Euphoric State

I love loud, deep pounding EDM music. I will crank up my Benny Benassi playlist and cruise through traffic like it’s not there. The dance beat is my shamanic trance drumming.

I live on a rural mountain farm and can play outside. I’ll take some portable bluetooth speakers down to the lower pasture and set up around my bonfire site. We start the blaze, strip naked and dance until we get to that place where nothing exists but the moment.

The fire moves with us.

The music controls our body.

We are aroused.

We are free.

We are bathed in the energies of sound, heat and light.

Here is the euphoric state.

Here is where I feel joy.

This is being alive and it is beautiful.

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One foot here, one foot there: A message to those who are confused by it all

An urban shaman living in western civilization faces a unique set of challenges. First,cloudspirits unlike shamans who work in tribal cultures with a long standing tradition and a deep, respectful connection to their community and their society at large, the western urban shaman is more often than not seen as either someone with a mental disorder or a charlatan out to make money by exploiting the faith of others. This last point I find exceedingly ironic, since the accepted religious leaders of the west (mostly of the Christian faith) represent the lion’s share of those exploiting the trust of others for personal profit and pleasure. From televangelists selling empty promises in exchange for opulent materialism to priests sexually abusing children, there is no shortage of exploitation going on.

Medical doctors, therapists and even armchair psychiatrists are all poised to “diagnose” the urban shaman’s spiritual experiences as one mental illness or another. If I say I interact with the spirit realms and form close relationships with spirit guides, they will tell me that is schizophrenia. Then many of those same people go to a church the next Sunday, pray to God and claim a close relationship with Jesus. They believe in angels guiding them and protecting them, and trust that God is there to smile upon their holy actions and punish those who are undeserving.

I cannot speak to the religious experiences of another. I cannot invalidate their claims because I do not “know their god”. Yet this is the struggle of a modern urban shaman in western society. To them, our spiritual experience is a mental illness. It is something we should be medicated for and endure therapy for in order to be cured. I see people on social media call upon their friends to pray for them if they become sick, or have an accident, or just need support. Very few, if any, of those people would turn to a shaman. Our spirituality is not part of the culture.

Continue reading One foot here, one foot there: A message to those who are confused by it all

The Technoshaman

Just like the shamans of ancient tribal traditions, modern urban shamans may harness various physical objects as foci in their spiritual practice. These objects are called by different names.

  • fetish is an object inhabited by or used to channel spirits
  • talisman is an object blessed by spirit or imbued with certain properties that can bring benefit to the practitioner
  • totem is an object the shaman identifies with and is often a symbol of their tribe or clan

Ancient tribal shamans used objects common in their lives: animal parts such as bone, feathers, fur or teeth and carved stone or wood. A commonly recognizable example of such an object is the the Native American dream catcher. The urban shaman will find their own objects relative to their environment.

Some will still lean toward natural objects, finding their connection to spirit firmly based in nature. But some will fully embrace technology and create or adopt objects based on the digital lifestyle from which they emerged. A common example of this would be using their cellular phone as a fetish. Considering that it is their communication portal with the physical world, it stands to reason that it would be a practical focus for their spirit work.

Continue reading The Technoshaman

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

The Shaman’s Gift

What is the gift of the shaman? It’s the ability to receive sensory input from our non-physical senses. Everyone has a spirit sense, but not everyone can be aware of it.

Our brains have spent our entire lives focused exclusively upon the sensory input from our body. It’s like having a tool in your garage that you never use. Even if someone told you that you have it, you still have no idea where it’s kept.

What is the benefit of perceiving things that are outside of our physical senses? If I can’t possibly see it with my eyes, then it really has no impact upon me, right? Yes and no. There are many things that exist that our physical senses cannot detect: gasses in the air, magnetic fields, radiation from the sun, etc. Science has allowed us to build devices that can detect these things, but it hasn’t yet quantified spirit.

Do the inhabitants of the spirit world commonly do harm to those of us existing in the physical world? No, I do not believe that to be true. Can the entities in the spirit world have an effect upon us? I believe yes.

To understand the actions of free willed beings, we need to have some insight into their motives. Most spirit beings do not concern themselves with us, much like we do not concern ourselves with them. To put it into physical world perspective, most of us do not worry about what fishes do, or the creatures that live beneath the dirt or those that fly high above us. Our world is on the surface and that is where we typically exist.

The physical layers above and below us are there, but have little impact upon our day to day actions. However, this doesn’t mean the inhabitants cannot affect or influence us.

A shaman is aware of the things that live in different layers of being. This allows them to observe and communicate with the inhabitants there for the purpose of guidance and healing of others in their community / tribe.