Register    Login    Forum    Search    FAQ

Board index » General Discussion » Shamanism




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Snake Blood
 Post Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:51 pm
Posts: 5
Namaste and Hello to all! My name is Mike, and I'm new to the board. I've been on the quest for knowledge quite some time now. All of my learnings have come out of studying and reading on my own. So I'm kind of a bastard in the sense that I haven't ever been "officially" trained or taught anything. Many curious things have happened to me throughout my young life (i'm only 23), and I would love feedback of all kinds to what I share.

Might as well just start with one of the most confusing totem encounters I've had....

I was walking barefoot along a river-side bike trail one hot summer's day. I stopped just in time...my next step was about to land right on top of a California rattlesnake. I backed up and thought She was dead, possibly run over by a speeding bike. I touched Her with my walking stick, and She moved slightly. (To sidenote real quick...I was at a point of alot of difficult things in my life and had been praying out to any god or spirit that would hear from me earlier that morning. I was walking that day trying to decide to run away and start a new life or not. So needless to say this rattlesnake was a sign...) I decided that this snake had crossed my path (literaly) for a reason. I pinned Her head down and picked Her up. We sat there on that bike path staring into the depths of each others souls. After a good amount of time. I cut off Her head and drank Her blood, giving thanks to the Great Spirit. I took the snake home and with the help of my friend (I grew up in the city :P ) cooked Her up.
Now, I feel that the snake became a bit apart of me. That experience meant alot of different things to me.

I still have alot of questions though, and I'm curious if anyone out there would be kind enough to answer...

What might drinking snake blood mean to indigenious cultures and to shamanic practice?

What specific totem traits are connected to rattlesnakes in particular?

Did I unknowingly open a spiritual "can of worms?"

Any info on totems and how to work with totems?




Love and Light
-=mike=-


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:45 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Dallas, Texas
Hi Mike. I'm Tommy from Texas. I've been to California on business a couple times in the San Fransisco area. I use california sage in many rituals.

I don't know of any blood-drinking traditions other than the christian eucharist, which is symbolic. I have no experience with wild rattlesnakes, and have probably walked by them numerous times without noticing, especially when I was young visitting my grandparents ranch in South Texas.

Captured ones, as seen in zoos, seem like peaceful spirits. Documentaries show their protective aspects. I wouldn't be surprised if such a spirit obtained as a spirit helper would offer defensive powers.

I've never tried holy ayahuasca, but have read many reports of those who have and a common experience is of snakes. In Harner's The Way Of The Shaman, he instructs those seeking power to bypass any reptillian spirits and seek wild mammals and birds. He doesn't explain why, or if he did I missed it.

I don't have any answers to your questions, really, but I believe you can find meanings through shamanic journey. Also I wouldn't let the traditions or testimonies of others invalidate a direct experience. Who of us is a better expert than the one who experiences directly?


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:42 am
Posts: 210
Location: Alexandria, Virginia USA
In the tradition I was taught, Snake represents the work of the South. In this teaching, the South direction is place of the beginning, where we come to address the "wounded one." Here, you learn how to shed your past the way Snake sheds its skin, so that you no longer relive old histories or patterns. You step out new and clear into the life you are meant to live.


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:51 pm
Posts: 5
Namaste! Thank you so much for your thoughts and wisdom! When this took place it was a very important time to shed old skin. It actually WAS a new beginning, as I was trying to start a new life without many hangups of my past that for the longest I could seem to shake off. Not long after that, I was married to the most beautiful person I've ever known.

It's kinda funny...in my years of informal study and random experiences, usually whatever I have taken out of a situation ends up having a similar meaning to some wisdom tradition somewhere. I would have to attribute it to Great Spirit and the mystery of this beautiful universe we live in.

Love and Light


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:42 am
Posts: 210
Location: Alexandria, Virginia USA
well, this is the Winter solstice, the perfect time to honor those things that are not only wonderful, but terrible in ourselves.

This is the time to honor and hold ceremony for the wake-up calls that we receive, regardless of how they come. For these beginnings are exactly what the Shaman is called to experience - to facilitate. Not all birthing is beautiful. But to see the beauty in the terrible is what the Shaman does and helps others to do as well.

This is what brings balance - right relationship - to our total existence.


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:45 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Dallas, Texas
Well said, Rachara El!


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:51 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Ohio
Yes the Winter Solstice, which interestingly enough everyone else I talk to simply thinks of it as the point of death, and only things the spring equinox as the moments of rebirth. Conversely I think of the Solstice as both the beginning and the end just as Rachara El says, its a time to honor both the wonderful and the terrible.

>>
<<

I just say all hell will break loose for me if the chains of my past self decide to undo that day...it would probably make drinking the snake blood seem so much more desirable to me...

But yeah, keeping on topic, I completely see into Rachara's interpretations as truest in my personal perspective.


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:54 pm
Posts: 237
Location: Australia
Greetings Mike
I am Liz.
I have a few questions for you Mike if you please.


Might as well just start with one of the most confusing totem encounters I've had....

At what point/s of your encounter did you find the most confussing?

I was walking barefoot along a river-side bike trail one hot summer's day. I stopped just in time...my next step was about to land right on top of a California rattlesnake. I backed up and thought She was dead, possibly run over by a speeding bike.

At what point did you discover it was a "she" and how did you discern that?

I touched Her with my walking stick, and She moved slightly. (To sidenote real quick...I was at a point of alot of difficult things in my life and had been praying out to any god or spirit that would hear from me earlier that morning. I was walking that day trying to decide to run away and start a new life or not. So needless to say this rattlesnake was a sign...)

Do you know the difference between "a sign" and "a test"?
Can you please tell me what you believe that difference is?


I decided that this snake had crossed my path (literaly) for a reason. I pinned Her head down and picked Her up. We sat there on that bike path staring into the depths of each others souls. After a good amount of time. I cut off Her head and drank Her blood, giving thanks to the Great Spirit. I took the snake home and with the help of my friend (I grew up in the city ) cooked Her up.
Now, I feel that the snake became a bit apart of me. That experience meant alot of different things to me.

I still have alot of questions though, and I'm curious if anyone out there would be kind enough to answer...

What might drinking snake blood mean to indigenious cultures and to shamanic practice?

Are you an indigenious person or a shaman?

What specific totem traits are connected to rattlesnakes in particular?

The snake is the sexual energy of the kundalini.

Did I unknowingly open a spiritual "can of worms?" No. You ate a snake's blood. What you do with those atoms you have ingested are between you and the snake.

Any info on totems and how to work with totems?
If you supply answers to above questions I may have further answers for you on the last question.




Love and Light
-=mike=-


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:51 pm
Posts: 5
Namaste! I hope everyone had a wonderful Solstice! I would totally agree with what's being said about the Winter Solstice. It's a death and rebirth all-in-one. This does coincide perfectly with the skin of a snake. I feel this is a very important point to note that many look past when speaking of the Solstice. Especially when regarding the most (in)famous Winter Solstice of our lifetime...2012. Far too many negative outlooks view the Winter Solstice of 2012 to be THE END. True, it is the end, but yet it is also a beginning, and (re)birth. I feel honored to be alive in this time...

"But to see the beauty in the terrible is what the Shaman does and helps others to do as well...
...This is what brings balance - right relationship - to our total existence..."

In response to this, I couldn't feel these words to be more true. I sense a fear in myself - whether it be towards actually seeing the terrible - or realizing it's apart of me - looking at the whole scope of reality...and beyond. That seems to be where I'm at currently in my shamanic voyages...facing the terrible and my fear of it, and it's place in my life...coming to terms with that.

....

Hello Liz, thank you so much for your response...
I don't come from an indigenous culture or background. I believe a shaman is someone who seeks knowledge and wisdom via spiritual means. One who attempts to connect with the Great Mystery and bring something back to this reality. By that definition, I do consider myself a shaman. I do not, however, consider myself to be wise. I aim to gain knowledge, perhaps I will be blessed with some wisdom along the way.
I have a very strong sense of what this story meant to me, and still means to me. It was very confusing at the time because I had simply never had such a direct encounter before. It seemed almost too real. Confusing also in trying to discern between if what was happening was a “sign” or a “test”. I feel that these two aspects are not mutually exclusive to the other. Similar to ying-yang, shiva-shakti, solar-lunar, etc. I feel that a “sign” cannot exist without at least some form of a “test”, and vice-versa. Even if the “test” aspect is a mere test of faith. Whether a “sign” comes in the form of a “test” before, during, or after an experience, it will be there. At any rate, this story was definitely both sign and test. A sign that my prayers do not go unheard, and a test to see if I was ready to overcome the hindrances of my past.
As far as knowing the snake to be a “She”, I wish to expand on your point. As you had mentioned, the snake is known as the sexual kundalini energy. In the Kundalini teachings, the snake rests at the base of the spine embodying Shakti, awaiting arousal so as to move towards union with Shiva. The snake is associated with Shakti, a female mother/creator Goddess. The snake in many Native traditions represents wisdom. Mother Goddess’s have always been the holder’s of Wisdom in many religions and spiritual paths of old (Gaia, Sophia, Tara, etc.). So my interpretation of the snake’s sex was based upon these ideals.
Thank you again for your questions. Seeking the answers brought to life the experience all over again.

Love and Light


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 9:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 8:07 pm
Posts: 5
Location: United States
My response to your experience is based on my background as a zoologist and teacher of Tai-chi and a type of chi-gung based on studying animals. When a wild animal and a person and look at each other there can be three responses. The most common is, "Oh, look. There is such and such an animal." And that is that. The other is fear and uncertainty about the animal's intentions. The animal, of course may have either of these two responses as well. The third, or what I think of as the shamanistic experience, is to allow the spirit of the animal into yourself and to allow your own spirit into the animal.
In this encounter, the lesson to learn is that the spirit of an animal (especially that of a snake!) can penetrate into recesses of yourself that even you are unaware of. There is also the fear that if your spirit is allowed to move into the snake, who knows what that little critter will do with it.
Once you become comfortable with what my training calls, "soaring" (the interpenetration of spirits), you can learn about those unknown recesses by feeling where the snake spirit goes inside of you. You can learn about the snake by where your own spirit is pulled inside of him.
Someone unfamiliar with the interactions of spirit may wish for a more substantial memory of the experience - a souvenir you may say. Drinking the blood may have been your physical, substantial metaphore for accepting the snake spirit. It was hardly necessary, of course. I cringed at reading that you killed the snake for its blood (unless it was already badly injured). You already exchanged "spirit blood". Accept the real value of that exchange and you won't need to duplicate it in the physical world. But if the spirits told you to drink its blood, who am I to complain?


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:16 pm
Posts: 260
Location: NW UK
kitaki2012 wrote:
. . .I believe a shaman is someone who seeks knowledge and wisdom via spiritual means. One who attempts to connect with the Great Mystery and bring something back to this reality. By that definition, I do consider myself a shaman.


Forgive me, I don't intend to sound blunt but what you write above is a mix of NA 1st nation terminology and Spiritualism. It may certainly be a tiny part of what constitutes shamanistic belief but is more a description of an individual searching for their spiritual path than a Shaman.

A Shaman is someone able, to travel, at will, (not merely to attempt) to and from 'other worlds' in safety, in order to bring back information which is healing or pertinent to the community which the Shaman serves. The Shaman is not only able to communicate with ancestors, deities, animal and elemental spirits but has a good working relationship with certain spirits and his/her power comes from them. The Shaman is defined by his/her community whom s/he serves and most importantly is able to effect real change (ie healing, weather etc) in this reality by changing things in other realities.

A Shaman in the traditional, 1st nation sense of the term, is certainly WAY more than an individual seeker of wisdom.

What you state above sounds very much like most people who are searching along shamanic paths which would be described as 'Shamanistic' but certainly it is not enough, from what I know, to read, learn, journey and then call oneself a Shaman!

Quote:
Someone unfamiliar with the interactions of spirit may wish for a more substantial memory of the experience - a souvenir you may say. Drinking the blood may have been your physical, substantial metaphore for accepting the snake spirit. It was hardly necessary, of course. I cringed at reading that you killed the snake for its blood (unless it was already badly injured). You already exchanged "spirit blood". Accept the real value of that exchange and you won't need to duplicate it in the physical world. But if the spirits told you to drink its blood, who am I to complain?


I also found myself cringing at the taking of a life and drinking the snake blood but there are many cultures who consider that consuming the flesh of their totem/deity is a means by which to draw closer and become one. The Ainu of Northern Japan with their Bear ceremony spring to mind.

Quote:
What might drinking snake blood mean to indigenious cultures and to shamanic practice?

What specific totem traits are connected to rattlesnakes in particular?

Did I unknowingly open a spiritual "can of worms?"

Any info on totems and how to work with totems?


Drinking the snake blood, cooking it up after and eating it, I think would mean a symbolic bonding but I think you'd have to do some research into that and find out what different cultures consider.

I can't give a 'book' description of what Rattlesnake means, its something which you have to feel. Look at where Rattlesnake lives, how it lives, what it does and what it teaches? What is Rattlesnakes lifespan, what does it eat and what does that relationship between Snake and prey teach us?

Spiritual cans of worms have to be opened every now and again so that we learn the really interesting stuff - if you fear opening the can, don't go into the kitchen! If you do open a can, be confident that you can deal with whatever mess you make or at the very least trust your help/guide/teacher from the other side!!!

Depends what you mean by totem? The word is abused quite a lot and its origins, I think, stem more from clan associations than personal ones. If you mean how do you work with your ancestral clan totem then if it were me, I would be a) looking back into my family tree to see if Rattlesnake is in there somewhere and b) journey to Rattlesnake to see if s/he is a totem in your family.

Every time you should be asking your spirit teacher what you need to know about this situation. If you have no spirit teacher then Rattlesnake may be a gatekeeper for you, opening you to the 'possibility' of following this path.

What do your dreams say?


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:35 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Finland
Well, to me that story sounded just terrible: to find a dying snake stepping on in it, then tossing with a stick and then thinking 'whooo this must be sign, therefore I am going to eat it'.

We have here old belief, that witches went at spring's first thunderstorm naked into wilds and prayed and shouted for power from major god. It may sound cool, but it also may seem stupid if you try it.

So, after all even that story sounds just plainly stupid never knows what the experience of it is....

So, what was your experience actually, what did you learn, how did you feel? If that snake was a sign or test, what for it was? None can say but you, because signs/tests are personal messages from spirit.

Spirit gives us signs to show, if we have made a right step. Those come very soon after the decision have been made. As human beings we make our decions by ourselves, spirit is not making or directing those for us, but good actions are sometimes gifted. So signs purpose is immediatly known.

Tests/challanges come to show what obstacles we have.
If it was a test, what was the teaching? Wha did you learn of yourself or the world? Test's purpose may be lightened after days, weeks or it may take years, but when it do so, it is clear.

Stepping almost on snake may be stopping experience itself, if the experince turned spiritual, you had a contact with your totem or other manifestation of god, you should know it clearly without doubt or confusion what it means.


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:42 am
Posts: 210
Location: Alexandria, Virginia USA
Jusma wrote:
We have here old belief, that witches went at spring's first thunderstorm naked into wilds and prayed and shouted for power from major god. It may sound cool, but it also may seem stupid if you try it.

this gave me a good laugh, Jusma. There are so many "initiations" we think we must go through - and what we learn is just how stupid we are.
:lol:


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:35 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Finland
Oh yes, and sometimes I really can suprise myself with it :oops:

When I reached for a book about old beliefs how cattle and grain were blessed at spring here at old times I became to think that most of it was a result of pervert imagination. Maybe just to tease easily fooled, superstitious ladyfolk to do stupid things and give a good laugh and eye candy for men.

For example seeds should be sown skirt over your shoulders.... and this is The Ancient Wisdom.

If you get somebody actually do so, I believe wisdom works very well, quality of life immediatly improves around.


Top 
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

Board index » General Discussion » Shamanism


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

phpBB SEO