By Barbara Meiklejohn-Free
The word ‘shaman’ conjures up images of mystical, old tribal people, dancing about in trance smoking, chanting and wielding their influence over flocks of desperate hopefuls in far flung villages. But this is not the ‘shaman’ I want to share with you.
The ‘shaman within’ is all that is good, wise, knowing, understanding and loving about you. The shaman within is your higher self, your authentic soul, your connection to Source. It is a part of Universal Energy, a part of Creation itself. The shaman within is the home of all the potential to be what you were created to be. And to unlock that part of you, we have been gifted the ‘rites of passage’ unveiling just the right amount of information at just the right time throughout our lives.
Today, in the world that we have created, we have lost the understanding and importance of those rites and with them the tools to fulfilling our soul’s purpose. But as with all things that are lost and not destroyed, there is the opportunity to find them again. Our rites help us to respect the differences between the ages, the sexes, the cultures. And by understanding why we differ we are exposed to the importance of what makes us all unique and shines a light on our key fundamental common truths.
In Western Europe we have perhaps the most diverse populous and some of the oldest cultures, and in the quest to embrace all we have quashed our roots, our defining rites of passage, many of which came from the North and from the East, which were carried across the waters to the South and further West with new populations changing and evolving and then diluting away…
We are now looking to reclaim the basic fundamentals; birthing, naming, adolescence, womanhood, manhood, healing and so on in order that we can experience this life to the best of our potential, that we can smell the roses as we journey, that we can enjoy each other, our jobs, the sports we take part in, the places we travel too to their fullest. The time has come to understand what it is that life presents us; the lessons from which we can learn, the experiences from which we can grow and the knowledge gained with which we can teach. While there is breath in our bodies, it is never too late to open our minds and hearts to the possibilities of transformation in this lifetime. Though as adults, many of us have some catching up to do, the rites of passage relate more to our soul’s evolvement than to age or time itself and so we can heal our childhood wounds, claim our spiritual names, progress through the key stages into maturity in the form of workshops, shamanic residentials, even visiting sacred sites and hearing stories – telling our own too.
When people live feeling they matter, when they are loved and can love others, when people can contribute in some way, then the seeds of doubt, envy, anger, resentment and frustration have no place to take root. People who are content in life, who know that though bad things may happen, they will be able to cope, have no need to judge others, to exploit others…to take up arms against others. When our soul is being listened to our voice is heard.
Reclaiming our rites of passage empowers us with the opportunity for universal freedom and peace; our rites of passage are our path to Nirvana, right here on Earth, right now.
About the Author: Barbara Meiklejohn‐Free is a healer, author, teacher and storyteller – all of which she employs in weaving the ancient craft of the Shaman. Drawing on her extensive work with the Native American traditions, as well as those of many other indigenous cultures including her own Pagan heritage, she is a recognized expert in assisting people to explore the Calling, in vision questing, in performing initiations and in hosting ceremonies across the globe. Barbara has been communing with Spirit since the age of 12 and her work today is synonymous with integrity, authenticity and vision. Her no‐nonsense, hands‐on approach has helped thousands to reclaim their natural gifts through her many talks, readings, performances, seminars and residential workshops.
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