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The hollow bone is a figure of speech that represents a concept of healing in shamanic and complementary healing practices. Anyone that is trained as a Reiki practitioner knows how to be a “hollow bone”. The healer assumes a passive role because s/he is an energetic conduit that connects the Healing Spirits or Universal Healing Energy to the client. A good healer knows that there are 3 pieces to the healing equation:

The Healing Spirits: Healing Spirits have all the wisdom required for healing available to them. In addition, they have unlimited access to the Akashic records that store every bit of information in the Universe. They work through the hands and minds of incarnated healers.

The Healer/Practitioner: The healer/practitioner is the facilitator of the healing session. All shamanic practitioners as well as some healers from other traditions, have one or more Healing Spirits that they work with. During a session, these Healing Spirits are called in by the practitioner to work through the healer’s hands and intuition to assist with the client.

The Client: The power to heal is resident in every one. A good healer/practitioner supports the client as s/he activates their own healing power from within.

The bridger bone is a figure of speech that represents a concept that I created of connecting the Ancestors to the Descendants. While, the hollow bone is a passive role for the shamanic practitioner, the bridger bone is an active role that bridges incarnated and discarnated souls, ancestors, and descendants. The shamanic practitioner is the link or bridger bone in the following ways:

1. During shamanic training, a practitioner learns that healing themselves and others can also affect 7 generations backwards and 7 generations forwards. In other words, many issues incarnated souls are facing are generational pieces. A pattern can be passed from generation to generation. If the practitioner or client heals this piece, it breaks the pattern, thereby releasing karma for ancestors and descendants that are physically connected by blood to an individual.

2. Any past life or future life healing work that is done in sessions affects our energetic ancestors and descendants. The same principle discussed in #1 applies to #2, except now I am talking about ancestors and descendants of our past life bodies. I call these ancestors and descendants energetic because they may or may not be related to our current body by blood. Since we incarnate with most of the people that are close to us many times, some of our energetic ancestors can also be blood ancestors.

“Parents are the bones on which children cut their teeth.” –Peter Ustinov

The bone dance or skeleton dance is performed by shamanic practitioners in training. The dance is a shamanic journey where the practitioner dances to a drum beat. The drummer guides the practitioner by instructing him/her to dismember their physical body, including skin, hair, muscles, organs, everything except the bones. The practitioner continues to dance as a skeleton completely stripped of everything physical. Then the drummer instructs the practitioner to begin re-membering the physical body, returning organs, muscles, hair, and skin but this time creating the physical body of desire, a body that is free of all the old patterns and energetic imprints, a body that is now ready to serve the shamanic practitioner in their service and spiritual journey.

Ashes from ceremonial fires are the physical representation of the Ancestors. Shamanic practitioners maintain a collection of ashes. They collect ashes from every ceremonial fire they attend. They may be gifted some ashes from established practitioners. As the ashes are passed from generation to generation, the ashes date back thousands of years.

The firekeeper collects ashes after they have cooled, which is usually the day after a fire ceremony. The bigger charcoal pieces, called the ancestors’ bones, can be sifted out and the gray ash is retained. Each time a ceremonial fire is prepared, the firekeeper will place a bit of ash from his/her collection to it. In this way, the ancestral line is never broken.

A soul catcher is used by some Northwest Coast shamans from the Tsimshian, Haida, and Tlinglit tribes. Soul catchers are often made from a hollow bone with slightly flaring ends and carved images of the shaman’s spiritual helpers. Each end of the soul catcher is resembles the head of an open-mouthed creature. A soul catcher is can be worn around the neck and is used to retrieve lost souls from the spirit world. It contains the captured soul within it, plugged in place with wads of shredded cedar bark or other material, until it is returned to the client. Illness or other forms of imbalance that are attributed to spirit intervention or possession may cause soul loss. There are different ways in which a soul catcher may be used:

1. The shaman inhales the client’s soul into the bone cylinder and holds it there with plugs while performing purification ceremonies to ward off illness or evil spirits. After the purification, the shaman places the bone cylinder against the client’s skin and blows the healed soul back into the client.

2. The Tlingits believe that an individual’s soul departs from the body during sleep. Illness can occur whenever the soul cannot find its way back. The shaman waves a soul catcher in the air outside of the client’s hut. The soul is snared and trapped in its hollow core. The shaman then corks the open ends. The soul catcher is placed on the client’s chest where the soul reunites with the client.

3. An individual’s soul can be lost while dreaming or driven out by sorcery. To prevent illness from invading an empty body, a shaman uses the soul catcher to capture the soul and restore it through the client’s mouth.

Throwing the bones is a form of divination that has its origin in hoodoo practices and some indigenous cultures. The bones consist of animal bones, as well as stones, coins, cowrie shells, nuts, and other natural objects. “Bones” is also slang for dice, which may have originated from divination bones.

Shagai (Complicated Fortune Telling) is a Mongolian practice of using 4 sheep knuckle bones to give 36 possible answers for a question. Zulu sangoma and other South African tribal diviners use a large set of bones with other natural curios.

Any animal bones may be used however chicken is quite common. Each bone may have a meaning and meaning can be read into the pattern of the bones when they are thrown. The bones may be thrown on a mat, a hide, or in a circle.

Bones may be ritually manipulated for the purposes of manifestation or banishment for oneself or a client. Bones may also be used to psychometrically communicate through with spirits.

In some cultures, bones are used for reading oracles. Cooked bones (usually the shoulder blade of a sheep or similar animal) are scraped clean and then interpreted. Or they may be put into the fire where the marks and cracks are interpreted.

The Foundation of Shamanic Studies offers an amazing class called Shamanic Divination, where the practitioner journeys to find the meaning of each of 8 objects that are then used for divination with clients. I found this to be a very powerful way to access my intuition when doing readings. The power of it comes from the natural items that have a custom meaning known only to me and my Spirit Guides. Go to this link: http://shamanism.org/workshops/calendar.php?Wkshp_ID=24

If you want to purchase a starter set of bones, Lucky Mojo offers kits or individual pieces as well as instruction books. Go to this link: www.luckymojo.com/throwingthebones.html


Copyright © 2014 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged. http://www.DrakeInnerprizes.com