“The Samoan healers’ current practices showed the following: (1) extensive knowledge of the human mind and body processes based on ancient and current knowledge; (2) a holistic approach to treatment utilizing an extensive repertoire of medicinal herbs, therapeutic massage, and therapeutic techniques such as hypnosis, visualization, suggestion and expectation.” National Library of Australia. Samoan Shamanism
At the core of Samoan Shamanism lies a deep connection with nature and the spirit world. Samoan Shamans believe in the existence of “Aitu,” spiritual beings that inhabit various elements of nature such as mountains, rivers, and trees.
These entities are believed to possess power and influence over their respective domains. These Aitu serve as intermediaries between the human and spirit realms, and the Shaman acts as a bridge, facilitating communication and seeking guidance from the spiritual entities.
Aitu and their Relationship with Samoan Shaman
Aitu are not seen as malevolent or benevolent in nature but rather as beings with their own unique characteristics and temperaments. They are respected and revered for their authority and are approached with caution and reverence by the Shamans.
Each Aitu is associated with specific qualities or attributes, and it is believed that establishing a connection and gaining favor with them can bring blessings, protection, and guidance. They communicate and interact with these spiritual beings through various rituals, ceremonies, and spiritual practices.
In Samoan Shamanism, certain rituals and offerings are performed to honor and appease the Aitu. These rituals often involve the use of sacred chants, prayers, dances, and offerings of food, flowers, or other symbolic items.
By showing respect and gratitude to the Aitu, the Shamans seek to maintain a harmonious relationship and gain their support and favor. Through their connection with the Aitu, Shamans gain insights, knowledge, and messages that can be shared with individuals seeking guidance or healing.
The Aitu are believed to have the ability to influence the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of individuals and communities. They can offer protection from negative forces, provide healing for illnesses, and grant spiritual guidance.
It is important to note that the relationship between the Samoan Shamans and the Aitu is not one of dominance or control but rather one of mutual respect and cooperation. The Shamans acknowledge the power and authority of the Aitu while acting as conduits and advocates for their communities.
Through methods such as reading natural signs, dreams, and trance-like states, Shamans gain profound understanding and offer guidance to individuals seeking answers or direction. They possess the unique ability to interpret omens and signs, shedding light on important decisions and future outcomes.
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Ava, Plant Medicine of Samoan Shamanism
Ava also know as Kava is derived from the root of the Piper Methysticum plant, which is native to the South Pacific, including Samoa. It has been utilized for centuries by Samoan Shamans as a sacred and ceremonial beverage with psychoactive properties.
The root is typically dried, ground into a powder, and then mixed with water to create a cloudy, earth-toned liquid. This liquid is then consumed by individuals participating in rituals or seeking a connection with the spirit realm.
The consumption of Ava is surrounded by ritual and symbolism. It is often consumed in gatherings or ceremonies where community members come together to honor ancestral spirits, seek spiritual guidance, or commemorate significant events. The serving and sharing of Ava create a communal bond and reinforces social connections within the group.
Ava Effects and Altered States of Consciousness:
Ava contains compounds known as Kavalactones, which produce a range of effects when consumed.
Drinking Ava promotes a state of calmness and mental clarity while keeping the senses heightened and alert. The effects of Ava are often described as “heady” or “spiritual” rather than intoxicating.
It is believed to open pathways to the spirit world, enhancing spiritual experiences and enabling Shamans to enter altered states of consciousness.
These altered states are vital for Shamans to connect with the Aitu and receive insights, guidance, and healing wisdom. It is believed to heighten their intuition, facilitate divination practices, and enhance their ability to serve as intermediaries between the physical and spiritual planes.
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