Shamanism in the 21st Century
Shamanism is humanity’s oldest and most enduring spiritual practice. From the very origins of the human race there is evidence of our relationship with the Divine expressed through ceremony as a means of maintaining harmonious union with Creation. Whether in the placement of flowers upon the graves of our Neanderthal ancestors or the markings upon cave walls to magically establish empowered embodiments of a totem animal’s knowledge, the antecedents of our own desire for personal and conscious union with the All-That-Is connects us with the continuum of the spiritual quest as being an innate human drive.
Inherent within the Shamanic perspective is the understanding that each person has their own unique and autonomous path of reunification with Creator. Shamanism provides a compendium of ceremonies, dances, songs, approaches to Spirit, meditations and understandings of the underlying principles of reality and human nature based upon generations-upon-generations of experiential interaction with Creator through the Creation of which we are a part. Being free of dogma and doctrine, Shamanism enables each individual in their personal quest of each their own Spirit’s path, purpose and truth.
This recognition of the individual’s right and responsibility of his or her own spiritual awakening and fulfillment is but one of the very specific elements of Shamanism which establishes it as a viable means of meeting today’s Spiritual Questor’s desire for an honest and authentic approach to self realization. That Shamanism as a whole is humanity’s spiritual inheritance of our ancestors’ contribution to the collective unconscious of our species provides a firm and proven system of knowledge, and direct access to that wisdom through ceremonial forms, which can serve any individual’s understanding of the realms of Spirit expressed as Nature and Cosmos, and our part within it. Because Shamanism is the birthright of every woman and man of this planet, rather than the provenance of the few select or elite, it is a spiritual form which is available to any and all.
Shamanism is the Spirit’s direct expression of it’s yearning to bring body/mind consciousness into the full realization that we are Spirit. Through Shamanic practices we have the direct experience with our senses that we are, indeed, One with the All-That-Is. It is this cellular perception of our Truth that brings us to the humble realization that we are accountable for all our deeds, actions and behaviors- and the consequences thereof. From this awakened state of being compassion is born. When compassion, born of the empathetic relationship with all life, is brought to conscious embodied awareness, we, individually and ultimately collectively, will emerge in chrysalis to become the fully realized beings that is our potential.
This passionate and compassionate embrace and respect for all life, inherent within the Shamanic perspective, makes of Shamanism a survival skill of the human race. It is as important, and here in the 21st century, perhaps even more important, if we are to be able to continue life on this planet, as the ability to make fire or shelter and feed and clothe ourselves. For if we do not once again, as our ancestors who have left us this endowment of Shamanic ways, honor as sacred all manifest Creation as the singular expression of Spirit, we may surely perish, taking all life with us.
Shamanism provides us with an opportunity to fulfill our own Spirit’s quest for awakening and also bond us as a Community of Creation in the service of Life. This is the bequest of this ancient spiritual practice of our ancestors to us here, today, in the 21st century.