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Shamanism

Shamanic symbols and what they mean

Have you ever wondered what our symbol means? Wisdom of Qara is inspired by ancient shamanism: we share the love and respect shamans have for nature, and their belief that the natural world is a great healer.

In honour of the traditional practice of Amazonian shamanism, we respectfully adopted one of their emblems as our own: the healing hand. Shamans use herbs and foods as medicine, but the shaman himself is considered the conduit of treatment —through his hands the shaman detects affliction and channels positive energy.

Read on to learn about some of the instruments shamans incorporate into their healing ceremonies and discover other elements of the shamanic tradition.

Fire

Fire transforms and liberates. It’s also linked to our sense of community: it’s around the fire that we find warmth and a feeling of belonging.

Water

The symbol of life, purity and transparency, water teaches us to flow and adapt. It is dually powerful: water can blend or bring together, but also dissolve.

Carnations

Their meaning varies depending on their color: white carnations represent male energy, while red is linked to feminine energy. Yellow carnations are the symbol of Taita Inti, or father sun.

Healing stones

Shamans use these smooth, black volcanic stones for grounding and protection. In ceremonies, they click them together to help absorb negative energy.

Chakapa

This version of a fan or rattle is made of leaves or seeds and used by shamans in their healing ceremonies to cleanse and dispel negative energy.

Each of these elements, alongside others like chants, mapacho smoke (a type of tobacco) and spices like cinnamon, are an essential part of traditional healing ceremonies in the Amazon. As holistic healers, shamans combine their knowledge of medicinal plants with ancient rituals to simultaneously soothe the body, the mind and the spirit.

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