What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is an indigenous practice of honoring the Pachamamma or Mother Earth. A Shaman is a caretaker of the earth which is viewed as the “Garden of Eden” that mankind never left. In many tribal cultures throughout the world a Shaman is also a revered medicine person. Depending on the level of training, a Shaman is a healer, seer, visionary and sage.
The Shaman moves between the visible and invisible worlds on a client’s behalf to assist in times of turmoil or illness, bringing healing, guidance and “ayni” (balance). The Shaman works in service from a place of great “munay” (love). Clients experience profound, often immediate, core-level “shifts” with these ancient healing techniques.
The Four Winds Society teaches and preserves the ways of the Inca Shaman, the medicine men and women from the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon River. We had the honor of working in ceremony with the Q’uero (Inca elders) in Peru as we journeyed through Cusco, the Sacred Valley (including Macchu Picchu) and the Amazon River.
The Q’uero had fled to the top of the sacred mountains during the time of the Spanish invasion 500 years ago. Living above 18,000 feet, they have quietly practiced and preserved the integrity of the ancient teachings. As prophecies had foretold, they walked down from the mountains for the first time in the 1950’s. Years later, it was this group that was to summon western shamanic students to Peru to begin decades of training and sacred instruction.
In order for our group to have the honor of working with the Q’uero, they walked for days out of the mountains to catch the most remote bus that would bring them several more days closer to us. The honor was ours.
The Illumination process is a time honored foundation for Shamanic healing. Using both an individual’s luminous energy field and the seven major chakras (healing centers) of the body, this process works at a core level to lift and release heavy energies while infusing light and free flowing energy.
Each chakra is associated with different general core issues. This is where we hold our emotional, genetic and karmic histories, masticize our traumas, fears and hurts and experience loss of our true power and voice. This denseness can cause us to “disconnect” with ourselves, others and our spiritual faiths. It can cause us to become physically and/or psychologically ill.
The Illumination is a gentle and guided clearing process. Afterwards, clients report they feel either wonderfully energized and motivated or went home and had the best nights sleep they have enjoyed in a long while. How does it work? A client brings a specific issue, whether physical or emotional in nature. The client is then “tracked” (energetically evaluated). A determination is made as to which chakra is the most compromised by the presenting issue and the cleansing takes place.
For any client without a specific concern but who is simply interested in lifting and removing old “baggage” the tracking and illumination process is also effective. After all, no one lives life without experiencing “stuff”! This cleansing works even on the non-believer as it is not a belief based healing.
Each session is extremely individualized and the exact process depends on the specifics of what we find within a client’s chakra. Lifting these layers of dense energies is much like peeling an onion and everyone’s experience is unique. At no time, in any process, do we ever proceed without appropriate permission from the client.
Afterward, an “integration” period occurs in which subtle (and not so subtle) shifts will be noted. Therefore, we will advise a period of time (determined by individual need) between sessions.
Our soul or “essence” is a delicate energy that nurtures and energizes us. However, physical trauma and/or emotional fright can cause pieces to break off and “flee”. This is known as the self’s “coping mechanism” in crisis. The result is a loss of vitality, feelings of being ungrounded or even unlovable and an inability to be comfortable and fully “at home” in ourselves.
Sometimes a “triggering” event is brutal, such as divorce, molestation, accident or surgery. It can also occur subtly such as hurt feelings, shock, substance abuse, an injustice or a vulnerable moment. Symptoms can include lethargy, a disconnected or “spacy” feeling, feelings of apathy or hopelessness, fatigue, lack of motivation or direction and memory loss. It is not unusual for an adult to be missing many soul pieces of varying ages.
In recovering the pieces of ones essential self, the Shaman journeys on a client’s behalf to non-ordinary realms. We find these lost soul pieces buried deep in the subconscious. The piece is recovered, lovingly brought back and integrated and the echo of the “triggering event” is rewritten. Beautiful gifts and a personal power animal will also be recoverable. Each time a piece is retrieved the client becomes more “whole”. Clients feel this in increased energy, enthusiam, contentment, vibrancy, and yes, simple fun!
This is a beautiful process for a client and involves a self-realization and integration period afterward.
Extraction is a safe and effective method of removing energies that block our energy circulation and can manifest in physical discomfort. There are several different types of extractions and several things we track for in a client.
Ever feel “stabbed in the back”? Take those feelings seriously. These are the energetic “thrusts” of dense energy that can be sensed or “seen” as solid objects. We call these “crystallized energies”. They are often found in chronic pain sites such as sore shoulders, headaches, sciatica nerve-like pain, lower back or joint aches and can cause pain, numbness or tingling. Surgery sites are usual locations as well. Sometimes we hold these energies from a past karmic source. Removal can bring great relief that is generally immediate.
Another form of extraction is non-integrated energy within the body. These are more parasitic in nature. These dense energies (or sometimes entities) are often situated near a chakra (energy center) and essentially “feed” off your energy. They can also be mobile, moving throughout the body. This often makes traditional western medicine diagnosis of pain conditions impossible. General symptoms of such energies include arthritic-like pain, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, pain that moves erratically throughout the body, stomach and G.I. tract difficulties, migraines and viral infection symptoms. Many clients find this ancient Shamanic practice to be a miraculous instant shift for themselves and loved ones.
People with large or multiple non-integrated energies are often diagnosed by traditional methodologies with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, ADHD, Epstein Barr and chronic depression (to name a few). Our extraction process is very complementary in nature with traditional treatments. Traditional treatments should be continued or discontinued under the advice of your attending professional (who may be very surprised at how quickly and completely you suddenly heal!)
This is a fairly advanced technique. The need for such a journey is triggered within the chakra by the issue presented and involves rattling and the use of extremely high-grade crystals.
A Shaman working deeply within a chakra performs an Underworld Extraction. It is a deep “impaction” tracked by the Shaman. When found, it is basically a badly out of “synch” issue deep within the sub and/or un-conscious realms. It will have manifested itself into a “stuck or “trapped” self-image that continuously informs a client’s psyche. This can negatively impact the decision-making process, make it hard to move forward or keep us from optimal health.
This process is usually done in the context of an Illumination process, but is considered advanced work. It requires the Shaman to journey to an alternative state, gain permission to enter, and track the client through darkness. Once there, the Shaman will dialogue, receive the story that is informing the client, obtain further advice on the clients’ behalf and, sometimes, a Power Animal or a gift may present itself, willing to return for client’s protection and strength.
A despacho is a beautiful traditional ceremony of deep cleansing. It is a loving ceremony created from local flora, fauna, sweets, tart, colorful and native items. The items incorporate the sun, stars, rivers and oceans, mountains (apus), nature realms and Great Spirit. Kintus (prayers) for the client are also placed inside.
Often, a despacho is done to honor the Mother Earth. For example, many despachos were done after 9/11 for the healing of the Earth and all of her children. An “ayni despacho” is done to bring balance. It honors the Pachamamma (Mother Earth), mountains, rivers or a birthplace. When done for a client, it is a celebratory (or “white”) despacho done to amplify the blessing of a birth, joy of a wedding, pride in a graduation or any positive occurring in a client’s life. It is a loving ceremony as well as a deep cleansing.
Another type of despacho is a “kuti” (or dark) despacho done for protection or shifting negative affinities. It, too, is built from local products although of a more irritant nature.
With any despacho, after carefully building the offering, then tying and wrapping it in a special ceremonial cloth, the client is rubbed head to foot for a deep, cellular and energetic cleansing. The despacho is then buried or burned in a ceremonial fire. At a client’s request, this beautiful process may include family and friends.
The price of this ceremony includes the despacho ingredients. Please allow a full two hours for this session.
Using the Shaman’s “seeing” states (different perceptual states utilized in places of unrecognized realities and non-realities) we track backward and forward through traditional linear time. It is here we find a client’s original wound and bring them forward to a place of healing and unfolding.
First we track the imprints on a client’s luminous energy field. We check for memories of trauma, disease, abuse and violence. When a negative imprint becomes triggered, it can result in emotional and physical injury. We also search for a client’s possibilities such as health, wellness, abundance and strength. By releasing the negative and infusing the positive, the Shaman can guide a client to a healed state.
In each phase of our Shamanic training, we were blessed with ceremony, rites and ritual as handed down through generations of healers. Many of these sacred rites help make our healing work as powerful as it is.
As we as individuals move through our current societies we so often lack the ceremony, the rites and the rituals that mark significant passages of time, events or growth. This encompasses birthing, birthdays, adolescence, graduations, marriage, mid-age, divorce, old age, death and more.
As Ceremonial Masters we invite you to invite us to bring the richness of ceremony to your special event. Some ancient rites and rituals may be shared. Many are especially created. This is a unique invitation to create a vital, lasting celebration within your celebration. There is no limit to the imagination of Spirit!
Shamanic Inner Child
Shamanic Inner Child work is different from traditonal inner child work. The energetic age of our 4 – 6 year old is a valuable resource when we are well connected. At that age, we truly see all, know much, have great insight and inner wisdom but are not yet tainted by conformity. At age 4-6 we have not yet begun to collude with politics, “cliques”, or other “groupings of the mind” that limit us. Your inner child can be your truest guide and best friend. Come reconnect with yourself.
After one of Ellen’s earliest sessions with Alberto (Dr. Villoldo), she was invited to attend a lecture he was giving that night. The subject was “death rites” in which preparing, lifting and releasing ones light body was explained and then demonstrated. A Four Winds graduate student spoke eloquently of her first experience helping an elderly client on her death bed. Ellen knew she was hooked! For her, there can be no greater honor than assisting someone in their final time to release the emotions and dense energies that hold them. It is a beautiful gift to encourage them to gently review their life experiences and arrive at peace and understanding. It is a privelege to assist the mind, body and soul with accepting the transitions that are occurring.
So taken was she at the idea of comforting and aiding others during such a fear filled time that Ellen returned from that lecture in Los Angeles and began the process of becoming “Reverend Ellen”. This qualification allows her to visit clients in hospice and intensive care or other situations where a non-family member may not otherwise be allowed.
But separate from a final transition from this lifetime, this facilitation can be an effective tool to a client’s general healing. For clients who get “stuck” in reoccurring patterns, we can shift things greatly by tracking and identifying the harmful affinity. In a beautiful ceremony, we then perform a modified version of the death rites, lifting and releasing the “stuck” piece that no longer serves the client. The client is then freed to move forward. Supportive friends or family members may also participate at the client’s request.
This process is traditionally done communally (tribally) and requires two Shamans. Fortunately, we have each other to work with and our clients can benefit from this unique application not otherwise readily available.