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What do shamans do?
Shamans work with the spirit or the soul and they work with energy. In the case of shamanic extraction they are working with misplaced energy. No energy is truly bad from a shamanic perspective. If energy is misplaced or it isn't in accord with the environment (the human body, or the body of land...) it will bring illness.
Shamanic extraction is the removal of displaced energy, sometimes called intrusions. This is energy that does not belong in the body and may cause illness.
Where does misplaced energy come from?
We all are aware that emotional states can effect health. Stress is acknowledged to cause backaches and ulcers. Shamans believe that your emotion takes the form of energy and can be stored throughout the body and eventually lead to illness. So you store your stress or anger in your stomach, or you get angry and send your anger out at someone. We can see this if can remember a time when someone's anger or sadness seemed to have an effect on a room: "her anger hit me like a blow" "you could cut the tension with a knife."
The energy that can be stored in the body does not have to be from anger but could be from other reasons as well. In the shamanic mind there is no distinction made based on where the energy came from. The shaman sees that the energy does not belong there and removes it.
Other types of misplaced energy could be the energy left behind from an injury. Someone sprains his/her ankle and an energetic injury may remain which could perpetuate weakness in that location. Organ transplants is sometimes an instance where shamanic extraction is needed. Shamanically everything has a soul, so the heart transplanted from another may still contain energy from the organ donor. This energy may or may not be compatible with the heart transplant recipient. If its not, the shaman would remove the 'displaced' energy that is adding to the body's rejection of the heart so that the rejection will be less severe.
As you can see in the organ donor example, misplaced energy is not good or bad, it simply does not belong there. Because it does not belong there it causes illness or weakness in the body.
The Extraction: Finding and Removing the Misplaced Energy
The shaman will first enter a shamanic state of consciousness to diagnose and find where misplaced energy might be in the body. This change in consciousness allows the shaman to see in a different way, to see what is going on energetically. The shaman will perceive the energy in some way that will indicate to her or to him that it needs to be removed. It may appear to shaman as black sludge, or as an attacking snake, have a smell, or be felt as heaviness. The way each shaman perceives that there is misplaced energy varies, but there is always a signal of some kind which says 'this does not belong here.'
Once the shaman has located the misplaced energy, he or she will then merge fully with their guardian spirits or power animals. This increases the shaman's power and allows them to remove the energy. It also protects the shaman from taking the energy into her or his own body during the shamanic extraction. This increase of power allows the shaman to pull the energy out, as if he or she has a stronger magnet to pull with. If the shaman increases the power of his or her magnet sufficiently to overcome the displaced energy's hold on the body, it can be removed.
Depending on the shamanic practitioner and the nature of the displaced energy this can be a very quiet process, or some practitioners and especially in native societies the extraction can be quite a show. The shamanic practitioner merged with a power animal may move similarly as his or her power animal, or may make the sounds of her or his animal. For instance if the animal is a snake the practitioner may hiss while removing the energy block. If you are interested in having an extraction you can discuss this with your shamanic practitioner, and they can perform the extraction in a way that you feel comfortable with.
In addition, sound instruments may be used, such as a rattle or a drum, to increase the power or the energy of the "magnet." The shamanic practitioner may sing to maintain her or his shamanic state, or to increase her/his power during the process.
The shamanic practitioner will dispose of the removed energy in various ways. She may transmute (transform) the energy into a more positive life enhancing energy. He may place it in water and have the water neutralize it.
Once the extraction is performed the shamanic practitioner will fill the void that is created by the vacated energy in the person's body. The practitioner may replace it with healing energy, perform a power animal retrieval, or perform a soul retrieval. The shaman will not leave a void for other energy to fill.
If you want to be proactive in avoiding misplaced energy in your body there are various thing you can to. To protect yourself from outside energy you can imagine yourself surrounded by protection. One commonly used method is to envision yourself surrounded by a blue translucent egg that allows only positive energy in and allows energy back out. This can surround you as you go about your daily life. If the environment is severe, or someone is combative you may wish imagine a brick wall for that time.
When you are feeling negative emotions it is important not to ignore them so that they will be stored in your body. They need to be expressed and allowed to leave your body. You do not want to send them to others either, so you can request that as you express your emotions they are transformed into more neutral or healing energy by the universe or your guardian spirits.
There are stones or other objects which are considered to absorb negative energy. If this appeals to you: Heavy leaden stones are thought to absorb energy, such as granite, galena, hematite. There are stones which transform and lighten energy such as selenite, calcite, and quartz. A dark purple amethyst may make a good protective stone. Moldavite will transform the negative into positive, and has been known to get physically warm while doing so (this stone can be expensive however.) You can have the stone in your pocket, wear it as a pendant, or place it on the desk where you work. People who engage in this practice will clean their stones with water, or place them in a sunny window to clean up any energy that might get stored in the stones. (Selenite does not need cleaning.) If you feel your stones need a more radical cleaning they can be buried outside to be healed by the earth. Stores that sell these items are often listed under "Rock Shops" in the yellow pages.
If you would like to remove some of your own intrusions, visualization can be helpful. As you drink water imagine it filling your body and transforming misplaced energy. Or you can go swimming and imagine this. Lay out in the sun and imagine it melting away your intrusions and filling you with glowing healing energy. Just be sure to imagine something replacing that which is removed.
Healing Extraction Song
This is an example of an extraction healing song which is sung in the morning to the sun, each line is repeated 4 times before going to the next as shown here:
Morning Sun, Morning Sun, Come my way, Come my
Women with Wings had a album with this song, and may still be available for sale.