How do we find the shaman’s voice within ourselves? The foundation of the shaman’s life is the five elements – however, the very first place we process our understanding, our perception of those elements, is through our bodies.
Take the element of air, for instance, which is associated with the direction of East, wind, and our breath…
In a sacred inside space (where you pray or meditate), clear your mind of all “clutter.” Tune out the phones, appointments, bills and deadlines. Now focus on your breathing. Slow it down, and breathe a few times at that level – then very gradually continue to slow it down until you can come as close as is physically comfortable to a slow ten count in, pause, slow ten count out rhythm. Once you are comfortable, start to hold your breath after you have totally exhaled – just a moment – and then choose to breathe in. Make it an act of your will to choose to inhale breath. Feel the air coming into your lungs, and the absorption of the “fuel” of oxygen connecting with your lung tissue, and going into your blood stream, to your vital organs. Your exhale becomes the exit of toxins, of waste (hence bad breath)… so get it all out, before you breathe in again.
The secret power of the element of air is that once you “tame” your own breath, you can control your mood, your pain levels, your heartbeat. You can heal faster by sending more oxygen to the body part or organ that requires more. Think about all the things you can positively affect, including the very quality of your physical health, and longevity!
I use the breathing magick of air as a healing tool for others as well; for painless childbirth, teaching calm, even using my breathing to calm frightened animals and small children. Newborns are extremely accepting of your “calm” to put them back to sleep! It works in many emergency cases where “calm” can save a life! I have also used this skill to calm crash victims until paramedics could arrive.
There is more to air – so much more that you will discover once you become aware of it. Consider your “graduation” of the element of air as being able to feel the wind coming up on you, open yourself up and let it “clear” you of negatives (thinking, illness, stress, etc…) and using the visual concept of it to do the same in your mind at anytime. Air can bring in new ideas and energy, as well inspiration and creativity. May the wind be always at your back!