Shamanism is a practice that has been evolving and growing for thousands of years. It’s the oldest form of human spiritual practice. The Australian Aborigines shamanic practices go back ten’s of thousands of years, some estimates say 100,000 years.
It involves a practitioner who reaches altered states of consciousness, and in turn, interacts with the spiritual dimension (or non-local Universe) when doing their work. Shamans, then, are regarded as human beings who can talk and interact with both positive and negative energies, and enter altered states of consciousness through trances or rituals that bring healing to people in the world, and other practices related to divination.
The term ‘Shamanism’ was first applied to Turks and Mongols, two ancient religions in the middle and Far East that practiced this trance-like state and felt that they could talk to the dead and those spirits in another world. In fact, the word Shaman came into being in a North Asian language that is now defunct, but existed as a way to describe the works of these Turkish and Mongol shamans who sought to enter the after-life and other worlds.
Shamans as Healers
Many times, shamans function as a way to talk to long-dead ancestors and other relatives and former kings and royalty about problems in the current world today. These shamans come back with information about healing and other medical issues, as well as ideas and issues about what to do for the community as a whole to heal, improve, and move forward with whatever problem they are facing. Shamans are particularly valuable for these communities in times of stress, as they work to find solutions from the after-world and improve their current communities by finding solutions decreed by long-deceased elders and members of the nobility.
Shamanism is increasingly popular and used in developing countries, as well as countries who have voodoo and other exotic practices as part of their religious culture. While it is not used as much in, say, the United Kingdom or United States, shamanism still nevertheless manages to be a very important international spiritual practice that is used and enjoyed by millions of people around the world.
What I particularly like about shamanism is that there are no religious dogma. You can learn from all cultures and incorporate the various understandings and practices into your own. I’ve included a useful shamanic practice below that became more well known through the Hawian Huna system.
Cutting The Aka Cords (Reducing Your Karmic Attachments)
Apparently seers throughout the ages have been able to see energetic cords that connect from a person or being into other beings and objects. In Huna they call these Aka cords.
If you feel overly attached to someone or something you can do a ritual to cut these cords in order to become more liberated. (NOTE: Even if you don’t believe in subtle energies this is still a useful exercise to do as a ‘metaphorical exercise.’)
- Think about the thing or person you feel overly attached to.
- Notice your feelings (the energy) and see if you can imagine any cords going from you to the object. Where are they emanating from? You heart, hands, side, head etc.)
- Set Your Intention: “I want to sever all the Aka cords of attachment that don’t serve me anymore.”
- Imagine your hands have spinning blades and now physically act out cutting all those Aka cords that need to be cut free.
- Take some deep breaths and relax.