Excerpt from Shaman Stone Soup by Elizabeth M. Herrera
Shamanism is the oldest known spiritual practice in the world and is still practiced by indigenous people on every continent today. While there are many different rituals, one commonality is that the shaman acts as a catalyst between this world and the spirit world.
Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman, in the book, Awakening to the Spirit World, offered this insight: “Shamanism is an ancient and powerful spiritual practice that can help us thrive during challenging and changing times. In our modern-day technological world we have been led to believe that what we see, touch, hear, smell, and taste with our ordinary senses connects us only to the world that is visible around us. Conversely, shamanism teaches that there are doorways into other realms of reality where helping spirits reside who can share guidance, insight, and healing not just for ourselves but also for the world in which we live.”
I personally have found the practice of shamanism to be life changing. The connection to the Divine power has opened my mind to the wonders of the unseen world, which affects every aspect of our lives and even the entire universe. Through shamanism, I have learned that we are all connected—the Earth, sky, nature, animals, winged and sea creatures, and mankind—all singing one song of unending love.
Here is a short overview of shamanic journeying:
~ During a shamanic journey, a shaman will use a visionary process to travel to the spirit realm to request healings, receive divine messages, help guide lost souls home (psychopomp), and commune with nature and the universe.
~ In the spirit realm, a shaman interacts with spirit guides, ancestors, spirits of people from this world, angels, and enlightened beings.
~ Power animals act as protectors and guides for the shaman. They can be a part of a shaman’s journeys for many lifetimes or brief periods during which their archetype power is needed.
~ The spirit realm has three “worlds”: the lower, middle, and upper. None of the realms are better than the others; they simply offer different experiences that are appropriate for different circumstances.