Updated: Jun 15
Shamanism is a spiritual science applied for the purposes of healing. It’s holistic applied physics, not religion. So, let’s break down that first sentence, as it can be misunderstood in many ways. The words “spiritual”, “shamanism”, and “healing”, are weighty words that carry a lot of baggage.
The word “shaman” originally came from Mongolia, it referred to the indigenous healers there, who had very specific spiritual methods of healing people. The word “Shamanism” has since changed in the way we use it. “Shamanism” is now a term we use to describe a category of healing methods. Every Nation in the world has its own history of first peoples who were more closely connected with the natural world than we are today. Their consciousness was based on the natural world, not a technological based consciousness. They operated from a different point of view. Their beliefs about life, and priorities, were very different, learning from Nature to understand the Universe and the world we live in were the way of life. Shamanism being a category of healing, is comprised of many varying practices, lineages, and methods. Not all shamanic healing is created equal, the same way not all doctors are created equal. They vary greatly.
Let’s strip some of the heavy baggage from the words “healing”, “spiritual”, and “Shamanism” for the ease of communication. We’ll start by clarifying these words and how I use them:
Healing is a positive change in a negative pattern. (the pattern can be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual) ie: physical pain is a negative pattern, anxiety is a negative pattern, depression is a negative pattern, expecting bad things to happen is a negative pattern, etc. A pattern can repeat often, occasionally, or rarely. This determines the “frequency” of the pattern, some patterns are high frequency, some are low frequency. How often does it repeat and for how long? This is known as the “rate” of the frequency.
For example, let’s say “Tim” breaks his leg. Tim goes to the hospital because Western Medicine is the right place to heal this type of injury/wound. They specialize in it. The physical pain of a broken leg has a very high frequency (it’s nearly constant pain when it happens). As it heals, the pattern changes. The pain becomes less constant, eventually Tim can put weight back on his leg, then finally function returns, the pain is minimal and Tim is walking around on both legs again (assuming it healed properly). We can see as it healed, the frequency changed, the pattern changed.
It works the same way with healing of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wounds: Negative patterns change to positive outcomes.
There is another pattern to examine regarding the broken leg. Does Tim have accidents often? What is the frequency of this happening in Tim’s life? And why does this matter?
We’ve healed the leg, but what is happening in Tim’s life that he would facilitate such an injury? What is the ROOT cause of his injury? Modern science doesn’t look at this pattern, but Shamanism does. When we look at the natural world, and understand it is full of consciousness, it gives us deeper meaning, and that brings us to spirituality.
Anything relating to the human spirit; that which makes us who we are. The beliefs we have that make up our reality and how we interact with our reality. Our beliefs are how we experience the world, and how we interact with it. They vary widely and greatly. Many people today are not consciously aware of their beliefs regarding reality. Aware of them or not, our beliefs drive how we interact with the world around us and shape our experiences in life. By this definition, we are all spiritual. Religion and spirituality are often misunderstood as interchangeable, they are not. Religion is spiritual in nature, because it is about specific sets of beliefs. However, “spirituality” is not clearly defined beliefs, with rules and outlined practices, it is merely the understanding that beliefs do in fact profoundly shape a person’s reality.
Entire wars have been fought over specific beliefs; they are not to be taken lightly.
Let’s remember Tim’s broken leg. While the bone was healing, it becomes evident that Tim isn’t doing well mentally and emotionally. He’s lost his lust for life, has no interest in connecting with people, or interacting with life in general. One might say: “This situation has broken his spirit”, or “he could use something to lift his spirit,” and most people would grasp the meaning. This has nothing to do with religion, but everything to do with Tim’s beliefs about life at this current point in time. But why would a broken leg, affect his life so profoundly? There is more than just a physical wound of a broken bone. That brings us to what are called “the Four Bodies” from the lineage of Shamanism in which I practice.
The Four Bodies:
The Four Bodies we’re talking about here are Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual. They are interconnected, but each have their own language in how they communicate with us. We know the language of the Physical Body: physical sensations, pain, pleasure, tactile, touch…These are all the “language” of the Physical Body, how it communicates to us.
The language of the Mental Body is our thoughts. What we are thinking, and how we are thinking at any given moment is the language of our mental body.
The language of our Emotional Body is emotion. If we feel sadness, anger, grief, happiness, joy…These are all the language of the emotional body and how it communicates with us.
The language of the Spiritual Body is our beliefs. We can be aware or unaware of our beliefs. Regardless of how they are formulated, they make up our entire reality. Our beliefs create our reality and how we choose to interact with that reality.
Most often in the western world today, we ignore many of our physical symptoms and emotions. We regularly push away emotion; we’re taught not to show emotion. Often, we’re unaware of what we’re thinking. Negative thoughts creeping through our minds all day, unchecked. All these emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations create a symphony together, like the soundtrack of our lives playing in the background. That soundtrack can be uplifting, or it can be ominous, and anywhere in between.
Who’s checking in on that soundtrack? The only one who can be aware of these things is you. You need to be aware of yourself to know how you’re feeling, and why.
All the Bodies are interconnected. They speak different languages, but they are communicating the same thing in varying degrees: Things are good, or things are not. If things are not good, there is a “wound”. Wounds happen when there is any kind of impact that creates a negative pattern. An impact can also be called a “trauma”. Tim’s leg received a physical impact, or trauma, that broke his bone. His Emotional Body was also impacted, and he felt sadness. His Mental Body was impacted, and his thoughts were affected. Did all of this begin with the physical trauma? Or was there something else driving this wound? It’s possible that breaking his leg created a pattern of negativity. When the broken bone heals, will he be happy and healthy again? Perhaps. It’s also possible that the negative emotions and thoughts will remain long after the leg has healed. There could be lasting trauma in the other Bodies. The Physical Body is healed, but the Mental and Emotional Bodies are not. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not physical trauma, though it may have begun that way. Here we can see how we are impacted physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Wounds don’t always happen in the Physical Body first. A wound (where the impact or trauma hits, ground zero, the root cause of the issue) can happen in any of the Four Bodies and affect any combination of the other Bodies.
Anxiety and depression are well known issues. Most people experience these at some point in their lifetime. They can range from mild to debilitating. Here we see frequency and pattern again. How often do they occur? To what intensity? We’re looking at negative patterns, rates, and frequencies. Anxiety and depression are not emotions. They are a complex combination of all Four Bodies. Anxiety is a pattern of negative anticipation. The expectation that something negative is going to happen (future). Depression is a pattern of negative recall. Actively living in negative memories (past). Both limit living in the present moment. Neither are living in the present but rather focused on either the past or the future. In day to day living, anxiety and depression affect the Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Bodies in the present. That’s what makes them “complex”. It’s common knowledge that depression and anxiety both have physical, mental, and emotional symptoms.
Where does the Spiritual Body come in? We certainly have beliefs regarding wounds, healing, and everything in the world around us. How about Tim’s broken leg? Is it part of a bigger pattern in Tim’s life? When Tim was walking down the street, and stepped into a big pothole, subsequently breaking a bone in his leg, did the trauma start with the pothole that broke the bone? Why did specifically Tim break his leg and not someone else instead? If we check in with Tim’s Four Bodies at the time of stepping into the pothole, maybe we can learn more about the bigger picture in Tim’s life and overall health. The underlying non-physical root cause.
Let’s say the soundtrack to Tim’s life has been ominous. He has a deep seeded belief that he is a failure. He approaches his life with low self-worth and feels like he has failed at everything he’s ever tried to do in his life from the time of childhood. This is a wound in his Spiritual Body. It’s a wounded belief that creates his reality. The opposite of rose-colored glasses, this wound creates a distorted film over everything he sees and experiences. His approach and reaction to his world is based on his belief that he’s a failure. All his experiences are filtered and interpreted in a way that confirms his belief. The other Bodies (Physical, Mental, and Emotional) always work to be in alignment with our Spiritual Body (our beliefs). They prefer to fall in line. In this way, the Spiritual Body (our beliefs) is at the core of our wellbeing.
With this wounded belief, Tim’s emotional, mental, and physical health are also compromised. His belief that he’s a failure is a wound in his Spiritual Body. The other Bodies will communicate this wound in their own language. His Emotional Body expresses this through sadness, anger, and grief. His Mental Body expresses this with thoughts of, “I’m not going to get this job”, “I can’t do it”, “I’ll never get it right”, “Everyone knows I’m not good enough”. His Physical body communicates it with a tightness in his chest, a knot in his stomach, and indigestion. All of this creates a symphony, the soundtrack that plays in the background of Tim’s life. He notices it sometimes when it gets really loud, but most of the time it’s just “normal” for him and he’s able to ignore it. It gets really loud when it’s triggered. Someone says something that he interprets as more confirmation that he’s a failure, that he has no value, and his Emotional Body speaks up: Anger comes flooding out. Tim gets angry at the person who reminds him of his wounded belief that he’s a failure. His stomach turns in knots, his chest gets tight, and every moment in his life where he felt like a failure comes rushing forward like a freight train. He explodes with anger but doesn’t completely understand why.
Haven’t we all had moments like this? Where we feel completely overwhelmed but can’t pinpoint exactly why? Tim is certain he’s angry at the person who insulted him. But why care what that person thinks anyway? Why not just forget about it and move on? His interpretation of the insult was a trigger to something much more complex. A much deeper wound. The freight train connected with that, will not allow him to simply “forget about it” or “take it easy”. It’s a pattern. A wounded or negative pattern in his life that can only be healed at the core level: His Spiritual Body. Once it’s healed, the other bodies can fall in line as well. The pattern changes in a positive way. His reactions change, his interpretation changes, his relationship with himself and others, all change. His reality changes. This is healing, a positive change in a negative pattern.
If this is Shamanism, what does it have to do with physics?
Science & Nature
When we’re talking about patterns, Quantum Mechanics takes a very close look (the closest) at frequency and patterns, specifically particles and waves. When it comes to Quantum Mechanics, there are many conflicting theories. Many different interpretations of experiments, and even Einstein himself was unable to unify Quantum theory (How the Universe behaves on the infinitely small scale) with the Theory of Relativity (How the Universe behaves on the infinitely large scale), though he tried. This is a huge topic, and many books have been, and will be, written on it. For our purposes here, we’ll keep it simplistic.
A key pioneer in Quantum Mechanics was theoretical physicist, Werner Heisenberg. Known best for “The Uncertainty Principle” and “The Observer Effect”. He discovered that simply by observing an event, we affect the outcome on a quantum level. Which means, there is evidence that our expectations (beliefs) alter the outcome of what we’re observing (reality).
The phrase “as above, so below” can be put into context here. Our Universe goes from the infinitely large to the infinitely small, we can’t measure how big it gets or how small. What we do recognize for certain is that patterns repeat throughout timespace and are clearly observed in Nature. There is a common driving force of patterns in the Universe with energy and frequency.
Albert Einstein said, “Look deep, deep into Nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
Einstein observed the patterns in Nature and saw how they made up the Universe and everything in it. From the Fibonacci sequence to the platonic solids, these patterns are the building blocks of life. We see them in Nature, we see them in all creatures, all matter, and these patterns are also in the unseen: Our thoughts, emotions, and Spirit.
The more we investigate Nature, the more we see it is intelligently designed. Everything in an ecosystem serves a function to the whole. Every plant, creature, fungus, bacteria, they all have an important role in the balance of life. Intelligent design denotes consciousness. From Quantum mechanics, to Relativity, there are repeating patterns, a unified function, a specific consciousness that drives the Universe. Observing Nature teaches us this. The First People knew this better than anyone. They understood that everything in Nature communicates the function of the Universe. They listened, they learned. Shamanism takes a healing approach with this natural world consciousness. The understanding that everything we experience is communicating something to us. Science and Shamanism utilize a different language to communicate the same thing: There is rhyme and reason to the function of the Universe when we study it closely.
Everything is communication. Everything is a message. Do we understand the language? Everything in Nature heals. If we cut our hand, it will heal. We don’t need to think about it, it just heals. If a plant is damaged, it will heal, if an animal is wounded, it will heal. Healing is inherent in the Universe. The only thing required for this natural healing to happen, is a conducive environment. We need only ensure the environment (body, soil, plant, etc) has what it needs, and healing will automatically occur. The question then becomes, what is it that we need exactly?
Tim’s broken bone required nurturing. It was rested, bandaged, iced, he took in food and water, these were all nurturing, creating the best environment for Tim’s leg to heal. Did anyone actively knit the cells back together to mend the bone? No. His body did that on its own. Healing is in our very nature, and it is Nature which teaches us how to nurture. The Earth provides us with food, water, shelter, air, and everything we need to sustain life. The closer we look, and understand what Nature is communicating to us, the better we understand ourselves and what we need. It’s about understanding our true Nature, the Heart of the Universe, when we do this, we are “living from the Heart”.
There are healed patterns and wounded patterns. We see patterns in the Universe on every scale from the infinitely small to the infinitely large. Even light itself is a pattern of particles and waves. When the frequency changes, that’s how we get color. All the colors of the rainbow are varying patterns of light. The sounds we hear are also varying frequencies, notes, octaves, patterns. Even our physical body emits frequencies that can be measured. A healthy heart beats in a healthy rhythm. A healthy liver emits a healthy electromagnetic signature, a diseased liver has a completely different frequency. What if we introduce the healthy frequency to the unhealthy one? Healing happens. This is Energy Healing.
We can apply healthy frequencies (patterns) to all aspects of the Four Bodies: Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual. Shamanism is a holistic approach to wellbeing, specializing in Spiritual health and the healing of wounds within the Spiritual Body.
When we are wounded, negative patterns are created. Like a fine musical instrument, we become out of tune. There is a discord. When we are healthy, we are in harmony with Nature. The natural frequencies of the Universe. We are in concert with the symphony of the Universe – In harmony. The literal meaning of the word “Universe” is “one song” (uni: one, verse: song).
Nikola Tesla remarked, “If you want to find the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”
Healing, from the Shamanic point of view, is understanding what Nature is communicating to us, so we can better understand ourselves, and be in harmony with the Universe.
While Lisa’s background study of Nature and healing is broad, her specific Shamanic lineage of practice is via Algonquin Shaman Pete Bernard, of Pikwakanagan First Nation, Golden Lake Ontario, and The 8th Fire School of Shamanism. She is a Quantum Shamanic Reiki Master (teacher) and teaching assistant at The 8th Fire. www.the8thfire.com
For those who have interest in Quantum Physics and Unified Physics, visit Nassim Haramein's work at the Resonance Science Foundation www.ResonanceScience.org