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Shamanism / Indigenous healing


Shamanism traditionally refers to the practices of spiritual and ceremonial leaders among indigenous cultures worldwide. Today, shaman philosophies have reached nonindigenous cultures through shamanic healing, a practice where a guide or shaman takes you through a spiritual journey to obtain information that will help you solve a particular problem, such as a persistent health issue. Ultimately, the goal is to connect you to nature, the cosmos, and the larger world around you in order to heal. Typically, trance states, which are altered states of consciousness sometimes initiated with drumming or psychoactive substances like ayahuasca, are used to help achieve this outcome. Essentially, shamanic healing, like other complementary therapies, is about stimulating and directing your body’s natural healing ability, which means engaging the immune system. An increase in immune function comes about by addressing the infection or virus as well as the internal terrain of the illness—what it means to you and any imagery you might have about it. This can help everyone, especially those of us with chronic and invisible illnesses. If this all sounds too spiritual for you, hold up! The underlying principle is that emotional and spiritual transcendence can help heal the body (and vice versa), and there are lots of people—including some scientists—who think there’s something to this shaman thing. In fact, some consider shamans akin to physicians, concerned not just with physical health but with holistic well-being. Sounds like a concept that many of us are on board with, right? Of course, shamanic healing may not be the first approach that comes to mind for your condition, but you might be fascinated by what you discover once you start exploring it!

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Books about Shamanism / Indigenous healing


Indigenous Healing: Exploring Traditional Paths

Imagine a world in which people see themselves as embedded in the natural order, with ethical responsibilities not only toward each other, but also toward rocks, trees, water and all nature. Imagine seeing yourself not as a master of Creation, but as the most humble, dependent and vulnerable part. Rupert Ross explores this indigenous world view and the determination of indigenous thinkers to restore it to full prominence today. He comes to understand that an appreciation of this perspective is vital to understanding the destructive forces of colonization. As a former Crown Attorney in northern Ontario, Ross witnessed many of these forces. He examines them here with a special focus on residential schools and their power to destabilize entire communities long after the last school has closed. With help from many indigenous authors, he explores their emerging conviction that healing is now better described as “decolonization therapy.” And the key to healing, they assert, is a return to the traditional indigenous world view. The author of two previous bestsellers on indigenous themes, Dancing with a Ghost and Returning to the Teachings, Ross shares his continuing personal journey into traditional understanding with all of the confusion, delight and exhilaration of learning to see the world in a different way. Ross sees the beginning of a vibrant future for indigenous people across Canada as they begin to restore their own definition of a “healthy person” and bring that indigenous wellness into being once again. Indigenous Healing is a hopeful book, not only for indigenous people, but for all others open to accepting some of their ancient lessons about who we might choose to be.


Cleansing Rites of Curanderismo: Limpias Espirituales of Ancient Mesoamerican Shamans

A tutorial on the ancient practice of limpias to heal the mind, body, and soul • Offers step-by-step instructions for the practice of limpias, shamanic cleansing rituals to heal, purify, and revitalize people as well as physical spaces • Examines different types of limpia ceremonies, such as fire rites for transformation, water rites for cleansing and influencing, and sweeping rites for divination • Explores the sacred stories behind limpia rituals and traces these curanderismo practices to their indigenous roots Exploring the essential tools and practices of Mesoamerican shamans and curanderos, specifically the ancient Yukatek Maya and Mexica (Aztec), Erika Buenaflor, M.A., J.D., provides a step-by-step guide for conducting the most common practice within curanderismo: limpias. These practical and incredibly effective shamanic cleanses heal, purify, and revitalize people and spaces with herbs, flowers, eggs, feathers, fire, and water. They are also powerful tools for self-empowerment, spiritual growth, soul retrieval, rebirth, and gracefully opening up pathways for new beginnings. Drawing on her 20 years’ experience as a curandera and her graduate studies focused on Mesoamerican shamanism, the author traces modern curanderismo practices to their indigenous roots. She explores the sacred stories behind limpia rituals and examines different types of limpia ceremonies in depth, such as fire rites for transformation, water rites for cleansing and influencing, and sweeping rites for divination. She outlines how limpias work holistically to enable one to let go and cleanse the body, mind, and spirit of limiting beliefs, traumas, and broken stories; heal acute and chronic illnesses such as depression, insomnia, and anxiety; and revitalize and activate sacred spaces by renewing their essence and clearing negative energies. She explains the healing properties of the plants used in limpia rites and how to perform the medicinal chants used by the curanderos. In addition, the author details how the practice of platicas, heart-straightening talks, supports limpia rites by encouraging one to vocalize their needs as they eject traumas and unwanted energies from the body, setting the stage for self-awareness and healing. Sharing the story of her own complete healing from a catastrophic injury with limpias as well as inspirational testimonies from others who have experienced limpias, the author provides a personal and thoroughly practical guide to the ancient shamanic method of limpias to promote healing and personal transformation in our times.

Podcasts about Shamanism / Indigenous healing

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