Monday, December 13, 2010
Modern Shamanism by Dean Taraborelli, Founder of The Sanctuary at Sedon
Though cloaked in mystery, Shamanism is neither mysterious nor “new age”. Dating back over 5,000 years and sprawling from Asia through the Americas, Shamanism has a large if not well understood significance in world history. The dearth of western scholarship on the subject is, most likely, due to the fact that the myriad of ancient cultures which practiced Shamanism were, by and far, cultures of oral traditions; that is, they did not reduce their belief systems, their values, or their ceremonies to writing. While it is well understood that, for example, the Mayans were a highly developed culture with intricate knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, architecture, etc., we have no written accounts (in the traditional sense) of their history. Nevertheless, there remain to present day certain practices and beliefs that are common to all Shamanic cultures.
The etymology of “Shaman” is Russian and translates as “to know” or “to see” and, as a noun, refers to one who is wise or sagacious. In Native American culture, the Shaman is the medicine man or woman, the one responsible for the care of his or her community. In all such cultures, the Shaman is learned in both the natural – material - world (plants, animals, minerals, elements) and the inner – immaterial -world (subconscious, energetic). The old-school “family doctor” who made house calls, delivered the babies, counseled the grieving, and comforted the dying could well have been called a Shaman.
It is this latter aspect of the Shaman, the work with the immaterial world, which begets both the mystique and the skepticism. Despite the promises and logical extensions of quantum physics, we still, for the most part, live in a Newtonian-centered world. If we can’t see, smell, feel, hear, or taste “it”, then “it” either doesn’t exist or simply doesn’t matter. For the Shaman, this is not true. Much of the Shaman’s work is at the energetic, the unseen, level. The Shaman believes that all things, at their core or essential level, are made of energy, and that it is possible to manipulate or alter these energies at that core level. In many ways, the Shamans of yesteryear are much like the quantum physicists of today. We all know the infamous equation E=MC2 but have we given much thought to it’s meaning? It states, in theory, that a simple hydrogen atom with a tiny mass of 1.672 (10-27) kg has an energy equivalent of 10 Million Billion (1015) Joules. While one Joule is not much energy (roughly equal to the energy released when dropping a text book to the floor), 10 Million Billion Joules are quite significant. And that’s just a single hydrogen atom – think what a little plutonium could do. In any event, the great insight was Einstein’s realization that matter and energy are simply different forms of the same thing. The modern Shaman can be viewed as one who operates or mediates between the worlds of matter and energy, the seen and the unseen. The Shaman, it can be said, “dances” on the equal sign of E=MC2.
The Shaman’s work then, on the energetic level, is to manipulate, however slightly, the client’s energetic field which, in turn, manifests as significant changes at the material level. Just as one will find it much easier to alter, upstream, the downstream course of a river, the Shaman alters the material at its un-manifested core or energetic state. In principal, is it not easier to fix any problem at its start rather than wait and have to pick up all the pieces?
Anyone familiar with the advances in quantum science or anyone with even a remote understanding of the theories and discoveries outlined in films such as What the Bleep Do We Know? or The Quantum Activist know that our reality is being redefined. Not only are we on the crux of enormous leaps forward in our understanding of the universe, but we are similarly poised to better understand ourselves and, perhaps, redefine the human condition. We now know that our universe is much like a field, a field which is intelligent, having knowledge both of self and of everything else in the field. Experiments demonstrate, for example, that a single atom can be in two or more places at once; that information in the field travels faster that light; that our consciousness effects events and things around us; that we can, in theory, alter not just the future but the past. In short, these experiments point to the fact that we, consciously or otherwise, are participating in the creation of our reality.
And while these new scientific discoveries may seem astounding, they each describe properties of a universe that has always operated this way. In this context then, it follows that the ancient Shamans were doing what our quantum physicists are now proving to be possible. To see the energetic essence of all things, to interact with the forces of nature, to assist in one’s healing by affecting his/her energy field, the Shamans of old had a working knowledge of the principles of quantum science.
Perhaps Shamans were the earliest quantum physicists and modern scientist the latest generation of Shamans. And since we are all interacting and affecting the quantum field, it follows that we are all, to some degree, not only quantum scientists but modern-day Shamans as well.
- ► 2012 (47)
- ► 2011 (78)
- ▼ December (5)
Star Wolf's Welcome
My journey in life has been a spiral path of wholeness that continues to move through cycles of change taking me through many symbolic death and rebirth experiences, which I refer to as “shamanic portals of transformation.” I have learned more than I ever thought possible through a process I will share with you in my future writings, called the Shamanic Breathwork™ process, and the five initiations process called S.H.I.P. Once I have made sense of the lessons on my path and discovered the bigger picture, I am ready to pass on and share both my stumblings and my leaps along the way. In my own spiritual quest, I have always appreciated most those who shared their struggles and victories in an authentic way. That will be my humble attempt within the context of this blog.
I believe that we are all indigenous to this earth. I respect all my relations, whether they be human, animal, plant, mineral, visible or invisible ones. We are all related by the great web of life and sent here from the great beyond. Everything we say and do touches all parts of this magnificent web of creation. If I treat myself or anyone else unfairly, we are all affected in some way. Fortunately, the converse is true, as well. I am not perfect. If I am honest and have humility, I can admit that I will make mistakes as I seek to further evolve my conscious awareness. I can also make living amends by striving to change my negative thoughts and behaviors, and live from a more open-hearted connection to others and to myself. I have learned over time that all the changes I seek in the outer world must begin by looking within myself first. I have also learned that it is imperative that I have the courage to be honest with myself and to look at the “shadow” side of my personality. When I have had the courage to truly know myself better, the light and the dark, I have found the inner strength to change my life and shape-shift myself into the light of my true soul’s image.
From time to time I will share different programs and events that are being offered through my non profit organization (Venus Rising Institute for Shamanic Healing Arts) in my blog, as well as photos, videos and teachings, etc. But the main purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet to share the inner musings of my shamanic spirit and journey, and to hear yours as well. I look forward to connecting with all of you who intuitively know that you, too, are a valuable part of the shamanic process of conscious co-creation and evolution on the planet at this time. We each have a role to play and a soul purpose in the drama unfolding in our world today. Together we can create a better place for all beings on earth to live and leave a powerful legacy for those who are yet to come.
I believe we will all be remembered by future generations for the choices we make during this time of huge evolutionary change. In the words of the wonderful poem, “Summer Day,” by Mary Oliver, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
In Love, In Service, In Gratitude,
Feb 2nd 2009