Thursday, February 14, 2008

Which CAMs blend most beautifully with shamanics?

What Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs) best complement shamanics? Over the years I have practiced and tested many spiritual treatments and complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) - from natural, integral, and transpersonal to New Age, and 'other' - and I keep on doing further research as a lifelong passion. So far I have found many CAMs to be of questionable value...except as additional ways for innovative shamans to stir up creative dreaming and imagining in particular situations for shamanic shifting purposes.

Update: I am returning to add that I have come to concur with several of my circle companions that shamanic healing and transforming 'works' mainly if not entirely within and through imagining and dreaming which eventually catalyze ordinary reality changes through natural everyday processes of space, time, energy, and matter. For me life, the universe, and everything (all at once) is The Miracle and the only magic (or magik or magick) is ecstatic living through as many new here-how moments as possible. I would be delighted if someone demonstrated the truth of a mystical explanation for any amazing thing whatsoever and I entertain myself with fantastical visions of miracles bringing beneficial changes every day in my imagination and dreams. But lately I am favoring the use of Occam's Razor whenever (and if ever) I want a plausible explantion of some wonder - which isn't often.

My Recommendations: By now there are many CAMs or spiritual treatments I would recommend against. Yet there remain a few I might recommend, on a case by case basis.

New Thought: Alongside shamanic journeying and intentional dreaming I often use Religious Science prayer-treatments based upon THE SCIENCE OF MIND by Ernest Holmes. I shamanic-journey or dream and do ritual to align my physical, emotional, and mental states and energy-flows all at once to begin being and living and acting out fully the prayer-treatment intention - experiencing, recognizing, and affirming 'what I want' as already present in the non-ordinary realms of Spirit and the Spirits for the grasping and bringing back to my ordinary world.

Artplay: Expressive and creative arts 'therapies' (as distinguished from, yet maybe overlapping a little now and then, the longstanding standardized field of Art Therapy) have proven highly effective for me in energizing shamanic intentions and actions. In our circle we call these processes shamanic artplay. I continually come up with new names (as - or if - needed) for any specific practices under this heading because professional associations of standard western medical-model oriented mental health practitioners have been attempting to define these methods and techniques, standarize and protect their professional insurance billable practices, and get these licensed by private boards and/or governments. Most of these therapies help me 'become as a child' - the better to relate to the non-ordinary during shamanzing. ART AND HEALING by Barbara Ganim is the best book I have found for brainstorming around this approach.

Sound, light, color: In New Age and CAM terminology healing with sound, light, and color is often called 'vibrational' or 'energy' (or 'chakra') healing - there are many names and an amazing array of methods, techniques, terms, theories, auxiliary devices for sale, and extraordinary claims posted around the www. Maybe I will return to this paragraph and link a few of examples up here...or not. What works for me is adding (minus the dogma) as many sounds, lights, and colors - as well as textures, tastes, and smells - to healing artplay as I am encouraged and inspired to by Spirit and the Spirits, moment by moment.

Wow! This post is turning into the beginnings of an article! I have been intending to get myself to blog more instead of keeping my ruminations and musings to myself. But now I must sign-off, saying I shall return another day to continue my lists and descriptions for this topic.

~ Sharon

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