The Shadow in Shamanism

Although I greatly respect Jungian Psychology (and have been an active member of the International Association for Jungian Studies for many years), their assertion of the “Shadow” seems limited from my experience as a Shaman. This is part of what Wikipedia says:

“In Jungian psychology, the shadow (also known as idshadow aspect, or shadow archetype) is either an unconscious aspect of the personality that the conscious ego does not identify in itself; or the entirety of the unconscious, i.e., everything of which a person is not fully conscious. In short, the shadow is the unknown side.”

If you do a little research on books written about Shamanism and their relation to the Shadow, you’ll find that most authors don’t veer very far from the above psychological definition.

I’ll quickly break it down for you, as one of my Master Shamans (without any college education) did. As a Human, you walk this Earth and at the same time you walk inner worlds (your thoughts, feelings, impulses, etc.). Within these inner worlds there will be many allies and foes, some will be very alien to you and others so intimate that they might as well be you. As long as you know who, where, when and what you are; your thinking is clear and your heart is pure; none can influence you (for good or bad) without your consent.

This is easier said than done, but at least it gives you a target to center back into on a regular basis. Where the scientific mind wants to understand and analyze the components and pieces of the “Shadow”. The Shaman seeks to communicate and negotiate a win-win Path for the person and his shadow. We, Shamans, understand that there are no negative energies in the Universe, but there can misunderstandings, miscommunications, misplacements, etc. We also know, that it is in the darkest recesses that the largest treasures are found. For us, encountering the “Shadow” is an optimal and promising pursuit.

The “Shadow” will roughly usher us into what seems like an uncontrolled state of being as a way to help us evolve and grow. Initiations, tend to follow a very similar process. To the average working citizen this will feel like a breakdown. To a Shaman it will be a time of evolution and awakening…

If you’d Like to know more about the Shamanic approach to the Shadow, for sessions or training, please contact me:

Flavio@ Healer

Winning by Losing

I got out of there as soon as I figured it out….

A few days ago I found myself in a very awkward and uncomfortable social situation. I was among a group of people I thought I’d have a great time with, but before the hour, one person started expressing micro-aggressions and increasing rejections towards me. Because of what I do for a living, my intuition picked up great discomfort and annoyance towards me from this particular person, initially I had no idea why. I was not in “Shaman” mode so my ego started assuming useless theories and ways to counter attack. Today, I have achieved inner harmony with the event (and culprit). A lesson was learned and I am grateful for it.

One of my goals is to live in harmony with my environment. A few days ago, my mere presence was disrupting someone’s inner harmony. This was an issue this person was having because they were comparing their reality in relation to others present there. In other words, it was an inner issue, absolutely not related to anything I had done or said. Initially my ego was right to advise that it was this person’s problem and not mine, but the Shaman seeks overall internal and external Harmony. As humans with intent to evolve, being aware of another person’s problem actually hints at some discrepancy that we can internally balance out. Consciousness will manifest circumstances externally to point out internal work to be done. In this case for me it meant that if my presence was disturbing to someone in a situation completely unimportant to me, then why force things? Why try to “win” (an ego) battle that I did not care about anyway? As soon as I figured the dynamics of the situation, in an educated and gracious way I removed myself from that gathering.

Everyone won! The person I inadvertently was making uncomfortable, no longer was. My Shamanic Purpose managed to improve external harmony, thus internal ones as well. I improved my Ego:Higher-Self ratio of decisions. True; it could be argued that I lost by missing out on a fun activity, but when compared to my Life’s Aspirations it is an Absolute Win!