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Hawaiian Shamanism and Addiction
by John Brennan


The core of Indigenous Hawaiian spiritual practice carried by the traditional Kahunas is a belief that we all have three souls, a body soul, a mind soul, and an oversoul. Collectively these three souls are called the soul cluster. Each soul is composed of various soul parts; a soul can function, albeit less effectively, with missing parts. The body and mind souls are believed to come from our parents and these two souls carry our parents' traits, customs and beliefs. If our folks had addictive tendencies we are more likely to have those same tendencies. The oversoul... is a seed of intelligent light energy. It is a pure and personal link to the spirit world which comes to us as we take our first breath, and leaves us when we take our last. If our three souls are not properly aligned, are out of balance, then our thinking and actions are also out of balance. The imbalance may become so acute that in desperation we resort to addictions to mind altering substances such as alcohol, marijuana, and other psychotropic drugs.
The Kahunas teach us that true healing occurs when we align our mind, body, and oversouls. We casually use the word Kahuna, as in "The Big Kahuna". The literal meaning of Kahuna in Hawaiian is "expert." The current colloquial use of Kahuna is priest, shaman, or master of spirits. The Kahunas use a variety of shamanic healing techniques to restore balance to troubled people.


Many Traditional People believe that we come into the world with original wisdom, sometimes called original medicine. Somehow, we either forgot about our original wisdom or that original gift was drummed out of us by religions, schools, businesses, parents, or peers. How it happened is not too important. What's important is that we had it, still do, but now we can't find that sacred wisdom. Shamanic healing, especially for those afflicted with addiction, will allow us to recapture the strength of that wisdom the original wisdom of our own true selves.


Many of my clients suffer from chemical addiction. They tell me of their bad luck, their low self image, their depressions, their wide mood swings, and their problems of self-esteem. Many have suffered mental, physical and sexual abuse. Abuse causes trauma and when trauma occurs, soul parts either see the trouble coming, are right in the middle of it, or don't want to experience the trauma and jump right out to protect their pure wholeness. As a result of trauma, parts of each soul in the soul cluster leave a person's body and remain missing. This leaves a gap in the soul cluster which causes mood swings, depression, and loss of physical and mental energy among other maladies. If a person is missing soul parts then it's simply not possible to have a full alignment of their body, mind and oversouls. Trauma victims also slowly lose personal power. It's just like a short circuit in a car's electrical system which slowly drains the battery. This happens due to congested or injured soul part connections. The result is dis-ease, not being one's self, and being out of balance. It's just like an engine with one spark plug broken; it may run, but not very well.


Holes in the soul cluster are created when soul parts leave. This provides a place where intrusions can enter and reside. Intrusions can come in the form of dirty arrows, possessions, curses, or intentional or unintentional malevolent energy sent by disturbed persons. The shamanic practitioner, through the compassionate helping spirits, works to remove these damaging intrusions, and to refill the holes in the soul cluster so there is no place for intrusions to enter and stay.


Lost souls, souls whose bodies are dead but they don't know it, are sometimes called Suffering Beings. Suffering Beings who were addicts when alive actively seek out openings within the souls of persons with moderate substance use habits. This becomes a possession. The possession by an addict's lost soul causes a moderate drinker or user to suddenly accelerate their drug consumption for no apparent reason. The person's habit now not only needs to be fed, but the habit of the possessing addict's soul must also be fed. The spiral of alcohol or drug use accelerates to addiction, sometimes overnight.
If my clients share their addiction issues with me I usually begin treatment with practices to help them restore their original wisdom, to enable them to reach again into their own spiritual intuition to help them restore their connection with the spirit world. This work occurs primarily with the oversoul, but it also seeks to remove the dis-ease, to restore balance in the soul cluster.


Soul retrieval work brings back missing soul parts. The soul parts bring back strengths, talents, gifts, and energy with them. Power animal retrieval work brings back the support and strength-giving power of spirit animals who watched over the soul parts when they were gone from the client's soul cluster, or their spiritual energy field. Extraction removes intrusions which damage, clog, or at least slow down, the connections between the remaining soul parts. Cord cutting work severs linkages with people, places, and things which consume client's energy. Depossession work removes the Suffering Beings which tax and drain the afflicted client's whole soul cluster. Curse unraveling does much the same.


While it may sound like the shamanic practitioner is doing this healing work, it is the compassionate helping spirits who actually do the work. The practitioner is trained to access these helping spirits and to bring their healing powers to the client. The practices employed by the helping spirits all serve to rebalance the mind, body, and oversouls in an aligned soul cluster. The major soul part which makes this possible is the oversoul. It is a client's higher self which is always connected to the great energy grid, what the Hawaiian Kahunas call the aka field, where everything that was, is, and will be, exists in timeless dimension. Some people call that a higher power, Obi Wan Kenobi calls it The Force.


If we live our lives fully each day by acting in the present moment, we continue the healing started by the compassionate helping spirits. We can become our own healers, but we do that as part of a team effort. Our rebalanced soul cluster becomes our coach, life is the ball, and we advance toward the goal of following our bliss. After shamanic healing work we must take the initiative to maintain the alliance with our aligned soul cluster through journey work and regular ceremony.


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About the Author


John Poloma Brennan has worked and trained alongside a variety of renowned teachers and elders.  He works with many mental, spiritual and physical maladies, including a variety of addiction issues. He makes use of journey work, soul and power animal retrieval, extraction, divination, cord cutting, deposession, curse unraveling, and empowering. Polomo has a private practice in Mt. Shasta, CA.  He can be reached by visiting his website www.shastashaman.com. 







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