Urban Shamanic Healing Process

Note: Urban shamanism does not follow a specific indigenous tribal tradition. The methodologies of each urban shaman may vary. This post outlines one method. Although the details may differ, the overall concept of the shaman working with spirits to facilitate healing are common across all traditions and methods.

The process begins with the shaman being asked for help. The shaman never initiates healing based on their own wishes. Experiencing illness is just as much a right as being healthy.

The person asking the shaman for help should be a part of the shaman’s community (either in a physical community or an online one). This is a matter of practicality. The spirit contacts that a shaman works with should be able to easily locate the recipient’s spirit self. The people we interact with regularly will become familiar to our spirit allies. This allows us to work with people we have not physically met, however, complete strangers are unfamiliar to us and will likely not be familiar to the spirits we work with as well. There are billions and billions of spirits bound here and we come in contact with thousands of them daily. A quick IM or email from someone is not a strong connection and can be a lot more effort for the spirit to locate.

The shaman will ask the person what ailments trouble them and discern if the illness is likely something that originates from spirit. Not all ailments are the result of a fragmented spirit. If the person has physically injured their body, has a physical infection, or other body related illness, this is in the realm of physical healing. Some shamans are also adept with physical healing and may choose to address the healing directly through herbal remedies or other medical knowledge and skill.

If the shaman determines that spirit healing may be needed, they will consult with their spirit contacts. Some shamans have different spirits they work with depending on the nature of the ailment. The spirit will examine the recipient to see what type of damage the recipient’s spirit has. The physical experience is not trivial and bound spirits (us) can be fragmented out of the experience. The shaman’s helper will communicate the damage to the shaman, who can in turn, relate this knowledge to the recipient.

If the recipient desires to have their lost fragments restored, the shaman will work with their spirits to locate these and return them. These exist in the spirit realm, and are often near the person seeking healing, but not always. Sometimes the fragmentation is very old and it can take longer for the spirits to find them.

Typically this stage of the procedure will be two fold. On the spirit side, the shaman’s spirit allies do their work, and on this layer, the shaman helps prepare the recipient’s mind through ceremony. If everything is successful, the fragments will be re-absorbed. The time it takes for this to happen can vary, but the healing effects will usually become evident within the first 24 to 48 hours.

In some cases,  the shaman works with the recipient to help them avoid the trauma that caused the most serious fragmentation as well as make sure the mind does not resist the re-integration.

Concerning Ceremony

To the urban shaman, ceremony is a fancy user interface. It’s sole purpose is to affect others in a manner to positively influence their perception of your practice. Do the spirits require ceremony? No. Is ceremony required to heal others? No. Do I need to perform a ceremony to journey and seek guidance from the spirits? No.

Does ceremony have value? Yes.

The spiritual healing process is broken down into four stages:

  1. A person requests the shaman to help them with their illness.
  2. The shaman consults with their spirit contacts and requests aid on the person’s behalf.
  3. The spirits locate fragments (parts of the person’s spirit that have been lost during their experiences in the physical layer) and offer to replace them.
  4. The person accepts the lost fragments and reabsorbs them into the whole.

If all of these can occur without ceremony, then how does it have value?

People are spirit entities, but this experience in the physical layer (our current reality) often hides this understanding from us. Some of us need a physical representation of the work. They need to have something they can experience in order to make a connection between the work and the result. Ceremony is the tool that provides this.

Ceremony is what prepares the physical mind, which in turn allows the recipient’s spirit to accept the work being done.

This isn’t faith. This isn’t about having to believe. Ceremony is used specifically to prevent the mind from blocking the work. Some people can fully believe in the shamanic healing process but still need the ceremony for their mind to accept it.

Our brains are dependent upon processing input. Most people do not easily “tune in” to their spirit sense, so the brain relies on physical input in order to understand that something has happened. As bound spirits experiencing the physical realm, mental acceptance permits spiritual acceptance.

Some may always need it. Some may not need ceremony after the first experience with spirit. Some minds may be open to the work without need of additional evidence at all.

The shaman is the bridge, the facilitator, the one responsible for initiating the healing process and for ensuring the healing is accepted. By using ceremony, they are able to increase the chances of success.

Qualities, methods and roles of a Shaman

Shamans are found in cultures all around the world. Some come from traditionsshaman spanning back thousands of years and some are emerging in modern culture. Their methods are different, but they do share certain qualities that define them:

  1. Has compassion. Compassion for their community/tribe and compassion for all life as a whole.
  2. Perceives other layers of existence, outside of the awareness of the body’s physical senses. This is commonly known as journeying.
  3. Communication with entities that co-exist with us but are not usually perceived with the physical senses. These are often referred to as power animals, spirit guides, etc. The shaman builds lifetime relationships with some of these, just like we network with other people in the middle world.
  4. Becomes a bridge between the spirits and the shaman’s community/tribe by connecting others with the healing and knowledge provided by those spirits.

These four qualities will be found in shamans across traditions and cultures. But the most significant of these qualities is the last one. People can be compassionate without being a shaman. People can journey and develop relationships with spirits but not be a shaman. The final quality of bringing the healing and guidance from spirits to the people/places/lives that need it is what defines someone as a shaman.

The methods of a shaman are defined by their tradition. These are the tools they employ, the rituals they use, the processes they follow. Shamanism is in itself a lifestyle. The particular way a shaman lives that spiritual practice are their methods. Tribal shamans will be taught their methods by a mentor, usually another shaman in their tribe. Shamans from modern society may be taught a tribal tradition by a shaman from that culture, adopt methods they learn about through study or develop their own methods based on what works for them.

Roles are the duties of a shaman. For example, a shaman may: lead spiritual ceremonies, perform marriages for members of their community, take people to sacred places, bestow blessings on people or crops, be a mediator for disputes, advise the community on when best to plant, and be a general healer.

Traditions will often influence the roles a shaman fulfills, but ultimately those roles will be dictated by the needs of the community/tribe.

How We Become Fragmented

Every interaction between two things causes some change. Think about this. When water moves across a stone, part of that stone is pulled from it and carried away. It is a trivial amount at any given moment, but the years will alter the shape of the stone.

Some interactions cause change that takes away from us and some interactions can restore us. This post is focusing on becoming aware of how we are being chipped away, eroded by things we choose to do as well as events beyond our individual control.

Relationships: specifically bad relationships. Some people naturally take from others. I don’t mean like thieves taking your new shoes, but they take energy. Examine the people in your life, and observe how they relate to you. If they typically come to you and tell you about all the crap that’s going on, all the drama, all the things they don’t like, then they are taking from you: emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Society at large: television, radio, Internet, advertisements, consumerism, greed, politics, crime, war. Obviously we cannot easily separate ourselves from these things. Certainly some of these same things are beneficial. After all, the products of our society are allowing me to share these ideas with you right now. Water is essential for life, but too much of it will kill you. Fire is a great tool, but used carelessly it can cause harm.

Our environment: high-fructose corn syrup, chemicals in our food, Monsanto, poisons on our crops, GMOs, added sugars, caffeine, toxic water, air pollution, noise, pollution, signal pollution. We have made the very environment we live in into an unhealthy space. Some of these things we can choose to avoid, others are not so easy to escape.

Traumas: Being in an serious accident, being emotionally and physically abused, falling ill to disease, witnessing something horrific. These are sudden events that can not only cripple us emotionally and physically, but they can do significant damage to our spirit.

All of these things wear at us. Like the rock in the riverbed, the majority of what we experience is slight and we don’t even notice it. But it changes us. As people get older, they often become “jaded” and feel pessimistic about new experiences. They weren’t always that way. The rock used to have unique features but becomes smooth. In like manner, our spirit, our soul erodes over time as well.

Shamans help restore the eroded soul. Some may specialize with only helping repair the damage from trauma, but I think most are “general” healers. We help people find the self they once knew. We help them regain their passion. We help them feel refreshed and young at heart again. These are things that contribute to our overall well being, including our ability to resist and recover from other ailments