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Shamanism

How to Shapeshift?

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Learn about shapeshifting from prominent expert and Shamanism teacher, Llyn Roberts. What is it?  Why do it? How to do it? Join CJ as she interviews Llyn Roberts about her book “Shapeshifting into Higher Consciousness”.

What is Shapeshifting?

Shapeshifting is a technique of changing from one energetic state to another. It’s based on the belief that everything is made of energy and that we are all connected to each other through this force.

Most of us have been introduced to shapeshifting through fantasy movies like Twilight, where hunky Jacob shapeshifts from a human into a werewolf.  Despite these modern day takes on shapeshifting, it is a spiritual technique that shows up in many ancient forms of Shamanism.

Although the fantastical idea of shapeshifting into an animal may be more exciting, the truth is we actually shapeshift every day. Think of the last sporting event you went to. Most likely, your energy shapeshifted the moment you entered the stadium. For me, it was the local Seattle Sounders soccer game. The confetti flying in the air mixed with the loud clapping and cheering noises encircled me and before I knew it, my energetic state shifted to match the excitement of the audience. That is basic shapeshifting.

The easiest way to understand it is by comparing it to the basic scientific process of changing from one state to another.  For example, water shapeshifts into ice, liquid, and steam.

Recently, I read Llyn Robert’s book called Shapeshifting into Higher Consciousness

Here are some excerpts from her book that beautifully defines shapeshifting:

 “Shapeshifting is about changing from one state to another.  It is innate to us all and the calling card of nature and life.

We, and the world within which we live, are ever-changing and evolving.  When we take the time to really see and immerse ourselves in the natural world around us – the winds, tress, animals, stones, skies- we discover that everything is constantly moving.

The air can transform from an oppressive stillness on a hot summer’s night into a gentle breeze…and then again it can morph into a powerful hurricane.  Human beings also continuously morph from one state to another.  Our body changes dramatically through the course of a lifetime from birth to death.

Whether changing weather patterns, shifting moods, or mutable physical afflictions- it is easy to see that we and everything in our world are quite fluid.”

Why do people want to shapeshift?

The answer depends on who you are talking to.

If you talked to a Shaman, who is the healer in many indigenous communities, shapeshifting is a powerful spiritual practice.  Shamans travel to other worlds and realms to obtain wisdom, power, and energy to assist change in this world.  The mission of the Shamans is to maintain balance between people, spirit, and nature.  Shamans use their abilities for the benefit of others and for positive change within their communities. Unlike the many Evangelists we see on late night television that use healing as a power trip, Shamans are not doing the work for an ego trip, personal gain or for profit.

There are other groups (e.g.- merge with an arch enemy and get them into a car accident) that use shapeshifting as a means of gaining power over others. The intention is to use shapeshifting to control others, cause harm to others or for personal gain.

When I interviewed Llyn Roberts, a teacher in Shamanism, she described this behavior as sorcery and believes that those who use sorcery find that the negative energy comes back to hurt them. I heard something similar during a class on “core shamanism” with Michael Harner, the founder of The Foundation for Shamanic Studies. In the class, the teachers believe that anyone who misuses these techniques loses their powers.

What do you experience when you shapeshift?  What are the benefits?

Over the last year, I’ve taken a few classes from The Foundation for Shamanic Studies.  The very first class involves finding your spirit animal, which is an animal that brings you personal power. The class encourages participants to create an ongoing relationship with your spirit animal that you can shapeshift with it. Similar to the spiritual connection depicted in the movie Avatar. The inhabitants  merge their spiritual energy with nature and the connection allow both parties to experience the power of the other.  One of the main characters Neytiri, played by Zoe Saldana, exemplified the concept of shapeshifting when she demonstrated how to spiritually connect with the dragon to gain it’s loyalty.

One of my spirit animals is a crow, in the past I have allowed our energies to unite and by doing this, both the crow and myself experience the benefit of merging. The crow encounters a humanistic view of the world whereas I experience the world from a crow’s point of view. The first thing I noticed when merging was the difference in my visual perception- instead of my eyes focusing on just two feet in front of me, I found myself broadening my visual horizon. My eyes wanted to scan around and focus on getting a larger, more panoramic view of my surroundings.  Everything became more intense, even the ripples in the water were sharper.

Whether it was real or not, who knows, but it certainly felt real. Plus, I was able to see life around me from a different perspective.

You may question what actually happens during the merging process? I wondered this myself and my sense is that all life forms have a spiritual and energetic vibration that is capable of uniting with others through energy. My energy merged with the energy of a crow’s archetype.  In this intermingling of energy, each being gets  the opportunity to gain the life wisdom that each has collected over many years. Oddly, this merging gave me a sense of wholeness and a closer connection to life around us.

Can humans really transform into animals like you see in the movies?

A number of sensationalists seem to think so. I was a bit skeptical, but wanted to keep an open mind.  So, I asked Llyn Roberts, a prominent teacher of healing and Shamanism, if she’s ever seen someone actually change into an animal, like a snake or wolf.  Hear her thoughts on YouTube (http://youtu.be/F2208mZ6gAw?t=19m46s).

Llyn has spent her whole life studying, observing, and leading trips to visit Shamans in several regions including Central America and Asia. During these encounters she has seen shapeshifting into animal, plants, or elements of nature.

In terms of animal shapeshifting, Llyn has not witnessed with her eyes an actual transformation of a Shaman turning into an animal. What she did observe, however, was just as interesting. The Bird people in the High Andes and in the Asian Steps would wear a feathered headdress or large feathered wings on their backs. The feathered articles represent the spirit animals of the Shamans. The people would wear this while the Shamans performed their healing.

While never seeing animal transformations, Llyn has seen non-ordinary things happen, like balls of light in the sky where Shamans shift into balls of light. http://www.allthingshealing.com/Shamanism/Time-Space-and-Dreaming/8799#.VHZ12mTF9-Y and http://www.olympicmountainearthwisdomcircle.org/shaman_from_the_stars_by_llyn_roberts.php.

I, too, have seen something similar in a class I took with James Van Praagh, a reputable spiritual medium. James called these spirit beings that showed up as balls of light “orbs”.  During this class, we turned the lights down low and everyone started taking pictures with their phones. I saw nothing. However, I was shocked when I looked at the photos taken. It showed big orbs and some had faces within them. It was freaky….but super cool. Aside from the unorthodox effect of what was seen, it still somehow makes sense. If we are energy forms, then we should be able to shift energetically into balls of light.

How would you describe the healing environment during a visit with a Shaman?

Llyn Roberts described a healing ritual that she took part in. She emphasized how healing in these cultures are very different than our Western understanding of healing at the doctor’s office. To begin with, healing takes place in a village, as opposed to some private room in a clinic with soft music playing. The setting is most likely at someone’s house with grazing animals nearby and people bustling around. Plus, there are other villagers watching you. The power of community is a healing force within itself and this idea of communal healing is something that the inhabitants of these villages believe in. In addition, the healing energy is environmental, which means anyone in the vicinity will get the same healing benefits as the client being healed.

How would you describe what it felt like to get a healing from a Shaman?

Llyn Roberts describes her healing ceremony with a Shaman, where “shapeshifting tools” like water, plants, and stones were applied directly to her nude body. These tools are the elements that are bringing balance and harmony during the healing. In a Shamanic healing practice, it is the fire, water, stones and spirits that are doing the work. The Shaman’s role is to engage the heart and mind and to bring their spirit helpers to facilitate the healing.

During the ceremony, Llyn felt that she got “her out of her head” and was able to quickly connect with her body.  She described being fully immersed by the elements and further explained, “When you end the process, you have merged with the elements from the process. It opens your heart. It opens your senses.  You feel like you have come home”.

How would you describe a healing setting during a visit with a Shaman?

Llyn Roberts describes a healing ritual that she took part of in a village. She emphasized how healing in these cultures are very different than our Western understanding of healing at a doctors.  First of all, the clients is not in a private closed room with soft music playing.  It’s more likely that you are in someone’s house with grazing animals nearby and people bustling around.  Plus, there are other villagers watching you.  The community attends because the power of community is a healing force in itself.  In addition, the healing energy is environmental, which means anyone in the vicinity will get the same benefits as the client who is being healed.

Llyn leads groups of people to these ceremonies She described being a witness to healing miracles from people with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer to those that are unable to have children or have other extreme forms of imbalance in their lives. Each of her guests encountered a different experience that allowed them to experience themselves in fresh ways with a renewed sense of balance.

What is it like being a practitioner in a fire practice?

Llyn Roberts describes her fire healing practice.

 “First, you are opening and breathing deep within the earth and with the earth. The Shapeshifter or Shaman serves as  a conduit for energy, which means that they are always shapeshifting and merging with the energy. It’s not the Shaman or the shapeshifter or their ego that is doing the healing during this practice. Instead, the power is coming from the earth. Once connected, you are breathing in the sacred energies. For the Shaman’s in Ecuador, it is their sacred water and volcanoes that they are working with. Then you open your heart to merge with the fire – the living spirit to which the Shaman develops a real relationship with. If you aren’t in the right relationship with the fire you can get burned.”

When Llyn performs these ceremonies, she places alcohol in her mouth and literally breathes fire onto her clients.  Hear the description of her practice.

How to Shapeshift?

If you want to learn more about Shapeshifting, I recommend Llyn’s book “ Shapeshifting into Higher Consciousness”.

Interested in trying shapeshifting now? Click here to experience shapeshifting(http://youtu.be/F2208mZ6gAw?t=24m).

Here are a few steps to follow:

  • Close your eyes. And take a few deep cleansing breaths.
  • Think of a dilemma – something that you are having an issue with or that bothers you (e.g.- pesticide use in environment)
  • Tune into your emotion and label them. Are you angery, disappointed, outraged, or do you feel sad hopeless or confused?
  • Let go of the negative thoughts.
  • Take a few more deep cleansing breaths.
  • Go back to your childhood memories. Think of something in nature that you had affinity with.  It could be a tree or a flower, a stuffed animal or a childhood pet.
  • Think about this being from nature and allow your senses to emerge. Try to see, feel, touch, smell and hear it as if it’s right in front of you. Become aware of the subtle qualities – the gentleness, unique colors or graceful presence).
  • You will begin to shapeshift and take on the form of your chosen nature being. The merging will fit like a glove. There are 2 ways to merge.
    1. Imagine the tree, flower, animal or whichever is your chosen nature being, is just a few feet in front of you. Enter the nature being as if you could walk right into that tree, flower, animal, etc. and take on its form.
    2. Imagine that your body is morphing into the full form of that being. For example, if you were morphing into the tree, you would morph into it’s branches, trunk, and roots.
  • Sense what it feels like when your body takes this form.
  • Continue to feel and then bring into your awareness the dilemma in #2.
  • Looking through the consciousness of this nature being. Look through the eyes of the nature’s being and see how your perception changes. How would this being see your problem from its perspective? Look at the issue through all sides and see it through that nature being’s perception.
  • Let the focus on that dilemma dissolve. Relax and come back to merging with that nature being and its form.
  • Now, make the transition back into your form. Morph back into your own body and consciousness.
  • Step back from the form and come back to the present.
  • Take a few deep, cleansing breaths as you transform back to your full self.

  About Llyn Roberts -Award-winning Author, Teacher of Healing and Shamanism

 Llyn Roberts, MA – aka “Cedar” – is a prominent teacher of healing and shamanism. An award-winning author, her newest book,Speaking with Nature: Awakening to the Deep Wisdom of the Earth, is coauthored with Sandra Ingerman. She also wrote Shapeshifting into Higher Consciousness (IPPY Award); Shamanic Reiki (Roberts & Levy), and The Good Remembering.

Llyn’s work incorporates her experience as a psychotherapist, training with diverse indigenous cultures, study in Tibetan Buddhism, and Western body-mind transformational approaches. She teaches shamanic methods that can be applied to everyday life in order to turn crisis and fear into opportunities, and which heal us, and our relationship with the Earth. Her emphasis is: spiritual ecology, deep feminine wisdom. Her work opens us to an expanded paradigm of well being that is essential to our own and the planet’s health as our world is rapidly redefined.

She holds a master’s degree in Tibetan Buddhist and Western Psychology from Naropa University (1985). She was a student of the late, Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche and is an initiate of shamanic circles in Latin America and in Siberia. She has facilitated indigenous book projects and led sacred journeys for twenty years to indigenous shamanic peoples living in remote regions of the Amazon basin, the Asian steppes, high Andes, the lands of the ancient Maya, and to indigenous groups in rural West China.

She has taught at highly regarded educational institutions including the Omega Institute, Omega’s Women’s Leadership Center, Esalen, Hollyhock, Rowe Conference Center, Kripalu, the Prophet’s Conference, Bioneers, Evergreen State College, the Eagle Condor Foundation. She was consultant to the University of Massachusetts Sustainability Initiative in Dartmouth and to Earth Train, a Panama-based non-profit organization engaged in reforestation and educational programs, and indigenous cultural preservation. She serves as adjunct faculty for Union Graduate School and The Graduate Institute. She was a psychotherapist for the acclaimed Buddhist-inspired therapeutic community, Maitri Psychological Services, akaWindhorse.

Her work is featured in numerous tele-seminars and in books, pod cast and radio interviews and magazine articles.

Llyn is former director of the non-profit organization, Dream Change, founded by NY Times best selling author, John Perkins, with whom she co-facilitated of Earth-honoring transformational programs for seventeen years. She is the founder and president of the Olympic Mountain EarthWisdom Circle, “OMEC”, a worldwide community of people dedicated to promoting a sacred and responsible relationship with the Earth (www.eomec.org).

Roberts translates ancient techniques into modern-day practices to help us transform personal imbalances, open to our higher purpose, deepen our relationship to spirit and nature, and reclaim our power to make a positive difference in the world.