Part One: Bridging Heaven and Earth
A shaman is an agent or living bridge between people and spirits… but beyond that, the definition gets murky.
- With the help of spirits, some shamans heal the sick, while others torment the healthy with curses or spells.
- Going into trance, some shamans channel meaningful information, while others spout gibberish.
- Some shamans drum and chant, while others work silently.
- Some shamans follow age-old traditions, while others use high-tech devices to facilitate healings or to enhance communications or to capture spirit anomalies in photos.
In one regard, then, shamans are like doctors. Or like lawyers, or engineers, or musicians: They come in many flavors!
- Like a shaman, a doctor or lawyer or engineer or musician can have any manner of dispositions (from grumpy to light-hearted, from begrudging to kind-hearted…), which might inspire or annoy or frighten the people around them.
- A practitioner in any of these career paths can specialize in a small subset within a wide range of options.
- No two practitioners are the same… and the “best” practitioners in any of these fields are usually identified not by their credentials nor their age, but by their reputations. They establish good track records, and they (or at least the fruits of their labor) are held in high esteem by their clients, patients, colleagues, or audience.
For those who are truly gifted, in any profession, word spreads.
Even though the word “doctor” or “musician” or “shaman” conjures up a fairly clear mental picture in many people’s minds, no two doctors or musicians are alike, and no two shamans are alike.
There is no precise definition of shamanism. “It would be better to speak of ‘shamanisms,’ in the plural,” says Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer, an anthropologist at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Beliefs, practices, and rituals vary from person to person, she told me, because the path to becoming a shaman is above all a highly individual one…. (read more…)
– David Stern, National Geographic
Of course, there’s one thing that sets shamanism apart from the other occupations: The direct and obvious influence of spirits.*
The worlds of spirit stay hidden from most of us during our lives on Earth, as though we each wear a pair of spiritual blinders… or as though spiritual activities happen behind a veil of some kind. A shaman usually has techniques to lower the blinders for a while… or to pull aside the veil.
When that happens… when a shaman gives us a glimpse of the powers and energies coming from those subtler realms, the results can be mind-boggling, to say the least.
I and others saw a mist form around Rolling Thunder’s body in the summer twilight, extending about 6 to 18 inches out. It grew in intensity as his hand with the crow’s wing moved over the boy’s wound. It was mesmerizing and, when he was finished and stepped back from the table, we could see the large open wound had closed and looked as your skin does when the scab comes off, taut, smooth, and pink. It defied what any of us, doctor or layman, understood about the human body, but it could not be denied…. (read more…)
– Stephan A. Schwartz, Explore
We live in exciting times.
We’re emerging from a Newtonian dark age. For the past 300 years, scientists and inventors have transformed the world in wondrous ways… but at the same time they’ve stuffed spirit back behind the veil whenever it starts to leak through into our world. (read more…)
Simply (but fairly) put, the masters of all things scientific and scholarly have been ruthlessly repressing the human spirit.
But today the veil seems ready to burst at the seams. Spirit stuff is oozing out everywhere, into the cultural mainstream. Thanks to paranormal researchers, authors, Hollywood scriptwriters, and other bright men and women across a broad spectrum of society… we’re all, either directly or indirectly, being immersed in all sorts of “phenomena”…
- from awe-inspiring angel encounters to spooky alien encounters “of the third kind“…
- from paradise daydreams to night terrors…
- from routine DOAs and DNRs to breathtaking OBEs and NDEs.
So, spiritual reality may still be shunned by the intelligentsia throughout much of the modern world… but things are starting to shift.
A notable example… shamanism is starting to make in-roads into one of the most agnostic professions in the world… modern medicine.
The (shaman) policy (at Mercy Medical Center in Merced, California,) and a novel training program to introduce shamans to the principles of Western medicine are part of a national movement to consider patients’ cultural beliefs and values when deciding their medical treatment…. (Hmong shaman Va Meng Lee says,) “Doctors are good at disease, (but) the soul is the shaman’s responsibility.” (read more…)
– Patricia Leigh Brown, New York Times
The Shamans in My Life
My own first encounters with shamanism were in the presence of Gurumayi, a lovely, young Hindu mystic with the gift of Shakti, and through the work of George Meek, whom I’ll discuss in the next article in this series.
During my ITC experiences in the 1990s, my friend and colleague Maggy Fischbach of Luxembourg had miraculous experiences that would certainly classify her as a modern, high-tech shaman. A large team of spirits calling themselves Timestream loved Maggy and worked closely with her, sending all sorts of information into our world through Maggy’s TVs, radios, computers, telephones, and FAX machines.
German ITC researcher Adolf Homes had similar experiences, and in fact received several contacts through his computer and telephone from a rather troublesome spirit-world shaman calling himself Majo.
On one occasion during the ITC heyday of the 90s, I, too, received a phone call from a spirit-world shaman… a negative spirit named “Afra.” I’ll share that unsettling contact in a future article in this series. Until now I’ve kept it locked away so as not to draw attention to the negative spirit group. Now it feels important to get the truth out. As the veil begins to open wider, it’s important for us humans to know what’s really over there on the other side, for better or worse… what to prepare for.
That’s one of the main things I hope to determine with this series of articles about shamanism. Where in the spirit worlds do shamanic interactions originate, and what are the implications for our world?
More recently I’ve been in contact with an amazing young woman who’s having all sorts of strange experiences on her rural estate in the eastern US. She feels she’s being prepped for shamanic work. (read more about “Carly”…)
Another woman, whom I’ll call “Kate,” contacted me a few weeks ago. She tells me she is in the late stages of Lyme disease, and her body has pretty much “given up the ghost.” She says a decade ago she was healthy and vital, then a shaman put a curse on her. Since then Kate has contacted a growing number of medical doctors, psychics and shamans (some of whom help for free, others who demand a lot of money). Kate says the general consensus among the psychics and shamans is that her spirit left her body several months ago, leaving just a flickering ember working in her brain. Various other spirits and even some ETs have been moving in and out of her body… altering her personality in troubling ways.
My wife Regina has done several remote healings on Kate, using techniques she’s learned over the years from a highly reputed master healer in Boulder named Damaris J. With an ability to perform spiritual healing and detach spiritual parasites, Damaris could easily be classified a modern-day shaman in the best sense of the word.
These are a few of the topics I plan to explore in more depth in this series of articles on shamanism.
– – – – – –
* It’s my firm belief, of course, that doctors, lawyers, engineers… everyone is subtly influenced in their jobs, their relationships, and their lives by spirits moving in and out of our world… shamans just moreso. For a shaman, the proverbial veil is lowered so that spirits have a more direct and profound influence on our material world and its inhabitants. That veil between Heaven and Earth keeps most of us carnal humans locked-in to our five senses, and those five senses keep us focused on the material world. I think the veil was formed long, long ago, to protect us humans on Earth. If we were aware of the many spirits flourishing all around us, life on Earth would be mayhem… well… greater mayhem than it already is. 🙂 Without the veil, people might look around at the exasperating dramas going on in their carnal lives, gaze into the wonders of the spirit worlds, decide “I’m outa’ here,” and salute the Earth in the rear-view mirror. The veil helps us keep on task with our little material lives… keeps us from being distracted by other-worldly matters.