I am a homoeopath who runs a shamanic journey group – both to me are linked in their ability to facilitate healing, and both for me also have deep roots in our relationship to disease and how we can heal.
Healing began somewhere – way back when in many traditional cultures, it was linked intricately to a sense of honouring the sacred within us.
So how does the practice of homeopathy relate to a powerful connection with the sacred and, ancestral healing, and an ancestral bond? The answer for me is within the roots of shamanism itself.
Within my own homoeopathic practice, I create room to explore how I can ‘make medicine’ to assist the individual in connecting to their own answers. I do this through the consultation, by listening; through the healing I give with each appointment, and through prescribing homoeopathy, herbs, essences and meditations. Shamanism is the same in this respect now as it possibly ever was – because to find out how best to help someone, you have to get to the root, the root of the ailment, dis-ease, discomfort.
Each remedy has unique properties, and also its own vibration, resonating in a specific way so as to bring the person’s ailment together with a match – like with like. It is for me like standing in front of a mirror, what looks back at you is a representation of you, it is not you, so the remedy is not necessarily the same as the person, it is like the person is presenting.
I am drawn to shamanic journey work to support others in their quest to heal wounds and patterns, both old and new.
Something which one of my very wise teaches said to me early on which has also helped me in the enquiry of how ancestral healing is relevant to my practice, is that the more complicated the case, the simpler the treatment. In which case, the sophistication of the remedy or remedy combinations needs to be understood at a profound level. To learn truly the scope of a remedy, essence or herb, to ‘journey’ with it will bring you an ally, a true resonance with its power and potential, and a profound understanding of what it is, in all its levels. Our ancestors have two parts to play, one is the legacy they have left – ancient tools to help the process of healing, and the other is the pattern present in each of us when addressing a specific illness (including miasms).
Shamanism of ancient times practised this art, of getting to know a medicine, by eating it, being with it, waiting for its messages to arise and listening to everything it taught. For homoeopaths, the closest to this you may have experienced is by doing a ‘proving’. This intuitive practice allows a practitioner to be at one truly with sacred medicine, but also it’s extremely practical, as once you have done a ‘proving’ you don’t really forget the results!
And so the scope of a ‘proving’ if you are connected to the experience will give you access to the subtleties of a medicine first hand, and provide invaluable first hand experience.
Some ailments are deeply emotional in nature, and the skill to ‘make the medicine’ and to discern what is necessary also has another dimension. Not only does a remedy give us the possibility of helping the path to cure, by our own inner work (through provings, meditations and our own healing experiences), but also can be supported by a process which takes the healing directly into the history of the patient.
Journeying comes in right here – as traditionally a medicine person would not only have given medicine, they were healers too, and still are. For me, using ancient and modern methods, journeying allows the person being treated to connect to the process of healing in an active participatory way – they take responsibility.
In this context the participants experience an alpha state (calm and extremely relaxed), the meditative state which is conducive to relieving stress, anxiety and helping the body to alleviate itself from trauma of different kinds.
So, if they are not doing a proving, and are not the practitioner, how does this happen? The shamanic journey itself is an ancient practice, in which a person connects to the beat of a drum synchronizing their heartbeat to the beat of the earth. Whilst in this meditation, they access something called non-ordinary reality. This place, experienced consciously, is the portal to the healing. Three realms are accessed, the upper world, which is ethereal in nature, the middle world which is our ‘now’ and the lower world, which is earthy and deep.
The process begins by lying down, comfortable, eyes closed as the drum starts, and a portal guides the person to the place in non-ordinary reality most conducive to personal healing. I often guide people to explore the lower world, as this is the place where most often grounded solid answers are experienced, (the shaman or practitioner is holding the space for the individual or group during all this time), and this portal will be a place in nature known to that patient, a tree, a waterfall, somewhere in nature which is beautiful. After this an initiation process guides the person to meet their guide or power animal, spirit personified in nature, taken on the attributes that will be most helpful and mirror strengths much needed.
After this dialogue can begin, the person experiences landscapes, scenery, places spontaneously, and is able to ask questions of their guide in a safe supportive environment. To those who have never journeyed, I liken it to speaking to Aslan in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, or Alice in Wonderland as she travels down the rabbit hole, but I try very much not to put suggestions forward other than this – as the true power in this experience is that it is yours, and that the shaman is there to hold the space only. We always journey with a question; it is a quest to connect to the truth rising from our own enquiry.
It is the perfect place to ask questions, consolidate thoughts, ponder and release ideas and issues, and come back through the portal once the drum beat changes. Why and how does it work? It is an ancient practice, thousands of years old, it works because at the very least, the power of the drum slows the body down and provides meditation, and beyond that, can facilitate and invariably does facilitate something which is so often missing from healing today – the ability for the individual themselves to find their own answer, at the level which resonates with them the most.
Meeting your own unique guide is a hugely empowering process, and connecting to an inner journey which takes a person far outside the linear restrictions of conventional modern thinking, to an expansive place where reality and truth grow, to reveal messages which are not driven or influenced by what we have been told to think and feel, but which come from an ancient place where something is being fixed which is far more metaphysical than we usually allow! After the callback, the participants return after typically 20 minutes or so, with greater clarity of mind and focus.
If you have ever given birth, or been in a room with someone who has given birth, you will see that with the right conditions, the body remembers something it has never done before, so does the soul being born. What journeying facilitates in this same way is the connection that reaches so far back in time; it reestablishes a connection to our own ancestors and the legacy of their memory held within our cells. For in my understanding, not only does our current issue have a place to be explored, it is also a place where we can start to leave behind the cellular memory, inherited patterns and junk which doesn’t belong to us.
It also makes sense in my mind, when looking at how sound waves and affirmations are vibration, which affects the cellular memory as explored in the research by Masaru Emoto.
So, going back to provings for a minute, or taking medicine in a metaphysical context, we journey and resonate with the qualities that medicine gives and shares. The result is the truth being experienced through a change in the condition of the patient. When we journey with a question, we match the question with the answer which is right for us – like with like, and the result is what we come back with at the end of our quest. Although there are deeper methods available (including soul retrieval, related but more facilitated by the shamanic practitioner), I find that if someone can journey, there is a place where they always know they can go, which will give them support and strengthen their relationship to themselves at the same time.
Within shamanic homoeopathy, we journey with remedies – a lot – in order to understand their nature, in the way that shamans of the ancient and modern times still do.
When our findings take us to using this medicine for a patient, our own ability to resonate at a deeper level gives its own quality to the way we prescribe, for me, an echo of the past, a vibration that transcends time giving a metaphysical quality to the healing experience.
I hold regular shamanic journey groups open to everyone, as well as day retreats for more experienced participants, and frequently they are opportunities for self healing in which the input of the person experiencing the journey is key to their own healing, strengthening their relationship to self, and to ancient shamanism, the healing of our ancestors.
Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide by Sandra Ingerman
Spiritual Bioenergetics of Homoeopathic Materia Medica volume 1 & 2. By Dr Yubraj Sharma
Messages from Water by Masaru Emoto