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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:45 pm
by Labrys
Crazy Healer Lady wrote:I checked your site a few days ago - a noble task, yours :)

Wonderful information, mon ami. However, I must disagree that the services of psychopomp are the only services modern Shamans have to offer. There are many who receive no benefit from doctors, shrinks, ministers. It is my personal opinion that Shamans are first and foremost healers - of themselves first, of course, and then others. I would classify your work as healing work, as you are essentially healing the souls of the dead and allowing wounds from these souls and their families to heal over.

This said, absolutely wonderful how you have discovered how to help to heal the world around you. Acting as a psychopomp to leagues of souls is something that overwhelms me greatly, another reason I refuse to call myself Shaman.
Well, lol, as you say....there is healing. Healing people is not my reach; but it could be yours. Even the dead apparently need healing---but yes, the first patient of the would be shaman is the initiate his/herself. And then, healed, there is the wait to see which part of the spectrum belongs to you. Mine, is apparently, not healing for those living and walking this side of the line. I get swiftly kicked every time I apply for a change of specialty.....so, here I stay. It would be nice to think that in some small way, my job "heals the world" as you put it; but I really don't know.

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:53 am
by Crazy Healer Lady
Mine, is apparently, not healing for those living and walking this side of the line.
One must heed to their own call! ^__^
It would be nice to think that in some small way, my job "heals the world" as you put it; but I really don't know.
I feel that it does. There are many unrested spirits in the world. If you go to Indonesia, you will experience this firsthand. There, many spirits who have lost their way during massacres and wars interrupt daily life, and people have a very different approach to them. There is the one side, where people are VERY Muslim and do not deal with them, and the other where they are a part of everyday life, and feared to a point, as well as used by parents in disciplining their children (if you don't behave, the spirits will find you in your sleep!) Their presence really is quite dramatic. My friend says that, "If you don't believe in ghosts, go to Indonesia."

My first thought on this was, "And where are the psychopomps?"

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:47 pm
by Labrys
Crazy Healer Lady wrote:
My first thought on this was, "And where are the psychopomps?"
That is a good question....because, really, those ghosts have to be tormented! I think the concept of a "ghost" is literally a spirit that got lost between life's "here" and the out "there." My first thought, upon realizing what I had really constructed, and what its purpose was (because my crafty deities let me begin on the minor idea of "Make a war memorial") filled me with horror.

Not because I fear the dead, for some reason I never have; but to think that the world is SO screwed UP that spirits can GET lost, can need serious help in large numbers because of the shock and disarray of the situation. I was terrified that I could not "reach" them all...could not draw them in to the gate, that they would be lost.

Silly me. Even before I was completely done building it....I could feel them, hear them, like hundreds of whisperers in a library. They chilled me down in the hot summer, drawing near to me as I labored, sweated and dragged stone and dirt here and there---attracted by the warmth, by the scent of life. It started shortening my work days because violent shivering fits drove me inside....I had to tell them; not so close, you hamper the work. And the relief when I was done was palpable; it was as if they were anxious that something would interfere with my finishing the task.

Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:10 am
by Willow
Honestly, I have to say that how to books about shamanism worry me. As do people who independently call themselves shamans without the support of a community.

Among the Innu people (some know them as montainges of Ontario and Quebec), the shaman is an ambiguous figure who can equally curse and heal people, sometimes they are of ambiguous gender too. I find that some modern shamans don't like the aspects of the job such as extreme fasting, sleep deprivation and cold exposure and the idea that shamanism may not be all benevolence and healing.

I have met one shaman in my life, and his presence scared me, and well it should. Appropriation is what worries me most though. Indigenous traditions such as shamanism are ancient and sacred, I am not sure of any book that tells one how to, I a more inclined to support individual training with a teacher who recognizes the talent in you.

Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:41 am
by Labrys
Willow wrote:Honestly, I have to say that how to books about shamanism worry me. As do people who independently call themselves shamans without the support of a community.

.
I definitely think that would be the ideal---a community setting. The fact that I came to my own initiation alone is one reason I fought the very idea for such a long time. And yes, even in the Europeon tradition of shamanic practice were admittedly able to curse as well as cure.

I personally do not find that so much a thing to fear as a thing to be confident in---after all, the world is not really a sunshine enema place, is it. And as another poster said, sometimes "modern" medicine doesn't work and one needs recourse to the older ways; well, sometimes "modern" justice doesn't work either! Then one needs someone to protect, bind, and yes, possibly curse a malevolent of some sort. To me, it is balance----a bit like parenting; how good is a parent who can only reward children, but never punish them when they need a lesson?

But, any shaman is also a human being, and all humans are capable of brutalities. Ethics and clear thinking are the only fail safes, especially in the lack of a community or human mentor.

Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:09 pm
by Crazy Healer Lady
It is within a powerful person's ability to curse and hex. The wise ones, I feel, do not. Part of Shamanism is living in balance with all that is - capitalize that if you want, it's all the same. When you are one with that, there is respect and love. It is then that manifestation happens.

For instance, in healing, one connects with the healing source and state, and healing follows. In making rain, one connects with the rain, and it rains. You become healing. You become rain. The world changes its frequency to match yours, and manifestation follows.

To curse, you must become curse. What a horrid thing, and no wise person will lay themselves at the mercy of such energies, especially in this rapidly changing world. When you get to such a frequency, it is difficult to maintain strong, and in any sensitive spiritual work, you must keep barriers. I don't even know if it's a matter of Karma so much as Cause and Effect that what you do comes back.

Speaking of all of this, I do not mean justice. There is vengeance, and outright bad wishes, but justice is something entirely different, and even in this matter one takes the laws of the universe into consideration, with the consultation of their personal allies.

So, I do not feel it is a Shaman's necessity to curse. There are stories of wars between good/bad shamans.

Maybe I'm just a hippy :P but I see those who would curse/punish severely limited by Spirit for their motives, not as punishment, but as keeping the balance.

Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:48 pm
by Lotus
I am not a Shaman. That title is reserved to a certain select people who have been properly called.
As for books, I've been taught to read. Read everything even the fluff to understand why it is fluff. Most of my learning came from books since they were the only thing I had as an option for learning.
Mind you I did not "practice" any sort of witchcraft until after reading everything I could grab for five years.
I do meditate but, rarely do any sort of ritual or spell. I've done my fair share of dabbling in different paths and a few screw ups here and there.
The most I do are protection spells and I've become quite decent at them.

Something does have to be said about practice. Perfect practice makes perfect.

I guess that the books have their place even the bad ones. Believe me when I tell you that I've seen some dangerous books with dangerous information.
One author, Jocelyn Almond, wrote about how to make an 'open' statue to one of the Egyptian Gods/Goddesses. This is so stupidly dangerous.
I have to give credit to my kemetic orthodox teacher for guiding my direction though. So, my knowledge here did not come from a book.

BB
Lotus

Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:12 am
by Labrys
Lotus wrote:I am not a Shaman. That title is reserved to a certain select people who have been properly called.
As for books, I've been taught to read. Read everything even the fluff to understand why it is fluff.
OMGs, you mean even the ones with the realllly cheesy covers? Seriously, though, I know what you mean---I read enough crap to get my "bullshit detector" up and running. But man, talk about a mental obstacle course to run!

Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:29 am
by Crazy Healer Lady
Read everything even the fluff to understand why it is fluff. Most of my learning came from books since they were the only thing I had as an option for learning.
Such good advice! Honestly, even the "fluff" has some wisdom in there, if only to inspire.

I have to ask, though, what an "Open Statue" is?

Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:26 pm
by Lotus
I have to ask, though, what an "Open Statue" is?
An "Open Statue" is a figurine where a God/Goddess embodies as a psudo-living being. Say that you have an open statue of Ma'at....this open statue is actually Ma'at. It is like having a very real and physical aspect of a god-form in your home sort of egore-style.
The priests back in day in Egypt would actually feed, cloth, and wash these figurines every day.
Very different from having a representation of a Goddess on your altar. This representation is not part of (or is) the actual Goddess like an Open Statue.

BB
Lotus

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:04 am
by Crazy Healer Lady
Thank you very much

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:50 am
by Ragnar
Lotus wrote: An "Open Statue" is a figurine where a God/Goddess embodies as a psudo-living being. Say that you have an open statue of Ma'at....this open statue is actually Ma'at. It is like having a very real and physical aspect of a god-form in your home sort of egore-style.
The priests back in day in Egypt would actually feed, cloth, and wash these figurines every day.
Very different from having a representation of a Goddess on your altar. This representation is not part of (or is) the actual Goddess like an Open Statue.

BB
Lotus
So, is that not what the desert religions ACCUSE us of. I.E "Idol worship"*?

*(As opposed to theirs which is Idle worship) :-D

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:15 am
by Paganlight
I suppose, if I HAD to label my path, I'd call it that of the Celtic Shaman. It's not a path that I chose, but one that has formed around me over a long time.

As for the books, I think that information books for people like me who have nowhere else to turn to in order to learn things, they're a good idea. As long as they're tempered with the individula's own learning and knowledge and they aren't relied on as 'how to' books.