By Viola Woolcott
Shamanic initiations happen during dreams, vision quests and trances. Spirits choose who is to be a shaman by making themselves know to him. He must be able to experience a number of cultural imageries. Some of the images they may see are when they travel to the spirit world, where they interact with their spiritual guide and where he is often dismembered and then reassembled bone by bone.
The shaman can be initiated through a ‘calling’. Often through a very serious illness or near death experience (NDE) where he may see visions of spirits or meet the ghosts of his ancestors. He attains the secret of life and the power to heal by knowing death and returning from it. The Greeks believed that one way of becoming initiated was to be struck by lightening and survive because of the possession of magical powers. The shaman is one who through consequences of his own crisis achieves certain higher powers.
Being a type of intermediary between the earthly world and the spiritual world, the shaman takes a spirit flight in a trance state using a form of astral projection, which symbolically heals the rift between man and the sacred. Once he is in the spirit world, he communicates with spirits requesting assistance regarding healing and other matters.
Shamanic abilities can also be passed down through the bloodline.
It has been known that the shaman-in-training must also undergo a terrifying initiation in which he faces and resolves his fears.
The majority of shamans in most cultures are men. When women are chosen to be shamans, they are very often exceptionally powerful. Some tribes have an ambiguous gender-identity and they dress like women as well as staying celibate.
After the initiation and until he reaches a level of mastery, the shaman is trained by a more experienced shaman.
To become a shaman, one does not have to belong to a native tribe. Through schools, intense workshops or psychological or spiritual teachers shamanic training can be obtained.
Eagle’s Wing – Leo Rutherford & Howard Charing
See also related link:
Dare 2b Aware