Sunday, November 11, 2018

Dangers of Shamanic Journeying

Shamanic journeying is not without its risks. It is not a practice to be taken lightly, and one should not attempt it unless they have a comprehensive understanding of grounding techniques. Otherwise, it can sometimes be quite difficult to fully ground yourself into your body and restore self-awareness. It is possible to journey too much and spend too much time out of your body in other realms. It can leave one feeling ungrounded and disconnected from life on the physical plane. It is important to have an energetic balance between the spiritual and physical. The dangers of shamanic practice arise when one attempts a certain level of shamanic technique when not sufficiently ready for it. The function of consistent, regular practice is to develop the skills and talents so that shamanic practitioners do not unintentionally hurt themselves or others. Shamanic practice requires discipline, concentration and purpose.
Shamanic journeying involves dissolving the boundaries of how we normally interact with the world. The comfort we derive from the familiarity of ordinary reality gives way when we enter non-ordinary reality. If doing this brings up intense emotions that feel uncomfortable, threatening or out of control, then I suggest stopping. If you have a known history of dissociation or psychosis, then there is the potential for those symptoms to be triggered by such an experience. In that case, it would be best to consult a shamanic practitioner who is trained in such matters. When we are not fully in our bodies, we are disconnected from personal boundaries, sense of self and the wisdom held within our bodies. It makes us more vulnerable to any non-benevolent beings that exist in other realms.
So how can we protect ourselves when we take a shamanic journey? Always begin by smudging in order to create a purified sacred space where you are protected and safe. Smudging is a method of using smoke from burning herbs to dispel negative energy. Sage, cedar and sweetgrass are traditionally used for smudging. To smudge, light the dried herbs in a fire-resistant receptacle, and then blow out the flames. Then use a feather or your hands to fan the smoke around your body and home. I recommend cracking a window or door for ventilation and for releasing unwanted energies.
After creating sacred space, you may wish to ritually open the space by invoking the benevolent powers of the seven directions, and then call out to your helping spirits for help and protection. It is very important to take a trusted spirit guide with you when journeying. Your spirit guide knows the spirit world well and will lead, assist and protect you when necessary. When taking a shamanic journey, you will meet an entity at the entrance to the spirit world that will act as your guide. Once you meet your own power animal, you can call upon it to accompany you on your journeys.
Beyond that, for a studied shamanic practitioner, the dangers are relatively few as long as you adhere to a few simple rules: always ask permission before doing any healing work, offer gratitude to any and all beings that assist you in your work, be clear with your intentions and objectives, be respectful of the Earth and all our relations, and do not dabble. If you are not ready for deep spiritual work, hard truths and serious accountability, then this may not be the right path for you.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Post-Tribal Shamanism

Post-Tribal Shamanism: A new look at the old ways, by Kenn Day, is based on teachings from the author's spirit helper, Grandfather, as well as his experiences from 30 years of shamanic practice. This book contains a wealth of information about shamanism, including a wide range of useful practical exercises. The book covers topics including social evolution and post-tribal ethics, as well as exploring the differences and similarities between the work of the traditional shaman and the contemporary post-tribal shaman. The practical information and exercises include such essentials as: connecting with our ancestors, journeying techniques, working with a wide range of spirits, soul retrieval and healing the invisible wound. It also includes exercises in lucid dreaming, ceremony and ritual, as well as preparing for death. The author cautions that no book or workshop can make you into a shaman, however the practice of post-tribal shamanism can benefit and enrich anyone's life. In this book he has provided a multitude of techniques for the reader to explore plus a wide range of information about post-tribal shamanic practice. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in shamanism. Look inside Post-Tribal Shamanism.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Power of the Conch Shell Trumpet

The conch, also known as a "seashell horn" or "shell trumpet," is a musical instrument that is made from a seashell (conch). Its gently expanding interior spiral forms an ideally proportioned windway for producing a warm, full, and far-carrying tone. Probably the first musical instrument that was ever invented, the conch is often associated with the controlling of natural elements related to its habitat, such as rain, water, and wind. The conch is also used to represent the sacred breath of life. The interior spirals of conch shells often exhibit the mathematical proportions of the golden ratio, also known as the golden mean. This placed them in both the celestial and terrestrial world through the Classical concept of the music of the spheres. The golden ratio was often expressed in the design of musical instruments.

The conch achieved exalted status as a sacred instrument in ritual and religion around the world, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and the spiritual practices of Mesoamerica. The conch is sounded at the beginning of important rituals to attract attention, signaling the start of a ceremony, notifying the community, and drawing the Creator's participation. The sound is believed to have the ability to drown out any negative words or noises that might disturb or disrupt the harmonious atmosphere. The sound of conch is understood as the source of all existence -- a cosmic womb, for when the conch is blown, it is said to emulate the primordial sound from which all else emanates. Listen to the conch on my song "Turtle Shaker."

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Native American Voter Suppression

Standing Rock is now known worldwide for the protests over the Dakota Access pipeline, which were ongoing in the period leading up to the 2016 elections. But the advocates and celebrities who flooded into the region have nearly all left. And Standing Rock's own energy and activism hasn't translated to the ballot box, for reasons both ancient and recent. This week the United States Supreme Court chose not to overturn a new North Dakota voter ID requirement that could effectively disenfranchise thousands of Native voters for the upcoming election on Nov. 6. It's pure institutionalized racism, and it threatens the future of North Dakota and our nation. Mobilization is now more important than ever. In North Dakota, every vote really does count. Because of their relatively small population, it's possible for statewide election results to change based on a couple hundred votes -- and as of now, the court's ruling means thousands of Native voices could be eliminated from the rolls on election day. Read more.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

"The Great Shift" Book Release

The Great Shift is about the new era of humanity. We have entered the new epoch of humanity’s spiritual evolutionary journey into higher consciousness. Our present world is one in which order is arising out of chaos. Everything is changing and seeking equilibrium. The conditions are nothing short of a rebirth. We are quite literally witnesses and participants in the shift from individual to planetary consciousness. We are part of the emerging consciousness, and the signs are everywhere. It is here now, and we all have a part to play in it.

This book is a guide to navigating the shift from an old paradigm into a new one. It is deeply rooted in the shamanic and Taoist traditions, which are a fountain of wisdom and knowledge for restoring our relationship with the Earth. Shamanism and Taoism are a way of living in harmony with nature, rather than an adherence to a religious doctrine. By practicing these ways of being, we awaken our soul calling and our connection to nature. They provide a myriad of responses to the spiritual quest of self-discovery. They are ways that embed us in the living web of life, yielding greater awareness and perspective. These practices are easily integrated into contemporary life and provide a means of navigating the turbulent times in which we live. Look inside The Great Shift: And How To Navigate It.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

New Shamanic Album "Mudang Rock"

Mudang Rock, the revelatory new album from Grammy-winning guitarist Henry Kaiser, uses the rhythms and spirit of Korean Shamanism as the vehicle for an extraordinary voyage into improvisation and collaboration that reaches far beyond boundaries of genre. In Korean spiritual lore, a mudang is a type of shaman who has become possessed by a god, called a momju. Mudang perform fortune telling using their spiritual powers derived from their possession. They preside over a kut (rite) involving song and dance. The highly electric music on this album is a collaboration of four musical luminaries of jazz and experimentalism: Henry Kaiser, Simon Barker, Bill Laswell, and Rudresh Mahanthappa. Kaiser, Barker, and Laswell each have spent more than one-half of their musical lifetimes collaborating with Korean traditional musicians. They invited saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa to join them for this newly energized exploration of the musical unknown. The result is compelling, ecstatic, and very shamanic. Available on Amazon and iTunes.