How to Become Your Own Shaman Using Cannabis

Along your Healthy High journey you will be continuously asking yourself, “Can I really heal myself?” In other words, “It’s the Doctor’s job to cure you, but it’s up to you to heal yourself. So, let’s clear up any doubt that lingers in your mind.

Shamanism in a Modern World

Let’s be clear on what we’re exactly talking about. First, what is a “shaman“? Second, what is the “Self ?”.  This may sound self-explainable. However, shamanism- like cannabis in general- is ripe with misconceptions. Misleading notions of evil curses and malevolent goals makes shamanism seem scary.  

People may associate shamanism with a person who conjures the spirts using mystical rituals in ancient cultures. Skeptics believe a shaman uses trickery and the healing is only “in the head” of the patient.  Indeed, it turns out that healing does have a great deal of “head” in it. Cure, on the other hand, is hard science and demands the rigors of empiricism.  The mind is much more elusive to define or understand. So, both “the mind” and “the shaman” need to be understood.

Shamans are healers with strong community buy-in to a spiritual/wellness belief systems that lead to a variety of healing rituals.  In the old days, when you got cancer, you were dead. Now, we fight back and kill the cancer. People fall victim to hopelessness and limit their healing practices despite effective, professional, curative care. So, here we are, both the cured and sick, in need of some type of healing.

As times change, a shaman equivalent emerges. By blending scientific research into psychotherapy and psychiatry, ancient healing practices evolve into what we now call- Healthy High guides. On the other hand, you may find a person trained as a shaman. However, keep in mind the lack of quality assurance and accreditation that can lead to worsening the problem. 

Many clinicians without even realizing it are playing a modernized shamanic role in the communities they serve. There is no doubt that everybody is better off with a good shaman in their corner who goes to battle for them against the evil forces that pull them into pain and sickness.  The more severe and intense the pain, the more we need someone else to help us fight it. But if you feel motivated, you can become your own shaman without a medicine man or mystic coming to your home to conduct a ritual.

Exploring the "Self," & What it Means to You

Here we come to the definition of SELF. This sounds easy, but it becomes very complicated the longer you reflect on it.  In a Healthy High, cannabis creates the trance or an Altered State of Consciousness (AsoC).

Cannabis is a much milder plant and psychedelic state than produced by ayahuasca used in ancient healing rituals. You have to create the message, become the messenger, and send the message to the core of your existence- the SELF. The SELF has many complicated definitions in psychology and psychoanalysis but let’s try to simplify it so you don’t need to be Freud to understand it.

In your mind, you have images, stories, and beliefs about yourself that are based on all of your experiences throughout life. The “internalized” views of your SELF are the “parts” of yourself. Your lived experience when viewed all-together as one story, painting, or movie, represents your unique SELF. Object relations theorists believe in different types of selves, like the “alien self” or “the ideal self.”

Here we are looking to visualize an inner shaman or inner self healer. This is a healing mindset that views the world through what the Aborigines call “the strong eye.”  Cannabis cannot give you a “strong eye” but it may help you discover your own “strong eye” or a resilient way of looking at things in your life that bring about health and wellness.

The goal in this approach is to create what Stanley  Krippner calls Healing States using cannabis to create a consciousness adapted to the challenges of healing.  Obviously, this state of mind will not follow you everywhere you go. This is part of the architecture of your own shamanistic plan. Listen to Dr. Sacco, Sr.’s reflections on creating your inner self-healer.

When and how you use cannabis is one step in designing your own shamanistic healing plan. The healing grows from practicing mental acrobatics. Overtime, your expetise allows for new adaptions to the stress of life.

How to Become Your Own Shaman Using Cannabis During Cancer Treatment

I am a case in point.  Head and neck cancers require a 25 minute radiation barbecue with your face strapped to a table for 25 minutes for 35 days in total.  Success in the cure requires attention to palliative care and your healing states of mind. Just keeping up the schedule demands courage especially as the radiation robs you of your protein and strength.  You get fed through a tube and swallowing becomes impossible because of blisters and sores in your mouth. Luckily, the intergalactic warriors warriors behind the radio isotopes barbecued and killed the cancer. I was skinny with no taste, appetite, strength, unable to swallow, and depressed beyond belief.

Cannabis offered me an escape from my negative thinking and opened a new way of seeing the world. I started chewing ice cubes, then the munchies helped me eat pudding and shakes. I started back at the gym weightlifting with my son and using cannabis to cope with orthopedic pain.

Family & Friends Help Heal- Cannabis Can Bring People Together

The healing came from being with my son at the gym, the mental states from cannabis, and binging Breaking Bad on Netflix after workouts.  The altered state induced by cannabis filled many needs and contributed to my strengthening back to a regular schedule at 67 years of age. My appetite, pain, depression, and stagnant creativity impaired my healing. Cannabis helped with my 2 year healing. I created my own ritual aided by my son and surrounded by the love of my family. It all works together. Cannabis opened the door for an old, sick man to connect with his younger loving family.  

I realized how to become my own shaman. I needed to reach deep and connect to a warrior level of consciousness.  Escape the victim role of patient strapped to the radiation wrack. Pumped in the stomach with nutrients, unable to walk around the block, I was losing hope. Cannabis helped create a vision. I looked out my back yard, watered my basil, and smoked ganja.

Eventually, I took more risks by exercising and visualizing. I never gave up and my family never gave up on me. Cannabis facilitated a healing ritual that improved strength, outlooks, and appetite. Most improtantly, without family I’d fall victim to the munchies and watch daytime television.

Find Your "Strong Eye" & Learn to Let Go

We can’t point to one specific path, or philosphy on how to become your own shaman using cannabis. Cannabis assisted me in pulling myself up to look through my “strong eye.” As a result, I had to assume the role of shaman, as silly as it sounds. Surely, I did not think this way while I was doing it.

Cannabis assisted in my “letting go” of fear, thoughts of the future, meaning of life, legacy, and other depressive thoughts. During radiation and chemo, I needed to be in the fighting mood. In other words, cannabis is useful for creating the opposite of the fighting attitude. I used this alternative approach with my parents who died in my house surrounded by family. Cannabis contributed to their spiritual send off and made grieving much more tolerable. Social and family stimulation is critical to healing and end-of-life enrichment.

Shamans knew this and so did the community. Shared beliefs, support from the village, and the shaman are the collectors of that energy. Together the community holds the power to help people heal from mind or body ailments. How to become your own shaman using cannabis means embarking on a journey of self-healing and sharing your self-knowledge.

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