The Original Shaman

Hello. I am Mark Ashford. I am a Registered Reiki Teacher and Practitioner and a Usui Tibetan Reiki Master Teacher as well as a Shaman. I am a published author of books and online courses on Reiki, and Shamanism.

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Shamanism is the oldest religion on the planet! 

In terms of human existence, it predates current day organized religions by tens of thousands of years. European cave paintings and carvings showing shaman date from the Paleolithic[1] era, also called the Old Stone Age. The Old Stone Age is a period in human prehistory marking the development of stone tools and covers 99% of human technological prehistory. It extends from the earliest known use of stone tools by hominins c. 3.3 million years ago, Graves of shaman 12,000-year-old and older have been discovered in Israel and the Czech Republic.[2]

In this podcast we explore the original shaman, mainly in Tibet, Nepal, and Mongolia. 

The tradition says the First Shaman was both a Divine Being and human. Sent by the Creator, their role on earth was to create a bridge of knowledge, understanding, and awareness between The Creator, and humans. 

The knowledge and understanding imparted by the First Shaman to mankind included what is necessary to survive, hunting, farming, family, and tribe. The First Shaman taught humanity how to learn and evolve, how to improve themselves, and improve their connection to the environment around them. By teaching humans how to understand their own, individual spirit, humans are better able to form family relationships, friendships, and live in a state of coexistence with others they encounter but do not know.

The First Shaman brokered the ability for select humans, male or female, young or old to become Shaman in their own right. To be a Shaman in a tribe or community, the Shaman must be able to serve the people as well as understand how to conduct and perform the required rituals, ceremonies, and be able to connect to the spirit world. They must be able to bring messages from the spirit world to the physical, human world. 

The principles and beliefs of Shamanism are obligations the human Shaman has accepted as integral to their life and like a path through the woods, they need to stay on the path, grow and develop. Straying from the path may mean they become lost, things become difficult and the transaction of faith between the Shaman and their community or tribe becomes broken.

Being a Shaman is not the sole domain of Indigenous people. Just as there is no restriction on age, or gender, there is no restriction on ethnic background.

To be a Shaman is a unique and special path, to walk that path a new shaman will become aware of signs to show them the path they are meant to be on. 

The Shaman path brings with it various supernatural abilities if the shaman is young, or has latent abilities these will be activated by cosmic energy. These abilities included but are not limited to psychic dreaming, astral projection, interdimensional travelling, third eye opening to see lower spirits and higher dimensional spirits and the ability to fight the strongest entities that cause havoc.[3]

1        The Shaman is a Healer and Guide

The shaman is a healer. This is their principal role in the tribe, the community. 

They have access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits. Using this ability, the shaman enters a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination

to understand what is required to heal their client.

Soul journeying to understand what and why a person was ill and journeying to spirits that will help return health to the physical person is their primary and most essential role.

2        The Shaman is an Oracle

Shaman were and still are astrologers and Oracles. Everyone, especially tribal leaders want to know what the future will bring. Will it bring war, will they be successful in the struggle? Will crops and animal husbandry be successful. Will the tribe merge with another though marriage?

Historically, Oracles, divination and Astrology were a feature of Bon religion in pre-Buddhist Tibet. The Bon cosmology was divided into three worlds. 

  1. The upper world of the gods. 
  2. An intermediate world of spirits, of subtle beings. 
  3. The solid or physical world we know as the earth. 

Bon held the spirit or soul of an individual exists as energy which humans are able to contact. For example, humans are able to connect with physical things such as food, a chair and other people. On the spiritual level they are able to connect with other spirits and those on the different levels or worlds.

When Buddhists brought Buddhist Dharma to Tibet, they assimilated the Bon world view into their own because Buddhism holds the view. The Buddhist world exists in three parts: one solid, one psychic and one mental. 

3        Shaman Continuity

They were the spiritual leader of a group or tribe. The belief and practice of Shamanism incorporates a range of beliefs, customs, ceremonies and rituals regarding communication with the spiritual world. The Shaman, enters these supernatural realms particularly when the tribe is facing adversity or need to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community including sickness.[4]

They provided continuity to the tribe and a reliable connection to the spirit world. In this way they were a conduit between the worlds.

They were an educator of people about the spirit world as well as about medicines and herbs and natural healing solutions all around them. They kept the tribal stories, myths and essential tribal wisdom that made the tribe they belonged to unique. 

They passed down understanding of trance states, how to induce them and how to control them. Their clothing, symbolic regalia and objects were passed down to enrich subsequent generations of shaman.

They are the keepers of tradition, ancient texts, books, and scripts as well as way things should be done. Songs, dances, music, and observance are also carried forward from shaman to shaman within the tribe. 

Shamans usually have expert knowledge of medicinal plants native to their area, and an herbal treatment is often prescribed. It is believed shamans learn directly from the plants, harnessing their effects and healing properties, after obtaining permission from the indwelling or patron spirits.[5]

4        The Shaman as Protector

One of a shaman’s main functions is to protect individuals from hostile supernatural influences.

The shaman may act as psychopomp.[6]  

Psychopomp literally means “guide of souls.” There are creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. They do not judge the deceased, but simply to guide them. Appearing frequently on funerary art, psychopomps have been depicted at different times and in different cultures as anthropomorphic entities, horses, deer, dogs, whip-poor-wills, ravens, crows, vultures, owls, sparrows and cuckoos.[7]

I hope you found the podcast enjoyable and informative. Please subscribe to the podcast and click the links in these notes to find out more about our books, Online Courses, Social Media, our Patreon Page to support the channel. Thank you, and I hope to speak to you again soon.

Bibliography

https://www.quora.com/Can-a-white-person-be-a-shaman. “Can a White Person Be a Shaman? – Quora.”

warpaths2peacepipes.com. “Shaman.”

Wikipedia. “Cultural Revolution.”

———. “Paleolithic.”

———. “Psychopomp.”

———. “Shamanism.”


[1] Wikipedia, “Paleolithic.”

[2] Ibid.

[3] https://www.quora.com/Can-a-white-person-be-a-shaman, “Can a White Person Be a Shaman? – Quora.”

[4] warpaths2peacepipes.com, “Shaman.”

[5] Wikipedia, “Shamanism.”

[6] “Psychopomp.”

[7] “Cultural Revolution.”

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