Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ayahuasca - It's Self

Watch this full clip and get a real understanding of this ancient medicine. You have heard of meth and chemically induced drugs, but what about a natural one? Why is there this natural plant that takes people into another dimension? Is it the natural cure were looking for? The shaman in this clip is about to be 94 years old and has never been to the doctor, but has only taken his own medicine, Ayahuasca. Its quite intriguing and who knows?

Plants the Cure?

Here is a National Geographic video clip. I wanted to share with you, so everyone can see how intelligent these kinds of people are. The knowledge they have within them, which is soon going to become extinct, is incredible. They know everything about the land they have came to live on, and know which plants hold the power to cure disease and sickness. We have fallen away from these kinds of treatment which have been successful throughout mankind, think about it, its only been so long since we have invented medicines, what was done before this? These kinds of treatments which have worked forever are now becoming extinct as our elders pass away with the knowledge.

Ayahuasca (Vine of Blood/Vine of Souls)

Ayahuasca is a brew made with the stems and vines of the plant banisteriopsis, and mixed with another type of plant like this one to the right. The banisteriopsis plant is supposed to act as a guide for the spirits of the other plants incorporated with it and potentiate the effect. The result is a tea containing powerful hallucinogenic alkaloids harmine, harmaline, d-tetrahydroharmine, dimethyltryptamine (DMT). These compounds and effects are similar, but not identical to LSD.
It has been used throughout the world in different countries. Known most in the amazon this blend of plants is used to help people find their spiritual dimensions.
Retrieved November 19, 2009 from

An Inside Look

Here is 3 shamans who are medicine men. I wanted to give you an idea of how these rituals work and the how it all really goes down. The connection they get spiritually through the rhythm of their instruments. I wanted to give you an understanding of how these people work in this intense practice.

Core Shamanism

Core shamanism is the principles and practices of all shamanistic cultures, brought together, but isn't bound to any specific cultural groups beliefs or perspective. All done through and related to the research and development done by Michael Harner. Training in core shamanism requires students to alter their consciousness through classic shamanic non-drug techniques, such as meditation so students can find their own hidden spiritual connection, and transform their own lives. They learn how to utilize this, in restoring spiritual power and health, as well as how to heal yourself, others, and the planet. This practice is all over North America to Hawaii, over to Australia, New Zealand, and some even in Europe.

Harner, M. Foundation for Shamanic Studies. Retrieved November 19th, 2009 from

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Foundation of Shamanic Studies

Founded in 1979 and based on the anthropologist work of Michael Harner, shown here in the picture. Presenting the worlds most fortelling training programs in shamanism and shaman healing. He brings shamanism tradition and the uniqueness to western society today. He's researched and developed core shamanism, a system so westerners can apply shamanic healing and shamanism into their daily lives, since most shamanic ways where overriden due to the religous oppression centuries ago. The idea was so westerners could reapply, and aquire this spiritual realm through quality workshops and training courses.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Culture and Way of Life

To understand these people you have to understand their culture, way of life, and most importantly their mind-set. They saw themselves as a small part of a bigger plant and animal system. Believing in an afterlife, everything was seen as having a spirit or soul, and where always careful when it came to respecting these spirits. For this, I also see shamans as a peacekeeper between spirits and humans. The fear of not knowing whether or not they could be extinguished by evil spirits, I think, is what kept the communities working and settling in a calm manner always being respectful and careful of what they do and how they do it. To Alaska natives from my understanding viewed the world as being "fluid" and within that world there was more potential for movement across physical, spiritual, and temporal dimensions. Compared to today where we have grown accustomed to the predictability of things, or fall into a pattern, and we become disturbed when that falls out of sync. To a lot of us these people aren't ordinary, but to understand them, like I said, you need to know what they believed in, what they feared, and what kind of mind set these people where in so many years ago.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Respect the Shaman

Shamans where the ultimate high power within their community, next to the cheif. Everyone looked to them for answers, for they where very skilled at what they did and to the extent of these things, everyone respected them. Shamans weren't just selected randomly or passed down these abilities because of their name, but most came through dreams or visions. Others were born and some recognized by the community approaching adulthood. Most are apprenticed by another shaman, retreating to nature to perform tasks, as well as assisting other shamans in curing sickness, fortelling events, and so on. Also, they acquired spiritual forces through fasting and abstinence. They where well paid compared to others, and some would travel great distances to see events in other communities and even do battle with other shamans (Langdon, 2008). Shamans where very important to their community and unlike the rest who where usually cremated upon death, shamans where buried in a box accompanied by their spiritual materials and belongings, and taken a great distance away from villages and civilization so they wouldn't be disturbed. Their remains were never tampered with out of respect and fear.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What is a shaman?

A spiritual connection between man and nature. A bond spiritually with spirits that can hold an amazing power, a man considered to be in between men and the forces of nature. They were healers, curing sickness caused by evil spirits. They provided hunters with locations and also called animals to the hunters, also known for controlling weather, bringing success in war, and fortelling the future (Langdon, 2008). Known as medicine men, these people were translators between spirits and animals. Some being able to communicate between spirits that took animal form, or being able to enter supernatural realms to obtain answers to problems in the community. In the picture is a shaman curing a sick woman, notice his wand along with his head piece and the rest of his belongings, each serving its own unique purpose.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Shamans Wand

So in the museum I found this Tlingit shamans wand. I had trouble finding an object I wanted to focus on throughout this semester but after seeing this one and hearing about the spiritual link shamans have between nature and man, I was pretty excited. It wasn't so much the object that grabbed me but the people who use this object. I wanted to learn more and hear more stories about these intense people. This particular wand was gathered in the early 1900's. There are bear heads on each end, which could have represented the spiritual animal the shaman was linked to. Thats the cool thing about these people and their culture is that everything can tell a story, or carries some sort of meaning to it, or represent them in some way. I plan on sharing what I think is so exciting about shamans, their culture, and the way these people work throughout this blog and feel free to leave comments and let me know what you would like to know or even what you think.