Who is the traditional expert who acts as a guide between realities? It’s the shaman, who is the magical athlete of the spirit world. Do you know how to find one? Could you have this latent ability?
Shamanism is the oldest known spiritual technology for exploring consciousness. Every major continent has variations of the Shamanic Journey. So you likely have ancestors who used this process. It’s a doorway to another form of non-ordinary reality, and it is available to everyone. A Shaman has the knowledge and special gifts for traversing the imaginary landscape of this reality. (1)
Meet the Magical Athlete
A shaman is a person with knowledge of non-ordinary reality and its relationship to what we know as normal reality. This technology existed long before any organized religion. The realm is the domain of spiritual typologies and energies that link the human psyche to a greater universal consciousness. These typologies are the basis for the myths which occupy centerstage of religion.
“You are human, whether your ancestors come from Europe, Asia, Africa, or wherever shamanism once existed there. We are just attempting to go home to our spiritual roots before the state religions, the agrarian centralized religions rose up with autocratic government and said, ‘This is what you’re going to believe, these are the official revelations, take it from us, you can trust us, we got it.” — Michael Harner (2)
Today, this universal method has undergone rebranding to make it more acceptable to the West. There are many other terms used to describe this process. Some call it creative visualization, soul flight, mind-scape, and guided meditation.
This technology is open to all. You can take the same magical journey as the shaman. But how do you do it? Where does this quest lead?
Opening The Portal to the Spirit World
Non-ordinary reality exists. When we dream at night, we experience one example of this realm. Our dreams are proof of this non-ordinary realm. The Shamanic Journey is a way to access and control the adventure. It’s one of the first tools for exploring these non-ordinary realms.
The only thing needed is a drum or a drum music track. You can find these online. We recommend Sandra Ingerman’s Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide. It’s a book with a CD that contains an introductory guided meditation to get you started. (3)
Humankind has long-sought ways to probe these other realms of consciousness. This curiosity is universal. The landscape of the subconscious mind contains cultural and individual typologies that manifest in our psyche. But venturing into the unknown territory is best accomplished with a guide who understands the terrain.
“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
The shamanic journey is another way to open a portal to the spirit world. It provides a controlled and repeatable process to access the subconscious mind. There are many variations of the method. Every culture has its own unique way of encapsulating the process within the ritual. You find it on every major continent, from Australia to Europe, Antarctica, and the Americas.
“The shamanic realm is to get you out of the word set. For skeptics, that’s impossible, and they just can’t see that and it just makes no sense.” — Fred Alan Wolf (4)
This portal is likely the origin of both religion and medicine. Religion created mythology to describe and explain what one encounters on the journey. And these pioneers of consciousness were the first to experiment with and synthesize plants for healing and altering consciousness.
These are humankind’s first universal endeavors in spirituality and science. Those who did not understand the typologies created mythologies and superstitions in an attempt to provide answers. These answers culminated in the formation of modern religions.
The focus of the shaman is the inner world. The focus of religion is building a system for cash flow. These are vastly different in their approach and understanding. Shamanism is based on empirical evidence of the individual’s journey. Religion is based on make-believe, mythology, and superstition.
“Shamanism is not a religion. It’s a method. And when this method is practiced with humility, reverence and self-discipline, the shaman’s path can become a way of life.” — Hank Wesselman (5)
Once you experience this quest, you’ll find a place and space where you can find answers and healing. It’s not a one-time adventure but a part of your spiritual practice. You can learn much about yourself through interaction with your spirit guides. You don’t need a Shaman. You can become a magical athlete in your own right.
“We find that alchemy has to do with magicians or magic and may even have roots in the Chaldean people who lived in the land that we now call Iraq. Abraham emerged and took a flock of people with him into Egypt. They were later called the Hebrews because of the valleys that they came out of. The alchemy that they saw was a transformative power within the individuals to affect the ,”out there” reality — and that, of course, is the basis of shamanism and is the basis for most magical and so—called Third World belief systems.” — Fred Alan Wolf
Magical Athlete of the Spirit World
The Shamanic Journey is part of Shamanism’s body of knowledge, which contains several layers or specialties.
This magical athlete has both generalists and specialties, like any modern discipline. Some shamans are teachers and instructors in the “art of the Journey.” Others are healers with specialized knowledge of pharmacology and physiology. Yet, others are advisors and counselors on everything from relationships to planting crops. Some are experts in medicinal plants, while others can diagnose and treat various physical, mental, and spiritual healing.
“Shamanism is essentially a living tradition of alchemy that is not seeking the stone but has found the stone.” — Terence McKenna
These sages stand in the gap as a middleman between ordinary and non-ordinary realities. They help us venture into the upper, middle, and lower worlds. They are consciousness pioneers who show us how to use creative visualization, imagination, and rhythm to traverse awareness.
The magical athlete of the spirit world is the pioneer of techniques for healing the mind, body, and soul. They act as guides between the unknown and the known. It is probably not a coincidence that we find many of the same practices worldwide. The range of techniques and rituals is both diverse and universal. Their healing knowledge and wisdom are valued assets.
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 the outer world of the environment and the inner world, the spirit world of consciousness. Over the eons, the practices developed, 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 talents to mature. But this is not the case in the modern world. Unfortunately, modern culture often mistakes gifted individuals as mentally ill. Our current paradigm does not support those who travel through the portal to the spirit world.
Persecution of The Magical Athlete
If this technology is so useful, why don’t we hear more about it?
The Western culture, dominated by the Abrahamic religions, sees the shaman as a threat. The Abrahamic trilogy of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (6) is very protective of its customer bases and demonizes any competition. Any process performed outside their purview must be evil.
It’s not surprising that Western organized religions views this ancient body of knowledge as competition. Our shaman, the magical athlete of the spirit world, operates from a wealth of practical expertise stretching back eons. They can provide practical and spiritual answers and remedies that Western theology cannot.
Thankfully, Western organized religion does not control world opinion as it once did. More people are becoming more appreciative of ancient knowledge. They acknowledge the historical connection to today’s modern psychology, medical practices, and pharmaceuticals.
There is a common opinion that we are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience, perhaps just an experiment in consciousness. The shamanic journey is the vehicle of spiritual and psychological realities. The shaman is the magical athlete of the spirit world that guides and shows us how to navigate the spirit realm.
“The hero journey is inside of you; tear off the veils and open the mystery of yourself.” — Joseph Campbell (7)
(2) Michael Harner.
(3) Ingerman, Sandra (2004). Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide. Sounds True. ISBN 978-1-59179-943-6.
(4) Fred Alan Wolf.
(5) Hank Wesselman.
(6) Abrahamic Religions.
(7) Joseph Campbell; Joseph Campbell’s book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.