Monday, July 11, 2011

Shamanism

I have been reading several books on shamanism including Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy by Mircea Eliade,  Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life by Thomas Cowan  and this  book by Michael Harner, The Way of the Shaman.

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I have been so engrossed with this new idea that I have to remind myself that I need to go slowly, to learn & to put in the time. But this ADD pagan has a hard time slowing down & so that is probably another good reason this path has beckoned. Life is a journey.
 In a nut shell, and this is really a tiny nutshell, shamanism is a way of walking between the worlds of ordinary reality & non-ordinary reality. A true shaman ultimately journeys to help others  by soul-part retrieval or the curing of illnesses. The shaman  is aided in the journey by drumming and rattles. Since I do not own either, I use  drumming on my ipod that is specific for shaman journey. You can chose either 15 or 30 minute journeys & either single or double drumming. You need to be in the dark or near dark & night time is best & easiest. I use eye shades, too-the kind you get on the airplane from overnight flights.
In the past a shaman was trained by other shamans, she might have gone on a lengthy quest in the dessert or woods to find her power animal. She may have fasted, taken plants or teas & other aides to journeying but in more modern times those options are no longer available or safe. 
I found that reading was enough to get me started & I have now signed up for a weekend course sponsored by  The Foundation for Shamanic Studies. It is a prerequisite for any further studies. I have only met one shaman & when I met her had know idea what a shaman was or did and I didn't have the sense to even ask questions. All I could think of was a medicine man dancing around a campfire, chanting and drumming. I had no idea that a middle aged woman from Virginia could train to become one.
My journeys have been successful and amazing. I did indeed find my power animal although it took several "trips" to meet him. I also discovered that a technique I have been using for years to think up new ideas & artwork was really a form of journeying. I always thought of it as my "really thinking." I stretch out with a sketchbook & "zone out." (I actually first discovered this when I had rotator cuff surgery. I would take a pain pill & then stretch out, etc. Drugs. You gotta love them. I now do this with out the pills & it works the same just may not be quite as fun. )I let my mind wander here & there & sketch or write down thoughts, ideas & pictures. The key is really letting go. When your mind wants to hop back to household chores, or garden weeding and so on, you have to stop & go back to free thought & not worry about the mundane.
I would love to know if others are on this path. Or if you have had similar experiences. Oh, one other book, that I really am enjoying is Singing the Soul Back Home by Cailin Matthews. She breaks her book into "practices" to help you pace yourself. The information regarding shamanic journeys is essentially the same but just presented a little differently according to the author's style. Eliade's book is more of a textbook & history of Shamanism  than a "how to" book.


love, luna ;>D


12 comments:

Aine said...

I took several of the harner workshops and they were wonderful. My favorite was "Death and Dying." I too found the journeying easy and amazing. I read somewhere that if you find yourself distracted, simply begin "naming" what you see ntil you are focused again - such as "rock, tree, rabbit, eagle, etc."

Kallan said...

I adore Caitlin Matthews.. great post! Thanks for sharing a bit of your journey!

Lupa said...

Hi there; someone referred this link to me via Google Plus.

I tend to look askance at Harner and the rest of core shamanism because although they mean well, there are a lot of holes in the practice, both pragmatically and culturally. If you want my take on shamanism (and please, do bring a grain or three of salt!) my shamanism blog is located at http://therioshamanism.com and it includes some reading lists, critiques of core shamanism, discussion of cultural appropriation, links to other blogs, and other things you may find useful.

luna petunia said...

Hi & thanks for the comments. Lupa, I have read an article about you I think in one of the Pagan mags. What I remember clearly is a tip for either vendors or parents of children. You said that vendors are not babysitters or something like that & when I began vending I clung to that like a mantra & try to nicely remind kids parents that my goods are not toys & I am not the sitter. It didn't always work-I got one little girl the better part of 4 days while mom ran around & had fun but by & large-it was a great tip. I will go hit your blog about Shamanism, now.

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Anonymous said...

MICK JAGGER.....he's that PORKMJ.
He's with Summer " SUMANDO".
And they are a clan of CULTR with WASHINGTON WERPRICS - PRICSJ .
" E" witch is explosives with THE ROCCE and that's that
" MAD SIN".
Who is LUNA?
That's LOUISIANA and she's with NATALIE and UN and ARIZONA with " BILLY NO MATES 39" who's with "RENE COLATO" , Toronto.
And altogether they are with DASSAULT in
" DESASSOSSEGOS " - Osiris.
SEAN PENN - is that " SNOW PENNY" who is Nice.
With NYE - " NYONDO".

Anonymous said...

Lupa is a wolf.
Not to be confused with an owl.
Lupa is a direct HTMN with mob.
Lupa is OKLAHOMA- LOUISIANA with MPEARLL .
This is that " E" factor in explosives with ACE.
And SUMMER on AMILEGST.
Lupa is with HARRY REID and HARRY REID is NEVADA.
And they are all with ROB LOWE and SEACREST.
And with CONSTARS - GRADCONS- STARST - STARZ- they ROCUNROL with ROCKY.
ROKST.
DICK CHENEY is TEXAS " HAT".
And Irene is with them and the Queen.
They call her " PAREN" with " MPARENT ".
( 7777)
For UN.

Anonymous said...

DING- DONG & " STRENT"?
Here we go with " ROSENROT".
And this is with " QUADE"?
We know she's with " B. E . EARL".
" B. E. EARL" is with " THAT BLUE YAK" and Connie Mack.
And what they are saying is it's all about CHO- BRAD- ANGIE- DISNEY- ONO- PIA- STING- CROW-
all are with " GERAP" and BERRIRO and that's that
" MANTU & DANDER" and RISA.
And with " LESOCKE" it's a wipe out in CARON-
PRESLEY .
JONSO to CARYESS.
It's called: " CYCYC"!
Is that Colorado or " CUNCE"?
We know it's YEMEN with YSCRO - YSPARK .
And CROW is " PORKELA" with STALLONE.

Nae's Nest, Renee Robinson said...

Wow, I am stunned. Your post seems to answer so many questions I have had lately. I am a writer, but lately my style has changed. I am inspired to write about souls/spirits/reincarnation/the afterlife. The words come easily to me. In fact, I do not seem to "work" at writing at all, I do not have to think about what to write...I just do it. I am confused and do not know what to think. I have also had a connection with an animal of my own. I have had this for years. I would you on bloggers and am now following you. I am going to give your blog a great review too. However, I really would like for you to visit my blog. Read a few of my "darker" writings. I'd like to know what you think. Take care, Renee of Nae's Nest http://naesnests.wordpress.com

Nae's Nest, Renee Robinson said...

fascinating, I am thinking this is where my journey is leading me as well. I will keep studying and following your blog. I am reading everything I can. Smiles. Take care and many blessing.

greekwitch said...

Shamanism always fascinated me but i felt it was further down the road for me. I have tried spiritual dancing under shamanic drumming a couple of times, but i have never triedan actual "travel". It sounds very impressive painkillers or notlol!I would love to read something that is actually ionformative. (lately most books i read about anything spiritual seem to be rather superficial and for people who have n't had any previous experience, i guess i have n't made the best reading choices).
I loved this post.
Blessed be!

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