May 12, 2021
Cracking Open The Egg: From the Jungle to the Mountains, Integration, and Life After Psychedelics
Psychedelic therapies are on the rise. They are being touted as healing remedies for trauma, chronic pain, and as a catalyst for for spiritual awakening. There is great hope for a sort of spiritual revolution as some of our plant allies, and even psychedelic chemical derivatives, help us to overcome our limitations and reclaim our true nature. Significant research is being done at reputable Universities such as Johns Hopkins showing the healing effects of psychedelics in trauma therapy. People are finding microdosing psilocybin more effective and with less side effects than antidepressants. Evidence suggests these plant allies have been with us since the beginning as an essential part of our healing practices. It is important to give these allies great respect, to know they are not for everyone, and it also important to understand where their job begins and where it ends.
January 01, 2021
What is new for 2021?
Whew! Well that was a crazy year!
We are taking this opportunity to ride the wave of chaos of 2021 and make some foundational changes and shifts in our own programs at ASC. We are going deeper into the authentic teachings of the Andean Mystics and redesigning our programs a bit to fully embrace the traditional "shamanic" magic of the Andes. And at least for this year we are going online...
September 01, 2019
Soul Work, the Evolution of Consciousness
We understand, intuitively, that the soul is the deepest aspect of our being. When we have been emotionally wounded we feel it is “sick”. Sometimes this manifests as physical sickness as well. To heal our soul is not just a lighthearted jaunt though a well groomed garden, plucking dead blooms from their stocks, it is hacking through the densest, darkest, jungle to find our light again. It’s looking into the abyss of who we truly are, claiming the darkness these wounds have generated, and its reclaiming our divinity.
As our souls heal, by our transcending and integrating our dualities, they evolve. In the Andean traditions this is called increasing our state of ayni, our highest state being when we are congruent with Source. It doesn’t work to emphasize our light aspects, while burying our darkness through negation, that fuels more separation and duality. It is about taking ownership of what we externalize. Whatever we perceive happening outside is happening inside first. Perhaps we are in scarcity, for example. Were we cursed by some angry or jealous family member, or is it because we are unconsciously punishing ourselves for things we have not yet forgiven ourselves for? Perhaps we are blocking abundance because we are uncomfortable receiving, or we believe we are unworthy or undeserving. We cannot heal when we externalize these problems, putting them at the feet of others, instead of owning them.
February 19, 2019
ASC’s Children’s Program: 8 Sundays , 2019
Austin Shamanic Center is now offering children the opportunity to embark on a fun, creative, spiritual learning experience. With the exception of “Stepping In”, all classes are for children school-age and up and are 90 minutes. Shamanic, or animistic, teachings, yoga, meditation, art, music and games will be interwoven throughout each event. Because the shamanic path is about finding your spiritual self through experience we use many modalities to engage the children. Our goal is for participants to gain practical tools by building connections with the self, others and the natural world, while having fun!
May 01, 2018
Many people with varying trainings, lineages, or "calls from Spirit,” refer to themselves as shamans. It is hard to know who is legitimate and who is not, and what a shaman really is. In Cuzco, Peru, for example, you can find “shamans” all over town selling mystical experiences. Many have access to medicinal plants, but few have training in how to hold space for a client, or even how to speak to the medicinal plants in ceremony. There are others that say no one can call themselves a shaman or be trained as one; it is an honor only bestowed upon one by others.
The actual word “shaman” comes from the Tungusic Evenki language of North Asia. According to anthropological documentation it is the word the Tungus, in particular, used to refer to their medicine person. Spirits inhabited their shamans, affecting others positively, and negatively, and shifting circumstances on the material plane. Some believe that this manifestation of shamanism is the only legitimate form that can claim to use the word “shaman.” Technically, they are correct, as it is a word specific to this one tribe in Siberia. Every other tribe has a different language, and therefore a different word, and each tribe’s practices also vary. While some use use spirits to do their bidding, and others do not, most tribes do have mentors helping young initiates refine their skills.
May 01, 2016
Sorcery is the darkness that thrives in the shadow of Shamanism. While shamans use their powers to heal, sorcerers, like Darth Vader, take that same wisdom and turn it inward for personal gain. The sorcerer can make an enemy suddenly sick or curse a family for generations. They thrive on having power over others because their wounds drive perceptions of their own shortcomings. Our emotions tune our vibrations. The essential differences between the sorcerer and the shaman, then, is simply the nature of their intent.
In the days of old sorcery and shamanism were often entwined. Using shamanic wisdom to do harm to another was an acceptable form of survival between waring tribes. As humans have evolved many have come to recognize that having power is a responsibility that comes with a set of ethics and a code of honor. There is difference between having power and having ill will. Today’s shaman believes evil lives in the hearts of men and women, not as an independent principle.
April 01, 2016
The Modern Shaman
Some people believe calling yourself a shaman is akin to saying “I am God.” A Shaman, they say, is a trickster who takes many magical forms, transcending space and time. Only others, they say, may call you one!
If we look at the word “shaman,” we find it is simply the (Siberian) Tungus tribe’s word for “medicine person.” Every indigenous tribe, from the beginning of time, has had a person, or two, whose role it has been to connect with the Creative Force on behalf of the tribe, to ensure their survival. They were everyday people with emotions, egos and even relationship problems to work through, but they were sensitive to energy. Their sensitivities helped them to heal the sick and help track down animals for food. They could see the dead and they could hear the spirits of Nature. Their job was to be an intermediary between the seen and unseen. When their skill sets were first recognized as children, they were pulled aside and trained to be of service to the tribe. There have always been these people, every culture, ours included, has relied upon them.
January 01, 2016
The Fifth Element
Consider a clay pot. It starts from minerals found in the earth. Mixed with water it becomes a malleable substance that can be shaped into a form. Bake it in a fire, stoked by the winds of the bellows, and you temper that object, giving it a strength that can hold up under use. Just as this pot is born of the four basic Elements of Creation, Earth, Water, Fire and Wind, so too are we. But as every alchemist and shaman knows, there is a fifth element at play as well.
From the beginning of time, cultures have broken Nature down into its basic constituents in an effort to better thrive on Planet Earth. Ancients alchemists recognized that there is a visible world constructed of four basic elements. Each one has a different temperament. Water, for example, has the uncanny ability to shift forms. It can move from solid ice, to a liquid, and finally to gaseous steam. Fire, alternatively, has the properties of transmutation. It consumes entire forests, for example, making way for new growth. From the subtle flap of a tiny butterfly wing powerful Winds arise, and of course there is the Earth element, giving us the basis of all structure and form. The fifth element, Ether, they say, is more elusive. It is the consciousness between atoms, the very fabric of the sky.
March 01, 2014
Is Your Healer a Hollow Bone?
Open any New Age magazine these days and you find hundreds of different ways to heal spiritually. Most of them are valid. What distinguishes one practice from the other? The practitioner. Anyone can take a weekend workshop to receive attunements or initiations but the difference in their medicine lies in how deeply they are able to hold it. As the ancient shamans knew well, healing others starts with healing yourself.
Has your healer done the deep personal work of clearing their own stories or are they seeing you through their old wounds? If you are a healer, have you removed the imprints you carry around your roles and the beliefs binding you to ancestral, cultural and karmic lineages? Have you dug up and owned your shadow pieces? If not you will forever be derailed into working the unhealed parts of yourself through your clients. Are you, for example, seeing your own divorce in your client’s current relationship dilemma? Are your scarcity issues driving you to enable your clients so they keep depending upon you? Do you collude with your client’s story because it is familiar instead of finding a new map for them?
December 01, 2013
Are you Thriving or just Re-carpeting Your Dungeon?
Someone asked me recently how a shaman truly heals and why the average person would need a shaman.
“The level shamanism works at is subtle yet very profound.” I replied. “Do you have patterns in your life that re-occur over and over again?” I asked. “Are you stuck in a loop or cycles that you cannot seem to break, do you have an injury that won’t heal or a chronic illness?”
“Oh, I don’t know, not really,” he said. “Right now everything is going pretty well; you never know when that other shoe will drop, but hey, I get along OK.”
“Exactly!” I say, “There it is...!”
Embedded in the very way you see the world are limits that keep you merely coping instead of thriving. While shamans remove the imprints behind illness and injury they also work with the subtle beliefs that keep you locked into un-empowered lives. Waiting for the other shoe to drop is a coping mechanism designed to avert unmet expectations. It says things may be going well now but don’t get your hopes up, disaster is around the corner. Believing this we avoid disappointment when things go south, but woven into it is the next disaster, waiting to happen. We all have countless maps like this in our psyche shaping our lives, some personal, some handed down to us through our families.