Shaman Sparks

About the Shamanic Experience

“The shaman experiences his sickness as a call to destroy this life within himself so as to hear, see, and live it more fully and completely in a higher state of awareness.” Holger Kalweit

“..all religions begin as spiritual experiences which then become politicized. Shamanism recalls the democratization of the spiritual experience, in which hierarchies are reserved for levels of experience rather than priests…

The shaman perceives a world of total aliveness, in all parts personal, in all parts sentient, in all parts capable of being known and used. This yields to the practicing shaman its powers…for bringing into the profane world the transformational powers of sacred time and space.” Jean Houston

“The shaman has been referred to as the ‘wounded healer’, a ‘half-healed madman’, a poorly integrated individual.. shamans have indeed undergone a crisis of tremendous proportions.. However, it is quite clear that the shaman has not only been psychically wounded or physically ill, but has also somehow been healed…” Joan Halifax

“…shamans earn the wings they need… the wings which allow them to make the journey at will.. The spirits destroy and break the shaman, yet he is reborn and returns to earth with the power to heal. No longer just torn, he becomes reintegrated, and is more powerful for his experience.” Mary Schmidt

“The shaman could well be expected to lose complete control.. However, it is precisely his ability to remain composed…which distinguishes him from the schizophrenic. As Eliade says, ‘the shaman is the technician of the sacred.’ So a shaman must tear insight from the spirits who have torn him…” Nevill Drury