Basque country: meeting with Gorka, local shaman

“Benevolence is the most important word”, concludes after an indefinite time – it seems to have stopped – the man with the drum. The instrument accompanies shamans in all latitudes in order to reach the state of trance; this vehicle to access the spirit world. The quest for spirituality guided Gorka Etxarri from an early age. Western-style Chinese martial arts do not answer all his questions. At 30, he leaves for Indonesia for a quest that will never stop. “I go back for several weeks every year. »

Mongolia, Sweden, Himalayas

The initiatory journey of one who has quenched his thirst for knowledge from multiple sources cannot be reduced to an inventory including training with Nepalese shamans, traditional Javanese healing techniques, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) or energy medicine transmitted by Dr. Luc Bodin. “I continued to explore the dimensions of shamanism by traveling to Mongolia, Sweden, the Himalayas. The first meeting with masters of martial arts in Indonesia will have been founding, which teaches him, through experience, the power of mind over matter. And over the course of his career, the native of Bayonne will leave aside the martial arts (pencak-silat and kung-fu) – after having taught them for twenty-five years – to favor shamanic practice.

Gorka Etxarri teaches through conferences, internships, workshops and nature getaways, including in Saint-Esteben. “The shaman necessarily works with nature. The real danger is her. We develop a real addiction to nature and its pulsation”, jokes the forties, specifying that the “entheogenic” plants (psychotropic, Ed) used in distant lands, are not part of his tools. The fact remains that along with the sorcerer and the herbalist, the shaman was one of the pivotal roles of traditional societies, he likes to recall.

“I realized that there is common knowledge and universal wisdom in the territories. It spreads in society in a different way, ”says Gorka Etxarri. A common base from which the shamanist practitioner extracts the roots in the Basque Country. “I started digging into Basque culture and I identified markers. Yes, in the Basque Country, there was a living shamanism,” says the man who built bridges between Asia, dear to his heart, and his native region. The white and red colors of the houses in Labourd… And Lhasa. “Red represents mother earth and white father sky. I don’t draw a parallel with the Basque Country, but it’s tempting,” notes the forty-year-old.

Joaldun and spirits

The richest soil is that of rites. “At the end of winter, the Joaldun (the one who wears cowbells, Editor’s note) drive away evil spirits and attract good energies, originally in the villages of Ituren and Zubieta in Navarre. Once again, Gorka Etxarri wants to reassure, to clarify. Shamanism is not only esoteric, but “simple, wild, pragmatic.” It’s just experience.” Not a belief. “I don’t believe in anything at all, but there are a lot of amazing things that just happen by chance. »

Shamanic practice is not linked to a gift either, assures the one who has his roots in Hendaye, but rather linked to a set of techniques in which science has made an incursion by measuring the impact of the state of consciousness. modified that is trance, on the cerebral waves (theta waves). “Shamanism goes through experience,” insists the practitioner. “We have been so educated to ask others… You have to educate yourself to ask yourself. I transmit knowledge so that people reclaim this personal power. »


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Basque country: meeting with Gorka, local shaman

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