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What Is Shamanic Wicca?

Learn about Shamanic Wicca from Wiccan High Priestess Phyllis Curott in this Howcast video.


Hi, my name is Phyllis Caran and I'm a Wiccan priestess from the Aura Tradition which is a tradition of what we call Shamanic Wicca, which is a term that I'm very happy to see in great circulation now. There are folks calling themselves Shamanic Wiccans in Australia and Italy. It's great. So, for us, for me, and for the folks who are with me in my tradition which is now also all over the globe, Shamanic Wicca is a combination of core Shamanic techniques. Core Shaman was essentially a gift from Dr. Michael Hartner who had studied with the Havaro and other Indians in South America when he was young and in the '60s when he was working on his PhD in anthropology. He discovered that in subsequent studies in the work, he's a brilliant scholar, but he's also, as a field anthropologist, very experienced with people and he began to realize that there were core practices that could be found being used by indigenous people all over the world. Those core practices are what makes up core Shamanism. So they exist somewhat independently of a particular cultural framework and they're universal techniques.

They include drumming, chanting, ecstatic dancing, power animals or spirit guides, the use of ecstatic technique like drumming to gain entrance into what we call non-ordinary reality which is essentially a kind of three leveled multi-dimensional reality. It surrounds the three dimensions that we're used to living in and is always present but we're not usually paying attention because we're in beta grocery buying consciousness. Don't get hit by the bus when you cross the streets. What is the report that I have to do for school tomorrow? That kind of consciousness. The next level is alpha. You get that with transcendental meditation and a lot of the, sort of, light meditation techniques. The next state is the fade away and that's what created with the use of steady percussive rhythm, two hundred beats a minute. You lie down in a darkened room. There is preparation beforehand which is very simple. It's the concept that basically the creation of sacred space and the honoring of the seven directions.

Each of the four directions above, below, and the center. There is usually chanting and dancing which is a way of welcoming your power animal or your spirit guide and you go through a tunnel and you come out in non-ordinary reality and your spirit guide is waiting for you. Your spirit guide knows all. They are the ones who teach you. Ask them a question and they will answer. They may not answer in words. They may answer by taking you on an adventure. They may answer by asking you another question. So these techniques now are being rediscovered. They are common to Native Americans in North America, South America, the Arctic Circle, in Finland and Sweden and Norway, the Eskimos, in Africa. You find it in India. You find it throughout even in Korea and Japan, all of the indigenous traditions including Europe have these similar practices and techniques as a means of entering sacred realms. The purpose of entering sacred realms is many fold. It's very practical. It's the way in which all of the herbal law, the wisdom that we have about healing herbs which is the basis, the foundation of modern medicine in fact, comes from the use of these techniques which enable one to hear when you're spoken to by a plant. When a plant says, "I am the cure for that individuals heart problems," it's a way of diagnosing a health problem. It's a way of discovering where the tribe should spend the winter, where the water is, where the herd will be. It's a way of meeting with the spirits of the animals that you'll hunt, that will be the means by which your tribe survives and all of that has a practical, modern application.

Where do I look for a job? Why do I not feel well? What will help me heal? And it has very profound psychological help as well. The journey for the lost soul, the lost spirit. People are very dispirited by the modern world that we live in. It's very alienated in culture. It's very tough to live in this world and people suffer from something called soul loss. It can be the result of a trauma or an illness or just the strain of living in modern times. These practices enable you to retrieve the parts of yourself that have gone into hiding.

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