A Weekend with a Shaman

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These notes are just a brief summary of my own impressions. Several other people were in the class with me, and I can’t speak for their experiences.

Day 1: Intro
It was dark by the time we met. We all sat on a circle on the floor, the lights were turned off, and the space was lit by only candlelight. We pulled out our drums, and Daniel had extra rattles, and we drummed. The natural light, and drums created the “cave” needed for this training. Daniel Lupinski spoke of his background in completing his studies with Michael Harner, author of Way of the Shaman through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and then his journey of living with the Navajo for five years and experience in practical Shamanic Healing. His method was to involve each of us to construct the class . . . who we think we are, what we hope to gain. No two of his classes are the same, because it depends on the people who are there. The bulk of his shamanic practice is dealing one on one with individuals, and he adapted these techniques to work with a group.

We practiced guded journeys in the “middle world” and “underworld” and met with our spirit animal guides, if we could discover them. Four hours passed and we had just scratched the surface.

Day 2: Advanced
Each went through our own partial cleansing . . . identifying the ancestral/parental influences and “possessions” housed in our bodies and casting those out, as well as retrieving pieces of ourselves we may have lost along the way. The goal was to be clear of external influences and whole.

My cleansing:
Covered by a sheet and clothed only in my underwear, I lay down on the blanket. A shamanic journey drumming CD was started so Daniel could focus on the work. Candlelight illuminated my head and upper torso, fading to shadows at my feet. The Shaman (for Daniel merges with his shaman-spirit guide throughout) guided the process with questions like. “Where do you feel your mother?” “Put your hands on your face, who do you feel there?” Then I would reach in and pull out whatever wasn’t me and cast it off, returning it to those to whom it came from. The Shaman facilitated the process by blowing the stuff away with smoke, and guiding the questions, assisting my efforts through rattling and other techniques, and instructing me what to do. Generally, he watched over the process, guiding and assisting me as needed. I found a good deal of stuff wound in deep that I could give back to the spirits of my deceased Mother and Grandmother. I sent my animal totems to retrieve any parts of myself that they may have held, as well. I pulled out some additional intrusions, which weren’t possessions, and dissolved them in water, which was later returned to the earth.

In the end, I felt lighter. I now feel like I can scan my own body and identify when I am not whole or where there are blockages, and use my spirit guides as assistants to help me. I think Reiki and Pranic Healing are great for working on a pure energy level here, as well. The difference with the Shamanic technique is that it reflects something more physcial and visceral. On a purely psychological look at it: the ritual seperation adds a level of meaning which makes my wholeness “feel” more real.

Summary:
Did I learn all I hoped to learn in two days? Yes. From the beginning, we knew we would only be scratching the surface. Am I going to stop the work here? No. For me, this was jump-start along my exploration of shamanic and transformative magickal techniques. I plan to do more journeying and studying along these lines. I specifically want to learn more about the Northern European history and shamanic techniques, because that is my tribal heritage.

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