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Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 7:43 pm
I love your answer Runewolf
Yes, Shamanic practices do not make one a Shaman, and it is not a religion in itself. I believe it is the job of the Shaman to heal the community they are in. Otherwise, WHAT THE **** GOOD IS IT to go trolling around the spirit world making allies?
I know that I was a Shaman in a past life. Does that make me one now? No. I am a healer. I ask the guidance of the Spirit World and ask their help. I call upon the elements and highest of the High and all those who work with me and the person I am trying to heal. I Journey to the otherworlds to gain insight, to go deep within myself, to show my respect for the Spirit World. I do not treat my patients as specimens but as unique people who have wounds that need to be healed. I have been reborn in my own way. Yet I am not a Shaman. I am on the Shaman's path.
A bit of a rant here. Sorry. I am empowered. I got my Reiki Masters this morning and I am so out of it, so giddy and tired, and so pumped with Reiki energy I feel I could heal with a flick of a wrist. Ha ha, one day
Sorry if I sound a bit snarky in this post. I don't mean to.
I think in this day and age we need as many healers as possible. People are so gone, so lost in life, and are weak and totally unhealthy, polluted with smog and with city noise and hate! We just need to be well again. And I bring up the question again: What good is it to travel to the Other Realms and back with guidance if it is not used to heal? To preach a spirituality? Nay! That makes you a priest who has reached the realms of ecstasy through prayer. He may not be able to come and go at will, but it is the same.
End rant. Sorry.
Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 2:10 am
I think you will find that arlier I said something very similar if not the same as Runewulf;
""All religions have a Shamanistic tradition within them. First it is important to note that Shamanism is not a religion in it's own right. The fact that one religion, or another, has Shamanic practices, does not mean that the religious life crystalises around Shamanism. A Shaman is a guide to the spirit realms, and therefore has a responsibility, and a duty, to perform healing of a spiritual, or mental, nature.
My Great Grandmother, Who was a Shaman taught by her Great Grandmother, allways said that in spiritual matters people went to the Shaman, but in physical matters every woman in the camp (My family were "Sea Sammi nomads".) probably knew as much about herb healing as the Shaman herself.""
Therefore she never considered it a DUTY to heal physical damage. unless she was the only one, or the only one present, who could do that work. Shamans have a DUTY to NO ONE. Thier only duty is to the spirit world and thier own conscience.
Of course I am talking about real shamans not some one who bought a pretty book and practices in a cold water bed sit behind the greasy Joes burger bar in down town Mackelsfield. (Manchester/England).
Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:30 am
Sounds like you'd get a lot of potential patients in Macklesfield, just coming out of Greasy Joe's...
In all seriousness -- I'm really enjoying the intelligent diversity of viewpoints that have come up on this topic.
Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:04 am
Must admit, in Mackelsfield it's more likely to be "greasy Pattel's", or "sheep dip Mustaphas", but thr theory is the same.
I can not remember ever eating out of one, and I have NEVER NEVER eaten in a "Mc Donalds", "Burger King", "K.F.C" or "Pizza Hut". I know THAT for sure.
Just not enough of us Shamans around for that type of emergency.
Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:31 am
Yes -- suddenly it's all very clear-- the advertising character Ronald MacDonald
is actually sort of the Anti-Shaman
-- enticing young people everywhere to eat unhealthy garbage and emulate made-up material values. "Give up a life of experiences and become a
And here I was worried about HAARP vibrations & global warming...
Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:52 am
Mc D's:smt019 are usefull for something!
In most large citys they are open 24 hours. When you are under way at 3 or 4 in the morning thats usefull to know because they have FREE toilets!!! When every where else is shut.
ERRMMM? Whats HAARP vibrations?
Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:26 pm
HAARP!!! BAD STUFF!!!
It totally disrupts the worlds vibrations and leylines. BAD STUFF
Thank GOD someone else who is upset and KNOWS about HAARP!!
Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:07 pm
well, yes and no, to the "responisbility to no one" thing....
A shaman has a responsability to the spirits and usually to a community, that community can be greater or smaller. A shaman could live in a village, but be responsible for the city next to it and all the villages around it, or the tribe of people, not the city, etc.
Also, one should realize that just because a shaman is a healer this does not mean that s/he would always heal by the most obvious route. An example would be healing an individual of an obvious issue. The shaman may be led to not heal the obvious problem. Maybe that problem is part of a bigger scheme for that individual or even the people around that individual, and if so, healing that topical problem could cause a lot more trouble than it solves.
Shamans often tend to see a bigger picture or a wider view than many others do. They tend to see things in a different light and see a lot more connections between things than others do.
wassail und wunjo
Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:38 pm
For my Granny and Great Granny there was no "yes" and "no" about it, a Shaman bears responsibility to NO ONE: During my time staying with them,they had many visitors. Shamans from other cultures, Shinto, Masai, American native from Canada to the Southern tip of Chile, Australia and New Zealand. (My Grannys used to visit back whilst my Grand Father was at sea).. ALL the Shamans were of one opinion..TOTAL INDEPEDANCE. with RESPONSIBILITY TO NO ONE. They can offer thier services, on a contract basis. But the Shaman can walk out whenever they like. Whoes going to be brave enough to "take them to court"? But whils both sides of the contract are being kept, then it is the Shamans "duty" to keep up the bargain. That is the ONLY responsibility, or duty, a Shaman has beyond that to the Gods and Him/Herself.
The personal task of the Shaman is to better himself spiritualy and, therefore, publicaly. Ie the betterment of his usefulness to the tribe, and his/her pocket , but mostly prestige . In his personal life a Shaman is, above all other things, an explorer, a discoverer, and a developer within the spiritual realms, and the applicator of those results to every day life of himself, and the betterment of the tribe, or clan that have employed, or attached themselves to him. Not all Shamans are attached to a group. He can be very self centered, arrogant, and a loner. Tribes tend to attach themselves to the Shaman, not the other way around. Rather like a "pet" cat. It was no mistake that Freya is the cat Godess, and the founder of that form of Shamanism called Seidhr (Which tradition my Grandmothers Great and Great Great etc, have allways been). In Eliade (pp 386), "The Spakona (prophetess) has a highly elaborated ritual costume; a blue cloak, jewels, a head piece of black lamb and white cat skins...".
Even after having said all that, it is not allways as a healer that the Shaman is saught for. Protection of the village, a good season for crops etc can all be the reason. Or as a healer. They are not necessarily all part of the same package, or contract.
Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:12 am
This is all extremely interesting stuff !
Here is some -- I guess you'd call it anthropological data from about a century ago -- about the Siberian perspective, which I imagine is not too far removed from the Sammi tradition, is it Ragnar?
Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:19 am
sorry havn't got time to look at the site at the moment, but I have stored it in my note pad. We have more Napoleonic fun this weekend, we have friends coming, and I have this rediculous course, WITH HOME WORK
Na, you are correct that Siberian Tribes are similar to Sammi. In fact on the Koala peninsula they are more or less indistinguishable (HOW did I write that with only half a brain awake?).
Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:06 pm
Well, you're right, shamans can go "loner" and often some do, but I'll continue to disagree with that "no responsability" thing. I agree that they may not be responsible to any given individual, but they have a responsability to something, inside, and if they fail in that, they stop being a healer and become just another sorcerer, like some of the south american shamans are famous for. Ultimately, a shaman is responsible to themself, but to actually be a shaman, and initiated shaman, means you have connected to something greater... that the greater guides you in ways to grow, heal, protect, attack, etc and usually wishes you to aid some of those around you. This isn't always folks in your town or even your country, though some work is expected at some point... or you're not a healer... healers heal... and I never said for free... a lot of shamans do charge.
Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:00 am
Magic and magicians are to be found more or less all over the world, whereas shamanism exhibits a particular magic speciality… "mastery over fire", "magical flight", and so on. By virtue of this fact, though the shaman is, among other things, a magician, not every magician can properly be termed a shaman. The same distinction must be applied in regard to shamanic healing; every medicine man is a healer, but the shaman employs a method which is his and his alone…; the shaman specializes in a trance during which his soul is believed to leave his body and ascend to the sky or descend to the underworld.
A Shaman, as well as a spiritual expert, is also a scholar of humanity and the human condition. A wise man. This does not preclude others from bieng just as erudite on the question of humanity and it`s relationships. The Shaman makes it his business. This is probably where the mistake is made by many, that the Shaman is considered a priest. Because his work corresponds with the christian idea of "priest". But a Shaman may be a priest, in the Heathen sense, as well. That is a religious leader of the clan or tribe. There are subtle differences, a priest may not neccessarily use trance and other Shamanistic techniques, yet can opperate perfectly as a religious leader. However, a Heathen priest will always work with, and consult the Shaman, if of course, he is not a Shaman himself. Priest and Shamman are hereditary positions. If the two come together, then you get a Shamman priest.
The origional question was "does a Shaman have a duty to heal". The above is a description of what a Shamman does. If he/she is the Priest, then that is because the Shamman has chosen to be. THEN it becomes a "duty" but very much on the Shammans own terms.
To the origional question the answer, from the mouths of many hereditary Shammans I have met, including my own family, is "NO", unless the Shamman wishes it to be so. It can NOT be applied from out side preassure.
By the way most of my longer pieces are quotes from a book I have in preparation. I trust that none of you will re-use without asking and accreditation. As this could cause trouble with the potential publishers. Thanks.
Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:48 pm
Actually... I think it's getting lost in semantics... what the word "Shaman" is used for, as opposed to what it actually is. There are a lot of "Shamanic", i.e. "Shaman-like" practices and paths out there...and they are all good and valid paths... however, the word Shaman comes from the Tungusic language of Siberia, and to them and most of the cultures around them, being a shaman is a very specific thing, not hereditary, though it can be, but being chosen by "the spirits" or "the gods" and undergoing a rebirth/initiation experience that happens on it's own ( by the will of the spirits/gods/ancestors/etc )... It's not something you are taught or inherit. To these people, you can be trained as a shaman, but until that initiation happens, which tends to involve severe sickness, acciedent, etc. (near death), you are a magician, witch, etc... not a shaman.
Over the years, I have seen so many different people claim "I'm a shaman" or "so and so is a shaman" that I stick with the definition of shaman from the people whom the word originated with. Other practices may be "Shamanic" or Shamanistic", but that doesn't make the practitioners actual shamans. Even most native americans will correct you when you call their medicine work shamanism.
Personally, I am into Seihdr and the Odhinistic paths, though not Asatru, per se (as in the modern movement), though very much so by the meaning of the words. And while I am a shaman, went through the initiation, not by choice, I don't consider myself as having been a shaman before then, even though I had the shamanic teachings, nor do I consider the other teachings that I have had since then to be part of me being a shaman. A shaman simply is, shamanism, witchcraft, runecraeft, seihdr, medicine work, those are paths and tools, actions, they don't make you a shaman, though they may be used by shamans.
Yes, it is convoluted, and yes, the word "Shaman" does seem to fit a lot of paths/peoples. As I said, it's semantic, it's "nit-picky", never-the-less, it's true. I study hermetic practices too... I find some of it interesting, though I don't use their rituals and what not. I am a magician though (as in a user of magick) and I study those practices, but I'm not a hermetic mage, I'm not a High Magician of the Order of the Golden Dawn.
The same holds true of shamanism.
My point of view,
Wassail und wunjo
Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:57 pm
I think I can agree with your last post, more or less entirely.
Because of my family back ground I tend to be ...Purist (I hesitate to say "fundamental", With most fundamentalists, the "mental" seems to be the key word).
I think that by bieng Asatru minded, but not of the modern Asatru, you are probably coming closer to how it "should be" than 90% of the "Shamans I have met out side of my family. By "family" I include the Shamans I have met friom Shinto etc, etc.
Keep at it you are what we need. But as a Shaman you will know that, even if you, as me do not voice it. I am just sorry that you could not have met my family. You would have had many interesting conversations.
I am also sorry that I can not do this letter justice. I am on my way to college, then I must go straight to a Napoleonic re-enactment for the week end. I will be back Tuesday.
Look foreward to more discussions with you along these lines. I think we are singing from the same "hymn sheet" (tongue in cheek, smirk!).