Personal Development

The Shaman Within

– By Barbara Meiklejohn-Free

The sensationalist portrayal of a Shaman usually involves something rather foreign and ominous, harking back to times of sacrifice and secrecy. However, stripped back to its core a Shaman is simply one who is wise. They have come to learn and respect the natural laws, the many facets of the human being and the interaction between all life and lives – past, present and future. A Shaman knows their journey is ongoing and so uses all experiences as part of their growth, which they are always willing to pass on. As human beings we are all born with abilities to become wise and one with the natural world all around us. We all have the shaman within, if we choose to walk that path.

As children we are often asked want we want to do when we grow up…rarely are we asked how we want to be… this is the ultimate journey. Some choose to make that journey from an early age, and for some it dawns on them as the sunset of their life approaches, for others still they never undertake that journey. How, or when, you find the path is less important than your intention when you are on it. In other words, opening up to the Source of all Creation to receive life lessons that seek to bring you into balance and harmony, rather than looking to elevate your self at the expense of and above all others. Like all things in this life, we reap what we sow.shaman with border

Going on this journey to the shaman within doesn’t require you giving up daily life, disowning all you hold dear to retreat up a mountainside or dwell in a cave on the other side of the world. To the contrary, it involves gaining a deeper understanding of your connections to the physical, material and emotional world around you right now. Understanding yourself first, and your relationship with nature and people around you, is at the heart of shamanic teachings. Discovering the authentic you – who you are and who you are not, is what we term as answering the Calling. This wonderful, magical, challenging discovery employs all our senses. It engages our memories and imaginations, uses music, song and dance, wisdom of our ancestors and the energy of the elements as well as the kingdoms of flora and fauna. These combined slowly but surely weave a most magnificent tapestry of your very being, and in so doing opens up the whole Cosmos for you to enjoy!

Guidance & Protection
When we are ready to seek the shaman within it is important that we prepare ourselves as best as possible. Protection in this context is not about warding off evil spirits but rather ensuring that as we work on our emotional/spiritual state we do so in such a way that does not leave open wounds or any sense of fear behind. Shamanic work is about healing through experience and understanding. So here is a very simple practise for you to follow, either just before you undertake any work or at the start of a day…

Find a quiet space and light a candle. Sit comfortably and using your mind’s eye imagine yourself in the middle of a stone circle in nature, you can feel a gentle breeze and hear the song of the birds. Now say aloud…

Behold Great Mystery, Creative Force, Spirit which moves through us All. (Imagine yourself turning to face east) To the Keepers of the East, direction of new beginnings, show me your ways. (Imagine yourself facing south) To the Keepers of the South, direction of vitality, show me your ways. (Imagine facing west) Keepers of the West, direction of introspection, show me your ways. (Imagine yourself turning to face north) Keepers of the North, wisdom and transformation, show me your ways. (With either head raised or lowered) Oh Great Mystery that is at the Sacred Centre, hold me and cradle me in your divine protection, as I invite wholeness to my heart and to my world.

This month’s Power Animal is Deer
Deer Energy heightens our sensitivity, allowing for greater compassion and understanding. You learn to see the beauty within all life, making it a wonderful force to heal insecurities or doubt in yourself and others and to heighten positive social interaction.barbara

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.

sacred sites

Barbara Meiklejohn-Free
Sacred Sites Oracle Cards
Available from Watkins Publishing

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