Embodying energy in matter: power objects - Bringing the shamanic dimension into your daily life - Awakening The Shamanic Force Within

Shamanism Made Easy: Awaken and Develop the Shamanic Force Within - Christa Mackinnon 2018

Embodying energy in matter: power objects
Bringing the shamanic dimension into your daily life
Awakening The Shamanic Force Within

In shamanism we frequently work with power objects. These objects embody and hold particular energies/vibrations, which are utilized for specific tasks, such as ceremonial work, healing, integration, energy transfer, manifestation or grounding.

The general concept of embodiment is based on the interchange between the physical and the energetic, meaning that we can enclose — and of course also express — an energy force or essence within and through a material body. This body — in the form of our own physical body, an object or a place — functions as a container for specific vibrations. Objects that are used for healing hold healing energy, whilst ceremonial objects hold the energy of the ceremonial intent and the spirits at work in the ceremony. Drums, rattles and other instruments also hold energy: the energy of the animal that gave its hide for the drum, the energy and intent of the drum-maker, the energies of the intents and prayers of the drummer and so on. Places, such as altars, burial grounds or sacred sites, also hold specific energies.

When you begin to incorporate shamanism into your life, it is beneficial to learn to infuse specific energies into objects, either by creating them or by energizing existing ones. We craft objects or create bundles (where a few items are ’bundled’ together) for ceremony, to embody the outcome of shamanic journeys, to put on altars, to hold the energy of something we want to call into our lives, to burn so that we can release something, as gifts for spirit and much more. (In the following chapters I will sometimes suggest that you craft an object or create a bundle for a specific purpose.)

Such objects are always more than symbolic representations: they are containers of the energy and the spirit of the intent. That’s what makes them powerful. Let’s say you craft an object to call something into your life. This object holds the power of the focused intent you used whilst crafting, the spirit energy you asked to help and the energy of the ceremonial space in which you created the object. This enables it to form a bridge between the worlds, between the spirit and the material, between the intent and the manifestation of the intent.

An example with which you might be familiar is the Buddhist mandala sand paintings. If you have ever watched a monk create one, you will know that besides the painted symbols, what matters is the meditative focus, the intent and the prayers that are said whilst it is being created, not the actual sand painting as a piece of art. In fact, the moment it is finished, the monks destroy it, releasing into the world the energy they put into the mandala whilst creating it.

Exercise: How to create power objects

Creating objects or bundles which hold power in a shamanic sense requires intent, focus, time and spirit.

· Decide on your intent and find the materials that feel right (some are suggested in the following chapters).

· Call in spirit.

· State your intent and focus on it throughout the crafting/drawing.

· Keep your focus, as this will help you to go into a ’creative trance’. Just craft or draw. Let it flow; don’t interrupt.

· Meanwhile, keep asking spirit to be with you. State your intent again and feel it in the object. Really energize it with spirit, focus, prayer and intent.

· Hold the finished object for a while and again put your intent into it and ask spirit for help to place this intent in energetic form into this object.

Exercise: Turning an existing object into a power object

· No matter whether you have bought, been given or found the object, cleanse it in salt water and leave it to dry outside. Additionally, smudge it.

· Call in spirit; create sacred space.

· Sit with the object, holding it and getting a feel for its qualities. Let it speak to you. Listen with all your senses.

· Decide which intent this object should embody. Is it an object for healing, grounding or bridging (from the energetic field into manifested reality)? Is it to signify a certain direction on your altar or a particular concept, such as the feminine or masculine? Is it a dreaming object or a ceremonial one, able to be a container for various spirits?

· Formulate the intent and ask spirit to help you to infuse the energy of the intent into the object.

· Put it on your altar and leave it there for some time. Energize it in the same way a few more times before you begin to work with it. Cleanse it when it feels right.

When it comes to objects you buy, ’less is more’. Many people possess dozens of crystals and stones that have been blasted out of the Earth with industrial means for a mass consumer market. They pay little attention to them, piling them on shelves and mixing energies they do not understand. Not surprisingly, such objects have little power.

My soul-retrieval stone, mentioned above, is not pretty, but has been worked with and cared for over a long period of time. It has power.

When I worked with a shaman in Ecuador, I entered his healing hut one day when he wasn’t there. I approached his altar and touched one of the big stones, which had caught my eye a few times. It almost threw me backwards. I had never felt a force like it in an object. Later, when I asked about the stone, I was told that it had been in the shaman’s family for four generations, being passed from father to son. It was a ’normal’ stone. What made it powerful was the intense spiritual work of four generations of shamans.