I practice in my office here in Rochester which is considered modern as compared to the practices in the high mountains in South America, Tibet, India, etc., I still use the traditional form of Shamanism from the lineages of the Shamans of the high Andes, some of whom were the Quecha Shamans from Peru, the Quero Apache Shamans in the Southwestern US, and the Inca Shamans of Bolivia.

Shamans believe that we are a form of energy….I mean that’s nothing new. That’s science. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Energy is just converted from one form to another, and so we are really just forms of energy or spirit traveling in a physical body. And the task in Shamanism is to understand the scope of our journey and help us participate in it consciously. We need to turn our vision inwards to heal our past and our present and all the stuff we’re hanging onto. For when we begin to heal ourselves, we’re also helping to heal our surroundings.

Can you imagine if everyone worked on healing themselves what a much better place this world would be? We all come in to this earth with a purpose, and often we spend our lives stumbling around looking for our purpose. I mean, look, we have all suffered through trauma, shock, grief, or loss to some extent, and we all will continue to experience these things. The dilemma is that often we either put on a brave face and move on or we go through life feeling victimized.

When we hold on to all the negative things that happen to us, that energy stays with us. We think we bury it, but it still stays in our subconsciousness, and in our physical body… our nervous system, in our cells, in our chakras. I can’t try to clarify Shamanism without explaining the chakras as they are main players in the entire process.

The Chakra System

So now I’m going to talk about chakras. Many people are aware of what chakras are, but I’ll give a short explanation of what they are and how important they are. Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel. They are vortexes of vital energy. They’re not visible to the naked eye nor can they be measured scientifically, though there are some scientists who have measured the human electromagnetic output under different conditions. But then again, we know that there are radio waves, but we can’t see them either.

The chakras represent the 7 laws of the universe. The chakras are energy transducers for subtle energy. They are also are affected by the nervous system which gives them this energetic spinning motion. The chakras are connected to the endocrine system with certain glands that correlate with specific chakras.

For example, the first chakra is known as the Root Chakra which is found down by the base of our spine and it deals with basic trust. It is associated with the adrenal glands and the secretion of the cortico steroids which affects our basal stress or the fight or flight response. A negative emotion for this chakra would be fear. A positive emotion would be faith in life.

The second chakra is known as the Sacral Chakra which is located by the lower abdomen and deals with sexuality and creativity. It is associated with the testes or ovaries and the secretion of estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone. A negative emotion for this chakra would be guilt or shame. A positive one would be fulfillment.

The third chakra is known as the Solar Plexus Chakra and is right by the sternum which represents wisdom and personal power. It is associated with the pancreas and the spleen and the secretion of insulin and glucagon and controls digestion and regulation of glucose in the blood. A negative emotion would be anger, and a positive one would show as self-assurance.

The fourth chakra is known as the Heart Chakra which is located right in the heart area and represents love and healing. It is associated with the Thymus and the secretion of Thymosin and T-Lymphocytes and the regulation of growth and immunities. A negative emotion for this one would be grief or sadness and a positive would be unconditional love for oneself and for humanity.

The fifth chakra is known as the Throat chakra and it is about communication. It is is associated with the Thyroid and the Para-Thyroid and the regulation of thyroxin for metabolism. A negative emotion for this would be frustration, or inability to communicate our thoughts. A positive emotion would be a feeling of liberation and autonomy.

The sixth chakra is the Third eye chakra or in the diagram above shown as the Brow Chakra and is located in the middle of the forehead. It is associated with the pituitary gland and regulates homeostasis, oxytocin and our day and night mode control. It is about awareness. A negative emotion for this would be misunderstanding or confusion. A positive would be having a sense of insight.

The seventh chakra is known as the Crown chakra, and essentially it is about spirituality. The gland for the seventh chakra is the pineal gland which sits in the middle of the brain just above the thalamus and regulates melatonin levels, your bio-rhythm, and immersive states of consciousness. The negative emotion for the Crown chakra would be pessimism, closed-mindedness, indecisiveness, loneliness, or being unmotivated. An emotionally balanced crown chakra would show strong feelings of devotion, selflessness, deep inspiration, and feeling at peace.

We all experience these negative emotions from time to time, but when they become chronic, then this poses a problem for your physical health, your mental health, and your spiritual health. We then refer to the chakras as being blocked.

As Shamans, the first thing we do with someone who comes to us for some healing is check their Chakras. Then we do what we call an Illumination of the chakras. Each chakra is a spinning vortex of energy that contains memories of events that happened in your life. When a chakra is harmed, it loses its vital resources. What we do is feel the energy of each chakra and find the one or the ones that are vibrating at a low level or blocked. Then we open it and draw out the energy by creating a vortex to disengage that energy. If there are highly toxic or negative energies, then we use extracting methods which sometimes can be through using a clear quartz crystal to draw out the energy. When that’s done, we fill the chakras with light and healing, then we seal them up.

Other Ceremonies

There are a lot of other healing ceremonies that we use in Shamanic healing beside Illumination and Extraction, but in each session, an Illumination and often an Extraction will take place before moving on to something else. We also do Soul Retrieval which is a little more intricate and is probably a discussion for another time. But essentially the thought about soul retrieval is that when there is a trauma of some kind in our life, or maybe even in a past life, a piece of our soul breaks off and escapes because the situation is too traumatic for it to want to stick around. I know it may sound ludicrous to some people, but it’s what Shamans have believed and worked with for centuries. I’ve had some interesting experiences with some of my clients, but as I said that is a longer discussion for another time.

There is also Destiny Retrieval which is projecting toward the future what we want to happen to us, whether it’s toward good health or a new productive life.

Shamans also practice what is known as The Great Death Spiral. When our bio magnetic field collapses, when our brain shuts down and our heart stops, our chakras may or may not disengage on their own. When we die unconsciously and/or have unfinished business on this plane with other people or even with ourselves, this can keep our chakras stuck. It may even cause our spirit to attach to a loved one because we don’t know where to go from this plane of existence. So, a Shaman can perform a Death Spiral ceremony to guide the spirit that is leaving the body into the next realm. I’ve done this on animals that are dying or being euthanized. It truly helps both humans and animals to pass on to the next dimension gracefully, with little effort and no fear.

Personal Responsibility

In essence, we want to help you to continue to heal yourself. You can come in for a Shamanic healing, but if you don’t take responsibility to change the things that you need to change, nothing will improve. Shamans believe that the way your life evolves is from what you believe. Everything that you experience is what you are thinking. For example, if you say, “I want this”, the universe will create the wave of “I want, I want, I want”. So, you will always experience the “I want” but you won’t have what you want because your way of thinking is just the need of something, so you have to change the wave of energy through your mind to become what you want. We’re always thinking of what we want or don’t want. The universe wants you to be very clear. If it hears, “I’ll never have enough money”, it will interpret that as you don’t ever want to have enough money. Or you may be saying to yourself, “I always seem to get involved in abusive relationships.”, the universe will focus on your getting involved in more abusive relationships.

So always be mindful that you are what you think. Every thought and action that you put out into the world acts like a boomerang. If you always think that all bad things happen to you, then they will. If you think you’re unlovable, you likely won’t find love. If you always tell yourself that you’ll never have enough of whatever it is…whether it’s money, or a house, or a car, or friends, or someone to love, then you won’t have it because you’re living in this self-creation of lack. The wave of vibration creates the correspondence of the universe. You have to be very careful, not only about the way you think, but also about the way you say things. The way that you use your words and the intention with which you use your words is the exact thing that will boomerang right back to you. What you have to do is think in the present and become that present so that your mind creates that reality. So, start thinking, “Good things happen to me and I deserve good things to happen.” It’s believing your thinking.

We have rhythms of vibration that vibrate out into the universe. We have high and low waves of vibrations that fluctuate in a time frame. Low vibrations tend to run slower in time, and higher vibrations tend to move faster.

That’s why when we’re traveling in a frequency of higher vibrations, things move faster for us. When we’re lumbering about in a frequency of low vibrations, change doesn’t happen quickly….it takes a long time. Being in a state of high vibration all the time nor in a state of low vibration all the time is not good for us at all. What we need is to be in a fluctuating state of vibration so that as things change, we have time to think and make decisions, but not too long of a time so that it feels like it’s never going to happen. We all need to experience both the low and the high vibrations. That’s a normal life. Normal life is not being well and happy all the time, nor is it to be unwell and sad all the time. If something happens that saddens you, then you need to feel sad because that’s a moment for you to go within to be with that part of yourself that feels sad. Then you wait until the rhythm has changed by itself according to your vibration to feel happiness again. If you don’t wait for your rhythms to transpire naturally for you to go through it in the proper time frame, then you are accelerating the process and it will likely take you to a crisis. So, it’s important not to try to control your natural rhythm in one way or another. In other words, we’ll have states when we’re happy, when we’re sad, or even when we’re just neutral.

The condition of your rhythm or your vibration controls everything that is happening to you in your life. If you’re stuck in a low vibration, then everything that you do will come back to you in the universe will be of a low vibration. It’s the law of cause and effect. Nothing escapes the law of cause and effect. Nothing appears without a purpose. When something happens in your daily life, when a situation comes up, it’s important to think about when it started, why this is happening. This is the law of responsibility. We like to think that if something bad happens to us, it’s always someone’s else’s fault. We love to deflect. But it’s usually because we are vibrating so low that we needed an experience at the same level of frequency. When this happens, what it’s really giving you is the opportunity to change your way of thinking and your vibration in order to change the effects of the cause. You, as spirit, are eternal and your life is endless. So there's always time to learn, to change, to grow...

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1 Comment

Char Marie
Char Marie
Mar 21, 2023

Great article, Grace. I enjoyed reading It. ❤️ Many will benefit from working with you.

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