Shamans of all Cultures

This area is for the INTELLIGENT discussion of all other religions, be it Christianity, Buddhist, Hindu, Native American, or anything else!

Is it the responsibility of a Shaman to heal?

Yes
7
54%
No
1
8%
Only to help in whatever ways he/she is comfortable
2
15%
Only to undo the deeds of Shamans who do "bad" things
0
No votes
The only responsibility is to oneself
3
23%
 
Total votes: 13

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Shamans of all Cultures

Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Wed Jul 13, 2005 1:30 pm

I am more into Shamanism and Reiki than the Wiccan stuff. Also into the Native American stuff, though I am as white and Irish as a fish's belly --> Native soul in a white body :lol:

Shamanism is/has been present in every culture, every part of the world. I would like to hear everyones' views on Shamanism as a religion around the world, in general, and in your general area. I'm not looking for a definition here :tongue1: Hopefully some original ideas, but if you don't have any just give me your opinions, know-how, etc.

Thanks ^__^

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The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. -CWG

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Post by Stormy » Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:21 pm

I chose the last, because, to be responsible to yourself is to be responsible to all since we are all interconnected. To not help someone when you are able to hurts you as much as them - maybe not in the same way, but it does. So to be true to yourself is to be true to those around you be they people, animals, plants, spirits.

This does not, however, necessarily mean that it is the "duty" of a Shaman to do healings - one should, of course, do what they can for others, but it is foolish to spread yourself out so thin with service to others that you don't take care of yourself.

I have never thought that the person who gives up all pleasure, comfort, money etc. to others and will do nothing for themselves is some sort of saint - they're some sort of crazy :-D Yes, it's good to help others be they human, animal, plant or "other" but since when is it BAD or SELFISH to also take care of yourself and your own needs/comforts? What makes everyone else so much more important than yourself - do we not all contain the essence of the divine, are we not all part of the great One? Neglecting your own needs, making yourself live in discomfort - it's just as much hurting the Divine as it is to look away from the old woman in line at the store who is short $1.50 and let her take something off than offering her the $1.50.

Going too far to either side - be it the giving or the taking - isn't healthy or right.

As for Shamanism being a religion, I don't think it is - it is a way of connecting with Spirit that can be used within any religious framework, it is a spiritual "way" of seeing and doing - but it is not a religion unto itself.

Don't know if I explained myself on this in any way that anyone but me can understand, but I tried lol.

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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:46 am

Stormy wrote: As for Shamanism being a religion, I don't think it is - it is a way of connecting with Spirit that can be used within any religious framework, it is a spiritual "way" of seeing and doing - but it is not a religion unto itself.
I can say that I agree with that statement.

Shamanism is not a religion in itself, but I believe it works within a framework of a pagan religion. (And, I think it is true to say that there are forms of Shamanism in all pagan religions, regardless whether they are popularly identified as such or not).

Hope that made sense.

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:52 pm

Yeah I don't think of Shamanism as a religion in itself either. But if it were to be viewed as one...

Anyway thank you both for your replies ^^ :geek:
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Post by Ragnar » Mon Jul 25, 2005 3:56 am

I have been trying for 2 hours to post a reply. So this is a test to see if it is my letter or the site that has problems. Has any one happened to put a word limit on posts? I seem to have no problem under 50 words. Sorry for any incconvienience.
AH HA! I have found the problem, my new server does not let me transfer word files to the explorer. *#!!^? :evil: :evil: :evil:
Last edited by Ragnar on Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Ragnar » Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:48 am

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. It was only in later times, when the people had moved off the land and into villages that the Woman who knew herb lore was much sought after, (mostly by the inquisition in Germany). Those of these Women who were also the Shaman are most probably where the "witches" in the minds of the church came from.
So, in ideal circumstances the Shaman has no duty to heal physical complaints, but partly exists to deal with the spiritual. As much as a Shaman sees "duty" then this is it.

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Post by dragonflydrummer » Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:06 am

This is a tough one. I chose "Only to help on ways he/she is comfortable" pretty much because I couldn't find an answer that fit.

A Shaman by nature interacts with the many realms and planes of the supernatural, and spiritual dimensions. While it is possible that a Shaman would accept a mandate to always heal -- that is by no means the only course available. On the other hand oft-times a Sorceror will feel only responsibility to her/himself, but fortunately that is not the only tack either.

The real investment a Shaman makes along lines of interaction with other beings (including humans) is to Walk Your Talk. Without this the role is but a show. I think in addition to this the Shaman has to be true to Her/his word in any engagement with others. This type of integrity seems basic to making the whole liminality/deconstruction work. In these "contractual" senses the use of words is important when aligned with a consistency (or an intentional contradiction) on the part of the Shaman. This however is not the whole ball of wax. There are also many areas a Shaman enters that do not involve consciousness as most people define it, let alone language or words -- still, something gets transmitted in the bargain. Thus we bring things back from realms that others cannot or will not enter. This may be the foremost function of a Shaman, but that might be dependent on the culture.

While there is no absolute directive to heal, those of us who embrace a moral stance DO have a directive not to harm. Because of this I can't imagine a Shaman turning her/his back on someone in trouble or need without good cause.

Thanks for the interesting topic ! =D>
The spirit abides immovable; it beholds the infernal monsters swarm down upon it, and does not fear. (Eliphas Levi -- The Sixth Hour)

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Post by Ragnar » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:42 pm

""The real investment a Shaman makes along lines of interaction with other beings (including humans) is to Walk Your Talk"".

Yes. But there are false shamans who will "talk your walk". I.e charlatans.

I talk about real Shamans, who have little to do with the "real" or "conscious" world. They are very mercenary. They will help, if it costs nothing to them. That is not the same as making a profit, whether monetary, or spiritualy.
For their own family or tribe they will. But even then only to a degree.

""the Shaman has to be true to Her/his word in any engagement with others.""

A rel Shaman will have very little to do with "others". If you wish to consult a Shaman, expect to be treated as an interesting specimen. But, you are correct we are true to our word.

""...still, something gets transmitted in the bargain"".

NEVER try "bargaining with a Shaman, unless you are VERY clever, you will loose. Even Odinn lost an eye.

""...directive not to harm. Because of this I can't imagine a Shaman turning her/his back on someone in trouble or need without good cause""".

There is NO SUCH THING IN SHAMANISM AS A DIRECTIVE!
However, other than that you are entirely correct. Offering is different to bieng asked.
Offering includes no debt on the reciever. To ask, is a totaly different proposition.

"Shamans do not ask for your sympathy for our plight. On the contrary, how boring your life is to us".

A favourite quote of my Grandmother. A Sammi Shaman. Or "NOID" as they eare known in Sapmi. (Lappland).

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Post by dragonflydrummer » Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:34 pm

Ragnar quotes his Sammi Grandmother:
"Shamans do not ask for your sympathy for our plight. On the contrary, how boring your life is to us".
I've known outlaws and artists at various times who have pretty much said the same thing. Being outside of the herd has it's costs, but being in the herd is not truly being alive. :-)
The spirit abides immovable; it beholds the infernal monsters swarm down upon it, and does not fear. (Eliphas Levi -- The Sixth Hour)

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Post by Ragnar » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:52 pm

Have you ever noticed what stimulating conversationalists "professional" people are? When a lawyer, or a minor finance manager goes to the "whine bar" at night what do they talk about? WORK. (If they can get out of work early enough to catch “last orders”). Heathens/Pagans etc, people they would call "hippys", (having NO idea what a hippy was, or is) do not bore other people with stock market figures, mortgage rates, and selling dodgy second hand Porsches etc. We talk about the intellectual radio programmes we have heard, or the conversations we have had with people on the way to our favourite ritual grove, or whatever. We meet a much greater cross section of society than most collar and tie strangled workers. We are not in cocoons; we know what life is about. Its us who loose fingers, or arms, in machines, or fishing net winches, shoot Argentineans, get shot at by Argentineans, and British helicopters. We spend all day listening to the radio, reading news papers, going to the library, visiting art exhibitions and museums, meeting different people with different experiences and views. When was the last time a hospital manager, bank clerk, stock broker, etc, did any of the above? When was the last time a bank manager, oraccountant ever socialised with people who are not in the same "class" of business or career? Don’t drive the same type of car, are not in the same free masons lodge, or don’t live in the "right" neighbourhood, not called Dursley? (see “Harry Potter).
In the last twenty-five years I have drunk and lived among total alcoholics, partied with the hierarchy of the Scottish communist party (ok. Ok. I'll give you that one. How does a Communist party have a hierarchy?), and attended freemasons lodges, as a brother. I have lived in a caravan in Glencoe, lived in a reasonable part of Cheshire, a rough, in a Scottish way, council scheme near Edinburgh with no gas or electric, and a middle class area of Berlin. Been a police officer in Liverpool, been a Military policeman, spent fifteen years, on and off, at sea, worked as a kitchen porter all over U.K. and Germany, how? Because I am not one of these pathetic "wage slaves" tied to the apron strings of a "socially acceptable life style". I am prepared to move, experience and learn. I assure you, I have more to talk about than “What happened in the office”, or “The great tea trolley disaster of 98”, (When the tea lady put a spoon of sugar too many in the urn and caused consternation among the office staff for, hmmm, hours(?)). Also I would not go near Spain, let alone bring back a straw donkey, Bull fight poster with my, or any one else’s name on, or a plastic clock work singing jesus for the dash board of my car. In fact I would not have a car. Motorcycle, Old army truck may be, but there is one thing wrong with cars, they are driven by the same blind, boring, idiots that leave shopping trolleys all over the super market aisles whilst they are away searching for the comic shelf, or something, who rush blindly around the shop not caring that their trolley is causing general havoc, death and destruction, because “I have an important call on my mobile”. These are same idiots in thier coats and thier ties, think thier free to drink martini and watch the sunrise. Thinking they are free, terrified to be seen leaving the office half a second before the boss.
(Then we are expected to trust them with a couple of tons of metal with an engine!? Do not forget, these idiots are supposed to be “professional” and we trust them with the country! Frightening isn’t it?).

"Shamans do not ask for your sympathy for our plight. On the contrary, how boring your life is to us".

I think that quote could go for Heathens/Pagans in general.

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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Sat Aug 20, 2005 2:12 am

Ragnar wrote:Have you ever noticed what stimulating conversationalists "professional" people are? When a lawyer, or a minor finance manager goes to the "whine bar" at night what do they talk about? WORK. .
Of course. And the reason is that many (most) people these days identify themselves by what they DO, rather than by what they ARE.

(Because, I think, outside of DOING things, they actually ARE nothing, or very little, anyway.)

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Post by Ragnar » Sat Aug 20, 2005 2:23 am

Allong similar lines, it annoys me immensely when you see some one interviewed or whatever and the interviewer (Rushing so they can get to the "whine bar") insists on saying "...who calls her self a witch". We never hear "...who calls himself a pope". or "...calls himself black".
Bieng a witch is NOT a hobby. It is a verb NOT a noun...well ...not allways. OH! YOU know what I mean.
They should not judge the seriousness of others actions by thier own "straw man" philosophy. Those who call themselves "journalists".

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Post by dragonflydrummer » Sat Aug 20, 2005 3:53 am

Well yes -- I have noticed the restraints most "professional" types have placed themselves in. They are restrained by the fear that if they step out of line they won't make a maximum of money, and the thing that kills me is they rarely do anything with that money outside of a really dreary cookie-cutter vacation now and then because they are saving up against their "old age." They never really live because they are afraid of being poor when they die. Heh heh heh. :scratch:

My life has also been colorful at times (although I have to admit I have never shot at any Argentines). There have also been times when it was mostly about inner work -- doggedly pursuing the Muses. When I die I won't regret having never lived -- well, excepting for that one woman from small-town Ohio that got away... :heart:
:lol:

I'm not sure how much of it has been about healing others. It's difficult to tell the impact that living one's life has on others over the long-run and sometimes even over short intervals. Often I think I'm more a mirror for what others want to see of themselves. Perhaps thats the role of an Artist/Shaman. I DO know that it has always been a process of healing ME. Getting from point A to point B has been a long rich magical process and if others have found some spiritual solace in that for themselves -- all the better. I am happy any day I can say that this mind & these hands have done no harm. How many lawyers & politicians can truly say that?

Of course there is a great difference between us cosmopolitan, post-modern magic-types and the traditional Shamans of the Sammi, or Ulchi, or myriad other native peoples. How could it be other? They are certainly the more focused and more grounded through generations of Wisdom. But -- something of that comes through those of us who choose to explore life -- to really take a bite out of it and do it with reverence and awe. And given all the bean-counters sitting down the "whine bars" trying to numb themselves to the inner voices that tell them they are living deferred lives, I'm thinking that the little bit of magic that comes through to us is worth at least a twinkle of the old-time Shamans' blazing star.
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The spirit abides immovable; it beholds the infernal monsters swarm down upon it, and does not fear. (Eliphas Levi -- The Sixth Hour)

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Post by Ragnar » Sat Aug 20, 2005 4:27 am

In today's "super farm" and supermarket culture it may seem strange to celebrate farm work, hunting, and weather, the mid winter and mid summer festival for instance, in an environment where if a crop fails more can be bought in from another area which has enough to sell. But Heathens see the world as a whole. They are not just celebrating North Europe's fortunes, but the health of the entire natural world. More than any thing it is this health that we celebrate and look after in the best way we can. A lot of mention has been made of crops, gathering wood and burying sacrificial bread. This, of course, creates no problems to those Heathens who live on farms or close to a fellow member who does. However a housing scheme in the Scottish central belt may be a totally different prospect. A lot of the festivals are to do with symbolism, such as the straw goat at Jule. The pork doesn't have to be caught on the hoof, or trotter, but can be bought in. Preferably free range. The same for the ingredients of the loaf. So long as every family participates in the buying and, or, making, then the symbolism exists. The Jule log is a problem in a centrally heated home or without an open fire. But a log may be obtained and put as a centrepiece decoration for the twelve days, then, either returned to the woods, or put in a safe place for next year.

So it is possible to carry on tradition. But it must be worked at. WE do. The others have given up.
Done in the right spirit, we are not seperated from the ancestors. Therefore the blazing star continues through us.

""the thing that kills me is they rarely do anything with that money outside of a really dreary cookie-cutter vacation now and then because they are saving up against their "old age.""

Interesting. I have not really thought of it from that point of view before. But you are certainly correct.

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Post by runewulf » Sat Aug 20, 2005 6:06 pm

I don't have a lot of time right now, so I'll try and be concise ( lol, me, concise, the old timers around here are rolling their eyes and laughing at that thought )

Shamanism is NOT a religion, it is a spiritual path and often on that is not chosen, but the result of an initiation experience that happens without the shaman's active choice.

A shaman's first duty is to heal and serve their "tribe", whether that is a small group, a village, a city or a whole culture. Everything else comes secondary. Shamanic practices are not the same as being a shaman. A shaman goes through a spiritual rebirth, it happens and it's not a psycho-drama, it goes much deeper. A shaman tends to be connected to spirits in one form or another, whether those are cultural spirits (dragons, wights, etc), ancestors, nature spirits, god/desses or whatever, they have a very deep connection to them.

Medicine work and shamanism are NOT the same thing. Medicine is native american magick, yes, many shamans practice medince work of one kind or another, but shamanism is about healing.

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