Purpose Of The Shaman

By Viola Woolcott

The role of the Shaman is one of the oldest spiritual practices in the world. In his own way he has many purposes. Many people wonder what that purpose entails as they are not familiar with the Shamans powers (refers to energy), knowledge and abilities he is said to own.

Shamans believe that the main causes of illness is separation from the Source.

The Shamans primary task is to keep the people as a whole as well as assisting any individual who suffers with loss of Spirit or Soul. Shamans have sacred healing powers as well as ceremonial responsibilities. They use a repertoire of different healing methods like energy healing, body work, crystals, dance and sounds as well as shamanic medicines, removing damaging energies which are believed to cause illnesses and despair. Shamans believe that the main causes of illness is separation from the Source.

The Shaman is the doctor of the Soul for both the community as well as for the individual, as he is the middle man for the person in need as he has the power (energy) to be the communicator between the spirit world and the modern day world. He retrieves lost or stolen Souls as well as their fragments. To the ill and dying he restores health, interprets dreams as well as messages from spirit. Ceremonies are carried out to mark rites of passage or other meaningful milestones in someone’s life. At births and death he assists, helping in the arrival as well as the departure of Souls to and also from this world.

The Shaman must also work on himself as he has to free himself from ego and projections to give his full attention as well as being fully present without being judgmental or energetically drained. He lives by the soul and the spirit concept. The soul concept deals with healings based on the belief system. The spirit concept is based on giving hope and also wellness.

Shamans Initiation

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.

Recommended:
Eagle’s Wing – Leo Rutherford & Howard Charing

See also related link:
Dare 2b Aware

Shaman Disease Sickness Doctor Of The Soul

The Shaman is the ‘Doctor of the Soul’ for the individual as well as for the community.

As a result of disharmony in the body the spirit has the ability to manifest an illness, a dis-ease, in the form of physical, mental and emotional sickness, or it can even manifest pure joy. All things have spirit, a blueprint, a creative force, which brings them and their own consciousness to life and which can also be communicated with. Without a doubt, everything is made of energy, which can be transformed and moved. It should be respected that all things are interconnected, that they affect each other. Dis-ease has spiritual sources. By identifying the underlying issue, healing will take place by putting right the flow of energy.

Shamans say that the reasons for physical, mental and emotional suffering is caused by parts of our power (over oneself) being lost. That the cause of illness is ‘separation‘. Separation from nature, from the source, the core, from oneness. The Soul ‘leaves’ to escape the trauma. Spiritual intrusion to our being can be the consequence in many aspects of trauma. For example accidents, abuse, disappointment, loss, bereavement, giving birth, even being born. For this part of the Soul it is a kind of protection, which may cause a void and therefore leaves the spirit open to disturbances.

Thought forms are sent out all of the time. Everything is connected, all things influence all things. Separated, unaware people will cause harm to themselves as well as others when they enter their lives with bad vibes, hostility and their dark thoughts. The Shaman works with the powers of the universe to end separation from nature, the source, the core, from oneness.

Shamanic Journey Drumming

Submitted by Howard G. Charing

The Shamanic Journey is a technique, which facilitates a visionary experience into expanded awareness. This activates our imagination and creativity, and allows us to bypass linear, familar and rational thinking. In this state of expanded awareness we can find new insights, perspectives, and ways to resolve problems.

What is Shamanism?

Shamanism is the oldest way in which humanity has sought connection with Creation. The origins of shamanism go back at least 40,000 – 50,000 years to Stone age times. All of us have evolved from shamanic cultures; it is our roots wherever we live.

A shaman knows that all things are alive and ‘walks with one foot in the everyday world and one foot in the spirit world’. Contemporary shamanism is the application of these ancient timeless ways to life here and now.

Shamanism is not a belief system. It is a path to knowledge, which is gained through experience of life, through rituals, ceremonies, prayers and meditation, trials and tests. Knowledge is something that works, that stands up to the test of time that is known from the inside.

Cosmology of the shaman

Shamans divide non-ordinary reality into three other regions, the upper, lower and the middle worlds. Each has its own characteristics and whilst each individual traveller experiences initially their own version, once one becomes a proficient journeyer, it is amazing just how connected we all are at these levels.

The Lower world is the place of instinctual knowing where our animal-like powers reside and where we can find practical earthly help and guidance.

The Upper world is the word of spirit teachers, cosmic beings, great wise elders, ancestors who appear usually in human form. Their help and guidance is often perceived to be more general and philosophical.

The Middle world is both the everyday physical world that we live in, the world of ordinary reality, the tonal, and also a parallel non-ordinary version of our world.

It is a CD specifically made for shamanic journeying, and to do this, the drums have to be as monotonous as possible and maintain a consistent beat between 205 to 210 beats per minute. At this specific beat, the brain is stimulated to synthesise natural beta-endorphins, which facilitate a person to move into what is known as the ‘second attention’, an altered state of awareness, or shamanic state of consciousness. This state of awareness facilitates the shamanic journey.

A Shamanic Journey to the Lower world.

To begin, find a place that you feel comfortable and will not be disturbed for about 30 minutes. When you are ready, lie down comfortably, and darken the room, or at least cover your eyes. It is easier to journey in non-ordinary reality in the dark. Remove tight clothing, take off your shoes and allow your breathing to move to a gentle rhythm. Relax for a few minutes, focusing on being centred, and grounded.

When you are ready visualise or imagine, a place, which reminds you of the Earth, a place which you know of. This place should be a real place; perhaps somewhere you have visited, or seen in a film or photograph, and it can be anywhere, a hill, mountain, grasslands, forest, by the ocean. At this place allow yourself to perceive an entrance or opening into the Lower world. This entrance can be a hollow tree, an animal burrow, a cave entrance, a man-made opening e.g.; a trapdoor, it can any entrance into the ground or water. You will find that the right entrance will feel comfortable to you, take a minute or so to study it in detail.

Now when you are ready, enter into the opening. The beginning of the tunnel may appear dark, it may angle down in a slight incline, or it may incline steeply. The tunnel may appear to be ribbed, and often it bends, sometimes it may become spiral-like, but it will always lead downwards.

Continue down the tunnel until you come out of doors into a landscape. If you come into a cavern, you will need to move outside and into the landscape, there will be an exit for example a door or an opening, which will enable you to do this; it should be easy to get sight of it.

Now in the landscape, just look around. It may be daytime, night-time, forest, woodland, or near water. Extend your senses, listen, can you hear anything, the sound of birdsong, the sound that the wind makes as it blows through the tree tops, perhaps the sound of running, flowing water. Feel the ground underneath your feet, feel the ground pushing up against the soles of your feet. Sense the wind, the breeze, sense the movement of air around you. What does it feel like? Have an awareness of being there.

If you want to explore the landscape, remember where the entrance is, keep track of where you go. Just as in any ordinary-reality journey, it helps if you keep a note of landmarks so you can retrace your steps to return.

• Track 1. Solo Drumming (with call back) 20 minutes with Leo
• Track 2. Solo Drumming (with call back) 20 minutes with Howard
• Track 3. Double Drumming (with Call back) 40 minutes with Leo & Howard

Cover notes

The CD comes with detailed notes describing the cosmology of the shaman, and instructions for a journey.

Technical information

The drumming was recorded live directly onto digital tape at Sync City recording studio in London. The drumming was played in the ‘live-sound’ studio and no sound modification process was used.

Both drums were single headed frame drums. For the double drumming track, both drums were held facing each other in a position to optimise the natural reverberation.

The recording engineer was Wan Hewitt, himself a professional drummer. He has been dubbed the ‘drummers darling’ due to the great live sound he gets.

More info on the CD:
Drumming for the Shamanic Journey – With Leo Rutherford & Howard G. Charing

Howard G. Charing is a partner in Eagle’s Wing Centre for Contemporary Shamanism. His initiation into the world of Shamanism was sudden, which was caused by a serious accident, which resulted in severe injuries and a near-death experience. After many months of physical pain and disability, he had a transformational experience, which started him on a path to healing. If you like to know more about his work, Howard conducts “Plant Spirit Medicine” journeys to the Amazon Rainforest.

Core Shamanism

By Viola Woolcott

Core Shamanism is a group of beliefs as well as practises from all over the world, across continent, race and language, by all people seeking guidance and protection of Creator, Spirit, All that Is.

Core Shamanism was developed during the research done by Dr. Michael Harner. He recognised that the general approaches may vary, but that the overall key elements had something in common and by synthesising these elements anyone could use them without using any culture’s sacred rituals.

Core Shamanism does not hold a fixed belief system, but focuses on the practise of shamanic journeying as well as indigenous shamanism on an individual basis.

One similarity is the specific traditional practice of rapid drumming (approx 220 beats per minute), to reach the shamanic state of consciousness to communicate with power animals as well as the spirit world. When the shaman goes into this state of consciousness the drums are played steadily in the background so that the shaman can concentrate and focus into ascending deeper into that world. The drumming is also part of the ceremonial ritual dances.

The people who practice Core Shamanism call themselves shamanic practitioner rather than shamans as they are showing respect for the indigenous people. They are very careful to stay away from cultural imperialism.

The dominant mode of practice of shamanism in most of the West is Core Shamanism.

Soul Loss Fragmented Self

By Viola Woolcott

The Soul (vital essence) can leave the body when someone suffers physical or psychological trauma. It finds a safe place in other realms of non-ordinary realities and goes into hiding. This is a healthy mechanism for protection, helping someone to ‘survive’ without having to experience the full impact of the trauma. In some cases the fragmented parts will return on their own, but sometimes mending the fragmented self needs assistance by shamanic practises for the life force it contains to find their way back.

There are various reasons as well as traumas that may cause soul loss. Some examples are abuse, severe accidents, death of a loved one, witness of destruction, surgery as well as break up of a significant relationship.

Soul loss can also manifest itself in a number of ways. Some examples may be addiction, physical as well as chronic illness, bad health repeats itself, inability to focus and concentrate, grief that doesn’t heal, depression, a feeling of being ‘spaced out’ and not really here, frustration, a feeling of fear, disassociation or lack of connection to the emotional body.

Another way of experiencing soul loss is shock, where the individuals soul has not returned or has not fully re-entered the body.

You can also loose your soul by giving it to someone or by someone stealing it from you. It is very common and happens when a person holds part of another persons soul captive and that person cannot escape, which may happen intentionally or may happen unintentionally. Both souls are wrapped up within each other and both parties suffer the impact on each other. But only the main soul is influenced by the foreign presence and his mental, physical and emotional health suffers. The Shaman works in a respectful manner for both souls to ‘disentangle’ them.

A classical example for the body protecting itself, is when the body goes into a coma. This is the most extreme situation of soul loss, where the soul is pending between realities. More of the soul has left the body, and as it is in a great deal of pain or the soul emphasising necessity to re-consider its situation, a coma provides that needed time.

Conventional medicines very rarely address that loss of soul is a very common phenomenon. Using ancient shamanic soul retrieval, soul loss can be healed with dramatic success.

Many of us, if not everyone of us have gone through the experience of soul loss and the life force it contains. I certainly have!

Chants Icaros And Sacred Music Shamans Of Peru

Submitted by Howard G. Charing

The Shamans of Peru – Ceremonial Chants, Icaros, and Music – This unique set of recordings documents a collection of ceremonial chants and Ayahuasca icaros on CD.

Tracks 1-3 San Pedro ceremony held in Puruchucu, at the head of the Rimac valley. The ruins of this sacred site or huaca date back to pre-Inca times and have been accurately reconstructed. Setting the scene for the ceremony, three musicians play replicas of pre-Hispanic instruments. Alonso del Rio says: ‘while keeping to their original tuning, we have explored the instruments musical possibilities to give an idea of what the music could have been like in pre-Colombian times. The melodies came to us through the ancestral memory evoked through medicinal plants like San Pedro and Ayahuasca’. Instruments: the ceramic notch flutes of the Chincha civilization, Nazca panpipes or ‘antaras’ with their special tuning similar to Oriental scales, and Nazca drums.

The Mesa Nortena is a particular ceremonial tradition best conserved in the region of ‘Las Huaringas’, high and remote sacred lakes in the northern Department of Piura. There are probably only a few good maestros who continue this ancient tradition in Peru today. The rest simply work with the externalities of the mesa, while giving their clients minimal doses of the visionary San Pedro cactus. Originally more importance was given to the medicine, which must be in the organism of the participants as well as the maestro for the power to flow. The mesa then served to intensify the power of the plant.

An altered state is needed to enter the symbolic world of the objects on the mesa (the word refers to the altar as well as the ceremony itself). The abundance of macerated plants, perfumes and smells employed in the mesa function to move the feelings associated with one’s memories. At a deep level, sensations are translated into vibrations, which the medicine brings to consciousness so that associated hurt and pain can be ‘re-membered’ again and a new attitude can emerge.

The singado, or absorption of macerated tobacco juice through the nostrils involves another power medicine, which is used to intensify the San Pedro at regular intervals. The instruction from the maestro to pour up the left or right nostril reflects the notion of duality found in shamanic disciplines all over the world: masculine and feminine, hot and cold, upper world and earth, expansion and contraction, flowing and stagnant. Illness arises from one of these polarities loosing equilibrium. The word singado comes from the Quechua word singa meaning nose and is perhaps an Andean notion of Pranayama!

Also audible in the following two mesas 4- 5 are the clicking of chontas, or black bamboo sticks used for cleansing people’s auras and the spraying from the maestro and assistants’ mouths, of perfumes and plant macerations over the participants.

The tendency to commercialise a tradition is inherent in urbanization and seeing things for their utility and business. For example mesas are sometimes held so that lawyers win legal battles. Piles of documents are laid on the mesa so that the power works on them and they win their case. In this way a shamanic ceremony is degraded to folklore. We can try to reconstruct the original tradition to how it was in pre-Colombian times and remove the images of Sarita Colonia and the other saints, crucifixes, photos etc., which have accumulated throughout the centuries and evolved the mesa into the mestizo tradition which survives today. Left behind are the ancient stones, magic plant brews and the enchanted waters of the lakes of Las Huaringas, being the original elements, which have survived underneath.

Track 4 Mesa with Alejandro Sanchez. Maestro Sanchez lives in Comas, a distant suburb of Lima, which began in the 1960s as a shanty town. It is surrounded by impressive parched stony desert hills. The maestro’s house is at the end of a road near the cemetery and overlooks this immense settlement from where he draws his clients. Sanchez was born in Sondorillo near the legendary sacred lakes of Las Huaringas. At age 11, while still at school, he seemed to have perceptions and to be able foresee things accurately. His astonished teachers thought he was having hallucinations and called for maestro Florentin Garcia. Later Alejandro became his apprentice and learned from him the secrets of plants.

The strangeness of these ceremonies can be seen as part of the ‘trappings’ of rituals in general. Strangeness serves to trick the rational mind so that it will not interfere with the subtle processes taking place in the subconscious. When we are fully awake, things can indeed seem strange…‘people are strange, when you’re a stranger…’ as the song by The Doors goes. A part of healing is recovering the lost gift of perception, the feeling of being alive again.

Track 5 Mesa with Leopoldo Vilela who was also born near the celebrated Las Huaringas in Radiopampa, an extremely cold place at 3,500 meters altitude. He was 90 years old and in very good health at the time of this mesa which was also held in the ruins of Puruchucu. At three years old he was sent outside to look for herbs for his mother who was suffering from a stomach ache; there he knew he would become a curandero. He used to watch his father who was clairvoyant and assisted people in his community to find their animals when they were lost. He used tarot cards and looked into bottles of aguardiente (firewater) with grains of corn of different colours at the bottom.

Don Leopoldo improvises sessions for groups and individuals, which may continue for hours. These are full of idiosyncrasy, and characterized by warmth, dedication and playfulness, which is quite touching at times. The seemingly endless sequence of bottles of tastes and smells and other procedures are often extremely weird while his inadvertent remarks and caresses on his guitar (of his own manufacture) often provoke smiles and laughter in all present.

Human beings have an instinctive awareness of other people’s conscious states of mind. When another person, a shaman, is authentic and spontaneously creative in the moment, this has the power to focus the mind, stopping it from verbalizing and rationalizing. A sense of pure wonder is evoked.

Track 6 Closing calls. The conch shells or pututus, still used in Andean communities today, are handed down from the Incas who obtained them from the Caribbean. They are used for convening meetings and ceremonies.

Tracks 7-9 Shipibo icaros of Mateus Castro, a shaman living outside Pucullpa in Yarinacocha. The arts of the Shipibo, especially textile designs, are closely related to ayahuasca icaros. The words of the chants are symbolic stories telling of the ability of nature to heal itself. For example the crystalline waters from a stream wash the unwell person, while coloured flowers attract the hummingbirds whose delicate wings fan healing energies etc. You might see such things in your visions but the essence which cures you is perhaps more likely to be the understanding of what is happening in your life, allowing inner feelings to unblock so that bitterness and anger con change to ecstasy and love. To awaken from the ‘illusion of being alive’ is to experience life itself.

Tracks 10-16 Dona Cotrina Valles was born in Agua Blanca, Department of San Martin. She apprenticed herself to a maestro in 1979 and later came to live in Iquitos with her husband. Today she lives alone with her children. It is very unusual for a woman to be a shaman in urban situations although they do exist amongst indigenous peoples. Amongst other limiting beliefs, it is thought that women break taboos as they are unable to take dieting seriously because of demands from their husbands and that when they go shopping in the market they will have contact with menstruating women or people who are mal dormida, (ie. a person who has been making love all night).

The diet is a vexed question in the city as the temptations of rich spicy food as well as sex are greater than in the rainforest. As all shamans will tell you, Dona too, says that sex is bad. The ‘mother plant’ loves you and if you make love to another person, you are being unfaithful to her. For this reason it is often said that Ayahuasca is jealous, and if you do not respect her, she makes you ill instead of healing you. You will also not be able to see any visions. The ill effects from not respecting the diet are called cutipa and range from a sense of trauma and stress to skin problems.

Dona’s chants are sung in Spanish and Quechua, as also are the chants of Javier Arevalo, which follow. Both Dona and Javier are mestizo shamans, that is to say their ancestors moved to the Amazon from the Andes, rather than being indigenous to the Amazon as the Shipibo are. The melodies of mestizo icaros have an Andean structure and are sung partly in Quechua, a language of the Andes.

Track 17 Despacho to Pachamama in the ruins of Pisaq. A despacho is an offering to the Earth Goddess, Pachamama, which nurtures all life on earth. The ceremony symbolizes the reciprocity of nature and speaks back to her saying ‘we understand the message and we have the same attitude’. The word despacho was mistakenly translated into Spanish after the Conquest as pago, meaning payment, to imply a satanic pact with dark forces.

As each participant made their contribution to the despacho convened by the Shamaness Doris Rivera Lenz ‘La Gringa’, Kike Pinto, played pre-Colombian instruments. The first piece is a Harawi from the Department of Cusco played on a quena, or notch flute, made from the wing bone of a condor. This little melody has been handed down from Inca times, thanks to its incorporation into Catholic mass in Colonial times. The second piece is a Haylli from San Pedro de Castas, Department of Lima, played on a ch’iriqway, or antara (panpipes), made from condor feathers. The melody also has pre-Hispanic roots and has survived in a form played on the chirisuya, kind of oboe, of probable Moorish origin. This track is ended with some calls on the putu, or conch shell.

Kike Pinto is a lifetime musician and researcher of traditional Andean music. He has recorded several CDs and is curator of his own Museum of Andean Music in Hatunrumiyoq, Cusco.

Tracks 18-26 Javier Arevalo comes from Nuevo Progreso, a community of 50 families on the Rio Napo. Many generations of his family before him were shamans and already at 17 years old he knew this was his future. However when he was 20 his father died from a virote (poisoned dart in the spiritual world), sent by a jealous and malicious brujo (sorcerer) in his community. Soon after he began his two-year retreat in the rainforest with his maestro grandfather, dieting many plants, later to become his ‘doctors’. During his time in the wilderness he realised that it was better to leave God to punish the brujo who killed his father, and he decided to be a healer not a sorcerer.

There are several different kinds of icaros, at the beginning of the session. Their purpose is to provoke the mareacion or effects, and, in the words of Javier, ‘to render the mind susceptible for visions to penetrate, then the curtains can open for the start of the theatre’. Other Icaros call the spirit of Ayahuasca to open visions ‘as though exposing the optic nerve to light’. Alternatively, if the visions are too strong, the same spirit can be made to fly away in order to bring the person back to normality. There are icaros for calling the ‘doctors’, or plant spirits, for healing, while other icaros call animal spirits, which protect and rid patients of spells. Healing icaros may be for specific conditions like manchare, which a child may suffer when it gets a fright. The spirit of a child is not so fixed in its body as that of an adult, therefore a small fall can easily cause it to fly. Manchare is a common reason for taking children to ayahuasca sessions.

Tracks 18 Llamada de mareacion in which the spirits of various healing plants are called, here the huacapurana, a tall tree with hard wood, whose bark is used for arthritis. Huacapurana is also used as an arcana, or spirit to protect the body. Also the remocaspi whose bark is used to reduce fever and cure malaria.

More info on the CD:
The Shamans of Peru – Ceremonial Chants, Icaros and Music

Howard G. Charing is a partner in Eagle’s Wing Centre for Contemporary Shamanism. His initiation into the world of Shamanism was sudden, which was caused by a serious accident, which resulted in severe injuries and a near-death experience. After many months of physical pain and disability, he had a transformational experience, which started him on a path to healing. If you like to know more about his work, Howard conducts “Plant Spirit Medicine” journeys to the Amazon Rainforest.

Soul Retrieval

By Viola Woolcott

Soul Retrieval originated in ancient shamanic practices. It is bringing back the part of the fragmented soul and the life force it contains.

Soul retrieval is not a therapy, but can be a therapeutic process.

Once the shaman decides that your soul can be retrieved, he will look for signs of the life force, this happens when the shaman looks into the eyes, the windows of the soul.

The Shaman creates a sacred space, one where you feel safe, surrounded by love and where you feel protected from interference from the outside world. During the ceremony he uses drumming to go into a trance like state, to travel into the past, down the tunnel to the lower world. There he connects with his power animal and maybe some other helpers and they travel together into alternate realities to find the part of the soul of the person that is missing to invite it to come back. Usually the soul fragment is in a state of stress and may not want to come back as it doesn’t believe that it is save until the shaman proves that it is safe to do so. Bringing back the fragmented part creates an energy change which may take up to two weeks for integration.

Things always get worse before they are getting better and it is a good sign that deep healing is taking place, when uncomfortable emotions and deep routed memories come to the surface after bringing back the fragmented soul parts.

Demons

Submitted by Bob Makransky

In our society the stigma attached to believing in demons is quite strong. Anyone who admits to believing in demons is considered crazy or stupid, or perhaps evil, and is no longer taken seriously. However, our society’s view of this issue is incorrect. Becoming a magician requires facing up to this truth and dealing with it, not sweeping it under the rug. Magicians have to deal with how things really are and not worry about what other people might think or say about them. To our society, any discussion of demons is absurd. To a magician, the problem of demons is the most pressing issue facing the human race; and our addressing, or failing to address, this issue will decide our future, or lack of future, as a species.*

The trouble with all of the false stereotypes of black magic and demons in the popular media, particularly that these things don’t exist, is that they prevent us from understanding what is really going on. As many fundamentalist Christians rightly believe, demons are everywhere. In fact, they run the whole shebang.

When we talk about demons, we’re not talking about Transylvania. We’re talking about trouble right here in River City. Demons are pretty much all over the place, and they run our society. The government, corporations, media, academia, churches (especially the churches!) – indeed, all of our precious institutions – are of the demons, by the demons, and for the demons. The movie The Matrix is actually a pretty good picture of what our society is really like, but with demons rather than machines behind the scenes pulling the strings. Like germs, demons are everywhere. Therefore, they are not something to be frightened of or worried about. In fact, the people who are the most freaked out by demons, such as Inquisitors and witch hunters, are usually the most demon-possessed themselves. Likewise, the people who are the most uptight about black magic are usually the ones who are doing the most black magic themselves. Most demon-possessed people, like most black magicians, consider themselves to be upstanding, righteous, pious citizens.

Demons are blandishing everybody – even those not specifically possessed – all the time. Most of your thoughts of how marvelous and wonderful you are; and how misunderstood you are; and how the people who don’t appreciate you will be sorry some day; as well as most of your sexual and glory fantasies – not to mention angry and fearful thoughts – are just demons directing your thinking. Those kinds of thoughts aren’t “your” thoughts at all. They are just thoughts which demons implant in your mind. It’s when you start paying attention to where “your” thoughts and feelings are really coming from that you begin to understand the meaning of the Magical Almanac Statement of Purpose: that all you really are is a clearinghouse for a myriad of angels, demons, miscellaneous spirits, thought forms, and importance coverings clamoring for “your” moment-to-moment attention.

However many, if not most, of the people in our society – including practically all of our leaders in all areas – are out-and-out demon-possessed. That’s how they got to be so successful. Indeed, it’s quite possible that you may be demon-possessed. I was possessed for the first 40 years of my life, until my spirit guides pointed that fact out to me and explained to me how to cast them out. It’s no big deal, really, either to be possessed or to cast demons out. This will be explained later.

Here’s a fictional example which illustrates how people unconsciously call demons in to possess them in moments of great self-pity, taken from John O’Hara’s novel Appointment in Samarra. Notice how Julian English’s wife calls in a demon of her own in response to Julian’s demon:

“He did. What’s the use of trying to fool myself? I know he did. I know he did and no matter what excuses I make or how much I try to tell myself that he didn’t, I’ll only come back to the same thing: He did. I know he did. And what for? For a dirty little thrill with a woman who – oh, I thought he’d got all that out of his system. Didn’t he have enough of that before he married me? … Ah, Julian, you stupid, hateful, mean, low, contemptible little son of a bitch that I hate! You do this to me, and know that you do this to me! Know it! Did it on purpose! … You big charmer, you. You irresistible great big boy, turning on the charm like the water in the tub; turning on the charm like the water in the tub; turning on the charm turning on the charr-arm, turning on the charm like the water in the tub. I hope you die.

“I hope you die because you have killed something fine in me, suh. Ah hope you die. Yes-suh, Ah hope you die. You have killed something mighty fine in me, English, old boy, old kid, old boy. What Ah mean is, did you kill something fine in me or did you kill something fine.” This example is a good illustration of the way in which people call in demons to possess them when they feel especially vulnerable and in need of drastic protection. In most cases the appeal to demons is unconscious. Once demons are called in, whether consciously or not, they don’t leave unless they are deliberately exorcised.

* * *

What are demons like? They’re like us humans, but are far more intelligent and cunning, and also slimier. If you’ve ever met a psychopath face-to-face, then you know the type; but more so. Totally self-centered and sleazy. Demons are also really touchy, uptight, and self-important. They hate being ignored, and absolutely freak out at being laughed at. The demons which I have met face-to-face, in dreaming, appeared like normal people, but there was something very slimy about them. That is how I knew who they were.

Most of my encounters with demons were oblique. I could feel their presence because I would start getting angry for no reason. This is because I’m an angry person: a fearful person they would make fearful, a lustful person they would make lustful, and so on. Demons survive by generating and feeding off of our self-pity. Demons are basically everywhere.

For example, when we are driving and another driver cuts in right ahead of us and we beep the horn in anger, that’s in fact an exchange between that guy’s demons and our own. Some psychopaths such as Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, and Ted Bundy, got their dazzling, hypnotizing charm from the demons, which possessed them. Other psychopaths like Joseph Stalin and Saddam Hussein were bestial thugs. What demons often give their hosts is an extraordinary cunning and a feel for the jugular. They sense precisely how far they can go and what they can get away with; and they have no scruples whatsoever about destroying anyone or anything that gets in their way.

Not all demon-possessed people become world leaders, of course (although many, if not most, world leaders are demon-possessed … else they wouldn’t have succeeded in our demonic society); and not all are psychopathic. Many people who are depressed, repressed, angry and irritable all the time, constantly ill, addicted to drugs. or sex or whatever, self-destructive generally, are possessed by demons.

You can stand in a supermarket and watch the demon-possessed people go by: the harried mother pulling her kid in tow as she shops, yelling at the kid and yanking his arm out of its socket to drag him away from the things which normal curiosity leads him to explore; the old geezer with a perpetual scowl, pushing his shopping cart aggressively with an “out of my way, buddy!” expression on his face; the care-worn, overburdened, downtrodden people dragging themselves up and down the aisles.

It’s not too hard to tell if people are demon-possessed when they get old. When they are still young, there’s usually enough of the original person left there so that you can’t see the demons as readily (except in certain revealing moments now and then). As the people get older, however, the demons eat up more and more of their souls and their joy. If, as people age, they get lighter and more joyous, then they’re not demon-possessed. On the other hand if they get more uptight, nastier, depressed, or more self-pitying as they age, then they probably are demon-possessed. This is why it’s so hard to deal with those old people – you’re not dealing with the person anymore, just with a demon that subsists by sucking other people’s energy (having burned out most of its host’s energy).

Demons are not evil. They’re doing what they have to do in order to eat, just like the rest of us. There is no evil per se in the universe. If you want to call the necessity of killing and devouring other beings in order to survive evil, then the one you’ve got to blame for this is the One who made that rule in the first place. That was not Satan. Demons have to eat just like everybody else. What demons eat is what we call feelings, especially uptight feelings. Demons survive by generating and feeding off of our self-pity. To demons, we humans are self-pity machines programmed by them to produce the most delectable demon delicacies with our constant moaning and groaning; and our thinking we’re so great.

What makes being a demon, or messing around with demons, evil is that there’s no real joy or happiness in it. The way they feed themselves, and the way we feed ourselves under their influence, is uptight and ugly. It’s a big rush of self-importance, and then lots of pain. Then another big rush of self-importance, and then lots of pain. It’s a spiral of self-importance and pain. It’s not very peaceful or pleasant. But it can’t properly be characterized as evil per se. It’s an extremely popular lifestyle for humans as well as demons.

It’s called society.

* * *

Prior to the invention of agriculture after the last ice age, about 12, 000 years ago, humans were more or less like any other apes. They were more intelligent than most other animals, but not particularly smart. My guides have told me that if we could meet one of our ancestors from that period, we would consider it an animal. There’s no level upon which we modern humans would consider those ancestors to be human beings.

It was an alliance that the human race forged with the race of demons during the Late Upper Paleolithic – early Mesolithic era that made us modern humans the thinking, rational animals we are today. It was at that time that trapping, fishing, and hunting with dogs were invented – ensnaring game instead of hunting it directly. Then agriculture was invented – raising animals and plants instead of gathering them directly. Demons channeled new technologies to the human race through individuals who were inventors and innovators.

They still do.

These indirect techniques for getting food necessitated a greater sense of planning for the future than direct hunting / gathering had required. The new social order demanded a new type of consciousness: perception and cognition tied to linear time. Planning for the future is what creates the future. Until the demons taught us about the future, all human beings had to work with was the now moment.

Linear time is the matrix of our separated, lower self. Our human ancestors, like infants, didn’t have anywhere near as much sense of separatedness as we do. They were not as individuated as we are today. They lived in a more timeless, dream-like frame of mind; a sense of belonging to the universe. Their mental process wasn’t a matter of constant thinking, but rather of direct knowing what their ancestors, spirits, and the earth were telling them. They felt themselves to be part of an ongoing, natural process in the same way that we feel ourselves to be part of our society. Because they were not as separated as we are today, they felt less Angst than we do, because they had no future to worry about.

If the future didn’t exist, would we care about it? It’s precisely our caring and worrying about the future that conjures up its existence. We care about the future, it’s important to us, because we believe there’s glory for us somewhere in our future. We fantasize that someday we will win the lottery, or find our true soul-mate, or become famous, or go to heaven when we die. These sorts of expectations are what trap us into striving towards a future, which never arrives. The other side of that coin is our past, the things that we are ashamed of and are trying to forget about (and would never reveal to another person). We all are taught to hate ourselves and then to hide that self-hatred away. This striving towards a future and slinking away from a past is what creates the illusion that there is such a thing as a future and a past. When striving ends, so too does linear time.

Another way of saying this is: our sense of linear time is the product of our linear thinking. If we stop thinking so much about the future and past and return our attention to the now moment, like ancient humans and infants did, then the past and future lose much of their meaning. They are just not as important, so they are not as there; things are too now.

Our higher selves are timeless. Higher self – what William Butler Yeats termed “Mask” – is eternal: it is our touch with the Spirit. Higher self has to be squelched down into the straitjacket of linear time in order to create our uptight, niggling little lower self – what Yeats termed “Will. We learned how to create a sense of linear time – a separated, lower self that is caught in a loop of constant self-reflection, of seeking glory and hiding shame – from our demon masters. Over the past millennia the demons have taught us everything that we modern humans consider human. That is to say, our civilization – all of our thinking – is demonic in origin. The qualities that we modern humans believe elevate us above the realm of animals are essentially demonic qualities.

Demons taught us humans how to think because thinking requires concentrated effort. This effort, or being uptight – hiding shame from the past and seeking glory in the future – allows demons to suck human energy.

This is why adults are usually more uptight than little children, who aren’t yet in a mode of constant thinking. We adults are completely accustomed to thinking every second all day long. We don’t realize how much we have to squelch ourselves and our true feelings down in order to maintain this inner dialogue. This constant thinking, particularly when it’s worried, or angry, or jealous thinking, provides fodder for the demons who surround us.

In other words, the invention of agriculture wasn’t so much a matter of humans beginning to farm plants and animals for food as it was demons beginning to farm humans for food. Now, after millennia of inbreeding us, the demons have us right where they want us. Earlier generations of humans were hardy, robust, and self-reliant, which is hard fare for demons to digest. We moderns with our undisciplined, self-indulgent, decadent lifestyles have become a toothsome delight for the demons who suck us. We are fat and complacent, with no minds or wills of our own. We readily believe all the lies our government, church, media, and “science” tell us. This makes us easy to herd around and lead to the slaughter.

Our demon masters, who were overjoyed when humans invented agriculture and became a semblance of them, are presently ecstatic that humans have adopted an urban society wholly disconnected from nature. We are turning the green, loving earth into a hell world. At least, when most humans were doing agriculture, they were still attached to the earth’s love and the rhythms of the universe. Now, urban society has cut humans off completely from the earth’s love. When does anyone even look at a tree anymore except through a speeding windshield or a television screen? And the food – the Soylent Green – which people today eat from supermarkets, … Welcome to hell, folks! You don’t have to wait until you die. Hell is right here, right now. The worst part of it is that most people have been trained to call this heaven. And the demons are eating it up. Eating us up.

There was nothing wrong with us humans having associated ourselves with demons for the past few millennia. We learned a lot from them. We learned how to think, for starters. Now it’s time we humans went our own way and followed our own star, because continuing to serve our demon masters will just lead to our own destruction as a species.

When humans allied themselves with demons they made some sort of very unpleasant denouement inevitable; and it is our generation, which will have to pay the piper, and see what we can salvage from the rubble. A magician must remain undaunted even when single-handedly confronting all of the demons in the universe.

Because you are.

* * *

I’ve cast demons out of people and also out of buildings they were inhabiting. I don’t like doing this, though, because it scares me. When the demons are cut loose they dive into the nearest host they can grab onto. The time I cast demons out of a building where black magicians had lived previously, I followed my spirits’ advice and lit a censer with copal incense. Then I circled the building repeating an appeal to the demons to leave: “You are not wanted here any more, you’ll be a lot happier in another place where you are more appreciated. In the name of the nine Mayan gods (my patron spirits) I cast you out!” I tried to muster confidence, which I didn’t actually feel for the “I cast you out!” part. Then at each corner of the building I set off a chain of firecrackers, since demons have highly refined sensibilities and dislike clamor. After the firecrackers went off at the first corner I could sense something coming loose. By the last corner I sensed they were completely loose.

I then left, but as I walked away I started talking nervously to my assistant about the ritual we had just performed, “Hey, that really worked, didn’t it?” At that instant I sensed something diving into me, which really freaked me out. I started jumping up and down to shake whatever it was out of me, and at the same time I forced myself to think about something else, to blank my mind. Ever since then I try to avoid casting out demons. When it is absolutely unavoidable I do it in a place where I am protected, a nearby cave that is a Mayan holy place. I certainly don’t advise casting demons out of other people unless you’ve got spirit helpers in whom you have the utmost faith, such as Jesus, Krishna, or Buddha, backing you up.

I’m of the opinion that people should cast out their own demons. They called them in, and they should take the responsibility for casting them out themselves. The exception to this would be in the cases of children or people who are too crazy to do it for themselves.

Sometimes people ask me, “I think my parent (or spouse or loved one) might be demon-possessed. Is there anything I can do to cast it out?” My usual answer is negative. Demons won’t leave if the host doesn’t want them to leave, or they’ll immediately return if cast out. In our society most people don’t even believe in the existence of demons, much less seriously entertain the possibility that they themselves could be possessed. Moreover, most people, especially old people, have become comfortable with their demons. They’re afraid to have to start living their own lives and making their own decisions again. It’s easier just to be uptight and miserable and wallow in self-pity. Bit-by-bit they surrender all their joy to their demons, until in the end the demons are all that’s left, except for the pain.

I once counseled a friend of mine who was in an extremely dysfunctional marriage, “I think you’re demon-possessed. Even though I know you don’t believe in demons, just for the hell of it why don’t you go to the holy Mayan cave, light a candle, and ask the spirit of the place ‘If, on the off chance, I am indeed possessed by demons, please cast them out.’” She did this and reported later that the moment she said those words her candle flickered even though there was no wind, and a pain – like an ice pick – shot through her head. What happened next in her life was that she split up with her husband.

My interpretation of this is that without the demon’s protection she was too vulnerable to handle the Punch and Judy show she was involved in, so she terminated the relationship. In other words, just casting out demons that may possess you doesn’t automatically make you any happier. It just makes it possible for you to become happier. But there’s no way to get even to square one until you clear the demons out of the way.

Luckily it’s pretty easy to cast demons out of yourself. All that’s required is the desire to do so, and the firm decision to get rid of them. If you are suffering from a chronic or incurable disease, ** or are battling against some form of addiction, then casting out demons is the first step in self-healing. It’s the first step in self-healing for most of us, since so many of us are demon-possessed. Until you get rid of any demons that may be possessing you and reassert control over your own intent, all your spiritual endeavors are just whistling in the wind.

To cast out demons, go to whatever place you are accustomed to pray at. Power spots or power trees are good places to do this, especially if you have faith in the power of the place or tree to brace your spirit. Light a candle and ask the deity to whom you usually pray that, if there happens to be a maleficent influence in your life, to please cast it out! You must make this prayer in a true spirit of decisiveness and determination. If you pray in a spirit of doubt or hesitation, the demon will use your vacillation to defeat your prayer. Mars planetary hours are good hours to take decisive, irrevocable action; to stand up for yourself; but this is merely a help, not a necessity.

Demons are always trying to convince you that you are doing everything possible to make yourself happy. All the while they undermine your efforts. A wishy-washy prayer to cast out a demon may make you believe that you’ve accomplished something, but the demon will weasel past it. Demons have to be cast out in a mood of unbending intent and decision. That’s all that’s required – unbending intent to cast the demon out. Jumping up and down and shaking your body vigorously is another way to cast them out. This is also a good way to get rid of bad moods or the bad vibes other people lay on you as well. Some people defecate or vomit demons out.

How will you know whether your exorcism worked? Successful exorcisms are often accompanied by sensations of something that was inside you leaving. There may be some kind of whoosh of something flying out of you and away. But this isn’t always true. One way you’ll know is that in the next few days you’ll feel lighter, more hopeful and optimistic. Your friends will notice the difference too: they’ll remark on how much better you look or feel.

If there’s any doubt, though, you can always repeat the exorcism. Just make sure to do it in a mood of decisiveness and determination. That’s all, it’s not difficult. And don’t worry too much about this whole demon thing: if your heart is pure, they won’t bother you any.

(excerpted from Magical Almanac free monthly ezine: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MagicalAlmanac)

Spirit World

By Viola Woolcott

The habitation of spirits is the spirit world. The spirit world is composed of various kinds of spheres, planes, or levels, which seem to be merging into each other with different levels of vibrational energy, the lowest being in the first sphere. Physical surroundings as well as the amount of light all vary depending on the sphere. Time or space do not exist in the spirit world as they have no need for it.

All living things, including plants were created as spirits. They have existed long before physical creation and their souls consist of a spirit body united with a physical body.

The spirit world is all around and always with us. It is a world of energy and higher vibration. Spirits are on a much higher vibration, that is why it makes it so hard to see them unless we are able to tune in to their vibration.

Due to the lower vibrations on the earth plane, spirits feel our world as loud, slow and heavy.

The spirit world is not a physical place, but for the spirits that are present there it is very real, just like the earth plane is real to us, and the spirit people see our earth plane as the non-reality.

Shamans are guided by their spirit guides to the mysterious, transcendent reality beyond the material world, where they are lead to different dimensions of time and space. By passing through such a portal, the shaman gains his contact with his ancestors who reside there. He communicates with the spirits having his spirit guide in the form of a totem animal by his side. This is how he acquires wisdom as well as knowledge which will serve his tribe or those who came to him to ask for help from the world beyond death.