The Way of the Shaman Part 2 – Is the Shaman Possessed?

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Is the Shaman Possessed?

Once the guardian spirit in inside the shaman the shaman can perform dancing, accompanied by drumming, to “consciously become one with his power animal.” (page 61)

“Much animal-like dancing in the primitive world has as its objective the unification of power animals with the dancers, whether or not the rituals are purely shamanic in other respects.” (Page 61)

The author gives instructions on how to become one with your power animal through the starting dance.  “In this starting dance, you are giving proof of your own sincerity to the power animals, wherever they may be, by making a self-sacrifice of your own energy to them in the form of dance.  This dancing is a way of praying, and of evoking the sympathy of the guardian animal spirits.” page 66

Later in the dance you should “Stop dancing, and mentally welcome the animal to stay in your body.” Page 67

“If one wishes to maintain the shamanic practice, one has to change into one’s animal regularly to keep the animal contented enough to stay…Dancing your animal is an important method for keeping it content and thus making it reluctant to leave you. The guardian animal spirit resident in the mind-body of a person wants to have the enjoyment of once again existing in material form….Just as a human may want to experience nonordinary reality by becoming a shaman, so too a guardian spirit may wish to experience ordinary reality by entering the body of a living human.” Page 68

Spiritual Possession for Better Physical Health and Wealth?

“From a shamanic point of view, illnesses usually are power intrusions.  They are not natural to the body, but are brought in.  If you are power-full, you will resist them.  Thus possession of guardian spirit power is fundamental to health…When a person becomes depressed, weak, prone to illness, it is a symptom that he has lost his power animal and thus can no long resist, or ward off unwanted power “infections” or intrusions.  One of the functions of a shaman is to return a power animal to the sick patient for health.

In addition to physical or mental ailments the gradual loss of property or wealth is also a sign the animal guardian spirit has left you.  This is not a problem since there are various techniques to retrieve a guardian spirit so health and wealth can be returned.

Coincidences

At this point you may be thinking shamans are merely seeing either what they want to see or figments of their own imagination.  These would be reasonable thoughts.  After all, imagining power animals or dancing for them could simply be an expression of their belief and no spirits are present at all.

To add further evidence of the reality of actual spirits there are documented coincidences which occur when a person aquires a power animal.  “For example, it is common for the patient, after receiving an animal, to reveal to the shaman that he or she already had an unusual connection with that particular animal.  It may have been a deep childhood association, a recent peculiar encounter, or a long-time tendency to collect images and drawings of the particular creature.”

Another kind of coincidence often occurs when a shaman journeys, with their minds, into a landscape where the power animal resides and the sick patient experienced the same details of their journey as the shaman, but no verbal communciation took place!  This happens with individual one-on-one patient sessions as well as several people at one time, who can corroborate specific details of the landscape and the power animals they encounter.

The partner acting as shaman: I went down into the opening of the earth and down into a tunnel which I’ve been to many times before.  I passed over the small stream that flows through it.  This time I went into a dark passageway of the cave that I’ve never been into before.  I had always passed it up and gone another way.  Then I came out into a desert place and there were a lot of different forms of cactus around.  I saw a variety of the kinds of animals that one sees in the desert.  Then I saw a mountain lion.  This all happened very fast.  The mountain lion kind of ran away from me like it was teasing me, but it did run around in different directions so that I saw it from four different angles.  I then brought it back.

The partner acting as patient: Right after he sat me up and blew into my head, immediately I saw a vivid picture of a cat with teeth with mouth wide open, growling.  I figured it had to be related because it was just really so vivid.  And then he told me that a mountain lion was what he had put into me.” (page 90)

The Way of the Shaman Part 3 – Asking the Guardian Spirits for Advice?

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