Shamanism in Oakland
What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is an ancient healing tradition and moreover, a way of life. It is a way to connect with nature and all of creation. It is the ancestor of all modern religions and as a conscious practice, it transforms the life of one who practices it.
Shamanic journeying is a way of communicating with your inner or "spirit self" and retrieving information. Imagination is our portal to the spirit world. Internal imagery enables us to perceive and connect with the inner realms. You need only journey within to find answers to your questions.
From a shamanic point of view, anyone who has had a trauma, may have lost a part of their soul. Soul retrieval is a technique by which a shamanic practitioner goes searching for that soul part and restores it. This process assists in the accessing of and assimilating conscious and unconscious trauma responses.
Shamanism is an ancient healing tradition that is centered around being connected with nature and all of creation. The word shaman was coined by anthropologists to refer to the ceremonial leaders among indigenous cultures worldwide. There are many similarities among ancient traditions and the word shamanism has been generalized to encompass these spiritual practices.
Generally speaking, shamans are doctors for the soul. Sometimes your body and mind need a doctor and so does your soul. When you have a successful soul healing it brings the other parts of you into balance, which is often the missing piece.
For some of us it is hard to conceive of what the soul actually is. Modern culture has confused the idea of soul in a battle of beliefs between religion and science. One way we can speak about the soul is to say that it is the part of you that is not your mind or your body. We tap into it with our feeling sense. All these aspects of self are intricately connected.
Shamans have been taught to be able to perceive this aspect of self with great clarity. In this way, it is just like a doctor for your body. An MD sees the body as something “real”. The soul is just as real.
I am not sure when we started culturally assuming this work is unscientific malarky, but most of us have these biases. I have been successfully wading through my own biases, and I am experiencing the potency of these methods. Soul-healing actually works! I offer introductions to and more advanced explorations into shamanic work at my studio in Oakland, Ca in the East Bay.
What is Shamanic Journeying?
Shamanism represents a universal conceptual framework found among indigenous tribal people. It includes the belief that the natural world has two aspects: ordinary everyday awareness, formed by our habitual behaviors, patterns of belief, social norms, and cultural conditioning, and a second non-ordinary awareness accessed through altered states, or ecstatic trance, induced by shamanic practices such as repetitive drumming. The act of entering an ecstatic trance state is called the soul flight or shamanic journey, and it allows the journeyer to view life and life's problems from a detached, spiritual perspective, not easily achieved in a state of ordinary consciousness.
Shamanic journeying is a way of communicating with your inner or spirit self and retrieving information. Your inner self is in constant communication with all aspects of your environment, seen and unseen. You need only journey within to find answers to your questions. You should have a question or objective in mind from the start. Shamanic journeying may be undertaken for purposes of divination, for personal healing, to meet one's power animal or spirit guide, or for any number of other reasons. After the journey, you may then interpret the meaning of your trance experience.
The drum, provides a simple and effective way to induce ecstatic trance states. When a drum is played at an even tempo of four to seven beats per second for at least twelve minutes, many novices report that they can journey successfully even on their first attempt. Transported by the driving beat of the drum; the shamanic traveler journeys to the inner planes of consciousness.
The Shaman's Universe
According to shamanic cosmology, there are three inner planes of consciousness: the Upper, Middle, and Lower Worlds. Humans did not invent these inner realms; they discovered them. Far from being a human contrivance, these archetypal worlds are inherent in the collective unconscious, the common psychological inheritance of humanity. They are woven into the matrix of the psyche. They are a part of our psyche, a part of us whether we choose to become aware of it or not.
Imagination is our portal to the spirit world. Internal imagery enables us to perceive and connect with the inner realms. If a shaman wants to retrieve information or a lost guardian spirit, "imagining what to look for" is the first step in achieving any result
To enter a trance state and support your shamanic journey, you will need a drum or a shamanic drumming recording. Shamanic drumming is drumming for the purpose of shamanic journeying. A good shamanic drumming recording should be pulsed at around three to four beats per second. You may also rattle, chant, or sing to induce trance. There is no right or wrong way to shamanic journey. Be innovative and try different ways of journeying. Many people need to move, dance, or sing their journeys. My first journeys were supported by listening to a shamanic drumming recording, but now I have stronger journeys when I drum for myself.
There are a few good books where you can read about step-by-step instructions for taking shamanic journeys. These authors include Michael Harner, Sandra Ingerman, and Michael Drake (I have borrowed some of his words on this page). I offer group and private shamanic journeys in my studio in Oakland, Ca in the East Bay.
From the shamanic perspective, during a traumatic event, part of your soul breaks away from you and leaves to hide out in an alternative reality (the spirit world) where it can be safe. The problem is that you need all of your soul parts with you to feel whole and healthy.
During a soul retrieval session, I find parts of your soul that have broken away during a traumatic event, and help them to heal. You then consciously do the work to reintegrate these parts of self back into your life. The results are tangible and sometimes extremely life-changing.
I have practiced modern psychological approaches for post-traumatic stress with clients for many years. In comparison, I have now witnessed and personally experienced soul retrieval as a fast-track to healing trauma and other physical and psychological imbalances.
Soul retrieval can address many kinds of dis-ease. I especially recommend trying it if you are interested in working on anxiety, depression, sleep issues, addiction, codependency, chronic illness, fatigue, mental fog, unresolved fear, or shifting unhealthy behaviors. I offer private soul retrieval ceremonies in my studio in Oakland, Ca in the East Bay.