Shamanism is the path of the visionary mystic. We need to see what is happening around us with clear objectivity, both in our ordinary reality and in non-ordinary reality, as well as the Otherworld realms where we journey. But we also need to see what the outcome can be, something that might not yet have form in the outer world. That takes imagination.
I did not fully understand this when I first started on my shamanic path. I was focused on getting information accurately, so that I knew I was truly engaging with Spirit and Spirit helpers. I was afraid of making things up, and so I kept trying to compartmentalize my imagination and I pushed it to the side. My first shamanic teacher saw that and tried to discourage that practice.
She needed to teach me the value of using my imagination, so she took me through an exercise. I was to close my eyes and imagine what my life would look like if I could do and be absolutely anything without any limitations at all. Well, that was hard for me. At first I did not know how that would look. The ‘anything” was so overwhelming all I could see was nothing. I decided to start with something simple. I tried to imagine myself sitting on a boat in the tropical sun surrounded by clear azure water and jumping dolphins. Then a thought surfaced with “You’ll get seasick”. Ah, interesting. I tried many different scenarios. I found that I either had a hard time unplugging myself from my current life circumstances or that I would not be able to see around the laws of physics of how something would be achieved, like removing every bit of plastic from the oceans. My brain kept cycling into perceived limitations.
This was such a valuable and sobering lesson that I never forgot it.
I remembered being a very imaginative person when I was younger, always day-dreaming and creating stories in my head. I don’t know what happened, or exactly when I began losing that skill. Maybe it just fell out of use in my practical adulting life, or was overshadowed by mainstream collective cynicism, but I realized that I had to retrain my brain to imagine again. And I found the key is to do it regularly, like any other physical exercise. It is the foundation of manifestation. We cannot manifest something if we can’t imagine what we want.
We need to be able to use our imagination in shamanic practice to create the outcomes that we want for ourselves and our clients. In every healing modality, for it to be effective, we need to see the situation, ourselves or our client as perfect, as whole and healthy. I wrote more in depth about this subject previously, which you can find here.
How imagination presents itself is different for everybody. Even though the word visionary implies seeing, when we fully engage our imagination we use all our senses. Some people see things in their minds eye, for others it may be a full body feeling. We all have unique ways of using imagination, but the more we use it the stronger it becomes.
If we feel our imaginative skills have atrophied, we can start small, with what we know. It might be a memory of a pet or object we had as a child, or the thought of our garden in our backyard. We bring in all the senses and re-create not only the vision, but the texture under our fingers, the smells, the emotions, the energetic connections between us and it. And when the limiting thoughts come up, we kindly, gently, receive the lesson and imagine our way around them. The insights gained in the process are valuable. And we might even end up creating the life we really want to live.
To help you tend to soul issues that may manifest in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual aspects of your life, and to give you tools to empower your path to harmony and well-being.
-There are so many kindredspirits doing the work out there. I include these links to help our community connect with one another.
SACRED HOOP Magazine Guide to Shamanism Compilation- http://www.sacredhoop.org/Pages/FreeGuide.html
Kitzie's podcasts include interviews with artists and kirtan music. I love attending her weekly Satsang group and the New World Kirtan Band concerts -
My friend and herbalist mentor, Lawrence Birch is a Certified Clinical Herbalist, plant whisperer and shamanic practitioner. If you need custom tincture blends or are interested in a wildcrafting apprenticeship, he is the teacher extraordinaire:
Roger Wheelock and Gayle Ruth are shamanic practitioners and teachers in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. https://www.rainmother.com/ I am grateful to be able to take part in ceremony with them, and to support their love for the Peruvian people through the World Ayni Association.