Shamanic Practitioner: The Ancient and Global Culture of Oral Tradition
Though cloaked in mystery, Shamanic practitioners are neither mysterious nor “new age”. Dating back over 5,000 years and sprawling from Asia through the Americas, Shamanism has a large, if not well understood, significance in world history. The dearth of western scholarship on the subject is, most likely, due to the fact that the myriad of ancient cultures which practiced Shamanism was, by and far, cultures of oral traditions; that is, they did not reduce their belief systems, their values, or their ceremonies to writing. While it is well understood that, for example, the Mayans were a highly developed culture with intricate knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, architecture, etc., we have no written accounts (in the traditional sense) of their history. Nevertheless, there remains to present day certain practices and beliefs that are common to all Shamanic practitioners and cultures.
Who Was the Shamanic Practitioner?
The etymology of “Shaman” is Russian and translates as “to know” or “to see” and, as a noun, refers to one who is wise or sagacious. In Native American culture, the Shaman is the medicine man or woman, the one responsible for the care of his or her community. In all such cultures, the Shamanic practitioner is learned in both the natural/material world (plants, animals, minerals, elements) and the inner/immaterial world (subconscious, energetic). The old-school “family doctor” who made house calls, delivered the babies, counseled the grieving, and comforted the dying is a Shamanic practitioner and could well have been called a Shaman.
Shamanic Practitioner Operates between Matter and Energy, the Seen and the Unseen
It is this latter aspect of the Shamanic practitioner, the work with the immaterial world, which begets both the mystique and the skepticism. Despite the promises and logical extensions of quantum physics, we still, for the most part, live in a Newtonian-centered world. If we can’t see, smell, feel, hear, or taste “it”, then “it” either doesn’t exist or simply doesn’t matter. For the Shamanic practitioner, this is not true. Much of the Shaman’s work is at the energetic, the unseen, level. The Shamanic practitioner believes that all things, at their core or essential level, are made of energy and that it is possible to manipulate or alter these energies at that core level. In many ways, the Shamans of yesteryear are much like the quantum physicists of today. We all know the infamous equation E=mc2 but have we given much thought to it’s meaning? It states, in theory, that a simple hydrogen atom with a tiny mass of 1.672 (10-27) kg has an energy equivalent of 10 Million Billion (1015) Joules. While one Joule is not much energy (roughly equal to the energy released when dropping a textbook to the floor), 10 Million Billion Joules are quite significant. And that’s just a single hydrogen atom – think what a little plutonium could do. In any event, the great insight was Einstein’s realization that matter and energy are simply different forms of the same thing. The modern Shaman can be viewed as one who operates or mediates between the worlds of matter and energy, the seen and the unseen. The Shamanic practitioner, it can be said, “dances” on the equal sign of E=mc2.
Shamanic Practitioner Works with the Energetic State
While the Shaman works both matter and energy, on the energetic level, The Shaman’s role is to manipulate, however slightly, the client’s energetic field, which in turn, manifests as significant changes at the material level. Just as one will find it much easier to alter, upstream, the downstream course of a river, the Shamanic practitioner alters the material at its unmanifested core or energetic state. In principle, is it not easier to fix any problem at its start rather than wait and have to pick up all the pieces?
We are Participating in the Creation of our Reality
Anyone familiar with the advances in quantum science or with even a remote understanding of the theories and discoveries outlined in films such as What the Bleep Do We Know? or The Quantum Activist knows that our reality is being redefined. Not only are we on the crux of enormous leaps forward in our understanding of the universe, but we are similarly poised to better understand ourselves and, perhaps, redefine the human condition. We now know that our universe is much like a field, a field that is intelligent, having knowledge both of self and of everything else in the field. Experiments demonstrate, for example, that a single atom can be in two or more places at once; that information in the field travels faster than light; that our consciousness affects events and things around us; that we can, in theory, alter not just the future but the past. In short, these experiments point to the fact that we, consciously or otherwise, are participating in the creation of our reality.
Shamanic Practitioners and Quantum Physics
And while these new scientific discoveries may seem astounding, they each describe properties of a universe that has always operated this way. In this context then, it follows that the ancient Shamanic practitioners were doing what our quantum physicists are now proving to be possible. To see the energetic essence of all things, to interact with the forces of nature, to assist in one’s healing by affecting his/her energy field, the Shamanic practitioners of old had a working knowledge of the principles of quantum science.
Perhaps Shamans were the earliest quantum physicists and modern scientists the latest generation of Shamans. And since we are all interacting and affecting the quantum field, it follows that we are all, to some degree, not only quantum scientists but modern-day Shamanic practitioners as well.
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He is the Founder, Administrator, Counselor at the Sanctuary at Sedona. He has a BA in Political Science and is currently Senior teaching staff at Four Winds Society, an international school of energy medicine. His credentials also include being an Ordained Minister; a Certified Shamanic Breathwork® Facilitator; a Founding Member Society for Shamanic Practitioners; a Member of Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology; a Member of the National Institute for Holistic Addiction Studies. firstname.lastname@example.org
He is the Founder, Administrator, Counselor at the Sanctuary at Sedona.
He has a BA in Political Science and is currently Senior teaching staff at Four Winds Society, an international school of energy medicine. His credentials also include being an Ordained Minister; a Certified Shamanic Breathwork® Facilitator; a Founding Member Society for Shamanic Practitioners; a Member of Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology; a Member of the National Institute for Holistic Addiction Studies. email@example.com