Shamanic Living in our modern world
12 January 2017
The shamanic world called me very early in life, when I was just 21 years old I met and worked with my first Shamanic Mentor and Wise Woman.
The way I met her was through a very archetypal “dark night of the soul” episode at this time in my life. I found myself suddenly experiencing all sorts of crazy things, whilst simultaneously being very confused and emotionally ungrounded in many ways. I had no idea how to deal with all of what I was perceiving, seeing, feeling and beginning to understand.
Luckily I had a number of women that came to my side at this time from different directions to guide the process in a very encompassing way. Through a major illness I met a wonderful spiritual Chinese Acupuncturist and Herbalist, then a lover introduced me to his Shamanic Teacher (saying that I was just like her and had to meet her) and already yoga, bodywork , nutrition and dance were offering their healing medicines to me on a daily basis.
When I met this Shamanic Wise Woman she told me that at my age she had been and felt very much like me and that I would require shamanic guidance on my life path, having the qualities, gifts and challenges that I presented. From then onwards I had a continual shamanic initiation pathway that has accompanied me to this day. These teachings have permeated my life, learning and growth.
To me it has always been a very personal path that soaks in the important practicalities of every day life. I adore bridging the practical, linear, intellectual, physical and material world with the invisible, intuitive, feminine, energy and mythical realms of our life. They are one and the same. Deep practical application and daily living are the crux of it all.
Shamanic pathways often occur in every day actions or non actions, intentions and incremental large, long vision awareness. Ritual and ceremony are an organic and no-fuss part and parcel of nature honouring and soulful pathways that can be very integrated in our modern life.
The shamanic lens has shown me what lies behind the things, situations and experiences in everyday life and to interpret these from a different perspective. Lessons come in very tangible forms many times, infused in our lives and inner worlds. These lessons have their own structure, with the sense of climbing a mountain – the higher up we go, the less room we have for major mistakes. The consequences of our actions become more serious, energy is something very real and we learn to be more mindful of what we send out into the world. It is certainly a disciplined path.
Modern Medicine Woman learning and practice is not a borrowed set of tools from other cultures. It is a highly disciplined pathway in the world of the soul, in accordance with nature’s principles, basic rhythms that underlie all of life on earth.
I have found it an excellent navigation tool and a deeply meaningful way to relate to, with and participate in life more fully, in a wider, deeper and more multi-faceted manner.
The understanding of the invisible worlds and the realm of energy and soul has the potential to enhance and enrich all fields of study, and as such can be viewed as a powerful ally in mastering our extremely complex challenges today.
The Shaman’s Path is such a specific one, a highly uncomfortable one at that and certainly not for everyone. We do live in a time within which learning to become your own inner Shaman is one of the possibilities, as being self-responsible in every possible area of life is something that is beginning to emerge as a human challenge for us all. We do have a tendency to hope that someone or something will “save us” from our many miseries, forgetting that the power we each hold within is that of reclaiming our own inherent abilities – including an inner authority of perception, clarity of awareness and responsibility for our own lives. Shamanic principles and applications can be a great support in this regard of learning about some of the workings of our world and inner selves.
There are so many approaches available that invite a deeper experience of the fullness and mystery of life. To me the term “Shaman” is not one I would use lightly since it holds great responsibility and skill towards others and in a wider context than just our own experience.
Also, there are all kinds of things that can go very wrong if certain shamanic tools are used out of context or without proper training. Additionally, all things are evolving and some shamanic practices have become outdated for our current paradigm. Then there is the great concern of trends that become purely commercial endeavours.
Shamanism is a modern trend, but it is actually a highly serious matter and as all skills, education and growing processes requires its own time of maturation within each individual studying and applying these principles in life. For the most part, we are all students and learners of the mysteries and can remember that most good things take time.
In our modern world we sometimes like to think that learning and growth can happen as quickly as pushing the “buy now” button on an internet page. Although at times it may seem as though growth can happen very suddenly, the way at some point the flower does “suddenly” blossom, however, many things require deep periods of maturation.
There are countless women & men today awakening to their deeper abilities and to a sense of the world of the soul. When we become confronted with perceiving elements of life that go beyond the “status quo” it can make a lot of sense to explore the different platforms that are opening for women and men to step into their true purpose and research what pathways may best support you on your journey of fulfilling your life’s destiny.
I have created many of the Programmes of The Women’s School with the fact in mind, that today’s educational institutions are currently still not encompassing a full spectrum of learning that simply INCLUDES the world of soul, feelings and energy.
Educational settings that bring together the material and the meta physical are few and far between, but growing. One of the reasons I have created The Women’s School is to include many resources for young women today that were not available for me when I was beginning the quest of this adventure we call life. The resources that a woman needs with the kind of seedling talents, skills and inherent competencies that a Wise Woman is, also requires a place within which to grow these seeds.
Part of our emerging as powerful, embodied and self loving women can include a natural understanding of some of the energetic underpinnings of life as we know it. For this reason, including some basic shamanic learning that provides navigation tools in the oceans of subtle energy can be very helpful in our very complex modern world.
Of course, having a basic understanding does not mean that we each have to become a Master Shamans (a path of a lifetime), which can be seen akin to becoming an Albert Einstein of physics. We all have the right to access basic educational resources for simply living in harmony with ourselves, nature and the world around us as much as possible. Having a basic understanding of shamanic principles does not make anyone a Shaman immediately, it can however assist us in every day living in a very effective way.
In The Women’s School shamanic learning goes hand in hand with knowledge about the female body for example, or deeply comprehending our inner psyche, classes on health, nutrition and education about intimate relationships or creative, soulful self explorative processes, as well as full spectrum education on pregnancy and birth. For women today, an interdisciplinary and full body pathway of learning may serve us to access the tools that we so deeply need in our changing world.
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