This is an introduction by my teacher: Mother Sha-Riah
“There are many versions or types of shamanic traditions. These traditions can be thousands of years old and stand alone in their capacity and efficacy in healing and all community needs where that is now appropriate.
Some traditions use vehicles, plant or chemical vehicles, hallucinogenics, and so on, to transport the shamans or followers to a heightened state in the mind and the soul of the spirit. These vehicles facilitate the crossing over to another world, or another type of existence, where people can sometimes see the world in a clearer fashion. Sometimes they see a riddle, but most of the time it changes the perspective of a situation. Generally, once they go into this state, using a hallucinogenic vehicle, they move into an underneath world where they can look up and see a much broader picture.
It is a similar situation for the shamanic tradition where the shaman moves into a trance and in that trance they are transported from the physical environment that they are in, into another space, where the feeling of the physical body no longer is there for them. They are completely at one with the world around them, this other world. Some people call it, beyond the veil, spirit world, or universal energy; there are many different names, but this is how they do their work.
And then, of course, you have the other traditions where a spirit, whether that spirit is an ancestor, or healer from a previous time, enters the person and takes them over. In this way the person becomes the vessel, they become the vehicle for the spirit to enter them and do their work. The person that is the vehicle is not lost, but they are no longer active in their physical body, there is this other energy that has entered them, and that’s how they do their work. So, the spirit that enters, now sees. They are seeing whatever it is that is required to see so they can do the work that is required.
The shaman in many traditions also use herbs and other indigenous medicines that help to support the person seeking help, to assist the healing process or to help create bodily (the spirit, mind, emotion and physical bodies) equilibrium.
Most of the shamanic traditions we have described above complete their work in a ritualistic way, they have very strong ways of practising their tradition that has been passed down through the ages. The shamanic tradition that we come from, and practice, is a very fluid tradition. Mother Sha-Riah, myself, I am from Siberia, from the plains, and we were very much involved with our natural environment. We had to be very connected to the natural environment because it was really tough. You had to be very aware of where the weather was going, how the animals were behaving, how the water was flowing. It wasn’t just enough to look, you had to really be in it. And so, we have brought that idea to this modern time. We are not transplanting it, however, from that time to this time, from that place to this place, we are actually using the two main aspects of that tradition – connection and communion – and introducing those concepts, and ways of being, into this modern world. And we are using those two main aspects to have a constantly developing, growing, evolving, form of shamanism.
The name that we have given this form of shamanism is Naturistic Shamanic Way. Naturistic, because it is to do with all of nature, the whole of the natural world, including the cosmos, the stars, the sun, moon, and so on, as well as the earth, the sea, the water, the air, and the elements. And then we have what shamanic means for us: connection and communing. And finally, we have this idea of a ‘way’. So, not a religion, not something that is set, but it’s more of a direction that is fluid culturally. This is the shamanic practice that we embrace at the Wild Plains Shamanic Circle.
To elaborate further, we will discuss the two shamanic aspects:
Connection is about connecting within the self, and then being able through that connection to connect with the outer world. Now for us, it is very, very important that you find the shaman within, instead of looking out and being told by somebody: “This is how it happens, this is how you do it, this is what you must do to get to this”. We seek the shaman within, to connect with that aspect of the self, to connect with the self. So, for us, knowing the self, fearing the space in the self, to find and accept that shaman within, is very, very important.
The ability to connect within really allows a connection, an ability to connect, without – with what is outside of you. Connecting comes first, so that communing can be facilitated. It’s like doing a puzzle, you need to put the pieces of a puzzle together before you can see what the picture is. However, once you’ve put the puzzle together, it’s very rare that you would just walk away. Generally, you would look at it, study the picture and look at the work you have done. And in that deep, conscious, concentrated looking, you are actually communing. You’re not just looking at the picture you have created, you’re also aware of the energy that’s placed in it, so it is a part of you.
You move into the space, you’re not just connecting the parts, or connecting to parts, you’re actually moving into that space, moving into that energy. And that’s part of what communing means.
To commune also means being aware of aspects of the self, moving in those aspects of the self with ease, grace, understanding and acceptance. An extension of that movement, as the following are an extension of you, is communing with the natural, with the person across the road from you, with the community, with the human group. And, so, for us it’s connecting first, and then the communing.
We also have an understanding that whilst connection and communion is important for the individual, the effect of the individual connection/communion journey on the group is astounding.
This possibility is profound and something that we take very seriously at the Wild Plains Medicine Circle. We are very conscious of the fact that whatever we work on, in our own entity/energy, has an effect on the community around us. Whether it’s in our group, family, friends, and so on, the connecting and communing with a community, has an amazing effect. The effect of one on many is very apparent to us, we have seen it many, many times, and we spend time on that within the group. We spend time on the communing of the community.
We spend time building a bond, building energy, building strength, for the group and know that the individuals, take what has been built out into the world. The building, the time, effort and love that’s gone into it is taken out to the world by the Circle participants, and they bring it, even if it’s only for a brief moment, to their own community. This is a very important aspect of work of the Wild Plains Medicine Circle.
Now, we discuss the ‘naturistic’ aspect of our tradition, the natural world side of it, which does need some explaining. Part of communing is understanding how it works, how communing works, and how when you commune with somebody, or something, there is an unspoken language that appears. That unspoken language is obvious and prevalent in the natural world. Plants do not use the spoken word to talk to each other. Animals make sounds but, it’s not like the human language, and they tend to use different senses. So, they would use their hearing, their scent, their taste, their feeling, the touch on the body, and/or their vision in a much more conscious way than humans would. They won’t just use the voice to make the communication. For example, trees in a forest use the fungus to communicate. Fungus has been scientifically shown to carry messages along the forest floor and under the forest floor describing how different aspects of the forest are doing and what is needed.
The natural world communicates in completely different ways to humans, and this is something that we try to bring into our time together at the Circle. We understand that communication is not one way, and not just voice and hearing, instead communicating is communing because when you are communing, you are communicating on a level that is not always seen. An example of a type of communing that humans understand, is the concept of body language. Human beings understand 80 to 90% of the conversation that they’re having with someone through body language, and it’s unconscious. They don’t say, “Oh that person has their arms folded, that means that they’re angry or they don’t want to listen to me”. No, it’s innate, they pick up on the energy that the person is giving off. It’s not just the visual they are picking up either. There is an energy, and that energy actually speaks to all of the senses. Not just the eyes or the ears, but all of the senses.
This is something that we look at in the circle, communing and communicating in very subtle ways. We do this with each other, we do this with the natural world, and we use this idea of how the energy that’s in the natural world is communing energy and this enables communication to occur. Some people might say that it’s like mental telepathy, or it’s intuition. Yes, you can absolutely call it that if you want to, but we call it communing, and it is a really strong and positive aspect of the Circle energy.”
The Wild Plains Medicine Circle, is based on a Siberian tradition, an ancient naturistic Siberian tradition that is facilitated or brought to the group by Mother Sha-Riah, who is channeled by Caroline and Sha-Riah is one of the Ancestral Medicine Women, a lineage of healers in Bradley’s lineage. Bradley/Hinorayam is an apprenticed Shaman since 2013.
You can commune with us online or at live events posted here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/cairnsshamaniccircle/events/
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