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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:06 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
There are charlatans trying to make a buck off every religion or set of beliefs on this planet.
It’s always been that way. You’ve got Pedophile Priests, Hypocritical Evangelicals and Pseudo Shamans. It’s the way this world works and is barely worth debating.

Now, on the main topic: “Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures”…


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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:40 pm 
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I can't imagine that shamanism would be limited to indigenous people. Why? Because I grew up on the 13th floor watching Ninja Turtles and eating Pop Tarts I am ineligible to answer the call thats brought me to this point? That seems silly. If you gravitate in that direction, its most likely for a reason.

In this world where a lack of faith, and spiritual cynicism, has become the sophisticated, rational, popular thing it doesn't occur to most people to become shaman, or to practice magic, they don't even want to participate in their own less demanding, more socially rewarding cultural spiritual spam. So for some one in the western world in 2011, to be drawn away from the celebrity gossip and the bar scene, and the sunday night prime time lineup, and into something as off the cuff as shamanism, is something special. They could be called into any one of a dozen more modern, publicly known, and celerity endorsed spiritual avenues. But they come here. To this spiritual juncture. Maybe they just read some books, learn a few tricks to take with them as they move else where in their spiritual development, or maybe they stay and make a life out of this. Only time will tell, and only the individual, and the mystic powers that be, may determine if it should continue, or if it should cease to be.

That is my understanding of the matter.


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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:04 pm 
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Most of us are damned if we do and damned if we don't.

One of the biggest complaints railed against white westerners is that we have no culture, no tradition and no respect for the Universe. But if we make the first, tentative steps towards reconnecting with that which we were forceably divided from over the past several hundred years, we are considered amateurs, plastic and ineffective.

If we attempt to learn from 1st nation people often we are accused of stealing their culture.

There are plenty of wannabe 1st nation people who claim 'full blood' yet have no idea of their true culture due to severe Christianisation and reservation tactics of the US government from the late 1800s to the 1980's. So much was lost by everyone touched by the crushing, burning Christian paranoia of the last centuries, it is a crying shame but it happened to more than just current 1st nations people and we all have to get on with it and learn again.

Spirit call who they will, the ones who will do the job, get on with things, put others first and who have the skills to do what Spirit need to use. Not merely those who are ethnically considered to be technologically poor and therefore closer to nature.

I know, this sounds harsh but really we do still have the 'noble savage' image prevalent in our society which needs to be put behind us. We are ALL HUMAN and have immense amounts to learn from nature first then our friends from different corners of the world.


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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:12 am 
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The topic contains two labels also debated on other discussions. Why would somebody call him/herself a shaman at first place? DOing the work would be enough. How many persons anymore live indeginous life without electricity, running water in a tent? Does that really make them so much wiser than anybody else?

How much better shaman is a person, who have indiginous lineage, but lives just the same way like most white westerners?

Even that would not prove that living in such culture hold any wisdom at all. What is the point for seeking after lost cultures being violent and barbaric, with a medicine man capable of healing with herbs and spirits? Now we have pills and many kinds of doctors. If I become really sick, I absolutely prefer seeking for western doctor first, expesially if I have found a good one.

When american tribe asked cherrytree for her berries, they after asking cut trees down, so picking would be easier. Even now there is areas (Sahara for example) where indiginous people are the main cause for erosion, because they need firewood, but do not do replanting or use their "intelligence" where firewood picking is sustainable and where it is not.

Here are the labels "shaman" and "indigenious culture" and I very much question their validity on anything superior over others. Those who run after these have maybe already lost something of themselves and maybe trying to fill the hole with false pride and labels giving superiority over others.


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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:33 am 
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I will say that living an uncomfortable life, will tend to put one in a more spiritually receptive frame of mind. You don't have to be a tribal person to achieve that. Examples of this are found in the story of Jesus Christ and Siddhārtha Gautama, and numerous other religious/spiritual figures, who cast aside, material possession and the comforts and securities of society.

Also, I personally have found that planting and tending my own food stuffs and also raising, sacrificing and consuming my own livestock, have greatly increased my bond with nature. Food takes on new meaning, when it is a direct product of your effort, and meats become so much more precious, when you are stewing a rabbit to whom you've dutifully supplied food and water and first aid (some times)for the past three months.

To me its no wonder rural, agricultural, and poor people, make up the most fervently religious portions of our society and its got more to do with a lack of idle distract, an abundance of hard work, and the stress of grinding poverty than it does with their local culture and level of education.


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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:56 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
Today, in my opinion, if a person has belief in a Shaman way, they are a Shaman.
If they attempt to connect with Nature, attempt to listen to signals given by a plant or bug or the placement of a rock, they are IN.
It’s a big world.


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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:44 pm 
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Location: New Mexico
I know I have a little culture. I have traced my DNA through the National Geographic Genographic Project to East Africa between 150,000 to 170,000 years ago to "Mitochrondrial Eve," a woman that all people on the planet are descended from. From East Africa, my ancestors traveled through the Middle East, then on to Germany, Holland, and Ireland before heading to Turtle Island. I turned white along the way :)



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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:10 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:34 am 
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Forest Child wrote:

One of the biggest complaints railed against white westerners is that we have no culture, no tradition and no respect for the Universe. But if we make the first, tentative steps towards reconnecting with that which we were forceably divided from over the past several hundred years, we are considered amateurs, plastic and ineffective.



I guess in return, I want to ask what individual or what group is calling you all (whomever you define as "we") amateurs, plastics or ineffective? Are people from North American Indigenous culture in general, is it someone from a specific First Nation? Or are fellow white, North Americans or Indo-Europeans laying those charges on you?

Quote:

Spirit call who they will, the ones who will do the job, get on with things, put others first and who have the skills to do what Spirit need to use. Not merely those who are ethnically considered to be technologically poor and therefore closer to nature.



I sincerely doubt that a spirit or spirits calls to someone and says, let's do a very brief study of a Native American tradition and ceremony, copy some of it and make changes to the rest, and then let's advertise to those individuals who feel spiritually bankrupt enough to do a background check on the shaman and are willing to pay to be part of the ceremony? Anyone can say they were called by the spirits, but I highly doubt that the spirits would condone the way in which these shamans operate.

I know, this sounds harsh but really we do still have the 'noble savage' image prevalent in our society which needs to be put behind us. [/quote]

I'm not sure what you mean by the lasting image of the noble savage? In fact, looking at the response by the Lakota to protect their ceremonies seems quite organized.

Protection of Ceremonies O-mini-c’i-ya-pi http://www.dlncoalition.org/dln_issues/protection_of_ceremonies.htm

Here's a clipping from the text: "It was decided, from March 9th, 2003 and forward, there will be no non-Natives allowed in our sacred Ho-c’o-ka (our sacred alters) where it involves our Seven Sacred Rites. The only protection with this decision in Government law; is that only enrolled members can carry an eagle feather. In all the Seven Sacred Rites, there has always been the understanding of earning and a requirement of an eagle feather while participating in these Rites. The eagle feather stands for Indigenous knowledge and guidance in our spiritual ways.

• The Wi-wanyang-wa-c’i-pi (Sundance Ceremony): The only participants allowed in the center will be Native People. The non-Native people need to understand and respect our decision. If there have been any unfinished commitments to the Sundance and non-Natives have concern for this decision; they must understand that we have been guided through prayer to reach this resolution. Our purpose for the Sundance is for the survival of the future generations to come, first and foremost. If the non-Natives truly understand this purpose, they will also understand this decision and know that by their departure from this Ho-c’o-ka (our sacred alter) is their sincere contribution to the survival of our future generations.

• Please understand the Wi-wanyang-wa-c’i-pi Ceremony is not only taking place in the center (Ho-c’o-ka) with the dancers. The ceremonial participation also depends on all the supporters on the outside of the arbor who should be in prayer. From the gate, to the cook shack, to the fire-keepers, to the supporters around the arbor, to even the moon camp, all people are still a part of this sacred ceremony.

• There should be a preparation of ‘Han-ble-c’i-ya’ (vision quest) before you become a participant of the Sundance.

• We shall go back into this ceremony with the proper protocols before and during the ceremony itself. Only those that have had the dream or direction through a ceremony, in concern of someone’s health, should be dancing. Dancers should be secluded from outside participants, as to not be contaminated by other people’s energy or thoughts. There should be absolutely no food or water during this four-day ceremony. If there are health problems, you should choose a person to finish your commitment. This ceremony is supposed to be for those that believe they can fulfill all required four days of the ceremony.

• Han-ble-c’i-ya (Vision Quest): The vision quest should be only for Native People that have had the dream or vision. This Rite is also for the young men and women that reach the age of 12 years of age.

• I-ni-pi (Purification Ceremony): Those that run this sacred rite should be able to communicate with Tun-ca-s’i-la (our Sacred Grandfathers) in their Native Plains tongue. They should also have earned this rite by completing Han-ble-c’i-ya and the four days and four years of the Wi-wanyang wa-c’i-pi.

• The other four sacred rites of the Hun-ka ka-g’a (Making of a Relative), the Ta-pa kah’-g’o-ya (Throwing of the Sacred Ball), Wi-yan is’-na ti (Womanhood Ceremony) and the Na-g’i glu-ha (Keeping of the Spirit Ceremony), should be only handled by legitimate Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate (People).

• It was also decided only legitimate Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate Medicine Bundle Keepers should handle any other ceremonies that are connected to our Ho-co-ka, such as the Lo-wa-pi and U-wi-pi ceremonies.

• There should be no price tag allowed to participate in any of our Sacred Ceremonies. The only protocol needed for a ceremony is to o-pa-g’i, meaning to offer your C’anupa or offer tobacco that has been prayed with, in which the Medicine Person accepts or not accept if he is not able to assist. Medicine People do need to survive, and if people wish to give a monetary or any other gifts after they receive their help from ceremony, giving it from their hearts, I see no problem with that. We have to have faith that the Grandfathers will provide for our needs to survive in this modern society; whether the gift is money, blankets, food or anything that represents how much they appreciate the help. Some people can afford big gifts, some people cannot. It all balances out."


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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:23 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:30 am 
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First Nations people have their own ceremonies and rules, but they do not hold a lock on any connection to the Spirit World.

I look mostly white. My mother was adopted but we know she was born on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.
I live in New England and I am somehow connecting with the First People who lived in this area hundreds and thousands of years ago.

In the Western World, the First Nations people held out the longest before being dominated by Christianity. They held out the longest mostly just by the fact that they were physically isolated from the political BS of Christianity. In my opinion, that is the reason they seem to be the ones closest to the Spirit World today.


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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:44 am 
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That's a very pertinent point 'herenow'.

One more little point I would love to make is that having met a lot of the people who seem to be on some of the 'plastic shaman' lists of the various Native NA or 1st Nation 'fraud' websites, I can honestly say that the people writing these sites and shouting loudest against the 'frauds' NEED to MEET these people face to face and FEEL the depth of integrity that many of them have. They may have learned in the US but then many adapt those teachings to their home environment.

Oh, don't get me wrong, there are still a few fluffy ones who just don't seem to get it, get it all wrong, only see the surface stuff and really shouldn't be teaching or offering anything but that's always going to happen and even they can, inadvertently teach something of real value too. Even the person who as attended a few powwows and thinks that's all there is to it, comes home and sets up as a teacher, mimicking the actions and waving stuff around - even they can encourage others to go seek something more than the daily grind. In that they have done something wonderful.


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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:01 am 
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Spirits do not look upon culture or language or tribal relations when they choose their humans to be their shamans. The first shaman learnt from the spirits.

People having problems with the fact that there are also "white, non NA" shamans around, should swallow their own tongue and go out of my sight. Ignorance and racism always are brothers.

Yours

Apu Kuntur


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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:08 am 
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North wrote:
I guess in return, I want to ask what individual or what group is calling you all (whomever you define as "we") amateurs, plastics or ineffective? Are people from North American Indigenous culture in general, is it someone from a specific First Nation? Or are fellow white, North Americans or Indo-Europeans laying those charges on you?


There are dozens of web sites set up by 1st nation people (or so they claim) who list all the frauds out there. Some may well be, some have done the leg work, found themselves in different countries learning from elders there and bring back that wisdom but in a slightly changed way to suit their own culture.

http://newagefraud.org/

North wrote:
I sincerely doubt that a spirit or spirits calls to someone and says, let's do a very brief study of a Native American tradition and ceremony, copy some of it and make changes to the rest, and then let's advertise to those individuals who feel spiritually bankrupt enough to do a background check on the shaman and are willing to pay to be part of the ceremony? Anyone can say they were called by the spirits, but I highly doubt that the spirits would condone the way in which these shamans operate.


I agree to an extent and it is clear to see those who appropriate the NA (or any other) culture as a support to their own lack of knowledge and grasp of their own heritage but, as I have repeated many times over, the underlying WISDOM of many ceremonies and beliefs is what should be understood by anyone learning from a culture which is not naturally their own. Then that healing, because it is a healing, can be adapted to the natural culture of the person so that it makes sense to those coming to it. It isn't just the tribes of NA or the Siberians or the Innuit or the Yoruba or the Bushmen or the Ainu who have all the answers, nor does any one tribe or culture have RIGHTS to the universal wisdom behind all things. A Sacred Fire is the same on one continent as it is on another - Sacred! What we as humans do in our respective cultures may differ slightly but the underlying energy of Fire is the same and to lay claim to that would be ridiculous. It goes for virtually all other rituals and ceremonies - some are very culture specific but most are the boats which carry both the cultural identity and the profound universal wisdom together throughout the ages. What westerners coming to such teachings are needing to distinguish between is the cultural trappings, which should, as you rightly point out, stay with that culture and NOT be appropriated yet learn and experience the wisdom underneath which pervades all things. However, that is not to say that an example of, lets say, a peace pipe ceremony, done perfectly as it was told to him by his NA teacher, should not be demonstrated to others so that they may learn something new. It is only the adopting of that as a false way of life and as one's own heritage when it simply is not which is where the problem lies.

North wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean by the lasting image of the noble savage? In fact, looking at the response by the Lakota to protect their ceremonies seems quite organized.


The lasting image of the 'Noble Savage' is one that in white western minds presents itself as any 1st nation person with darker skin must, by default be somehow spiritually, eithically and morally superior simply by the fact that his culture was closer to nature once upon a time. Again, it is what you are talking about when someone appropriates knowledge as their own simply because somewhere, way back 4 generations ago, their ancestor was married to a (more likely took as a lover) a native woman. It means nothing and looking at those who live on the reservations now, they are just human like everyone else, no better, no worse, just human. This 'noble savage' bit has to go because it supposes that every Native American is somehow in posession of the secret wisdom of the universe. If that were true (and oh how I wish it were) then we would not see the devastating effects of alcohol and cigarettes, over eating, gambling etc that we do. Funny though that those same problems are just as prevalent in white western society!

These problems with outsiders 'taking' ceremonies which are not their natural culture will cure itself eventually as more people come to understand the difference between surface culture and deeper wisdom.

The Creator and the Spirits come to those who will at least try to change things, unfortunately we are ALL human and make mistakes. The tribal mentality of 'this is mine and not yours' existed LONG before the white men came to the Americas and a quick look back at the inter-tribal raiding, wars as the whole culture of 'war paint' and 'warriors' attests to. It still goes on between tribes now who argue over which colour is in which direction and what this or that means when it all means the same essentially - your culture. Not being able to see past that is just as much of a problem as someone taking a bit of it - it's the same thing, ignorance of the deeper wisdom.

The whole world, 1st Nation, White Western, Eastern, Southern, whatever - we ALL need to find a way to keep our heritage while at the same time recognising the need for the deeper, Universal wisdom to shine through. Harner tried it with the 'cultureless' core teachings, much of which has been heavily criticised but it was a start which at the very least, brought the possibility of wider understanding to the Global table.

If we listen (to our Spirits) instead of just doing stuff most of these problems would not arise.

Good conversation though - glad to be chatting with you North. I can't and haven't commented on the other writings from 2003 which you posted since that is a cultural viewpoint.

Charging - well, if you have free facilities to gather many people together to learn about and find ways to heal themselves that is excellent. In the west we have to hire halls and rooms which cost money so there is a charge. A charge merely for the information???? I agree, there is an issue there. A charge for healing - the Spirits often as for a fee, there is a price to be paid for everything, a balance to be kept. Wisdom, however, can be found sat alone around a fire - that sort of knowing is priceless.


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 Post subject: Re: Shamans must be from Indigenous cultures
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:24 am 
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Well the old way is dying on purpose. The culturally borrowed new stuff still is based on he old, so it is going, too. What is left is not culture-specific, it is somewhat new.


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