Shamanism is a way of life that exists all over the globe throughout every indigenous culture. It is similar around the globe because these sets of shamanic skills and similar cosmologies came from the earth.
People were learning to be in right relationship with the earth in their time. Now we are learning how to be in right relationship with the earth in our contemporary times.
Ancient wisdom has accumulated over thousands of years, and we always have access to that wisdom. At the same time, we need to understand how that wisdom and those skills, cosmology, and healing potential to our contemporary world. This is a feat because much of shamanism is contrary to the culture we grew up in.
What are shamanic skills for?
Shamanism is about being in harmony, or right relationship with all our relations. That includes earth and all her inhabitants, the land, the elements, and spirits of the land.
Shamanism for personal healing
Shamanic skills help us develop trust in ourselves that we will be held by mother earth and father sky. They help us to develop our true nature. Who would you be without expectations from society?
For example: if the media wasn’t always telling you to look outside of yourself, who would you be? If you had little trauma from childhood, what would your soul be bringing forward in this life?
Shamanic skills can help us to come forward in the community in a new way, leaving behind our societal conditioning.
Shamanism for community healing
Learning about shamanism can be an amazing personal healing tool for people. But please remember that shamanism is not just about healing yourself.
It is really about the question, “how can we as a community bring these skills into the world and make the world a better place through shamanism?”
Basic Shamanic Skills
The basic shamanic skills that every person needs in order to be a mature spiritual adult are grounding, clearing, and boundaries. In traditional cultures, these were taught to children throughout their lives and later came as second nature.
Since we often don’t learn these skills until adulthood, I feel a sense of urgency to teach adults these skills so that they can take 100 percent responsibility for their lives.
Grounding (also known as Earthing)
Without grounding, being on the earth, and inhabiting your body, it can be challenging to discern the truth, the reality of life. This is a critical step and skill in being a mature adult.
Grounding is an incredibly simple daily practice that will support your mental, physical, spiritual, emotional health. You can ground daily by putting your bare feet on the earth (grounding with the help of a tree with roots deep in the earth can feel great).
When you sit on the earth, you will gather electrons from the earth, and this helps with inflammation. While you’re at it, try stretching, working with your senses, and feeling what it’s like to be in your body.
Through grounding, you can shift patterns of energy that aren’t serving you, whether they are stagnant, scattered, or depressed energies.
This is not woo-woo—the video below explains the science behind grounding. There are currently 21 published, peer-reviewed studies in the medical literature on earthing and grounding.
Cleansing and Clearing
We need deeply rigorous clearing practices to address contemporary life and the traumas from this lifetime. Without an energetic cleansing or clearing practice, we will project our experiences on to the world around us.
Energy that you may need to clear could include unresolved ancestral energies, past traumas, dissonant inner energies that you’ve picked up as you move about the world, and more.
There are lots of ways that you can cleanse and clear energy through smudging, cleansing with water, decluttering, journeys, and more. You can learn more about just one of these to start cleansing the energies around and within you.
In the places where we silence our needs, people please, or lack boundaries, we are forgetting ourselves. This can be dangerous to our most precious resources, our time and energy.
There is a way to have boundaries with grace and skill, and that is by approaching slowly. When we move quickly, we usually miss something—an opportunity for connection, a feeling, or a facial expression.
You can practice this by first checking in with yourself. If you need a moment, you can explicitly share that you’d like to slow down the conversation so that you can check in with yourself.
To be sure, knowing where to place your boundaries and where to loosen the reigns can be clunky at times. This work with boundaries requires continuous practice and work. When you come across a situation where you’re not sure how to approach or where you get stuck, use it as an opportunity to hone your skills by asking for help.