The first of two pieces on astroshamanism, a type of shamanism related to astrology.
By Franco Santoro
I often like to see this world as a place where we come to find out who we are. We continue to come until we are willing to accept and release what we assume to be and who we truly are. To be alive, without knowing who I am, is a bit like being dead, since living involves being aware of whom is indeed living.
Ignorance and denial about who I am does not change the nature of my true identity, but it does split the mind into two parts – one that knows the truth and the other that does not know or denies it. And it is this split that astroshamanism, along with many other paths, is drawn to address and cure.
Astroshamanism identifies a form of spiritual healing based on the integration of shamanism with sacred astrology, ancient mystery teachings and more traditional religious paths. Astroshamanism is merely a term that allows me to classify this work, yet what counts is its content.
Central in this work is the ongoing release of conditioned ideas regarding who we believe ourselves to be. This release gives access to an area of unknowing, where we can unveil a direct experience of our nature. Most shamans and seekers concur that this process involves letting go of our perception of the separated self. This separation appears to be the ultimate cause of human sufferance, so we support the reawakening of our original united self, which many religious cultures describe as God.
For many people the term “God” has lost interest and in some cases it even produces strong resistance. In certain situations it is awkward to mention “God,” since this can easily give wrong impressions and cause prejudices. This is probably because some concepts of God trigger fear, guilt, and judgment. “God” is merely a term, which can take other names and forms, and even no name or form at all. What counts here is the direct experience of God, and of our true nature devoid of any assumption.
I believe that what most people on a spiritual quest seek today are not mere formalities, doctrines or creeds, but paths of direct experience. They search for a first-hand knowledge of their true self, or a direct encounter and communion with God. This is what shamanic work can offer and it is also the authentic essence of what most spiritual traditions pursue.
In his second article on astroshamanism Franco Santoro tells how the zodiac can be used…
By Franco Santoro
Astroshamanism provides a map and tools for journeying through the path of life in search of Truth. This is acted out by using a strategic cosmology based on 12 sectors. The sectors are associated with the astrological signs when used as representations of the fragmented parts of our nature.
The 12 sectors portray the entire range of human potentials and possibilities that the astroshamanic seeker accepts to acknowledge, explore and integrate in their original unity. They are pathways of deep understanding about all the features in life. They include the highest and the lowest forms, and their aim is to teach us how to express them at their best.
In astroshamanism the zodiac is not used for horoscope readings or other forms of interpretation, but is explored through pragmatic healing actions and spiritual practices aimed at providing a direct experience and tangible results.
Astrology is probably the oldest form of symbolic language and shamanism is the most ancient method of healing. The distinctive feature of shamans is represented by their familiarity with states of consciousness that allows them to explore the spiritual dimension of reality and to help their community, themselves and their planet. To face these journeys, shamans connect with healing guides, spirits, angels and ultimately God. The relationship with this unseen world is the chief distinctive feature of shamanic cultures and constitutes one of the main tasks of astroshamanism.
The connection with the unseen realms, far from being an evasion from everyday reality, is aimed at healing our visible world. I cannot see God or spirits with my physical eyes, but I can see them through other human beings and the environment, when I decide to lay my prejudices aside and meet them as they truly are. By unveiling their nature, God will be embodied in them and I will uncover their essence.
As I learn to acknowledge God through them, I will also learn to become aware of how God operates in me. In exploring the mystery of the unseen realms and God, or whatever name, we use to describe That.
What this work basically underlines is the healing function of forgiveness. Forgiveness is learning to perceive all relationships as a proof of our sacred original nature, rather than as sources of grievances. It is about letting go of the garbage I have projected on others, which in the end is the same garbage I have projected on myself.
Holistic and spiritual counsellor, shamanic facilitator, experiential astrologer, creator of astroshamanism and a large variety of tools for inner growth and transformation, resident member of the Findhorn Community (Scotland) since 1999, rector of the Provisional Institute.
Since 1976 Franco Santoro has worked with thousands of people from all walks of life and countries, offering regular support and guidance in their search for direction, life purpose, reconciliation, healing and peace. Using his unique holistic skills of facilitation, Franco has served for decades with non-profit charitable organisations, assisting individuals, groups and communities to gain clarity about their highest intentions, developing pragmatic means to fully implement them, while releasing and transforming deep rooted grievances and conflicts.
Drawing from a multicultural, non-dogmatic and pluralistic approach to inner growth and spirituality, including consciousness research, expanded states of perception, astroshamanism (which he developed since 1976), the Western, Middle-Eastern and Eastern traditions, A Course in Miracles, Osho (for whom he was press agent as Swami Bodhi Satpathi from 1988 to 1991), the Findhorn Foundation Community and other spiritual communities.
His work honours and integrates official religions and their esoteric teachings, with particular reference to Christianity and Gnosticism.
He is the author of Astroshamanism: A Journey Into the Inner Universe; Astroshamanism: The Voyage Through the Zodiac;Iniziazione all’astrosciamanesimo and other books, a series of sound healing and astroshamanic CDs, more than 1000 articles published online on a large variety of blogs and websites, and other tools for inner growth and transformation.
As from 1988 Franco Santoro has run more than 2000 workshops, in Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa, Spain and the Middle East. At the Findhorn Foundation Cluny Hill in Northern Scotland he has held more than 200 one-week residential workshops.
Franco resides in Findhorn (Moray, Scotland, United Kingdom). He also holds events at il Casale in Lunigiana (Merizzo, Massa, Northern Tuscany, Italy).
Please be aware that Franco does not offer any form of fortune telling, divination, future prediction, or astrological character analysis. Franco employs astrology only as a strategic map of the human psyche and as a method for determining the division of time.
For consultations with Franco please click here.
(featured image – emaze.com)