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 Post subject: Plastic Shaman
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:47 am
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Location: Eugene, OR
I am always amazed at the White Shaman vs. Indigenous Shaman debates. No one was more surprised than myself when I was called to this path. It completely boggles my mind, every single day. And I am so honored to have been called to do this intense and humbling work.

The "truth" be told, we all have shamanic ancestors. Some are lucky to have a living shamanic tradition to call us and teach us. Others of us are experiencing the adventure of finding our way from a completely new place. (My roots are Celtic and if there were ever "shaman" the Druids were. However, my shamanic work is not Celtic based but rather an eclectic collection of techniques, guided, naturally, by Spirit.)

We are in some very interesting times. It is my opinion/experience that new energies that have never existed before are manifesting. New energies need new "technologies" to manage and guide them for healing, growth and transformations. Perhaps Spirit is calling white folk because, as a group, we are less restricted by traditional ways of doing things. I don't know. Or maybe Spirit is just having fun and enjoys a good debate.

My experience is that this work is self-culling. Those who are fakes eventually are weeded out because they are not effecting any transformations. Word gets out.

My usual response to those who confront me with the White Shaman/Plastic Shaman issue is to say, "Who are you to second guess Spirit's choices?"

It is a strange, wonderful world out there.


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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:02 pm
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Location: New York
Hi I appreciated your response. I have been practicing for many years. I never suspected that I would have an interest or talent in the world of spirit.
The person who wrote the post about "plastic shamans" seems to have a limited and biased view of what the work is and who does it. In their defense, I have encountered many people in the Shamanic or Wiccan communities that are troubled, are seeking answers, but accept pat answers instead of seeking, as we must do, if we want to be practitioners. There are teachers who do now know. That would be the plastic part. On the other hand there are many brilliant lights and seekers in the western world. The prophecy was that what was discarded would rise again. We are seeing that.
If a person of the west practices zen or yoga is that plastic? The analogy is that these are practices, and each person is at the level that they are, those that do the work of commitment energy and consciousness learn more about shamanism


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:02 pm
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Location: New York
I meant that are teachers who do not know, but there are teachers who do now know, so it came out right
FS


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:09 pm
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Reading the email about plastic shaman brings many questions, and points to many challenges. Those of you who know me know that I am indeed a plastic shaman, proof of the depth of the great mystery.

There are so many interesting questions which come to mind through reading the email: cultural and racial background of people using healing traditions from other lands, intellectual ownership, ownership of anything at all as a concept ...

Lot's of issues. Pondering these, I became quiet and asked for guidance...
I'll try to speak what came.


It seems that there is a great deal of difference between secular power (matter based) brought on by ownership, by hierarchical ways of being, and by divisive exclusivism. This secular power is in sharp contrast to the true spiritual power of oneness. When moving towards the latter - the more power one holds, the more one wants to give away. This selfless form of power understands the very "native" sense of connection to all our relations.

I recently received an email pointing me to an article written by Paul Hawken, the well known environmentalist - http://www.alternet.org/story/51088/. This is not a recent article, but I hadn't read it, and it was well written. The fact that we live in changing times is not new. The prophecies have spoken of this for thousands of years, and we can all see and feel the shift. What was perhaps even more striking than the article itself were the attacking comments, and I was reminded of this when I read the plastic shaman comment. I have seen and experienced this both personally and out in the world at large, and yet the strength of it is always surprising to me.
It seems that in these times of change, the great mother has called for more than one kind of group in service of this shift.
One group might be called the destroyers. The destroyers are much needed naysayers who point to all the ways the staus quo is failing, failing us collectively, and failing our planet. This group of wonderful beings are called on to challenge the old ways, and call for reassessing - to literally tear down the universe as we know it.
Another might be called the builders. These are the much needed healers and seers who build through modelling new ways of being - who inspire others to live in harmony with the grand forces of nature.
Both groups hold the gift of cutting vision, seeing through the veils to visualize alternate possibilities and realities.
Both groups find themselves a little uncomfortable in the presence of the other.
And yet how much more effective to focus our energies to those who are rigidly holding on to the old ways, rather then to those of us seeking the shift that we may all tread softly on our mother, with all our relations.


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 Post subject: A post for you
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:42 pm
Posts: 2
Next time someone makes an accusation don't acknowledge it. That is their dream, their reality. It has nothing to do with your dream. Nothing is absolute so there is nothing to defend. Defense is only out of fear, fear in loss of attachment to ideas, forms, feelings pride, morals all external sources. If we stop for a moment to listen we will only hear the same heart beat, including the earths and spirit will whisper..we are all one.


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 Post subject: Who dreams this dream
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:47 am
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Location: Eugene, OR
It is true that there is nothing to defend, though sometimes the situation requires some kind of response.

My other response, and my favorite one, is "Who dreams that dream?"


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 Post subject: :)
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:25 am 
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Glad I could help, I'm happy to be in a space of such thoughtful individuals. :D


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:49 pm
Posts: 26
Location: France
Antakaranah said:
Next time someone makes an accusation don't acknowledge it. That is their dream, their reality. It has nothing to do with your dream. Nothing is absolute so there is nothing to defend. Defense is only out of fear, fear in loss of attachment to ideas, forms, feelings pride, morals all external sources. If we stop for a moment to listen we will only hear the same heart beat, including the earths and spirit will whisper..we are all one.

You hit the nail on the head! All of life is a dream.

I've seen these discussions in a lot of fields. Druidry, paganism, etc. Always the same angry individuals who tell others that they are wrong, thieves, frauds, etc.
It's the dream they have chosen to dream. Actually it's a nightmare. Theirs. But they are trying to spread it. Like a virus.

Ignore it. Dream your own dream. We all have a choice. Don't chose to get infected by someone else's nightmare.

On the other hand you may reach out to those individuals who have fallen into the hands of the 'angry lot' and tell them (perhaps privately) that there are other ways.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:22 pm
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Location: Western USA
Over a fairly broad cross-cutural basis it is evident to most that shamans, whatever they are called in their respective communities, tend to be members of that community, embedded in that commuity and working most frequently on behalf of that community. Folks can of course ignore this and call themselves what they will, and dream on as they are want to do. Dennis


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:10 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:50 am
Posts: 44
Location: Pennsylavania
Hello Everyone,

I am new to this site. Today as a matter of fact. I opened up my email and saw this topic and it immediately got my errrr...lol

Let’s examine shamans in their culture for a moment.

1. They have a function of working with sprit to help their group.
2. They use some kind of trance work to commune with the spirits of nature, the elders, the dead, and the spirits of their community and so on.
3. Often times their community supports them. In every culture people trade skills for goods and vice versa. If you are not becoming better at producing something then no one will want it.
4. They are community builders.

Ok Ok I could go on all day.

Where do you fit in the above?

Ok so you are not running around the jungle eating game and plants and so on....Or are you?

Last time I checked many of us are fulfilling all of the above.

I think the one separation is the level at which people live being on their shamanic path. If you are indigenous you are surrounded by people and nature and working full time on your path...ahhh woops so are we.

Hmm I hope people find the irony I keep pointing out here.

Let me say this as the bottom line.

How immersed you are in your shamanic activities and how good your results are, is the separating factor between a person or group being shamanic or not.

Do I call myself a shaman? I don't because I know the powers are on loan. Am I known for getting good results? Yes.

If people are going to rag about plastic shaman then they better go and look to the cultures where people trade food or goods or services to the shamans.

If a shamans needs are not being provided for then the community’s needs are not being provided for, and vice versa.

Well I hope that is a good opening post.

Nice to meet y'all.

Traveler


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 Post subject: Amazed at the lack of awareness
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:56 pm
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Amazed at the lack of awareness about the import of this issue. But perhaps the people who made time to post are of a c ertain persepctive. I will not rattle on and on, but feel obliged to chime in a view that I do not see expressed. I am glad that the facilitators of this site dared to even address this topic, howvere tepidly.

I have prayed and met with and been on the lands of different indigenous people, noe of the serious healers and community builders, from the locally know and respected to serious internationally known or even previously incarcerated by the american government, call themselves "shamans". And glad to see the explication of the origin and how it came into more common currency.
Anyhow, there is a real issue of people out there, of mostly Wasicuns going about proclaiming themsleves spmething, and waht's more, charging money for healig retreats private sessions trance journeying whatever rigaramole. Mostly it is hogwash, like the people who take a one month yoga teacher training certification class and become yoga teachers. it does not work that way.
nd if it is real, the money thing involved, and predatory energy practices are a very very serious and real issue going on out there.

so much so in various ways that different indigenous leaders started discusions about banning white people form cetain creemonies and such, if oyu agree or disagree, and i disagree, the pint is that there is a serious issue out ther and some people felt it needed and needs to be addressed. in ny we are overwhlemed with them!


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:22 pm
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Location: Western USA
It is very hard to stop the spread of real knowledge, partial knowledge and just plain foolishness from one culture to another! It is equally hard to prevent folks from any and all cultures from making fools of themselves, and unfortunately of each other. Dennis


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:10 pm
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Here are my thoughts on the subject.

My first is that I think the debate is worthwhile. Although all imagination is self-created unreality, dismissing the debate seems to be a bit like dismissing the material world, or at least the conceptual part of it. If shamans are dedicated at least in part to facilitating healing in the material world, then healing a conceptual rift among healers seems a fine endeavor. I chose to believe that the material world, including that of man made concepts, and the world of spirit both matter equally.

The second is to suggest we might clarify what we are debating. On the surface, it looks as if we are debating whether or not we western-born, class-attending, car-driving, money-charging practicioners are “shamans”, “neo-shamans” or “plastic shamans”. I don’t think this is the actual debate. A person is a shaman or not a shaman depending on the sincerity, integrity and efficacy with which they walk a shamanic path. Are they in integrity with spirit, or not? Are they effective in facilitating healing or not? This is true or not true, but the truth of it has nothing to do with what word we label ourselves with or what other people call us. That’s not up for debate. Spirit and I make that call together for me. Spirit and you make the call for you.

I think that what we are debating is a concept. We are debating what the word “shaman” means. This word was born in Siberia a long time ago. It’s a concept, and like all energy, a concept is alive. What is this word shaman going to grow up into? Will it forever and always be defined as an indigenous healer from Siberia? Or do we want it to grow, morph and change into including the plethora of new healers on the planetary ball? Or for the new practitioners do we want to create a new concept, the “neo-shaman”?

I don’t have much of an opinion about “shaman” vs. “neo-shaman”. Personally, I say that I am a student of shamanism or that I have a shamanic practice. But I do have a preference for clarity in the debate itself.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:39 pm
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Location: Omaha Nebraska
Didn't ask the creator for my path or my ancestors either-- mixed blood like most of the world. Yes, I have seen fakes in every "profession" too. Fake people need prayer and help. Simply because there are fake this or that doesn't diminish the reality of others who are doing good for the people. We need to live in positive light to be real healers.

When the helping spirits say work with this person, I have to put aside all my ego crud and let the healing power come to them. I have worked with shaman or medicine people or whatever term you like from every race, and have learned many good things. What comes from our heart, what we can build in our community, who we are is more important than what people say or think of us. While we have Light, let us do good work. And let us respect each heart for the beauty the Creator put there too.

Thanks for listening, all my relations.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:42 pm
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Location: Arizona
Well said, Woody.


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