This is a huge subject and we could devote hours to it. So, let's get to what's most important. Right? There is healing of the body, healing of the mind, healing of the soul, healing of the planet. Shamanism is often referred to as the path of the wounded healer and it's through being wounded, being traumatically ill, being brought to the brink of death that in fact one is often initiated by life by those circumstances into one's path as a Shaman or a Shamanic practitioner.
The idea is that we're not trying to transcend pain or deny it or suppress it. We understand that it's a path to the sacred. The reason that it's so powerful is that it works. To survive wounding, to survive death, to heal oneself becomes the foundation for ones ability to help and heal others. You can't help or heal another person until you've healed yourself and we're all constantly in the process of self healing. We're like onions. You know, you peel off a layer and there're another thing.
I don't myself need to be in a state of perfect health mentally or emotionally or spiritually because the process of healing is the means by which I become empowered to heal other people to help them. And we will not be able to heal the planet until we have healed ourselves and so we have to be willing to undergo those experiences that come to us. They're part of the human condition. They're part of the condition of life that happens to all living things. Animals, plants, humans, all of those and they're more than afflictions. They are journeys to health and to compassion and to kind of generosity that we've forgotten and that we need.
So, any process of healing addresses all of these aspects. It maybe the body that's ill, but it has an impact on your emotions. It has an impact on your mental capacities and certainly on your spirit. Your soul might be wounded. Your heart might be broken, but that will in turn have impact on your body and your mind. So, everything is connected. It's one of the principles that we learn in making magic and practicing the spiritually. Everything is connected.
So, when you begin the process of healing it's not just the body or the soul or the heart or the mind that's healing. It's all of you and as you heal you heal those around you and you begin to heal the planet. You get the means to heal the planet. Shamanism is one of the most ancient of the healing arts. It's a means of diagnosing what is wrong and of discovering the means of healing. It may involved a soul retrieval. The Shamanic practitioner going in finding the parts of the self that essentially went into hiding when your mother died when you were four years old or you were raped at the age of 18 or you were desperately ill when you were 45 and you had cancer. So, part of the work is about healing the soul, that retrieving the parts of soul that have gone into hiding and bringing that back and reintroducing it.
Part of it is about healing the body. That requires good doctors and one of the blessings of modern civilization is medicine. It's still extremely limited, but it's helpful. So, we always advise if somebody is not feeling well either emotionally, psychologically or physically to get a good doctor. Somebody who is well trained, well skilled, experienced and also has a holistic point of view and understands about nutrition and herbs.
The plants are rich with healing properties for all aspects of our woundedness and they offer themselves for that purpose. The original apothecaries , the original Shamans and midwives and healers of the village, the witches where ever they were through out the world listened to the plants and followed their instructions and learned how to use their healing properties. So, there's a tremendous amount of wisdom there that's now being recaptured. Nutrition is an integral part of that.
Self care, rest, time in nature is probably one of the single most healing things that we can do for every aspect of ourselves. It's critical in terms of destressing and the practices that we use also the grounding and centering, the meditation, the working in circle they keep you young, they keep you healthy, they keep you connected to the energy which is the source of creation which is holy and sacred. And that energy is available for you to work within healing.
So, all of those are part of the process of healing and then there are spells which is the enacted symbolic ritualizing of the healing experience which is incredibly important and can be practiced alone or practiced with the help of a good Shamanic practitioner. Somebody very skilled or with your circle. With the group of people with whom you're working. And there are lots of marvelous books out there and that is where artistry is well replaced by science both ancient and modern.