A Shamanistic Experience

I feel like a lucky girl, because I’ve met so many amazing people across every corner of the globe – all of whom have their stories and their own peculiar interests, their diverse backgrounds, faiths, or they’re atheists – I don’t care what people’s stories are, I’ve just appreciated meeting them all, apart from a couple of challenging folk along the way. One such lady who came into my life about eight or so years ago, and who is a bit eccentric by some people’s standards, is Adrienne Kane. I love her – she’s out there, experiencing life, always open to new ideas, but strangely down to earth at the same time.

Adrienne is one of Singapore’s healers. She’s got a few talents – a Reiki teacher, Bach Flower/Bush Flower expert, a Body Talk pracitioner and newly added to the mix is Sacred Tree Essences from the Amazon. Adrienne defines herself as an intuitive, which means she gets a sense of “stuff” – a knowing or an understanding. I should point out that I’ve never done a healing session with Adrienne, I just like the way she thinks AND I enjoyed hearing about a recent adventure she had – because putting yourself into very uncomfortable situations for personal growth is always something I admire.

Adrienne recently travelled to the Amazon jungle to do a seven day Shaman’s workshop and it was one hell of an experience that I thought some of my readers might enjoy. She’s also going back this weekend for a second bout, so I’m sure it’s going to be different again. You see, Adrienne has always been interested in Shamanism, but one thing always turned her off – the dark side of the practice, or its fear-based practises. I feel the same about Voodoo. But then a friend told her about an experience he’d recently had, with a group of Shamans in the Amazon and this group works with the concept of universality – something that is definitely gaining more airwaves these days.  As such, they only practise the positive aspects of Shamanism.

What is Shamanism you ask? The Wikipedia definition is “Shamanism is an anthropological term referencing a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world. To quote Eliade: "A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = technique of ecstasy." Shamanism encompasses the belief that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds. Shamans are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul. Alleviating traumas affecting the soul/spirit restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness. The shaman also enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community. Shamans may visit other worlds/dimensions to bring guidance to misguided souls and to ameliorate illnesses of the human soul caused by foreign elements.”

So Adrienne headed off recently, flying into Lima, then onto Iquitos and then she jumped into the back of a truck for her adventure into the jungle. Staying in a very basic lodge on a beautiful lake, Adrienne was led for seven days by three Shamans – one Australian, one American and one Peruvian. These camps are held every couple of months and the focus is on being as one – not just during the camp, but always.

There were a lot of experiences from this time, but I asked Adrienne what her key take-aways were and she said:
  • “I think the greatest teaching I took away from this is everything is stories within stories within stories. So if you tell me a story, I wrap it up and contextualise it with my own stories, and then I tell someone and they do the same, and so on. We hear within the context of our own experiences and therefore we get stories within stories within stories. I just found this way of explaining it really effective and it teaches us not to attach to other’s stories – but human beings are drama queens so it’s natural to take on board other’s stories
  • The Ancients have always known that if we manage the elements the world works. The Shamans only focus on four – air, water, fire and earth – and so if we can manage these and balance them within us, we can journey as one
  • I experienced my soul fully and realised that there is nothing wrong, there is no judgement – we are absolutely perfect. Too often we let the exterior world define the interior world and I believe it needs to be the other way around”

The venue sounded amazing. No electricity, or hot water, or mobile phone access or Internet access – sounds blissful, well apart from the cold water because it is winter there right now!! But the group were able to be together, be open, hold nothing back, and experience some very ancient rituals and ceremonies that I think sound fascinating. Some went to detox, some to learn, some to explore Shamanism and everyone was changed by the process. Adrienne said everyone had to let their egos go on the first night, because the ceremonies were very confronting. It was also about surrendering control, and most importantly, about trust – because most of the students thought they were going to die at some point. So it was a very confronting thing to do.

Adrienne likened the experience to birthing kids, which included the absolute exhaustion at the end of it, but also said it helped her to understand why we’re all here. It’s about assisting others but it’s not about fixing others, as no one is less than anyone else. It’s about asking questions and seeking another viewpoint. If we continually explore concepts, we won’t judge or compete with each other. I like the idea of that.

“It was an amazing time and an amazing experience. I was able to completely switch off from the world. The concept of modern Shamanism is all about love – no fear – and we all need to try and react through love, because it is about appreciation of the lessons we are being taught that is most important. Therefore we don’t need to retaliate or react with fear; we just need to be kind. I was ‘attacked’ recently in a spiritual sense and I smiled and said thank you. I knew who did it, but rather than retaliate, I thanked them for the lesson – to me that’s what it’s all about”

And you know what, I hear a lot of people talking about love and most of the time I really don’t understand what they mean – it seems so wishy washy. But after this chat with Adrienne I think I got it for the first time as it applies to the human race as a whole.

So it seems Singapore may have a modern Shaman coming into being – if that is what Adrienne understands is her next step – and I am definitely very excited to know more and experience the ancient belief system of the Shamans. Let’s see?

Yours, without the bollocks
Andrea
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