“In Formation”

by Julie Nicol

Greetings once again from Sussex.

I am now established as the Adult Education teacher in Shamanism for West Sussex County Council and have taught several courses this year, which is wonderful, and what’s more, I love teaching!

I include the postures whenever I can and where they suit the work we are doing. I have also started experimenting with my students and the postures.

At a recent one day workshop which was an Introduction to Shamanism, my students were 7 ladies who were all complete beginners in anything Shamanic. For the last hour of the day we did what I know as a ‘Spirit Boat Healing’. In this healing one person is chosen to receive the healing, and she lies down within the ‘boat’. Another person sits at the front and guides the boat whilst the drummer/rattler stands at the back of the boat to give the journey its power. The remaining participants sit both sides, along the ‘gunnels’ of the boat, facing forward. It is explained before the journey that when the drumming starts we will leave the shore and move over a lake to an island where the patient will be removed from the boat and placed onto the island where each participant offers a healing. When this is complete we all get back onto the boat and row back to shore with our patient.

I have performed this powerful healing many times, but this time I asked all the participants, apart from the patient, to sit in the Chiltan Posture whilst undertaking this journey. We had performed this same posture individually earlier in the day.

When the journey was completed I asked everyone to place a hand on the patient for a couple of minutes.

These seven women, who had done nothing like it before, were so powerful that we all sat stunned for some minutes before we could share our experiences.

The 41 girl knights were so present during this experiment and were so ‘up for it’!

I have, during journeys, on several occasions, come across villages/settlements where the postures are being performed not just by several people, but by a number of people in formation, and if this small experiment is anything to go by I think that formations are well worth working on whenever the opportunity arises.

I wonder if others have done any work in this area. If so, I’d love to hear about it.

If anyone is interested in the Spirit Boat Healing technique don’t hesitate.

Julie Nichol
218, High Street
West Sussex, England
TN22 1RE
Julie was first introduced to ecstatic body postures during a year-long Shamanic course in 2003. Although The Bear Posture and the Nupe Mallum were just two of the dozens of Shamanic rituals that she undertook that weekend, she was drawn to spend the next five years studying and practicing the postures alone, until, in 2008, she finally tripped over to the Cuyamungue Institute!  She is delighted to be a certified teacher, holds workshops in Sussex, England, and attends summer festivals where she can introduce people to the wonders of the postures. Recently, Julie has been appointed as the Adult Education teacher in Shamanism for West Sussex County Council! What a leap of faith for a government body!