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Shamanism: Healing, Spiritual Journeys and Trances with Drums

Discover the power of the shaman, the bearer of knowledge acquired through the experience of trances

Shamanism: Healing, Spiritual Journeys and Trances with Drums | iSTOCK

Since the appearance of the first men on earth, the people needed the figure of a person who guaranteed balance, to reassure the tribe. Thus arose the shaman,  with an role of the most versatile kind in which he fulfilled the functions of a magician, a priest, a doctor, a diplomat, and even a coach. In addition, he was the right person to point out places where food, water, and other resources could be found.

In the next article we will explore the figure of the shaman, reveal  what shamanism is and how it is linked to spiritual journeys, as well as the unique use of the shamanic drum.

What a Shaman Is: Definition 

The term shaman comes from Siberia and etymologically means "the one who knows" and "the one who moves". The shaman bears a knowledge acquired through experience,not in traditional sources of information such as books or ancient writings.

Originally, the shaman lived apart from the others, in contact with nature, with some loneliness. This is how He managed to have great knowledge in everything related to plants and minerals, with which he created a special bond.

In its most esoteric side, to come into contact with the invisible and according to traditions, the shaman sometimes resorted to the use of plants (ayahuasca, tobacco) and instruments such as the shamanic drum and the harp to make his spiritual journey. 

In our time, many people call themselves shamans, perhaps too lightly; in fact, the term shaman is overused. However,  any of us could become a shaman,if we learn, over the years, to develop the necessary feelings of connection with existence, the mediapowers, and a broad vision of life and the world.

In these times,  the shaman is sought after in Western society during physical, emotional or psychological imbalances  (illnesses, addictions), transition phases (the bereavement for a death, a birth), as well as for a accompaniment in the exploration of other realities (spiritual journeys, interpretation in dreams).  You can also ask a shaman for the favor to release some energies. However, everyone can begin their own spiritual journey according to their level, in order to free the mind and be more aware of itself and the world around us, both tangible and invisible.

What is shamanism? 

Shamanism is not a religion, but an ancestral spiritual tradition. A century ago began the first studies on matter from an anthropological point of view, following what was observed in Siberia, and later, other phenomena of the same line that took place in different parts of the world were classified under this concept.

It should be noted that there is no single shamanism, for in all religions there are figures similar to that of shamans, in terms of practices and rituals. Shamanism is itself a way of life, a method of considering life. It is a way of being, a path through which the shaman attains wisdom and knowledge.

Shamanism carries a spiritual ancestral heritage, which was transmitted for millennia orally, and reminds us that we are not separated from nature, that we are part of  it. Thus, many practices loaded with ecological awareness, what lead us is to connect more to the existing energies of our planet.

To practice shamanism is to embark on a path of exploration and transformation  that will give you a new look at yourself and the world, and you can be in tune with the rhythm at which life really flows. In essence,  it is the opposite of today's society in which consumption and material goods are what  prevails, over respect for animals or natural life in general. For its defenders, shamanism can succeed where religions have failed, for its rules are not promulgated by other men; The important thing is that they know what they are, not just that they do.

The Shamanic Drum on Spiritual Journeys 

Shamanic travel is not necessarily a journey through space; it's more of a symbol, a metaphor if we prefer it. Shamanism defends existence with other dimensions in which to expand consciousness, and can be reached there through spiritual journeys. This ancestral practice requires a lot of concentration,   but also of will and energy, mainly psychic. In some respects, it is similar to meditation, as it is based on combining attention well with the ability to let go.

In spiritual journeys we abandon ourselves, and  sometimes medicinal and magical plants play an important role,  for they reach altered states of consciousness.

It also uses the shamanic drum in these trips, to call for the protection of the guardian spirits of the 4 directions (North/East/South/West) and to allow the person to access their subconscious and depth. The sounds of the shamanic drum manage to fill the two hemispheres of the brain with harmony, and thus make us complete beings during the journey.

The shamanic drum is more than a musical instrument; it must be considered a close bond that is created with time and experiences. The more the shaman works with his drum, the more powerful and alive he stands.