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Shamanic Breathwork

Journeying beyond the Limits of the Self

Foreword by Nicki Scully
Published by Bear & Company
Distributed by Simon & Schuster


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About The Book

Utilizing the healing power of breath to change consciousness

• Explains how to enter altered states of consciousness, increase paranormal abilities, and resolve old traumas using breathwork

• Introduces the Five Cycles of Change that bring about major life shifts and how to work with them

• Includes 70-minute audio download of chakra-attuned rhythms to play during the journey

Incorporating psychospiritual tools with her Shamanic Breathwork practice, Linda Star Wolf shows how to spiritually journey in the same way shamans entrain to the rhythms of drums or rattles using the breath, either alone or together with music. Much like traveling to sacred places or ingesting entheogens, this practice can be used to enter altered states of consciousness, connect to cosmic consciousness, increase paranormal abilities, and awaken the shaman within. Breathwork can also be used to resolve old traumas and shapeshift unproductive modes of thinking in order to move beyond them.

Utilizing the healing power of breath along with chakra-attuned music, Linda Star Wolf explores the Five Cycles of Change--the Alchemical Map of Shamanic Consciousness--and how these cycles affect you as you move through major shifts in your life. Filled with personal stories and case histories, the book also includes 70-minute audio download of shamanic trance rhythms and a guided meditation to awaken the chakras during practice.


Chapter 5

Processing the Journey

After breathing, the journeyer (still somewhat altered and assisted by the co-journeyer) engages in one or more expressive art forms (mandalas, sculpting, mask-making, collages, Shamanic Shakti Painting Process, etc.) as well as sacred scribing. In sacred scribing, the journeyer describes in detail what their specific experience(s) were during their session. The co-journeyer scribes what the journeyer tells them in a journal and relates back and scribes what their own experiences were during the journeyer’s Shamanic Breathwork. This process allows for integration and grounding as well as for the journeyer and co-journeyer to briefly process together what their experiences were during the session.
The Shamanic Expressive Art Process may include drawing a mandala, working with clay, painting, writing poetry, journaling, or some other form of expressive art. These processes allow the journeyer to express and work with the images, messages, and experiences of their sacred Shamanic Breathwork process. This integrative expression is closer to the language of the soul than speaking about the experience in words alone. The artistic expression is meant to give full access to the unconscious and conscious processes animated by the breathwork. The following is a brief description of one of the more powerful art processes, the Shamanic Shakti Painting Process, from its creator, Judy Merritt, Red Hawk:

The Shamanic Shakti Painting Process (SSPP) is about the Sacred Marriage of the Shamanic and the Shakti energies. It is a calling in of the Shaman within, that Divine Witness and Healer, to show up as witness and to hold the space for the language and vision of the soul revealed through the painting process. The Shaman within is summoned with the ritual of smudging and the setting of the intention for healing and revealing. The Shakti energy is activated and invited in through the process of kidney breathing. The kidneys flow and filter that deep wellspring of creative energy. The SSPP then requires the participant to enter into the commitment of communication between soul and ego through the application of paint to paper, allowing the colors to be chosen and the movement of the brush to be informed by the inner voice, the feeling and movement from deep within the body of the painter. The SSPP is not about thinking about what will be painted. It is not about putting onto paper any representation of the outside world. It is about using paint, paper, energy, commitment to the process, and the act of surrender to reveal to the painter what the soul and the Shaman within need the painter to see and to feel for deeper understanding and healing.

The use of the mandala drawing can be an extraordinarily powerful tool in the Shamanic Breathwork process. The mandala is a form of expression in which the journeyer artistically describes their experience in pictorial form. The Sanskrit word mandala means “circle.” Indeed, each mandala begins with a softly drawn circle on a large piece of art paper or other media. The mandala circle is a suggestion--a starting point from which the journeyer’s experience comes to artistic life. Almost invariably, the experience pours from the journeyer’s psyche onto the paper, overflowing the confines of the suggested circle and consuming the entire media. This artistic expression allows the journeyer to quietly reflect upon their experience, using the mandala as a form of expression to encapsulate that which words alone cannot. The mandala is both a reflection of where we are now as well as a preview of coming attractions in our lives.
Jung believed that the mandala allowed for expression of both the personal and the collective unconscious. He believed that, in drawing the mandala and connecting with the collective unconscious, we are allowed the opportunity to move away from the ego as the center of our psyche. He said,

The goal of contemplating the processes depicted in the mandala is that the yogi shall become inwardly aware of the deity. Through contemplation, he recognizes himself as God again and thus returns from the illusion of individual existence into the universal totality of the divine state.

He described mandalas as a reflection of the self--the wholeness of personality. He believed that the construction of a mandala accessed our psyches and allowed our core truths to emanate forth. He said mandalas “cannot tolerate deception.” Of mandalas, Jung also said,

I had to abandon the idea of the superordinate position of the ego. . . . I saw that everything, all paths I had been following, all steps I had taken, were leading back to a single point--namely, to the midpoint. It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the centre. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the center, to individuation. I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self I had attained what was for me the ultimate.

Contained with each individual mandala is often essential information for the journeyer about the meanings of the images, symbols, and motifs they experienced during their Shamanic Breathwork journey. These images, symbols, and motifs are interpreted both literally and for their underlying metaphorical meaning. One of the powerful aspects of mandala interpretation is examining the archetypal themes inherent in them. Present in all people in all cultures, archetypes have been recorded by dreamers across time and from all walks of life with remarkable commonalities.
Engaging in a spirited dialog with the archetypal forces visible in our mandalas allows each of us to integrate material that may otherwise exist outside of our waking consciousness. In this process of recognition and integration, we have the opportunity to fully engage with and purposefully invite core archetypes into our consciousness so that we may live and learn their lessons rather than resist them unconsciously.

About The Author

Linda Star Wolf, Ph.D., has been a visionary teacher and shamanic guide for more than 35 years. The founder and codirector of Venus Rising Association for Transformation and the founder and president of Venus Rising University for Shamanic Psychospiritual Studies, she is the creator of the Shamanic Breathwork Process as well as the Shamanic Ministers Global Network and the Wise Wolf Councils. A spiritual granddaughter of Seneca Wolf Clan Grandmother Twylah Nitsch, Star Wolf is the author of Shamanic Breathwork and co-author of Visionary Shamanism, Shamanic Egyptian Astrology, Shamanic Mysteries of Egypt, and The Anubis Oracle. She lives at Isis Cove Retreat Center near Asheville, North Carolina.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Bear & Company (November 17, 2009)
  • Length: 280 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781591431060

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Raves and Reviews

“There is tremendous power in Linda Star Wolf’s words like there is power in the breathwork she practices and teaches. The stories, insights, and information found here touch the heart, soul, body, and brain. Shamanic Breathwork is a must read for anyone ready for a major shift in consciousness.”

– John Lee, author of The Flying Boy and The Anger Solution

“In the Shamanic Breathwork journey, Star Wolf weaves her own healing experience into a powerful, compassionate process of deep inner work for others.”

– Jacquelyn Small, author of Awakening in Time and The Sacred Purpose of Being Human

“Linda Star Wolf has written a landmark book describing her incredible healing and transformational process.Shamanic Breathwork is a must for transpersonal therapists who truly desire to help people move through the middle toward higher consciousness, peace, and a healthy planet.”

– Wendyne Limber, author of Imagine Recovery and creator of the Imagination Process

Shamanic Breathwork provides readers with a powerful process that heals us both individually and collectively as citizens of Planet Earth. Linda Star Wolf is one of those rare transformers whose visions and words weave their way into the depths of our psyches and bring us out the other side empowered and deeply connected to our inner guidance and soul’s path.”

– Judith Corvin-Blackburn, author of Journey to Wholeness and Empowering the Spirit

Shamanic Breathwork will help you use the power of the breath to access ‘the shaman within’ and activate your soul’s purpose. I highly recommend this practical guide for turning the ideal into the real deal.”

– Steve Bhaerman, author of Driving Your Own Karma and coauthor of Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive

“The Shamanic Breathwork practice is the perfect way to journey beyond the limits of the self. I am very happy to see a book about breathwork from the shamanic perspective.”

– Leonard D. Orr, author of Breaking the Death Habit: The Science of Everlasting Life and founder of R

“Shamanic Breathwork is a Living Way to personal truth and freedom. We are not the ‘self,’ we are the one experiencing the ‘self,’ and Shamanic Breathwork brings that experience to the forefront of our consciousness. With love, light, and creativity, Linda Star Wolf offers others the power and grace of the Shamanic Breathwork practices.”

– Lee R. McCormick, author of The Spirit Recovery Meditation Journal

“The Shamanic Breathwork process of personal and planetary transformation is Linda Star Wolf ’s gift to the generations to come. She honors the ancestors as she shares a new form of wholeness and healing with all who take this breath of life into their hearts."

– Rev. Charla J. Hermann, author of The Blue Star Portal of Transformation

“In Shamanic Breathwork, Linda Star Wolf shares the process that has helped so many to find the healing they were desperately seeking. I know from personal experience that the breathwork process is indeed life changing, and I endorse both the process and this wonderful book."

– Cindy Henson, LCDC, ADCII, former co-owner and program director of Shades of Hope Treatment Center

“In these times of fast-moving change, Linda Star Wolf teaches us how to connect with our internal guidance and inborn ability to heal, spiritually and psychologically. She brings traditional shamanic consciousness into the 21st century in a form accessible to anyone with the courage to explore self-awareness.”

– Karen Craft, author of The Cosmic Purr: Inspiration for Animal Lovers

Shamanic Breathwork reclaims and activates the Emotional Body, which is important because it is the seat of our power, the engine of manifestation."

– Baba Dez Nichols, author of Sacred Sexual Healing: The Shaman Method of Sex Magic

Shamanic Breathwork will give you insight into the world of the shaman and help you connect with your own healing wisdom.”

– Lee Lipsenthal, M.D., ABIHM, founder of Finding Balance in a Medical Life

“Linda Star Wolf brings great integrity, love, experience, wisdom, and, yes, even magic to her life’s work. Her Shamanic Breathwork process brings you into right relationship with yourself and the world around you, shifting you into a new dimension of emotional, spiritual, and physical centeredness. I wholeheartedly recommend Shamanic Breathwork to anyone looking for lasting health and vitality in their life.”

– Molly M. Roberts, M.D., coauthor of Blackwell Complementary and Alternative Medicine

"During each step of the process, the author includes her own experiences as well as accounts from a wide variety of workshop participants. Their accounts indicate the benefits of the program for the general reader or participant as well as for those who have been in dependency relationships, or who are involved in recovery programs."

– Richard D. Wright, New Age Retailer, Feb 2010

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