Shaman Services

“We need to remember that we are each of us indigenous to Earth, even though some of have fallen into a profound amnesia about that reality. Shamanism is a world wide practice and we each are the descended from the ancient peoples who practiced it in some form. The impulse behind shamanism is the universal and ultimately, we are the people (including non humans),  and healing and growth that comes from a path of Spirit is the birth of each of us. The shaman is an archetypal presence in our culture coding and our DNA. You might even say that when we are taking of the welfare of the planet and the unborn, it is our responsibility to find our way back to the path and to live it, not just talk about it. Understanding what the shaman is historically and what the emerging shamanic personality consists of  may be profoundly helpful to our understanding of what is required of us in a time when the very future of Earth is at stake.”

Lauren de Boar

Shaman Services

Ministry Of Consciousness Nevada offers shamanism based Multidimensional Healing Sessions (people, animals & land), Consulting, Ceremonies, Products, Classes long distant and in person.

Shamanism Medical Sessions

Ministry Of Consciousness Ceremonial Offerings

Shamanism Consulting ~ Coaching Business ~ Personal

Shamanism Products

Shamanic Earth Solutions

ministryofconsciousnessnevada@gmail.com or 775.624.7862

 

 

Medical Shamanism Class Reno, Nevada

For Health and Healing Yourself

Medical Shamanism Class is a class that gives simple tools and practices to cure ourselves. Every month for an hour and half we will have a sacred power space to participate in practices with each other. This class covers basic principles, ideas and practices in Shamanism for generating power which leads to health.

These practices are for reclaiming lost energy or power, generating new energy or power, cleaning and clearing up any leaks, bringing “taken” or “given” away back to ourselves. Basics will include: witnessing for ourselves and others, recapitulation how to, tensegrity or shamans passes and forms (movement) which cleans and generates energy/power back into the luminous sphere and some short journeys to into the mystery.

A series of practices including shaman passes, simple elemental practices or dreaming tools will be given at during each class. The student may use them for the following month as home work. It all begins with our lost emotional body, finding it and building a bridge to bring it closer to our physical form. You can be more energetic, have increased vitality and live longer.

This class is the 4th Sunday of every month starting April 23, 2017 and runs through August 27, 2017 @ Idlewild Park Reno, Nevada 89509 from 3 pm to 5 pm. $25 drop in per person. Comfy clothes and a yoga mat.

For more information contact Bridgette 775.624.7862 or ministryofconsciounessnevada.org

Fall 2016 long distance Multidimensional Healing Special

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“I cured with the power that came through me. Of course, it was not I who cured, it was the power from the Outer World, the visions and the ceremonies had only made me like a hole through which the power could come to the two-leggeds.”

Black Elk

October 2016 ~ December 2016 Online Special

Health & Nutritional Consulting, Energy Healing & Readings

Life & Business Coaching

and More……

Online sessions usually run $125; with Fall Special individual sessions are discounted at $100 or you can get a package of three sessions for $230 until end of December 2016. All Fall Special Sessions done by appointment on Skype video call. These sessions can make great gifts for the holiday session, birthdays, and anniversaries or for condolences. All sessions are based from a multidimensional perspective.

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Bridgette Lyn Dolgoff has had a private practice in Energy & Structural Medicine for over 25 years working on humans and animals. Her shamanism work takes her into the 64 dimensional layers accessing information and healing energies. Bridgette specializes in her own formats, structures, practices in Shamanism utilizing Fire & Snake Medicine and Transmutation as well as structural medicine. Her Shamanism work also involves Earth healing, energy grid adjustments, ceremonies, working with communities through educating and reversing our programmed thinking about the world we live in. Bridgette is also a sustainable Biodynamic farmer educating about our spiritual return back to Earth. She brings insights on how to work with the medicine of earth in systems of recovery and restoration for the health of our bodies, soil, water, air, plants life and animals. Her offerings include workshops, webinars and classes, lecturing, consulting, coaching, with a special intent for hands on building and development. She is registered with the International Association of Medical Intuitives.

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For more information please contact Bridgette at the Ministry Of Consciousness https://ministryofconsciousnessnevada.org/

What A Shaman Sees In A Mental Hospital

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.

What those in the West view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.” The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs to be communicated from the spirit realm. “Mental disorder, behavioral disorder of all kinds, signal the fact that two obviously incompatible energies have merged into the same field,” says Dr. Somé. These disturbances result when the person does not get assistance in dealing with the presence of the energy from the spirit realm.

One of the things Dr. Somé encountered when he first came to the United States in 1980 for graduate study was how this country deals with mental illness. When a fellow student was sent to a mental institute due to “nervous depression,” Dr. Somé went to visit him.

“I was so shocked. That was the first time I was brought face to face with what is done here to people exhibiting the same symptoms I’ve seen in my village.” What struck Dr. Somé was that the attention given to such symptoms was based on pathology, on the idea that the condition is something that needs to stop. This was in complete opposition to the way his culture views such a situation. As he looked around the stark ward at the patients, some in straitjackets, some zoned out on medications, others screaming, he observed to himself, “So this is how the healers who are attempting to be born are treated in this culture. What a loss! What a loss that a person who is finally being aligned with a power from the other world is just being wasted.”

Another way to say this, which may make more sense to the Western mind, is that we in the West are not trained in how to deal or even taught to acknowledge the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world. In fact, psychic abilities are denigrated. When energies from the spiritual world emerge in a Western psyche, that individual is completely unequipped to integrate them or even recognize what is happening. The result can be terrifying. Without the proper context for and assistance in dealing with the breakthrough from another level of reality, for all practical purposes, the person is insane. Heavy dosing with anti-psychotic drugs compounds the problem and prevents the integration that could lead to soul development and growth in the individual who has received these energies.

On the mental ward, Dr Somé saw a lot of “beings” hanging around the patients, “entities” that are invisible to most people but that shamans and psychics are able to see. “They were causing the crisis in these people,” he says. It appeared to him that these beings were trying to get the medications and their effects out of the bodies of the people the beings were trying to merge with, and were increasing the patients’ pain in the process. “The beings were acting almost like some kind of excavator in the energy field of people. They were really fierce about that. The people they were doing that to were just screaming and yelling,” he said. He couldn’t stay in that environment and had to leave.

In the Dagara tradition, the community helps the person reconcile the energies of both worlds–”the world of the spirit that he or she is merged with, and the village and community.” That person is able then to serve as a bridge between the worlds and help the living with information and healing they need. Thus, the spiritual crisis ends with the birth of another healer. “The other world’s relationship with our world is one of sponsorship,” Dr. Somé explains.“More often than not, the knowledge and skills that arise from this kind of merger are a knowledge or a skill that is provided directly from the other world.”

The beings who were increasing the pain of the inmates on the mental hospital ward were actually attempting to merge with the inmates in order to get messages through to this world. The people they had chosen to merge with were getting no assistance in learning how to be a bridge between the worlds and the beings’ attempts to merge were thwarted. The result was the sustaining of the initial disorder of energy and the aborting of the birth of a healer.

“The Western culture has consistently ignored the birth of the healer,” states Dr. Somé. “Consequently, there will be a tendency from the other world to keep trying as many people as possible in an attempt to get somebody’s attention. They have to try harder.” The spirits are drawn to people whose senses have not been anesthetized. “The sensitivity is pretty much read as an invitation to come in,” he notes.

Those who develop so-called mental disorders are those who are sensitive, which is viewed in Western culture as oversensitivity. Indigenous cultures don’t see it that way and, as a result, sensitive people don’t experience themselves as overly sensitive. In the West, “it is the overload of the culture they’re in that is just wrecking them,” observes Dr. Somé. The frenetic pace, the bombardment of the senses, and the violent energy that characterize Western culture can overwhelm sensitive people.

SCHIZOPHRENIA AND FOREIGN ENERGY

With schizophrenia, there is a special “receptivity to a flow of images and information, which cannot be controlled,” stated Dr. Somé. “When this kind of rush occurs at a time that is not personally chosen, and particularly when it comes with images that are scary and contradictory, the person goes into a frenzy.”

What is required in this situation is first to separate the person’s energy from the extraneous foreign energies, by using shamanic practice (what is known as a “sweep”) to clear the latter out of the individual’s aura. With the clearing of their energy field, the person no longer picks up a flood of information and so no longer has a reason to be scared and disturbed, explains Dr. Somé.

Then it is possible to help the person align with the energy of the spirit being attempting to come through from the other world and give birth to the healer. The blockage of that emergence is what creates problems. “The energy of the healer is a high-voltage energy,” he observes. “When it is blocked, it just burns up the person. It’s like a short-circuit. Fuses are blowing. This is why it can be really scary, and I understand why this culture prefers to confine these people. Here they are yelling and screaming, and they’re put into a straitjacket. That’s a sad image.”Again, the shamanic approach is to work on aligning the energies so there is no blockage, “fuses” aren’t blowing, and the person can become the healer they are meant to be.

It needs to be noted at this point, however, that not all of the spirit beings that enter a person’s energetic field are there for the purposes of promoting healing. There are negative energies as well, which are undesirable presences in the aura. In those cases, the shamanic approach is to remove them from the aura, rather than work to align the discordant energies

ALEX: CRAZY IN THE USA, HEALER IN AFRICA

To test his belief that the shamanic view of mental illness holds true in the Western world as well as in indigenous cultures, Dr. Somé took a mental patient back to Africa with him, to his village. “I was prompted by my own curiosity to find out whether there’s truth in the universality that mental illness could be connected with an alignment with a being from another world,” says Dr. Somé.

Alex was an 18-year-old American who had suffered a psychotic break when he was 14. He had hallucinations, was suicidal, and went through cycles of dangerously severe depression. He was in a mental hospital and had been given a lot of drugs, but nothing was helping. “The parents had done everything–unsuccessfully,” says Dr. Somé. “They didn’t know what else to do.”

With their permission, Dr. Somé took their son to Africa. “After eight months there, Alex had become quite normal, Dr. Somé reports. He was even able to participate with healers in the business of healing; sitting with them all day long and helping them, assisting them in what they were doing with their clients . . . . He spent about four years in my village.” Alex stayed by choice, not because he needed more healing. He felt, “much safer in the village than in America.”

To bring his energy and that of the being from the spiritual realm into alignment, Alex went through a shamanic ritual designed for that purpose, although it was slightly different from the one used with the Dagara people.“He wasn’t born in the village, so something else applied. But the result was similar, even though the ritual was not literally the same,” explains Dr. Somé. The fact that aligning the energy worked to heal Alex demonstrated to Dr. Somé that the connection between other beings and mental illness is indeed universal.

After the ritual, Alex began to share the messages that the spirit being had for this world. Unfortunately, the people he was talking to didn’t speak English (Dr. Somé was away at that point). The whole experience led, however, to Alex’s going to college to study psychology. He returned to the United States after four years because “he discovered that all the things that he needed to do had been done, and he could then move on with his life.”

The last that Dr. Somé heard was that Alex was in graduate school in psychology at Harvard. No one had thought he would ever be able to complete undergraduate studies, much less get an advanced degree.

Dr. Somé sums up what Alex’s mental illness was all about: “He was reaching out. It was an emergency call. His job and his purpose was to be a healer. He said no one was paying attention to that.”

After seeing how well the shamanic approach worked for Alex, Dr. Somé concluded that spirit beings are just as much an issue in the West as in his community in Africa. “Yet the question still remains, the answer to this problem must be found here, instead of having to go all the way overseas to seek the answer. There has to be a way in which a little bit of attention beyond the pathology of this whole experience leads to the possibility of coming up with the proper ritual to help people.

LONGING FOR SPIRITUAL CONNECTION

A common thread that Dr. Somé has noticed in “mental” disorders in the West is “a very ancient ancestral energy that has been placed in stasis, that finally is coming out in the person.” His job then is to trace it back, to go back in time to discover what that spirit is. In most cases, the spirit is connected to nature, especially with mountains or big rivers, he says.

In the case of mountains, as an example to explain the phenomenon, “it’s a spirit of the mountain that is walking side by side with the person and, as a result, creating a time-space distortion that is affecting the person caught in it.” What is needed is a merger or alignment of the two energies, “so the person and the mountain spirit become one.” Again, the shaman conducts a specific ritual to bring about this alignment.

Dr. Somé believes that he encounters this situation so often in the United States because “most of the fabric of this country is made up of the energy of the machine, and the result of that is the disconnection and the severing of the past. You can run from the past, but you can’t hide from it.”The ancestral spirit of the natural world comes visiting. “It’s not so much what the spirit wants as it is what the person wants,” he says. “The spirit sees in us a call for something grand, something that will make life meaningful, and so the spirit is responding to that.”

That call, which we don’t even know we are making, reflects “a strong longing for a profound connection, a connection that transcends materialism and possession of things and moves into a tangible cosmic dimension. Most of this longing is unconscious, but for spirits, conscious or unconscious doesn’t make any difference.” They respond to either.

As part of the ritual to merge the mountain and human energy, those who are receiving the“mountain energy” are sent to a mountain area of their choice, where they pick up a stone that calls to them. They bring that stone back for the rest of the ritual and then keep it as a companion; some even carry it around with them. “The presence of the stone does a lot in tuning the perceptive ability of the person,” notes Dr. Somé. “They receive all kinds of information that they can make use of, so it’s like they get some tangible guidance from the other world as to how to live their life.”

When it is the “river energy,” those being called go to the river and, after speaking to the river spirit, find a water stone to bring back for the same kind of ritual as with the mountain spirit.

“People think something extraordinary must be done in an extraordinary situation like this,” he says. That’s not usually the case. Sometimes it is as simple as carrying a stone.

A SACRED RITUAL APPROACH TO MENTAL ILLNESS

One of the gifts a shaman can bring to the Western world is to help people rediscover ritual, which is so sadly lacking. “The abandonment of ritual can be devastating. From the spiritual view, ritual is inevitable and necessary if one is to live,” Dr. Somé writes in Ritual: Power, Healing, and Community. “To say that ritual is needed in the industrialized world is an understatement. We have seen in my own people that it is probably impossible to live a sane life without it.”

Dr. Somé did not feel that the rituals from his traditional village could simply be transferred to the West, so over his years of shamanic work here, he has designed rituals that meet the very different needs of this culture. Although the rituals change according to the individual or the group involved, he finds that there is a need for certain rituals in general.

One of these involves helping people discover that their distress is coming from the fact that they are“called by beings from the other world to cooperate with them in doing healing work.” Ritual allows them to move out of the distress and accept that calling.

Another ritual need relates to initiation. In indigenous cultures all over the world, young people are initiated into adulthood when they reach a certain age. The lack of such initiation in the West is part of the crisis that people are in here, says Dr. Somé. He urges communities to bring together “the creative juices of people who have had this kind of experience, in an attempt to come up with some kind of an alternative ritual that would at least begin to put a dent in this kind of crisis.”

Another ritual that repeatedly speaks to the needs of those coming to him for help entails making a bonfire, and then putting into the bonfire “items that are symbolic of issues carried inside the individuals . . . It might be the issues of anger and frustration against an ancestor who has left a legacy of murder and enslavement or anything, things that the descendant has to live with,” he explains. “If these are approached as things that are blocking the human imagination, the person’s life purpose, and even the person’s view of life as something that can improve, then it makes sense to begin thinking in terms of how to turn that blockage into a roadway that can lead to something more creative and more fulfilling.”

The example of issues with an ancestors touches on rituals designed by Dr. Somé that address a serious dysfunction in Western society and in the process“trigger enlightenment” in participants. These are ancestral rituals, and the dysfunction they are aimed at is the mass turning-of-the-back on ancestors. Some of the spirits trying to come through, as described earlier, may be“ancestors who want to merge with a descendant in an attempt to heal what they weren’t able to do while in their physical body.”

“Unless the relationship between the living and the dead is in balance, chaos ensues,” he says. “The Dagara believe that, if such an imbalance exists, it is the duty of the living to heal their ancestors. If these ancestors are not healed, their sick energy will haunt the souls and psyches of those who are responsible for helping them.” The rituals focus on healing the relationship with our ancestors, both specific issues of an individual ancestor and the larger cultural issues contained in our past. Dr. Somé has seen extraordinary healing occur at these rituals.

Taking a sacred ritual approach to mental illness rather than regarding the person as a pathological case gives the person affected–and indeed the community at large–the opportunity to begin looking at it from that vantage point too, which leads to “a whole plethora of opportunities and ritual initiative that can be very, very beneficial to everyone present,” states. Dr. Somé.

http://www.jbbardot.com/shaman-mental-hospital/

Africa Traditional Healers LUBOWA

Traditional Consultant MUWONGE HASSAN

He is born to the Ganda Tribe of East Africa’s Ugandaand is from the Ngabi Clan. He was guided by the spirits from an early age of three years to prepare him to be their medium to the present world. Through sensitizations, rituals and divination, he connects today’s world with the ancestors and spreads the message of the importance of spirits to the community. Muwonge, as a spiritual medium, is endowed with great powers which help in traditional healing techniques with emphasis in spiritual healing.

Traditional Doctor Nanziri Mai Nasimbwa

T/Dr Nanzirir Mai is a member of the Kobbe Clan from The Ganda Tribe in Uganda.   She lives in the townshipof Gombe sub county in Butambala District.  From an early age, learned the rituals entrusted to her family. Today she is helping her people reclaim their ancestral wisdom which had been watered down by several generations of colonization and missionary presence. Her particular emphasis is on the role of women in the spiritual welfare of the community.

Traditional Doctor Naiga Milly

Born to the Ngabi Clan of the Ganda Tribe, she has lived in culturally oriented society ever since her youth. She is the Chairperson of LUBOWA TRADITIONAL HEALERS ASSOCIATION. The teachings and prophecies she received from her grandparents, her personal experiences, and “Dreamtime” have made her a knowledgeable traditional spiritualist.

Traditional Doctor Kasule Bazirondere Umar

He has his origin from The Ngeye Clan of the Ganda Tribe in Uganda. Kasule began his training as an attendant of The African Spiritual Temple (Esabbo) at the age of three. He is currently known to be a medium to various spirits with the community. He is also The Vice Chairperson of LUTHA.

http://lutha.webs.com/reknownspiritualists.htm

Amazon tribe creates traditional medicine encyclopedia

In one of the great tragedies of our age, indigenous traditions, stories, cultures and knowledge are winking out across the world. Whole languages and mythologies are vanishing, and in some cases even entire indigenous groups are falling into extinction. This is what makes the news that a tribe in the Amazon—the Matsés peoples of Brazil and Peru—have created a 500-page encyclopedia of their traditional medicine all the more remarkable. The encyclopedia, compiled by five shamans with assistance from conservation group Acaté, details every plant used by Matsés medicine to cure a massive variety of ailments.

“The [Matsés Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia] marks the first time shamans of an Amazonian tribe have created a full and complete transcription of their medicinal knowledge written in their own language and words,” Christopher Herndon, president and co-founder of Acaté, told Mongabay in an interview (in full below).

The Matsés have only printed their encyclopedia in their native language to ensure that the medicinal knowledge is not stolen by corporations or researchers as has happened in the past. Instead, the encyclopedia is meant as a guide for training new, young shamans in the tradition and recording the living shamans’ knowledge before they pass.

“One of the most renowned elder Matsés healers died before his knowledge could be passed on so the time was now. Acaté and the Matsés leadership decided to prioritize the Encyclopedia before more of the elders were lost and their ancestral knowledge taken with them,” said Herndon.

Acaté has also started a program connecting the remaining Matsés shamans with young students. Through this mentorship program, the indigenous people hope to preserve their way of life as they have for centuries past.

“With the medicinal plant knowledge disappearing fast among most indigenous groups and no one to write it down, the true losers in the end are tragically the indigenous stakeholders themselves,” said Herndon. “The methodology developed by the Matsés and Acaté can be a template for other indigenous cultures to safeguard their ancestral knowledge.”

 

Christopher Herndon: The encyclopedia marks the first time shamans of an Amazonian tribe have created a full and complete transcription of their medicinal knowledge written in their own language and words. Over the centuries, Amazonian peoples have passed on through oral tradition an accumulated wealth of knowledge and techniques of treatment that are a product of their deep spiritual and physical ties to the natural world. The Matsés live in one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet and have mastered knowledge of the healing properties of its plants and animals. Yet, in a world in which cultural change is destabilizing even the most isolated societies, this knowledge is rapidly disappearing.

It is hard to overstate just how quickly this knowledge can be lost after a tribe makes contact with the outside world. Once extinguished, this knowledge, along with the tribe’s self-sufficiency, can never fully be reclaimed. Historically, what has followed the loss of endemic health systems in many indigenous groups is near total dependency on the rudimentary and extremely limited external health care that is available in such remote and difficult-to-access locations. Not surprisingly, in most countries, indigenous groups have the highest rates of mortality and disease.

The initiative is important from the Matsés perspective because loss of culture and poor health care are among their greatest concerns. The methodology they pioneered to successfully protect and safeguard their own knowledge can serve as a replicable model for other indigenous communities facing similar cultural erosion. For the broader conservation movement, we know that there is a strong correlation between intact ecosystems and regions of indigenous inhabitation, making strengthening of indigenous culture one of the most effective ways to protect large areas of rainforest.

Christopher Herndon: The Matsés knowledge and the accumulated wisdom of generations stood on the very precipice of extinction. Fortunately, there remained a few elder Matsés who still held the ancestral knowledge as sustained contact with the outside world only occurred within the past half century. The healers were adults at the time of initial contact and had already mastered their skills before being told they were useless by missionaries and government workers. At the time we started the project, none of the elder shamans had younger Matsés interested in learning from them.

One of the most renowned elder Matsés healers died before his knowledge could be passed on so the time was now. Acaté and the Matsés leadership decided to prioritize the Encyclopedia before more of the elders were lost and their ancestral knowledge taken with them. The project was not about saving a traditional dance or costume, it was about their health and that of future generations of Matsés. The stakes could not be higher.

Christopher Herndon: After two years of intense work by the Matsés, the Encyclopedia now includes chapters by five Matsés master healers and is over 500 pages long! Each entry is categorized by disease name, with explanation of how to recognize it by symptoms; its cause; which plants to use; how to prepare the medicine and alternative therapeutic options. A photograph taken by the Matsés of each plant accompanies each entry in the encyclopedia.

The Encyclopedia is written by and from the worldview of the Matsés shaman, describing how rainforest animals are involved in the natural history of the plants and connected with diseases. It is a true shamanic encyclopedia, fully written and edited by indigenous shamans, the first to our knowledge of its kind and scope.

Christopher Herndon: We believe that empowering indigenous peoples is the most cost effective and enduring approach for rainforest conservation. It is no coincidence that the remaining tracts of intact rainforest in the Neotropics overlap closely with areas of indigenous habitation. Tribal peoples understand and value the rainforest because they are dependent upon it. This relationship extends beyond a utilitarian reliance; there is a spiritual link to the forest, a sense of interconnectivity that is difficult to comprehend through the compartmentalized Western mindset but real nonetheless.

Many of the serious environmental threats in remote indigenous areas that you hear about in the news—petroleum, timber, mining and the like—are external industries that opportunistically prey on the weakened internal social cohesion of recently contacted indigenous peoples, their limited resources, and increasing dependency on the outside world. The unifying theme of Acaté’s three programmatic areas, sustainable economy, traditional medicine, and agroecology is self-sufficiency. Acaté did not predetermine these three conservation priorities; they were set in discussion with the Matsés elders who know that the best way to protect their culture and lands is through a position of strength and independence.

From the global conservation perspective, the Matsés protect over 3 million acres of rainforest in Perú alone. This area includes some of the most intact, biodiverse, and carbon-rich forests in the country. The Matsés communities on the Brazilian side of the Javari and Yaquerana rivers frame the western borders of the Vale do Javari indigenous reserve, a region roughly the size of Austria that contains the largest number of ‘uncontacted’ tribes in voluntary isolation remaining the world. At the southern margins of the Matsés territory, in the headwaters of the Yaquerana river, lies La Sierra del Divisor, a region of staggering natural beauty, biodiversity, and also uncontacted tribal groups. For these reasons, although the Matsés may only number a little over 3,000 in total population, they are strategically positioned to protect a vast area of rainforest and a number of isolated tribal groups. Empowering them is high-yield conservation.

Christopher Herndon: The completion of the encyclopedia is a historical and critical first step towards mitigating existential threats to Matsés’ healing wisdom and self-sufficiency. However, the encyclopedia alone is insufficient to maintain their self-sufficiency as their healing systems are based on experience that can only be transmitted through long apprenticeships. Sadly, due to outside influences, when we started the project none of the elders had apprentices. Yet, at the same time, most villages still depended on and actively utilize the medicinal plant knowledge of the remaining elder healers, most of who are estimated to be over the age of 60.

In Phase II, the Apprentices Program, each elder shaman—many of whom are also Encyclopedia chapter authors—will be accompanied in the forest by younger Matsés to learn the plants and assist in treating patients. The apprenticeship program was initiated in 2014 in the village of Esitrón under the supervision of elder shaman Luis Dunu Chiaid. Due to the success of the pilot in Esitrón, it was unanimously agreed by the Matsés at the recent meeting that this program should be expanded to as many villages as possible, with priority given to villages that no longer have traditional healers.

The ultimate objective of the initiative is Phase III, the integration and enhancement of ‘Western’ health delivery with traditional practices. Wilmer, a health promoter in the small clinic in Estirón and one of the apprentices from the pilot program provides a role model for other Matsés health care workers. He understands that the future health of his people depends on the creation of dual, vibrant systems of health that allow the community to draw upon the best of both worlds.

In addition, it was agreed that our agro-forestry work should be expanded to include medicinal plant integration. This will be based on the healing forest created by one of the greatest Matsés healers in Nuevo San Juan and currently maintained by his son Antonio Jimenez. To an outsider, this forest looks like non-descript stretch of rainforest along the footpath to their farms, about a 10 to 15 minutes walk away from their village. In the presence of a master shaman pointing out the medicinal plants, you realize in a moment that you are surrounded in fact by a constellation of medicinal plants cultivated by the Matsés healers for use in treatment of a diverse range of ailments. Many rainforest vines and fungi don’t grow in open sun-exposed gardens and require rainforest ecosystems for their propagation. The placement of the healing forest 10 to 15 minutes away from their villages is characteristic Matsés efficiency. If you have a sick child, you don’t want to have to travel 4 hours to find the remedy.

Christopher Herndon: Unfortunately, history abounds with examples of theft from indigenous peoples. For the Matsés in particular, it is all too real. The skin secretions of the giant monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) are used in hunting rituals by the Matsés. The secretions, rich in a diversity of bioactive peptides, are administered directly into the body through application onto fresh burn or cut-wounds. Within moments, the toxins induce intense cardiovascular and autonomic responses, ultimately leading to a state of altered consciousness and heightened sensory acuity.

Although the range of the giant monkey frog extends across northern Amazonia, only the Matsés and a small number of neighboring Panoan tribes have been recorded to use its powerful secretions. After reports of the Matsés use of it emerged from the forest, investigations of the frog’s secretions in the laboratory revealed a complex cocktail of peptides with potent vasoactive, narcotic, and antimicrobial properties. Several pharmaceutical companies and universities filed patents on the peptides without recognition of indigenous peoples for which it has long held a unique and important role in their culture. One antifungal peptide from the frog was even transgenically inserted into a potato.

The fear of biopiracy is unfortunately a door that has swung both ways. Many conservation groups and scientists in the Amazon have done projects documenting indigenous knowledge of local fauna, such as recording bird names, but have generally been completely hands-off when it came to medicinal plants due to the fears of being accused of facilitating biopiracy. Yet with the medicinal plant knowledge disappearing fast among most indigenous groups and no one to write it down, the true losers in the end are tragically the indigenous stakeholders themselves. The methodology developed by the Matsés and Acaté can be a template for other indigenous cultures to safeguard their ancestral knowledge.

Christopher Herndon: Acaté and the Matsés developed an innovative methodology to protect their ancestral medicinal plant knowledge from extinction while safeguarding the sensitive information from theft by outside parties. The Encyclopedia is written only in Matsés. It is by and for the Matsés and no translations will be made into Spanish or English.No scientific names are included nor photographs of flowers or other easily identifiable characteristics of the plants to outsiders.

Each chapter of the Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia was written by a renowned elder shaman chosen by the community. Each elder was paired together with a younger Matsés who over months transcribed his knowledge in writing and photographed each plant. The photos and text were compiled and typed up on laptop by Wilmer Rodríguez López, a Matsés who is an expert in a written transcription of their language.

At the meeting, the compiled Encyclopedia, the draft of which exceeded 500 pages in length, was collectively edited and reviewed by the tribal shamans over several days. The completed Encyclopedia is now being formatted and printed for the Matsés, at their direction, and will neither be published nor disseminated outside of their communities.

We expect that the non-controversial success of the methodology pioneered by Acaté and our indigenous partners will open the door for similar efforts across the Amazon and beyond. We are already seeing efforts by other organizations eager to replicate it.

Christopher Herndon: Acaté cannot speak for the Matsés on this matter. I can say from working with indigenous healers throughout the Amazon that I have found them to be generally open to sharing their knowledge, when approached with respect. They also have an intellectual curiosity regarding other systems of healing, including our own.

Some of mankind’s most important pharmaceuticals, such as quinine and aspirin, have been developed through learning from traditional healers. Due to the political climate and international fears of biopiracy, it is challenging for even well intentioned pharmaceutical companies committed to equitable profit-sharing agreements to undertake such initiatives. Practically speaking, the complexity of indigenous knowledge and medicines is such that it is not possible to fully evaluate the phytochemistry within the timeframe that the knowledge is poised to be lost. The Encyclopedia, although not designed for this purpose, keeps options open in the future for the Matsés; a future that, in contrast to most historical precedents, will be one of their own determination.

We should also not lose perspective that, until their encyclopedia, the Matsés entire traditional health system was on the unchecked verge of disappearance due to influences of the outside world. The Matsés live in remote areas for which external health provision is challenging and limited. The health dispensaries in many Matsés communities, particularly the ones farthest upriver, chronically run short of the most basic medications, such as those used to treat falciparum malaria, an introduced disease. The Matsés pay out of pocket for these outside medicines, which are a considerable expense for many elders without sources of income. The simple microscope for malaria smears was broken in almost every village that I have visited. Comparatively, we live in a world of health care abundance. If there is to be dialogue, in my view it should begin with how we can support them in the present rather than how they can help us in the future.

Christopher Herndon: The health of a people, their culture, and environment are inextricably linked. One should not think of the harsh medical and socioeconomic realities in Haiti without appreciating the context that 98% of the half-island country is deforested with much of the land, along with its future potential, eroded away. The border between Haiti and the adjacent Dominican Republic can be viewed from satellite as an abrupt transition from brown to green, the result of different approaches to resource use. Likewise, the images of Ethiopia that exist in the modern consciousness belie the fact that, a mere century ago, Ethiopia was a country with a significant amount of forest cover.

The fate of the Matsés and their culture are forever bound to the future of their forests. By protecting their forests and strengthening their culture, you are protecting their health from a future blighted by diabetes, malnutrition, depression and alcoholism, the second wave of ‘introduced’ diseases that typically sets in indigenous communities a few short generations following contact with the outside world. Viewed in this way, biocultural conservation initiatives can be extremely cost-effective and preventative approaches to healthcare.

Christopher Herndon: Sometimes change on the ground begins with something as simple and as powerful as an idea. The idea that your culture, traditions and way of life are not inferior or something to be ashamed of, as others may have told you. The idea that the rainforests you call home have a value infinitely greater than petroleum reserves or mahogany sourced to produce luxury furniture. The idea that your mastery of the rainforest environment does not make you primitive and backward, but rather positions you to be at the forefront of the global movement for conservation. The Encyclopedia is a tangible first step towards bridging an increasingly widening generational gap before it is too late. The Encyclopedia initiative renews respect for the wisdom of the elders and returns the rainforest to a repository of healing and a place for learning.

Christopher Herndon: The unprecedented meeting was held in one of the most remote villages in the Matsés territory. It is extremely difficult to describe in words the emotion felt by all in attendance as the elder Matsés spoke of the battles they fought—
literally—to defend the Matsés territory and their way of life. Many were choking back tears as one elder after another called on the youth to seize this opportunity to fill the impending void left as the elders pass away, just as they did when their grandfathers were alive. I have been working in biocultural conservation in the Amazon for 15 years but it was one of the most inspirational experiences to hear the power of their oratory and the determination in their voices. You realize at once that the Matsés are warriors at heart, who have long fought to protect their lands and they are going to continue that fight.

http://news.mongabay.com/2015/06/amazon-tribe-creates-500-page-traditional-medicine-encyclopedia/

ARE YOU A “HEYOKA” EMPATH?

An Empath is a person who has the ability to understand the emotional state of another individual.  There are many different types of Empaths and many levels of gifts and abilities.  It’s one thing to be an empath, it’s another to be a Heyoka.

For the Heyoka Empath, there is little available information and yet is the most powerful type of Empath.  Heyoka or “Sacred Clown” is a Native American term and has been loosely translated to mean “Fool or Clown”.

This translation does not give justice to the true meaning of the term.  To say, to act in a manner that is different, backward, opposite of normal, gives us a clearer understanding.

The spirit of a Heyoka is the Great Mirror.  When you connect to a Heyoka, what you see in them will show you what you need to work on to evolve spiritually.  The Heyoka’s mirror is one of emotion, for however you react to them emotionally is their guidance to reflect back to you.

For example, after being with one you may feel anger, feeling them to be arrogant yet the Heyoka’s mirror is showing you your need to be humble.  Or you may feel great love, again the Mirror is showing you the path of self-love.

The following traits of a Heyoka is defined by the energy you carry. It’s how you interact with reality, how you process emotions.

Some of the traits may include; being dyslexic (thinking backwards), being born breach (coming into the world backwards), doing certain things backwards, or appearing younger than their age.  Heyoka is movement and transformation.

This is something you don’t claim to be. A Heyoka recognizes another Heyoka when they feel that energy. It’s a deep understanding of our how our sensitivities and emotions interact with each other.

In Native American ceremonies, the Heyoka would be the one to disrupt the proceedings so as to get the people to see things differently or to shift the energy of the situation.  Modern day Heyokas, when working with people, will say or do something to shift the energy which creates change, healing and balances the energy.

 

The Heyoka’s gift is to bring people back into balance and get people unstuck by showing the opposite, the backward way.  Heyoka’s carry the medicine of chaos and this medicine has the power to change people’s lives.

This energy is firm, forthcoming and strong. It is disruption out of love; in the hopes to experience growth.  It is the medicine to show us that the shadow remains unseen and the mirror of truth is hard to gaze into. It’s difficult to humble yourself in a world of ego.

So if you were to meet a Heyoka, would you have the courage to experience the unseen and see yourself as you truly are?

http://thespiritscience.net/2015/07/31/are-you-a-heyoka-empath/

Becoming a Helper to ease Chronic Pain…

moc pic letter head

I have spent quite a bit of my time in the last 25 years participating, apprenticing, reading, studying, and listening to teaches from First Nation groups. Most of the hands on work I have done have been in the realm of medicine (man/woman) or shamanism. Though I am not an expert as it is a lifetime journey,  I would like to share some thoughts on the idea of physical pain, pain in the body, joints that have been brought on by more than diet, injury or disease.

I am constantly educating myself in the holistic approaches looking deep into folklore, oral traditions in the last 5 years to find answers and connections to what may cause the underlining condition of pain. As I dive deeper into what information I can find on such topics and when I can directly ask questions that sometimes do get answers it all leads me into great contemplation on the matters of health, wellness from an indigenous perspective and the stories regarding it.

Today I would like to just write about one idea. Their story/s or folklore if you will. This story is very old and literally goes back to when the peoples of the earth respected all beings and lived in balance. This story comes from the beginning when we humans stop living in balance with all living things and began to kill mostly animals taking far more than was needed. The animal kingdom made contracts with the people that they would allow humans to kill them for food, however this needed to be done in a sacred way, a blessed way, a right way to the animals and that the humans never took the animals lives for more than what was needed.

Though I have seen the sacred slaughter preformed and since I have only bare witness once, I have a sense that each tribe has a way of doing the sacred act and ceremony. I have attempted to find information on the internet to support the sacred slaughter so that anyone reading this might gather a better understanding but in the first nation communities most everything that has to do with ceremony is still not discussed openly, which I can agree that it is better that way. An average person could not understand the levels, depths, history, development required to fully get the totality of ceremony. The days, weeks spent in prayer before and after are challenging to the white mind that lives, breath, eats and lives fast and furiously. I am speaking of years of experience firsthand of what I have endured to understand such a small piece of it all. It for me has all been worth it but I have met many others who have felt this path was too difficult for them. I bless them in their search to find the right path, the right way for themselves.

The story is found, I am finding it in many oral traditions of why humans get sick and specifically one particular disease, dis-ease, illness and that is Rheumatism. I am posting what wiki has to say on the matter. Information for the reader.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheumatism

The story talks about the contract with the people of the earth being broken by the people hunting and killing the animals, taking far more than they needed and I suspect possible selling or acquiring some kind of gain as well. The animal that was particularly upset was the Deer in most of the stories however the Bear Nation went with the deer nation as support to the Creator and Counsels to vent their grievances with the humans not holding their end in the bargain. In the end it was the Deer that set a curse basically across humanity since the humans would not listen and continued to take more than they needed while the disrespect of the animals became the norm. The disease that was set upon man by the animal nations for taking more than they needed, this disease is specifically mentioned by the Cherokee and other First Nation tribes as Rheumatism.

The animals had to create a disease to put upon the humans that would stop them, keep them from walking, hunting, shooting the animals.

I have been working in the alternative medical end for 30 years for income. Before that I healed bugs, animals and whatever else came my way. In humans the number one complaint it pain, chronic pain, pain of the physical structure whether it came by family history, nutritional fetal issues, injury/s, disease, poisoning, job related as the list goes on I think it matter not the story of how but maybe why?

About three quarters of my practice, study and treatments are for pain, chronic pain, it is 75 percent of the reasons why people inevitably come to see me.  They usually take a long walk through western medicine that offers them no remedy and has left them usually damaged, broken and pretty much destroyed. I am the last ditch effort people will try. Luckily I am good at what I do; the spirits guide me in the right directions for the people however it only works if I am in balance. Which takes a huge amount of work and effort on my part balance with the earth and all livings things is not easy. Like most there are days I would like to full check out, hide and ignore it all. Balance is a constant, minute by minute, daily check in of my inner world, which comes with being able to accept, surrender, as for help when I need it.

In the medicine/s of first nation people, the stories the humans are here to be helpers. We are the “Helpers” to this whole world, plant nations, water nation, air nation, animal nations, winged nations and each other. We are nothing more than helpers, but we have gotten so far away from helping anything or anyone. Helping ourselves to everything, taking and living in a unsustainable way seems to be the programming we are sold.

So I would like to offer a link to the past for those in chronic pain and those helping people in chronic pain. Maybe pain in the body structure “no” matter how it becomes or is acquired to be considered a symptom, a sign of taking too much? Consuming more than one need/s?

Maybe the possible cure would be to give, to start giving, helping wherever and whenever your road connected you with those in need of help? Instead of driving past or ignoring contaminated lots, homeless people, Not taking your family or friends in when they need help yet again. Maybe the soil, land around your house needs you to help it, to grow something in it? To stop applying chemicals that poison the microbial beings, birds, because we are too lazy or lack of respect to actually help the land, weeds, plants, bugs in natural helping way.

I know that is sounds simple, even ridiculous to some, but there has to be a starting place to the chronic pain and maybe that the animals were tired of being taken advantage of by us might hold some water? In the end people feel better, heal and are happier when they are giving, I have witness spontaneous healing in people who become passionate about helping in some way.

I have seen in myself having far less pain when I am giving, when I am helping openly and not with holding.

Being a helper giving more means you are open to finding the best possible place that you can do the best helping. Living sustainably means you use and need less, taking less and no matter what reason you come up with is a great place to be and with everyone helping we could turn this planet around in no time!