Over the years Shamanism has helped me to explore my psyche. The definition of Psyche for me, is, all the psychic processes, conscious as well as unconscious. Journey work, ceremonies, rituals and many hours devoted to healing ceremonies, have all shaped me. I have been able, to integrate conflicting aspects of myself. My passion for the shamanic journey has helped me to connect with the Cosmic Psyche. Mixing and Mingling my unique, as indeed we are all unique, psyche with the Cosmic Psyche has created an opportunity to develop the power, and self-knowledge, for me to dive into some of the areas of my Darkest Self, My Shadows.
My ongoing apprenticeship, while on the Shamanic path, has led me to recognize, reckon with, and even battle the forces of the Shadow. Shamanic healing causes me to truly see the nature of some illnesses, while seeking a cure for my patients. (I wish to specify I use the word “patient”, in it’s true etymology as “one who suffers”) I have walked right up the gates of my own Underworld, Lowerworld, Personal Hell, and knocked (three times ;)) before walking in. I have to, and continue to, confront and conquer my own shadows. They appear in guises such as; fear, loneliness, abandonment, self-importance, addiction, unlovable, to name a very few. I have had to unflinchingly confront my own Shadow. This has given me the eyes to see the evil of others, the shadows of others, to successfully deal with forces of Darkness.
Shamanism, has taught me, a language apart from my work colleagues & even some of my friends. I have another post referring to Compassionate Depossession. In Edmonton depossession is not a word commonly spoken. I know, because, I have brought it up in casual (and spiritual) conversations. Not for shock value (alone), but to bring awareness to a very real aspect, of spiritual, and physical, reality. We simply, do not believe, that the dead, can actually inhabit our bodies. We have been given, the dramatic story telling version of possession in popular movies and books. Possession does not look like a body floating up out of a chair, twisting in the air, and puking black goo on the floor. I do not deny, that this manifestation of possession can happen, it has just never happened to me. I have experienced profound shifts, in my self, after being the patient in a Compassionate Depossession. It was a challenge, first to admit possession just might be real, and, then, to release enough self control, to allow another Being the space to speak, and leave my body. It had, and still has, a profound affect on me. My patients often come to me with symptoms ranging from new addictions, to negative thought patterns, to physical behaviour, that just does not feel like their own. Possessions can be very subtle, to quite overt. Shadow can have a voice, it may not always be yours however.
We also don’t speak the language of curses. Curses are a misunderstood concept, and often applied to actions that simply have little, or no, affect on us. A curse manifested for me in the physical by continuously, painfully, and badly, spraining my ankles. Shamanic journeys can take you back in time. I went back in time, to another life, where I had my feet shattered for running away. Using techniques, I had acquired over the years, I was able to rectify the body memory of the event, healing my ankles. I have not sprained my ankles since February 2011. This is the longest I have had healthy legs since I was 13, I am 48.
Through dealing with my own Shadow, and coming to terms with that Shadow self, I have gained peace of mind and balance. Shamanism, is a path, which requires the walker, to deal with personal fears, and inner demons. I could not help anyone, if I recommend a healing journey, I had not taken, and had great success with. Sounds easy, right? Just knock on the door to your personal hell (I suggest three knocks), walk in, face yourself, and voila – chango presto “New Self”!! Sigh. Not quite. Once you have decided to work with your shadows, they seem to increase. Once we have removed one layer, low and behold, there seems to be another. Shamanism does not allow the seeker to wear a mask. I often tell my students, “in shamanism, there is no such thing as a lie”. This is not a path one chooses lights. If, indeed, one even has a choice. I used to quote the Bible in reference to my Shamanic path “Many are called, few are chosen”.