Working with spirit: calling the spirit forces
Bringing the shamanic dimension into your daily life
Awakening The Shamanic Force Within
Although they know their craft and have refined their skills, shamans state that it is spirit that works with and through them. Therefore, no matter what you are doing — journeying, creating a ceremony, healing, trance dancing, dreaming, questing for vision or connecting with nature — it is important to ask spirit to be with you.
In the following chapters I will give you some guidance on how to call in spirit for specific tasks. But generally speaking, in shamanism we call:
· the spirits of the four directions
· all there is above and all there is below and Great Spirit/Great Mystery
· ancestral spirits, if appropriate
· the spirits of our ’relations’ (such as nature or animal spirits), if appropriate
· the spirit allies and helpers that can support us in our specific task
Exercise: Calling spirit
Here’s a basic example. You can use it for almost everything and adapt it as required:
East: ’I call the powers of the east, the spirit of the sun, of light, illumination, creativity.’
South: ’I call the powers of the south, the spirit of water, of the plant kingdom, of trust and flowing.’
West: ’I call the powers of the west, the spirit of Mother Earth, of introspection, of the dreamlodge [the place of looking within].’2
North: ’I call the powers of the north, the spirit of air, of the animal kingdom, of wisdom, clarity and discernment.’
Above and Below: ’I call all there is above and all there is below and Great Spirit to be with me/us during [e.g. this ceremony] so that all I/we do is not only for my/our own good, but for the greater good of all.’
Calling spirit with heartfelt sincerity and focus, saying the calls aloud, is more important than trying to adhere to a set ritual or formula. When I call, I beat my drum softly and I also turn in the direction to which I’m calling.
As I said earlier, you can adjust this basic calling to your intent. If you were working with the feminine, for instance, you would also call in the Goddess or the feminine powers. You can also call in helpful ancestral spirits or, as most people do, include your specific spirit allies.