I often use CAMs alongside shamanic practices, usually at beginner or self-help levels. I share as I know how and adventure further on my own. I refrain from making any scientific or technical claims about the effectiveness of CAMs or giving explanations of how CAMs might help healing. I simply use CAMs with shamanizing to help create and keep sacred spacetime or help ground spiritual healing by involving the physical senses or help shift consciousness.
Aromatherapy, Perfumery, and Herbalism:
- all relate to but are distinct from the shamanic ways often called Plant Spirit Medicine, where plant spirits are related to in non-ordinary reality through shamanic states of consciousness
- Two favorite books about shamanic healing with plant spirits are PLANT SPIRIT MEDICINE by Eliot Cowan and
PLANT SPIRIT SHAMANISM by Ross Heaven (Author), Howard G. Charing (Author), Pablo Amaringo (Foreword)
- Another book I am ready to read is PLANT SPIRIT HEALING: A GUIDE TO WORKING WITH PLANT CONSCIOUSNESS by Pam Montgomery (Author), Stephen Harrod Buhner (Foreword)
- Smudging is a ceremonial and/or shamanic healing practice, also different from naturopathic or pharmacognostic or pharmacological plant healing methods or systems and I smudge often as a powerful mini-healing
- Aromatherapy, a CAM which uses essential oils with (often with massage) for improving spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health and maintaining wellness
- Perfumery is sometimes called a CAM but includes or emphasises the use of conscentrated and/or synthetic substitute fragrances and fragrance blends for diverse purposes
- Herbalism or Herbology is an umbrella term covering many CAM uses of plants and plant extracts for promoting and restoring health
Aromatherapy, perfumery, and herbalism easily synergize creatively with shamanics. I used to consider it very important to choose organically grown herbs for teas I might drink and serve during a session and washes I use for self-purification before and after. And I used to use only pure essential oils instead of resorting to manufactured fragrances or perfumes in opening sacred space.
Although I still lean towards and turn first towards the natural, over the last few years I have been present while expert shamanizers worked powerfully and effectively with artificial commercial scents and other aroma-psychology or commercial beverage products, as they were guided by Spirit and Spirits. From what I have heard and read, most shamanizers who blend shamanics with aromatherapy or herbalism do prefer whole plants and complex plant substances to artificial simplified ones and consider these to be wiser and more powerful helpers than concentrated extracts or substitute chemical compounds. Yet many shamanizers are not necessarily restricted in this way.
So now I recommend proceeding according to one's own practice experiences while continuing to self-educate about all possibilities, and studying articles by aromatherapists and herbologists as well research results along with the words skeptics and debunkers. This is my approach when considering any CAM practice.
Minerals, Crystals, Gems, Rocks, and Stones Many pre-conscious beings of the mineral realms are usually with me through shamanic healing and transforming sessions. Crystals and rocks help create and hold sacred healing space, help me reconnect to the earth and beauty, and boost and shift shamanic dreaming and journeying in mysterious ways. To a shamanizer every particle of existance is Spirit and has Spirit(s) and can help spiritual healing, but defining how mineral beings help is optional to this shamanizer.
There are many pseudo-scientific and magikal and spiritual explanations about the healing and transforming properties of crystals and rocks and many systems and methods for accessing gem and stone powers in vibrational healing or as an adjunct to energy medicine. I read and listen to every teaching I come upon enthusiastically but subscribe to none of them so far.
Yet in a way I subscribe to all of the crystal and mineral healing systems and teachings now and then, whenever I am instructed to do so for a while by Spirits, especially when someone requesting shamanic assistance has come to me with a 'knowing' or teaching about how crystals or rocks could help the healing process. These days most of my shamanizing is self-healing or shamanic acts, as I am moved by Spirit(s), of transforming situations involving suffering beings that I notice.
Shamanic relating to mineral beings means connecting to thier Spirits and connecting to Spirit with and through them. I do this and do not even try to figure out or define how. Other than that, my understanding (so far) is that crystals and rocks help me shamanize by activating my imagination and generating wonder. Having mineral beings around my environment and in my shamanizing stimulates delight and that is enough for me.
Wow! I must log off already, but I will return and write a little more on CAMs and shamanics another day.