What is Shamanism – (SHAH-men-ism, SHAY-men-ism) Shamanism is the art of seeking and maintaining balance between humans and nature, between the seen and unseen realms. At the heart of shamanism is balance; without balance healing cannot occur. A shamanic practitioner is one who reaches altered states of consciousness by using sound, music, drumming, guided meditations, plant-spirit medicine and/or other techniques, to interact with the spirit world. The shaman or curandero/curandera then channels their connection to the spirit world into this world during a ceremony or ritual to heal, perform divination, and balance energies for personal healing and global transformation.
Why is shamanism important to our modern world? In today’s industrialized world we are living out of balance with Mother Earth and the world around us. Our modern society is out of touch and no longer lives in harmony with nature. We are seeing an increase in companies and governments indiscriminately using up earth’s resources and contributing to deforestation, global warming, extinction of our animal kingdom, poisoning our waters, and so on. This is causing rampant destruction of cultural and biological diversity as well as profound physical and psychological illnesses in all of humanity.
Through the study and practice of shamanic ceremony and ritual, individuals learn to live in harmony with nature and Mother Earth and her children, the animal, plants, minerals and each other. As one becomes more mindful of how to live more in balance with the world around us, we begin to see a healing of individuals, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. As individuals see themselves as whole, spiritual beings, they can then direct those energies of healing to Mother Earth, Pachamama. The ancient cultures and civilizations have much to teach us about how to live respectfully and in harmony with the Cosmic Universe that surrounds us in order for our species and our world to not only survive, but to evolve into a higher consciousness of global awareness.