Saturday, April 14, 2012

PBP 09: Shamanic Healing & Soul Landscapes

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Be aware I distinguish Shamanic Healing as a practice from both Reiki, which is distinctly Japanese and arguably non-Shamanic in origin, and from any tribal or non-my-sect-of-Shamanism out there. Shamanic healing is not a monolithic structure of way of doing shit despite what Core Shamanism leads people to believe. The way I learned to heal was literally shown to me in a dream and it seems to work for me so that's what I am talking about. (For my post on Core Shamanism (and why I take issue with it) click here.)

I often don't see non-Reiki energy healing discussed, particularly because it's kind of difficult to find good sources on it. The way I learned to heal was instinctual and essentially animistic, and I can understand how that might be hard to understand and a lot less elegant than Reiki, which is quite calming and beautiful.

My way of healing I have seen referred to as 'Psychic Surgery', which is the process of locating chunks of energy blocks and removing them from the body. Often I scan the body first, and pain feels like a hot, spiky ball of black gunk to me. Pretty, is it not. Then I project my astral body through the skin (usually just my hands), reach around the block and physically wrench it out. Either I do this astrally or in extreme cases I have to actually pull my hand away from the body to get it out quickly and in one piece.

I distinguish this from Reiki because Reiki is very much about distributing energy through the body and pushing energy into the body. Psychic surgery is very much about removing energy from the body, and not putting any in. I am focusing on ripping blocks and pain out, and then I let the body fill in the holes.

Psychic surgery is quick and effective, but can often be painful in the process of ripping. When I remove a headache, the feeling of the pain being forcibly removed from the skull can be uncomfortable, but it works fast and without tools or sigils or anything so the benefits are sometimes very good. The only tool I sometimes use is Hematite, because it has distinct ripping properties and I fucking love that stone. Place it near a pain center on the body and it rips almost by itself.

The other thing people think of when they hear of Shamanic Healing is Soul Retrieval, which is specific to only some tribes of people and is definitely not called that everywhere, again, thank you core Shamanism.

In my brand of Shamanism, I have come to see the soul as a faceted crystal. When extreme or painful things occur, the soul shatters bit by bit, and pieces can splinter off and fly into the Void. When this happens you're dealing with a psychologically broken or distressed individual, and it's often easy to tell. You're also usually dealing with Auric holes and blockages.

When soul shards are off in the void, it's my job to go find them and convince them back. This is the type of healing that was gifted to me in a dream. I astrally enter the soul-landscape of the person, and search their many rooms and areas until I find something out of place. For one person, it was a series of winged keys, who hid themselves in a 30 foot high set of shelves, amongst hundreds of others. I had to bring them back and kind of reinstall them in their proper places, to complete the soul again.

The effects of losing a soul shard and having it brought back can be immediate and dramatic or long term and slight. The case above was extreme. She literally went catatonic, as if in a walking coma, and I felt a 'call' to do the above listed action. I was really scared and confused because at the time I had never performed a soul retrieval before, and I didn't know that it would even help. But the second I placed my hand over her heart, she responded, and when the soul shard was reinstalled, she came back to herself almost immediately. She sat up, looked around, and asked what happened because she had no memory of anything from the point she went catatonic. Scary but exhilarating proof that this shit actually works. And if you're a proof lover like me, that shit is powerful.

The other type of retrieval I've performed was convincing a guide or totem to come back. Usually they disappear for a while because they guide people other than you, or it's a test, so it's fine. But sometimes the totem or guide is linked with a soul piece and it's a problem when they leave, because you fucked up and shut yourself off or drove them away or continued to do self-hating actions. In that case it's also my job to go see if they'll take you back.

When I perform retrievals, as I said, I look into the person's soul landscape first. Souls look like vast landscapes to me, and the state of the landscape tells me what shape the soul is in. If your giant tree is sitting in toxic water and turning brown, I can tell you have a slow, dangerous problem that is eating you from the inside. If your entire forest is dead but recovering, I can see you're getting over a very bad experience. Sometimes the person requests a retrieval but it isn't necessary: I can gather this from the state of the soul. Believe it or not, sometimes the soul or guides can and WILL help themselves, in which case I don't need to intervene. It's not as if everyone with lost shards absolutely needs my help. People have agency.

I hope you got the gist of that, I'm still extremely busy and scattered.


  1. I like what you have to say about non-Core Shamanism. I think that the Core brand of Shamanism can have a stranglehold on people who are called, but may not feel free to fully move into their Shamanism b/c they have not paid to attend classes to become "qualified".

    I am a Shaman; I was called.

    Have you read Christopher Penczak's "Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft". It's a good read.

    1. I have read it and appreciated it at an earlier time in my path. I have since moved away from it but respect him as a person.

      I actually did my C post on core shamanism and why that's kind of a problem if you wanted to check that out. But I'm trying to keep a dialogue about it in attempts to educate people on the fact that core shamanism IS a thing, you know? It's important.

  2. I have never taken any "core shamanism" classes, but I have read several books that were influenced by it. I think that it does serve a purpose. It can help those who aren't naturals get started on their path. Much like witchcraft though, true power and skill can only be found by personal study and direct inspiration. Books, and even teachers, can only take you so far. To really grow, you need to leave those behind and discover your own techniques and rituals. Unfortunately, most people are not like you and cling to the teachings of others.

    1. I actually have to disagree with the idea that books influenced by core shamanism are a good thing for the curious or first time learner. When I was first Called I was confused and scared because those books weren't covering the actual experiences I was having with animal spirits following me around everywhere and my sudden ability to rip things from people. Frankly they scratch only the surface and can be detrimental for the beginner if only for the reason they are too shallow. (Granted, I take that issue with most 'occult' books published today) What I'm saying is, at least in my case, those books actually held me back because I didn't jive with what they were saying Shamanism obviously was.

      On a historical/cultural appropriating note, it's damaging to have books like that because often Core Shamanism books do NOT, in the book, differentiate themselves as such. If they did, and clearly and honestly laid out the differences between the various types of tribal/traditional Shamanism, Neo-shamanic practice, and Core Shamanic practice, I would be just fine with it. The problem is the books that new people will pick up and not even realize the practices within have been appropriated from other cultures or are potentially benefiting individuals that have appropriated those practices. It's actually perpetuating the problem those in the Neo-Shamanic community grapple with; plastic shamans, non-tribal driven classes on 'authentic' shamanism, and the further subjugation of Native/Tribal cultures. Most appropriation is due to sheer ignorance on the part of new people, and that's not necessarily their fault, but the fault of the books advertised as 'Shamanic' that are not teaching these issues.

      I will say there are many people publishing Shamanic books who are very much concerned with these issues. You might know of Lupa, who wrote extensively about it in her blog and her book, Talking About the Elephant. Were I to offer a solution, I would say I would personally send a new person to her books first, for the occult and political side, and academic books second, to learn the sheer diversity of Shamanic technique the world over. Just because a book might be accessible does not mean we should accept a little racism or appropriation because a more conscious book may be harder to find, IMO.

      As to your last point, I sincerely hope me writing this blog can help people with that. I can tell you I learned most of this the hard way and split my time being confused and feeling insane. I hope to spare other newer people that crazy.

  3. This is amazing. It describes a lot of what I believe and how an old friend of mine learned her healing techniques. I absolutely love your knowledge on this - soul landscapes, soul retrieving, psychic surgery - to be honest this sits better with me than many other types of energy healing. Love it. Have you written more on this subject in past posts? If not, you should!

    1. I'll stick it on my to-do list after I finish finals hahaha.

      Yeah I write about this stuff in hopes that other people resonate with it. I write this stuff because nobody else seems to write about it, and I saw a need that had to be filled by somebody.

      My next series is actually about the Underworld landscapes I travel to, so look forward to that. :)