Category: Applied Shamanism

Article: Bridging the Worlds between Life and Death with Shamanic Practice

Article: Bridging the Worlds between Life and Death with Shamanic Practice

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

As part of Tarka’s “On Death” issue, I have been asked to speak about the approach to death that my tradition, that of shamanic practice, follows. Some of the questions I have been asked to address are: What is death from the perspective of your tradition? What transmigrates, if anything, from the perspective of your tradition? What key text, verse, or poem offers insight or clarity around the experience of death? How has an experience of death in your life informed your teaching? What is a practice that directly addresses our relationship with death? I have tried to address all of these questions in this short exploration of the shamanic worldview regarding death.

In his book about the Australian Aboriginal experience, Voices of the First Day, Robert Lawlor offers a statement regarding Aboriginal views about death which are reflective of a larger, more general shamanic worldview. He says, “Death, in the Aboriginal view, is not a termination or a dislocation from this world to another; rather it is a shift of the center of one’s consciousness to invisible, subjective layers that are substrate to, and involved within, the natural world of mind and matter.”

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Video: Applied Shamanic Healing Practices: Part 3: Techniques that Can Enhance Your Home or Office

Video: Applied Shamanic Healing Practices: Part 3: Techniques that Can Enhance Your Home or Office

Have you ever walked into a room and felt a sudden loss of energy? This experience is often difficult to quantify or describe, but anyone who has encountered this problem knows there is something that is creating a difference in their mood. From a shamanic point of view, psychic imprints from events that have occurred in a space can continue to effect events or circumstances there after the original event has occurred. To remedy imbalances caused in this way, shamanic practitioners will clear the space. In this video, Isa Gucciardi describes how to recognize when a space needs clearing, as well as some basic techniques for clearing space. For more information on Applied Shamanism, see sacredstream.org.

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Video: Applied Shamanic Healing Practices: Part 2: Techniques that Can Help You Maintain Better Personal Boundaries

Video: Applied Shamanic Healing Practices: Part 2: Techniques that Can Help You Maintain Better Personal Boundaries

Shamanism is an ancient wisdom system that has been practiced around the world in many different cultures and in many different times and places. Shamans are the doctors, mediators, educators, diviners, and ceremonialists of the communities they serve. In this video, Isa Gucciardi explores a common experience that we often do not have words to explain. This is the experience of feeling weighed down by others or the feeling of being drained by someone else. We usually think about these experiences as a problem with personal boundaries if we understand them at all. In shamanic forms of healing, these phenomena are well understood and are described as a process of “soul part exchange.” Isa describes how soul part exchange occurs and how it can be remedied. For more information on Applied Shamanism, see sacredstream.org.

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Video: Applied Shamanic Healing Practices: Part 1: Techniques that Can Help You Restore Vitality

Video: Applied Shamanic Healing Practices: Part 1: Techniques that Can Help You Restore Vitality

Shamanism is an ancient wisdom system that has been practiced around the world in many different cultures and in many different times and places. Shamans are the doctors, mediators, educators, diviners, and ceremonialists of the communities they serve. In this video, Isa Gucciardi describes the causes and symptoms of power loss, an imbalance considered to be at the heart of many forms of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual illness by many shamanic healers. You will learn how to recognize power loss in yourself and in others, and learn how a shamanic form of healing called power retrieval can help restore vitality. For more information on Applied Shamanism, see sacredstream.org.

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Listen: The Doorway Between the Worlds: Medium and Oracle Traditions in Shamanic and Buddhist Traditions

Listen: The Doorway Between the Worlds: Medium and Oracle Traditions in Shamanic and Buddhist Traditions

Shamanism is a form of spiritual practice based in earth-wisdom traditions whose practices rely heavily on the practitioner’s capacity to form oracle relationships with the unseen powers of nature. The Mahayana Buddhist tradition also contains oracle systems that have guided the course of the tradition and have even helped with the establishment of new schools of thought. In this talk presented by East West Bookshop, Isa describes the experience of the altered state of awareness that is common to both Shamanic and Buddhist oracle traditions.

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Blog: It Takes a Village

Blog: It Takes a Village

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

When I received an invitation to give teachings at a local dharma center, I was happy to accept. The center had faced some difficult times, and its members were trying to navigate a major reorganization. I hoped our collaboration might help them as they began charting new territory.

If you have ever walked into a room where people have been arguing, you might have felt uncomfortable – even if the argument is over and the people have left. This can happen because there is an unseen, but felt, imprint of the emotions and experience expressed in the argument. Imprints like these can stay in spaces for long periods of time after events have happened.

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Article: Interview: Plant Medicine as a Spiritually Transformative Experience: Challenges to Integration in the Modern Context

Article: Interview: Plant Medicine as a Spiritually Transformative Experience: Challenges to Integration in the Modern Context

ACISTE recently had an opportunity to interview Isa about her views on the use of psychotropic plant medicine for psychological and spiritual transformation. Given the recent resurgence of clinical interest in the use of psychedelics for treating mental health concerns, we hope this two-part (Feb/Mar) interview will encourage therapists and others to further educate themselves about the unique integration needs of those who choose to engage plant medicine for healing and guidance.

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Podcast: Episode 56: Isa Gucciardi: Oracle Traditions in Buddhism and Shamanism

Podcast: Episode 56: Isa Gucciardi: Oracle Traditions in Buddhism and Shamanism

This episode features a talk by Isa Gucciardi on the Oracle Traditions found in Buddhism and Shamanism. In this talk, originally given at the Science and Nonduality Conference in San Jose, CA, Isa gives an overview of some of the remarkable lineages found in Buddhism and Shamanism and the methods of accessing wisdom through channeling as described in these traditions.

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Special Announcement: Sacred Stream Listed as a Top Place to Try Shamanism on Head + Heart

Special Announcement: Sacred Stream Listed as a Top Place to Try Shamanism on Head + Heart

We are thrilled that the Sacred Stream has been named one of the top places to explore Shamanic ceremonies in San Francisco by Head + Heart, an online platform that helps connect people with mindful events, experiences and community across the USA and Canada. The Sacred Stream offers classes and training programs in Applied Shamanism, including certification in Applied Shamanic Practice & Plant Medicine Integration. For more information about our classes and training programs, visit our Applied Shamanism website. Here you can find articles, videos, podcasts, and other resources to support you in your study of shamanism.

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Blog: The Wisdom of Black Elk

Blog: The Wisdom of Black Elk

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

As a child, the indigenous peoples of North America fascinated me. I lived in northern Mexico, home to a Native American people known as the Huichol. Their relationship to the land, kindness, and gentle strength spoke to me. The way they moved in their world seemed in perfect balance. Whenever I could sneak away from my parents, I would spend time with the locals who taught me about horses, plants, and generosity of spirit. Inspired by these friends, I made a study of all the great Native American chiefs and shamans by reading everything I could find on them in the local library. Red Cloud, Cochise, and Crazy Horse were all people I admired for the way they maintained their dignity and inspired their people despite overwhelming odds. One of my favorite of these leaders was the visionary Sioux medicine man, Black Elk.

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Blog: The Sacred Land of Menla: A Season of Ceremony

Blog: The Sacred Land of Menla: A Season of Ceremony

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

The fall season is upon us and I am reminded how, for many people, now and in times past, this is a time for gathering together to mark the change of light and to give thanks. The act of ceremony brings us into deeper communion with ourselves, with others, and the natural world around us. To mark this season of the fall equinox, I gathered with a group of students for a drum circle in the sanctuary of the Sacred Stream Center. When the drumming began, the late afternoon light filled the wooden rafters that arched over us. It streamed in through the century-old stained glass, dimming bit by bit in much the same way the days will shorten and the light will continue to dim until we meet again at the winter solstice drum circle, when the cycle will reverse and the days will grow longer once more.

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Article: The Journey: Buddhism and Shamanism at the Crossroads

Article: The Journey: Buddhism and Shamanism at the Crossroads

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

We live in a time of paradox. On the one hand, wars and conflicts of all sorts rage all around us. The Earth is buckling under the effect of them. We also live in a time where there are opportunities for innovative solutions to our situation. We could focus on different types of innovations – technology, new ways of doing business, and more. But here, I would like to focus on the new spiritual and healing possibilities that are emerging to address this crisis. These approaches to addressing the difficulties of the current time can help us explore consciousness in ways that might not be accessible in less tumultuous times.

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Blog: Huna: Aka-Mana Patterns

Blog: Huna: Aka-Mana Patterns

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

The idea of Aka and Mana is drawn from Huna, a tradition of knowledge that has been stored in Hawaii for the last thousand years or so. According to its oral history, it was brought to Hawaii for conservation in times of darkness. You can trace the progression of Huna from northern Africa all the way to India and throughout Melanesia. This system of knowledge has become incorporated into certain native practices of Hawaiian Shamanism.

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Blog: Boundaries: A Case Study

Blog: Boundaries: A Case Study

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

When people come into my office with relationship problems, they do not always realize they’re dealing with boundary issues. Many people think if they’re being treated badly in relationship, they must be doing something wrong. This is generally due to a lack of understanding about boundaries, and this lack of understanding usually stems from a place of unworthiness. The person being mistreated believes they’re flawed in some way, and makes compromises to stay in relationships where they are suffering. Boundary issues almost always arise when a person doesn’t feel lovable, and consequently, they’re willing to do almost anything to get another person’s approval. Because they don’t love themselves, they are dependent on others to be sources of love and validation.

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On the Air: Inner Truth Podcast: Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.: Discover Your Shamanic Superpowers

On the Air: Inner Truth Podcast: Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.: Discover Your Shamanic Superpowers

What lies beyond the world we can see with our eyes?

The answer is a lot more than you might think!

There is a language hidden in the world of things seen, that can help us to understand what is really going on in the world around us.

Shamanism is one of the ways we can see through and integrate the physical and spiritual planes of existence.

It is one of the oldest wisdom traditions known to man and having fallen temporarily onto the fringe of popular culture, it is now becoming popular again amongst a generation of people keen to learn indigenous wisdom and reconnect with spirit.

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