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Neil Hatherly neil@schamanische-lebenshilfe.de Gilching b. München
Shamanism is ancient and every culture had or has their 'brand' of shamanism. From cave paintings, for instance in Lascaux, we know that shamanism in Europe is at least 17000 years old. In Siberia, remains of sweat lodges have been found that are 40000 years old. All over the world there are common things in shamanism - whether its with the First Nation Peoples, the Celts, the Inuit or the Aborigines. For instance, the knowledge of the Non-Ordinary Reality and its inhabitants, or that everything around us has spirit. In our 'civilised' culture we have often lost our 'brand' of shamanism. Since the 70s of the past century people like Alberto Villoldo, Tom Cowan, Carlos Castaneda and Michael Harner Seit have been priviledged to learn this ancient knowledge from those who still know it, and have been able to pass it on to those who have forgotten. Shamanism is many things for many people - a passion, a hobby. A world view, a religion. A job, a calling. A way of life, a help in life... The beautiful thing about it: everyone can discover for themselves what it means to them. This freedom is given to every feeling being. How does a shamanic practitioner work? A shamanic practitioner always works in connection with the spiritual world and with his or her spiritual helpers. He or she works as an intermediary between the worlds. In addition, tools such as drum, rattle, feather and herbs to smudge are used. They help raise, hold and move energy and help call the spiritual helpers. Often, white sage or cedar is used to smudge. Singing healing songs and praying are another important part of shamanic healing. What does shamanism mean today? Today, alternative healing and spiritual guidance are needed more than ever. Confronted by the material abundance of life in our society it is easy to miss that some people may be feeling emptiness inside. There are also illnesses to which classical medicine has no answer. Maybe shamanism can help there. No matter where you are - school, work, shopping or in a relationship - you are in contact with people and animals. And that's why, in my opinion, shamanism is as powerful as ever - because it's about people and about feeling beings. Shamanism can give a lot to those called by it.