Body Shamanism-Continuum As A Way To (Re-)connect With Spirit
Volker explores the similarities in the practice of Continuum and shamanism. Reconnect with your inner wisdom, directly to the original source, your origin.
23 June 2022
Who were we, before we started walking on land?
What was our original language, before we developed words and a sense of mind?
What is our source, and how can we (re-)connect?
The term “shamanism” is used for the practice of communication with Spirit in an altered, non-ordinary state. Nobody knows of its origins because it can be tracked back to the Paleolithic times, long before history was accurately recorded. It was probably one of the first practices of human beings on Earth, when a shaman, as a medium (re-)connected with Spirit with the help of nature totems like animals, plants, or rocks, for communication, creating balance and healing.
The earliest practices of shamanism most likely included drums, rattles, or songs, and sounds. The shaman might have been observed showing unconventional movements or behavior while in their ritualistic altered state. Sometimes the shaman might have gone through suffering or physical and mental challenges.
There are various forms of traditional shamanism of indigenous people intertwined within our modern cultural context. Today, many people from all walks of life practice a form of shamanism, with the aim to reconnect with nature and Spirit, and to find answers to questions about their lives.
Shamanism through the body:
When a shaman enters the altered state, the poses and expressions of the movements, the sounds and costumes are often similar to the spirit form that was invited or called upon. Putting the body in these shapes and forms could bring in new information. The healing comes through these insights, an inner knowing of what needs to be done for the land, the people, the individual, the dis-ease. Sometimes the insights that arose from the inquiry were expressed in words, but often, the new awareness was felt and communicated through movement expression itself.
Continuum and Shamanism:
There are many similarities in the practice of Continuum and shamanism. Continuum practice is a way to enter into the body, reconnect with the inner knowing, inner wisdom, the expanded wisdom that is part of our original source, our origin. We (re-)connect with different life forms, “becoming” the octopus, “growing” the antlers of the deer or experiencing the back of the lizard in our imaginal realm. In Continuum practice, we can let the spine move like a snake, or imagine our fingers sprouting and growing in the same way a seed expands its tiny leaves as it reaches out for the sun.
We look for unconventional movement, knowing that new movements expand our thinking capacity and our broadband perceptions. We can have a question, but we go into our practice without an expectation. Sometimes we go through inner turmoil and challenges. And then… sometimes… there is a glimpse, a new insight, a feeling of balance, a healing. The snake sheds its skin and we feel reborn, whole, part of the big web.
Body Shamanism - our origin:
I believe that communication with Spirit, (re-)connecting with our body – this body or any other living form in this or any other dimension – is a natural part and ability of our being. Everybody can connect with it, because this is what we are in essence. The fluids in our body, or any other living being, carry the knowledge. We are not separated from anything, and nothing is separated from us. Picking up the thread on any point of the web will bring us the information needed.
We are part of Spirit, now living in bodies as people of the Earth. As human beings, we all are indigenous to Earth. Our origin traces back further than what Google knows, or our history books say. I believe there must have been a time pre-shamanism, when the communication with Spirit was direct and immediate, when the sounds, movements and inner knowing were direct and immediate. Perhaps it is this way now. Connection with Spirit doesn’t need the altered state, because it is in direct connection. No medium is needed. The body is the medium.
Of course, we need to listen, and to be able to listen we need to waaaaaaaaay slooooow doooooown! We can’t see the tiny flowers in the grass when we are sitting in a high-speed train. This is where the practice comes into play. And from what I experience, Continuum is the way to slow down the high-speed train! As we begin our Continuum practice, the time and space continuum can immediately change. It can shift in an instant.
What is our source, and how can we (re-)connect? Continuum can show us a way, and the more we layer and repeat the experience, the more time we take for the practice, the clearer the medium – our body – becomes, the clearer the communication will be. There is never a guarantee of what the outcome will be. But we can enter that state again and again, listening, sounding, moving. Pause. Moving, sounding, listening. Pause. Sounding. Pause. Listening. Pause. Moving.
* Note from the author: I’m aware that when talking about shamanism it is always from a limited understanding of what it was or might be in a certain cultural context. This article is written from personal experiences and feelings and intended as an inspiration for further personal research and development. It is not intended to give a complete overview but as an offering on your own journey.