Is a Shaman Scary?

12 06 2014

This post is about the shamanic practitioners you may come across in North America today. Most people who visit me come from personal referral, but a greater and greater number are coming from this blog. These folks often have little or no experience with a shamanic practitioner. I sense a lot of hesitance in them so I’m answering some of their questions here.

Like most of us, I was skeptical about shamanism before I began to study it. I also thought Tarot, Palm Reading, and Psychics were all foolish nonsense. It was only because I wanted to understand myself that I ever started to study the occult and eventually shamanism. I just knew stuff and didn’t know how I knew it. Elsewhere in this blog you can read about what brought me to this work.

I am a normal person. I’m probably not that different from you; with a family and obligations, struggles and bad moods, and everything else that goes with this earth walk. I learned a lot from shamanism and feel lucky in that. Because of it I am happier, kinder, and more thankful for my time on this precious earth. I’ve had enough experience with scary stuff through shamanism to try and answer this question.

Because of the shaman’s ability to sense information and call upon spiritual help the shaman can be a powerful friend or foe so is can be scary. With the information below you should be able to find a shaman who can be a powerful force for good in your life.

Good and Evil

My prevailing thought about this issue is that there is only power, which may be running with our desires or against them. Electricity can light our homes or electrocute us. Disease can grows in our bodies and ants can roam out homes looking to feed themselves. It doesn’t make them evil. Yet the source may be an evil intention somewhere.

Good and bad exist in each of us and sometimes there are outside influences which create strings of “bad luck”. Beyond seeking balance there is more to know.

Evil can be powerful, attractive, and easy, even if you aren’t a Jedi Knight. As long as that is true there will be people who have one’s best interests at heart and those who have their own interests in mind. Like a product that has been modified in a way that seems only to cost more money and deliver less, unscrupulous “healers” may put their interest above yours.

In finding a practitioner, as in finding a friend or adviser; look for one who has your best interest at heart. If you know yourself to be seduced by unlawful or unethical actions you may be attracted to unethical practitioner. If you have clear ethics you can probably trust yourself to reject unethical healers.

An unethical practitioner won’t only be the one with demonic symbols in the window or who offers black magic. Those are the easy ones to avoid.

Intentional or Unintentional Harm

Other healers may seem quite pleasant and knowledgeable and still be a poor choice. It is more difficult to detect healers who intentionally or unintentionally causing harm. By being aware of what this type of practice looks like, you can avoid it too.

An example of intentional or unintentional harm would be a healer who lingers with you in your misery. They may feed your victim status because it makes them the “superior” person in the relationship and gives them a sense of power. They may actually feed off your feelings of dependence. Their primary focus may be to create repeat business. A hands-on healing from such a person may feel like you are stuck in a circuit of remembered pain rather than making you feel a movement toward health and returning vitality.

Such a healer may consider him/herself a paid friend or councilor to whom you return again and again. If this is what you want it should be called a consultation, reading, or divination, not a healing.

Another practitioner may just go through the motions with the hopes of effecting change but have no belief in, awareness of, healing or confirmations of past success. They may or may not be successful.

What to look for in a healer

Happily, there is a lot of good news! By using the following tools you can find people who will be powerful forces for good health and a good life.

  • Ask for recommendations from people you trust.
  • Trust your own intuition.
  • Ask questions about the kind of work you seek. Elsewhere in this blog there is information about the many types of service possible.
  • Seek someone who has been doing the work for a while. I had successes early in my career but know I have gotten more knowledge and tools now. This goes a long way toward treating cause, not just symptoms.
  • Ask about their experience. They may or may not respond but it is appropriate to ask. Since time is valuable I have put this information on-line to educate potential clients.
  • A competent healer is usually modest, humble, and doesn’t sing his/her own praise. If they tell me how wonderful they are I would walk away.
  • The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, The Society of Shamanic Practitioners, and the website Shaman’s Portal are where I would start looking for a practitioner to refer someone to out of my area. While I do distance work at times, it may be easier to see someone is your area. Inclusion is these references is no guarantee but is a likely place to start. As you wade in you will learn more about questions to ask.

Don’t be afraid. I was lead magically to wonderful people at nearly every turn. I didn’t encounter anything scary until well into my journey into shamanism. By then I was prepared for it. I’m pretty sure there was a guardian angel watching over me. You probably have one too. Nearly any shamanic practitioner can help you learn to call on him/her.

 

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Autism and Shamanism

17 03 2012

Theologian turned geologian Thomas Berry postulated that the western humans had become “autistic” in relationship to the natural world as a result of viewing the world as separate from ourselves. I was in awe of the accuracy of this diagnosis and stunned at its profound implications.

If you haven’t thought about autism recently, I looked up numerous and differing definitions. However, a basic definition is that it is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. Anyone who has interacted with an autistic child, and these days that is nearly everyone, realizes that they may act as though others, even loving parents, didn’t matter. The analogy to how we treat the planet is so similar. I immediately visualized a loving mother giving her child everything he needed but he just does not respond. Then I thought of that Mother being the Earth. I could go on, but I’m sure you get my drift.

It goes a long way to explaining why we feel drawn to vestigial tribal people who live close to nature.  This isn’t just sentimental and romantic.  These people have so much to offer us if we can just find a respectful way to learn it.

From the Macrocosm to the Microcosm

This alone would be a worthwhile thought to share but I can’t help but find a parallel between this macrocosm event and the microcosm many families are facing today.

I just looked at the Autism Society webpage and found the following statistics:

  • 1 percent of the population of children in the U.S. ages 3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Prevalence is estimated at 1 in 110 births.
  • 1 to 1.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Fastest-growing developmental disability; 1,148% growth rate.
  • 10 – 17 % annual growth.

Thinking of this, I remember Frost’s poem, Fire and Ice from my high school English class.

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Autism may have a scientific explanation. Undoubtedly autistic people have much to teach us. They certainly live in this moment.  However, what if so many children are born with autism that society cannot function?  Could that be the ice Frost proposed? Whatever the cause, and benefits, the call for living closer to nature by recognizing our mother, loving our mother, and meeting her needs are imperative. That is probably the greatest gift the resurgence in shamanism has to offer this world.

Help for Families

With so many parents looking for help for their autistic children it seems appropriate to address the question, can shamanic healing help these children?

There seem to me to be three main opinions about the effectiveness of shamanic healing.

  • The first, and most common in this autistic age, is that it is foolish superstition and has no validity.
  • The second is that shamans were the  precursors of modern psychologists and could possibly be of some help with emotional or mentally based issues. Their answer would likely be no, shamanism could not help decrease the unwanted symptoms of autism.
  • The third group, my group, recognize that healing, magic, or spiritual power, does exist. Individuals may define this as a gift from God or as a natural expression of this universe which our ancestors know and used (back when they lived in harmony with nature). It is still available today.

The answer isn’t simple. Any action taken has to respect the individual gifts of the autistic person and even then, in every case, the practitioner can only go to the compassionate spirits and ask for help. Still, there is the possibility of help.

If you are a parent seeking such help, here are some suggestions for finding a practitioner:

  • First, trust your feelings.
  • Only go to a practitioner that you know, feel good about, or who comes highly recommended by someone you trust.
  • Be aware that most practitioners have the desire to help, whether or not they have the ability, experience, and power to do so.
  • The practitioner cannot promise anything but their best effort.

I am aware that organic diet, some vitamin supplementation, and interactivity with nature such as through animals has provided help to some autistic people.  I prescribe time in nature for all of us.   I also send my prayers to those whose lives are so profoundly affected.





The Shaman’s Calling

7 07 2011

In the Nepali culture potential candidates to become a shaman are abducted by the “bon jhankri” between the ages of seven and twenty years of age.  The “bon jhankri is ” a partially human and partially animal Yeti type creature called a jungle/forest shaman. During the period of this dangerous abduction the candidate is introduced to the mysteries of his/her calling. Alternatively, and increasingly more rare are calling received by candidates “aph se aph” or by spontaneously receiving their mantra’s and healing knowledge. Either way, these candidates can suffer shamanic illness as they are attacked by bokshi (evil sorcerers) and lagu (the bokshi’s evil spirit allies). Even with its unique cosmology, this calling fits within the candidate’s world view and is thereby similar to receiving a calling in many traditional indigenous cultures. Their life struggles are often viewed as shamanic illness and as battles with the bokshi and lagu.

In our modern western culture people who have characteristics which would make them candidates for learning and using shamanic knowledge often don’t understand what is happening. Typically shamanic candidates function well in society and are successful in their chosen field. Then something happens which causes them to wonder “is this all there is”. Not everyone who reexamines their life is a potential candidate. However, some are. The precipitating event isn’t important, though there are amazing stories in this area.

My subject today is helping people who have unrecognized callings. Many times their lives contain struggles with shamanic illness and battles with evil which rise havoc but which seem bizarre and unfathomable.  It is important is that the candidate gains understanding of these events and finds a place that feels like home in which to learn to counter negative effects of the struggle.

The current issue of The Journal of Shamanic Practice, (Volume 4, and Issue 1 Spring 2011) has articles on “Taking a Teacher” and “Apprenticeship”. This post isn’t about that. It is aimed at helping anyone who might feel lost, off track, or who has through some participating event reached the bottom on the wheel of good fortune. When we reach this point where we question everything in our lives, even to wondering what is worth living for, learning about shamanism is one way to regain our sense of purpose in our life.

Many times I am visited by people within whom I see a shamanic warrior or potential healer who hasn’t found themselves. It appears that their calling is stalking them, often through shamanic illness.  It will continue to do so until they see and accept this calling.

I list the following sign posts that you might have calling though it is, by any means, an all inclusive list.  Have you had:

  • Ancestors who were healers/doctors, herbalists, etc.
  • A job in the healing field
  • The awareness of healing energy in your hands
  • Strong and correct intuition and the ability to “read” other people
  • A strong desire to spend time in alone in nature
  • An intimacy with animals
  • Imaginary friends or an awareness of spirits
  • Frequent déjà-vu
  • Vivid dreams and an awareness of their importance
  • Where you born with a caul (thin membrane) covering your head (My old Aunties swear this is a strong sign of a future healer)
  • Any physical, mental, or emotional abnormality that set you appear as a child (In Brazil there are hospitals which achieve wonderful results by training patients as mediums to treat illnesses like schizophrenia, paranoia, and depression. In the US these patients would be labeled and often receive powerful medications. I suggest that some of these people who could  be helped by exploring shamanism and the possibility that these illnesses could have a spiritual cause.  I have written on this subject before so forgive me for repeating myself.)
  • Surviving an illness, accident, or unusual event such as being struck by lightning, especially if this included a lengthy recovery or is of a chronic nature
  • An intense interests in learning about shamanism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Aama Bombo is Coming Back to Santa Cruz!!!

7 06 2011

 

Aama will be here in Santa Cruz for three days on Tuesday, June 21, Wednesday, June 22, and Thursday, June 23. Rather than make a formal presentation, Aama has graciously offered to perform healings much as she does in her home in Nepal.  This creates a unique opportunity to receive healing and learn more about how shamanic healing happens in Nepal and many other areas of the world. It is not necessary to ascribe to or understand the fascinating and complex lineage of her Tamang tradition to benefit from her extraordinary healing gifts.

Aama Bompo has gained international attention as part of the Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers which is, a global alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth and all its inhabitants. Born Buddhi Maya Lama but known as Aama Bombo (Mother Shaman), Aama was born in the remote village of Melong, Nepal, 65 years ago. Her father was a renowned local shaman. Despite early indications that she had inherited her father’s shamanic gifts it wasn’t until after his death that his spirits and other gods and spirits started visiting and teaching her to be a shaman, against the prevailing cultural values of Tamang society. Today, Aama has achieved great renown in Nepal.  Patients come to visit her from around the country, as well as from India and Tibet.

Due to the great response to Aama’s previous visit, she is going to be here an additional day. This will provide for additional private sessions. However, please consider attending the public session as it is a wonderful event. Please register early as both public and private events will fill quickly.

Public Sessions

 

Tuesday, June 21– 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. (Limited to first 45 who register)

 

Wednesday, June 22 – 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. (Limited to first 45 who register)

 

 

Private Sessions- By Appointment Only

 

Tuesday, June 21 – 8:00 a.m. to  3:00 p.m. – by appointment only.

Wednesday, June 22 – 8:00 a.m. to  3:00 p.m. – by appointment only.

Thursday, June 23 – 8:00 a.m. to  12:00 noon – by appointment only.

 

 

 

Location of all sessions: 1615 Heritage Lane, Santa Cruz, CA (for GPS directions, physical location is in Capitola)

 

 

More information about Aama Bompo, her previous visit, and this event are available at my website: http://www.santacruzshaman.com or by email or phone at: lindanadeau33@gmail.com or 408-888-3245.  Email contact is greatly preferred because of the volume of contacts I receive. This is a private residence and parking is limited so please see parking information.

 

 

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A Serious Discussion about Ayahuasca

16 12 2010

If you are looking for a little light reading, this isn’t it. It starts of easy enough but gets tougher.

It is such a pleasure to be in Santa Cruz. This is a place where everyone seems to be searching for greater understanding and a better quality of life in one way or another. Some are seeking it through time spent in nature. Others sample the infinite smorgasbord of spiritual practices available here.  Still others work hard at living healthy lifestyles by eating nourishing food and building strong relationships with family, friends, and animal companions. Actually, many people here are pursuing most of these goals simultaneously. It probably isn’t surprising then, that recently a number of people have asked me about the use of peyote, ayahuasca and other mind altering plant medicines. Other people are reporting their experiences to me. Many people are interested in these powerful teachers.

To put it in perspective, these hallucinogenic plants are only a few of the many helpful medicines derived from nature. There is a rush among pharmaceutical companies to discover more plant medicines and duplicate them chemically for profit.

The primary difficulty I see, aside from the fact that their use is often illegal, is that people are trying them without proper preparation and guidance. Their use is a sacrament and deserves preparation and respect.  Comparing our lifestyle with that of the Shipibo people demonstrates my point.

The Shipibo People

The Shipibo are a group of about 35,000 people in northeastern Peru along the Yuki Yaki River, a tributary of the Amazon River. They come from a land near the mountains, somewhat higher and dryer than the Amazon. They have lived in this area for 6000 years and are not nomadic.  They are a combination of two peoples, the Kanebo and the Shapibo. The Kanebo were aggressive people knows as headhunters who, fortunately, adapted the peaceful ways of the Shipibo.

The Shipibo have a very different concept of life than we do. Their language is all present time which makes it hard to organize tours or commerce. There is no concept of doing things for the future.

The Shipibo believe they were formed from the patterns on the back of the anaconda which is the pattern they associate with protection. This pattern is said to include movement and balance which can also be experienced as music. The Shipibo believe healing comes from using our reptilian brain, which is one of the oldest parts of the human brain.

The Shipibo are known as the singing people. Their “Icaros” are songs infused with prayer. These songs are usually not written nor are they fixed. They never sing a song the same way twice. This concept seems strange to them.

The Shipibo avoid conflict. For example, when they cut down a tree they first consult with the spirit of that tree for permission. When they harvest a crop, they offer thanks. When they walk on land, they ask the land’s permission. Like many societies that live off the land, they live in close harmony with all of nature.

As part of their plant culture they use ayahuasca to have visions. They look for visions relating to fishing, marriage, childbirth, illness, community issues, etc. During these visions they memorie the patterns of the plant visions they see. The patterns of the plant songs are woven into fabric which can be looked at for a guide in how to sing that particular song. These fabrics are also used in healing. The patterned fabric is placed on the body to work against imbalances in the body. There are basic easy patterns everyone knows and more complex ones that only the elders remember. Unfortunately this information is being lost as the younger generation move away from this way of life.

The Shipibo do healing work with the plant patterns.  They move their hands along the patterns and see the tangles as explaining the problem. They can sing a thread out and unwind the tangle. They commonly sing several songs for several weeks as they work through an issue.

The patterns of the plants can also be accessed by putting the plant juice into water. It is then consumed as the patient sings the song of that plant medicine. There are plants and patterns for each organ, such as the circulatory system and muscles. The song can be put into veins, bones, kidneys, eyes. Old trauma patterns, emotional shock patterns and patterns associated with the spirit of heart and mind can be seen. They don’t analyze or compartmentalize the cause of illness or trauma as we do.

Shipibo healers who have visited the United States expressed horror at seeing so many unreleased shock patterns and traumas. They expected that because of adequate food, housing, doctors, and other the availability of other necessities we would be balanced.

According to the Shipibo, when you sing you open your body, emotion, and spirit. It is a way to start to share with people without being overwhelmed

They often eat special plant diets while avoiding some activities. Specific dietary restrictions are prescribed according to their needs, songs, illnesses, etc.  They ingest specific plants to have the spirit of that plant help them. It is a way to have that plant’s special ability velcroed to them. Then sing their intention into plant, bless with tobacco, while also following a regime such as taking plant baths while carrying the intention that the plant spirit enters through their skin. They emerge with the songs of those plants, with familiar spirits, or the spirits associated with power places. They may visit a power place, ask permission, connect with the guardians of the place and make an exchange – leave something and absorb power.

Shipibo fabric represents Amazon River. They sing songs of fabric telling of love and joy. They sing the song while they make the fabric. Later they sing its patterns to activate the fabric which may be worn or hung on a wall.

Their choice of which plant to work with is not random. The healer will start by observing a person’s energy and may feel the person’s pulse. Healing may include extraction or massage. The healer sometimes uses their own breath to send energy to cause something negative to move out of a person.

Recommendations

The use of plant medicine, including ayahuasca, is only one part of complex healing processes among people like the Shipibo. Alone it is less effective than when it is part of a complete regime. It has merit. Anyone considering its use should also consider other choices, such as slowing down, dialoguing with nature, and especially seeking out help in releasing old trauma patterns. Trauma patterns, such as an emotional shock pattern from past fright can interfere with a person’s present harmonic pattern. Dangers such as may  come from someone or something interfering with a person should also be released. For instance, a person can be negatively affected by angry relatives.

Final Words

The beauty of blogging is that I get to say how I see things. We Americans are, dear friends, addicted to quick results. I call it short-attention-span theatre. The use of plant medicine is, like the use of many other healing modalities, best used as part of a total program of work allowing time for the work to integrate. This work requires commitment and dedication and time.  Workshops, gurus, and books have much to teach us. However, we need more time spend on fewer lessons, rather than more lessons. If you often experience deep healing but your life does not change, slow down. You have everything you need.  Do the things that help you find it inside yourself.

 

 





December Events – Drop-In Healings and Talking Circle

27 11 2010

Event: Drop-In Shamanic Healing Clinic

Date: Saturday, December 4 – 9:00 am to noon, Saturday

This event is for those who would like to have a shamanic healing session at an affordable price. Please RSVP if possible. No appointment is necessary. Just show up.  It is part of my community outreach to bring healing to those who feel that they can not afford a typical session. It is also a time for those interested in learning about giving or receiving healing to participate. This is very typical of many indigenous cultures where healing occurs in community. Donations accepted but not required. $20 is recommended.

Event: Woman’s Talking Circle

Date: Saturday morning, December 11 – 9:00 to visit, Circle Starts promptly at 9:30 a.m.

·    Sit in the Sacred Circle

·    Bring your Drum or Rattle (or share one of mine)

·    Speak from your Heart and Be Heard

This Open Spirit Circle has met monthly for about 18 years in my former location. It has been a safe empowering place that has nurtured the sacred in many women. You will be welcomed, embraced and celebrated. It is not affiliated with any organization and welcomes all women to sit in circle as our ancestors have throughout history.  A $5.00 donation is requested.

A  full calendar of events will return in January. Private sessions always available by appointment. Consider a shamanic reading to begin the New Year.





Shamanic Divination

27 11 2010

When I first began my search to understand why I spontaneously knew some of the things I knew about people, I read voraciously. I became a scientist dedicated to learning all I could about metaphysical knowledge and the paranormal.

In my search I decided to pull the veil off anything that I feared. One of my early investigations was into Tarot. I purchased half-a-dozen decks, compiled a ledger of notes from various experts, and seriously applied myself to learning how it worked. Because, for me, it worked. Eventually I created and published a deck of my own.

When I was working on introducing this deck to the public I participated in a Psychic Fair. I found it unusually difficult to read a person in a room where, as I felt it, the energy of so many people was hanging out. I felt as overwhelmed as I had years earlier when visiting a family member in a mental hospital.

I hung an out-to-lunch sign at my table and began to visit with other readers in the room. I also observed the clients of various readers.

I asked readers whether they read from their intuition of from the strict guidelines inherent to each card. Generally, they claimed only to go by the traditional meanings.  This may or may not have been true. For me, tarot, or any other divination tool I have used, is only a way to open the channel for intuition. Having done shamanic divination or reading for over 25 years, I know that no tool alone is as effective as any of these tools in the hands of an intuitive and empathic reader.

I focus on shamanic healing rather than shamanic readings because a healing session not only puts me in touch with the client’s underlying issues but gives permission to do something about them. I don’t just say you have soul loss, I restore the soul part. I don’t just say your mother-in-law has put a hex on you, I remove the hex.  I don’t say you are suffering from loneliness, I work to heal the reason you put protective  barriers around yourself that cause the loneliness.

What I observed with many of the clients at that psychic fair was that they intuitively sought out the reader who would tell them what they wanted to hear.  Some seemed to pick a healer who would wallow with them in their shared woundedness.  I believe that each person selects the healer to work with who suits their current need. It might be a different choice on a different day or at a different stage in their healing. That tends to be me when you are ready to break your consensus reality.

I am happy when I meet a former client who has moved ahead to different healing methods. I know that my part in their healing was surgical. I often peel away enough layers of the wound to allow them to go to another for the delicate work of a psychologist or therapist. I sometimes learn that they have committed themselves to a healing or religious practice.

I see people as blocks of pain. Through healing, we break off this pain bit by bit as they can handle it. The spirits direct how much work can be done at any one time. When I have the blessing of being present at the release of the final big block of pain it is an amazing experience. It is overwhelmingly emotional and painful to let go of something so familiar and comfortable that has been with one so long.