It is perpetual death, whilst still living. A constant round of obstacles that must be confronted and overcome if one is to truly embrace and extract the medicine from the poisoned process.
If lay people truly understood the undertaking at hand they would run as far away as possible, instead of reading new age books and paying for workshops to discover the inner meanings of things.
The Shaman does not do these things from virtue but rather from necessity. If he does not learn in due course to traverse his inner psychosis, to ensnare, communicate with and transform the demonic forces that have been sent to destroy him, then he will literally die and there will be no waking death, no rebirth, no returning to the world as to bring new genetic material to his chosen tribal systems.
Many things are made these days of various ceremonies, vision quests etc.
The use of psychoactive drugs like ayahuaska , peyote. What most people don't realize is these ceremonies are all ritualistic forms to induce an alternative state to break free from conditioning and enter the field of universal energy. They are all induced enactments of seeking vision.
For the true shaman himself, this state of dissemination and reconstruction that occurs in the spirit world is something that happens spontaneously and naturally and generally without his choice and consent. Rather than gladly going to his execution, he instead is dragged kicking and screaming into the underworlds, torn limb from limb while fighting and cursing the whole time.
In fact it is this fight, this struggle, this refusal to surrender to the waking death that is the fuel for the fires of his spirit power.
The greater the struggle, the sweeter the surrender.
It is through complete and total surrender, at every level of being. An acceptance that nothing and I mean nothing, can help stop or incur this naturally occurring ritualistic process.
Only when all that he thinks of himself to be is no longer present, when any last vestige of WILL is completely annihilated , that the spirits can enter and begin the process of reconstruction.
There is a vast difference between the modern use and term ' will ' as it is used today in modern magickal circles, at least in the market place and the deep non understanding of the shaman who's will has been devoured completely by the great mother and works only to serve the spirits and his community.
It is not to say that the many forms of ceremonies available to people are without value, they can have enormous benefits and failings for anyone. It is just to simply state that all these ceremonies are enactments of a process that occurs naturally for one who has been chosen by the spirits to work here shamanically in the balancing of the 3 worlds ..