Sacred Places and Practical Shamanism

Shamanism is the integration of the physical and spiritual realms of existence and is based on the knowledge that all life is interconnected.

My name is Luminous and I have spent my life working to define my experience and learn languages to express the world I see and live in.  Painting, performing, poetry and writing are among the ways I attempt to speak of the unspeakable, define the invisible, and illustrate what is possible. Although not a follower of teachers or teachings, others have appeared to let me know that they have walked a difficult path—one of being in the world and not of it.  Those born to walk between the worlds have a big learning curve that spirals far beyond the idea of fitting in.

The shaman is a human bridge between the unseen realms of guiding spirits and this world; present time—Now.  Shamanic practice requires full presence in the Now, as you cannot be a bridge to a place you are not present in.

Shamanism – painting by Luminous

The terms shaman and shamanism are overused and improperly allocated to medicine people and other practitioners.  Specific shamanic practices are endlessly varied—originating from diverse cultures and belief systems.  Dressed in a variety of outfits, shamans are plentiful and questionable.  While one can study the practices of shamanism and evolve their sensitivity, there are other initiations that must occur and these cannot happen in a classroom or online.  If you choose to work with a shaman, ask about their background, lineage, training and experience.  Use your intuitive abilities and inner knowing to tune into the person and their depth of experience and value to you.  Do not become star struck—take the time to divine who you are dealing with and whether they have something to offer you.

The word Shaman originated among the Siberian Tungus (Evenks) and literally means:  s/he who knows.

Shamanism was practiced long before organized religion came into being.  As an earth based spiritual practice, shamanism cuts across all faiths and creeds and reaches into the depths of ancestral memory.  Some societies believe shamanic abilities are inherited and can only be passed from generation to generation.  Others believe shamans must be “called” to serve—apprenticing themselves to accomplished shamans.

According to some, the shaman is naturally initiated. Being struck by lightning, a personal psychological crisis, a near death experience or a serious illness can initiate the shaman.  Almost certainly, there is a trauma involved.  This trauma shifts the consciousness—often requiring the shaman to leave the body, at least temporarily, in order to survive.  Once out of the body, the shaman begins to explore the invisible realms of existence.  Relationships may be formed, revelatory visions may occur—particularly visions defining the specific powers a person may have. Once the ability to leave the body and travel to other dimensions and speak with the spirit world is established, the shaman will be lead to each next step.  The teachings and skills come directly from the spirit world.

Practical shamanism is the natural expression of your true self—your ancient heritage expressing in your now and future selves.  You have been conditioned to desensitize and disconnect in order to live in the world.  Freeing yourself from outside influences and the steady stream of incoming information—often fear based–is the first step in reclaiming your deep sensitivity and experiencing heightened states of awareness and connection to all life.  Connecting with the earth, will teach you how to consciously understand and use the energy of the cosmos.


Face in the rocks, Sedona Arizona 2012

What kinds of things can a shaman do?  Some of the defining skills of the shaman include:

. divination

. the interpretation of dreams and visions

.  healing

. astral projection

.  enlightenment

.  the ability to contact the spirit world while in an altered state of consciousness

.  acting as an intermediary or messenger between the human world and the spirit worlds

.  knowing the entire universe to be alive and interconnected

.  mending of the soul to restore the physical body

.  acquiring solutions to bring positive affects to their community

.  bringing guidance for others

.  restoring balance to people and environments

.  birthing transcendent energies

As you read this list, you may realize you have some or several of these abilities in place.  As you deepen your practice, more will be added.  In asking yourself if Shamanism is a path for you–understand you are already on that path, and are living in a time where you are destined to expand your shamanic gifts and abilities.

Simply living life from your truth is a powerful enough expression to inform, enlighten and heal others around you.


Temple of the Condor, Machu Picchu, Peru 2012

My lifelong attraction to sacred places has caused me to paint, write and perform about them.  One can only feel gratitude for such an inspiration.

Sacred places are known to open and expand our intuitive abilities–we see visions, meet ancestors, guardians and guides, communicate with the spirit worlds.  For example, we may find an ancestor that comes to us through an olfactory experience—we smell their cigar or favorite candy and know it is them.  We may discover we have just walked through a portal or doorway and feel we are on the other side of something.  Sacred places were seeded long ago and the veils between the worlds are thin or lifted—suddenly we can see clearly.

Practical Shamanism is at the core of learning how to connect with sacred places–to enter the unseen realms, discover hidden histories and our particular relationship to them.  Silence and sensitivity, meditation, lying on the earth and breathing with her are but a few of the ways to connect.

Walk softly upon the earth—let each footstep be a prayer.

During these times of newness and re-creation, our willingness to discover the multidimensional aspects of self and life are most important.  We are rapidly becoming a different species—one who is aware of and embraces the multidimensional self and operates from the Eternal Divine Self.  Sacred places support us to bring in the full essence of our being, and to bring it all into present time.


Qero’s Paq’o Preparing Initiation Ceremony, Chincero, Peru 2012

Many indigenous people worldwide are living an earth based existence, unconcerned with technology and the many distractions we have created in the Western world.   When I take groups on spiritual journeys, we are accompanied by an indigenous Curanderos, Paq’os or Shamans who are the natural stewards of sacred places in their area.  They will conduct earth based ceremonies allowing us to connect with the land and energies of a site through their beliefs and traditions.  Overlaying our ceremonies on sacred lands is often not welcomed or appreciated.  Including indigenous people in our visits to sacred places is highly recommended.

Practical shamanism is the very core and nature of your being.  It is not outside the self, but within.  Your first step in tapping into this aspect of self may be contained in two words:  Silent, Listen.  Interesting, those two words contain the same letters in a different configuration.



Luminous is the founder/director of the Spiritual Archaeology Society a nonprofit (501 C 3 Pending) to support and preserve ancient wisdom and traditions, discover our hidden histories, and expand Spiritual Archaeology Education.  In 1985 she founded the Temple of X-Static Sound to research and further awareness of the uses of vibrational frequency (Tibetan bowls, bells, crystal bowls and voice harmonics). Luminous attended the New School for Social Research and Pratt in New York studying psychology, philosophy, comparative religions and art and graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute with degrees in Painting and Performance/Video.  She worked with Multidimensional Research and Expansion for three years and later initiated a two year study on past life regression.  Her visual and multi-media art speaks of sacred places and the inner worlds and unseen dimensions of reality.

A Spiritual Archaeology Tour is scheduled in Sedona on February 18th following the Gift in Shift Conference at which she is a speaker.  A journey to Peru is scheduled for August 2013.  Visit her websites for current information on tours, consultations, mentoring and Spiritual Archaeology events: and

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