It takes a keen sense of insight in order to recognize beauty all around us, and honor it fully by integrating the meaning into our lives.
Shamanism has been a part of humanity since the genetic divergence of humans and apes, estimated to have taken place around 4.98 million years ago in Africa. It is likely that our first true human ancestors practiced shamanism as a way to communicate with the Spirit world for connection and survival, and thus for the evolution of the human species.
Shamans facilitate healing for the individual, group and multiverse. Many lineages of shamanism have been practiced globally by tribal people over the years and, overtime, has slipped through the cracks as humans became more civilized. Without shamanism as a part of everyday culture, it has become estranged to us. Returning to the shamanic path is a return to ancient ways of our early ancestors, who knew how to create balance within themselves, and with their surroundings.
Presently, there are many individuals seeking to walk the path of the shaman. Each shaman operates in a different way, according to their individual gifts. Anyone can choose to walk the path of the shaman. It is a choice and not an easy path to follow. Those who do make the choice, experience a continual rebirth towards enlightenment.
Ultimately, shamanism is about connection, intention, and ceremony, which inherently leads to transformation.
Shamanism is about connection.
A great cosmic web of consciousness has been woven, and through this web we feel, affect, and are affected by the quality of vibration within it. We can raise the cosmic vibration by raising our own contribution of energy, and teaching others to do the same.
This work is born from an acknowledgement and love for our relation to the Whole, and a desire to participate for the good of all.
A shaman finds connection in all he or she see. Plant, people, two-legged’s, four-legged’s, many-legged’s, winged ones, finned ones, tailed ones, star people, sun, moon, air, earth, fire, water, ancestors, earthly angles (friends, family, and strangers) and spirit guides all become bread crumbs in life—leading us from one moment to the next.
It takes a keen sense of insight, in order to recognize beauty all around us, and honor it fully by integrating the meaning into our lives. It can be especially rewarding when we can learn to see the beauty within our own struggle.
Shamanism is about intention.
Intention is the root of all action. We have a choice as to whether the root of our intention comes from ego, or human self, which is not aware of our connection to the whole, or our loving and divine Self, that is completely aware of oneness.
A disciplined and joyous attitude and relationship to exploring ego is necessary to observe, address, and release the ego’s many grips, which holds and knots within us that hold us back from living fully in our flow.
With less grip, the ego has less power over us, enabling us to take back our power and use it for inherent good. Live life with the purest of intentions for the good of all.
Shamanism is about transformation.
Connection and right intention naturally propel us along the path of transformation.
Transformation is often times not pleasant. Our level of comfort is dependent on our level of resistance to change. Transformation can be modeled in the example of the mythical, and legendary story of the Phoenix that burns itself in the fire, returning to the ashes and Earth only to emerge again as an even more beautiful and evolved creature.
Shamanism entails practices that are designed to be a pressure cooker, creating a safe container for radical and rapid transformation to occur. Sweat Lodge, Vision Quest, Medicine Ceremonies, and many more rituals serve as rites of passage in a way, testing the willingness of the individual, and stretching the mind beyond what is believed to be capable. At the end of each tunnel of transformation lies expansion, love is expansion and is the purpose of human existence.
Shamanism utilizes the power of ceremony to give meaning and power to prayer and intention.
Ultimately, all of life becomes a ceremony. When orchestrated in alignment with the cycles, and shifts of energy in the multiverse, the power of ceremony is powerful. Creating an altar in your home using animal symbols or parts, stones, plants, prayers, quotes, candles, and other meaningful items to honor your Self, Great Spirit, or a specific purpose gives power to your prayers.
Spending time in front of your altar, tending to it, praying, and modifying it as your prayers change is a practice of nurturing your relationship to Great Spirit, and thus a form of prayer.
Shamanism is a way of life.
With an open mind and heart, it supports and compliments all religious, spiritual paths. This way of life entails walking in grace, integrity and communion with God—living life with the integrity of a prayer.
Serra Lynn Smick is a fearless, passionate and curious devotee of life in service to Great Spirit. She teaches people how to unlock harmonious balance within themselves, nature and all that is. Her vinyasa classes are a unique, progressive blend of contemporary and traditional sequencing, equal parts sacred and silly. She started a successful yoga cooperative, A Sacred Space, while teaching at five other studios. Currently living in Big Sur, Serra is an author of wellness and spirituality for many online resources, such as EZine Articles. An E-RYT 200 Yoga Teacher (White Lotus & Corepower), she is the creator of Global Tribe Yoga, a YA-recognized movement collective hosting workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings. Serra’s intention is grace with integrity of prayer, to inspire a higher evolution of consciousness.
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Assistant Ed: Josie Huang/Kate Bartolotta