Magic and shamanism… those words sound mystical and beyond the realm of the ordinary, don’t they? Magic and shamanism are indeed beyond the world of the ordinary, but not in the ways that you might think. Since it’s the beginning of a bright new year and since we are a school of shamanism and magic, we thought this would be a great time to talk about the path of magic and shamanism. What exactly is this path? What do you learn on this path? What does the path require of you?

To begin with, this is a path of inner development and personal growth. More specifically, this path helps us to develop all of our inborn abilities and talents, and channel power and help from the environment around us. Today, we live in such an artificial environment, cocooned in our cars, working in electromagnetic fields of white noise, and tuned in to TVs, radios and the Internet, that we have lost touch with the abilities that spring from within us and the powers and beings that are all around us. In a sense, this path is about going back to our tribal roots because no matter what our lives are like now, we are all tribal citizens of this planet. And as tribal citizens, we have certain rights and abilities that we can use if we choose to develop them.

What are these abilities and powers, you ask? There are so many that it would be impossible to list them here. But we can offer you a few examples. Let’s take sonics as an example. Sonics is the use of sound to create effects both within us and in the outer world. There are certain Native American shamans who exclusively use sound to heal people. Using rattles, drums, chants and other instruments of sound, they can heal everything from spiritual maladies to broken bones. Can anyone learn to use sound to heal? Absolutely. Anyone can learn anything on this path if they have the right desire and willingness.

Another example of our inborn abilities is the ability to communicate with powers and beings, and get their help in our daily affairs. Whether we acknowledge them or not, there are all kinds of helpful beings around us, waiting for us to ask for help. These beings come in all types. With some of them, we just have ask and they will help us. For other beings, those who are much higher in the hierarchy than we are, we have to learn more specific procedures and rituals to contact them. Some are so powerful that we have to put up safeguards and boundaries so that we aren’t overwhelmed by the power of their presence. With the help of these beings, we could stop all wars and heal major illnesses. We can also get help to find a job, bring in more income, heal a family quarrel or keep the car running smoothly. All of us can learn to work with these powers and beings. In fact, unless we ask for help, many of these helpful beings must stand in the unemployment line and wait for someone to ask for help. More importantly, because so few people even know to ask for help, when we ask, thousands of beings rush to our assistance!

These two examples should give you an idea of the abilities we can develop and assistance we can get when we walk the path of magic and shamanism. The path is really about developing ourselves to our fullest potential. On a practical level, the ability to be intuitive, the knowledge of proper communication, the assistance from powers and beings and the presence of greatness that comes from inner work will serve you well in your daily life.

But what about the path itself? What will it require of you? Will it require you to shave your head or join some cult? No. What it does require is that you become willing to learn new ideas and be open to new experiences. You cannot walk this path if you have a fixed idea about the world that you aren’t willing to change. This path asks all of us to let go of many of our belief systems, and if we are willing, the rewards are great.

Like any path of cultivation and study, the way is broad at the beginning and becomes narrower further on. In the beginning, there are all kinds of preliminary study that you can pursue. If you check the Resources page on the school website, you’ll find an archive of articles that can point you in the right direction. You can begin to study the various magical principles, and experiment with the more basic courses at your own pace with our self-paced courses. At some point, you will want to work with a teacher and pursue a more formalized approach. When you have a teacher, knowledge and experience can flow downhill to you, and you don’t have to work so hard for every bit of knowledge or understanding.

So if you are interested in being a fuller, more capable and more alive person, this path is for you. You can decide how far you want to go on this path. Experimenting with the free resources offered will cost you nothing but a little time and attention, and could potentially lead to a whole new adventure. Are you ready to start this New Year in a different way? Let’s go!