Traditional shaman, who deal with spirits initially, whether from the land and the culture or being so close to death, they are patterns of the same process. Getting accustom to each pattern and living it, takes a lot of personal energy. And it has costs. The ordeal by spirits whether by ancestors, planes or by being close to death, are by happenstances.
Many medicine workers who are by definition not “shaman” either have talent and or go through ordeals, initiations or vision quests. This however has more of a natural, earth based and ancestral pattern that helps these people center themselves and serve their tribe and or people.
The Shaman sickness pattern Identified in Siberia and the Asian steppes by some tribes are identified as “white” shamans. There are other shaman that learn by skill and talent and are called “black” shamans (nothing to do with light/dark, good/evil dichotomies, etc)
Some witch, hoodoo or Voudou paths, speak of all magic and dealing with spirits have a cost. And it has a cost on the body. Personal energy that goes through the body that isn’t matched to a person’s body but spirits and places each have their unique patterns. If we were to fully accustom ourselves to that pattern would probably move completely there. And our bodies would have an even worse time. This is why many shape-shift on planes. This too can bring residual energies to manage by or alter people’s own natural.
There are other techniques that can people can use not to be hurt by working with these people, places, entities and or things. There are some who are taught aspects in varying cultures.
For those who have been called to these shaman sickness, madness or death paths, there are medicine people who help them if they want it. And sometimes they can’t be helped. And they work their own path and the energies, destinies and patterns that they are attached to. It is my hope that those weaves will honor them in this plane or the next and heal them and give them an equitable boost in their next life time or their time in between.
In general, people moving people energy, or highly structured or dynamic energies through their bodies, that are usually not tuned to their bodies, does damage to their bodies. It takes a lot of energy to protect their soul and have a spirit body that maintain their soul in that dynamic equilibrium with body and life in general. This takes a lot of work and many don’t do that depth of work to be adequately prepared. This can be said not only of “shamans”, but of energy workers, healers, vampires, or energy players.
DSM-IV that classify kundalini psychosis and chi-gong crisis, “a crisis of faith”, where practitioners who do this energy work on purpose but have worked it too hard with out the adequate time and experience to work through the psycho-spiritual-somatic experiences to attune their body and the energies together. The recommendations there follow what gurus and chi-gong teachers would say. Slow down, focus on health and balance, and deal with the after care of the attendant catharsis that occur when working these practices.
Not all energy or spirit workers suffer illness or madness. The world may wish to impact individuals to that point, but it isn’t necessary. There are balance paths where many work on light or dark, over and under worlds, or ancestors, gods, or the dead. There are ways that mitigate these issues given cultural or traditional contexts, few who follow fully. Many don’t get a choice nor do they have the blessings to be received into same said communities, as few and far between they are. People do the best they can. That cost that people take, is a commitment, that will have repercussions over lifetimes and over many planes of existence. As I teach, I try to give people, newly on their paths and some who have been on a path or two, an insight to the choices and what is going on so they can have conscious control over the choice of their path. Understanding the path and choosing that path, is different than being thrust upon it. Also, how to mitigate and manage that choice. Sometimes there is nothing for it. It is what it is. And I try to support and give a level of understanding for them, if it is warranted.
I have managed to be pretty healthy, regardless of the ordeals that I have been put through. And some have pushed me to the brink of sanity, illness and death. That isn’t to say I haven’t suffered. Each of us need to have a cadre of path walkers who can understand what we as an individual has gone through. Support, tips, and some times just a place to chew the fat, can help us have a perspective who we are and the sense of purpose of our place in the universe. This is a rare and very healing thing for likes of each of us. Too often we are busy justifying what we are versus seeing the others in the diversity of we can be together. This is a rare thing that must be cherished.
Cherish each other. In the mix there is a balance, usually.