Shamans had an understanding of the soul from the very beginning much further back than any other spritual path of humanity. Maybe that wasn’t the word they used but by all translations from the Tungus across the other indigenous tribes on earth, it is and always has been interpreted it as the ‘Soul’.
Etymology of the word
soul (n.1) “A substantial entity believed to be that in each person which lives, feels, thinks and wills” [Century Dictionary], Old English sawol “spiritual and emotional part of a person, animate existence; life, living being,” from Proto-Germanic *saiwalō (source also of Old Saxon seola, Old Norse sala, Old Frisian sele, Middle Dutch siele, Dutch ziel, Old High German seula, German Seele, Gothic saiwala), of uncertain origin.
What is not mentioned is the Siberian Tungus origins of the word. Which is where the term ‘shamanism’ originates.
The soul is the primary core teaching of shamanism in its therapeutic sense. Everything is understood from the souls perspective. Be that illness, death, birth, depression, madness, relationships, conflict etc.
There is a knowing via experience that the soul journeys through multidimensional landscapes and this is not limited to time or space. One of those landscapes includes the human lives we experience here on earth.
This is where the bridge between Buddhism and Shamanism differs greatly. Buddhism doesn’t believe in the existence of the soul. They believe in the transference of energy from one life to another but not as a soul travelling through many life times. Which I find totally perplexing to understand no matter how much I have read on it. Buddhists believe in reincarnate but it’s not the soul that moves from one life to another, its just seen as energy. However there is a sense of knowing in the energy, a sense of memory. For example I have read and seen much on the reincarnation of lama’s and the tests they need to go through picking items from their other lives to confirm they were the old lama from years back, but no its still not the soul memory doing this. So what is it? Is it just the left over memory that jumps on board to this energy wave? It perplexes me no end. Both Buddhist and neurologists say that they still cannot define what ‘consciousness’ actually is but they are sure it’s not the soul. Um…sorry that just doesnt make sense.
This is where I break off. I know the souls journey to be true via my own personal experience and by journeying others. This would be a great debate to watch between Shamans and Buddhists. Shamanism was merged with Buddhism in Tibet and there is a man referred to as the State Oracle who goes into trance and tells the Dalai Lama what they see. Did he throw out his knowing of the soul to adapt to the Buddhist belief? I still have so many questions. I like a lot of what Buddhism has to offer regarding the practices that really help to balance the mind, however what I am left with is…..Why cant consciousness be the soul?
When I feel into my consciousness beyond my ‘Self’ It’s like my inner witness, the part of me that is connected to the source that just IS.
Most people think the word ‘Soul’ comes through religion because that’s often where they hear the term, eg the everlasting soul. In their belief the soul is created by a male god and when you die, you go back to god, if you have been good and repentant for being born a sinner. Otherwise you head down to the fiery furnace or are left stuck forever more in limbo. Terribly fear based concepts in my view.
Shamanism is the earliest path of understanding of the Soul (Consciousness)
When I have experienced other lives and fully walked through them in journeywork and also experiencing between life and death realms its a lot easier to cognitively understand mainly because shamanism is based primarily on knowing through experience rather than just blind belief.
The way I learned was not the shaman doing the work or so called healing. I was guided into a life (I had no idea which I would be experiencing), and through all the significant events including death and after death. There is this element of being the witness to the experience. And no matter how horrid some lives were, there was this calm observer within me watching without conflict. It had no agenda, no judgement. Just watching the life and death and then back to Great Mystery as powdered starlight. I have healed the deepest of wounds this way and I have to say its been a wonderful enjoyable adventure even with the tears that might come. Its like I released dense debris each time and the proof for me was the issue did not resurface again in my life.
Some people think that if you believe you’re a soul and you will traverse many lives you won’t work hard in this one because you have more chances. I dont know about others but for me it makes me work harder. In knowing that I am a soul experiencing a human experience this time round, I work my arse off! Sure I may have more lives to come but this life my ID is Odette Nightsky and while I am here in this form, this life experience I will do all I can to explore this personality and see what I can do to clear any debris ( this life and other life wounding’s or blocks) to make way for the next journey wether that be in human form or not. Personally my ego wants to be a spirit guide going around helping others, but hey, who knows? One can dream 🙂
I see us as a souls journey through lifetimes. And like stars in the sky we are always connected to Great Mystery in whatever stage of the path we are on.
So knowing that we are spiritual beings living a human experience makes living here much more palatable in my view. We are more than our flesh, our ego.
My soul came here for a reason. In my early years my ego was in charge as it had to find a way to adapt. The ego is good at that and its important we value its survival instincts. As I have said before I knew nothing other than I was going to be a theatre actress for the rest of my life and them BAM! My ego cracked and shattered. It needed to. It was horrid and at times terrifying but it needed to be broken, basically because I wouldn’t listen any other way at that time in my life.
My soul had to evolve and to do that I had to be cracked. For a good many years I lived in what I term ‘between worlds’. I was not in my body at all due to past wounds and hated being here on earth amongst what I perceived people only interested in the superficial life. So I did what I could to escape by leaving my body as much as possible. I resisted being here a lot but it didn’t work. My soul made and agreement to come here and follow my calling. A calling I had no idea about till much later. In looking back the signs were all there, but I didn’t want to look, or do the work. I just wanted to escape back to wherever the hell it was I came from. It was all too bloody hard! Sooner or later I was compelled to listen and it was the black hole of madness that woke me up. (Gifts come in the dark as well as the light)
You see the key thing is within the shamanic soul based path is you can live in BOTH worlds harmoniously. You just need to know how to shift in-between them and hold your own in staying grounded. Fly out fly in with conscious intent. I mean you never really fly out all together until death but boy can people fragment out. PTSD, trauma, heavy alchohol or drug abuse, any kind of blinding escapism that helps you not be here because its just too bloody painful.
I remember in the early days when the cracks started to show. My legs would just shake on their own. I mean not a little tremble, fully bouncing up and down type shaking and I had no control over them no matter how much I tried. Little did I know it was my way of leaving my body to escape confrontation.
Now I know how to bring myself back in and it rarely occurs anymore. If it does I heed the signal. My body is sending me messages, the good survivor that it is. It’s saying ‘Hey, just wanna tell you you’re splitting off right now, warning, warning.” I can then tune in to the upset and call my fragment in after clearing it from the trigger. Works like a charm. My go to medicine. If I don’t have time to go in deep. I do some rounds of recapitulation (like a mini soul retrieval) which I highly recommend to do as lead up practice to Soul Retrieval journey work.
All my other lives have led to this one. My lessons, my wounds, my learnings. My soul has traversed many lifetime experiences and some so dark, so horrid that I cried at what I could be capable of. I remember at the end of my training when I journeyed through a life were I was not a victim to being burned or tortured, or ostracised (which was common), I was the abuser, a murderer. I saw how I had become like that but my ego jumped in after the session due to the guide not being my teacher but a student in training and I threw up in disgust at what kind of person I was. I bawled my eyes out in deep shame. My teacher took me back in again and I was able to heal that shame, guilt and disgust. Now when I think about it, there is no charge at all. No upset. I am clear from it. I have learned and evolved from that life and in clearing it, the gifts and insights I kept are so valuable. We all have that potential. The path of the souls journey is a path of recalibration and balance. So we must meet all parts of our ego. That is why the old shamanic initiation of is being ripped apart is so well known in this field. The ego dissolves at critical speed. I have learned over many years that I don’t need to be ripped apart at critical speed. I need to walk the gentle path, the nurturing path to balance. Some people can’t shift without the critical speed, like when I walked the terror of madness. I chose to learn the hard way. I was alway so very hard on myself. Later learned how to clear the hard, mean unforgiving side to make way for the gentle path.
One other life journey was so rich, so deep, so good I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay in that life and not return. It had everything I wanted. My teacher asked me what that life as that particular woman felt like. I said it was like a bright beaming sun, strong and powerful. I felt the bone brace across my chest and I was connected to the tribe and was not going to leave it. My wise teacher didn’t push me. She just gently investigated more and more until she asked me what did Odette feel like energetically compared to this woman. I dropped in and felt this soft gentle river flowing through me. It was like drinking cool water when you’re so very thirsty. I immediately understood the power of the river and how it could adapt and move and be strong at the same time. I let go of the power I felt I needed and the bone brace across my chest, and kept the natural gifts and knowledge that came from that life. It was going to be way too hard to fit a Native American warrior woman into the body of a Celtic faerie.
So how do I stay in both worlds? Well, by being conscious of where I am in my psyche and what is arising for me. I am big at inner dialogue whether that be with my inner child, my inner teen, my critic, my protector etc and consciously pull myself in when I feel I am too far out of my body. That helps a lot. I often fly out with awareness for a little while, go down the shamans tree, check in on my inner child and the state of the sanctuary, be alert to the little changes etc, say thankyou to those that were there, intentionally call myself back to my earth suit, write it out and then get on with my ordinary reality life tasks.
Like the other morning. I journeyed to the Shamans Tree across the field and there were white doves in the tree branches and in the nooks of the tree trunk. I saw a cat near the door and pick it up, vibe wise all felt very benevolent on checking so I attempted to take it into the tree. The cat then has a bit of a hissy fit and I step out again. After putting it down it transforms into a tall African man, a Sangoma (shaman). He sits down and pulls out some white cloth on the ground and invites me to sit ( I psychically check with my personal Sangoma that I call on for physical healing who lives under the earth and he says all is ok). The tall African then throws small bones, beads and shells and looks straight at me then asks me to stand and smokes me clear and then says its safe to go into the tree. You see I had been dealing with stomach upset issues and since then it has been so much better. Then inside the sanctuary a baby elephant appeared with its mother, new to my sacred space and connected to the African who was happy to stay outside the tree. This journey is inside me like little seeds while I get on with my daily life. It nourishes my inner world while I walk in the outer helping others to learn how to nourish theirs. This is my soul optimum path and I am am a willing participant.
I am a very logical practical person on many levels here in ordinary reality but I can turn within at a moments notice and tune in to the non ordinary reality space. My sessions with clients are often a combination of my practical self and then turning my head, my vision inward to hear and recieve from the other side. I sense my soul in connection to what I do in life nowdays. It has no personality, no ego, no hunger, need, polarity of right or wrong or judgement. It is the core of me, beyond the me…. that is connected to Great Mystery. I use the term Great Mystery because when I feel into the source that is in connection with my soul essence….it is the stars in the sky, the galaxies, the universe. It has no ID. It just is.
This world is a crazy place. Being a conscious soul (well as much I am able), I know I have come here for a reason and intend to make the most of it. I am so grateful for the earth suit that was given me and for my tenacious personality to be able to keep pushing through and thriving but i know that when I leave this body, this ID goes with it and my soul will go on till it becomes one with the stars.
We are all souls living a human existence. It’s up to us to make the most out of the journey here on earth while we can.