“Medicine rests upon four pillars—philosophy, astronomy, alchemy, and ethics. The first pillar is the philosophical knowledge of earth and water; the second, astronomy, supplies its full understanding of that which is of fiery and airy nature; the third is an adequate explanation of the properties of all the four elements—that is to say, of the whole cosmos—and an introduction into the art of their transformations; and finally, the fourth shows the physician those virtues which must stay with him up until his death, and it should support and complete the three other pillars.”
— Paracelsus, Paracelsus: Selected Writings


Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. Although suppressed during years of foreign occupation, Ayurveda has been enjoying a major resurgence in both its native land and throughout the world. Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda. Early Greek medicine also embraced many concepts originally described in the classical ayurvedic medical texts dating back thousands of years.

More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life,Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential. Providing guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit. read more at The Chopra Center



Mongolian Shamanism

“Shamanism” is the ancient spiritual beliefs of the Mongolian and Turkic peoples that live in Central Asia, Siberia, and as far west as parts of Eastern Europe. Shamanism is often called “Tengerism” in Siberia and Mongolia since it means “the honoring of spirits”...

There are three main concepts in Tengerism. In Tengerism, the world is alive. The plants, animals, rocks, and water all have spirits. These spirits must be respected and cared for or the land would become hostile or barren. Therefore, protection and balance of one’s environment is of utmost importance.

Personal responsibility is the second main concept of Tengerism. Tengerists believe in a concept called buyan that is very close to the belief of karma. Being responsible for one’s own actions is the mark of an upright human being.

The third concept of Tengerism is balance. Balance is important to keep harmony within oneself, the community, and the environment. When things get out of balance, there are harmful effects. This is when a shaman is needed. Source www.tengerism.org

When a shaman in the Amazon rain forest outperforms Western medicine

Matt McFarland, The Washington Post
Editor, Innovations — Washington, D.C.

Here’s your choice. Get treated by U.S. doctors, or by a shaman deep in the Amazon rain forest. Seems like an easy decision, right? In his TED Talk, ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin tells this story that might change the way you think:

Four years ago I injured my foot in a climbing accident and I went to the doctor. She gave me heat. She gave me cold. She gave me aspirin, narcotic pain killers, anti-inflammatories, cortisone shots. Didn’t work. Several months later I was in the Northeast Amazon. Walked into a village and the shaman said “You’re limping.” And I’ll never forget this as long as I live. He looked me in the face and he said “Take off your shoe and give me your machete.” He walked over to a palm tree and carved off a fern, threw it in the fire, applied it to my foot. Threw it in a pot of water and had me drink the tea. The pain disappeared for seven months. read more



Podcasts on Shamanism

About Christina Pratt
Shamanic teacher and author, Christina is a skilled shamanic healer who weaves her authentic shamanic experience, extensive training, and experience with shamans from Ecuador, Nepal, Tibet, and Africa into her contemporary practice. She has been in practice for 20 years, specializing in soul retrieval healings, soul part integration, and ancestral healing. She is the director of the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing in Portland, Oregon.

Learn about the Foundations of Shamanic Practice by Christina Pratt or visit Why Shamanism Now? to hear more podcasts on Shamanism!