Shamanic View of Mental Illness

What a Shaman Sees in A Mental Hospital

August 22, 2014 | By  

ShamanStephanie Marohn with Malidoma Patrice Somé
Waking Times

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.

What those in the West view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.” The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs to be communicated from the spirit realm. “Mental disorder, behavioral disorder of all kinds, signal the fact that two obviously incompatible energies have merged into the same field,” says Dr. Somé. These disturbances result when the person does not get assistance in dealing with the presence of the energy from the spirit realm.

One of the things Dr. Somé encountered when he first came to the United States in 1980 for graduate study was how this country deals with mental illness. When a fellow student was sent to a mental institute due to “nervous depression,” Dr. Somé went to visit him.

“I was so shocked. That was the first time I was brought face to face with what is done here to people exhibiting the same symptoms I’ve seen in my village.” What struck Dr. Somé was that the attention given to such symptoms was based on pathology, on the idea that the condition is something that needs to stop. This was in complete opposition to the way his culture views such a situation. As he looked around the stark ward at the patients, some in straitjackets, some zoned out on medications, others screaming, he observed to himself, “So this is how the healers who are attempting to be born are treated in this culture. What a loss! What a loss that a person who is finally being aligned with a power from the other world is just being wasted.”

Another way to say this, which may make more sense to the Western mind, is that we in the West are not trained in how to deal or even taught to acknowledge the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world. In fact, psychic abilities are denigrated. When energies from the spiritual world emerge in a Western psyche, that individual is completely unequipped to integrate them or even recognize what is happening. The result can be terrifying. Without the proper context for and assistance in dealing with the breakthrough from another level of reality, for all practical purposes, the person is insane. Heavy dosing with anti-psychotic drugs compounds the problem and prevents the integration that could lead to soul development and growth in the individual who has received these energies.

On the mental ward, Dr Somé saw a lot of “beings” hanging around the patients, “entities” that are invisible to most people but that shamans and psychics are able to see. “They were causing the crisis in these people,” he says. It appeared to him that these beings were trying to get the medications and their effects out of the bodies of the people the beings were trying to merge with, and were increasing the patients’ pain in the process. “The beings were acting almost like some kind of excavator in the energy field of people. They were really fierce about that. The people they were doing that to were just screaming and yelling,” he said. He couldn’t stay in that environment and had to leave.

In the Dagara tradition, the community helps the person reconcile the energies of both worlds–”the world of the spirit that he or she is merged with, and the village and community.” That person is able then to serve as a bridge between the worlds and help the living with information and healing they need. Thus, the spiritual crisis ends with the birth of another healer. “The other world’s relationship with our world is one of sponsorship,” Dr. Somé explains. “More often than not, the knowledge and skills that arise from this kind of merger are a knowledge or a skill that is provided directly from the other world.”

The beings who were increasing the pain of the inmates on the mental hospital ward were actually attempting to merge with the inmates in order to get messages through to this world. The people they had chosen to merge with were getting no assistance in learning how to be a bridge between the worlds and the beings’ attempts to merge were thwarted. The result was the sustaining of the initial disorder of energy and the aborting of the birth of a healer.

“The Western culture has consistently ignored the birth of the healer,” states Dr. Somé. “Consequently, there will be a tendency from the other world to keep trying as many people as possible in an attempt to get somebody’s attention. They have to try harder.” The spirits are drawn to people whose senses have not been anesthetized. “The sensitivity is pretty much read as an invitation to come in,” he notes.

Those who develop so-called mental disorders are those who are sensitive, which is viewed in Western culture as oversensitivity. Indigenous cultures don’t see it that way and, as a result, sensitive people don’t experience themselves as overly sensitive. In the West, “it is the overload of the culture they’re in that is just wrecking them,” observes Dr. Somé. The frenetic pace, the bombardment of the senses, and the violent energy that characterize Western culture can overwhelm sensitive people.

Schizophrenia and Foreign Energy

With schizophrenia, there is a special “receptivity to a flow of images and information, which cannot be controlled,” stated Dr. Somé. “When this kind of rush occurs at a time that is not personally chosen, and particularly when it comes with images that are scary and contradictory, the person goes into a frenzy.”

What is required in this situation is first to separate the person’s energy from the extraneous foreign energies, by using shamanic practice (what is known as a “sweep”) to clear the latter out of the individual’s aura. With the clearing of their energy field, the person no longer picks up a flood of information and so no longer has a reason to be scared and disturbed, explains Dr. Somé.

Then it is possible to help the person align with the energy of the spirit being attempting to come through from the other world and give birth to the healer. The blockage of that emergence is what creates problems. “The energy of the healer is a high-voltage energy,” he observes. “When it is blocked, it just burns up the person. It’s like a short-circuit. Fuses are blowing. This is why it can be really scary, and I understand why this culture prefers to confine these people. Here they are yelling and screaming, and they’re put into a straitjacket. That’s a sad image.” Again, the shamanic approach is to work on aligning the energies so there is no blockage, “fuses” aren’t blowing, and the person can become the healer they are meant to be.

It needs to be noted at this point, however, that not all of the spirit beings that enter a person’s energetic field are there for the purposes of promoting healing. There are negative energies as well, which are undesirable presences in the aura. In those cases, the shamanic approach is to remove them from the aura, rather than work to align the discordant energies

Alex: Crazy in the USA, Healer in Africa

To test his belief that the shamanic view of mental illness holds true in the Western world as well as in indigenous cultures, Dr. Somé took a mental patient back to Africa with him, to his village. “I was prompted by my own curiosity to find out whether there’s truth in the universality that mental illness could be connected with an alignment with a being from another world,” says Dr. Somé.

Alex was an 18-year-old American who had suffered a psychotic break when he was 14. He had hallucinations, was suicidal, and went through cycles of dangerously severe depression. He was in a mental hospital and had been given a lot of drugs, but nothing was helping. “The parents had done everything–unsuccessfully,” says Dr. Somé. “They didn’t know what else to do.”

With their permission, Dr. Somé took their son to Africa. “After eight months there, Alex had become quite normal, Dr. Somé reports. He was even able to participate with healers in the business of healing; sitting with them all day long and helping them, assisting them in what they were doing with their clients . . . . He spent about four years in my village.” Alex stayed by choice, not because he needed more healing. He felt, “much safer in the village than in America.”

To bring his energy and that of the being from the spiritual realm into alignment, Alex went through a shamanic ritual designed for that purpose, although it was slightly different from the one used with the Dagara people. “He wasn’t born in the village, so something else applied. But the result was similar, even though the ritual was not literally the same,” explains Dr. Somé. The fact that aligning the energy worked to heal Alex demonstrated to Dr. Somé that the connection between other beings and mental illness is indeed universal.

After the ritual, Alex began to share the messages that the spirit being had for this world. Unfortunately, the people he was talking to didn’t speak English (Dr. Somé was away at that point). The whole experience led, however, to Alex’s going to college to study psychology. He returned to the United States after four years because “he discovered that all the things that he needed to do had been done, and he could then move on with his life.”

The last that Dr. Somé heard was that Alex was in graduate school in psychology at Harvard. No one had thought he would ever be able to complete undergraduate studies, much less get an advanced degree.

Dr. Somé sums up what Alex’s mental illness was all about: “He was reaching out. It was an emergency call. His job and his purpose was to be a healer. He said no one was paying attention to that.”

After seeing how well the shamanic approach worked for Alex, Dr. Somé concluded that spirit beings are just as much an issue in the West as in his community in Africa. “Yet the question still remains, the answer to this problem must be found here, instead of having to go all the way overseas to seek the answer. There has to be a way in which a little bit of attention beyond the pathology of this whole experience leads to the possibility of coming up with the proper ritual to help people.

Longing for Spiritual Connection

A common thread that Dr. Somé has noticed in “mental” disorders in the West is “a very ancient ancestral energy that has been placed in stasis, that finally is coming out in the person.” His job then is to trace it back, to go back in time to discover what that spirit is. In most cases, the spirit is connected to nature, especially with mountains or big rivers, he says.

In the case of mountains, as an example to explain the phenomenon, “it’s a spirit of the mountain that is walking side by side with the person and, as a result, creating a time-space distortion that is affecting the person caught in it.” What is needed is a merger or alignment of the two energies, “so the person and the mountain spirit become one.” Again, the shaman conducts a specific ritual to bring about this alignment.

Dr. Somé believes that he encounters this situation so often in the United States because “most of the fabric of this country is made up of the energy of the machine, and the result of that is the disconnection and the severing of the past. You can run from the past, but you can’t hide from it.” The ancestral spirit of the natural world comes visiting. “It’s not so much what the spirit wants as it is what the person wants,” he says. “The spirit sees in us a call for something grand, something that will make life meaningful, and so the spirit is responding to that.”

That call, which we don’t even know we are making, reflects “a strong longing for a profound connection, a connection that transcends materialism and possession of things and moves into a tangible cosmic dimension. Most of this longing is unconscious, but for spirits, conscious or unconscious doesn’t make any difference.” They respond to either.

As part of the ritual to merge the mountain and human energy, those who are receiving the “mountain energy” are sent to a mountain area of their choice, where they pick up a stone that calls to them. They bring that stone back for the rest of the ritual and then keep it as a companion; some even carry it around with them. “The presence of the stone does a lot in tuning the perceptive ability of the person,” notes Dr. Somé. “They receive all kinds of information that they can make use of, so it’s like they get some tangible guidance from the other world as to how to live their life.”

When it is the “river energy,” those being called go to the river and, after speaking to the river spirit, find a water stone to bring back for the same kind of ritual as with the mountain spirit.

“People think something extraordinary must be done in an extraordinary situation like this,” he says. That’s not usually the case. Sometimes it is as simple as carrying a stone.

A Sacred Ritual Approach to Mental Illness

One of the gifts a shaman can bring to the Western world is to help people rediscover ritual, which is so sadly lacking. “The abandonment of ritual can be devastating. From the spiritual view, ritual is inevitable and necessary if one is to live,” Dr. Somé writes in Ritual: Power, Healing, and Community. “To say that ritual is needed in the industrialized world is an understatement. We have seen in my own people that it is probably impossible to live a sane life without it.”

Dr. Somé did not feel that the rituals from his traditional village could simply be transferred to the West, so over his years of shamanic work here, he has designed rituals that meet the very different needs of this culture. Although the rituals change according to the individual or the group involved, he finds that there is a need for certain rituals in general.

One of these involves helping people discover that their distress is coming from the fact that they are “called by beings from the other world to cooperate with them in doing healing work.” Ritual allows them to move out of the distress and accept that calling.

Another ritual need relates to initiation. In indigenous cultures all over the world, young people are initiated into adulthood when they reach a certain age. The lack of such initiation in the West is part of the crisis that people are in here, says Dr. Somé. He urges communities to bring together “the creative juices of people who have had this kind of experience, in an attempt to come up with some kind of an alternative ritual that would at least begin to put a dent in this kind of crisis.”

Another ritual that repeatedly speaks to the needs of those coming to him for help entails making a bonfire, and then putting into the bonfire “items that are symbolic of issues carried inside the individuals . . . It might be the issues of anger and frustration against an ancestor who has left a legacy of murder and enslavement or anything, things that the descendant has to live with,” he explains. “If these are approached as things that are blocking the human imagination, the person’s life purpose, and even the person’s view of life as something that can improve, then it makes sense to begin thinking in terms of how to turn that blockage into a roadway that can lead to something more creative and more fulfilling.”

The example of issues with an ancestors touches on rituals designed by Dr. Somé that address a serious dysfunction in Western society and in the process “trigger enlightenment” in participants. These are ancestral rituals, and the dysfunction they are aimed at is the mass turning-of-the-back on ancestors. Some of the spirits trying to come through, as described earlier, may be “ancestors who want to merge with a descendant in an attempt to heal what they weren’t able to do while in their physical body.”

“Unless the relationship between the living and the dead is in balance, chaos ensues,” he says. “The Dagara believe that, if such an imbalance exists, it is the duty of the living to heal their ancestors. If these ancestors are not healed, their sick energy will haunt the souls and psyches of those who are responsible for helping them.” The rituals focus on healing the relationship with our ancestors, both specific issues of an individual ancestor and the larger cultural issues contained in our past. Dr. Somé has seen extraordinary healing occur at these rituals.

Taking a sacred ritual approach to mental illness rather than regarding the person as a pathological case gives the person affected–and indeed the community at large–the opportunity to begin looking at it from that vantage point too, which leads to “a whole plethora of opportunities and ritual initiative that can be very, very beneficial to everyone present,” states. Dr. Somé.

Excerpted from:  The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia, or The Natural Medicine Guide to Bi-polar Disorder, pages 178-189, Stephanie Marohn (featuring Malidoma Patrice Somé).


Dean Ramsden on Lower Astral Energies

The deeper meaning of the lower astral energies

By Dean Ramsden

There are astral forces at play in the manifest world that are almost invisible to the eye of the modern person. What hides from us is the role the Lower Astral spirit world has upon human activity, and personal development. Despite the desire of most humans to live a good and comfortable life there exist various forces in our world that thrive on destruction and the abuse or sacrifice innocent life force. In this article we will step out of the sanitized cultural worldview of the Western world and into the shamanic perspective.

In the shamanic reality commerce with spirits for the good of the community is their job description and one unenvied by normal people. It is only when we are impacted by the spirit world either directly through our own perception, or through actions that are visited upon us with a sinister agenda, that we may give attention to shamanic reality. Coming to terms with the deeper meaning of how the Lower Astral affects us is addressed in this chapter. So, what exactly is a Shaman? He or she is the go-between of the people in the manifest world and the varieties of spirit people.

Modern Western people live in a world where they are insulated from many of the spirit world forces this subject requires us to have experience and knowledge about: the true nature of suffering in the manifest world around us. Our chickens and cattle are slaughtered in factories far from our homes, and our food is wrapped in plastic and stamped with an expiration date. We don’t see the death of the animal ourselves, as native or pre-modern people were likely to experience on a daily basis. We don’t need to develop our personal strength or warrior skills because we are told our police and military will take care of the aggression of others towards us. As a substitute we get to watch the digital killing of others, from the comfort of our TV and movie houses, living vicariously thrilled through the fictional or foreign destruction, usually far away from our homes. The modern person lives in a bubble of sanitized life, able to pass judgment on the poorer living conditions of native or non-modern people but unaware that these very people possess something vital the modern person has lost. The Shaman and the non-modern person accepts and understands how the spirit world works. The modern dismisses the spirit world as an archaic superstition of uneducated people, best consigned to the past along with the theory of the flat earth, and creationism – and in that arrogance lies our vulnerability to the Lower Astral destructive energies running amok in our lives. When we don’t acknowledge an important part of reality we will find ourselves out of balance, and unable to construct an authentic sense of the real world; this struggle is tied into the way psychological denial works to keep us sane in a chaotic world.

To best open ourselves up to the natural world of lower spirit interactions we usually have to step outside of our modern culture and society. It is hard to find the real information we need in our concrete jungle cities and small towns, or by watching TV programming created by other moderns passing on to us their own social conditioning. We have to physically and emotionally relocate ourselves to places that, although impacted by the modern world, still remain in touch which the spirit world. One option that many choose is South America, as we find many modern people drawn to the Shamans of that huge continent. In concert with rituals that may involve the ingestion of psychotropics (such as Ayahuasca) moderns find themselves deepening into the spirit world of nature seeking spirit contact to inspire them. Shamanic knowledge usually steps outside of the modern prohibition on psychotropics, and uses it for purposes of awakening the mind and the heart. Other people will travel to Asia, and explore non-Western spiritual paths and transformational practices like yoga and Tibetan Buddhism.

Today we are focused not on the middle and higher spirit world of spirit beings that offer us support, but on the Lower Astral: those primal spirit forces that thrive on sacrifice and on physical suffering. For our journey into this reality I’d like you to come with me to the Northern part of Borneo, the Malaysian state of Sabah. This is where I have made my home for the last three years. And here is where the local Shamans, the Bobohizan, have ruled the villages of the Kadazan peoples that lived here for hundreds of years. The Bobohizan shamans are, sadly, dying out as North Borneo people are leaving their traditional homesteads and gravitating to the small cities in Sabah and the Malaysian peninsula. As with all South East Asians, Borneo people want modern conveniences, cell phones, and flat screen TVs. They want modern employment that will get them all these things. The Kampungs (village communities) are increasingly bereft of resources, and the Shamans have no one interested to take their place after they pass away. The traditional Shamanic ways may well die out soon, ending the power of the elder Bobohizan to serve their people.

But there are still small pockets of the old world being kept alive. Outside of my home town of Kota Kinabalu, here in Malaysian North Borneo, lies the cultural village of Monsopiad. An oasis of the Kadazan past, Monsopiad is striving to keep the Kadazan cultural vision alive. You can come there, and watch traditional dances, but Monsopiad is also an ideal place to encounter the spirit world of the Lower Astral. Here you will find a spirit stone transported from the nearby Gaya Island, and consecrated with gallons of animal blood. And you will find the Skull House of the warrior Monsopiad, who three hundred years ago took forty-two heads of his village’s enemies as proof of his prowess. The skulls of these victims lie tied together, now raised high against the roof line of the Monsopiad Skull House, to protect them against disrespectful tourists. But there is no need for protection against local people, who inherently respect the power of the spirit world. Hence the Skull House remains unlocked even at night, managed only by an aged Bobohizan and Monosopiad direct descendant. He is also the last Shaman to hold Monsopiad’s ancient sword used in rituals. “If you cut yourself with this sword”, he once said, “your wound will not heal. The sword of Monsopiad is still hungry for blood.” Thankfully, the demon weapon is not on display for careless tourists looking to test out his words.

The story of Monsopiad is of a Kadazan warrior who initially served his community as protector against attacks upon his village of Kuai. Vowing to hunt down and fight off these marauders against the villagers, Monsopiad soon gained the reputation as a master warrior. The taking of this enemies heads, which began as a way to advertise his power, soon became an ungovernable personal compulsion. But over the years Monsopiad’s attitude of service for his community turned into provoking other men just so he could have an excuse to kill and then behead them. The community began to fear their hero. Eventually a group of the community banded together one night, and killed him. Even so, he remained beloved for his warrior power, and the good he had done, and Kuai was renamed Monsopiad village.

The Ttradition of Monsopiad illustrates the power of the spirit world to thrive on the sacrifice of the good, and the use of suffering to feed the lower astral spirit beings. There are many other teaching stories throughout the world that mirror this shamanic insight, just like the Bobohizan of North Borneo. Blood sacrifices and the worship of stone icons are emblematic of many lower Astral rituals, from Western Europe though the Middle East, the African continent, and of course the Americas. The Shaman spills the blood of animals (or — as with some cultures — humans) to appease the lower Astral beings, and distract them from interfering in the community; left alone these spirits will tend towards inciting the spilling of human blood by proxy. The Shaman has to oppose the influence of the Lower Astral when necessary, but always remains vulnerable to having their good actions subverted by the same Lower Astral energy. Monsopiad slowly became the enemy he fought against — for the good of his community — over the years. I imagine that living with the accumulation of trophy skulls only deepened the grip of the Lower Astral realms in Monsopiad’s village. For in local Kadazan tradition, when you die your spirit goes to the sacred mountain, Mount Kinabalu, but if you are beheaded your spirit remains trapped in your skull.

As modern day people we are no longer are attuned to the life-and-death activities of our villages, and have little use for native wisdom that we casually dismiss as primitive superstition. As I wrote earlier, our food is delivered to our supermarkets, and our wars are displayed on TV screens, and we don’t get to wash away any blood — either of war or of a sacrificed animal — from off our hands. But someone, somewhere in the world, is either fighting or being sacrificed to maintain our modern life style. The Lower Astral has not left the modern human race; it has simply hidden itself away beneath the veneer of denial. Our Western military are now the warriors Monsopiad used to fight against. Or, in some cases, they have become Monsopiad himself. That which we fight we will become, and perhaps even more so. But these words are not an indictment against modern living but to invite us all to move closer to the realization of the ancient Shaman: to revitalize our connection with the manifest and the spirit worlds. If we open up to the nature of the Lower Astral we can, as do native peoples, work around the more destructive aspects of living out our lives.

The functioning of the Lower Astral is organized around the sacrifice of the good, or the vulnerable, and to spill blood: either emotionally or through acts of violence. Usually the one that is attacked is designated an “enemy”, and acts are assigned to this enemy that lead towards a counter (and violent) response. This is the influence of the Lower Astral: actively create an enemy, and then justify your destructive response (as well as hiding your selfish or narcissistic agenda that is the end result of your attack upon him or her). The energies of the Lower Astral are all around us, in our everyday lives, our challenging relationships, and can be seen in world events. But we moderns have lost our “canaries in the coal mine”. We are losing the Shaman wisdom, worldwide. Without these gatekeepers serving the community by both understanding the Lower Astral as well as helping normal people balance the forces of the spirit world, our world will be subject to much avoidable suffering. The psychotherapist cannot help us come to terms with this reality. The politician cannot help us by writing new laws or demanding additional taxes. Even the guru, or spiritual teacher, may not be able to help us break out of the enchantment of spiritual denial. Only the Shaman has the skill set that we need to awaken us; and there are increasingly few of them to help

So how does the modern person work with the Lower Astral, in this declining age of the Shaman? What can we do to protect ourselves, and our clients and communities? We must awaken to the realities of how the Lower Astral influences us: emotionally, mentally, and physically. The Lower Astral turbo charges our hidden agendas of anger, fear, and selfish agendas in our relationships, and in our self identity. It strives to create an “enemy”, a person that is different, or dangerous to me -and then justifies destroying that enemy (or driving it out), to serve narcissistic ends. It desires to spill virtual blood (as in emotional pain) or actual blood (as in acts of physical violence). As long as our conscious awareness can be manipulated in this way we will witness the sacrifice of the innocent, the suffering of the innocent, and the dark gaining of selfish power behind the scenes. Working with the Lower Astral may involve actively opposing their incursions, as did the heroic Monsopiad in his early days. But at some point we must go beyond all opposition, and learn to dissolve or mitigate the lower astral influences upon our lives. Denial of any problem must be replaced with resolve to deal with the problem. Again, the story of Monsopiad points the way towards the dangers of how we, inevitably, may become that which we have opposed. The final step may not be to imagine a manifest world free of all destructive aspects of the lower astral, or to unrealistically purge or remove all evil from the world, but one where we learn to clear and integrate these Lower Astral energies. If we can evolve the lower astral into higher forms of spiritual energy, we can all grow together, human being and spirit being.

Modern people are not going to embrace blood sacrifices in order to appease the Lower Astral beings, that much is certain. But suffering caused by the Lower Astral can be reduced by raising our own consciousness, and the consciousness of our clients and our community, so that spiritual wisdom comes to rule our lives, not our primal vulnerabilities. Once we are aware of the way the Lower Astral affects us, and others, we can move towards important changes in our relationships. The Lower Astral’s strength is in how it hides itself from view. Take away the camouflage of denial, and our lack of knowledge, and everything can be changed. Ask a Shaman, while you still can. Or, even better, become the Shaman yourself. Here’s how you start:

1. Build a relationship with the spirit world, using meditation or rituals to reach out from the manifest world to the bodyless voices of the Astral. Yes, you will need to over-ride the modern person’s assumption that all non-self inner voices are a symptom of schizophrenia, but that is only a belief system ploy to keep you away. The voices around you exist, if only you learn to listen. And you can and should be able to turn them off when needed.

2. Energetically relate with the spirit world via a go-between psychic’s method. This is why psychics use the Tarot deck, or cast runes, or take psychotropics like Ayahuasca: they are variations on methods that break the hold of the manifest brain on the astral realities around us. While I am personally against psychotropics (the negatives match the positives in number, when using spiritual drugs) I do recommend every working healer to learn a bridging method. It helps focus the inner mind towards the astral speakers, and makes their “words” and intention clearer to us.

3. Align your spirit communication around the middle and higher astral (“White” magic) rather than follow the seductive lure of the Lower Astral (“Black” magic) that promises personal power over others. Learn the differences between these two approaches, so you won’t fall into the Monsopiad trap, and self-destruct.

4. Cultivate a long-term relationship with one or more spirit people (spirit guide, or guardian “angels”) via communication with them, including question-and-answer dialogues. Like a good friendship, or a new romantic person in your life, it takes time to get to know someone.

5. Track the outcome of your spirit guide’s counsel over time. Do they truly support the higher spiritual aspects of living in the manifest world? Or, do they want to use your “channel” with them for other ends, like promotion, or attention?

6. Become aware of the impact of the Lower Astral in the world around you. Watch for it in national and international politics, in the operation of multinational corporations and banking cartels, and in military actions. Learn to see who is the designated “enemy” du jour, and keep your heart open towards the innocent victims. Don’t parrot the party line; think for yourself outside of boxes created for you by others.

7. Learn an energy healing skill that illuminates Lower Astral interactions, and which also can reduce or eliminate Lower Astral attachment to the energy body of your clients. There are healers and shamans who can pass this on to you, either using traditional spirit “extraction” methods, or by learning how to change the vibrational nature of the lower aspect via Etheric body and Astral body healing methods. Ridding the energy body of Lower Astral accumulation helps the client find themselves, and will help develop their spiritual and personal consciousness. The alternative is to allow the Lower Astral energies unimpeded access to a rich source of energetic food: the primal human nervous system and the endocrine system. This keeps the ancient game going, with human beings as the loser.

8. Know that you — as a modern Shaman — can make a difference in the life of your client, and the health of your community. Know your value, and become the warrior of the Light you know yourself to be.

This is an extract from the upcoming book “Astral Energetics”, by Dean Ramsden. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Dean also offers Home Study Audio Classes in “Astral Energetics” that deepen your practical understanding of the Astral worlds for modern day healers and spiritual seekers. Go here for more information, or email Dean to be placed on the 2012 Astral Energetics Class email list.

Coming soon: accompanying articles on The Middle Astral and The Higher Astral.

To find out more about the Monosopiad Cultural Village in Sabah, North Borneo, including free downloads, please visit


About Dean Ramsden

Dean Ramsden


Dean Ramsden is the creator of the field of Relational Energy Healing.