Celtic Shamanism

Celtic Shamanism

Definitions  

According to archaeological and ethnological evidence, shamanism has been part of nature practices for some 10 to 20,000 years. Some suggest it’s    much longer back than that.The basic concepts are found all over the world, from Siberia, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. The word ‘Shaman,’    is actually a Tungus (Siberian) word for a spiritual practice or profession that is still practiced today. Shamanism is not rooted in any organized    religious tradition, but is instead a system of abilities utilized for contact with divine spirit. Shamanic systems vary, but there are basic similarities    in most. But before we can begin understanding what Celtic Shamanism is, we need a common understanding of what Shamanism is itself. There are of course,    many definitions, so let’s cover a few.
In the Donning Encyclopedic Psychic Dictionary, June Bletzer, PhD, describes Shamanism as a very highly respected profession where one serves    his tribe with psychic skills and healing abilities which is intermingled with influential guidance, protection and advanced knowledge from the Etheric    World.
Websters Dictionary defines shamanism as the religion of certain peoples of ancient peoples, based on a belief in good and evil spirits who can be    influenced only by shamans.
In her renowned work Witches & Witchcraft, Rosemary Ellen Guiley describes Shamanism as a system of belief and healing practiced by a    Shaman who enters an altered state of consciousness, which enables him/her to communicate with guardian and helping spirits to draw upon divine    energy.
Kenneth Meadows in Shamanic Experience, describes shamanism as The practice of the principles and techniques which involves working with the    energy of nature that exist both inside and outside the individual self as both manifest forms and unmanifest potentials.
From The Celtic Shaman, John Mathews defines Shamanism as only one of a number of labels used by various cultures to denote someone who through trance    and ecstasy, enters other states of being which he/she usually lives. Returning with news and guidance from which all humanity can benefit.
One of the foremost authors on Shamanism, Mircea Eliade explains, the fundamental characteristic of shamanism is ecstasy. In all probability the    ecstatic experience in its many aspects is coexistent with the human condition in the sense that it is an integral part of what is called man’s gaining    consciousness of his specific mode of being in the word. Shamanism is not only a technique of ecstasy it’s theology and it’s philosophy finally    depend on the spiritual value that is accorded to ecstasy.
In Spiral Dance, Starhawk states Witchcraft is a shamanistic religion and the spiritual value placed on ecstasy is a high one. It is the    source of union, healing, creative inspiration and communion with the divine.
      Margot Adler, in Drawing Down the Moon, refers to the definition put forth by one of my favorite authors on Shamanism, Michael Harner. And this      is the definition we’ll use through out this article.      

Shamanism is best defined as a method to open a door and enter a different reality. A shaman is someone who enters an altered state of        consciousness and goes on a journey in order to gather knowledge from a different reality populated by spirit, the spirit of plants and animals, and        the divine self both within and around the individual. The methods used depend on the culture. Some cultures use drugs, others use drumming and        ecstatic dancing. And still others utilize chanting, dancing, trance, meditation, wine, fasting, vision quests and sexuality.
Shamanism is a very highly respected profession wherein one serves his or her community as a spiritual leader. Providing guidance through psychic    skills, healing abilities and communications with Divine spirit. Believed to be learned from a past incarnation and initiations, along with study and    practice in the current embodiment.
The Shaman, in the strictest definition is more often viewed through it’s secondary meaning “one who is dedicated to a spiritual life    achieving a level of leadership and teaching”. The profession can be found under various other titles such as Mantis, Druid, Medicine Man or Woman.    The Greeks called them Bhopa.
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Basic Spell Construction

BASIC SPELL CONSTRUCTION

Write your own spells

Because of the very nature of Magick, each working should be highly

individualised and personal. Even if following a traditional spell,

it should be tailored to your specific needs to be most effective

for you. Understanding the basics of Spell Construction will enable

you to formulate your own specific, effective spells for any purpose

you desire.

Preliminary planning is necessary. The very first step is to decide

precisely what your desired end result is to be. Before you can

start, you must decide where you are going. You must be very

explicit.

Flowing with these currents will make your magickal work much easier.

Remember to plan your project for a time of uninterrupted privacy.

It is important that you have no distractions. Generally speaking,

it is best to work as late at night as possible. A time when there

is less frantic energy is most appropriate. You might consider

Midnight or later.

In choosing a place to do your magickal working pay particular

attention to your needs, for you must be comfortable. Your place

should be private, quiet and secure. If at all possible, set aside

a special place for this purpose only. An unused room, a special

Scorner of your bedroom, a quiet, secluded spot in your garden. A

place that is yours. A place that you can come to whenever need

arises and that is as free from intrusion of others as possible.

Prior to the night of your magickal working, gather together the

things that you will need. All of the things used are tools. They

have no inherent magick. They are to help you create a mood. If

correctly made and used, they will trigger primitive responses from

deep within you. They should be chosen with care.

Consider the purpose of your ritual and choose your tools

accordingly. If your magick is to be sexual, your candles, oils,

incenses and so forth, should bring forth a sexual response. If the

desired result of your Magick is Tranquillity, then the tools should

make you feel calm, peaceful and serene. Any candles you might use

should not have commercially added fragrances as these may not be

appropriate for your working.

Prior to your ritual, prepare yourself and your equipment by any

means necessary to clean and purify. Historically, people have

fasted, followed meticulous and detailed bathing practices,

practised chastity and used many other methods.

Most often a Ritual Bath is the preferred method. A bath frequently

utilising candlelight, fragrant herbs, bath salts or sensuous oils.

A sumptuous hot bath, special bathing preparations and appropriate

lighting, combined, can create the soothing effect which will help

in the very important step of relaxing and clearing the mind completely

of all mundane thoughts and experiences of the day. Your ritual

Bath should, also, begin to set the specific vibrations conducive to

your purpose into motion. You must not only cleanse and purify but

must, also, begin to create the type of energy necessary.

Once your purification process has been accomplished, you are now

ready to begin. Proceed to the special place you have previously

chosen in which to perform your magick. If at all possible, you

should make use of the primitive responses set into motion by a well

chosen piece of music. Your music should start slowly and build to

a rousing climax.

As you use your oils, light your candle or incense (or utilise any

other tool you have chosen), you should begin to further intensify

the energy that you have set into motion around you. A high degree

of intensity is vitally important.

The Altered State of Consciousness that you must reach is not a

meditative state. Anything that interferes with your ability to

concentrate upon, reach and control the high energy state necessary

to perform magick should be avoided. Such as, screaming children, a

sink full of dirty dishes, use of alcohol or drugs, etc.

Do not scatter your energy by attempting to do more than one

magickal working at a time.

Remember that Magick is the manipulation of energy, a thought is a

form of energy and a visualisation is an even stronger form of

energy. Your visualisation can be a method used to intensify

further and direct your will. Your visualisation can be the method

by which you control the magickal energy you have produced.

You must know what you want. You must see it. You must feel the

high energy flow. You must direct it.

One of the most important elements in the practice of any form of

Magick is the Universal Law of Cause and Effect. This means that

whatever you do (or don’t do) you cause something to happen.

The most important consideration is the Universal Law of

Retribution. This means that no matter what you do it comes back to

you in like kind.

It is the nature of things that as you send something out it gains

momentum, so that, by the time it comes back to you, it is three

times stronger. If you do something nice for someone, someone will

do something nicer for you.

It is important, also, that you choose your time carefully. You

should take into consideration all Astrological implications, energy

currents and Moon phases.

The Moon is the astronomical body closest to us and, therefore, has

a profound influence upon us, it is very important to choose a time

when the Moon is in an astrological sign which is appropriate for

your working. For example: Aries/Action – Enthusiasm, Taurus/

Renewal – Sensuality, Gemini/Communication – Curiosity, Cancer/

Emotion – Nurturing, Leo/Vitality – Determined, Virgo/Organizing –

Studious, Libra/Balance – Co-operation, Scorpio/Sexual –

Philosophical, Capricorn/Authority – Ambitious, Aquarius/Innovation

– Social, Pisces/Sensitivity – Idealistic.

Bear in mind that magickal workings for gain, increase or bringing

things to you, should be initiated when the Moon is Waxing (from

Dark to Full); when the Moon is Waning (from Full to Dark), it is

time for magickal workings of decrease or sending away.

The highest energy occurs at the Full Moon and, therefore, this is

the most powerful time for magickal workings. The New Moon is the

next most powerful time for Magick.

Whenever possible, follow Nature’s natural Energy Currents. There

is a natural time for starting things (a planting time), for

maturing things (a growing time), for reaping things ( a harvest

time) and, of course, a time for rest and planning.

 

Reference:

Witches Of The Craft at Yuku.com

Crystal of the Day for Feb. 14th – Thulite

Thulite
  Colours: Pink, Rose, White, Red, Grey
Source: Norway
Availability: Can be obtained from Specialist Stores
Energy: Feminine
Planet: Venus
Element: Water

Chakra: Heart

 
Spiritual Uses: Said to balance the lower four chakras. Brings one quickly into an altered state of consciousness.
Emotional Uses: Encourages expression of passion and sexual feelings. Helps build rapport and overcoming shyness and low self-confidence.
Physical Uses: Breathing problems, intestinal problems, relives PMT, weight loss and fertility.
Magickal Properties:
Psychic ability, deepends meditation, healing, love, creativity. Excellent stone of protection for children.

STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS

STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS

The electrical activity of the brain has been

observed and classified with EEG (electroencephalograph)

equipment; signals picked up from the scalp by electrodes,

then filtered and amplified, drive a graph recorder. Brain

activity has been found to produce specific ranges for

certain basic states of consciousness, as indicated in ‘hz’

(hertz, or cycles/vibrations per second):

delta — 0.2 to 3.5 hz (deep sleep, trance state),

theta — 3.5 to 7.5 hz (day dreaming, memory),

alpha — 7.5 to 13 hz (tranquility, heightened

awareness, meditation),

beta — 13 to 28 hz (tension, ‘normal’

consciousness).

As you can see, some form of physical relaxation is implied

in the alpha, theta, and delta consciousness. These states

are in fact reached through deep breathing, hypnosis, and

other relaxation techniques. OOBE occurs during these

states, and delta is probably the most important for it.

The problem is really, as we have said, one of maintaining

mental awareness and alertness while experienceing these

altered states. Experimental subjects hooked to an EEG do

not show a discrete change from drowsy to sleep; it is very

gradual.

At the threshold between sleep and waking

consciousness is a drowsy condition known as the hypnogogic

state. OOBE seems to occur during this state, or a

variant of it. By careful control of the hypnogogic state

(not going beyond it) it is possible to enter OOBE directly.

Basic Spell Construction

Basic Spell Construction

Because of the very nature of Magick, each working should be highly individualized and personal. Even if following a traditional spell, it should be tailored to your specific needs to be most effective for you. Understanding the basics of Spell Construction will enable you to formulate your own specific, effective spells for any purpose you desire.

Preliminary planning is necessary. The very first step is to decide precisely what your desired end result is to be. Before you can start, you must decide where you are going. You must be very explicit.

It is important, also, that you choose your time carefully. You should take into consideration all Astrological implications, energy currents and Moon phases.

The Moon is the astronomical body closest to us and, therefore, has a profound influence upon us, it is very important to choose a time when the Moon is in an astrological sign which is appropriate for your working. For example: Aries/Action — Enthusiasm, Taurus/Renewal — Sensuality, Gemini/Communication — Curiosity, Cancer/Emotion — Nurturing, Leo/Vitality — Determined, Virgo/Organizing — Studious, Libra/Balance — Cooperation, Scorpio/Sexual — Philosophical, Capricorn/Authority — Ambitious, Aquarius/Innovation — Social, Pisces/Sensitivity — Idealistic.

Bear in mind that magickal workings for gain, increase or bringing things to you, should be initiated when the Moon is Waxing (from Dark to Full); when the Moon is Waning (from Full to Dark), it is time for magickal workings of decrease or sending away.

The highest energy occurs at the Full Moon and, therefore, this is the most powerful time for magickal workings. The New Moon is the next most powerful time for Magick.

Whenever possible, follow Nature’s own energy flows. There is a natural time for starting things (a planting time), for maturing things (a growing time), for reaping things (a harvest time) and, of course, a time for rest and planning.

Flowing with these currents will make your magickal work much easier.

Remember to plan your project for a time of uninterrupted privacy. It is important that you have no distractions. Generally speaking, it is best to work as late at night as possible. A time when there is less frantic energy is most appropriate. You might consider Midnight or later.

In choosing a place to do your magickal working pay particular attention to your needs, for you must be comfortable. Your place should be private, quiet and secure. If at all possible, set aside a special place for this purpose only. An unused room, a special corner of your bedroom, a quiet, secluded spot in your garden. A place that is yours. A place that you can come to whenever need arises and that is as free from intrusion of others as possible.

Prior to the night of your magickal working, gather together the things that you will need. All of the things used are tools. They have no inherent magick. They are to help you create a mood. If correctly made and used, they will trigger primitive responses from deep within you. They should be chosen with care. Consider the purpose of your ritual and choose your tools accordingly. If your magick is to be sexual, your candles, oils, incenses and so forth should bring forth a sexual response. If the desired result of your Magick is tranquility, then the tools should make you feel calm, peaceful and serene. Any candles you might use should not have commercially added fragrances as these may not be appropriate for your working.

Prior to your ritual, prepare yourself and your equipment by any means necessary to clean and purify. Historically, people have fasted, followed meticulous and detailed bathing practices, practiced chastity and used many other methods.

Most often a ritual bath is the preferred method. A bath frequently utilizing candlelight, fragrant herbs, bath salts or sensuous oils. A sumptuous hot bath, special bathing preparations and appropriate lighting, combined, can create the soothing effect which will help in the very important step of relaxing and clearing the mind completely of all mundane thoughts and experiences of the day. Your ritual bath should, also, begin to set the specific vibrations conducive to your purpose into motion. You must not only cleanse and purify but must also begin to create the type of energy necessary. Once your purification process has been accomplished, you are now ready to begin. Proceed to the special place you have previously chosen in which to perform your magick. If at all possible, you should make use of the primitive responses set into motion by a well chosen piece of music. Your music should start slowly and build to a rousing climax.

As you use your oils, light your candle or incense (or utilize any other tool you have chosen), you should begin to further intensify the energy that you have set into motion around you. A high degree of intensity is vitally important.

The Altered State of Consciousness that you must reach is not a meditative state. Anything that interferes with your ability to concentrate upon, reach and control the high energy state necessary to perform magick should be avoided, such as screaming children, a sink full of dirty dishes, use of alcohol or drugs, etc.

Do not scatter your energy by attempting to do more than one magickal working at a time.

Remember that Magick is the manipulation of energy, a thought is a form of energy and a visualization is an even stronger form of energy. Your visualization can be a method used to intensify further and direct your will. Your visualization can be the method by which you control the magickal energy you have produced. You must know what you want. You must see it. You must feel the high energy flow. You must direct it.

One of the most important elements in the practice of any form of Magick is the Universal Law of Cause and Effect. This means that whatever you do (or don’t do) you cause something to happen.

The most important consideration is the Universal Law of Retribution. This means that no matter what you do, it comes back to you in like kind.

It is the nature of things that as you send something out it gains momentum, so that, by the time it comes back to you, it is three times stronger. If you do something nice for someone, someone will do something nicer for you.

      “As you weave and

        spin your spell,

      Three fold return

 

        the tale will tell.”