Spirituality is a deeply personal aspect of the human experience. It has been around, in one form or another, for almost as long as man.
But what exactly is a spiritual journey?
In this article, we will explore the notion of the spiritual journey from the perspective of a shaman, and look at how it can be a powerful tool for personal growth and self-realization.
Let’s dive right in:
An overview of shamanism
In order to examine the spiritual journey from a shaman’s perspective, we first need to understand what a shaman is.
For most of us, the word shaman evokes images of a man chanting around a fire in a sweat lodge, taking ayahuasca or peyote to tap into a higher state of consciousness.
But, what exactly is shamanism?
Well, it’s a spiritual, cultural, and religious practice that’s found in many indigenous and tribal communities around the world.
Simply put, shamans are healers and guides who contact the spiritual world for healing, insight, and guidance.
They believe that everything is connected and that we can harness the spiritual energy that surrounds us for the benefit of man.
The shaman – man or woman – will usually alter their state of consciousness to communicate with the spiritual world. They can also use their altered state of consciousness for divination purposes – that is, to see into the future.
Shamanism usually involves various rituals, but we’ll learn more about that further down.
Explanation of the spiritual journey in shamanism
Understanding the spiritual journey
The spiritual journey is at the core of shamanism. It’s often also referred to as a “shamanic journey”.
From a shaman’s perspective, a spiritual journey is the process of awakening and personal growth.
It involves digging deep and discovering aspects of yourself that you may have been hiding from the world, and from yourself. It’s a path of discovery that leads to a sense of purpose, inner peace, and a deeper connection to the world around you – both physical and spiritual.
Take for example the shaman Rudá Iandê. Since the age of 15, he studied anything and everything on spirituality that he could get his hands on – from meditation to Reiki.
But that isn’t how he became a shaman.
What actually happened was that he found himself in his 20s, full of knowledge but completely lost. He was disconnected from his body, his emotions, and from his personal power.
It took being introduced to shamanism some years later to break through and help bring him back to his true nature. And that’s what he wants to help others do.
Purpose of the spiritual journey
In this fast-paced, chaotic world we seem to be drifting further and further away from nature, spirituality, and from who we are as individuals and as human beings.
That’s why shamans are there to help us find our way back to ourselves, to the natural world, and to the spiritual world.
The purpose of the spiritual journey is to help individuals develop awareness and reach deeper levels of consciousness.
But here’s the thing:
A shaman’s job isn’t to give you the answers, but rather, to guide you.
As Rudá put it, “A true shaman will open the door for you and let you explore, challenging you, inspiring you to find your own answers, to think and discover by yourself. And most importantly, a true shaman won’t try to shape you to fit into any sort of expectations.
A shaman will teach you how to respect and cultivate your own nature so it can bloom, bring into the world the wisdom – the beauty the medicine that resides in your soul which comes from your DNA and belongs only to you.”
That sounds pretty good to me. I’m tired of being told what to do, how to think, and even how to be spiritual.
Shamanic tools and techniques for the spiritual journey
Shamans connect with the spiritual realm by altering their states of consciousness – i.e. by going on a spiritual journey. They can get into a trance or meditative state in several ways:
- By chanting and singing
- Taking sacred plants
These are just some of the ways shamans use to alter their state of consciousness, and the specific technique will vary from culture to culture.
Once in the spiritual realm, the shaman can communicate with spirit guides, ancestors, and spirit animals. The shaman will bring back messages, instructions for healing, guidance, or insight – either for themselves or for others.
*It’s important to remember that a spiritual journey is a sacred practice and by no means a source of escapism or recreational activity!
The roles of spirit guides and shamanic teachers
- Spirit guides play a crucial role in an individual’s spiritual journey. They’re believed to be spiritual beings who provide guidance, support, and healing to individuals who journey into the spiritual realm. Once the individual enters an altered state of consciousness, they can speak with their spirit guides and receive the guidance and insight that they’re looking for.
- Shamanic teachers, on the other hand, are human beings. They’re experienced practitioners of shamanism who have a deep understanding of the spiritual realm and know how to communicate with spirit guides. Shamanic teachers come from various shamanic traditions and usually have their own unique approaches to practicing and teaching shamanism.
Now, some teachers will offer in-person or online classes on the basic principles of shamanic practices, while others will focus on teaching people about the importance of personal growth, and guide them as they venture out on their own spiritual journeys.
That’s what Rudá Iandê does. His goal is to help people connect with their inner selves and the natural world in order to gain insight and awareness.
What I find refreshing about Rudá is his modern, accessible, and inclusive approach to shamanism. He combines traditional shamanic practices with contemporary knowledge.
His masterclass, “Free Your Mind”, was designed to help people get over their limiting beliefs and realize their full potential.
According to him, we are shaped into the people we are by our parents and by society, “as a newborn child you did not have an individual notion of identity”. He says that not only do we inherit our names from our parents, but also their “beliefs and expectations”.
That’s why there are so many aspects of ourselves that we try to bury and end up turning into monsters. “Our anger, fear, sadness, and anxiety are natural emotions that we turn into monsters by treating them as such.”
And the best part?
Rudá doesn’t want to tell you how to live your life or how to be spiritual.
Instead, he wants to set you free. He wants to help you find spiritual empowerment from within.
If you’re ready to get in touch with your core self, watch this free mindblowing video now.
All in all, spirit guides and spiritual teachers are there to help people develop a deeper connection to the natural world, discover their inner wisdom, and connect with the divine.
They’re also there to provide support and guidance through difficult times, helping people navigate the challenges of both their spiritual journey and their life.
Working with energy and spirit in shamanic practice
Understanding the concepts of energy and spirit
In shamanism, the concepts of energy and spirit are fundamental to understanding the spiritual realm and working with spirit guides and energies.
- Energy in shamanic practice refers to the life force that flows through all things. In yoga and Indian medicine, they use the Sanskrit word for breath – “prana” – to refer to this energy. And in traditional Chinese culture, they refer to it as “chi” or “qi”, literally meaning vapor, air, or breath. Chi is often translated as a vital force, vital energy, material energy, or just energy. The shaman works with this energy to restore balance and harmony to the body, mind, and spirit.
- Spirit in shamanic practice refers to the non-physical essence or consciousness that exists beyond the physical world. Shamans believe that everything has a spirit and that communicating with these spirits can bring about healing, insight, transformation, and guidance. This includes working with the spirits of ancestors, animals, plants, and other non-human entities.
The shamanic concept of energy and spirit is closely tied to the idea of interconnectedness.
You see, in shamanism, everything in the world is seen as interconnected and interdependent – you, me, this tree, that rock, that bird, that spirit – and it is the role of the shaman to restore balance and harmony to the web of life.
Shamanic practitioners work with energy and spirit in a variety of ways, including through:
- Journeying: also referred to as shamanic journeying or spiritual journeying
- Energy healing: this involves working with different energy fields in the body and contacting the spiritual realm. The shaman will often remove energetic blockages to restore balance. (check out the section “Shamanic healing practices” below)
- Ritual: for example, going on a vision quest. This is a Native American practice that involves spending time alone in nature, asking for spiritual guidance – or a vision. To prepare for their quest, individuals often go through a ritual of purification – yup, you guessed it, sweat lodge!
- Divination: this involves using various tools and techniques to gain insight into the past, present, or future. Some common divination tools used by shamans are runes, pendulums, and scrying mirrors.
All in all, the concepts of energy and spirit are essential to understanding shamanic practice and the shaman’s role in working with the spiritual realm.
Shamanic energy healing practices
Shamanic energy healing practices are based on the belief that everything in the world is interconnected and has an energetic component.
Shamans use energy healing to restore balance to the body, mind, and spirit.
So how exactly does it work?
Shamans work with energy healing in a variety of ways, including:
- Shamanic extraction healing: This involves removing negative or harmful energy (blockages) from the body. These blockages are often caused by negative thought forms and crystalized emotions that have manifested as physical pain, anger, fatigue, or illness.
- Shamic soul retrieval: This is an energy healing technique that involves working with an individual to recover parts of their soul that may have been lost or damaged due to abuse, trauma, illness, or even addiction.
- Power animal retrieval: This technique involves helping someone connect to a power animal or spirit animal that provides guidance, protection, and healing.
Shamans will often combine energy healing with other shamanic practices, such as shamanic journeying, ritual, and divination.
Integration of the spiritual journey into everyday life
Shamanic teachings offer a unique perspective on personal and spiritual growth. They provide us with a framework for understanding the nature of the human experience, the universe, and our place in it.
So, by applying shamanic teachings to our everyday life, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves as well as how we’re connected to the world around us.
Let’s take a closer look:
- Developing a deeper connection to nature: As we’ve already established, shamanic teachings emphasize the interconnectedness of all living things as well as the importance of living in harmony with nature. So, essentially by developing a deeper connection to nature, we’re also developing a deeper connection to ourselves, life, and the universe.
- Healing emotional wounds: Shamanic teachings recognize the importance of addressing emotional wounds in order to heal. Through shamanic practices such as soul retrieval, we can work to heal past traumas and release negative emotions.
- Connecting with spirit guides and teachers: By working with spirit guides and teachers, we can receive the guidance we need to navigate our spiritual path. Sounds good. But what about in the context of social and ecological issues?
- In the context of social issues, shamanic teachings can help us develop greater empathy and understanding for others, promoting social harmony and a sense of community. And by working with spirit guides and teachers, we can gain insight into the root causes of social issues as well as develop a deeper understanding of how to achieve social justice and equality.
- In the context of ecological issues, shamanic teachings can help us develop a greater appreciation for the natural world and to understand the role of humans in maintaining ecological balance. Also, by connecting with nature spirits and spirit animals, we can learn about the needs of the natural world and work towards achieving ecological sustainability.
- Finally, working together in community ceremonies and rituals can help promote social and ecological healing on a larger scale.
Through these practices, we can work towards creating a more harmonious and balanced world, one that respects and honors the interconnectedness of all things.
In short: By applying shamanic teachings to everyday life, we can develop a greater sense of self-awareness, emotional well-being, and spiritual connection.
We can also gain a deeper understanding of how we can promote social justice as well as attend to the needs of the natural world.
The spiritual journey is an essential aspect of shamanism because it’s through this journey that the shamanic practitioner can connect with the spiritual realm to receive healing, insight, and guidance from spirit guides.
The spiritual journey is a process of personal and spiritual transformation that can help people overcome limiting beliefs and patterns, heal from past traumas, and access their full potential.
Ultimately, the spiritual journey is a path of self-discovery and transformation that can lead to greater healing, growth, and well-being.
If you think you’d like a shaman to help you overcome your limiting beliefs and discover your true self, I really recommend watching Rudá’s free video.