It is the shaman who moves between realities, engaging in mythic feats. They are the middleman between ordinary and non-ordinary realities. Do you know one? Could you become one?
The shaman moves between realities, a magical athlete of consciousness engaged in mythic feats. The shaman is a middleman between ordinary reality and non-ordinary reality, as Castaneda has dramatically described. — Michael Harner (1)
The Spirit World
There is no doubt that non-ordinary reality exists. When we dream at night, we experience one example of this realm. Our dreams are proof of non-ordinary reality. The Shamanic Journey is one of the first tools for exploring these non-ordinary realms.
The Shamanic Journey is part of Shamanism’s body of knowledge (2), which contains natural healing methods and the investigation of consciousness. These are humankind’s first universal endeavors. We find this knowledge in cultures around the globe.
Our Shaman, the magical athlete, is a teacher, healer, and leader. They stand in the gap as a middleman between ordinary and non-ordinary realities. They venture and provide us with access to the upper, middle, and lower worlds. These pioneers of consciousness show us how to use creative visualization to traverse the inner realms of awareness.
These magical athletes provide healing for mind and body, and soul, acting as an agent between the unknown and known in humankind’s service. Some are experts in plants’ medicinal use, while others are adept at diagnosing various physical, mental, and spiritual healing.
Other Shamans are counselors in matters of relationships. Some are experts at helping others contact their spirit guides. It is probably not a coincidence that we find many of the same practices around the globe. The range of techniques and rituals are both diverse and universal. Their healing knowledge and wisdom is a valued asset.
If you are curious about this path, you are not alone. The quest is a part of human nature because we are all explorers on a spiritual quest! This quest involves exploring both the outer world of the environment and the inner world, the spirit world of consciousness. Over the eons, the practices evolved, creating a large body of knowledge. These trial-and-error activities would become the scientific process.
The shaman is also a “power-broker” in the sense of manipulating spiritual power to help people, to put them into a healthy equilibrium. — Michael Harner
Some inherit the gifts of a specific shamanic specialty. Indigenous cultures can identify people with these gifts early in life. Therefore, the gifted can receive the mentoring/training they need for their gifts to mature. But this is not the case in the modern world. Unfortunately, modern culture often mistakes gifted individuals as mentally ill. Our progressive modern paradigm does not have room for those who see beyond the spirit world.
Persecution of The Magical Athlete
As you can imagine, this not a universal assessment of the Shaman. Persecution still exists primarily from Western organized religion. These are the Abrahamic trilogy of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (3). After all, any process of magic performed outside of their purview must be evil and heretical.
Western organized religions view this ancient body of knowledge as competition, and perhaps rightfully so. Our Shaman, the magical athlete, operates from a wealth of practical expertise stretching back eons. They can often provide practical and spiritual answers and remedies that Western theology cannot. Many credit the first use of plants for medicinal treatments to these shamanic pioneers.
Thankfully, Western organized religion does not control as much of world opinion as they once did. More people are becoming more appreciative of ancient knowledge. They acknowledge the historical connection to today’s modern medicine and pharmaceuticals.
There is a common opinion that we are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience. The shamanic journey is the vehicle of the spirit world. In this domain, The Shaman is the magical athlete that guides and shows us how to navigate the spirit realm.
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(1) Michael Harner, Wikipedia
(2) Shamanism, Wikipedia
(3) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(4) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia