There are an estimated 4200 religions in the world today. With access to so many religious guidelines and practices, the question of whether there could be a universal religion also pops up. However, there is one such religion that has been dated to prehistoric times and is still practiced today; it is known as “humanity’s oldest and universal expression of religiosity.” Let’s explore the world of shamanism.
History And Origin Of Shamanism
During the Paleolithic period it was determined that cave paintings indicated shamanic practices taking place. Thus, shamanism is thousands of years old, dating back to the Andean shamans of Peru over 50,000 years. The origin of the word shamanism itself is debated, but could possibly be derived from the North Asian word šaman, which translates to, ‘one who knows.’
Who are Shamans?
Shamans are basically healers of the soul, and heal illnesses, whether physical, mental or spiritual through the soul. Shamans believe that every matter is alive and carries some sort of information. Shamans work on all levels; they pay attention to the physical consumption and exercise of the body and also its exposure to energies. Shamans can remove misplaced energies, which are basically negative emotions. An example of this is when stress causes bodily reactions such as back pains or ulcers. Shamanic extraction repowers you by releasing these misplaced energies that are trying to find their way out.
The Gift Shamans Possess
Shamans look to their ancestors in order to gain insight into working with spirits, and thus start working with natural spirits such as land, rocks and trees, and can feel energies from each entity. The Shaman learns how to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Also, they learn the way to work with energies or spirits in a way that they are not affected and can exude harmony within the soul. Their gift allows them the freedom to practice soul flight, which is a shift in consciousness made by the shaman, which lets them release their soul from their body to freely wander.
Illness for a shaman is caused by a lack of power of soul that was lost at some point in your life. The shaman may perform power animal retrievals in order to empower their patient. A power animal protects the individual, much like a guardian angel, helping them grow spiritually and to help them regain their power. Shamans also can be effective for those who suffer from long term dissociative disorders caused by trauma. Shamans practice the freedom of the soul, which is also a phenomenon that takes place with individuals at the time of a trauma, where they may feel like they are outside the event happening. If the soul is ‘lost,’ meaning that the person is in a constant dissociative state, then Shamans can perform a soul retrieval to help that part of the soul return to them.
There are of course, many other healing practices that shamans adopt, like healing land or even de-possession. All shamans have their specialities and are gifted in different aspects of shamanism, but the results matter more than whether or not a shaman can perform a certain skill or technique.