The Keys of Transformation - The Shamanic Journey

The Accidental Shaman: Journeys with Plant Teachers and Other Spirit Allies - Howard G. Charing 2017

The Keys of Transformation
The Shamanic Journey


All actions begin with an intention, a desire for a specific outcome. Take, for instance, the process of traveling by train. You typically need to know your destination; otherwise, boarding the train would be aimless and quite purposeless. Similarly, when engaging in a shamanic ceremony or healing practice, you need to know what you want to accomplish or where you want to go. Only when this is known can your energy start to align with your intent. This is the first step. Another way of understanding this is that in the nondefinable realm of energy, your intention is a declaration: “Energy, I want you to move to that place.”


Trust takes time, and there is no shortcut or magic wand to attain this. Trust is something you feel in your gut. Gaining trust is an ongoing series of actions, feedback, and validation. “Trust but verify” is a good practice to live by, and when you share your perceptions with another person, ask for feedback that will let you know whether your perceptions are on the right track. This kind of feedback is direct and powerful. If feedback verifies your perceptions, then that is really encouraging, and it allows you to work with increasing confidence. To use a well-worn platitude, “Rome was not built in a day.” There is another add-on Howard platitude, “But when it was built, it was around for a few hundred years.” So don’t give up. Your intention is a very powerful tool.


Energy flows where attention goes. This principle addresses applying and focusing one’s energy and intention. When you set out to do something, give it your utmost best, your maximum, your 100 percent. If you don’t, the only person who gets short-changed is yourself. The principle of attention is really helpful when applied to sensing and interpreting energy. When you apply maximum focus while attuning to a person’s field of energy, you can then perceive information stored within that field. By maximum attention, I do not by any means suggest that you should strain yourself and work very hard at it. In fact, I mean the opposite; the key here is to be relaxed, to still the mind and allow any thoughts floating around to dissipate, let your mind become like a tranquil lake; only then will you find that your awareness heightens and you become perceptive to a person’s field of energy. Many times at workshops, I have been delighted by people’s excitement, feedback, and comments when applying this principle; they say, “I can see colors around the person” and “I can see the aura.”

Attention in the nondefinable realm of energy is closely linked with intent. With intention, you signal energy to move to a place, and with attention, you hold that energy at that place. Remember, it’s not about straining your brain; it’s about focus and a quiet state of mind.