Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The 4 Shamanic Healing Salves: Storytelling

The Shamanic Healing Salve or ointment of the south is Storytelling. The telling of stories happens every day in many ways including sharing our day, recounting moments from long ago as well as the deeper healing that occurs when we open our hearts and tend to our childhood wounds.

In many indigenous cultures, rites of passage are honored by individual time in the desert or mountains where the questor experiences direct interaction with the Spirit world. It is during these sojourns that life stories are told through prayer and song, appealing to the Spirits for healing and empowerment. When the solo time is complete, the initiate returns to the circle of elders where he or she shares in detail what happened and then receives wise feedback about the unique "medicine" that has been granted due to the surviving the ordeal. Sometimes the Talking Stick is used which is held by the individual as the group listens without comment, honoring their time until the stick is passed around the circle. It is at this time that a new story begins and the past is left behind.

In modern culture, psychotherapy has in many ways replaced this tribal tradition as the client and therapist explore stories that have had meaning in the life of the storyteller. Sometimes the therapist will also share a personal story which becomes part of the deeper healing modality and together a new story is woven which then becomes the guiding compass for the client. It is through this storytelling experience that healing takes place and trust is developed which can then be nurtured in relationship with Self, others, and the larger community.

Question: What are the new stories that I am creating today?

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