by Chantal Guillou-Brennan —CHT, IEMI & Shamanic Practitioner and Teacher
The Origin of Shamanism
The word shaman is the English translation of the word saman, meaning "to know/to see" in the Evenk language of the Tungus people–an indigenous people of Altai Mountains in Siberia.
The term "shaman" (shamanism/shamanic) was popularized, mainly by anthropologists, historians of religion, and others working in the academic arena to describe the village or tribal mystic, or medicine man/woman. The Tungus used the word "saman" as both a noun and a verb, to describe a person and/or the actions of a person extra or high sensory perception and abilities, hence the alternate translation: "one who is excited, raised, moved" or "to know in an ecstatic manner."
However, there is some debate as to where the word saman comes from. We find derivatives of the word saman from the Tibetan as the name of Buddhist monk named Samana as well as from the Tocharian: samane, from the Prakrit: samaNa, from the Sanskrit: sramaNah, from sramah, all referring to diverse spiritual practice of state of mind.
Today the word shaman describes a type of medicine man or woman able to journey (virtual travel) to hidden worlds otherwise acknowledge through myth, dream, and near-death experiences. The purpose of such journey is to gain knowledge for the benefit of oneself or other, proving physical, emotional and spiritual healing or wisdom. Regardless of the culture the shaman is an altruist and use his gift to help other. He is known in different culture as the druid (Celts), the medicine man/woman (native american), the magi (middle east), the witch doctor (africa) or wizard/witches or sorcerer/ess (middle age Europe), a "rebouteux/guérisseur" (comtemporary France).
In fact the shaman's ability to perceive alternate reality can be described as the ability to perceive specific patterns of energy that the rest of the people is not aware of or able to perceive.
What is required to become a Shaman–Healer/Seer?
The first quality that a Seer/Healer possesses is the understanding of the interconnectedness of all life, the respect of life and the knowing that life is sacred as it is an expression of the Divine.
This respect engenders a simple openness of heart and mind that liberates the physical ability to commune with all the patterns of creation.
The shaman's ability to perceive alternate reality can be described as the ability to perceive patterns of energy that most people are not aware of and are not able to perceive. These patterns of energy are given various label from non-ordinary reality to spirits, totem spirit, power animals, guide residing in parallel worlds, angelic beings, spirit guides, masters...
Because the shaman is endowed with these skills in tribal culture the knowledge to perceive non-ordinary reality was transmitted from teacher to student or from one generation to another.
I believe that this ability was at one point in time much more common that it is today despite the popularity in shamanic studies especially here in the U.S. Our ancestor's extra sensory perception (ESP) was more acute because they were more in tune with nature. They spent more time in and enjoying nature and each other. They also had much less sensory stimuli bombarding them at many levels (physical, energetic.) Computers, TV and cell phones are keeping us physically apart and unaware of what others are truly experiencing (and not texting.) Yet, ESP abilities can be awaken in anyone who has the desire to do so.
As one begins to broaden his consciousness beyond “ordinary” reality and starts to perceive other landscapes and beings in “non-ordinary” realities—the reality not perceived by our regular five senses—he becomes aware of the interconnectedness of all things all forms of life. He see himself as a spiritual being part of a spiritual world with many aspects. This concept become the basis for the belief that shamanism is the root of all religions. Nevertheless, shamanism (as taught in the Mastery of Awareness™ program) is not a religion; it is an understanding and a way of life in which everything is perceived as having a spirit that is part of the whole–Great Spirit or God. Shamanism is a way of understanding and perceiving the universe or more specifically the Human and the Universal Energy Fields: it is the “Mastery of Awareness.”
Why the resurgence of Shamanism
Today there is a resurgence of interests in the occult and especially in the process of communicating with the unseen. Whether, it'll be talking to the dead or receiving messages from angels or other spiritual guides, groups, classes, psychic / tarot / palm reading and mediumship, these businesses flourish everywhere; with a younger and younger crowd attracted to this quick and easy fix to receive answers to their problems and guidance from “something” greater than themselves.
Many have lost their religion but they are still searching for that something greater: They are seeking faith to move forward in their live, wanting proof that there is more than this physical body, and ultimately that death is not the end. This yearning pushes many to adopt a new religion to feel Spirit, to worship, to experience the Divine. Paganism is apparently the fastest growing religion in the US, and shamanism is finding its niche among many who have rejected the way of their ancestors.
And so they adopt at time a whole new cosmology from a different culture like Native America or Peruvian shamanism to feel connected. Creating altars (mesas) emulating indigenous cultures who, unrenowned to them at time, still practice animal sacrifice! As I witness it during my trip to Guatemala.
However, they forget that the most important precept of these cultures is to honor tradition, culture, ancestors and their own faith!
Is Shamanism a religion?
Yes because shamanism is based on the specific belief that every expression of creation is alive, interconnected and imbued by the Divine. Yet, this belief is shared by many religions and spiritual people all over the planet and at times accepted as a principle instead.
No because one does not need to adopt a methodology of worship to apply the above principle. This belief is shared by many religions and spiritual people all over the planet and at times accepted as a principle instead. As such it is understood more as a way of life and a mode of perception than a worshipping of a particular "God".
The Mastery of Awareness™ Shamanism 101 training honors each participants' faith. Focusing on skill development, there is no need to adopt a new cosmology of deity when you can honor your own faith or spirituality, roots, ancestors while learning to master your awareness with century old practice common to countless cultures.
Are Shamanism and Animism the same?
Animism is the belief that every rock, tree, mountain, and river is inhabited by its own spirit and that everything in the universe is “animate”, has life, has a quality which makes it unique and has its own place in the universe. The implication is also that it is necessary to appease these spirits by offerings and worship. Shamanism does not always have this necessity. When taught respecting the way of a specific culture , ceremony may have this connotation. However, Shamanism, as taught in the MA program, is quite simply a set of tools used within the foundation and worldview of Animism. In addition to this worldview, Shamanism is the belief in the existence of spirits, both human and non-human residing in a “spirit world” or underworld, lower world, upper world, and middle world coexisting with us in this world. Shamanism may depending of the culture studied posits the existence of Spirit Allies who interact with these spirits in partnership or on behalf of the shaman/medicine man/woman.
STUDENT TESTIMONIAL: I would very much recommend the Shamanism 101 training intensive with Chantal. It was a full day of learning filled with synchronicities, spiritual support, and high vibrations. It felt safe and relaxed in the sacred space created by Chantal. Within a couple of weeks of participating in the training and applying what I had learned, I was able to accomplish something that I had previously attempted many times, but had not had the courage to carry out. It was a wonderful surprise to discover that the tools and techniques learned in this class could be life changing. — Maria B. from Bethany, CT.
What is required to learn Mastery of Awareness and “Shamanism”
Shamanism, and the healing techniques learned in this practice, requires dedication and discipline.
The same is true and to be expected with anyone wanting to explore and practice, remote viewing, astral projection and lucid dreaming, meditations--which are all related to altered state of consciousness induced by various techniques, from rhythm (as the drumming in shamanic journey) or breathing techniques and more complex recipes to achieve Out of Body Experiences (OBE).
The development of Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) comes gradually with the use of repetitive exercises. The process of shamanic journey induced by the rhythm of the drum and triggered by visualization is the usual technique taught in most class. The “transmigration” is am OBE technique used to navigate the4 Middle World which is taught in the Shamanism 101 and extensively used fro healing and divination.
Shamans do that but also healing practitioners, priest, ministers, and just about anybody who opens himself to the experience do it also. Some shamanic techniques to enter the trance state, to retrieve information, have their roots in the shamanic journey or what Robert Moss calls conscious/active dreaming-different from lucid dreaming.
The shamanic journey is an induced state of consciousness which enables the shaman to entrain is mind to use theta wave to perceive images, sounds, taste feelings, emotions, and physical sensation while awake and conscious. The trance is usually induced using a rhythmic sound pattern produced by a drum, rattle, bells or other percussion instrument but can also be reaches with mantras and mediation. Some musical CDs are now available to induce theta brain wave activity.
Native American shaman use drumming, rattling, chanting and whistling and seldom used hallucinogenic plants to induce this trance state.
South American shamans may use plant (Ayahuasca in Amazon Rain forest and Peru; Peyote in Mexico and Central America) in specific circumstances.
The Ayahuasca is a climbing vine (Banisteriosis Caapi) which twines itself around rainforest trees. It's name means "Vine of the Dead" or "Vine of the Soul" in the Quechua language, the language of the Incas. Combined with the leaves from the Chacruna bush (Psychotria Viridis), Ayahuasca becomes a very powerful and effective brew to help people in general, and shamans in particular, enter the "real' world of Spirits, dispelling the illusions and cleansing the pollution incurred in this “unreal” world of everyday life.
For information regarding everything you ever wanted to know (or not) about peyote visit: http://www.peyote.org/
The Mastery of Awareness™ PrinciplesThe first is that matter is an illusion because all is energy.
On the atomic level everything is composes or electron, proton, neutron thus everything is energy. Although our body appears to be very real, beginning with Einstein, modern physics has assured us that this solidity is a mirage. All of physical matter, everything we have around us, is the result of a frequency. And what that also means is, if you amplify the frequency the structure of the matter will change. Essentially our brain translates the different patterns of energy that surrounds us and labels them as being the chair or a person, a flower, etc.
The second is that consciousness does not reside in our brain
The myriad of reports of Near Death Experiences attest to this fact with individuals reporting events occurring while they were pronounced being clinically dead. Yet during the very first class you get to experience it for yourself. With one simple exercise you will travel outside your body and experience other realm while still sitting in your chair then sharing with your classmates you can verify that you did not make it up.
The third is that we create our reality.
We have extensive evidence in the field of quantum physics as well as the work of Masuro Emoto of the molecule of water and his Rice experiment. Lynn Mc Taggart's book The Intention Experiment takes this one step further looking at the power of our intention in the lab. We apply this principle in our practice to create the reality that best serves and respect all life.
The fourth is that time is an illusion and eternity is now.
Time in itself does not exist but it is the change in state or location that give the impression of time. Our consciousness is able to experience events, situations and personality in the past or future or alternate reality. Thru the shamanic and quantum jump to travel n time we can experience the past and future as well as parallel realities for ourselves and for others.
The fifth is that we are all One, linked Divine Love
When we understand that the particles of energy that we consider to be the sum total of creation (since matter is energy) is separated by vast amount of non energy equating 99.99% or everything it becomes evident that this unifying field is a field of consciousness not other than Divine Intelligence. It is the Rei in Reiki the Wuji and Chinese medicine; and every cell of our body or our universe is bathed and united by and in Divine love and Light!
What is unique about the Mastery of Awareness “Shamanism” training
Like every indigenous culture and culture we too honor our ancestors, our roots and our faith. Creating ritual, ceremonies to crystallize our intent, building sacred space to provide the peace of mind and invite our Spirit Allies to partner with us. We meet each person where they are and use our skills to bring light, love harmony and joy into expression. In addition to the basic journey process using the rhythm of the drum, we journey with a yogic breath and Binaural beats or Isochronic tones. To enhance our travel into the “Middle world” (third dimensional reality) we use the OBT Out of Body Transmigration
Benefits Mastery of Awareness™ program
Once you experience the true matrix of reality, you not only begin to develop your intuition and your High sensory Perception but you become aware of your relationship to source and all life. You realize that we are all one. From that perspective you no longer live as a Homo Sapiens but as what Dr David Hawkins coined to be an Homo Spiritus. We no longer live by the law of the jungle, focused on competition, survival and self-preservation but focused on harmony of the whole, self love which is love for all. Destroying life then becomes an aberration.
Therefore the goal of Mastery of Awareness is not the exploration of the unseen reality that surrounds us but by doing so we realize our true potentials as multidimensional being. We realize our true power of co-creator and use our new skill for self-healing and to help others. All of the exercises have application in real life situation and their application is only limited by your imagination. By the end of the program your 5 senses have expanded to include Extra Sensory Perception and intuition as well as intimate relationship with multi-dimensional beings.
Practicing Mastery of Awareness
As a child I played with this field in my dreams, daydreams and OBE; but I seriously began studying this field in 1999. Now, I use my new skills to read the energy field of a person and see inside to body. I can track into time to perceive potential reality. I also receive much help from my higher self. Recently I received a meditation that I would like to share with you to give you an idea of what is possible. I was told to share this meditation with the teachers. You can experience it here.
I use that same skill to write hypnosis script for my clients. As you may know hypnosis often relies on canned script to cure many issues; yet every one is different so after the initial interview I go into a meditative state to create a script that fits them and their belief system and talents. I hear the words and I write them down. When you learn to receive information in this way you can apply it to anything. If you are a scientist you can focus on your subject if you are a writer or an artist it is the same. Some of my best painting came to me completely done in a vision.
Each morning I spend time in meditation and read some uplifting text. When I have questions I ask my guide to answer them by letting the answers write themselves on the page. This method is not only enlightening, but also very comforting, as I know in that moment that I am supported and guided in my journey. The words are so profound that I know that it came from a part of my all-knowing Divine expression, which is at One with the Infinite Supreme Principle of the Universe; that principle which has brought all life into manifestation.
What to expect from the Mastery of Awareness program
As you go thru the program, which consists of independent classes taken at your own pace, you begin to go deeper into the mapping of your multiverse. I say your multiverse because each person will have a unique experience, while some aspect of his or her experience will be repeatable and identical by the rest of the group because we all create our reality but we also agree on a consensus reality to be true.
You begin to enjoy a deep communion with all expression of life. You begin to be more appreciative of who you are and your connection to everything and everyone. Joy is then found in simple moments of life.
With gratitude we can change our vibration from one of lack and fear to embracing abundance and joy.
The first step in any change is to become aware of what vibration we are nurturing in ourselves from there we have a choice. Exhale the undesirable and lift your gaze upward to inhale uplifting thoughts, which transmute your emotion. I invite you t take an active part in co-creating your reality and enroll in the Master your Awareness™ program.
Wishing you much success, and an abundance of love, joy and serenity.
by Chantal Guillou-Brennan —CHT, IEMI & Shamanic Practitioner and Teacher
I started studying shamanism in 1999 first with a friend who introduce me to my power animal.
I admit that I had many preconceived ideas about what shamanism was. Most of these ideas were fear based on teaching from my catholic up-bringing. Vision of spell and malefic spirit kept me from exploring this subject for years even though the opportunity presented itself several times!
With a trusted friend I took my first journey to the lower world to meet my power animal.
She brought me to a little room in her house that she called the Spirit Room. An ornate rug lay on the floor, a small altar stood in a corner with on it pictures of Jesus and Buddha as well as a feather and a candle.
First, she called the spirit of the directions starting with the East and to my surprise also called Archangel Uriel asking for clarity and wisdom during this journey. Yes Spirit/God had brought the perfect teacher to open my mind to this new and powerful teaching that would soon transform my life. One that could incorporate some knowledge akin to my spiritual background!
Turning clockwise to the South she rattled again and called Archangel Raphael the keeper of the South and thanking for the gift of physical healing. To the West she called Archangel Gabriel for emotional healing and the gift of intuition. To the North she called Archangel Michael for protection and empowerment.
I laid on my back with a handkerchief on my eyes and stated the intention for my journey 3 times: "I journey to meet my Power Animal".
My friend drummed while I follow the directions she previously explained: how to reach the lower world. I started in a place in nature that I loved. So here I was in the forest of my childhood in France I saw the ferns through which I loved to run. All was very clear, the colors were bright from the afternoon sun sipping through the thick canopy.
As I walked on the winding path that led me to a wellspring, I saw no animals, just trees, ferns and then it dawned on me, that what I truly loved, was the beach!
As soon as I formulated the thought I saw myself running to the rhythm of the drum on a golden sandy beach to a jetty, at the end of which I confidently plunged in the water. I surfaced again to see seagulls and asked : Are you my power animal?
They stubbornly pointed their beak to the water. I thank them and went under. A seahorse was just in front of my face and again asked: are you my Power Animal? Not very talkative the hippocampus started to move and I followed.
Suddenly, I felt and saw a grayish smooth shape brush against me. I turn and went to surface with the shape. We explode above the surface with Joy!
I knew as soon as it happened that it was my power animal—Dolphin. We swam and jumped and I flipped and played as I used to when I was a gymnast. I loved the feeling, it truly felt EMPOWERING.
The Power Animal for me is my primordial self. Sometime later, I had a journey to the Upper world where I experienced several past lives in a row, always begining as a fetus and evolving to a particular age knowing what I had learn and what I struggled with. The last image was a greyish shape coming toward me that made me recoil in shock and brough me out of the journey. Yet in retrospect afterwards, I recognized that it was Dolphin.
In my hypnosi practice i have had only a few people experiencing past lives as animals; but one of them verified that her Power Animal was the one same as in her past life.
As an archetype it represent my true essence and at that time in my life dolphin reminded me to play! As a mother of three I always had many excuses to play, I loved to play and create and it felt right. But it is years later on the Island of Hawaii that I found the rue meaning of Dolphin. For the Hawaiian Dolphin’s ability is multidimensional travel, which I have been fascinated with since my OBE as a child. As such I always suggest to my students to journey to their Power Animal to find the true reason for their Power Animal.
Recommend our classes and remind your friend to give "your" name when they fill out their registration form.