What if you could transcend the physical world by venturing into the spiritual realm? As it turns out, you could, through the help of shamanism. Basically, shamanism is an ancient spiritual practice designed to empower individuals and communities by providing healing and other benefits. To learn more, you can read about the Seven Foundations of Inca Shamanism.
Essentially, shamanism allows you to connect with the spirit world by inducing a trance-like state. In so doing, it enables you to journey through the spiritual world- with the help of a spiritual guide known as a shaman. People who ascribe to shamanic beliefs can find healing and fulfillment by drawing upon a shaman’s knowledge and power.
There are three levels of shamanism, or worlds, if I may. These are the:
- Lower world or level
- Middle world
- Upper level
Depending on where you are in your spiritual journey, you can experience either of these realms in an unconscious or semi-conscious state. Shamans argue that these realms are interconnected and woven into the fabric of each person’s psyche. But, your acceptance of this belief system is subject to free will.
Still, while most religious beliefs such as Buddhism or Christianity are formalized, shamanism is not. Instead, it represents a set of experiences or activities passed down through the ages and shared globally across various cultures. In short, shamanism is adaptable in that it coexists with other systems, religious practices, and cultures.
Before we dive deeper into the subject, it’s relevant to point out what the journey entails. Basically, a shaman needs a medium or “horse” to ride into a trance-like state. Some of the vehicles they may use to induce a trance (travel) include rattles, hallucinogens, and dance.
While in such a state, and depending on their ‘working relationship’ with the spirits in the invisible world, shamans may tap into valuable resources that they can use to alter the spiritual realm. That way, they can impact healing and other aspects. Now that the journey process is out of the way, here’s what each level involves.
Level 1: Lower World
Venturing into the lower world is akin to getting your toes wet at a pool’s shallow end. In this case, participants enlist the help of a shaman by asking questions about guidance and healing. For instance, if you’ve been dealing with illness and have tried all other avenues in vain, you may consider shamanism as an alternative. Shamanic practitioners are also believed to offer practical solutions to people dealing with issues such as family discord or work-related challenges.
Shamanic rituals at this stage work to liberate the foreign or negative energy in a participant’s body. Further, in a trance-like state, a shaman taps into their subconscious (non-ordinary reality) and finds a powerful animal or spirit which can guide them to solve a problem.
A shamanic practitioner can garner information tucked away in the spiritual world by deliberately changing their consciousness. Still, by leveraging their spiritual relationships, shamans get to invoke changes that eventually manifest physically.
The long and short of it is that shamans act as mediators between the physical and spiritual world. Thus, with a shaman’s help, individuals can experience self-healing.
Level 2: Middle World
This level represents the world we live in or the state in which we exist- the conscious or ordinary reality. You may take a journey to the middle world if you’re seeking personal transformation or if you’re questioning your life’s vision.
In this case, a shaman journeys to the spiritual realm in an attempt to contact the spirits who reside there. Shamans believe that some of the lost souls and spirits in the middle world are responsible for hauntings and other supernatural encounters. As such, it’s the shaman’s responsibility to calm the spirits for individuals to heal.
By stepping over the divide and pursuing the ‘other reality,’ shamans can empower individuals, help them find answers to difficult questions, or attempt to make sense of their current situation.
The level also includes a shamanic dance- a journeying medium to induce a light trance that would help you overcome the gap between the physical and spiritual realms. You may opt to participate in the ritual as much or as little as you like. After that, you can return to ‘reality.’
Level 3: Upper World
This level denotes the superconscious or non-ordinary reality. The unconscious state transcends time and space- your higher self resides here. Most people don’t get to this level in their spiritual journeys.
But, if you’re questioning your existence or don’t know the path you need to take in life, a shaman may help you find answers to such troubling issues. To do this, they can consult the spiritual world regarding your life’s vision and how it meshes with our vision for the universe. The level also allows you to reflect on how connected your experiences are before returning to everyday life.
Ideally, the more in-tune you are with the process, the higher the likelihood of reaping some benefits from your shamanic experience. Overall, an open mind swings the door open to an immersive experience, and the reverse can be said of a closed mind. If you need more insights on the foundations of Inca shamanism, consider clicking on the link we included at the start of our discussion.