Ride it out

We are spirit entities that are (for lack of a better word) “inhabiting” the physical matter we observe and measure in our universe. We do this by choice in order to gain new knowledge through experiencing “life” in the material form.

Our experiences here and our spirit selves are not separate. For most, the mind is unaware, but we do have evidence of our motivation for being here.  It’s pretty much the mirror of our desire to “escape” our bodies and experience the universe beyond our physical senses. For most of us, we have the feeling that there’s some greater secret out there. Our spirit selves know more than our brain, and usually, the brain is kept in the dark. Why? It’s a distraction from the experience. It’s a challenge for the mind to be aware that it’s not the true self. For most, there isn’t an easy way to come to terms with this.  It will change how we experience everything else.

Our spirit selves are aware of everything we perceive with our brains and we will carry that knowledge with us forever. Our minds, however, are temporary and are primarily only aware of what the physicals senses relate to them. The knowledge of spirit cannot be easily integrated into the mind because it has no physical experiences to confirm the knowledge. The mind is the physical organ used to communicate experience in this world to the spirit, but it has a difficult time with the spirit communicating back to it.

This is the danger of the mind glimpsing the spirit world. It can be a world of illusionary experiences that our mind struggles to deny. The things we see do not come from our eyes. The things we touch are not felt with the skin. We move without the body. We walk. We swim. We fly. But the brain isn’t prepared to experience anything except what comes through our nervous system.

Sensing spirit is a labyrinth that sends us deep in search of understanding. We want…no need to comprehend. This exploration leads us answers that turn out to be dead ends years later. It all comes down to this: we either ride it out, or spiral into madness. We either become accustomed to both worlds, or we become lost between them.

 

 

 

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Silent Rain

Staring out my window
Watching the clouds
Darkness slithers closer
Searching for me
Hungry for my pain

I see the rain
Against the glass
But it makes no sound
It calls me
Beckons me to join
Its peaceful dance

Opening the door
Stepping outside
Raising my hands
Offering my body
Begging for release

The rain against my face
Is not rain at all
But the numbing poison
Of the great beast above
Its fangs obscured
As it waits

I smile without knowing
The soothing pleasure
The erotic scent
The feeling of happiness
Was all for naught.

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.

Creating an altar space

The shamanic altar is a place to honor the spirits and show them you welcome their presence. It can be used by you as a focal point for meditation, communion and to add a powerful aesthetic to a room. Altars can be physical or digital. The guidance in this post is about physical altars.

Here is a simple guide to help you build your home altar:

  1. Decide upon the intent. What is the primary purpose of the altar?
    • Is it a place to make offerings?
    • Ask for blessings?
    • Clear your mind?
    • Find peace?
    • Seek insight?
  2. Choose the location. It can literally be anywhere in your house:
    • on a furniture surface
    • on the floor
    • on wall shelves
    • What’s important is that it feels right to you.
  3. Select the basic implements:
    • Start with a base. This can be a cloth cover, a rock slab, or even circuit boards. Something that signifies the boundaries of the space.
    • Altars will typically need to have items for receiving offerings, such as a goblet or bowl. This can be something natural like made of bone or a simple metal or even something very modern like an electronic lock-box.
    • A candle is a useful tool for signifying that you are spending intentional time before it. Or perhaps you prefer an LED light that you can control with an app on your phone.
    • Another implement is a bell, chime, or even a USB speaker that you use to  play whatever sound that signifies purifying the space.
  4. Select the adornments. These are decorations that creates your altar’s “theme”, that beautify the space and enhance it’s sacred feel:
    • Small items of personal significance to you such as crystals or jewelry
    • Carvings relevant to your intent
    • Small found items such as rocks or bottle caps
    • Tools such as a knife or a compass, a remote control

After assembling your altar, dedicate it with your first offering. What you offer is your choice. The most important thing about an offering is that you value what you offer. The altar works best when you also build a habit to interact with it at specific times. This can be daily, weekly, twice a month, etc. Whatever you feel is the appropriate amount, define that from the beginning and stay with it.

Some things I have learned

Spoiler alert: This is my understanding. If it doesn’t feel right to you, let it go. There is no value in debating spiritual matters. I am sharing this for the benefit of those who are seeking to learn different beliefs, in search of their own understanding. The thing to keep in mind is that what we believe is the choice we need to make at the time we make it.

Urban shamanism is not a religion. As shamans, we do not worship gods. We do not pray to deity. We communicate with spirit entities on behalf of others to help them in this world. We request guidance, insight and healing in order to benefit our communities. Here are some of the things I have learned through working with those spirit beings:

  • The universe is not divine.
  • There is no universal “love” or any other emotion.
  • There are no gods or goddesses.
  • The universe does not punish us, nor does it reward us.
  • The spirits shamans work with are kin.
  • We are spirit entities who are experiencing the world, the universe, from the perspective of physical matter and energy.
  • Everything we experience while being “alive” is for the purpose of learning and having fun.
  • Many of the spirits we encounter have experienced countless “lives” here.
  • We choose to be here, in this state. While most of us purposefully forget who we really are while we’re here, this identity we accept is just temporary.
  • Often we meet others here in our physical lives that we also know as our true selves.
  • The spirits are energy beings, just like us but are not directly experiencing the world as we are. Some know us in our true form and stay close during our trip through the middle layer.
  • The spirits want to help us, but typically will not interfere in our experience unless asked.
  • Shamans are able to perceive outside the experience of the physical world, and interact directly with those entities who are not currently inhabiting this layer of being.