Now, let me tell you about my life’s path. I believe everything in my life has led me to this path. Everything I have experienced, everything I have done. Every road I took has been a side path towards my ultimate goal: Shamanism.
Ever since I was a child I have felt connected to something bigger, to nature, the animals, the trees, the flowers. I have always felt that how humans live nowadays is not the way it was meant to be. So disconnected, so abusive. I was already interested in ancient cultures, the ancien Celts, and later the Druids, the Native American Medicine Man. I noticed that every culture has the same kind of original belief system. Nowadays this is all categorised under Shamanism, but it is a term used for all kinds of original ways of living, of healing, of being one with all.
When I went on my spiritual journey, because I didn’t feel my life was going in the direction it should be, I went to take Yoga lessons. Working with your body, meditation, the chakra system has opened up a lot for me. And about two years ago I began having these visions, these feelings of ancient lifestyles. So I started reading about Shamanism. On the internet and for my education. The first book I read was The Manual for Shamanism by Daan van Kampenhout. This really was an eye-opener, there was so much recognition for me in this. But I didn’t really feel connected to the Siberian ways.
So when I was in a spiritual shop I ran into this book:
Now I still haven’t finished this book, simply because everything I read in it has to find a place. I really live this book, and this one has made me realise that I feel most connected to this form of Shamanism. Now, to me there is no right or wrong in the different forms of Shamanism, this is just the way I feel most connected to.
Through the band Omnia I met a few people who were already on the path of Shamanism. And then things started to move forward. And the rate of the moving forward and people coming into my life that I feel deeply connected to tells me that I am on the right track. Everything seems to be falling into place. So many answers are found.
Now what is Shamanism. To me personally it is the original form of religion, if you want to give it a name. It is the ancient way of living, when mankind was still connected to nature and to each other. When healing took place of very different levels than it does nowadays. When an entire community worked together to keep themselves happy and healthy. When they knew what food was good for them, what herbs could heal them. They were connected to the spirits of every other living thing on earth. Connected to their ancestors, which they honoured because they were the ones that gave them life to begin with. Connected to Mother Earth, Grandmother Moon, The Great Spirit. It was always present in everyday life. They didn’t have to meditate or take journeys, it simply was there.
The original Shaman wasn’t someone who could choose his destiny, he was chosen, by birth or by the spirits. The way of a Shaman is a harsh one and not to be taken lightly. They are the channels for the spirits. They were the ones that were sort of te spiritual leaders of the community. But everyone knew of the techniques, of what was true. And if it was to difficult, they turned to their Shaman or Medicine Man for answers of the Spirits.
I think in the Western way Shamanism is practiced nowadays very few true Shamans are found. I do believe our ancestors, nature, Mother Earth and everything else is calling out to get back to our roots, to start to feel again, to live from the heart instead of the mind. We simply have to because mankind will probably die out if we don’t change. The ones that are still in touch with those feelings, that ancient knowledge, I think they are the ones at the moment that get chosen to reconnect with the Shamanic path. Not as a Shaman, but to rebuild the bridge between us and everything else. We are like helpers of the Shamans. That is what I feel it’s like for me. I have been chosen, since I was born, not to be a true Shaman, but to wake up people, build bridges, connect with other helpers as to build a Shamanic society again. And with cultures from everywhere mixed up like it is today, I think the different ancient ways are melting together. I think that is a very good thing. Because the ways of practicing may be different, the basis is in all the same. Imagine the powerful energy we can create if we connect the different ancient ways. Wow. I felt this on a festival I attended yesterday.
So this festival. It was a Shamanic Festival that took place at Centre Djoj in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. You could do all kinds of workshops, or follow lectures about Shamanic ways. There were a lot of teachers and helpers there, maybe some of them even true Shamans, in their own way. In advance I got the program to choose the workshops I would most feel I would want to follow. Two dear friends of mine also attended. We got there in time and then we had to register for the workshops/lectures we wanted to follow. That was a bit hectic, and some were fully booked in no time, but I generally got the workshops I wanted.
We started with an opening ceremony with the four directions of the medicine wheel. At the entrance we all got a coloured ribbon the decide what group you were in. I got a red ribbon, so I started in the South, with fire. We invited the forces of the south and then went to connect with the other directions. It was an amazing experience.
I started out with making my own rattle. Some things were made up front by the ones giving the workshop. I choose a little one of dutch goatskin. It turned out very nice and sounds even nicer. It is not fully finished, I still have to find a water element to attach to it but this is how it’s turned out so far:
The next workshop was actually fully booked, but my two friends said to come anyway. There were a lot more people there then could enlist, but that made it even more special. The workshop was called Shaman Voice and was about finding your inner voice. That was really awesome, and I really found my voice, and we felt very connected, and the way the voices resonated was such an amazing feeling!
Then we had a break, we went to visit the shops, I bought a very nice Smudge Fan made of a wing from a Rooster (my Chinese Astrology sign) and a little piece of falconeye crystal and green leather. This is it:
Then we had a very nice vegetarian (jay!!!) dinner. We already were a bit tired but I went on to the next workshop anyway. That was about making the connection to your family ancestors. This was a very intense and beautiful experience that only made me more sure about my path.
The last workshop was about Plant Spirits, again another confirmation for me about my path, and got some very clear messages from my Animal and Spirit Guides.
We ended with a closing ceremony, that was equally impressive as the opening one, but also very different. You could feel everybody was more open, more in touch, there was harmony and the singing together really was so beautiful. It made me feel so happy!
And now back to everyday life. The experiences and messages will continue to affect me the coming days, even weeks, maybe months. Guiding me further on my path, helping me to make the decisions necessary.
I am so thankful that I get to experience this, to have found my path. When you feel so connected to fellow humans it really gives you hope for the future.