The Shaman's Hearth is the internet's home of shamanic practices and discussions. .


Recommended Reading


Spirits and Elementals

 of the shamanic realms

These are a little more interesting in that they don't necessarily originate from the animate, and some are anthropomorphisations of non-life origins.  We better start at the start!

SPIRITS are generally collective consciousness formed, but may also be of an individual (but not a ghost), incarnate or passed.  Spirits of individuals are the form of the first outer mind.  Spirits of non-life origin (countries, mountain ranges etc.) tend to form more as a humanised (anthropomorphic) projection over obtains enough energy to be a self sustaining spirit of that thing.  The spirit of a group collective is the singular mind of the many. 

Often it will be a singular spirit encountered on a journey that represents an entire species. 

Mentioned previously, when an 'old' shaman negotiated with the spirit of barramundi for food, he was not relating to a singular fish, but the essence of the awareness of that fish as a part of a greater group consciousness. 

That the spirit of barramundi allowed the taking of an individual is not unusual, the fish knows of competition and predation, being a predator itself; it knows that the shaman would also impose a ban on taking barramundi if the fish asked too.  This is actually a common feature of almost all shamanic societies,.. shamanic 'bag limits' when requested by a spirit from a population under pressure.

A spirit of an incarnate (alive and physical) individual may be projected or found during a journey.  To differentiate, a ghost is a 'trapped' consciousness, whereas a spirit is a deliberate manifestation from a point of origin.  Calling on a specific spirit of a passed individual requires much effort on the part of that spirit as its natural state is without linearity (outer mind). A ghost, on the other hand, is essentially trapped in or contained mostly within linearity.

One other spirit to be considered in the shamanic reality is that of the spirit of objects.  When a true craftsman builds a bow, he should be singing to the spirit of the bow so that it remains a focussed and intent-filled weapon.  Most of us have handled tools that have served masters for generations - the spirit of that tool is clearly 'palpable' when so much intent has been focussed through it.

When preparing food, focussed intent for the food to be delicious and nutritional and satisfying ALWAYS tastes better.  Many traditional societies' craftsmen and women sing to the thing they are making, and to the spirit of that thing, so that the item is made with more care and will serve its purpose better.

ELEMENTALS are the anthropomorphic personifications of things.  The sea has been given many different identities, Neptune and Poseidon to name two, but their natures have almost always been the same.  When dealing with Salt Water, you are dealing with the elemental natures of that thing.

Wind, Fire, Fresh Water, Death, Old and New Metal are just a few of the 'menagerie' of elementals.  Invocation of elementals must be with focussed intent and clear task,.. they have no concept of time wasting and can get 'grumpy' quickly if their time is wasted.

Dealing with elementals should be left for a time when you have good guidance and much experience as elemental's minds are not formed of conscious thought, but rather, projections of personality and can be difficult and confusing to deal with.




Craig Berry - 1996 - 2010, All rights reserved - reproduction without written permission prohibited.