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Shamanism

What is Shamanism?

(Excerpted from Mark's book My Journey Back to Oneness)

My training and experience are rooted in the teachings of the Kahuna Shamans of Hawaii. The Kahuna can be classified as the Shamans of Hawaii. As with other Shamans throughout the world, the Kahuna were the keepers of the wisdom and spirituality of their race. They were respected as healers and visionaries that would shepherd their people through life and help guide them on the path to spiritual enlightenment.


A Kahuna is an expert. There were and still are, Kahuna for navigation, fishing, building, healing, woodworking, war and just about anything else at which you can imagine a person being an expert. Kahuna are the seers.


They are intimately familiar with their chosen trade. Some examples: hunter Kahuna would find their prey by "connecting" with the animal and asking the quarry's help in the survival of the Kahuna's people. Navigator Kahuna spent years watching the stars, currents, weather - and learned shipbuilding techniques in order to give the greatest probability of a successful open-ocean journey. They also merged with the atmosphere prior to the journey to ask assistance.


Much of the direct knowledge of how Kahuna accomplished their connection with nature and the spirit worlds has been lost. However, one potential link does still exist: Shamanism. The term Shaman comes from the Tungusic language of Siberia. Although some say that only the spirit workers from the Tungus tribe can rightfully be call a Shaman, the designation of Shaman is used as a general term to describe the practitioner of shamanism.


Shamanic practices have been observed in all cultures, in every era. Shamans utilize a close relationship with nature to facilitate their abilities of prophecy and healing. Like in the Hawaiian belief system, Shamans also understand that the root of ailment is not bacteria or viruses, but a physical, spiritual, psychological imbalance and/or lesson to be learned.


There are many different practices employed by Shamans. Amongst the varying Shamanic practices, there are common themes including the concepts of ordinary and non-ordinary reality and three worlds.


Ordinary reality is the world we live in. It is the physical reality of our five senses. It is the world that we describe through our chemistry and physics, the conscious mind and faith. In this reality, there is separateness: a beginning and an end; a cause and an effect.


Non-ordinary reality is the world of spirit. It is the world of dreams, spirits and intuition. It is where all things are conscious. It is the place of "no time" where the past, present and future all exist and are accessible. It is the place where thoughts, feelings and emotions create our physical reality and is the spirit mirror of our ordinary reality. In this place, all is connected and related. It is a place of symbolism. The Shaman "journeys" to non-ordinary reality to access the information contained therein. He then uses this data to help facilitate healing in ordinary reality.


Non-ordinary reality is commonly viewed as three distinct areas or worlds: lower, middle and upper.


The lower world is the realm of animal spirits, nature, earth energies, etc. In the lower world, one can ground energies and influence the state of the physical body. In journeys to this world, the Shaman can find information to help with survival, sexual and balance issues. It is the place where you can find "safety." It is the realm of fairies, brownies, sprites, animal helpers, elves and devas. Here, the hunting Shaman would connect with the spirit of his prey and ask permission to take the animal's life, honor it and thank it for its gifts.


The middle world is the domain of compassion. It is the place of rest for the soul. In the middle world, the Shaman connects with the spirits of departed loved ones, souls, beings, spirits and guides. It is where the lono or mind influences thoughts, feelings and emotions and directs the ku or physical. When a Shaman does distance healing, the middle world is the starting point. It is also the location of each person's private healing garden, a place we can create ourselves and visit often.


The upper world is the home of one's aumakua or over-soul. This world is the mother of intuition and influencer of the mental functions. It is the guide of our actions that has the benefit of knowing all things. It does not, however, speak in plain language. It speaks in metaphor and symbols that the Shaman must interpret and place in context in order to use the information. This is where the Shaman travels to past and future realms to gain knowledge.


Although viewed as distinct worlds, these areas often blend and allow one to experience a balance of information supplied by helpers in each world.


The belief system of the Hawaiians is closely aligned with the Shamanic view of the world. In Hawaiian mythology, there was originally one Source of all things. In order to create our current world and existence, the Source divided into three:


Kane - ruler of the above or upper world, aumakua, divine consciousness


Lono - ruler of the middle world, mental, conscious mind, considered the architect or builder of reality


Ku - ruler of the lower world, unconscious mind, physical incarnation


In the physical body, the ku is the lower-self that is concerned with physical body, memory and survival. It does not "think." It is like the hard drive of a computer in that it only holds ordinary and non-ordinary reality memories. It cannot lie. The ku is also the gatekeeper to non-ordinary reality.


The middle-self is the lono. It is the mind that analyzes, guides the ku and gives instructions. As the analyzer, it sometimes gets in the way by over-analyzing situations and not trusting the information it is given from the ku. The middle-self provides a home for the ego.


The aumakua is the upper-self. As described above, the aumakua is the mother of intuition and influencer of the mental functions. Mental functions are fed information to the lono from the aumakua via the ku. The aumakua feeds the ku with "intuitive memories." Almost every person can recall an example of this communication. Do you remember a time that you "knew" information but could not recall how or why? This was the aumakua providing you with the data you needed at that time. The aumakua is the guide of our actions that has the benefit of knowing all things.


What to Expect?


Over the course of human development, ancient peoples worldwide discovered how to maximize human abilities of mind and spirit for healing and problem-solving. This system has become known as "shamanism." Shamans enter an altered state of consciousness to journey to hidden worlds otherwise mainly known through myth, dream, and near-death experiences.


Shamanism, specifically the shamanic journey, is used primarily for divination and healing. Shamans utilize the journeying techniques to study with their individual spirit teachers in non-ordinary reality. During the journey, the shaman can gain knowledge and insight as to what is necessary to restore spiritual power, and heal oneself, others, and the Planet.


Shamanic practices have been observed in all cultures, in every era. Shamans utilize a close relationship with nature to facilitate their abilities of prophecy and healing. Like in the Hawaiian belief system, Shamans also understand that the root of ailment is not bacteria or viruses, but a physical, spiritual, psychological imbalance and/or lesson to be learned.


There are many different practices employed by Shamans. Common themes in Shamanic work include the concepts of ordinary and non-ordinary reality and three worlds. Ordinary reality is the world we live in. It is the physical reality of our five senses. It is the world that we describe through our chemistry and physics, the conscious mind and faith. In this reality, there is separateness: a beginning and an end; a cause and an effect. Non-ordinary reality is the world of spirit. It is the world of dreams, spirits and intuition. It is where all things are conscious. It is the place of "no time" where the past, present and future all exist and are accessible. It is the place where thoughts, feelings and emotions create our physical reality and is the spirit mirror of our ordinary reality. In this place, all is connected and related. It is a place of symbolism. The Shaman "journeys" to non-ordinary reality to access the information contained therein. He then uses this data to help facilitate healing in ordinary reality.


Below is a description of a typical Shamanic healing session:


To facilitate the healing, I discuss the situation with the person and ask spirit guides for assistance. This discussion could be as simple as asking the person to state the aliment to be worked on, to as complex as a full history of the situation. The objective of the discussion is to identify any patterns that might help me or the client to pinpoint the root cause of the disharmony. These questions would progress along the line of:


What would you like to heal?


When did it first appear?


What was happening in your life when it first appeared?


Are there times when the disharmony appears more often or stronger?


Has anyone in your family had a similar ailment?


Are you aware of any lesson associated with the ailment?


At then end of the discussion, I ask if the client is willing to accept the lesson. Acceptance of the situation, even if the lesson is not known to the client, is the key to beginning the healing process. Acceptance does not mean giving up. Acceptance, in this context, is acknowledgement. If a person is not willing to learn the lesson, the ailment is still "of use" to the client. Actually knowing the lesson is not necessarily essential for the healing to take place. The heart-felt acknowledgement of the situation is the most important aspect.


The client will then be directed to see the healing as already done. The process of seeing the healing in this way can be likened to the Shamanic practice of shape shifting. Traditionally, shape shifting is when a Shaman blends with or "becomes" something outside his or her normal physical form. This could be a plant, animal, tree, rock, etc. The shape will be chosen based on the information to be gathered. In healing, the client is directed to "shape shift" from an entity that is sick into a healthy form.


After gathering the information, I sets my intention on the information. Then, I enter the non-ordinary state of reality and travels to the appropriate worldly level to gather the information necessary to deal with the situation. To enter the non-ordinary state, I will normally use a percussive beat. The source of this beat could be a drum, rattle, didgeridoo, singing bowl, chanting, etc. During the healing ceremony, I may "extract" imbalances from the client or bring something back from non-ordinary reality that is useful to the client like a power animal or soul part.


After returning from the journey, I will pass the information about the journey to the client.


Through these journeys into non-ordinary reality I help clients to:


  • Connect with their personal Spiritual Guidance - There are many benevolent spirit energies that are there to help you navigate this incarnation. Through these journeys, I help clients to access their natural intuition and the wealth of information available to them through their personal Spirit Guides and Helpers.
  • Regain their personal power - Through the Shamanic concept of Power Augmentation, I re-connect the client with energies that can guide and protect them. The stronger your personal power, the stronger you are!
  • Physical/Mental/Spiritual Clearing - Our world can be full of negativity. Negativity is contagious and can cause damage to our physical, mental and/or spiritual bodies causing localized pain, illness, and/or obsessions. Negativity is sometimes viewed as an arrow or lightening bolt in the afflicted area. Through journeywork, I help my client to extract this negativity and to heal.
  • Recover lost soul parts - The body is made up of three parts: lower-self that controls the physical body and stores the memories and experiences of this lifetime; middle-self that is the thinker and reasoner; and the higher-self which is your spiritual nature. During times of trauma (mental, physical, emotional, etc.), it is possible for a portion of the parts to leave the body in order to protect itself from the situation. Normally, these portions return on their own, however, there are times when the situation is so traumatic that the soul part does not return on its own. Soul Loss can be characterized by depression, a feeling of not being whole or recurring patterns in out lives. Through the help of the helping spirits, these parts are returned to their rightful place allowing healing to occur.
  • Deal with Life Path Issues - Once the client power is augmented and connections made to their natural intuition. Through Shamanic Divination, I help the client learn why their life path may not be where they want it. We then work on ways to clear the path to happiness.
  • Address Grief and Forgiveness - Many people live their lives in a constant state of grief. Others struggle with forgiving or being forgiven. Through Shamanic techniques, I help my clients to come to grips with grief and help them to forgive.

Please contact Mark for an appointment.



All information is held in the strictest confidence.
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