“In the absence of the sacred, nothing is sacred. Everything is for sale.” –Oren R. Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Turtle Clan
One of the most important teachings from indigenous people who are still rooted in shamanic and earth-based traditions is that being embedded in nature means being close to creation, the creator and the divine – that the sacred is directly experienced through creation and can be understood through observation and communication with the spirit(s) of nature. While we modern people have been led to believe that the divine is somewhere ‘out there’, indigenous shamanic people remind us that the sacred and divine is 'right here’. We are a part of nature; not separate from it or 'above’ it.
Shamans have always immersed themselves in nature because they knew that the only way to recharge was to connect with nature’s healing energy. The longer the immersion; the more transformational the experience. What better way to re-energize than to sit in a deep forest, or next to a waterfall for a few days and nights? Shamans knew that some of that natural power could be gathered and stored using shamanic techniques and then applied later to their active endeavors. There is no reason why an ordinary person cannot learn and apply similar techniques to recharge, gather, store, and apply the renewed vitality gained from time in nature.
Shamanism is a way of living in harmony with nature, rather than an adherence to a religious doctrine. By practicing these ways of being, we awaken our soul calling and our connection to nature. The spirits of nature are here to teach us to be better humans. They come to assist us in doing the principal unique thing we have come here to do in a way that benefits all living things. The shamanic way is good medicine for a world that needs to experience the divine in nature in order to become whole.
Shamanism is ultimately about consciousness, about learning through attunement to nature. It provides a myriad of responses to the spiritual quest of self-discovery. It is a path that emphasizes establishing a personal relationship with the powers of creation. It is a way that embeds us in the living web of life, yielding greater awareness and perspective. Shamanic practices are easily integrated into contemporary life and provide a means of navigating the turbulent times in which we live.