by: Zannie Rose
Shamanic healing is one of the vast numbers of healing modalities available for us to experience today. Like acupuncture its roots are in the mists of time and like acupuncture it works with unseen energy. Acupuncture is usually associated with the East, while there have been shamanic healers for thousands of years in tribal communities all around the world.
There are also many contemporary practitioners of this ancient healing art. Traditionally a shaman was someone who was able to communicate with the spirits and visit other realities with their own spirit allies. This is still the case in modern shamanism. A shamanic practitioner will use a drum or rattle to access an altered state of consciousness. In this altered state she is able to enter the lower world, the middle world or the upper world which are the unseen other realities.
Here in the other worlds she journeys with her power animal and helpers to ask for healing for whoever has requested her services. Shamanic healing is about energy, and typically the shamanic practitioner sees lack of health and well being on any level as being about loss of energy in some way. Trauma, stress, abuse and serious accident at any time in one’s life can result in loss of life force, vital energy or essence which is known as ‘soul loss’. In order to survive seriously challenging situations a soul part leaves the individual and finds some kind of haven or refuge in one of the other worlds, taking with it some of the life force. It does this to assist overall survival. However, it often results in depression, apathy, inability to move on after a loss or death or problems with the immune system.
It is the task of the shamanic healer to track down this soul part in the other worlds, to offer it healing and reassurance and to invite it to return and bring back its positive qualities. This is known as ‘soul retrieval’
Another issue addressed by the modern day shamanic healer is that of ‘power loss.’ Power loss is widespread and may be caused by confrontation, exams ill health, unrelenting problems, lack of community support, erosion of self- esteem, stressful family circumstances or manipulative relationships.
Without our inherent vitality and viable connection to the cosmic web we become dis-empowered, dejected and dispirited. The shamanic solution is for the healer to journey to the lower world to retrieve the individual’s power animal. Power then returns along with the ability to approach life with enahnced confidence and deal with the challenges it presents.
The ancient practice of shamanic healing is alive and well and is very useful for an individual who recognises any of the symptoms referred to. It can support therapy or counselling when it feels as if an impasse has been reached. It is also useful for a personal development coach to have a shamanic practitioner on their referral list as a individually tailored shamanic sessions to retrieve soul parts and/or a power animal will give the individual more energy and incentive to design and work towards life goals.
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