Shamanism and the Beliefs of Sacred Heart
This section is written as a personal narration by Nadia, who is the Co-Founder, Medicine Woman and Lead Ceremony Facilitator at Sacred Heart Medicine Sanctuary:
When I started practicing different aspects of Shamanism, I didn't have a name for it. When the signs came, I didn't have a teacher, mentor or elder to show me the way of this work or to help me identify what/who I was. When I had my first initiation, I thought for certain that I had lost my mind. I watched my psyche snap and it took me almost two years to put the pieces back together.
The teachers didn't start to come until I was about 30, and I didn't have to go searching for them. More still appear to me today as I go into the deeper levels of my training.
I am told that during earlier times in society, and even still to this day in less developed areas of the world, a Shaman is identified at a young age by the existing Shaman or Medicine Man/Woman of the tribe. A child who is meant to heal or work with the collective and to lead a community will either be part of an existing bloodline, or will exhibit traits of being such an individual at a very young age. They are trained from that young age to make sure their abilities are used fully and used with great skill. Shamanism does not belong to one region or people. It is just a word for something that has existed as long as humankind.
It is both fortunate and unfortunate that this way of identification and training was not my path.
Historically, Shamans were the the ones who identified where tribes should migrate, how they should best live in harmony with the earth, how and where they were to hunt and gather, how to resolve conflicts, etc. They were able to identify what plants would heal certain illnesses, facilitate physical healings and communicate with the spirit world to bring back wisdom and relieve suffering. They would conduct Ceremonies of all varieties and would be wise beyond their age. Shamans see the world differently because of their natural talents, and so they would (and do!) make great counsel for rulers or other leaders They often lead, support and advise communities. They see life in a very big picture, one that most people cannot grasp. With this broad perspective, they are able to see other things very clearly, such as patterns, cycles and long term impacts. Shamans are able to travel between dimensions, enter altered space without taking drugs or plant medicine of any kind, open portals, and a variety of other things depending on their personal skill set.
In our Western world, being a Shaman means all of these things, only we are no longer openly understood, welcomed or supported by a tribe. We no longer live by tradition or a simple way of life, instead we have a very complexly traumatized society with no clear blood lines or elders. We are often hospitalized and medicated for mental illness that is not understood. Our connection to the Divine, if we choose to accept this calling, is often initially forced to be direct.
So what does this mean for Sacred Heart Medicine Sanctuary?
Sacred Heart's formal church beliefs are Shamanic beliefs. Some of these beliefs can be summarized as follows, but Shamanic practice is best experienced in person observing and learning with a Shaman:
Shamanism is a living religion. It evolves as the planet and self evolve. There are however some core teachings that include traditional and non-traditional practices. This may include Journeywork, Soul Retrieval, Divination, Ceremony, connection to the earth, etc.
There is no single sacred text, as much of the work cannot even be put into words. It is something passed down by oral tradition and practice but is also unique for each person. It is learned by a student from a teacher through the act of observation, practice and diving into oneself. A recommended book list for a starting point can be found here. My personal favorite Shamanic writers are Sandra Ingerman and Michael Harner.
We believe we are all spiritual beings, who are part of or all of the Divine depending on how you view it (God, love, source), and we are living here on earth to have a human experience.
Our main purpose here on earth is for growth, exploration, joy and/or experience. The earth, plants, animals, ancestors, and other beings are here to support us on that journey and will be our guides if we let them.
Everything is living and has it's own energy/frequency.
There is no "right and wrong", there is only "love and fear". And only love is real.
Everything, everyone and every situation is sacred and perfect as it is.
Our preferred method of worship is not to a deity or a God that is necessarily outside of ourselves. We worship and connect to the Divine within self, as well as to the beings that support us on this journey (earth, plants, angels, energies, guides, etc.).
Dis-ease and illness is a result of soul trauma and separation. Better known as separation from true self.
Upon request, we help others understand and access all of the above.