|The word shaman means 'he who knows'. It derives from the Tungus people of the Russian steppes and was the name given to their traditional healers, who maintained the balance between the everyday world and the invisible world of Spirit.
In ancient times every performance was a sacred event, the natural expression of the interconnectedness of man and his universe, and of his balance between the seen and unseen worlds.
Cave painting, rock carving, dancing, drumming, storytelling and singing were some of the many methods used by the shaman to shift levels of consciousness and assist the community to engage with Spirit, to access healing and guidance for the practical survival and well-being of the group. Their life depended on a correct alignment with the environment, the earth, animals, plants, neighbours, the elements and the spirit world.
The path of the seer and of the visionary is to recognize that the world is a dream and that we can dream it into being.
- Alberto Villoldo
The shaman stands between the archetype of the priest, the magician, and the artist. His connection with the unseen world is direct and absolute, not mediated by dogma, as is the priest's. As a magician he puts his skills to work for the benefit of others not for self gain. As an artist he journeys through the gap between the worlds to retrieve the soul which is lost in daily life and out of his vision creates a new alignment of visible and invisible worlds.
Time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live. The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. The world we have created is a product of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
- Albert Einstein
To change our idea of the world is the crux of shamanism.
- Carlos Castaneda 'The Power of Silence'
I have had the priviledge of training with the Q'ero lineage of shamans from Peru who have passed on their teachings to students of Alberto Villoldo and the 'Four Winds Society' in order to preserve the ancient wisdom that survived the Spanish Conquest and the Inquisition and is now being destroyed by the insidious invasion of the 21 st century mindset. Villoldo writes of his teacher, Don Antonio Morales:
[He] was a seventh-level 'kurak akuyek', the highest degree that a shaman can attain... He was convinced that shamanism no longer belonged to the Indio, that the West neded the sacred teachings to forge a new philosophy and ecology into the twenty-first century. He hoped that I would prove him right. 'Shaman, Healer, Sage'
Read the interview with Alberto Villoldo: ‹‹interview››