THE PRACTICE OF SHAMANISM IS A COMPLEMENT TO ANY OTHER FORM OF THERAPY AND IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE ANY MEDICAL TREATMENT. NO DRUGS ARE USED TO OBTAIN ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS.
What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is the oldest psychic, energetic and spiritual practice in human history.This practice is centered on mediation between the manifested and non-manifested worlds.This mediation is achieved by modified states of consciousness that allow the shaman to perceive and interact with the invisible in order to channel energies and make the link between the coarse (matter) and the subtle (spirit). According to anthropologists, shamanism goes back to the origins of man.
The original source of shamanism, its roots, is in Siberia, more precisely among the Tuangous peoples. The origin of the words “shaman” and “shamanism” comes from evenki, the language of the Evenks, one of the peoples of the Toungous group. This word of saman means: dancing, moving, agitating, but in a particular state of consciousness: the ecstatic state. Since the 20th century, the words shaman and shamanism have been generalized and they now designate any rituals practice used on all continents by medicine men, marabouts and other sorcerers. The original Siberian shamanism is very different from these other practices and in order to understand its roots and use, it is necessary to fully assimilate the environment and the extreme living conditions of these peoples of the heart of Siberia.
The Siberian shaman is an initiate who works between the visible world and the invisible worlds.He is its mediator and his work is put at the service of the balance and harmony of the community formed by men, animals, plants and the earth. The shaman is in the image of these microscopic and macroscopic universes: in a total apparent chaos, they are nevertheless perfectly ordered. Colossal and subtle forces are constantly in action and reaction, giving rise to balance, stability and longevity. Every disturbance in the life of the community, of an individual, of an animal, of a place, is the manifestation of a disorder, of an imbalance.The shaman, by his function, then becomes the tool of interaction between disorder and order to regain and restore stability. In Siberia, a man/woman is born as a shaman, he/she does not become one by following theoretical classes.
The Siberian shaman does not use or need any hallucinogenic, psychotropic or other drugs to enter an ecstatic state and travel between these worlds. Even in the most intense ecstatic states he passes through, the shaman never loses consciousness, he is never in the illusion often created by plants or other drugs and he remains always present, in the visible dimension, to the care or the fight that he leads. This is why, during his practice, he is always dressed in a unique and personal rituals costume and is always accompanied by a healing drum, also unique and personal.These objects being sacred, they cannot be touched by an outside person.
Apart from his practice, the shaman is an ordinary man or woman of the community, with his needs, his desires, his pleasures, his rhythm of life and his extra-shamanic activities. Then, when he wears his costume, he is no longer a man or a woman, but a “Human Being”, an androgynous being.By wearing his costume, he becomes the function.Wearing this "androgynous" function, he is the tool of action that can act.In the Siberian tradition, the shaman wears a mask hiding his face, but also obscuring the physical view he has of the assembly.He is no longer recognizable, his ego no longer has any reason to interact with the ritual.Unrecognizable, he protects the participants and protects himself.
Siberian shamanism is not a religion.While it has been fought by certain religions and political systems, it is interesting to note that when religious, doctors or politicians are powerless in the face of a situation, they demand the intervention of a Siberian shaman. This is why, being older than all the great religions, since always and still today, the Siberian shaman regularly intervenes in the shadows within the Hindu, Buddhist, Judaic, Christian and Muslim religions as a counsellor, medium, mediator, intercessor, caregiver. He is the one who crosses the shadow to reveal the light.
Neo Shamanism and Core Shamanism
Neo-shamanism refers to new forms of shamanism.It includes an eclectic range of beliefs and practices that involve attempts to reach altered states of consciousness and communicate with a spiritual world. In 1950, Mircea Eliade (Romanian historian of religions, mythologist and philosopher, 1907-1986) published Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy. In this text, he rehabilitates a form of shamanism and idealizes the new shaman by describing him as a mystic able of rising above his human condition. This book is at the origin of the New Age movement and neo-shamanism.In the United States, Carlos Castaneda (American writer and anthropologist, 1925-1998) followed the trend by adding the consumption of hallucinogens. In France, in the early 80’s, it was Mario Mercier (French writer, poet, painter and filmmaker, 1945- ) who initiated the movement. Neo-shamanism is a collective term lent to many philosophies and activities.Most neo-shamans were not trained by a traditional shaman, but learned independently through books and other experiences. Many attend the New Age workshops and retreats, where they study a wide variety of ideas and techniques, blends of novelties and traditions often misinterpreted. While some abuses are real, they are not systematic and some practitioners are good therapists.
Core shamanism, which helped to form the foundations of contemporary neo-shamanism, is a system of practices synthesized, invented and promoted by Michael Harner (American antropologist, 1929-2018), based on his reading and study of anthropological texts on the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, mainly the Plains Indians. In the early 1980s, Harner created the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (F.S.S.) to spread his vision of a unique shamanism stripped of all original cultural content throughout the world. Between 1985 and 2010, he published a magazine Shaman’s drum: A Journal of Experiential Shamanism in which numerous advertisements gave pride of place to shamanic tourism. In 1991, the Harner Foundation even granted itself the right and the duty to relearn shamanism to the indigenous peoples of Siberia as well as to other peoples.Unfortunately, this type of shamanism is truncated from the specific and traditional cultures that make all its richness.The real connection to the invisible worlds is diminishing in favor of a mental projection of the unconscious desires of individuals. Core shamanism practice focuses primarily on modified states of consciousness.Access to these states is called shamanic journey.Long favorable to the psychotropic, Harner will end up warning against their use and he will then develop the journey to the sound of the drum.
THERE ARE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NEO-SHAMANISM AND ANCESTRAL SHAMANISM. ONE OF THESE DIFFERENCES IS THE ROLE OF THE SHADOW. NEO-SHAMANISM IS OPTIMISTIC WHILE ANCESTRAL SHAMANISM IS REALISTIC. THE FIRST FOCUSES ON POSITIVE POLARITY WHILE THE SECOND RECOGNIZES AND ACCEPTS THAT POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE POLARITIES ARE INSEPARABLE AND COMPLEMENTARY.
The Shamanic Journey
Shamanic journeys are modified states of consciousness that are lived in many forms and are affordable by the greatest number of people.It is an exploration of the different levels of the subconscious.In this way, shamanic journeys are a way of personal development to get to know each other better, to progress in his everyday life and to find in himself the solutions to the problems we encounter.
Shamanic journey as taught by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies is done individually or in groups.In traditional societies, this modified state of consciousness is called Magic Flight. The regular rhythm of the sounds produced by the drum breathes a relaxation and balances the two cerebral hemispheres thus opening access to the subconscious. If the practice of shamanic travel is simple and safe, it is however recommended that beginners be accompanied by a competent and experienced practitioner or shaman.
Ecstatic trance is practiced in groups and is addressed to people who have already done a real inner work, without the use of psychotropic drugs.It is a natural biological and psychological state accessible to most human beings.Unfortunately, millennia of beliefs have severed most men and women from these links to different sources.By accessing the trance, the person enters into it and can interact directly with her subconscious and cross its various layers until reaching other dimensions. To experience the trance or to access it regularly does not make the person a shaman, because the true competence of the shaman lies in his ability to master this modified state of consciousness, to enter and to leave it according to his will.The shaman knows how to explore his subconscious as well as that of another person, other people, a group.He interacts with the participants and accompanies each in his exploration.Beyond the participants in the trance, the shaman also manages the powerful energy manifestations (entities) coming from other dimensions. Marushka, familiar with this state since her childhood, invites you to discover the trance and accompanies you there safely.Because the Siberian shaman does not need to use plants or other substances to reach or achieve this state, your journey will be simple, even obvious for some or more difficult for others.But that doesn’t matter, because everything is right.Everyone is invited to accept, without judgment, the path that his soul has chosen to experience in this incarnation without allowing his ego to identify with one state or another.The trance can be light or hard depending on what each participant will have to live in the moment, but also depending on the egregore formed by the group.
BEFORE PARTICIPATING IN THE ECSTATIC TRANCE, MARUSHKA SPEAKS TO EACH PARTICIPANT TO DETERMINE IF HE IS READY TO LIVE THIS INCREDIBLE AND POWERFUL EXPERIENCE.
Rites and Cares
Rituals are oriented around three main axes: healing, purification and divination.
Healing is linked to the elimination of the evil spirit, the cause of disease.Like all shamans, Marushka acts on behalf of spirits and deities.The care therefore consists in banishing the evil spirit so that the possessed soul can fully reintegrate its place in the body of the sick.
Purifications sometimes recall exorcisms, while in other cases it is simply a blessing.
Divination is the means by which a shaman can predict the future, diagnose diseases and find the cure.Divination shows him the way to heal the patient.This is usually done by making an ecstatic journey to one of the three other worlds.The patient’s ancestors and other spirits come to support and advise the shaman.Marushka also uses other supports: stones, black mirror, tarot, astrology, pendulum, ... She interprets dreams and reveals their messages.
As a psycho-pump, Marushka also assists and calms the person at the end of life so that she can make the dimensional transition in the best conditions just as she helps those who remain to overcome this ordeal and accept that if what we call life continues in a other intangible dimension.
Individual care responds to a specific request from a person or to a broader scope of request/advice of any kind.Even if the shaman - able to care for animals, plants or places - perceives the problem or the expectations of the person before he expresses them, out of respect for the applicant’s approach, he only deals with the explicit request(s).To do this, he uses different "techniques" to accompany the person towards his goal by acting as much on the manifest as on the non manifested.
Group care or drum healing takes place in groups, rooms or outdoors.This care is organized around a particular Siberian drum and dedicated only for this use.Natural frequencies emitted scan a specifically defined spectral range.This drum is unique and has its own identity.With the shaman, they form a sacred and indivisible whole. Sessions are open to all, regardless of their beliefs, religion, experiences, sufferings, fears or joys.The disease or accident is only the physical, material manifestation of an unconscious imbalance, of an internal work to be done to transmute the affected material.It is the same for all neurosis, anxieties, fears, addictions, euphoria and other psychologies that are also the manifestation of an imbalance.The rhythm of the drum and the faculties of liaison and interaction of the shaman will allow everyone to find the way of his healing whatever it is. As we all are different and depending on the degree of letting go of the conscious mind, some may laugh, cry, sing, move, cough, tremble, sweat, freeze or express other physical or psychic manifestations.Others may feel nothing special.Everything is right.It is useless and vain to pass judgment on oneself or on another.It is only a matter of welcoming and receiving what it is at the moment.The frequencies of the healing drum will accumulate in the cells and continue to act well after the session.
The vision quest is part of all shamanic traditions.It is an initiatic rite - or passage rite - which takes on several aspects, but whose practice always includes a period of isolation - a withdrawal from the world - and a fast.The approach of the vision quest is to distance ourselves from the packaging that make up our daily lives.Therefore, this practice is not improvised lightly. Because she herself has practiced the vision quest on several occasions and is accustomed to initiatic rites, Marushka is empowered to accompany you individually in this process.
The sweat lodge is also a part of all shamanic traditions even though it is better known in its Amerindian form. It is practiced in groups and takes place in a kind of tent similar to a sauna - spiritual dimension added. Marushka participated and conducted a number of rites using the sweat lodge, she is so able to guide groups in this practice.
The medicine wheel or circle of life is a typical symbol of Native American culture that was then largely taken up by core shamanism and neo-shamanism. The medicine wheel is a cosmic symbol representing the order of the world: the rhythms of the seasons, the four cardinal points, the different ages of life, ... The Amerindians attribute to it the power to restore physical, psycho-emotional and spiritual balance, so they use it in both healing rites and teachings. As the symbolism of the circle is universal, Marushka and Aonghas have pooled their skills and experiences and they offer a new practice of the medicine wheel.
In addition to the costume, the headdress and the mask that underline the shaman’s load, the shaman surrounds himself with various objects whose function is to assist him in his practice.Each object is called "power" because it is the receptacle of one or more "auxiliary spirits". Each of these "spirits" is specialized in a particular field: predicting the future, influencing randomness, casting out demons, etc. Even if the shaman does not need all these objects, the abundance and use of them underlines the shaman’s ability to adapt to all the situations he may encounter. The more adaptable the shaman is, the more he has power, because he will not be destabilized by new circumstances.
In the ancestral Siberian shamanism, the indispensable power object of the shaman is the drum.This is with his drum the shaman enters into a trance and practices the Magic Flight. Other instruments can also be used such as bells, rattles, etc. In this case, the function of these objects is to attract beneficial spirits or to frighten the bad ones. For his practice of divination, the Siberian shaman mainly makes use of stones which he will have gleaned here and where or he will have inherited from another shaman. In other traditions, it may be sand, runes, or even – still today – the entrails of animals previously sacrificed. For purification rites, the Siberian shaman often uses a whip, claws and feathers of raptor, incense and herb fumigations, etc. These lists of examples are obviously not exhaustive.However, always keep in mind that the shaman adapts to his environment and that therefore he may have to make use of everything that nature, or the society in which he evolves, puts at his disposal.
Art is never far from shamanism.To realize this, just look at the paintings discovered in the Paleolithic caves, but also the tradition of the Kachinas among the Hopi, the sand paintings of the Navajo, the sculptures of the Aborigines, etc. Very often, shamans are artists, artisans, and it is not uncommon for them to offer or sell objects that they will have themselves made and carrying a "spirit" therefore of a particular function.We are not talking about mass-produced objects, but about unique objects intended for a particular situation.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE YOUR OWN POWER OBJECTS AND IF YOU WANT TO ACQUIRE SOME, MARUSHKA MAKES: AMULETS, TALISMANS, FAMILIARS, RUNES, HUMAN REPRESENTATIONS, ETC. FIND HER CREATIONS ON THE SORCEROUS SHAMAN LAIR