Shamanic Spirit of Sickness
SICKNESS- Anything that inhibits your feeling of WELLNESS
Sickness is a Spiritual Awakening – a wake up call, a call for change. The process of Healing takes many forms. What is your “illness” trying to convey to you?
Perspectives about Sickness and Healing~(All cultures have shamanic roots-the word Shaman is used here, but there are/have been many names for this role in a culture)
Soul Loss as Sickness from sharedwisdom.com
Among the Earth honoring peoples of the world, it is generally understood that traumatic life experiences, when they are serious enough, can result in the fragmentation of our inner, vital essence or soul. Often, these traumatized soul aspects dissociate, resulting in a phenomenon generally known as ‘Soul Loss’.
Soul loss may occur in response to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; a molestation experience during childhood or being ruthlessly teased and bullied; a bitter divorce, a shocking betrayal, a sexual assault, a serious surgery, or a terrible car accident, to name just a few. The post-traumatic stress syndrome experienced by military veterans is a classic example of soul loss.
Or, when a child is born into this world and the first thing they perceive is that they are not wanted, or that everyone was expecting a boy and they came in as a girl, this can create a form of perinatal soul loss that can affect that person throughout their life.
Soul loss can also be the result of an experience that is so personal at the perceptual level that no one else would know that a trauma had occurred. This is often the case with early childhood soul loss in which there has not been an overt trauma, and so nobody picks up that the child has been severely traumatized. In such a case, it can affect the patterns of the person’s life from that time forward-creating inner distortions in which the person feels fragmented in their emotional and psychological realities.
Soul loss is first and foremost an adaptive mechanism that usually serves by allowing us to cope, and in some situations survive a terrible experience, in which the dissociated soul parts depart, carrying the pain, the shock, the extreme emotion, or the memory of the trauma which may be simply unbearable to the sufferer at the time it occurs.
Symptoms of profound and ongoing soul loss frequently manifest as feelings of being fragmented, of not being all there; blocked memory or not being able to remember parts of one’s life; a sudden onset of apathy or listlessness, or a lack of joy in life; the inability to make decisions; the inability to feel love for others or receive love from another, often resulting in the sense of being emotionally flat-lined. The loss of these parts of the self is often expressed as despair, as suicidal tendencies, as addictions, or most often-as depression.
Soul Loss from SandraIngerman.com
It is important to understand that soul loss is a good thing that happens to us. It is how we survive pain. If I was going to be in a head on car collision the last place that I would want to be at the point of impact is in my body. My psyche could not endure that kind of pain. So our psyches have this brilliant self protect mechanism where a part of our essence or soul leaves the body so that we do not feel the full impact of the pain.
In psychology we call this disassociation. But in psychology we don’t talk about what disassociates and where that part goes. In shamanism we understand that a piece of the soul leaves the body and goes to a territory in what shamans call non ordinary reality where it waits until someone intervenes in the spiritual realms and facilitates its return.
Although soul loss is a survival mechanism the problem from a shamanic point of view is that the soul part that left usually does not come back on its own. The soul might be lost, or stolen by another person, or doesn’t know the trauma has passed and it is safe to return. It has always been the role of the shaman to go into an altered state of consciousness and track down where the soul fled to in the alternate realities and return it to the body of the client.
Soul loss was so understood in shamanic cultures people who suffered traumas were often given a soul retrieval within three days after a trauma occurred.Today as we have not been practicing soul retrieval, modern day practitioners are going back ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years or even more looking for lost soul parts. Also in a shamanic culture the individuals knew what was out of balance in their lives that might have caused an illness or issue to occur.
In our culture we are unaware of what is out of spiritual harmony that is creating illness. And because often our soul loss happened so young we are unaware of the unconscious patterns we are living out due to our first experience of soul loss. We are always trying to retrieve our soul. And how we do this is by repeating the same trauma over and over again. The names might change of the people involved in our life story, but the story is often the same.
Sickness as Shamanic Calling From Wikipedia:
Shamanistic initiatory crisis, a rite of passage for shamans-to-be, commonly involves physical illness and/or psychological crisis.
The wounded healer is an archetype for a shamanic trail and journey. The one who is called undergoes a type of sickness that pushes her or him to the brink of death. This happens for two reasons:
- They cross over to the underworld. This happens so they can venture to its depths to bring back vital information for the sick, and the People.
- The One who is Called must become sick to understand sickness. When they overcome his or her own sickness s/he will hold the cure to heal all that suffer. This is the uncanny mark of the wounded healer.
Sickness Calls from www.tengerism.org
In this culture-Becoming a “shaman” is often just as much of a curse as it is a blessing. Shamans are chosen by the spirits at birth, but it is not until later in life that the shaman is struck down. The striking down of a shaman is to dismember them as a person and to have them reborn into something else. There are two ways of being struck. The first is the shaman’s sickness and the second is lightning.
The near-death experience of the shaman’s sickness is very traumatic. The would-be shaman suffers both mentally and physically.
This does not mean that everyone who has a near-death experience is a shaman. It means that some people who have one have the potential to become a shaman. To grow into a shaman, they must accept the calling and be recognized and trained.
The second way to be struck down is to be hit by lightning. Once again, this does not mean that everyone that is hit by lightning becomes a shaman. It is just an indicator. Again, it takes an elder shaman to watch for signs from the person who was hit. If they believe they are chosen, they would take them as a student.
Shamanic Crisis by Joan Halifax
When someone is called to become a shamanic person, it is often the result of that person being exposed to and healing from a profound trauma or a severe life-threatening illness. This is sometimes called the shamanic crisis.
Joan Halifax in her book “Shamanic Voices” explains in this way- Those who have nearly died, through an accident or severe illness, or who have suffered a psychological or spiritual trauma of such proportions that they are catapulted into the territory of death, will come to know the inner workings of crisis. The initiate learns to integrate the experiences of sickness, suffering, dying and death, as well as to share special knowledge of these powerful events with those who face disease or death for the first time.
Women Called to Shamanize in Korea
Mudangs may be called the priests of Korean Shamanism. A mudang is usually a woman. Some are very young and some quite old; most are middle aged. Most revered and respected are the “real” mudangs who have become mudangs through divine inspiration or “spirit illness” or (shinbyung). In the literal translation, they are described as women who “entered into the gods” and “upon whom gods have descended”. When spirits and gods enter into a girl, she becomes sick. A distinction can be made between a god-descended person and someone struck temporarily insane.
Choices in Healing with Michael Lerner
Healing can take place at the physical level, as when a wound or broken bone heals. It can take place at the emotional level, as when we recover from terrible childhood traumas or from death or divorce. It can take place on the mental level, as when we learn to reframe or restructure destructive ideas about ourselves and the world that we carried in the past. And it can take place on what some would call a spiritual level, as when we move toward spirit, toward a deeper connection with nature, or toward inner peace and a sense of Connectedness.
Peace with Cancer (and other “Illnesses”) by Myron Eshowsky
In traditional cultures, illness is thought to arise from a constellation of disturbed relationships between: body and soul, in the individual and family and ancestors, the invisible realms of spirit, and the individual with the Earth. These disturbances lead to separation from the interconnections which support the vitality of life. All illness, from a spiritual view, is about separation from ourselves, the world around us, and the Creator. Our greatest wound is the belief that we are separate and alone.
To bring peace and healing to sickness one must befriend and engage a relationship with it. Though we may want to avoid or to destroy that which is calling our attention, we are asked to refrain from turning cancer into the enemy. A peace approach moves us away from turning sickness into the “Other”. Sickness itself is not evil. It is sickness seeking to be cured and made whole rather than be obliterated in the way of war. When we are in relationship with that which is sickening us, we are joining together to learn the stories that were being expressed. It is analogous to the practice of Aikido. We join our center with the center of another ( in this case sickness) and we are curious about the intention of the attacker. We go in the direction of the attacker before bringing our attention to the aid of the helping spirits. In this way, healing direction begins with the illness. For this reason, we begin the process of journeying with the aid of helping spirits to meet the spirit of the illness.
Shamanic Side of Sickness with Quynn Red Mountain
In our modern culture people of all ages get “sick” for many reasons. It is not a failing to fall “Ill”. Harmful Chemicals. Toxic Environments. Painful Childhoods. Addiction. Abuse. Sadness. There are an infinite number of ingredients that can help “Dis-Ease of the Mind Body and Spirit manifest. If you are “Sick”, Feel “Sick” or are afraid of getting “Sick”, take the time now to walk your soul mending path with meditation, guided imagery and shamanic journeying to listen within for the messages that are waiting for you. The time now is for Change.
When a person is “sick”, many emotions emerge. Anger, Denial, Fear and Worry become powerful presences in one’s life. A lack of power often results. When one is called, or caught, (depending on one’s view) by a profound and life affecting energy that we call “dis-ease”, we can think of it as an enemy to fight, or a teacher from whom to learn. Healing takes many forms and we can all use shamanic tools to listen to the Spirits of Sickness that may be within, rather than deny or fight it.
Sickness as a Calling with Quynn Red Mountain
Quynn Red Mountain is a shamanic practitioner, ceremonialist and spiritual guide. She is an ordained Animist Minister for Earth Web Media’s “Web of Life Church” and the founder of “The Institute for the Shamanic Arts” (the spiritual education branch of EWM).
In early 2014 Quynn was diagnosed with a rare form of “Cancer” and used her shamanic tools to weave her way through the challenge to yield the most beneficial results. Many personal and professional teachings came from the experience including; intense soul wound healing, increasing her compassion for those (herself included) with a physical “ailment”, and knowing that she needed to create shamanically oriented health support services for others who are having their own experience with physical imbalance.
Weaving your Way through Illness
Quynn offers a 2 hour class called Understanding the Spirits of your Sickness, as well as a 7 part series, called Weaving Well through Illness, that focuses on the following 7 important areas of soul healing inquiry when One receives a devastating diagnosis of illness, or when One is “caught” by a mysterious or emotionally devastating cycle of illness.
- Assembling Your Healing Team
- Body (food, tending, self love, immune system support)
- Past Soul Wounds of your life
- Past Life & Ancestor Wounds
- Fear & Anger, Hope & Gratitude
- Your Healing Powers (your Greatest Gift)
- Spiritual Warriorship
Each area is addressed with meditation, guided imagery and shamanic journeying. No shamanic journey or meditation experience is necessary, having an open mind is necessary.
In the safe space of the Circle, and to the rhythmic beats of the drum and rattle, you can become aware of the “Illness” Spirit(s) within and what they want. Amazing revelations and messages can come forth.
Reviews from past participants:
“I loved this “Weaving Well” group. Each week was a different topic and that was wonderful and thought provoking. It was my first experience with journey drumming, and I found that it is exactly what I needed.”
“The Weaving Well series was fantastic! I experienced true healing, deeper awareness, connection to myself and my ancestors. I had profound shifts and healings!”
“This has been a profoundly powerful 7 week journey for me. My first time journeying with rattle and drum, calling on Spirit Guides and meeting with emotions as actual characters, talking with them and dealing with them. Thank you!”