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Is Learning from indigenous shamans essential?
Yes 20%  20%  [ 32 ]
No 80%  80%  [ 128 ]
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 Post subject: Is Learning from indigenous shamans essential?
 Post Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:13 am 
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I read on this board that many believe that regular folks can't be shamans unless they are born to a 3rd world country and study with indigenous shamans.

What do you think?

Please vote and explain why.

eagle1


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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:28 am 
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No! Essential for what? Many people learn to do shamanic work without having studied with an indigenous shaman. If you learn by whatever means to journey in non-ordinary reality and to recruit helping spirits and allies and these 'entities' work with you to achieve desired ends in ordinary reality then you do in fact what traditional shamans do.

One small caveat is that to truely be more similiar to our indigenous friends we need to do at least part of our work on behalf of our community. Although practicing shamanism has certainly been of benefit to some traditional shamans, traditional shamanism is not typically a self-help but rather is a community help endeavor.
Dennis
I leave aside here the ongoing studipity of what you can or should call your self if you can do these things.


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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:15 pm 
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Location: Bavaria, Germany
No, not essential (same question: for what?)

Yours,

Apu Kuntur


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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:53 am 
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Where do I vote? Here?
OK.

No, not necessary. For the above mentioned reasons.


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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:03 pm 
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the only time i can see studying with an indigenous teacher would be essential is if a person was seeking to become part of an indigenous culture.

but the shamanism that most modern people are engaging in is not connected to indigenous people, at least not in any hard core set rules sense of the word. rather it is a seeking of spirit using some of the tools used in many indigenous cultures. it generally takes one of two forms. that is there are those for whom shamanism is entirely a self-help path of personal transformation. and then there are those who take on or are pushed into working to achieve change, or to protect, or to heal, as members of their communities. if one is working for one's community it is certainly more like what indigenous shamans do. but as all who come to this practice should be gaining spirit allies and upper world guides, then those beings are the *essential* teachers.


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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:53 am 
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Unless, ofcourse, if my 'shamanistic path' is indigenous in itself. Even if I'm European.
I'm Dutch. The dutch word for 'witch' is 'Heks' (Hex in German). It comes from the old word 'Haghetisse', which means 'hedgerider' or hedgesitter'.
The Hedge is the boundary between This World and That World. Between the Land of the Living and the Lands of the Dead, the Elves, the Spirits.

Looking at Hekserij (witchcraft) from a non-wiccan perspective, one can find that it is full of shamanic elements.
I personaly think that Hekserij/witchcraft goes right back into neolithic, or earlier, periods, and that the info we have on it, dating back into the middle ages concerns a remnant of that old way.

So I'm am in my own native tradition. It's just that the bulk of it has watered down and disappeared over the last two or more millenia.
So I cannot really work with a human teacher, the equivelant of the old guy in the hut, teaching you his tricks. But I can go to the sources and to the Spirits, as well as to the old Witch Gods (like Holda/Fricka, Wodan).

A native shamanic teacher? No. Not available. Except non-corporeal ones. :D
A native Path? Yes.

Glasdraoi.


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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:22 pm 
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howdy Glasdraoi,
nice to meet you.

the Old English derivative of haegtesse became hag, didn't it? or at least that is what my memory is telling me. i've always though that "hag", at least for a woman was a more culturally viable title for many of us than "shaman". if a title is needed that is. i know there is also a masculine dirivitive of hag, but my brain is tired today and i'm blanking on it. i agree, that European ways of the Old Believes and the sorcerous elements thereof are viable as indigenous European spiritualities or shamanisms. unfortunately, at least to my mind, the world seems to be full of wannabe Indians and there is a bias towards said folk holding all the keys and all the secrets. which i see as unfortunate because there are shamanic elements in every culture and i do not see Northern or Southern American Indians as having a lock on ways of spirit, sorcery, or shamanism.

glasdraoi wrote:
Looking at Hekserij (witchcraft) from a non-wiccan perspective, one can find that it is full of shamanic elements.
I personally think that Hekserij/witchcraft goes right back into neolithic, or earlier, periods, and that the info we have on it, dating back into the middle ages concerns a remnant of that old way.


i agree with this as well. is there a particular term in Dutch for what is called seidr in the modern Heathen/Asatru movement? the word seidr is taken from Old Norse, i believe. it's my understanding that seidr translates best to sorcery. sorcery is a word from old French roots. it is my personal belief that shamanism is actually a subset of sorcery. and that we hear so much more about shamanism than sorcery as the New Age feel good fluff bubble movement has managed to paint shamanism as a kindness path. which of course in all tribal cultures the needs and even desires of one's own tribe came first and kindness was secondary at best. including the once tribal cultures of Europe.

frith and bliss,
Crowfuzz


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 Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:52 am 
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Seidhr… I don’t know what it is. I’ve seen so many interpretations on the subject that I’ve decided not long ago to not touch it anymore. It’s Scandinavian, I’m West-Germanic. I'd better leave it at that.

The word ‘Dutch’ comes from the old dutch ‘Diets’. It is cognant with the German Deutch. It is also cognant with the word ‘Theod’. It simply means the People. Just for your information. :)

Freya Aswyn translates 'Seidhr' as ‘Zieden’. Which means ‘boiling’ in english. Perhaps she is right. I don’t know...
I think it may also be translated as ‘zitten’, meaning ‘sitting'.
I’ve read often in the lore that spiritworkers go and sit on a (High) Chair, including the Asir in the Havamal.

'Spa' can be translated into ‘spieden’, meaning ‘seeing; looking for; searching’. Cognant to the english 'spy'

Galdr… hmmm… there’s the Dutch ‘gillen’ which means ‘screaming’. There is also 'galmen', which is something like going 'AAAAAAAAAAAAA' or 'OOOOOOOOO' :D . Going under the shower and singing opera loudly cold be seen as 'galmen'.

'Taufr' is clearly related to ‘Toveren’. I don’t know how to transmate it into english. I often believed that ‘enchantment’ would be a good one.

Hope that helps.

glasdraoi


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 Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:03 am 
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Boy... reading my own spelling errors always puts me into a feeling of radical embarressment. :roll:

On 'feel-good fluffy new age stuff':

I found there is nothing feel-good-only about traditional witchcraft or my approach to Hekserij (read "hekserai").

In fact the Hag you mentioned is part of the equation. Holda-Fricka is a nice mama, but she can also be the Hag. And she's a tough cookie in that shape.

In this form she taught me that the darker parts of life are inescapable and need to be worked with.
No one can escape Death. No one can escape loss. No one can escape pain and confusion. But we have to go through it.

There's transformation in it and most of all, as I've recently learned: kindness, even elightenment.

Hedge - Hag - Hawthorn. They may all be related. Look at hagalaz as well. . As the rune for the Scandinavian hela, who is reflected in West Germanic myth as Holle.

Just an afterthought. :wink:

Glasdraoi


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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:05 am 
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is it essential? no, probably not. is it a good idea if you can? yes, probably so, at least if the teacher is authentic and the practices he or she transmits are ones that you can use in your work with others. probably not, if what you are looking for is confirmation, a credential or a way to assuage your guilt.


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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:38 pm 
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:? I could vote either way on this, (because I've learned much from my Spirit Guides) but chose to vote for the necessity of studying with an indigenous shaman because, as a Native American, who has studied with indigenous shaman in many parts of the world, I see the difference in their level of power and understanding and the level of power and understanding of today's neo-shaman. And the difference is large.

How many neo-shaman can drum for 8 hours at a stretch and heal 8 people with SERIOUS dis-eases during that ceremony? I studied with Grandma Mingo of the Ulchi tribe of Siberia, and watched her do just that in the Kamlanya ceremonies. How many neo-shaman can take people into a Sweat Lodge and call the Spirits and have them enter the Lodge with blue, green, red, yellow balls of light dancing around? I've seen it when my old Medicine Man Martin High Bear poured Lodge - and because I studied with him, it's happened in my Lodge as well.

Neo-shamanism is a beautiful path, and some of its practitioners are powerful and wonderful, balanced healers. Many others are still children, playing at power. I'm still a child myself, learning as I go, and I've been studying with indigenous shaman for over thirty years. Many of the things I saw my elders do at will and upon command, only happen with me when the Spirits decide I need help. And yet, I wouldn't even have access to that if I hadn't had the incredible indigenous teachers I have had.

On top of that, there's a thing here about 'respect'. All the things neo-shaman practice came from indigenous cultures in the first place. To pretend they didn't, and yet to take their teachings without acknowledgment and a sincere desire to connect with and honor those from whom the teachings came, is disrespectful as far as I'm concerned. In our Native way, we always give credit to those whose teachings and lineage we follow. This keeps the boundaries clear, in this dimension and others. . . and not doing so continues to dishonor the Spirits who guide indigenous elders/shaman, the original peoples themselves, and to de-value their long, inter-generational wisdom, experience and connection to All Our Relations.

In a way, it makes them 'invisible' - which is something Native people have been fighting against all over the world. Part of the reason so many indigenous cultures are dying is because others usurp their knowledge, traditions and culture w/o permission in order to feed their own thirst and hunger, then claim that knowledge as their own from the position of ego. Meanwhile, the indigenous people fade away and disappear; their wisdom is discounted; they are stuck on reservations or meager land where they cannot practice their own subsistence living - and they die. We who live in comfort and use their teachings, have some responsibility to them, don't you think?

One can say they're practicing shamanism, and they learned their practices from the Spirits - but if you have any shamanic teacher at all on the physical plane, the things you are learning came from the original peoples, the ancient lineages. I can't agree with discounting that.

By using the very title of 'shamanism' one is claiming the wisdom of the ancient peoples, so how can one say there's 'no need' to study with and acknowledge them? To me, that's the heighth of arrogance and ego, and part of the reason that our planet is in so much trouble today. As long as we selfishly claim ourselves to be this or that without acknowledging and honoring our connection to All Beings, and that the knowledge we have received came from those who have practiced these ways for millenium, we're missing the point. We've forgotten that we are ALL part of the Web of Creation, and we are all connected and in need of each other.

Instead, if we want to take on titles like "shaman" and "shamanic practitioner", it seems to me that we need to be searching out those very cultures from which the wisdom came, acknowledging and honoring those who have passed down the wisdom and continue to share those teachings, and help them and their people to have everything they need to live in the ways that create balance and harmony upon our Mother Earth.

Otherwise, we're just pretenders, who are not fulfilling the true, Spirit-imposed job description that goes with the title. A 'shaman', in the ways I've been taught, is not here to glorify oneself. Rather a shaman's purpose is to help heal others; to do ceremonies to help balance Mother Earth and All Our Relations; to inspire peace and a joyful, loving heart in all with whom they come in contact; to journey with and for others to assist them in retrieving lost essence, so that those people can also contribute to the perfection of balance and beauty upon the planet.

So, while I do believe that people can learn shamanic practices without working with an indigenous teacher, I am saddened that many people would willingly miss an opportunity to do so because they don't think its 'necessary'. For me, its an absolute necessity. There's an old saying, "What goes out, comes around." If we don't honor the wisdom which created us, how will that same wisdom be able to honor us?


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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:47 pm 
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howdy Glasdraoi,
it’s a pleasure to hear your point of view.

glasdraoi wrote:
Seidhr… I don’t know what it is. I’ve seen so many interpretations on the subject that I’ve decided not long ago to not touch it anymore. It’s Scandinavian, I’m West-Germanic. I'd better leave it at that.


well, both my spiritual and my shamanic focus is Norse. I’ve explained my understanding of seidr above. from that basis I also see spae as seeing, or seering. I tend to see spae as the natural gift of seeing and seidr as the practice of sorcery which contains some shamanic elements.

Quote:
The word ‘Dutch’ comes from the old dutch ‘Diets’. It is cognant with the German Deutch. It is also cognant with the word ‘Theod’. It simply means the People. Just for your information. :)


doesn’t it always? lol! isn’t every group’s name for themselves “the People” when voiced in their own tongue?
,]


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 Post subject: Re: Is Learning from indigenous shamans essential?
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:23 am 
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Location: Kent, WA
If we take into consideration that the "real" teaching is done by Spirit and that Spirit uses willing "instruments", then it follows that a "willing instrument" need not be from a foreign 3rd world country.
Some indigenous shamans may have the advantage of thier culture and early inititation into shamanism. Learning from an indigenous shaman offers the student an opportunity to learn the shaman's cultural bias. That, however, is not essential to doing shamanic work.


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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:30 pm 
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Hello everyone. Yes, indeed, Spirit does teach. Often Spirit teaches through humans, eh? My personal history is European, via generations of American born family. Glasdrai, my grandmother was Dutch American. My lineage also comes from German, English and especially Irish roots. Yet no one in my current family has practiced what seems often to be called shamanism.

My studies have been greatly enhanced by sitting with and honoring elders from several traditions. Spirit taught me a great deal directly. For example, Spirit spoke to me in a lodge and told me I must learn to pour, and told me exactly how to do so (tho it was never something this one wished for). My elders said it was what they would have said, and approved and guided my learning. First came an entire year of service as a firekeeper - HARD work!

When Spirit told me to "Get a drum!", the reason was not apparent. The journey took me places I would never have gone otherwise.

The actual human teachers who have taught and assisted me on my journey have been amazing. However they do NOT call themselves shamans, even in their own language. One calls herself a Warrior for the Mother Earth, another was called altomesayuc - the Incan word for a mystic who works with the spirit beings of the mountains. However, he didn't use that term for himself. Many native "shamans" from that tradition call themselves "paco" or student.

The altomesayuc Don Manuel Quispe, a major mentor for many, crossed over in December 2004. He continued to work with us for a time after, tho not so much recently. He encouraged us to take what we had learned and been given and make it ours. The Mountains sent him on a mission to teach in North America, and his last great work was to seek out those to whom he could pass on his medicine and his lineage, because the native people in his world were not interested.

We NEED both - the Spirit and those humans who have wisdom and knowledge. We NEED to work together in humility, in love and in community - so the Earth herself and all life she supports can survive and grow. The Earth and Spirit NEED us all to be the best we can be. If you need a human mentor to continue to grow, Spirit will guide you to someone who has something to teach you.

And by the way, the teaching is NOT necessarily comfortable! It is essential to give up the ego and the nonsense we have learned in this culture. Working in COMMUNITY is what distinguishes the mesayuc from the sorcerer in the Incan tradition. I was taught that the reason for doing this work at all is to benefit the whole, and I have never met a native medicine person of any tradition that does not do this.

Don Manuel said: Play, Play harder . . .

In love and laughter


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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:49 am 
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in this practice I’ve encountered people who’ve had human teachers, indigenous, the real deal, and who never got it. I’ve encountered people who did have teachers of that sort and who did get it.

I’ve run across people completely spirit taught that were total whackados. and I’ve run across people completely spirit taught whose abilities were staggering.

I have over the years come to realize that there are a great many people who really do need human, in-person, one-on-one teaching. spirit teaching isn’t enough for some people. nor are the words of human teachers or advanced practitioners written down and sold for self study enough for some people. there really are those who need the kinesthetic interaction with an in-person human teacher that only face to face study can bring. likely there is a reason for this and I could wax philosophic about my ponderings as to why some people need human in-person teachers and others don’t. but it’s enough to say that how people learn varies from person to person. note that I'm saying some people do need human teachers, I am not saying that those teachers must be indigenous.

there is a lot to be said for human feedback. but I feel that when someone speaks of a *need* for all who come to this practice to seek out an indigenous teacher *as they have done*, that those who push this concept as a necessity are locked within their own experiences and are blindly insisting that everyone else must need to walk the same path that they have.



my greatest insights have come from pondering with gifted friends the concepts of the deeper wells. I’ve learned a great deal from group journeys with peers. my greatest growths and surges in ability have come from being with the spirits while seeking ways to manifest real change. that’s what my path has been. it’s not the right path for everyone, and why should it be?

frith and bliss,
Crowfuzz


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