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Free Talk on the Tao with Kris Deva North
Some of the old shamanic arts flourish today under the shield of Chinese Medicine, most practitioners unaware of the magical connections.
From its shamanic roots, Taoism rose to become the official religion of the Imperial Dynasties. It is the foundation of most Chinese art, of the Traditional Chinese Medicines we know today as acupuncture and herbalism, of Chinese Astrology and Divination, of Tai Chi Chuan "the Supreme Ultimate" combining meditation and martial art, and of the esoteric sexual practices taught to the Emperors by their female advisers to form the basis of Taoist Alchemy: the quest for immortality.
Outside of the Imperial Court Taoism evolved as the folk religion, the Old Ways common to many First Nations, a way of mystery and secrecy, with rites, rituals, and initiations. A notice stating ‘There is an altar in this house’ was a sign of a safe haven for the travelling Taoist during the Buddhist persecutions. The tradition has been maintained to this day to show the location of a Taoist household or temple.
Barefoot healers, pre-Taoist shamans, wearing red headbands, wandered naked and were subject to fits, a characteristic particularly of the Siberian but also known among shamans of other traditions.
The shaman, as ‘mediator with spirit’ is chosen by spirit and called by humans when healing practices such as herbs, massage, acupuncture or allopathy have failed. If the sickness prevails, Shaman finds out from Spirit what healing the soul needs for the body to be whole again. Everything is a gift and a blessing, for everything is Love, and gratitude and thanks must be given even for hurt and pain. Then harmony can be restored between soul and body.
Practitioners of shamanism can be susceptible to suffering afflictions of spirit in this earthly dimension. I personally know two people, one an acknowledged practitioner and the other a young boy recognised by his teachers as having shamanic power, who have an extremely difficult time living in the "normal" world themselves but through their spirit-connection are able to help others. This of course is where modern-day Taoist practitioners have the advantage of the Healing Tao system to protect themselves from depletion and contamination.