A SHAMAN’S PRAYER

Great Spirit,
You are inside of me, within my very breath,
within each bird, each mighty mountain.
Your sweet touch reaches everything and I am well protected.
Thank you for this beautiful day before me.
May joy, love, peace, and compassion be part of my life
and all those around me.
On this day I am healing and I am healed.
©2020

SHAMANISM AND REIKI©

My intent here is not to go into the history of the development of the healing process called Reiki. It’s history and its originator are well known. Nor is my intent to discuss the origins of shamanism. Reiki and Shamanism are both energy based when it comes to healing.

Energy is created by vibration. Changing the vibration of a client becomes the primary function of  Reiki and Shamanic healing techniques. Both the Reiki Master and the Shaman function as conduits for the flow of healing energy.

Reiki practitioners call upon universal energy; the shaman calls upon the Spirit World. Both seeking external help to bring healing to their clients. Both encourage self-healing. The Reiki Master does not enter trance state; whereas, the shaman often does.  The Reiki Master does not hypnotize his or her clients. The Shaman may do so.

We are often told that imitation is the highest form of flattery. When it comes to the current trends,  Reiki healing procedures have emulated traditional Shamanic procedures. What the  Reiki practitioners have brought over from traditional shamanism fascinates. My first experience with Reiki remains well implanted in memory. Not only was it a pleasant experience brought to me by an excellent practitioner but as a shaman, I noted the inclusion of several traditional procedures.

Among these traditional shamanic practices were the use of incense and sound. In this case, the incense was burning in a shell and recorded music was softly playing in the background. On the other hand, a shaman uses a drum, flute, and or rattle during his or her healing procedures. My Reiki practitioner offered me bottled water before the session began and an Herbal tea after the Reiki treatment; whereas, the shaman offers them before treatment. Traditionally, shaman use stones or crystals during a healing session. I note now that clear quartz and amethyst have been introduced in Reiki healing sessions. Stones and or crystals offer a wide variety of healing energies.

My own Reiki training instilled the do not touch the client approach and that seems to be changing with a shamanic adaption of the use of essential oils placed on one’s feet, wrists, and the back of the neck. Smudging, a traditional shamanic practice to cleanse the area, as well as the client, has been added to some Reiki practices.

For the purest, these inclusions are heretical. For the modern Reiki practitioner, his or her dedication to helping the client heal her or himself is paramount. The addition of other ways of energy/vibration manipulation is welcome. 

©Norman W. Wilson, PhD. 2020

SHAMANIC CARE OF THE SOUL

The major religions have identified the soul as the incorporeal essence of a living being. Some religions have said the soul is composed of five parts: soul, heart, shadow, name, and spark. Some philosophers have written that the soul has three parts, Plato being a good example. An issue for me is the meaning of incorporeal. It is defined as “something that has no material form or physical substance. Incorporeal comes from a combination of the Latin root words in- meaning “not” and corpus meaning body. (https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/incoreporeal)   I quarrel with this because the soul is essence, that is, the sum and total of energy, especially at the molecular level. The human soul is central to the personhood of a human being. As George MacDonald said, “You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” In other words, personhood is not based on having a body. A soul is what is required. The function of the soul is to provide direction to one’s consciousness that allows the Spirit to realize its full potential.

A distinction between soul and spirit needs to be made before I discuss the shamanic care of the soul. Spirit is considered to be the vital principle or animating force within living things. And for this writer that includes all animal and plant life as well as human life. However we may arrive at a working definition of the soul, the shaman recognizes the soul as being a focus of physical, mental, and emotional issues.

I make a distinction between mental and emotional issues. Specifically, mental refers to the processes in the brain; whereas, emotional refers to one’s feelings, and of course physical refers to the biology of the body.

What then, does the shaman do to care for the soul? Obviously, the shaman attempts to identify the client’s issue. There are several things he or she may do. One of the first things I do after interviewing my client is to check the energy level. I do this by using a dowsing rod made of an old metal coat hanger. If it is determined the issue is mental then the area of concentration is the head.[i] Being cognizant of potential ear damage, the sounds I use are low pitched. For example, I will stand behind the client’s head and gently beat a drum, very slowly, or shake a rattle, or play a flute. The reason for doing this is to change the vibrational flow in the brain; thus, bringing healing energy to the area(s) needed. An essential oil is applied to the back of the head, just at the point for it connects to the neck (the brain stem) and the same oil is applied to the forehead. I use about three drops Frankincense. Then I apply three drops of Rosemary Essential Oil to each foot. Both Frankincense and Rosemary are excellent stimulants for increased healing energy flow.

Two points need to be stated at this time. First, for me, the soul is consciousness and consciousness is housed within the brain. Here’s the rub. Science isn’t in agreement as to exactly where consciousness resides. Second, for me, a non-scientist, soul (consciousness) resides throughout the whole brain.[ii] With that said, another aspect of soul care is the heart and all its energy. The heart has a direct relationship with the soul. I will discuss heart energy and soul in a future article.

In some cases, the shaman may do a soul retrieval healing. Peter E. Brown in “Shamanic Soul Retrieval”[iii] states, “A shamanic soul retrieval healing can integrate parts of ourselves that we’ve lost through childhood or adult trauma and abuse.” In my book, Shamanism What It’s All About Third Edition,[iv] I discuss soul loss and retrieving the soul.


[i] One of the things I explore with the client includes medical doctor visits, scans of the brain, etc. I also try to make sure that what I do is not contra-productive. I prefer that the client should have discussed any supportive treatment with his or her medical practitioner beforehand.

[ii] See Fiona MacDonald’s article in HUMANS (June 12, 2018) titled Harvard Scientist Think They’ve Pinpointed The Physical Source of Consciousness.

[iii] Huichol shamanism & plant spirit medicine healing. Peter has offices in Seattle. For appointment call 360-561-8722.

[iv] Zadkiel Publishing, 2018.

Copyright 2019 by Norman W. Wilson, PhD.

IS SHAMANIC ENERGY HEALING FOR YOU?©

What is healing energy? First and foremost, energy healing is not new. Nearly every ancient culture had some form of energy healing. A form of energy healing can be found in both Eastern and Western religions. Archeological evidence suggests such healing is at least 40,000 years old. Traditionally, energy healing meant the realignment of the body’s physical energy to promote healing. Today, still relying upon the realignment of body energy, energy healing is viewed as an alternative approach to contemporary medical practices and is also viewed by many medical professionals as complementary, a descriptive phrase I prefer over the word alternative. All things are energy. This includes all plant and animal life forms. This energy is generated by the vibration of the molecular structure of these life forms. Quantum physics tells us that all things are in a constant state of movement. A wide number of things can cause a disruption of that movement resulting in illness, physical or mental. The healer’s job is to realign the patient’s energy so the body can heal itself. There are several healing approaches currently available. Among these are the following: • Reiki • Qigong • EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques and sometimes called Tapping) • Biofield Energy • Therapeutic Touch (TT) • Spiritual Healing • Faith Healing (Laying on of hands) • Yoga • Meditation • ARCH (Ancient Rainbow Conscious Healing) • Visualization • Chakra Balancing • Shamanic Healing Much is being written about shamanism. Many people are taking courses in shamanic healing to become shamanic practitioners. Others are going on vision quests in South America, in Nepal or in Tibet. Please be aware that these people are not shaman. Going through training programs offered by various institutions doesn’t make one a shaman; it makes them healers. Such programs train people in energy manipulations. In actuality, this is similar to the manipulation carried on by a chiropractor. The focus here is healing practices carried out by a shaman. Like other healers, the shaman makes a determination about the patient’s conditions. He or she may do this by moving his/her hands over the individual’s body. The shaman may then use sound to realign the patient’s body energy. Drums, flute, rattles, and the human voice are the sound producing instruments used by a shaman. Their vibrations aid in the realignment of the patient’s energy. A wide variety of herbs may also be used in the form of teas, poultices, salves, ointments, or oils. Unlike many other healers, the shaman can and does travel to other realms to seek the help of the spirit world in healing his/her patient. Whatever the shaman does, it is energy based; either realigning the patient’s energy, restoring energy through the use of herbs and herbals, or transferring energy from him or from the spirit world. Two cautionary notes are appropriate at this point. Whenever you choose an alternative healing approach make sure you consult your medical physician. A second caution is that all of the alternative healing approaches are faith based. You must have faith or believe the healing approach works. ©Norman W. Wilson, PhD.

HEALING YOUR INNER SELF-THE SHAMAN’S WAY

Much has been spoken about and written about self-healing. There are websites dedicated just to that. Among these are the following: Energy Muse Blog, Energy Healing: Path to Deeper Health, Energy Healing, and Guided Self-Healing. There are equally a large number of breathing techniques. Among these are Pursed Lip Breathing, Ujjayi Breath, Bellows Breath, 4-7-8 Exercises, and Lion’s Breath. A wide variety of meditation approaches exist to relax, to calm the mind, and to bring inner peace. I noted one internet list contained over 20 different types of meditation. Among the most popular meditation approaches are Mindfulness, Spiritual Meditation, and Transcendental Meditation. All of these, I am sure, have value in their own right. But, what about healing your inner self? What can you do, right now, to start that all-important healing?

I call this the Self-Love (Swaatmani snehyet) Here are the steps.

  1. Sit in a comfortable chair; remove your shoes and socks.
  2. Place two drops of either of these essential oils on the bottom of each foot and gently massage into the skin: Neroli, Melissa, or Ylang-ylang. I buy my pure essential oils from the following website: http://www.zsremedies.com.
  3. Next, take a few deliberately slow deep breaths.
  4. Place the first two fingers of your right hand on your forehead, at the location of what is called the Third Eye.
  5. Place your left hand over your heart.
  6. Close your eyes.
  7. Repeat the following five times: “I am worthy; it is okay to love myself.”
  8. Sit still for a couple of minutes and then slowly rouse yourself.
  9. Do this every morning or evening before retiring.
  10. Do this for one week.

©4/20/2020 by Norman W Wilson, PHD

Healing Yourself-The Shaman’s Way

HEALING YOURSELF- THE SHAMAN’S WAY

Norman W. Wilson, PhD.©

I’m sure you have heard the expression “physician heal thyself.” It is sometimes stated in the Latin form as, Medice, cura te ipsum. It is claimed that this statement first appeared in Luke 4:23 which was written sometime between 63 and 68 AD and it has several interpretations besides its religious connection. At its simplistic level the statement “physician heal thyself’ means just that. Self-healing is not new.

There is archeological evidence that early humankind practiced some form of healing. I would be remiss to speculate that when one of our early ancestors got a cut that she or he knew which plant to put on it to stop the bleeding; yet because the human race as continued to survive such an assumption can be made.

What can you do to help yourself heal? Heal what? Let’s begin with something quite common in today’s hectic world. Suppose you are feeling a general malaise. What can you do to make yourself feel better?

Try Bergamot[i] essential oil in a diffuser. Place the diffuser in your office, bedroom, or living room. If you choose to apply it to your skin it can cause issues. It is highly phototoxic and it is strongly recommended that you don’t apply it directly to your skin. I suggest 0.2% of bergamot in jojoba oil certainly no stronger than 0.4%

Instead of coffee have a cup of bergamot tea. Earl Grey has an excellent bergamot flavor. Try a cup before retiring.

Another essential oil that helps make you feel better is Patchouli. I favor this essential oil because it improves over time. It has s decided note and for some, it may be a bit over-powering. In that case, I suggest creating a blend. Blend Patchouli with Lemon Grass and or Clary Sage. Place two drops on your wrist; rub your wrist together for about 2 seconds. By-the-way, it only takes 20 seconds for the essential oil to enter the bloodstream and about 20 minutes for it to be in your entire body.

If essential oils are not appealing to you try this deep-breathing exercise.  It is called Ujjayi Breathing Technique. Sometimes it is called Ocean Breath. Applying Ujjayi daily will provide your total being with an uplift. It increases the amount of oxygen in your blood, relieves tension, detoxifies both your mind and body, and builds your energy.

Here’s how to do the Ujjayi Breath: First, close your mouth, making sure your lips are sealed and then, through your nose, take a deep breath. Slowly exhale. Do this a half a dozen times. It is suggested that while you exhale you constrict the muscles in the back of your throat. Experience teaches that not everyone can make that constriction. I recommend that you place your tongue behind your lower teeth, purse your lips, and exhale with force. With practice, you will create a sound similar to the ocean. An advantage of using the Ujjayi breathing technique is that you can do it anywhere. Try it the first thing when you get up and do so for about ten minutes.  If you begin to go back into a slump during the day, do the breathing exercise. It will make a difference in your well-being.


[i] High quality essential oils may be purchased at Z’s Body & Soul. The website is www.zsremedies.com. They ship worldwide.

LINGA SARIRA, ASTRAL PROJECTION, SOUND VIBRATION

LINGA SARIRA, ASTRAL PROJECTION, SOUND VIBRATION

AND THE SHAMAN’S WORLD

Early cultures suggest a belief that human beings have a double. In Sanskrit, it is called Linga Sarira, the bioplasmic luminous glow that surrounds the physical body. It is the first layer of seven subtle bodies all human beings have. The remaining layers are the emotional body, the mental body, the astral level, the etheric template body, the celestial body, and the ketheric template. These seven bodies create the auric body or auras. Auras are briefly discussed in a later module. For now, they are a way of determining a client’s physical, mental, and emotional states.

The Ancient Egyptians held a belief system that claimed the human soul had three parts: the ka, the ba, and the akh.(awk) The ka is comparable to the Linga Sarira. It is a person’s double. And it is this double that you see during an Astral Projection and sometimes during a Shamanic Journey.

Astral Projection also called Out of Body Experience, means your consciousness actually leaves your physical body. That is, your Linga Sarira or Ka leaves your body to travel. Therefore you can travel to different places and dimensions. I have done Astral Projection in my college classes. During such sessions, the students physically remained in my classroom. I used a CD designed for Astral Projection. There is any number of CDs, Videos, and Mp3 files available to help you Astral Project. Albert Fernando, author of Oneironaut(O-Niero-naut) says, “Shamans can travel in their minds without leaving their physical bodies. They can also journey while dancing, or walking, or performing rituals, playing drums, or sleeping.”(Answered, November 12, 2018).

From my perspective and experience, Shamanic Journeying’s details are more readily remembered and recognized; whereas, they are not in Astral Projection. Remembrance of information gained during a Journey is important. As a healer, that information is helpful in dealing with a client’s issues. Also, on a personal note, I believe Michael Harner’s “Journeying” that became popular in the 1980s and has remained the operative word in Shamanic Healing, because the traditional word ‘trance’ suggests something negative. Maybe spooky is a better word.

Not all indigenous people used hallucinogens to Journey. Sound has been and is used for that purpose. Sound, however, has another and certainly a more important role to play in the healing processes. Sound involves vibration. Vibration creates energy and your energy introduces you before you say a single word. Additionally, before I get into the details of sound and vibration, it’s our vibration, not our appearance through which we recognize one another’s souls. 

Shaman of old did not know all the technical science behind vibrational healing as do modern shaman. For the early shaman, such knowledge was innate.

The Law of Vibration states that anything that exists in our universe, whether seen or unseen, broken down into and analyzed in its purest and most basic form, consists of pure energy which resonates and exists as a vibratory frequency or pattern. (Quora.com) Think about this for a moment: Nothing ever really rests including you. 

Physical, mental, and emotional issues arise when the vibrational pattern gets out of sync. Each individual’s vibration pattern is different but to be healthy that vibration needs to be aligned with that of the Earth, of the Cosmos itself. Further, it is quite normal for vibrations to function at high and low frequencies within you as well as everything around you. When dealing with energy, remember like-energy attracts like-energy; that is, if you exude positive energy, positive energy will be returned to you. If, on the other hand, it is negative energy then that is what you will have returned to you.

Accepting the notion that all things vibrate, living as well as non-living things, then it becomes reasonable that early shamans used sound. The frequency of vibration impacts everything. Masuro Emoto, The Hidden Messages in Water, amply demonstrated the importance of the spoken word. Big deal, you say. Remember, the human body is composed of nearly 70% water. The shaman’s chant is a significant tool in bringing about healing in a client. The use of Om is a good example. Try repeating that for several minutes and see how much better you feel.

Science informs us that 20 to 20,000Hz forms the absolute borders of our hearing range. Further, our hearing is most sensitive in the 2000 – 5000 Hz frequency range. When our body’s cells are sick or damaged they no longer replicate normally. With the correct application of sound, these cells can be re-activated, that is, energized. Healing takes place. The shaman uses various tools to reactivate the client’s cells such as drums, flutes, and rattles. Tibetan bowls and crystal bowls are now added to healing sessions. Tools used in healing are discussed in Module Three.

Clients invariably want to know if they have low or high vibration. Generally, high vibrations are associated with positive aspects of one’s life. These positive vibrations include love, compassion, forgiveness, and sense of personal peace. Qualities such as hatred, fear, greed, holding a grudge, low-self-esteem, and depression are associated with low vibration. Physical illness falls within the low vibration category. I discuss ways of determining energy (vibration) levels in a client in Module Twelve.

The shaman during her or his initial client interview and body scan will note if there are a number of signs indicating there is low vibration. A cautionary note: You are not necessarily one hundred percent of either low or high, but somewhere in between. Here are 8 very general low vibration indicators.

  1. You feel you are in a rut. It’s that sameness that creates monotony and boredom.
  2. You have a sense of being apathetic; that is, you have no empathy for others.
  3. You are tired all the time.
  4. It is difficult for you to be forgiving, especially of yourself.
  5. You find it difficult to maintain lasting friendships; that is, you tend to be a loner.
  6. You are self-defaming and not as an effort to be humorous.
  7. You do not know what it is you really want.
  8. You feel others do not appreciate what you do.

What then, are the indicators that you have high vibration? As with the low vibration, you are seldom 100% high vibrations, but somewhere in between.

  1. You are very aware of what you say, of what you feel, and the impact this has on others.
  2. You express empathy toward others including animals and the environment.
  3. You have a sense of connection to that which is otherworldly.
  4. You nurture others as well as yourself.
  5. Others find you easy to talk to because you listen.
  6. You are open to many different beliefs and cultures.
  7. You feel you have found your ‘calling’ in life.
  8. You are highly intuitive.

The easiest way to decide the level of your vibration, that is whether it is low or high, is to simply pay close attention to how you feel especially when you get up in the morning.

If a client has a low vibration I often suggest he or she do the following before actually having a shamanic healing session. I also may suggest these as an after-treatment follow-up. Please keep in mind, these are suggestions, and neither I nor any other qualified healer will say these are a cure.

         1. Take stock of your thoughts. Are they negative?          Do   you dwell on an unpleasant experience? If so,          name the thought or experience and then say, “I          don’t need you. Go!” Say that with strong feeling.

         2. Take a good look at your surroundings. Focus on          something you think is beautiful or something that          makes you feel warm and comfortable.

3. Cut back on the sugars. Add some more protein to your diet. Eliminate TV snack foods.

4. Increase your intake of water. My yoga teacher is always admonishing me to drink more water. Doing so gets rid of the toxins that slow your natural vibrations.

5. Physically move about. Go for a walk; do yoga, or qi gong for example.

6. Do deep breathing exercises for ten minutes. Use Prana Breathing or Ujjayi Breathing techniques, or any other deep breathing technique that you prefer.

           7. Listen to solfeggio recordings. Several excellent Mp3 files are available on the Internet that can be downloaded for free.

     8. Express your gratitude to yourself and to the       universe.

It is known that sound has different frequencies. We emit our own sound vibrations. The secret to healing with sound is matching frequencies. The shaman uses sound that she or he creates by using rattles, flutes, cymbals, and or drums. The shaman moves around the client’s body while creating sounds.

The Mindvalley blog, dated January 10, 2019, lists several ailments in which sound improves the condition: autism, depression, and anxiety disorder for example. Additionally, the article lists several areas positively affected by sound healing. Clarity, improved memory, and heightened awareness are examples. Specific hertz is used to create various states of perception. Faena Aleph in Eight healing Techniques with Sound[1] lists four areas in which specific hertz are used. For example, concentration is improved at the 12-40 Hz level.

Shamans have used sound to help their clients heal for time immemorial. Modern research has slowly verified much of what is done in sound healing.

©Norman W. Wilson, PhD. 2020


[1]Posted in Metaphysics & Mysticism, November 27, 2015.