So does this mean that DJ Conway, Amber Wolfe and John Matthews lied in their books, when they told you it was safe to learn from the books they have written? Is the Pope Catholic? Of course they lied!!! Just how many books or Seminars do you think those authors would sell if they told you Shamanism is a dangerous practice and you should not even attempt it without a personal teacher? Well the answer is very few. It wouldn't be long before we saw those people filing for Bankruptcy and looking for a new profession! The truth is that Shamanism has become a big fad. Authors who write these books are just raking in the money while they cry all the way to the bank and their private lear jet about how they have swindled you out of your hard earned cash!
Mental hospitals, hospices, emergency rooms and nursing homes are filled with people who attempted to practice Shamanism and many forms of Ceremonial Magick without a teacher. Does that mean you or your family can sue these authors? No, the books have all sorts of legal disclaimers in them. If you are too stupid to practice Shamanism without a teacher, then you are out of luck if something happens to you as a result. Even I have disclimers on my pages and my course materials to protect myself from someone who lies about their medical condition, state of mind, addictions or age.
This of course is going to lead to a whole set of questions in which you attempt to weasel around my advice. To put those emails to rest, I will answer those questions now.
How do I find a teacher? That's a good question, if you want to take correspondence courses on the internet and are willing to keep in touch on a weekly basis, I teach classes. I also sell my book with meditations and exercises at that website. My business site for course enrollment is at: http://www.celticshamaness.com. You can also click on the link Celtic Shaman Classes. I charge a nominal fee. If you feel that I am charging too much, I suggest you write to Harners School (Institute for Shamanic Studies), for a brochure on their courses. If you are looking for someone in your area, I can't help you.
How do I know if someone who teaches knows what they are doing?
You won't get by for free. You will either pay in cash currency, your time, or your services, but a "real" teacher is never free. That includes chat rooms, mailing lists, web pages, ezines, etc.
I found a teacher who teaches at a Community College or an Occult/Metaphysical store. How do I know if the teacher knows what he/she is doing and not just another fake?
Another good question. Well if they tell you Shamanism is safe, and the course revolves around taking vision quests, journeys or finding your Animal Spirit Guide, or if If they are offering something such as "Faery Shamanism or Tree Shamanism" which never has and still does not exist, hold on to your wallet and run for your life!!! A good teacher will take the time to make sure you set a solid foundation before they lead you on a journey. This can take a long time.
In addition, they will teach you "Core Shamanism", not something that was made up to appeal to gullible people so they can sell more books and courses. Faery Magick/Shamanism, Dragon Magick/Shamanism, and Tree Magick/Shamanism are things that were made up by DJ Conway to continue selling books. If you find someone who teaches these things, then you know that they have never studied Shamanism, and do not know what they are doing. Once again run for your life, because if you get into trouble, they won't be able to help you!!!
I'm a teenager and I don't have the money to pay for classes how can I learn?
The money isn't your only problem, you don't have the time for it either. Not unless you're planning on becoming a D or F student? And if you already are, get your books out, hunker down and learn how to become responsible for your time and your actions! You can't even become a "fair to mediocre" Shamanic practitioner unless you learn time management, responsibility and discipline! If you do not think that's fair, too bad. I'm a parent with a 17 year old. I expect his school work, and his chores to take first place in his life, then he can go to his Tae Kwon Do classes and take time for meditations or any other extra cirricular activities. My son learned how to set aside time for meditation which is important to him. And don't cry..."I have ADD, ADD/HD or am LD." So is my son, so is my husband they learned time management even though it was difficult for them.
I just don't have the money how can I learn? You don't unless you actually run across someone who is willing to trade services or time. That usually means you are about to become your teacher' maid, housekeeper, nursemaid and cook. Did I mention you'll have to live on an Indian Reservation? That is "if" the tribe will accept you. There may be cases however, where the teacher needs a service or something you have and will barter. Good luck.
Now onto the rest of the site introduction:
The information located on this site is for those who are new to Celtic Shamanism. The exercises are incomplete in order to keep beginners out of harms way. Only those that have been practicing for some time will be able to figure them out. I do not have the time to add additional information, or to mentor people who are not my students because I have other obligations in my life. I have added selected authors who can be of great help to both the beginner through the advanced student.
In addition, the Shamanic path takes years of study, with the first initiation very rarely taking place before at least One year of study has been completed. No, you will not be able to call yourself a "Celtic Shaman" if you take a seminar or a beginners course, nor will you have the knowledge to teach, or heal others. The average student of Shamanism goes through two-three years of study before receiving the second initiation. Only those who are prepared for such a long journey should undertake this study. Any person attempting to take "the fast road" will only harm thmeselves mentally and physically. Undertaking certain Shamanic works without the proper training inevitably leads to mental illness or death. You must be totally comitted, prepared for upheaval in your life, as well as be ready to make changes, as the way you think and perceive the world will change. Never take the path of the Shaman lightly!
The main Celtic beliefs centered around ancestor worship, as it has with many different cultures. This is evident in the practice of leaving food, perfume and other offerings in a central room for a particular family member who had passed on. Most of the books only attribute this practice to Hallows eve, which is incorrect. And just as rumors become exaggerated as time goes on, the legends of the ancestors who passed eventually turned into Gods rather than ordinary people. Honoring the ancestors is still a very important practice in Celtic Shamanism. as it is with other forms of Shamanism. Ancestor worship is also the basis of the African folk magick practices such as Hoodoo and Voodoo.
If you take the time to study other cultures you will realize that the ancient Egyptians, and the Hindus originally came from Shamanic societies. This is evident in the fact that their Gods are animals, or in the case of the Egyptians half animal half human.
When travelling to the otherworlds a beginning Shaman will often encounter loved ones who have passed on. Sometimes they are there to help you work through a problem you have, help you let go of guilt associated with their passing on, give you a message etc. They do not always appear as the person you knew and loved, but may take the form of an animal or a sylph, if that is what you will respond to. This is often the case if the practitioner had a strained or uncomfortable relationship with that person. This is why it is so important to honor your ancestors, as they are there to help you.
A Shaman is a healer who has the ability to walk between worlds. The Shaman journeys into the "otherworlds" to obtain important information in order to "heal" as well as to do actual healings. The Shaman is able to generate vast amounts of energy or power in order to journey. In many cultures the Shaman is feared rather than revered because of the ability to walk between worlds, speak to spirits and raise power. In these cultures the shamans often have "power wars" between groups.
Please stop associating shamanism with what you see in movies! Most of what Hollywood comes up with isn't even truthful. And please do not compare us to Native American healings, spirituality and arts. Every Shaman has different talents which they focus on. Some are gifted in healing people, others are given the gift of healing the planet, some are intuitives, while others are able to see rather than sense or feel in a psychic sense. It's no different than the outside world. Some people are wonderful accountants, but they could never program a computer because they lack the special skills and abilities to do so. There are shamans who have no business attempting to teach, yet they are great healers.
A Shaman is an ordinary everyday person. Very few of them actually live on tribal land. In fact shamanism is not "Native American" as it has been practiced by many cultures throughout the world. The name "Shaman" is actually a "catch all" phrase used to describe this mystic practice. The actual word comes from the Tungus people of Siberia. This art has existed since the beginning of time. The Shamanic tradition did not start with the "Native Americans", nor will it end with them.
Most shamanic practitioners live in an urban environment. If your vision of a Shaman is that of someone who lives a solitary, spiritual life such as that of a Buddhist or Hindu Monk you are mistaken. I would venture to say that you have been watching too many episodes of Kung Fu!
The average Shamanic practitioner has a career (outside of shamanism), a family, and other obligations. We are not obligated to "teach" anyone our craft, or to provide mentoring or vast information, as it is necessary to make certain that we do not teach someone who is only interested in corruption of power.
We are also deserving of pay for healing, teaching, etc. If you were living on tribal land, the Shaman would charge you for his/her services. In addition the apprentice of a tribal shaman must live with his/her teacher as well as work to earn his/her keep. There is no free ride, even on tribal land. Those of us who are urban Shamans ask for payment in the form of money, as we are unable to live on a "bartering system" outside of the currency issued by our government. The saying goes "every worker is worth his due (pay)." If I or any other shaman performs a healing, journey or teaches an apprentice, then we are also workers who are worth our pay. The idea that we should not be paid "because this is the internet" or because the "easterners such as buddhists do not charge" is preposterous! Are you able to connect to the Internet for free? Of course not! Therefore the internet is NOT free, or an information "free for all". The services that are "free" to you are paid for by advertisers, as the owners of the business cannot run their servers, without paying programmers, the telephone company, their electric bills, etc.
Very few authors have written about the mystical or shamanic practices of the Celts, which has led most people to believe that the ancient Celts only practiced Druidism. However, there is evidence of Celtic healers, prophetic and physical transformation (shape shifting), all of which are Shamanic practices. The reason there is very little written about Celtic Shamanism as a whole is due to the fact that the early christians destroyed most of the written materials in relation to the mystic practices.
Because of this mass destruction the Celts depended solely on the tradition to be passed on orally by family members. In addition, the Christian church created legislation which made the practice and teaching of Shamanism punishable by death.
However, religious historians have ascertained that Celtic Shamanism is much older than the Native American practices, in addition the word "Shaman" comes from the Siberian mysticists, which means "healer".
Unfortunately, from what information we have of the ancient Celts, just as many other western societies, they did not have safe or heathy exercises to raise themselves spiritually. Instead they used hallucinogenic plants, fasting, and what the Native Americans call sweat lodges to aid them on their journeys. This is not a safe practice, not to mention the legal ramifications with the use of drugs. Because of this I have devised my own system of exercises to aid in the development of higher mental abilities that you need in order to travel to the otherworlds. Some people refer to these abilities as opening the third eye, opening the chakras/awakening the kundalini, and becoming one with self and the Godhead. Whatever you want to call the practice, they are basically the same except for the terms or words that are used.
Shamansim, just as any spiritual path requires a lot of solitary work. If you must continually be around people 24 hours a day in a group setting then Shamanism is not for you. However, there are many valid reasons why you should choose to practice as a solitary. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with seeking someone to communicate with on a regular basis, provided that the person shares the same spiritual goals as you. Just be certain that there are no personality conflicts before you choose someone with whom you want to network with for purposes of mentoring and/or moral support.
In addition, Shamanism does not require you to live a solitary life (i.e. you don't have to become a recluse), nor does it require you to give up the things you like to do in your spare time, provided that the activity is not something that is physically or mentally destructive, such as overindulgence of any sort (alcohol, drugs, food). Watching movies and television or reading books other than spiritual improvement texts will not hurt your spiritual progression! Just be certain that you balance your time and your life. Having a family won't hurt your spiritual progression either. Having a solid family foundation is actually excellent for creating balance.
Unfortunately, many people confuse mystical and spiritual practices with Religious belief. I have been asked many times if Shamanism is connected with Wicca. No it is not! Wicca is a Religion which incorporates spiritual practices and magick. Furthermore, you should not confuse Wicca and Witchcraft with Paganism. Paganism has been around since the beginning of man, just as Shamanism has been.
In addition, the modern day authors do not tell you when and how the actual wiccan beliefs began. The only reason they are getting by with this cover up is because the originators of wicca are dead! Wicca was actually started by a man named Gerald Gardner in the 1950's when he co-wrote the Gardnerian book of Shadows with a man named Aliester Crowley. Aliester Crowley was responsible for bringing the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis) the United States, as was Gardner for bringing over the beginnings of modern Wicca. After Gardner started his Gardnerian coven, Alex Sanders started the Alexandrian tradition which was based upon Gardners BOS.
The Church of Wicca was founded by Janet and Stuart Fararr in the latter half of the 1960's. Wicca was not recognized as a "legal" religion in the United States until 1985 when the case was brought before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Please refer to the FAQ page. The answer is No, I will not mentor you. This is because Shamanism has become a fad. Far too many people take up Shamanism without knowing what it really is, what the dangers are, and how much work is required. And because I do not know you. I will not mentor anyone unless I have known them for quite some time. This includes their medical history (including mental health) what types of medications they take, what their lifestyle is, what their habits are and their outlook on mystical practices. It's just too easy for someone on the internet to lie about all of these things or produce a fake identity.
Furthermore, I am no different than the authors of other Shamanism books. I am not giving you the same lessons I give my students. In addition, I am not giving you the full text of the exercises including journeys. In other words, what I have posted is only a partial text of what is required to do any of these exercises. Unlike the authors I will not make up a fictional journey for you which will lead you to believe that shamanism is a walk in the park. It's dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.
Shamanism can be a very dangerous practice without the proper training. I am offering the information on this site as an outline only. Although some of the meditations are quite safe without the supervision of a teacher, the journeys are not. Remember that you are leaving your body, and travelling into another realm of existence. You will meet things that are not of this world, you can also bring them back with you unknowingly. These creatures will feed on your every emotion, causing fear and anxiety in order to continue to feed off of you. If you do not know how to handle these beings you are asking for serious trouble!
Therefore, let this be a warning! If you decide to ignore my advice, attempt to undertake exercises, journeys or other practices that you are not ready for, I am not liable for any medical or psychological problems, injuries, death or conditions that may result from your own lack of common sense.
The information I have compiled for this site has come through years of experience in Shamanism as well as Paganism and Spiritual studies. Historical information came from a variety of sources. Most of the information has been around since the beginning of the first masonic lodge and the first mystic. These stories and practices were passed down through generations by word of mouth through family members and bards. As far as the exercises go two of my meditations are variations of those I learned from one of my acting instructors at UC, Irvine.
I did NOT get this information from DJ Conway or any other Shamanic author! If any of the information contained in this site resembles that of "any" author it is purely coincidental. This is because Core Shamanism is basically the same no matter what tradition you study. There will be similarities which can't be escaped. Furthermore, most of what the Ancient Celts practiced has been lost. When the xtians went through Britian they burned most of their books. Although the Celtic Shamans did have a written language, they did not write down their practices. Therefore, we have no clear cut information on what the Celts actually practiced, we can only piece together what we do know and fill in the missing blanks. What you find in most books on Celtic Shamanism has been made up because we don't exactly know what their practices were.