People are drawn to Shamanism for various reasons. Mainly people want excitement, phenomena and ritual. But there is much more to it than that. It is a way of life, a daily occurrence for me and many others on the Path.
In Shamanism, we follow Circular and Collective ways. The Circle is about living, learning and sharing our stories, not judging them and being open, honest and out front with what we are living. In a Collective, we all are connected, we all feel each other and we do not keep anything hidden or secret.
In Western society we are often taught (programmed) to show only the best of us, keep up a good front, guard our secrets and all... and I understand that is necessary in a world where we live side by side with strangers and work with people who are competitive or would use your secrets against you.
But in a Sacred Circle or Shamanic community, the main intention is to grow, heal and learn together as ONE, as well as experiencing the Medicine and Teachings.
Oneness is another thing that is often mentioned but not really understood or experienced. As a Hypersensitive, Dreamer and Wheelkeeper, when I do a circle, I feel all those who are in it. It is the unspoken, hidden things that affects my body adversely. I know what those in the circles are feeling and living, I often hold the stories in my body until they are resolved. I will live their stories before and after the Circle. I know New Agers or Healers will say, let it go... but it doesn't work that way in my world. We don't always have a choice and we see it as a learning experience, as hard as it can be sometimes. We are inter-connected and we can help each other if we are open and honest about what we are living.
It isn't easy when people are hiding their true feelings and issues. It is better to bring things out in the open in a circle setting so we can all learn and heal together. We don't keep secrets from each other.
The more we are open about our shortcomings, our fears, shadow and dysfunctional, imbalanced habits, - with ourselves and others - the more we can get other perspectives, other stories and maybe even discover that we are all the same, living the same things. We can find common ground.
Light and dark are part of Nature. We all are both. The idea is to become balanced in both, not to judge the darkness, not to hide from it or hide it from those who can help you learn to master it, find balance, healing and resolution in it.
Too much light is not any better than too much dark.
Our world wants to be in the Light all the time, but if you look at what is going on, shadow is dominating and getting bigger, partly because we don't do the work we need to do with our own shadow issues. We resist, deny, avoid, procrastinate, etc. We may think we did our work, but life will test us. In Shamanism, we work with experience, not mental concepts.
When I came on path, it took me a long time to understand Oneness and to accept my own shadow. I judged it, did not want to acknowledge it, but it came back to bite me in the ass. So I had no choice but to face it head on. Acceptance does not mean to hold onto our issues, it means by accepting, talking about them and following the Way of the Wheel all the way through to resolution and healing our stories. We can change for the better! It does not happen overnight, it happens over time in degrees as we peel away at the layers of fears, programs, broken moons, indoctrinated behaviours, linear thinking... etc.
I am grateful for my Teachers and community who helped me and still help me when I am not conscious of my hidden unresolved shadow issues. We need others to see what we can't or won't look see on our own.