page 3 The Wiradjeri aboriginal medicine men have a high god -
. Two great quartz crystals extend from his shoulders to the sky above him. Baiame sometimes appears to the aborigines in their dreams. He causes a sacred waterfall of liquid quartz to pour over their bodies, absorbing them totally. They later grow wings replacing their arms. Later, the dreamer learns to ﬂy and Baiame sings a piece of magical quartz into his forehead to enable him to see right into things. Subsequently an ‘inner ﬂame’ and a heavenly cord are also incorporated into the body of the new shaman. Thus we see the shaman acquires new magical powers by encountering the gods as a result of a special dream journey. The transformations which follow such an encounter are regarded as initiatory.(6)
“Simply by using the technique of drumming (sonic driving, a monotonous percussion sound), people from time immemorial have been able to pass into these realms which are normally reserved for those approaching death, or for saints. There is a remarkable similarity between the experiences of the shaman and those of people coming back from near-death experiences. It is the same terrain, the same kinds of experiences. The shaman is known throughout the primitive world as ‘conductor of souls’, a person who helps the dying and the dead to reunite with their dead family etc,”
says Michael Harner in an interview with Nevill Drury.For the shaman, all that exists in the revealed world has a living force within it. This life energy force, like the Polynesian ‘mana’ or the Sioux ‘wakanda’, is conceived of as a divine force which permeates all. The knowledge that life is power is the realization of the shaman. Communion with the purveyors of power is the work of the shaman. Mastery of that power: this is the attainment of the shaman.(7)Nevill Drury and I held two workshops in Sydney Australia, entitled
“A Shamanic Initiation”
where people from all walks of life were led through to their own personal mythic reality via drum journeys and rituals. Nevill had been doing this work privately for a number of years now, continually ﬁnding the depth of peoples journeys to be both exciting and enriching. At our day-long sessions participants contacted classic shamanic realms with ease, and gained much personal power and satisfying insight from their allies and the various events encountered in these realms. We also explored the healing essence of shamanism in the “Spirit Canoe” where many participants were able to both receive and give gifts of power.It is truly remarkable how accessible this form of personal transformation is, with the added bonus of being painless, non-traumatic and yet ever so empowering. Here is a brief journey account from a participant.
“Unlike meditation, which is a stillness, a silence, the shamans vision ﬂight is a movie in my minds eye. I focus on commencing the journey through a doorway, then a tunnel, then into the Light to reveal a landscape with animal and human characters. Then I relax and watch the vision unfold as a cinema of the ‘right brain’. I received extraordinary gifts of personal power. For example I was given, by an American Indian, a writing stick and ink made from soot and animal grease to write my words with “Clarity, Vision, Accuracy and Dynamic”. Since then, when I have been committing ideas to paper, I have remembered this precious gift which positively aﬃrmed those qualities and continues to give me conﬁdence when approaching each new task and challenge. I also have ﬂown with a Crow to sacred sites around the world ie, Delphi, Machu Picchu and experienced the exhilaration of ﬂight. Wishing to, but not yet able to, visit Ayres Rock in person I have now journeyed there, in vision, to sit with my hands feeling the rock, absorbing Uluru Earth Energy. I was amazed at how easy it is to start the mind-ball rolling and to involve myself in an unfolding visionary tale, aided by the drums’ enchantment. It was signiﬁcant to explore the symbols, allies and gifts.