There are spiritualists who irrespective of their background, refer to themselves as Shamans. Interestingly these spiritualists also describe themselves as mediums, aura cleansers, tarot readers, and Reiki masters.
Shamanism is not considered an organized religion but more of a spiritual practice. As such, it cuts across various creeds and faiths. It is a primal belief system that precedes established religion. It features its own cosmology and symbolism. Before we see how to become a shaman let us see what shamanism is all about.
It is a spiritual practice prevalent in different cultures around the globe from the past to recent times. The beauty of shamanism practices is that they are easily adaptable and practical. All these practices seamlessly coexist with different cultures, government systems, as well as, organized religious practices.
Several formalized religions ranging from Christianity to Buddhism have their roots in ancient shamanism. These religions still have a deep link to this spiritual practice. Having said so, Shamanism is not an ideology or a formal system of beliefs. Instead, it is a set of experiences and activities that shamans share in different cultures across the world.
Defining a shaman
The term shaman is taken from a Siberian Tungusic word that refers to a spiritual leader. As the term become more popular, this title was often used interchangeably with various other words such as healer, medium, or medicine man.
Earliest communities across the globe, especially from Northern and Central Asia and Central, South, and North America are known to practice different forms of shamanism.
Shamans are most famously known for their unique capability of communication with the dead people. Many people believe that they can enter a trance through the ceremony. A trance is referred to as a changed state of consciousness.
Shamans would attain spiritual ecstasy through these rituals that comprised of activities such as different types of witchcraft, dancing, singing, and drumming. Shamans would also use their special connections to heal community members and see the future.
It was common for shamans to treat emotional, as well as, physical ailments. The role of a shaman within her or his community was to assist other people cope with or understand their grief.
Stanley Krippner, a well-known American consciousness and psychologist pioneer has come up with a definition for shamans. Krippner describes a shaman as a community-assigned magico-religious professional.
They purposely change their consciousness to get information from the world of spirit. These practitioners deploy their power and knowledge to heal and help community members and the community as a single entity. All adults have the responsibility for their associations with spiritual energies in shamanistic energies. To cut it short, the term shaman has deep historically rich, culturally specific roots.
Does shamanism benefit the person’s well-being and health?
A person may opt for shamanic healing for various kinds of maladies. In case people are following a shamanic culture, the healing process is usually a component of a multidisciplinary approach. The shamans use it for imbalance or disease in assistance with different types of therapies, alterations in diet, botanical medicines, and physical healers.
A majority of non-indigenous individuals are unfamiliar with shamanic healing in modern western society. Despite the lack of awareness, many people seek contemporary shamans for different kinds of health challenges. They do so when there are no satisfactory improvements after trying out conventional approaches.
How to become a shaman?
As we are discussing the abilities of shamanic, a relevant question that comes up is how to become a shaman? The response to this question is not so easy. The reason for this is that spiritual practice is present in different forms across space and time. However, we have tried to respond to the question of how to become a shaman below:
1. By birth
Did you know that it is said that in several tribes the Spirit opted to incarnate as a shaman before even coming into physical existence? Spiritual elders of a particular tribe know a shaman when they are born. Some people say that Shamanic skills can be passed down from generation to generation. The young shaman is then trained and guided by an elder shaman.
2. By Shamanic initiation
In some cultures, potential shamans should undergo something referred to as shamanic initiation. It happens through enduring difficult circumstances with full courage and dealing with their fears. Real shamans exhibit excessive healing and strength in this process. Such an initiation can also take place during dreams, out-of-body experiences, or trances.
In the course of such non-physical experiences, such prospective shamans are given a spirit guide and have to undergo spiritual surgery thereafter. These people are entirely dismembered during this surgery so that they can resemble a newly born shaman.
3. By calling
A person may ail from an extremely severe illness or a near-death encounter. Many believe that the ghosts of their forefathers or spirits visit them. These people are believed to get a shamanic calling. Such experiences may help them to become shamans as they are believed to have faced death and managed to return from it. As such, these people have a mystical life not attained by others.
A few cultures including the Greeks are convinced that struck by lightning is a form of supreme calling. They believe that lightning has the sky’s magical powers. Many shamans do not voluntarily seek this path. Rather they are believed to be called to it.
Check out these few common traits of the shaman. These traits may help a person to determine whether he or she is hearing that special call or not.
i. The person has been attracted to the unexplained
ii. An individual has been present for several births/deaths
iii. One has had a spontaneous an out-of-body or near-death experience
iv. They talk to plants, can control their dreams, or see spirits
v. The person is fond of solving things, discovering certain creative solutions other people can miss
vi. They remember their past life as a seer/healer
vii. They feel tremendously comforted by nature
viii They are empathetic- they can feel joy, emotions, and pain of others
ix. They are always the individual people love to confide in
4. Find a spiritual coach or teacher
Trying to find out a teacher is perhaps the most common way of becoming a shaman. However, it can be slightly challenging to find the right teacher. People do not become shamans by exploring plant medicines or attending weekend workshops.
Instead, the path is ancient and taxing. Heroic efforts can require they prove their dedication. It has been historically found that the apprentices of the shaman are tested for their dedication and tenacity over a longer duration of time.
However, it is important to point out that it is not the right path for people who seek glory or are fainthearted. When one chooses to become a shaman, they opt for a path of sheer devotion. It needs several transformations from the usual and needs full commitment.
The most usual course of study is to travel to remote landscapes and get the learning in indigenous settings. Such a practice leads to proper initiations, protection, and guidance.
One may come across reputable teachers or coaches online, in dreams, or even through referrals. The most exalted way to become a shaman is to follow your gut feelings and discover a teacher who is as committed and sincere as you are. The teacher should have the willingness to accept you as their apprentice. Sharp perception is essential because all shamans do not have the same level of integrity.
A real teacher can hold immense power. These teachers are ready to share their wisdom and do not hesitate to do so and are not jealous. They do not like to compete with others or hold their followers or disciples. Finding a teacher of this caliber needs tremendous effort for an individual to become a shaman.
A teacher needs to make sacrifices to impart authentic and sincere teachings. On the other hand, you as a follower may need to travel and pay in place of your energy and time. You may even have to be prepared to live in conditions that are not as comfortable as your home. However, the final payoff is undeniable after you put effort to call and find your teacher. You can gain all the necessary lessons required to become a shaman.
Shamanism is a way of life
Practicing shamanism is a way of life. Also, it is not the right path for cowards and needs a lot of devotion. You need excessive courage and guts to offer wisdom wherever necessary.
However, shamans are not braver, smarter, or stronger than others. They can work with the Spirit and use faith as the ultimate guide. These people can observe the world’s illusion and have the ability to heal on their own. Shamans are so committed that they are always willing to offer their services and help others. They consider the world as more connected, expansive, and magical than what these people simply touch and see. Last, the article may have given ideas to you about how to become a shaman.