Sellwood Healing
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Shamanic Practice


Functions of Shamanism:

Soul Retrieval

Flight of the Soul

Shamanic Extraction

Power Animal Retrieval


What is a shaman?

The word shaman has its origins in Siberia and eventually came to be applied to all medicine men and women of indigenous cultures whose practice includes the flight of the soul or soul journey. Shamans are trained practitioners who are able to access non-reality or the spirit world to affect changes in a person's life.

Anthropologists studying indigenous cultures throughout the world began to find that for different cultures there were similarities in the way the medicine men and women worked with healing and connecting to the spiritual aspect of people and the world.


The practitioners of Sellwood Healing are well versed in shamanistic techniques and their applications. Contact us at (503) 351-3624 or for more information.


So then, what is shamanism?

As a healing practice shamanism has been very powerful for both the people of today and those reaching back into the beginnings of recorded history.

The shaman provides a unique and holistic approach to methods of treatment. They can shift their state of awareness to identify influences both inside and outside of the body that can cause disharmony and imbalance.

This shift of consciousness is called a soul flight. It allows the free part of the shaman's soul to leave the body. During the soul flight the shaman bi-locates, which means they are both in the room, and journeying in spirit. This brings an awareness of both aspects of reality at the same time. The shaman can then bring back healing power or retrieve information and soul parts that the person may have lost along the way.

The shaman addresses illness and healing in terms of the power of the individual. Shamans use journey work to retrieve energies that have been lost throughout a person's life. Shamans believe this energy can be returned to the individual. The shaman is said to be able to remove negative energies as well. These energies can manifest in an emotional or physical way. They may originate within the person or be sent to them by another. The result of this can manifest as physical maladies, mental issues, or emotional challenges. The intent of these shamanic activities is to bring balance back to the person, which promotes emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical health. The process of removing and balancing these energies is called shamanic extraction.

It is also believed that the soul can fracture in stressful situations as a protective mechanism. In psychological terms, this would be classified as the concept of disassociation.These vectors of soul energy can be dispersed throughout the person's timeline. Shamans call this soul loss. The shaman can journey to where the soul part was left and bring it back for reintegration through the process of soul retrieval. This is believed to restore the soul to spiritual health and balance, which can lead to healing all aspects of the individual.

A shaman may journey to bring power animals to help protect, heal, impart wisdom, and accompany the individual. Power animals are spiritual companions which may or may not have a physical form. A person can have more than one power animal and may have a variety of helpers come to them, including: animals, birds, reptiles, and so on.

There are a wide variety of tools and techniques that can be used by shamans. Percussion instruments such as rattles or drums, plants, water, stones, fires, and singing often accompany shamanic work.

There are certain techniques or perhaps skills that are considered elements of shamanic practice. Shapeshifting, merging, journeying, power animal retrieval, and seeing are some of the skills a shaman may utilize, as well as the ability to work over a long distance.

Some of the Shaman's tools and their uses:

  • Drum – The beating of the drum is said to allow the shaman to achieve an altered state of consciousness and to journey between the physical and spiritual worlds.
  • Feathers – Birds are seen as messengers of the spirits. Feathers from specific birds are often used in ceremonies and healing rituals.
  • Rattle – The rattle is used in blessings and ceremonies. The rattle can shake up stagnant energy blockages.
  • Ceremonial Knife -- The cermonial knife is used as a symbolic tool to remove unwanted energies and spirits.
  • Pipe – The pipe is smoked in ceremonies to honor Creator.



Aspects of the shamannic world:

  • Communication – The shaman can communicate with the spirit world by means of clear intention and focus.
  • Spirits – Spirits exist and play important roles both in individual lives and in human society. Spirits can be benevolent or malevolent.
  • Treatment – The shaman can treat sickness caused by malevolent spirits.
  • Out of the body travel – The shaman's spirit can leave the body to enter the supernatural world to search for answers.
  • Evocation – The shaman can evoke animal images as spirit guides, omens, and message-bearers.
  • Divination – The shaman can tell the future, scry, throw bones/runes, and perform other varied forms of divination
  • Vision quests – The shaman can initiate and oversee a vision quest for protection and healing of a person's soul and body.