Now that 2012 has come and gone, it’s clear it was not the end of the world, as was hyped. In truth, Mayan elders had always referred to this period as the end of time. The end of one time and the beginning of a new time. A turning point, marking the shift from one way of being human on the planet to a new way.
The way that is ending is the way of the men in white lab coats and black suits. The way of looking at the world through a microscope, examining parts by dismantling the whole. The way based in the mythology of Western civilization — a short-sighted mythology that perceives the universe as predatory, and nature as a commodity for exploitation.
There is no need to curse the old ways — they brought us many gifts and lessons, thank you. But now it’s time to re-create the world based in a sustainable mythology. We must come to our senses, grow up, heal, and create an age of peace and beauty. Many of us hear this call from Spirit. How do we answer that call? Shamanism, the oldest form of healing known to humans, offers a path to do just that.
In traditional indigenous societies, shamans lived at the edge of the village, supported and respected by all. Apprentices would learn from a mentor over a period of 10 or 20 years. But how on earth are we modern people, with our busy schedules and complex lives, supposed to learn shamanism? Can we access that knowledge and wisdom without moving to an indigenous village for a decade or two?
Yes. We don’t have to adopt someone else’s culture in order to grow up and heal. It’s not necessary to quit your job or leave your family in order to walk in beauty. We may have to give up our attachment to certain old ways and old stories that keep us stuck in suffering. We do need to be willing to heal; which usually involves facing a piece of our shadow — a part of our self that we don’t like.
We do need to be open to retraining our perceptions to see the spirit that resides in everything. We do have to find that deep stillness within and see the sacred in every experience and all creation. All of which can be done right here, just as well as in a jungle setting. Because it’s not about the setting, it’s about what’s happening within.
The Inka Medicine Wheel is a shamanic wisdom program for learning how to live as a modern-day shaman. It is a year-long transformational process that takes a person through an alchemical journey, experiencing shifts in consciousness and personal evolution. It is based in the ancient teachings of shamanism, beautifully synthesized and made available for modern people. And that is important, because it is foretold in many shamanic traditions that the new shamans who will emerge to create the new age of peace and beauty will come from the west. That’s us. We are the ones we have been waiting for.
Shamans perceive everything as alive and sacred. Everything we perceive as real is made of vibration and light, and only exists in form because we dream it so. For centuries, humanity has dreamed a nightmare of separation from spirit, a dream of the ego. We can learn to create and hold a new vision of a healed world. And that’s the nature of the new time we have all just entered. This is the time to come together as a community and re-learn the ancient ways of living in balance with the earth.
The 2013 Inka Medicine Wheel training in Ojai begins February 21-24 with the South direction. The program will take place at the Ojai Foundation, a 40-acre sanctuary and retreat center. More information is available at www.inkamedicinewheel.com.
This first year of the new era, the new Mayan calendar, is the perfect time to join the ranks of Earth Keepers, who are greatly needed to seed a new era of peace and beauty on Planet Earth. Our ancestors knew — and the shamans remind us — that humanity is transformed as individuals transform. As we transform ourselves, we re-create the world.
Tomas Bostrom is a former staff teacher with the Four Winds Society’s renowned Light Body School, and is certified to teach the Inka Medicine Wheel and Dying Consciously, the Greatest Journey.