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Learning to be a Shaman
March 28, 2008
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To those of you that attended my workshop in London and the Equinox Chant in Waterloo, thank you and welcome to my newsletter. If you'd like to access past newsletters containing the ongoing articles on Magic, the Power of Mantra and other topics, please visit the 'newsletter' page of my website,  whyislife.com

This newsletter features the first of a series of articles on Shamanism, which will include interesting info as well as practical ways to enter the shamanic realms, access your spirit ally, practice shamanic healing, etc.
In the last newsletter I announced the launching of The Bhadra Collective, an ensemble of singers and musicians celebrating the  return of goddess energies to the planet with a new brand of danceable chant music. Due to a variety of reasons, the dates for this launch will be postponed to the early autumn.

Peace and love, Dennis.


by Dennis Gaumond


A 'light-worker' could be defined as someone who is dedicated to healing - to moving consciously and steadfastly toward enlightenment, while at the same time being of service to others - to mankind and Mother Earth. The same could be said of a shaman. The biggest difference is that a shaman can be a much more effective light-worker because the shaman has the capacity to access other levels of reality, to tap into the information and assistance that is available in these other realms. A shaman is someone who has developed the ability to move in and out of altered states of consciousness, using a variety of methods. In these altered states a shaman learns to manipulate and create circumstances, to communicate with spirits or entities and to 'see' things that are not usually available in ordinary states of consciousness. A shaman can thus be a very powerful healer, leader, teacher and magician.


The word 'shaman' is said to come from the Tungus, a people living in Siberia. It is also said to originate from the Sanskrit word, 'shramana', which means 'ascetic'. It's a word that has evolved to refer to any person who was once referred to by westerners as a 'witch doctor', 'medicine man', 'sorcerer', 'necromancer', etcetera. So even though the term was first associated with a specific culture, nowadays it refers to any person in any culture who fits the description above. Shamanic traditions have existed in a wide variety of cultures, in indigenous societies and in larger civilizations, dating back to prehistoric times.


As we discussed in the previous series on magic, to be an effective magician one must develop the ability to remain lucid and in control of one's thoughts and actions while in a trance state. In an ideal shamanic society, there is no need for elections or royal lineages. When an entire tribe enters trance together, they can get a sense of which one of them is in the greatest degree of control in the altered state of consciousness. That individual would be seen as the most fit to lead and would become chief or shaman of the tribe. That individual would have the ability to communicate and 'make a deal' with the spirit of the prey animal of that tribe, thus securing the tribe's prosperity. That person would be of benefit to his/her people in many ways, healing illness, providing counsel and spiritual guidance. The shaman is both leader and servant.


Typically, a shaman has the ability to function well in both the ordinary and non-ordinary realms. A shaman is not usually a recluse who is 'lost in his own world'. He can traverse both realms at will and acts with intention and compassion. He knows his way around the lower and higher worlds and can communicate with the entities that reside there, but he can also teach and communicate well with people that live in normal reality. This makes him a much better servant. I remember a passage in one of the Carlos Castaneda books when Carlos accidentally meets his shaman/teacher, Don Juan in the city. We usually encounter Don Juan in the wilds of Mexico, dressed like a peasant and living humbly in a thatched hut. But in the city he is dressed impeccably in a business suit and we are surprised to learn that he is reasonably wealthy. He is adept in both realms.


Future newsletters will include interesting tidbits about shamanism as well as safe methods to enter the Lowerworld and to connect with your power spirit.


chant magic graphic
I recently received some interesting reviews of my book, 'Why Is Life?'  If you'd like to read them, please go to this site, click on the 'cosmic archive' link and then to the Jan., 2008 link:       cosmicbookreviews.com


DATE                       CITY                        TOPIC                        VENUE                      
WED., APRIL 2/08        Guelph,                   Guelph                      Unitarian Church
7:45 to 9:30 pm        Ontaro                    Chant Club

The Unitarian Church is on the corner of
Harris and York Streets in Guelph.

For more Detailed directions, check out guelph-unitarians.ca


DATE                       CITY                        TOPIC                        VENUE                      
FRIDAY, APRIL 18/08     Waterloo,               Waterloo                
The Community of Hearts
7:30 to 9 pm                 Ontario                Chant Club                           Yoga Studio


Party at Wally's with

dennis gaumond
and the
psychedelic blues band

"blues with a worlbeat twist - a mix of the sacred and profane"   

Wally's Tavern
Phone: 519 827-1486
Address: 107 Wyndham Street North,
Sunny Downtown Guelph

when: Friday, April 11, 9:00 PM
   who: Dennis Gaumond - guitar, dobro, harmonica, vocals
            Peter Grimmer - drums
            Jesse Turton - bass
why: I dunno

"bring your dancing shoes"

- Hope to see you there.
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