I have had the opportunity lead and host many drumming circles, events and ceremonies. In doing so I learned that to study shamanism is one dimension, to practice it, adds another dimension. Exercises to practice what you have learned, do not need to be super complicated. There are many straight forward and simple ways to incorporate shamanic knowledge into your life.
I enjoy celebrating the equinoxes and solstices. Sometimes, I like my stones to absorb the energy of the quarters of the Medicine Wheel. You may need a mesh bag (like onions or oranges come in) to put your stones and other shiny objects in to protect them from thieving Magpies or other opportunistic creatures. Leave the objects outside for seven days prior to the solstice, to be basked in the change of seasons.
New and Full Moon – I use water created at different moon cycles to aid in different healing work I do. For an Extraction, I use Full Moon water, for a Soul Retrieval I use New Moon water. There are two ways to make moon water, leave it out the night before or leave it out for three consecutive nights, remembering to bring it in during the day. I also add moon water into my drinking water, for an extra boost of the natural energy of change.
Spirit of the Place (geni loci or genus locus) has been recognized as a being to honor by many peoples spanning the globe. In my practice, I have a very specific set of beliefs when it comes to what and who the Spirit of the Place is. These spirits may once have been persons of great mythic qualities who had achieved status in the Spirit Realm. Or these spirits may have emerged directly from the Spirit Realm with the task of aiding and empowering humans, and to inspire, regulate and cooperate with the Elementals. We must keep in mind that the land is the mundane reflection or the essential manifestation in which ALL DIMENSIONS meet.
I am very careful to contact the Spirit of the Place before I do any spirit work because Spirits are much more likely to cooperate with us when we work on the land. The first time you enter into a place to do Spirit Work it is advisable to take an offering, such as cornmeal, tobacco, silver and if all else fails a piece of your hair. Most people I have talked to do not have a problem with offerings for Spirit, some however do. We have grown so accustomed to doing what we wish on land that we automatically assume whatever we do is our own and we have no need or use to connect with the Spirits of the Place. Offerings are gestures of respect and also show that we understand that we are NOT in control of the world around us, rather the natural world around us operates independent of us and we are fairly powerless to do much without their cooperation… whew that feels like a mouthful.
Begin simply ~ Journey to the Spirit of your house, and find out who lives with you. If you have already done that, journey back and find out if you can do anything further for them. This is a middle world journey, depending on where your anchor spot is, will determine how you get to the middle world.
I like to shake things up a bit and rattle all through my house to awaken the energy. I follow this with an appropriate smudge (I love getting creative with house cleansing smudges) to cleanse it and heal it. Some weeks are particularly worse than others, try this after a particularly difficult time and see if you can sense the difference. Or better yet, invite an unsuspecting friend over and see if they notice anything different. It can be very validating for an outside source to comment on your “abstract” practice!
It is a challenge, for some of us, to get out of our heads and into our bodies. To get off the train of “I should” and get on the other track “next time I will”. Practice alert awareness. Keep in mind, all that is perceiving is being perceived. And lastly, don’t forget to breathe and stand present.