Category: Journeys Hits: 1952
“Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by its breathtaking moments.” -Michael Vance
In shamanism, the belief that there is no death is a concept grounded in the belief of the soul existing in a never-ending process of regeneration. Our soul remembers our ancient past, engages with our current environment, and knows our future lives. We live forever and our soul is immortal.
Our existence, however, is marked by numerous transitions—both between our many lives and sometimes even within the frame of what we view as the current physical life. Emotionally and spiritually, one of our most dramatic transitions involves the leaving of this physical vessel that we currently occupy and the passing to the next realm of our eternal existence.
For many people this is understandably a traumatic moment and a transition that might be fraught with fear and anxiety, but the lessons of shamanism can provide a perspective that differs significantly from the traditional Western view of dying, which is characterized by the finality of an “ending.” The key to unlocking the mysteries of existence lies in the understanding of the continuity of life and the eternal nature of the soul. Mystery—that wonderful realm of what we sense is there, strive to know, and replicate in our creativity—is the defining nature of spirituality and certainly the essence of our transitional experiences. As Carl Sagan noted, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” Shamanism offers a way to know the soul as an eternal shape shifter, endlessly regenerating into limitless forms—some human, some not.
One of the wonderful experiences of the shamanic practice is to see one’s existence in the context of a universe unified not just in its physical state but also in time. Time is not just a linear condition of loss and gain, but a summative experience that unifies all into a singular moment of “here, now, and forever.” The transition that the limited vision calls death, the shaman sees as one more of an infinite number of transitions in the soul’s experience. The lesson to be learned is “how to see and understand the transition we call death and to experience its mystery as a revelatory moment in our eternal existence.” In this way, we focus on the positive energies of the wonderment and beauty of existence and the promises of life.
The basic understanding of the death process from the shamanic view involves working with the souls that are transitioning and, in the process, assisting others connected with the transitioning soul to find peace in a difficult time. There are actually four things that I teach that I feel are important to bring this understanding into full view.
- First, how to help a soul as it is transitioning from its human form into its light body, which we typically call death.
- Second, how a student might learn to journey to his own death and see what his soul might decide to do and how it might behave in this process, dependent on the individual’s belief system.
- Third, how to journey to the soul of a person who has died and to find closure with that person or to ask him what he experienced in his process.
- Fourth, how to help a soul that is caught between worlds, a discarnate being that has lost the physical body, but is not yet in contact with the divine—a dilemma that fear, attachment, or a non-defined belief system can create.
In this article, I’m going to concentrate on the first lesson and I will write in the future about the other three practices.
Shamanism involves a belief that we create our reality on the earth. You might be familiar with this concept and may well have experienced the life-altering effects of changing your life by the way you choose to see your own reality. What you may not have considered is that this altering of reality through our change in attitude and energy extends into the afterlife. In other words, we create our continuing reality even after our soul leaves the body. This is done through our belief system. Just as our belief system determines our current reality, it will also determine the direction and nature of our future existence.
What I have found as a shamanic practitioner is that many people do not have a very refined belief system, so there is a lot of confusion once the soul or the divine essence leaves the body. In other words, it just doesn’t know what to do. That is why in classes we take journeys to experience what our own soul will do. These journeys allow a person to look at what is in current motion or the probability of what is going to happen and then make adjustments, if they don’t like what they see.
Another thing that I find as a shamanic practitioner in the United States is that there are many lost souls, or wandering souls, that haven’t made it to the light. I personally feel that Western cultures with their hodgepodge of belief systems create this scenario. In indigenous cultures there are very distinct belief systems that the entire tribe believes in and adheres to. This not only gives the soul a template to follow, but there is a collective power in that the entire tribe believes the same thing. This collective belief is like rocket fuel to the soul of the transitioning person.
For example, the Lakota people believe that the name of a person that has transitioned should not be spoken for one year. This gives the soul plenty of time to make its transition and not be called back to the planet. A memorial is done after a year to honor the person.
They also believe that the path the soul will take is through the canupa (pipe), which is the constellation that we call the Big Dipper. The Lakota believe that you will be met by your ancestors and ushered to the appropriate place. In the Celtic tradition, all souls transition during All Souls Day (November 1st). Many people dance on the graves of the deceased and sing them across to the other side. There are also rituals and ceremonies that shamans help with on this night. One such ritual is called the Wild Hunt. The Tibetans have very defined death rituals that are done to the body during its transition process that ensure safe passage of the soul to the other side.
These are just a few examples out of hundreds of practices that help the soul transition safely to the other side. The important aspect of these examples is that there is a common focus and a shared belief system that concentrates the power of the many in creating a transitional passage for the eternal soul. In our Western culture, one rarely finds this compelling power generated from a collective belief. If one’s belief system accepts the existence of an immortal soul in a unified universe, it is essential that we make an effort to understand the nature of the transition from this life, bring our energies to the process to help the one transitioning, and allow ourselves to appreciate that our loved ones are forever with us in a perfect universe.
I encourage my students to take the time to reflect and to determine what they actually believe about death and immortality. This is a very personal experience for each person. In my own family, we have discussed this as a group, not to argue about who’s right but to have an honoring of each individual’s belief system. I have actually written down our responses so if it ever happens that one of us transitions, all of us left behind can envision that soul taking that path to its next phase. This way we can also be that rocket fuel for the departing soul – just like in the indigenous cultures.
We will all find ourselves at some time in the presence of an individual transitioning from this life into the next existence. This exercise of sharing our thoughts regarding a passing is important for any loved one in the transition process. Bringing the energy of a positive force regarding the eternal nature of the soul can create an appreciation of our existence and the significance of our unity with the cosmos.
Conversations regarding death are uncommon in our culture, and the discomfort around the subject leaves a void that might be filled with negative energy or fear. In the shamanic practice, there is the possibility of creating a positive energy by recalling that mortality only references the physical body, a fragile and temporary shell, and that the true self resides in a soul that is forever in transition. This does not discount the significance of this moment in existence, for the celebration of a life well lived demonstrates the significance of every individual in the oneness of existence. It places us in the context of the universal truth that time is endless, that life is a condition of continuity, and that we are all connected in a single array of associations. Every birth, every event of life, and every death is linked endlessly in the universe’s grand design and each is but one more transition that we all share and will always be a part of.
In the recent past I have experienced the death of my father and, more recently, my mother. Each experience was painful and difficult, but I learned much about the nature of our life in this moment in time. My father had been ill with cancer for some time, and I had created a Transition Blanket in preparation for his imminent death. He seemed to struggle in his passing and his expression appeared pained and conflicted. When my father died, he died with an expression of horror frozen on his face. My stepmother instantly succumbed to a wrenching fear that something awful had just happened to her beloved husband on the other side and that he was now trapped in a terrible place, for eternity. She was inconsolably distraught. In my own heart, I knew how much my father had always dreaded death and his ultimate passage into unknown realms. Once this inevitable moment was upon him, it was impossible for Dad to conceal his terror any longer. I felt certain what we’d seen on my father’s face was simply a lifetime of fear at last releasing itself; though realizing this brought little solace. In my journeywork and prayers, I had imbued the blanket with love, peace, and helping spirits for his transition. When it was placed over my father, I continued my meditations of a peaceful transition for him. When the blanket was removed, his countenance was one of serenity and calm—the blanket had done its work. We do have the ability to influence the soul in its transition to its next reality.
My mother’s passing was quite different. Her grandchildren, a close friend, my husband and I were present in her room, and the spirit was one of immense love and connection. She enjoyed the presence of what she called “my whole crew.” There was laughter and conversation about fond memories in the hours preceding her demise, and the shared happiness filled the room with love. Her passing was serene and peaceful. I felt the loss of her physical presence strongly, of course, but I knew that she traveled to another place in the spirit of affection and loving relationship, and that her continuing journey was perfect. My mother and I had also done pre-transition journeys, and discovered that her “true love” was waiting for her on the other side. He had not incarnated in this lifetime experience, so their reconnection was greatly anticipated.
Woody Allen once jokingly said, “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.” His humorous comment defines that egocentric need that human’s have to be self-perpetuating. Mortality has always been the central dilemma of existence and religions have all focused on the question, offering many scenarios as to how we perpetuate ourselves. Whether in a heavenly paradise in the afterlife, a reincarnation into another being, or a ghostly existence in perpetual suspension, our religions and belief systems offer us hope. Other than our seeing the universe as fragmented and ourselves as separate entities in existence, we hold no greater illusion than that our life is but a brief moment in time and then is no more.
The magnificence of the universe as revealed in the astonishing reality of a leaf glowing red in the autumn sky belies any such existential sense of meaninglessness. We exist because the cosmos wills it, and we should not be so inclined to deny its perfection. When we are as one with the universe, we can also accept our own perfection and recognize the immortality of our perfect souls.
About the Author
Jan’s philosophy is to assist individuals in gaining their own personal empowerment, which in turn promotes self-healing, better communities, and a healthier world. The LightSong School of Shamanic Study is a culmination of decades of experience as a Shamanic Practitioner and Counselor and as a teacher. For more information, see www.lightsong.net.
Jan trained with the Foundation of Shamanic Studies, Sandra Ingerman, and with many individual shamans. She shares her skills and experience through individual healing sessions, courses and ceremonies that promote personal growth and spiritual healing. Using shamanism and skills such as journeying, focusing the mind, self discovery and spiritual practices, Jan has built not only a school, but a vibrant, active community of healers, seekers and well beings.
In addition to being a Shamanic Practitioner, Jan is also an Usui, Tibetan, and Karuna Reiki Master®, a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Chemical Dependency Specialist, and a Hypnotherapist.
Crystal Wind™See us onand Follow us on
ॐ Namasté - Blessings!
© 2008-2018 crystalwind.ca. All rights reserved.
Archive: Andels Journeys
- 2018 (15)
- October (1)
- September (2)
- August (1)
- July (1)
- June (1)
- May (3)
- April (1)
- March (1)
- February (1)
- January (3)
- 2017 (41)
- December (1)
- November (5)
- October (2)
- September (3)
- August (5)
- July (3)
- June (8)
- • The Trap of Righteousness
- • The Commercialization of Spirituality - A Multi-Billion Dollar Corporate Takeover!
- • Loneliness
- • The Masks Are Coming Off - Unveiling False Teachers
- • The Dynamics Of Fear In Fear Inducing Times
- • 10 “Spiritual” Things People Do That Are Total Bullshit
- • Karma Teaches Jerks A Valuable Lesson In Life
- • Is The New Spirituality Just A Trend?
- May (4)
- April (2)
- March (2)
- February (3)
- January (3)
- 2016 (29)
- December (5)
- November (3)
- October (3)
- August (1)
- June (1)
- May (1)
- April (3)
- March (3)
- February (3)
- January (6)
- • My Pleasure
- • Vancouver Man With Stomach Cancer Is Selling Unconditional Love On Craigslist For $0
- • Carefree People Don’t Have Attachments - Here Are 25 Reasons Why
- • Are Family Members Toxic? 10 Things to Remember
- • The World As We Know It Has Changed And There Is No Going Back To What We Were - 6 Predictions
- • How To Get More Energy: 8 New Secrets Backed By Research
- 2015 (50)
- December (4)
- November (6)
- • Neutrality — The Gateway To Transcend The Matrix
- • Soul and Personality
- • Dalai Lama on Paris & Syria – A Message for Peace
- • Know Yourself. Heal. Self-Liberate. Experiment. Build Community.
- • Groundbreaking Discovery: Man Solves Tesla’s Secret To Amplifying Power By Nearly 5000%
- • Johnny Depp Intends To Buy Site Of Wounded Knee Massacre And Gift It Back To The Native American People
- October (10)
- • Waking Up The Goddess: Where Men Meet Women
- • Why we cry
- • You’re Not Wrong
- • Canada’s New PM Issues Challenge to US – “We’re Ending Wars and Legalizing Pot”
- • Meet the USA's First School District to Serve 100% Organic Meals
- • Going Through Shadows: The Vortex Of Transformation.
- • The Rise of Lowsumerism
- • There is something extraordinary happening in the world
- • Three Ways Canadian Thanksgiving Differs From American Thanksgiving
- • Leonardo DiCaprio - Bring Down Big Oil Corporations
- September (3)
- August (2)
- July (2)
- June (6)
- May (5)
- April (2)
- March (1)
- February (5)
- January (4)
- 2014 (56)
- December (2)
- November (4)
- October (4)
- September (5)
- • Water on Earth predates Sun, meaning our life originated elsewhere – study
- • Buffalo Treaty: Native tribes sign bison revival plan in US and Canada
- • US to pay largest Native American nation $554 million in landmark settlement
- • Being Vegan and Raw Vegan Lifestyle
- • New Experiment Will Answer Some Mind-Bending Questions On Whether We Live In a Hologram
- August (3)
- July (3)
- June (4)
- May (2)
- April (3)
- March (7)
- • Spring Into the Adventure! How the Symbolism of Frogs Can Support Us Through Change
- • The Gateways Are As Open As You Are
- • Shifting Seasons And Time…..
- • Marching Forward
- • Stanford Physicist: Vast, Powerful Realm Between Particles Influenced by Human Consciousness
- • We Are Living In The Most Important Time In The History Of The Universe - Dolores Cannon Discusses Our Current Paradigm
- • Creating A Path Where There Is None
- February (9)
- • February Update
- • Finding Direction When You Feel Lost
- • How Our Narratives Inform Our Hopes for Change
- • Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency Mitigation
- • The Alchemy of Responsible Reflection
- • How You Attract Information In A Vibrational Universe
- • 'You shall not pass!' Native American groups vow to block Keystone XL pipeline
- • Architecture of the Light
- • Meeting Our Past Selves Outside Of Time
- January (10)
- • Journey to the Enchanted Forest – Your New Moon & New Year Power Animal Awaits
- • Year of the Horse is Upon Us – Ready, Set, Go!
- • The 118 Days of Creation
- • How Much Are You Filtering Your Truth? – Image Alterations Aren't Just For Big Media Anymore
- • Eight Signs You May Be Experiencing a Spiritual Awakening
- • 13 Signs You’re a Witch
- • How To Tell If You Had A Past Life In Atlantis
- • How Do I Know If It’s My Soul or My Ego Talking?
- • The Baby and the Bath Water
- • The Foundation for All Healing
- 2013 (104)
- December (12)
- • Activate Your Creative Power With Conscious Intention
- • Riding the Train of Life – Symbolism to Navigate the Tracks of Your Journey
- • Are We the Makers of Our Own Fate?
- • Lighting Your Truth to Freedom, Passion & Inspired Leadership – Closing Chapter 2013 to Write Chapter 2014′s Lively & Instinctual Year of the Horse
- • The Power of a Poor Night’s Sleep
- • Why Entrepreneurship Is A Spiritual Expression Of Freedom
- • Death and Dying from a Shamanic Perspective
- • Sliding Home For Christmas
- • The Solstice Vibe
- • You’re Only As Strong As Your Weakest Link But As Wise As Your Strongest
- • The Speed of Infinity
- • World Aids Day – December 1st
- November (29)
- • The Courage To Live Box Less -- Getting Outside The Label Labyrinth
- • The Quantum Leap Ascension Process
- • Toronto Named Most Youth Friendly City
- • Thanksgiving Day Recalibration
- • Stop Looking And See
- • Getting the Doomsday Hunger?
- • What I Hope to Be Next Year
- • At The Point of No Return
- • The Faery Referral Network
- • Thoughts on Compassion and Detachment
- • Top Ten Myths About Being a Psychic/Healer
- • Tell the “Lords” of Karma That You Are Sovereign – No Longer a Lightworker Part 2
- • Where New JFK Evidence Points - 50 Years Later + Videos
- • 3 Reasons Why It’s Better to NOT Manifest a Soul Mate Relationship
- • 10 Tycoons Who Meditate Daily To Keep Up With Their Hectic Business Life
- • Why We Should Rethink What We've Been Told About Consciousness
- • The Value of “Sloth” – Expanding Our Perceptions for Greater Wisdom
- • Why Your Voice Matters and How To Get Heard
- • Breaking the Barriers of Belief
- • Stop Being "Positive" & Start Getting Real (Joy) In Your Life
- • Are We Living in the Matrix?
- • Is the Sharing Economy Here Yet?
- • Find Your Power in Self-Sufficiency
- • Heads Up
- • Plants Exhibit The Same Senses As Humans And See, Touch, Smell, Hear and Even Taste
- • Healing The Wound(s) Within The Heart Chakra
- • True or False? I Am Perfect Just As I Am
- • Indigenous Elders and Medicine Peoples Council Statement on Fukushima
- • A Phoenix Rising - A Recommended Read
- October (18)
- • 20 Good Reasons to Have Clear Personal Boundaries
- • Let Go of Who You Are to Become What You Might Be
- • How to Be Happy: The 10-Day Happiness Challenge
- • The Law of Assumption
- • A Message from the Faeries
- • New Device Stores Electricity On Silicon Chips
- • The NAME
- • 6 Big Excuses That Can Derail Your Life
- • A Clean Break
- • An Original Blueprint
- • Your Angry Voice Demolishes Your Brilliant Argument
- • Where the Action Is NOW– Relationships
- • Homo Luminous: The New Human
- • The Two New Humanities
- • How Do I Discern the Real from False?
- • Walking on Sacred Ground
- • Not All Have Halos
- • AGAIN, Remember Who You Are
- September (14)
- • Be Careful of How You Use Words!
- • Frequency Gates – What The Heck Are They?
- • Following Our Joy to Find Freedom
- • You`ve Been Warned: Why You Need To Be Ready for Total Grid Failure
- • Spirituality and Ethics in Business
- • Life – The Projection From Within
- • 10 Ways to Shift Your Consciousness
- • The Fall Inside
- • Fall Equinox-The Gate Closes
- • Self Honesty May Deepen the Bliss Into Actualization and Full Embodiment
- • Changing Dynamics of Relationships
- • Biophotons
- • Autumn Equinox 2013 Cosmic Weather Forecast
- • Autumn Equinox: The Archangel Michael Meditation
- August (4)
- July (4)
- June (3)
- May (12)
- • How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times
- • The World of Opposites: A New Take
- • The God Gene
- • Souls of Animals
- • What If Television News Disappeared?
- • Every Warrior’s Achilles Heel
- • Building Your Spiritual Muscles
- • Transmuting Collective Human Consciousness By Channeling Light
- • Is DMT the Gateway to Hell?
- • The Psychological Crossroad of An Unhappy Life
- • Science Finds Fountain of Youth Brain Region That Slows Down Aging
- • Remember The Power Of The Voice
- April (6)
- March (1)
- February (1)
- December (12)
- 2012 (5)