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 Post subject: The Web of Power
 Post Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:50 pm 
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There is an important concept in shamanism that has great appeal to me in my own shamanic practice, that of the infinite web of power. What I wanted to ask is how does one access this web of power, or rather what are the steps one can take to be adept at the shamanic manipulation of power. The shamanic journey is one way, the ceremony is another. What particular rituals can one partake in to access this cosmic web? Is their a specific technique you can share with regards to this? Thanks in advance.

Yours in the struggle,
--Teopiltzin


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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:04 am 
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Well there is one journey, I could share. I made the question, "Where do I stand (as a describtion, who Am I) ?"

I saw my power animal to appear, first he appeared rapidly in many locations here and there, then expanded an filled my view of vision. Being in harmony with averything. And nothing else.

So, I thought, when not attached to anything, letting things to go through, not picking up a one, expanding the mind (or spirit) with everything is being connected to everything.


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 Post Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:07 pm 
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I'm not sure I understand the question or, more specifically, what you mean by 'web of power'?

For me, all things and all places have their own power so perhaps you are asking how to connect with all things? If thats the case, I think its an ongoing learning, deepening, working and spiritual practice.

Perhaps you are talking about the network of power places. those incredible sites in the land where energies are at their most potent? Tapping into those requires us to go there, make pilgrimage and learn to quieten ourselves so that we can feel and receive the power of such places.

Or perhaps its being able to define 'web of power' that is the journey in itself?

May I ask how you see this term and why it is so important to you?


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 Post Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:04 pm 
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I gues I don't understand this question and many others like it. In shamanism as I understand and practice it one e simple works with one's allies to accomplish the desired ends. Rituals, ceremonies and magic wands seem more at easy in witchcraft and ceremonial magick. Dennis


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 Post Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:08 pm 
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Bearsky wrote:
I gues I don't understand this question and many others like it. In shamanism as I understand and practice it one e simple works with one's allies to accomplish the desired ends. Rituals, ceremonies and magic wands seem more at easy in witchcraft and ceremonial magick. Dennis


I hear what you are saying and wonder too. There are a few schools of though I guess, which involve more than just working with one's allies, invoking deities, appealing to land spirits, the elements etc but some of that is culture specific.

Ceremony certainly has a place in all shamanic cultures, it brings together and involves the whole community or a whole family depending upon circumstances and that brings more power to a situation.

I do wonder about these 'buzz words' or 'coined phrases' used in spiritual circles though.

I have long held the view that there was little to prove a shamanic system in the UK other than a general animistic past and that witchcraft, although pagan was not a shamanic system because they did not shamanise but this is not strictly true.

Emma Wilby, in her book 'Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits' writes a rigorous and compelling history of shamanic activity (seen as witchcraft) in the UK which survived to the 17th C at least. What we see in todays reconstructed witchcraft is possibly nothing like the ancestral ways, a little too biased upon ritual, garments, tools etc but perhaps its how we are getting back and moving forward at the same time. If someone in the UK has an ancestor who used a wand/staff then perhaps they will be asked to create and be taught to use one too in just the same way that a Buryat ancestor may lead their student today to add jingles to their drum???

Web of Power??? I don't understand the reference, where it comes from or who coined the phrase. The context would be important to understand the meaning I think.


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 Post Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:13 pm 
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FC: Thanks for the thoughtful comment. Dennis


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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:18 pm 
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The Web of Power is the universal energy field in which we all live and breathe and can [and do] "tap" into at any time. Mostly we do this unconsciously [driven by fears, impulses, needs, desires, DNA etc] but the shaman can learn to manipulate energy consciously.

The traditions and techniques for doing this are as old as the human race [e.g. quigong] and as new as 21st century "magicians" like David Blaine.

Spiritual healers since ancient times have tapped into this universal ["God"/"Goddess"/"Great Spirit"/"Source"] energy field via "Laying on of Hands" type healing practices and even by non-religious practices such as "Reiki Healing".

The "Web of Power" is not just a piece of mysticism, check out this old posting of mine: "Quantum Mechanics reveals God, Enlightenment & the Power of Intention"

There are many ways in which the Universal Energy Field [UEF] can be accessed and manipulated, but be aware that there is always a price to pay because of the yinyang "Law of Opposites" i.e. power and powerlessness are 2 sides of the same coin, which is why the geat powerful powerful people of history were either paranoid [e.g. Hitler, Stalin] or attracted experiences of great powerlessness [e.g. Jesus, Muhammad].

The more unpleasant dovetailing experiences of powerlessness can be averted by humility, ascetic practices and divine service [e.g. Ghandi]. Ascetic practices would include some traditionasl shamanic practices such as "sweatlodge".


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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:00 pm 
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The reference is from the book "Secrets of Shamanism" in which it defines the web of power as that which "underlies all of life:the belief that all things of physsical form also have spirit. This spirit is the source of power for all life."

I guess what I am actually asking is how one can use their energy to affect change in the real world as if by magic; with the mind and body.


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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:50 am 
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Energy [chi] is what underlies [empowers] all life and all physical things. In accordance with the (YinYang) Law of Complementary Opposites [and also Quantum Theory] it has 2 aspects [or dimensions], one tangible to our 5 senses [material world, unintelligent] and one intangible ["intelligent", "subtle energy", "enfolded", "spirit world"] which are intertwined within each other.

In his classic treatise, "Wholeness and the Implicate Order", the physicist David Bohm called these 2 intertwined aspects of energy, the implicate and explicate order of the universe. They are fundamental to the shamanic practice of "Plant Spirit Healing"


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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:38 am 
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teopiltzin wrote:
I guess what I am actually asking is how one can use their energy to affect change in the real world as if by magic; with the mind and body.


Firstly this is something that we do (and it/they does to us) all the time - a constant interaction creating the series of "experiences" we call "life" and "life" is of course quite "magical" [i.e. cannot be explained solely in mechanistic "material world" terms.

So your question becomes "How can I control (my) 'life'?"

Well, firstly we must accept that we can only partly control 'life', because the complementary aspect is that 'life' partly controls us.

We can influence our life by directing the energy of our attention [consciousness] to different "patterns" or configurations (vibrations) of energy e.g. beliefs, intentions, imprints (conditioning influences), archetypes (e.g. power animals) etc. Buddhists have called this activity "mindfulness" and in the UK now you can even do a University degree in "mindfulness" now! - an indication of the growing recognition of its importance to our wellbeing and fulfilment.

Where/how can our attention [energy of consciousness] access alternative patterns to "attach" to?

Because the universe is holographic (i.e. the smallest particle contains the picture of the whole thing) we can find the entire array of patterns both outside of us [accessed through opening up to experiences, teachings, divination cards, rituals, prayer etc etc] and also inside of us [accessed via journeying, meditation, dreaming etc etc].

This stuff is not easy for our simple mechanistic minds to grasp. A very nice, simple, dramatised practical answer to yuor quest can be found in the bestseller film "The Secret". A word of warning though, "The Secret" is a bit over-enthusiastic about its [nonetheless important] formula for creating the world of your dreams. There are a couple of very important limitations to what you can achieve. However it is a great film with a great message which has inspired a vast number of people.


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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:04 am 
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teopiltzin wrote:
I guess what I am actually asking is how one can use their energy to affect change in the real world as if by magic; with the mind and body.


Here is the "secondly" part-answer to your question, teopiltzin. Sorry about the number and length of my replies but you have asked 2 huge [and vastly important] questions and I am dividing the big answer into a number of "building blocks".

In the "firstly" answer I addressed your implied question "How can I control (my) 'life'?"

Now we turn to the complementary aspect "How can I allow 'life' to control me?"

In other words, "How can I open up to what is often called "spirit guidance" i.e. other configurations of intelligent energy beyond my own consciousness?" Let's be clear that "spirit guidance" includes the spirits of other living human beings as well as departed ones and non-human entities.

There are 2 components to this process. One is to use the same practices [see previous posting] that were used to access "energy patterns" that we can personally "energise" i.e. adopt and implement. They all risk encountering "adverse influences" as well as "beneficial ones", this is to some extent unavoidable though we can greatly reduce the risk by "purification" and "clearing" practices prior to employing access practices.

The second component is "Letting Go", as in the wise old advice "Let Go, Let God!". The importance of this is that we cannot take on board anything new in our reality, unless we create some space by "Letting Go" of something that already makes up our reality [i.e. a pattern of energy that our consciousness is already attached to].


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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:25 am 
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teopiltzin wrote:
The reference is from the book "Secrets of Shamanism" in which it defines the web of power as that which "underlies all of life:the belief that all things of physsical form also have spirit. This spirit is the source of power for all life."

I guess what I am actually asking is how one can use their energy to affect change in the real world as if by magic; with the mind and body.


Ah, I understand. This is sort of what I thought you meant. There are many good and not so good books on the subject of shamanism, this one seems to have given you the idea that it is a right to change or effect 'magical' change in this world when the real question is why do you want to?

'The Web of Power' may be better defined as the web of life or the energy matrix as it has become known in other quarters.

Are you being called to follow a shamanic path through dreams, omens, life experiences etc? If so, as BrotherMichael says, first we need to look at how we are in control of our own life, then how life controls us. Only after we understand that and learn to let go of our expectations and needs for power can we truly see that we are simply the conduit or channel for greater powers than ourselves to work.


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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:33 pm 
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I've been called to the path of shamanism through both life experiences and dreams. I will recall a dream I had. It was a vision of the aztec sun god, tonatiuh. I had a vision that I was in an infernal cave, all the floor covered in spiraling flames. On the wall was a giant aztec calendar. Its cogs and wheels spun as the floor permutated and shifted like machinery. Out of the center of the calendar structure came a being. He crawled out using his hands to pull himself out of a hole. He stood before me all covered in what seemed like charcoal from head to toe. His flesh was burned. He was bald and had protruding white eyes. He stood there looking at me for a long while. And then I woke up. Before I had this dream I had achieved lucidity. When I became lucid, I said to myself 'tonatiuh.' And then I had the dream.

After this, I felt called to be a shaman.

As to the web of power, yes, I guess I should be asking 'why' instead of 'what.' But for me one thing is certain: mastering the second attention, as Castaneda writes, is dependent upon the amount of effort one puts into it. I understand 'second attention' to mean that second awareness that grows when one starts on this path, of the Shamanic State of Consciousness. That's what I guess I want to achieve. A mastery of the second attention so that I can affect change in the real world for the sake of achieving freedom and liberation from the shackles of ordinary experience is what i'm after. By ordinary experience I mean what we hear and what we see. I want to be able to control what I don't. The only reason is to know that I can do it, purely for knowledge's own sake.

I will also share the experience that led me towards shamanism. One night I was smoking marijuana. I was on my bed drifting off into sleep when I started to think about etheric projection and some techniques of out of body experiences I had been researching. I suddenly felt myself go into a deep trance, primordial in a sense. I began to think of a girl I use to like in high school. I felt a burning sensation in my root chakra that felt like an explosion in that area, going up my spine. All of a sudden I was in her dreams. I know I can't prove it to this day, but by god I was actually in her dreams. What happened next is private, as one could expect. But when I woke up the next morning, I still heard her voice. I got diagnosed with acute psychotic disorder and have been on meds ever since. I hear her voice every day, and she's not too happy about what I did. Shamanism is where I look for a cure for myself. I feel that that night, I broke through to my second attention and performed some very powerful magic. It was my first experience of freedom in the cosmic sense, for I had someone else's dream, I had control over something other than myself in a real sense. But I then became a prisoner after that. I now look for a cure, which can only come about through following the shaman's path. I made an unbalance in the cosmos, something I have to fix. I tapped into the web of power that night. I opened a portal into another dimension in a sense. Now I have to fix it.


Last edited by teopiltzin on Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Antero Alli, writing in "Angel Tech: A Modern Shaman's Guide to Reality Selection", refers to the reality you have entered as "Chapel Perilous", Teopiltzin. He calls it a chapel because it is a reality where "danger is worshipped!"...

"a place where souls go after leaving their robot bodies - while these bodies are still alive and walking the planet's surface."

In other words the product of some form of trauma or disillusionment with ordinary reality which has excessively and unhealthily driven the desire to explore other realities. A healthy exploration of shamanic reality has to be balanced and grounded in the body and everyday life. The alternative is to enter an ego-generated reality [as opposed to soul-generated] where there is an unhealthy excess of fantasy, struggle and horror.

I am not an expert on Castenada, Teopiltzin, so not qualified to comment on his writings, but are you aware that he has been accused of fabricating some, or more, of his stories? I am told that no one else has ever known, or been able to trace, The master shaman that he wrote of. Did Castenada enter "Chapel Perilous" himself?

I speak as someone who has visited "Chapel Perilous" myself - in fact many do on their journey. It is a stopping place where it is possible to get very stuck. The route forward lies via the route back - back into your grounded physical body, feelings and the everyday world, followed by a wiser and more cautious move forward at a later date. Your shamanic temple is built on the shaky foundation of desperation, and you need to rebuild it from the ground up. Find the people who can train you in the skills of managing everyday reality better and in exploring your own shadow, otherwise your own shadow will fall across and obscure any shamanic reality you endeavour to explore.

The book mentioned above is a bit "hyper-mental" and has to be taken in small doses, but contains a basically sound plan of the careful steps for constructing a healthier and more fulfilling shamanic reality based on emotional skills, healthy relationships and a balanced, grounded lifestyle. Remember that indigenous shamans have always lived very physical lives in natural environments, whereas we, in "information & literature societies" start off from a not-very-grounded place with an excess of imagination and media-fuelled fantasies.

Good luck!


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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:39 am 
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Hi! Great stuff, brothermichael!
I would like to give warning about used sources. If the book secret's of shamanism is made by Jose Stevens, it is not actually about shamanim. It is made by a new age psychologist. There is no traces about the common healing techniques, worldwide used, only psycholigal newage stuff.. No basic teachings about spirit connection but these mental techniques to improve own life.
It seem that author have no connection to any shamans but have written the book only by his own experiences and claims those to be shamanic, even when most basic things are not icluded. (no trace of spirit guidance).

When techniques are thought and not at all how to get spirit to guide you, it is often said, it may prove dangerous.

When I bought that book, an experienced friend told to burn it. No other book has misleaded as much people, when shamanism is a subject, she told.

Castaneda's books have proven to be fiction, even those give a great view about the world of shamanism in general (thou I do not know what it actually is in South America). If I remember right, he has never actually been those places mentioned in book. So, maybe he just made all up by his studies in antropology in general. I do not know. Stories are great, but should those be taken literally right...?

I am not sure how healthy it is to study things, which cause imbalance. It is always first priority to learn how to be grounded. When manifestation of energy is asked, it is asked from spirits. It is not made by yourself. That is more secure way, and taught generally, not messing around by your own.


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