As I look back on it now, 2 days after I came home from my weekend of learning about shamanism, it feels almost like it was a dream; could it really be true?
I left home in late afternoon on Friday, feeling a bit apprehensive, excited, nervous and uncertain of what to expect when I got to the place where I would meet the others. I had never met the women I was going to spend the weekend with and only spoken to the course leader over the Internet. What would they be like?
I did not have to worry!
The ladies I met where just like me, seekers who wanted to know more about Shamans and their links to nature and Mother Earth. The course leader, Ingela, has studied Shamanism for many years and is an interesting person with lots of insight into many things. The first evening one of the ladies was not yet present so we did not discuss any of the parts of the course, but boy did we talk!
We all told our stories of why we were there, what our experiences were in the spiritual field and we discussed the situation in the world, in nature, how we might help nature to recover from everything we humans have done to it. There was not a second of silence.
Saturday, the course starts
I didn’t sleep much, I couldn’t, not with all those thoughts running through my brain. After a delicious breakfast we gathered on the lawn outside Ingela’s house and did a bit of yoga, and then Ingela started telling us about the connection between women and nature that has been suppressed for centuries. The men did not like it that women are the givers of life and that wise women could help curing illnesses. Connecting to Mother Earth was no longer considered important and the Earth became something to use and abuse, not to worship and care for as in the old days.
The beliefs of indigenous people
Before the monotheistic religions women where considered equal if not even more important than men, and among many indigenous people the women decided when to fight a war or who the new leader would be, because the men who went to war were their husbands and sons! The women also had a special hut where they stayed during their “time of the month”. Not because they were unclean as the monotheistic religions would later claim, but to honor their womanhood, their connection to Mother Earth and the cycles of life.
We could not stop talking, it was a wonderful exchange of information, thoughts, ideas and constant love and appreciation. After a quick lunch and some swimming in the lake we continued by going to an old cult sight just a short walk from Ingela’s house. It was beautiful and I had the most incredible experience I have had in a long time.
We were there to see if we could connect with the trees, which is something Shamans do, since they have this special connection to everything in nature. I don’t know if it was because we where at a cult sight, but all of a sudden I was drawn to a huge oak tree and I bursted into tears when I touched it. It was like it gave me images of sadness over the things that are happening to trees in the area that are chopped down without reverence and thought, just to be used for our pleasure and without thanking nature for her gifts. It was so strong and I stood there with my hands on the trunk of the tree in awe.
Material for the rattle
After connecting to the trees, we started looking for handles for the rattles we where going to make on Sunday, and also if there was something we wanted to put in the gourds before attaching the handles. I found the most beautiful handle with a pattern made by nature and some small things to put in the gourd, like beautiful pebbles and a feather and some other things.
In the evening we once again went to the cult sight and went to sit in a ring on a rock by the water where we put salt around us and cleansed orselves with white sage. Ingela brought out her drum and we listened and meditated. the full moon was shining on us from one side and the setting sun from the other, and this was at about 11PM. It can be very special to live where the sun never really sets during the summer. Listening to the drum and the small sounds of the waves against the rock was so incredible and the meditation went by like a dream.
Sunday, making the rattles
I had already dreamt what my gourd would look like, so picking out the right one was easy. It was very emotional to put the rattle together and decorate and paint it as it is a representation of myself and also it is supposed to strengthen me. Somehow it just came together just the way I wanted it to and it became perfect for me.
After making the rattles we had coffee and packed and put our stuff in our cars. Saying goodbye to these wonderful new friends was hard, but we all new that we are going to see each other again, that is a must!
I’m glad I was alone when driving home, I really needed the time to digest the experience and take it all in. How often do you have a whole weekend of nothing but positive feelings?
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