Noteable Blog Posts: Shamanism

Summer is brief here in Vermont, so our focus has been outside of late. Still, we have noticed some thoughtful blog posts from across the web.

Becoming Shaman wrote about her ongoing training, times of hardship, and the challenges of being a single parent:

I’ve been thinking a lot about living “in the now,” versus being caught up in the pain of the past or the fears of the future. In the middle of personal upheaval, working to finish up a divorce, dealing with the ex-spouse’s mental illness (and continuing belief that I am his property), trying to think ahead about how everything’s going to work as a single mother, juggling all the various activities and jobs and classes, etc., it just can get overwhelming….

via Becoming Shaman | A Thirty-Something Woman’s Unexpected Journey.

Walking the Drum wrote about dropping out of the daily round of news, and focusing on life closer to home:

Since making the initial decision, I’ve taken daily walks across the campus of the University where I work, drummed and rattled at a memorial service for a shaman who dropped her robe, begun an all out assault on a stack of books gathering dust in my bedroom, visited hospice patients in a nursing home down the street, spent time with my fiancé, and tended the earth by taking care of the garden we planted in her yard….

via Walking the drum….

Celtic Shaman wrote about her father, and the blessings of talking with animals:

My Dad brought me up to speak with animals … with everything, in fact, including the car, hammers and other tools, loaves of bread, one’s clothes, the house, each room in the house … if folk had known we’d all have been for the straight-jacket if not the stake LOL. I still talk to everything, and I agree with Chief Dan George, everything gets to know me and I them. I’m not afraid of animals, plants, places, mountains, the weather, even things that go bump in the night J. But all around me I see people who are afraid, who cannot understand anything that isn’t human and, often, very few humans either unless they fit in the same box.

via Talk to the animals … « Celtic Shaman – Elen Sentier.

Open Hand Sorcery considered animal spirits as teachers. I wonder whether it might be enough to let them be as they are, expressions of Nature.:

I am not here claiming that the power animal were evil or something like that. According to my personal experience they can give a lot of help, and be quite fun very often. Let us look at the matter from the viewpoint of my Buddhist side. The problem itself is much more subtle but simple: power animal are not enlightened beings. They are as much trapped in the cycle of samsara as we are. Therefore their judgement is typical dualistic judgement and is not necessarily any better than out own, even if they could understand the spiritual realm better…

Via Openhandsorcery

The Witch of Forest Grove considered the difference between journeying and imagining:

I have to say this – visualization and guided meditations are NOT walking between worlds or trancework – they’re painting a lovely picture of doing so in your head. If you are still in your head, you are not walking between worlds. Any practice where you are using only your imagination and not actually leaving your body is not hedgecrossing.

via Walking Between Worlds « The Witch of Forest Grove.

Gwen Sampe wrote about the healing power of song:

A singer can be prophet, healer, historian, poet, shaman, lover, mystic. The human voice is the most poignant and flexible of instruments. Intricate and seductive it is the means by which we not only communicate our ideas, needs, feelings, it is used to soothe, as a mother soothes her baby in lullaby, to heal, to invoke the gods in toning and chanting, to arouse a lover, it is used as a cry to battle and cry of mourning, to welcome an infant into the world and to send a departed soul home. It is everyday life, the transporter of our profoundest dreams. The voice of life and death, birth and departing.

Via Gwen Sampe

I hope you find these posts helpful and informative. Let me know.

5 thoughts on “Noteable Blog Posts: Shamanism

  1. “I wonder whether it might be enough to let them be as they are, expressions of Nature”

    As a friendly teaser from us at Open Hand Sorcery; why do you think that you know what “power animals” truly are? I personally haven´t met anyone in my 20 years of study who can truly and without doubt say what the spirits want and what is their true purpose. And as the first things to learn about animistic worldview is or should be that nothing is as it seems, mark of the powerful spirits, gods and men is that they can take any shape they want.

    1. I think we have a difference of worldview. I would not even begin to assume I know what the spirits want, only what they say they want. I’m not even sure that everyone means the same when they speak of animal helpers. I do believe, as have untold generations before me, that we have relationships with beings who carry the knowledge and perspective of specific species. This enriches us, and can be helpful. And yes, the world of the spirits is truly tricky.


      1. I should say, that my critic was not directed to the animal spirits in general, but primarily at the method formulated by Michael Harner’s called Core Shamanism and it’s very specific techniques concerning a spirit helper called “Power Animal”. I admit that I honestly cannot generalize too much. I can only criticize practices of which I have some experience myself, like Core Shamanism. Like Domesticated Primate Organism already mentioned, similar words can mean different things to different people.

        Thank you for your linking to our blog! 🙂

        Best wishes,

      2. I think Michael Harner was/is trying to make shamanic practices available to a large number of people at what he sees as a critical time in human history. He would, I suspect, agree this methodology is flawed, yet would argue for its necessity. I know a number of Harner trained practitioners, some of them First Nations people. On the whole, they are effective and compassionate healers. I also notice that, as has been true in my life, living life has wizened them. Maybe that is the point: we learn from our lives, the Creator, and all beings (corporal and spirit) we meet along the way – even the hungry, dangerous ones.


  2. True. Most of the time argues emerge it´s because people don´t realize they´re talking about different things although using similar words or expressions.

    All the best.

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