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Shamanism

What is a Shaman?
As a student on the shamanic path, the intent of my journey became a driving question for me. I seek to teach what I know, and if it is truly shamanic, what does the quest drive toward? To help answer this question I searched the web for websites that answered "What is a Shaman?". Their cyber-answers are listed below along with their URL for your own further explorations on these excellent websites. My contribution to this storehouse of knowledge is the answer: The shaman lives in the unity of the world The shaman serves the unity of the world All quotes are used with loving appreciation and full credit is given to their sources. Please contact me if there is a desire from the page owner to remove their link and quotation from this page. Namaste! Sean Culture: Native American Source: http://www.cariboo.bc.ca/psd/nursing/Native_Healing/sld007.htm

A shaman is a medicine man who possesses a great deal of knowledge, possesses a wide range of healing abilities and acts as: the tribe physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, family counselor, spiritual advisor
Culture: Polynesia Source: http://huna.org/html/lwshaman.html

A shaman is a healer who changes world views in order to become more effective.
Culture: Anthropological Source: http://citd.scar.utoronto.ca/ANTAO1/A01Readings/5.html

A practitioner who can will his or her spirit to leave the body and journey to upper or lower worlds. A combination of priest, doctor, social worker, and mystic. Since he or she must often deal with illness, malevolence, and death, the shaman is often concerned with matters that are dark and dangerous. Shamans have extraordinary insight into the cosmic processes governing health, food supply, and fertility. After painful initiations, a shaman is entrusted with looking over the edge of the abyss without falling in, and returning with help for the people of this world.
Culture: Amazon Source: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/shaman/shaman3.html

"The shaman and his community share a set of beliefs that form a collective world view that dominates the psychological and physical experience of each person. One difference between their view and ours is that we separate the physical and the spiritual world. They do not. In their minds there is no barrier between dream and reality, and they move easily between one and the other."

Culture: Native American Source: http://www.elexion.com/lakota/textos/texto18b .htm#18

The shaman, female or male, is the community specialist in direct dealings with the Beyond underworld, upperworld, or inner world; a wielder of numinous power; a master of ecstasy (Mircea Eliade) who whether healing, warring, predicting, weather-making, cooking herbs, arranging hunts, making masks, accompanying dead souls, or locating lost ones, performs as master of the operations of the unconscious.
Culture: Native American? - Path of the Feather Source: http://www.pathofthefeather.com/

The shaman in tribal cultures is the person who sees into the sacred world and shares the visions with the people. The shaman brings their sacred visions out as art, music, dance, and storytelling. By this ritual art process, the shaman heals themselves, others, and the earth. By having visions of healing and doing sacred ritual the shaman makes the visions come true. This is ancient magic, ancient healing. The shaman manifests reality in the outer world, from the visionary world. That is the same way the world was created from God's vision. We are all her vision on earth, we are.
Culture: The Institute for Shamanic Synthesis Source: http://www.sedonashaman.com/

Webster defines "Shaman" as simply a religious man. The word Shaman comes from eastern Siberia (the Tungus Tribe) an area where shamanism was the most prominent and where its origins may be found. Translated, shaman means "to heat up; to burn; to work with heat and fire." The essential characteristics of Shamans are mastery of energy and fire as a medium of transformation. Tribal peoples believed that the Shaman was a healer and keeper of tribal history (handed down through the oral tradition) and a "Walker Between Winds." The latter term refers to the Shaman's ability to send his spirit to walk with the ancestors between the winds. To walk between the winds one has to look around the edge of reality to the paths between space. There is where the spirits of the ancestors walk the trails of time.
Culture: Modern Shaman Source: http://www.gwi.net/~phelan/spiritw1.html

Although "shaman" is a word typically ascribed to Native American and other native belief systems, I feel that anyone who has begun that great seeking deep within, to find their place in the great circle of life, is a "modern shaman". Being a shaman does not confer great powers or great respect. Rather, it is a responsibility to ourselves and our world to heal and to teach ourselves and others to live in peace with all things.

Culture: African (Mufasa from The Lion King) Source: http://www.lionking.org/~kovu/mqod/mqod-1998.html

"What is a shaman? He dreams like all men do But he remembers" (19/5)


Culture: Buryatia Source: http://www.siberianshamanism.com/faq.html

A shaman is a man or a woman that in a state of trance has the capacity to reach the supernatural world and bring the prayers, requests, needs of his people to the Spirits. The shaman is mainly an intermediary between our world and the spiritual world, the dimension of subtle energies. A shaman is a spiritual leader, a priest and a healer, but also a storyteller and a fortuneteller.
Culture: General Source: http://www.monterey.edu/students/im/lewisjessep/world/shaman/shaman.html

The description that comes to most people's minds before any other is that of a medicine man. Others may call the shaman a sorcerer, a seer, a witch, or any of the countless other terms used. Yes, the shaman can be all this. Cultures all over the world have their own version of the shaman. A shaman could look like this, though not necessarily. It all depends on with culture he or she is from. When I think of a visual image of a shaman, what comes to mind usually is someone like don Juan, a Yaqui indian shaman who is the focus of Carlos Castaneda's books. Castaneda has written a series of what he calls autobigraphical pieces of work. They tell tales of his encounters with don Juan and the world of sorcery, his term for shamanism. Castaneda's books have had a considerable postive impact on my life. A shaman strives to find harmony with the earth. Everything is connected and must be appreciated equally. He learns the medicinal uses for all things found in nature to heal when needed. That's his medicine man part. However, what most people tend to ignore, or don't even know about, is the countless shamanic practices that go with seeking to experience another reality. Michael Harner, author of "The Way of the Shaman", calls it non-ordinary reality. Castaneda calls it a "separate reality". Culture: General Source: http://www.zyworld.com/RavenWhispers/shamanism/shaman.htm Shamans are women and men who are spiritually alive, and who experience different levels of existence from everyday reality. Shamans learn to work with cosmic forces, and the forces of nature which are in us and around us. A true definition of a 'shaman' is elusive, for the shaman exists in her actions, and it is more helpful to think of shamanism as

something one does, rather than 'being' a shaman - it is much more a dynamic, function than a precisely defined role. Culture: Inca Source: http://www.netmonkey.com/1998/features/peru/stuff.html A shaman could be said to be one who talks with nature, with the spirits of everything - the earth mother herself, the trees, the animals, mountains, stars, clouds, storms. A shaman also heals, and is in service of the greater good. Shamans are those who walk two worlds: the one we all live in and see, the one available to the five senses, and the world that is at the core, under the surface of what we can all see. Culture: International Practice Source: http://www.info-hwy.com/dreamtime/shamans_1.htm Shamanic practices provide but one avenue to the direct spiritual experience we need so much. There is a progression to the purposeful use of shamanic technique. First, the shaman journeys in his spirit body to approach the experience of one-ness. Having established that experience, the shaman obtains information which is of benefit to the persons of his tribe, or to his world. The shamans next task is to bring that information back into the world, give it birth, and put it to use. Particularly, put it to use. Thats what I do. While in a spirit state, I ask for information helpful to a friend, deliver that information in such a way as to be sure its understood, and then follow up with whatever is necessary to restore balance to the friends system. Then, as much as possible I teach the friend how to maintain that balance. Its very satisfying work. Culture: Peruvian Source: http://home.istar.ca/~nightowl/shaman.html Shamanism is really about is a journey of the soul. A shaman is primarily a "person of knowledge" and a "man or woman of vision", they are sought for answers and guide their charges with this knowledge. Shamans are the storytellers of their communities. They use these stories to impart wisdom or healing to others. Shamans are teachers. A primary function is to gather knowledge and thereby power. In many books of modern shamanism, people who have undergone the shamanistic ritual teachings can be found as professors in

Universities around the world -- especially in the fields of philosphy, religion, psychology and anthropology. Culture: General Source: http://www.mwsc.edu/~mullins/250s98/shmnbk.htm A Shaman is a person who can enter an altered state of consciousness, induced usually by monotonous drumming. Shamans enter this state to make journeys to the Upper and Lower Worlds for a variety of purposes. Some of the purposes are: to help people die or help ease them into the afterlife once they have died, Shamans can also replace something that was missing from the body, such as the soul, or they can remove things that don't belong in the body such as illnesses. Culture: General Source: http://www.mwsc.edu/~mullins/250s98/shmnbk.htm There are two paths of Shamanism. The first is known as the Way of the Warrior. The Way of the Warrior is based on danger, harsh self-discipline, the destruction of enemies, the practice of survivalskills, and an ethic of conquer or be conquered. The Warrior way is done mostly by the American Indian shamans. The second is the Way of the Adventurer. The Adventurer is adventurous, a goal-oriented selfdisciplined shaman, who practices exploring skills, with an ethic of love and be loved. Both of these paths have healing as a social purpose. But along with the similarity their differences have social and personal effects. Culture: General Source: http://www.mwsc.edu/~mullins/250s98/shmnbk.htm Humbleness and humility are general characteristics of the true shaman. Culture: General Source: http://indigo.ie/~imago/3worlds/shaman2.html A Shaman lives within a community where he or she is in service to that community, and normally the title of Shaman (or whatever its cultural equivalent is) is bestowed upon the person, by the community. Culture: General

Source: http://indigo.ie/~imago/3worlds/shaman2.html Much shamanistic work emphasises the interconectedness of all beings - animals, humans, birds, plants, rocks, fish, etc. and therefore you will become drawn to aiding others around you. Shamanism is all about responsibility, both for yourself and for others. There are rich rewards to be gleaned from this path, and for every frightending experience, the shamanic practicioner will also encounter one full of wonder and insight. The struggle for those of us practising within a modern, often urban, environment, is to find and establish our own communities, to honour the elements and Spirit as best we can, and to re-connect with the Earth and all the creatures living upon it. If this is your goal, than Shamanism is the perfect instrument by which to attain it. As Loren Cruden says in Coyote's Council Fire :
Community is the teacher. It stands in the North on the medicine wheel, the realm of wisdom. It is the mirror, the feedback, the context of realization. To eat, to cut firewood, to own a car, to overturn a stone is to participate in community, consciously or not. We are rearranging the universe. There is no standing apart even in death. Interconnection is the condition of this universe. Nothing is exempt.

Culture: General Source: http://www.paganspath.com/faqs.htm (Siberia, UralAltaic, Irish/Scottish, Central Asia, Orient, Native American) A very highly respected profession wherein one serves his or her community as a spiritual leader. Providing guidance through psychic skills, healing abilities and communications with Divine spirit. Believed to be learned from a past incarnation and initiations, along with study and practice in the current embodiment. Shamanism is most often associated with Native American practices. But it has a long history in AngloEuropean countries as well. Although given different labels in each culture, the practices of a Shaman or Shamanka are magikal. As such, in most pagan traditions, a person can not claim the title of Shaman (spiritual leader) without an initiation of some sort. You might associate this initiation with an Ordination of a minister or priest. Culture: Native American Source: http://www.whitemtns.com/~tarna/shaman.html

A Shaman will Change consciousness to do work in "Other realities or spirit worlds," and does it with self discipline and under will. He doesn't just let his mind wander off any old time it will. He also doesn't use it as a convenient excuse to: Not do something - get attention or be the center thereof - get rich - gain power over others. He uses the following ways to achieve a change of consciousness in himself and others - Drums, rattles, music, chanting or movement usually dancing, along with herbal teas, powders, and incense (I repeat HERBAL! not illegal drugs). A shaman does not support illegal activities. He will takes journeys of the spirit, moving outside of time, sometimes called "mythic reality", "dreamtime" or "astral" and he maps these areas he explores. He will act as a conductor of souls, working hand in hand with the powers of the universe. Working with totems, elementals, guardian spirits, etc. Believes in the KISS Principle (Keep It Simple, Silly) unlike a priest, He will make offerings of self but does NOT offer sacrifices or do elaborate mysterious rituals--shamanism is NOT priestcraft. It is more personal. A Shaman is primarily interested in serving others, and is not seeking "enlightenment" as a religious or spiritual goal the way Buddhists and Hindus do, as his focus is on serving others. He knows if he focuses on himself he will lose his power, which he needs to help others. This doesn not mean he doesn't work on improving self, But it is more of the attitude of the more spiritually base/advanced the shaman is, the better he can help others. "Use the Force, Luke!" It is interesting to note that shamans from assorted parts of the globe came up with similar or even identical techniques and beliefs, independent of each other. Shamanism is at the roots of such diverse practices as witchcraft, voodoo, Tibetan Buddhism and others, but pure shamanism is NOT a priestcraft as are some of the practices originally derived from shamanism. Culture: General Source: http://users.wclynx.com/alexis/BKTWO-23.htm Shamanism is a view of the human condition which views all of life, and all of consciousness, as much more holistic than it

seems to those encapsulated in physicality, and it views communication and interaction between the quick and the dead, between non-physical and physical consciousness as a highly desirable reality. A Shaman~Shamanka is a person, representative of a class of people, who in and of themselves, consciously and willingly enters the perceived abyss between life and death, and between physicality and immateriality, and in so doing, completely destroys the duality based mis-conception of the abyss between the physical and spiritual levels of reality. Shamans are the dispellers of illusion. The definition of what I mean by this phrase is one of the most important facets of this essay. It is probably the most important definition in this work if the reader is to completely grasp the reality of the Shamanic state-of-being. A Shaman is a Shaman and performs their function as a gateway whether stark naked or in white tie and tails. To drive home the point that an educated and civilized person living in a major urban area can be a Shaman, and a very successful Shaman Culture: General Source: http://zetatalk.com/beinghum/b28.htm A shaman is a human who refuses to deny what his intuition is telling him, and thus communicates with entities he cannot see or hear or capture for exhibition, as in a cage. He communicates with the world of spirits, the dead, higher level entities that no longer need incarnate bodies, and as frequently as possible, he is having Out-Of-Body experiences. He may attempt to incarnate, briefly, into other humans, or animals of various types, but he seldom gets permission to do any of this. Imagination plays a great part in shamanism, but is bolstered by real experiences so the shaman's stories can be very compelling. All humans have the capacity to be shamans, but in the main lack the faith. They stop themselves. They feel insecure, not being grounded. They prefer to be a spectator. But the family of man, hearing the shaman weaving his spell, remember their tentative experiences along the same lines, and believe. A shaman's followers have gone to the edge with the

shaman, and when he describes what was beyond, they recall what they caught a glint of. Culture: General Source: http://www.personal.u-net.com/~midgard/odhinf.htm#rock A shaman is a religious or ritual specialist, man or woman, believed capable of communicating directly with divine powers, often while in altered states of consciousness. Shamans and shamanistic religion continue to be associated with Siberian and American Indian peoples, although closely related phenomena exist in other parts of Asia and in Oceania; the word shaman is derived from a Tungus word meaning "he who knows." The term medicine man is frequently used as a synonym for shaman with reference to American Indian cultures. Eskimo shamans are called angakok. Culture: General Source: http://capital.net/~flamerh/shaman.html A Shaman is a traveler. (DISCLAIMER: Since I am a female, I will use the feminine pronoun, but naturally a Shaman is not restricted by gender.) She travels (or Journeys) to the World of Spirit to gain wisdom and information, and to bring it back to the World of Form. This is the basic definition of a Shaman, but of course there is much more to it than that. A Shaman may travel to the Spirit Worlds for many reasons; all of them for the good. (A Shaman understands that it is very dangerous to ever harm another ,therefore always strives to keep their intentions pure.) Some of these reasons include healings (sometimes called "Soul Retrieval"); to gain information from the past, present and future (reading the Akashic Record); and most importantly, to meet with Spirit Guides (or Totems, or Teachers) to gain greater personal soul-wisdom. Culture: General Source: http://www.light-mission.org/light18.html A Shaman~Shamanka is the fully aware vehicle for communication and interaction between the quick and the dead, between physical consciousness and non-physical consciousness. Culture: General

Source: http://www.kenaz.com/notes/shamanmodern.htm The shaman is the priest or priestess of the shamanic path. A shaman is: The supporter of a belief system/value system that legitimizes the cultural social structure and structure of power. The shaman acts as initiate, mystic, custodian of tribal lore, suffering savior, medium, physician, and psychotherapist. A three-way intermediary between the tribe, the inhabitants of the spirit world, and nature. In these roles, the shaman maintains the balance in society and the world. In pursuit of balance, the shaman insures a conduit is maintained between waking consciousness and the mythic underworld, the world of spirit. This empowers the shaman to apply inner spiritual wisdom to the circumstances that arise in daily life. As the shaman takes the role of psychotherapist, they can see things others cant. In our culture, this is a symptom regarded as a psychotic episode. Yet, the shaman is not psychotic. The shaman is a fully functional member of his local social order, and is amongst the most intelligent and creative people of the community. Shamans must also be a healthy individual to have the ability to maintain a high degree of concentration and physical stamina. Culture: General Source: Personal The shaman lives in the unity of the world The shaman serves the unity of the world

An Introduction to Shamanism What is Shamanism?


Traditionally shamanism is a complex system of beliefs which includes the knowledge and belief in the names of the helping spirits in the shamanic pantheon, the mem ory of certain texts, the rules for and the objects, tools and paraphernalia used by shamans. Shamanism is ultimately a method, not a religion with a fixed set of dogmas. People arrive at their own experience, deriving conclusions about what is going on in the universe, a place that is "just the way things are". Shamanism is a belief system on the threshold between religious and everyday ideas.

What is a Shaman?
The shaman is the priest or priestess of the shamanic path. A shaman is:

The supporter of a belief system/value system that legitimizes the cultural social structure and structure of power. The shaman acts as initiate, mystic, custodian of tribal lore, suffering savior, medium, physician, and psychotherapist. A three-way intermediary between the tribe, the inhabitants of the spirit world, and nature.
In these roles, the shaman maintains the balance in society and the world . In pursuit of balance, the shaman insures a conduit is maintained between waking consciousness and the mythic underworld. This empowers the shaman to apply inner mythic wisdom to the circumstances that arise in daily life. As the shaman takes the role of psychotherapist, they can see things others cant. In our culture, this is a symptom regarded as a psychotic episode. Yet, the sh aman is not psychotic. He is a fully functional member of his local social order, and is amongst the most intelligent and creative people of the community. Shamans must also be a healthy individual to have the ability to maintain a high degree of concentration and physical stamina.

What is the Calling to Shamanism?


The shaman is the archetypal technician of the sacred, and his profession is precisely the relationship between mythic imagination and ordinary consciousness. Conventionally, there are two different ways to be called:

Hereditary ancestors were shamans. A "lesser" shaman that is designated by the social community. Spontaneous "vocation" (call or election) and such a shaman is believed to be called by the spirits. A "greater" shaman designated by a supernatural order of power.
The spontaneous vocation of the shaman may begin with the shaman becoming extremely nervous and withdrawn. The future shaman is called to cure themselves before they can cure others. In our modern world, the would-be shaman is called to cure themselves of the illusions and bonds that are given to us all. The curing may or may not be physical, but the sickness will be psychological, and energetic sickness can lead to physical sickness. Traditionally the initiation can be very harsh. The illness removes the past reveals the "data of human existence" while the ritual initiation (plunged into freezing water, slashed with quartz knives, left to fast alone) brings the shaman fact to face with death and beyond. The shaman must "attain to intimacy with the supernatural by visions of death". The old must die so the new can be reborn. The shaman must cure himself of initiatory sickness, and only afterwards can the shaman cure the other members of the community. There are some common themes to the spontaneous initiation of the shaman.

Vertical movement of spirit. Visions of vertical caves, rainbows, and birds are often featured. Acquisition of "helping spirits" or supernatural beings shaman gains power over the spirits that came to eat his flesh or challenged him. The violence of the encounter is attached to the power gained. While the gaining of the spirits does not require violence, there is always an element that transcends the normal. Attainment of vision: seeing in darkness (3 rd eye) or seeing into hidden things, future or secrets of other men.

There are common elements of shamanic training. As apprentices, shamans are taught by both master shamans and spirit allies. The training can include: nomenclature, history, technology (ritual, music, dance), secret knowledge (power plants and power places), and dream interpretation. In our society the master shaman has been replaced by media resources and perhaps several teachers. The last training, mystical mythology, is the doorway through w hich the shaman relates the other nature and the spirit world to his tribe or cultural group. With this lacking, the practitioner is merely a sage, mage, or sorcerer.

Altered Consciousness: Non -Ordinary Reality


The shaman communicates with the spirit world in a state of altered consciousness. This altered consciousness has been referred to as "non-ordinary" reality by Carlos Castaneda. While the shaman is in a state of non-ordinary reality, the realness is identical to that of ordinary reality. The methods of achieving an altered consciousness are varied, with the shaman using the method(s) that are culturally accepted. These methods include: 1) Intensive temperature conditions . The shaman can not only withstand temperatures, he can also produce heat for healing and maintenance of the body under harsh conditions. 2) Physical or sensory deprivation . The shaman undergoes fasting, no sleep, and darkness. The focus of all of these is to remove the outward contemplation, turn thought inward toward another reality. 3) The use of sacred plants . Culturally accepted mind/mood altering plants are used for sacred reasons, not recreational. Often, when there is a mental narrowness that impedes the achieving of non-ordinary reality, the sacred plants open the door and provide a entry. Future entry can then be achieved through other means. 4) Auditory aids to altered states . Drums, chanting, and music serve the purpose of bypassing the logical, language side of the self. It is known that the auditory aids activate all br ain centers, opening states of consciousness suppressed in ordinary conditions. 5) Spirit Allies . These represent a combination of logic and intuition as man reaches for symbols of a unified order of things. The spirit allies can be part of ourselves, and also part of that universe outside of our brain. There are some common characteristics of altered consciousness. The shaman voluntarily enters and controls the duration of the altered state. During the altered state, the shaman may communicate with others. And finally, the shaman remembers the experiences at the conclusion of the altered state.

Are You a Modern Shaman?


Below is a checklist summarizing the inherent traits in the Shamanic tradition:

1. Have you energetically removed yourself from the restraints of the past? 2. Have you energetically faced death and are at ease with the reality of a world beyond the physical? 3. Have you learned the symbolic language of the mystical? 4. Can you achieve altered states of consciousness?

5. Do you travel between the spirit world and the physical world? 6. Do you use your skills in service to your community?
Bibliography: "Shamanism", compiled by Shirley Nicholson The Shamans Doorway: Opening Imagination to Power and Myth" by Stephen Larsen

The Shaman Traditional and Modern


Sean Green

What is Shamanism?
Traditionally shamanism is a complex system of beliefs which includes the knowledge and belief in the names of the helping spirits in the shamanic pantheon, the memory of certain texts, the rules for and the objects, tools and paraphernalia used by shamans. These rules and tools are not shamanism. Shamanism is ultimately a method, not a religion with a fixed set of dogmas. People arrive at their own experience, deriving conclusions about what is going on in the univers e, a place that is "just the way things are". Shamanism is a belief system on the threshold between religious and everyday ideas.

What is a Shaman?
The shaman is the priest or priestess of the shamanic path. A shaman is:

The supporter of a belief system/value system that legitimizes the cultural social structure and structure of power. The shaman acts as initiate, mystic, custodian of tribal lore, suffering savior, medium, physician, and psychotherapist. A three-way intermediary between the tribe, the inhabitants of the spirit world, and nature.
In these roles, the shaman maintains the balance in society and the world . In pursuit of balance, the shaman insures a conduit is maintained between waking consciousness and the mythic underworld, the world of spirit. This empowers the shaman to apply inner spiritual wisdom to the circumstances that arise in daily life. As the shaman takes the role of psychotherapist, they can see things others cant. In our culture, this is a symptom regarded as a psychotic episode. Yet, the shaman is not psychotic. The shaman is a fully functional member of his local social order, and is amongst the most intelligent and creative people of the community. Shamans must also be a healthy individual to have the ability to maintain a high degree of concentration and physical stamina.

The World of the Shaman


Shamanism works on the basis of two assumptions: the universe is all alive (animism) and the universe responds to our wishes (egocentricity). These themes are present in all of us durin g the early childhood years and they are kept alive by the shaman. In the Western world, the world divorced from the shamanic path, this spirit is repressed and surfaces through fantasy, entertainment and dreams when the rational consciousness is taking time off. The shaman lives in a world in which all events and all things encompass sacred beings and events. In this world the consciousness changes tracks from the Western "reality based" model. It

is no longer interested in labeling, categorizing or manipulating the universe. In this mind, the shaman stands in speechless contentment to behold the cosmic mystery. "In these things I behold naught save divine power" Navajo Indian Song of Sacred Awareness: In beauty I walk With beauty before me I walk With beauty behind me I walk With beauty above me I walk With beauty above and about me I walk It is finished in beauty It is finished in beauty Ramakrishna: "Whatever I saw I worshipped". The shaman lives in a world of an altered state of consciousness. The othe r seeing of the shaman can be is shared by through ritualized play. An example: a festival of masks and lights draws in a person, and then alters the person so they can experience the primary meaning. When the ritual mask is used, we know a person is behind it, but choose to experience the apparition of the mystical being. The shamans world is always a festival of masks worn by mystical beings, because these mystical beings are real all the time to the shaman. In this wondrous realm assertions about the ultimate nature and outer reality are not made. Experiences are instead taken as a basis of a growing appreciation of man, nature, and spirit. When the mystical, magical, and supernatural are treated as normal, the shaman retains the ability to return to the world of "common sense and normal experiencing because it was never left.

Tapping the Mythic Identity: Is the Shaman an Oracle or Schizophrenic?


The function of religious experiences, meditation and inward questioning spring from an experience of mythic identity that that comes unasked. It may take its form from unconscious problems, fragments of systems and past history. Lacking a "symbolic musculature", the individual may become psychotic, as all parts of the unprepared psyche are "supercharged". When taping the primary level of mythic identity, the following states may be achieved based on acceptance by society:

Orthodox acceptance: appointed local seer, oracle or saint. Unorthodox popular acceptance: prophet, evangelist, radical reformer. Unorthodox unpopular acceptance: madman ignored and locked up.
The definition of mental disorder is made on the society level. An orthodox or popular unorthodox mythic identity carries a transpersonal message. The core of the mythic identity is valid for the individual and others. Some questions that may be asked to determine the "validity" of the mythic identity are:

What does the particular belief mean for this particular individual? How does it function in the context of the rest of his life? Is what appears to be a transpersonal message good for everyone, or maybe only meant for the individual?
When a mythic identity is personal instead of transpersonal, a state of personal mythic seizure occurs. A wonderful example is the story about Ram Dass (Richard Albert) vis iting his brother in a mental institution. The brother was a ward because of his belief that he was Jesus Christ. Ram Dass, dressed in full Hindu guru garb, was outwardly the odd-man. His brother looks at Ram Dass,

and in a moment of clarity, asks "and why am I the one that is locked up?" Consider that for the average person, their idea of God is coterminous with their private vision of perfection, and their conception of the Devil must always resemble their own personal fears and loathing. The more entangled with personal problems, the more subjective and purely private someones mythology must be. Paranoid schizophrenia is most difficult to cure of all schizoid disorders: the paranoid projects their psychomythology on the outside world, entirely losing the ability to differentiate projection from actuality. Hence, the intensely personal mythic identity is more likely the institutionalization rather than messiahship. When one or more person believes, there becomes a religion. When a religion is formed, ideas previously thought fanciful are embraced. Some examples are: . earthly paradise is here, but located under the earth . last judgement will fall stars and open tombs . teenagers are world messiahs

Possession
Possession is a potentially controversial topic when examining the psychology of the shaman. In many cultures possession, the assumption of mind and body by a mystical entity, is an tribally accepted part of the shamanic expression. Ego is suspended. The very important mark of shamanic possession is that the possessing entity is recognized as personification appearing in local shamanic belief system. In the non-mystical culture where such entities are not accepted, schizophrenia becomes possession, and the answer is exorcism. Possession is a religious experience that may entail tests to confirm the sincerity of the individual (strong drink, walking on or handling blades). Religious possession is cultivated and ritualized, and may often be bound in an orthodox mystical tradition. One is "mad" in the servi ce of the community, with their ritualized approval.

What is the Calling to Shamanism?


The shaman is the archetypal technician of the sacred, and their profession is mediator between the mystical and ordinary consciousness. Conventionally, there are two different ways to be called:

Hereditary ancestors were shamans. A "lesser" shaman that is designated by the social community. Spontaneous "vocation" (call or election) and such a shaman is believed to be called by the spirits. A "greater" shaman designated by a supernatural order of power.
The spontaneous vocation of the shaman may begin with the shaman becoming extremely nervous and withdrawn. The future shaman is called to cure themselves before they can cure others. In our modern world, the would-be shaman is called to cure themselves of the illusions and bonds that are given to us all. The curing may or may not be physical, but the sickness will be psychological, and energetic sickness can lead to physical sickness. Traditionally the initiation can be very harsh. The illness removes the past reveals the "data of human existence" while the ritual initiation (plunged into freezing water, slashed with quartz knives, left to fast alone) brings the shaman fact to face with death and beyond. Suffering is a feature of the shamanic initiation. Suffering has several uses. The first is that it presents the future shaman as somebody who is willing to walk the path more then they wish to live and that everything they own, even themselves, is sacrificed and dedicated to the path. Suffering is a doorway to awareness. For the shaman, the experience of suffering is a sign of being unaware and not open to Spirit. Suffering is useful because it points to falsehoods and clashes with reality. Suffering is a path to the shamans awareness. Suffering is a result of being disconnected from the unity of nature, and at the same time it is the guide to removing those things that keep the shaman from achieving the unity of physical and spirit that is their path.

Traditionally the shaman must "attain to intimacy with the supernatural by visions of death". The old must die so the new can be reborn. The shaman must cure himself of the initiatory suffering, and only afterwards can the shaman cure the other members of the community. Suffering is also a path for the modern shaman. Pleasant experiences make life delightful, but there is no change. This is not the shamanic path. Painful experiences lead to growth. This growth occurs through understanding. Understanding through awareness of pain will allow the modern shaman to break the attachment that causes the pain. Focused observation reaps the rewards of suffering. This breaking is not a separation, but instead it is the ceasing of the grasping of illusions the modern shaman must evoke and pursue. There are some common themes in shamanic initiation:

Vertical movement of spirit. Visions of vertical caves, rainbows, and birds are often featured. Acquisition of "helping spirits" or supernatural beings shaman gains power over the spirits that came to eat his flesh or challenged him. The violence of the encounter is attached to the power gained. While the gaining of the spirits does not require violence, there is always an element that transcends the normal. Attainment of vision: seeing in darkness (3rd eye) or seeing into hidden things, future or secrets of other men. Suffering due to physical pains (cold, heat, hunger) are lessened or removed as the shaman shifts their awareness into the spirit realm.
There are also common elements of shamanic training. As apprentices, shamans are taught by both master shamans and spirit allies. The training can include: nomenclature, history, technology (ritual, music, dance), secret knowledge (power plants and power places), and dream interpretation. In our society the master shaman has been replaced by media resources and perhaps several teachers. Our tribe does not readily present master shaman from whom the called may be instructed. The last training, the connection of self to the unity of all things, is th e doorway through which the shaman relates the other nature and the spirit world to his tribe or cultural group. With this lacking, the practitioner is merely a sage, mage, or sorcerer.

Shamanism and Dreaming


The Iroquois have a relation to dreaming that is shared across the shamanic spectrum. Some philosophies that are shared are:

The dream is recognized as the only available access or key to inner life, and this inner life is as real as waking consciousness. Dreams are recognized as possessing a meaning within the ordinary chaotic and incomprehensible surface one must go beyond the this appearance. The dream and inner life are symbolic of what "goes wrong" in man dreams are the key to therapy. Enactment of dreams is all-important as the therapeutic method.
In the application of dreams to therapy, there are three types of illness:

Problems caused by natural events Those caused by witchcraft/sorcery

Those that are psychic and caused by resentment of the inner self, whose basic needs are not being met.
Dreams are used as the oracle for ritualizing the primary mythic identity. Black Elks vision is a good example of the "big dream or vision". Black Elk was recognized for his calling after the dream of a ritual using horses came to him in a "dream". The shaman is the full-time specialist who ensures the doorway between the mythic imaginings and the daylight world is kept open.

Altered Consciousness: Non-Ordinary Reality


The shaman communicates with the spirit world in a state of altered consciousness. This al tered consciousness has been referred to as "non-ordinary" reality by Carlos Castaneda. While the shaman is in a state of non-ordinary reality, the realness is identical to that of ordinary reality. The methods of achieving an altered consciousness are varied, with the shaman using the method(s) that are culturally accepted. These methods include: 1) Intensive temperature conditions . The shaman can not only withstand temperatures, he can also produce heat for healing and maintenance of the body under harsh conditions. 2) Physical or sensory deprivation . The shaman undergoes fasting, no sleep, and darkness. The focus of all of these is to remove the outward contemplation, turn thought inward toward another reality. 3) The use of sacred plants . Culturally accepted mind/mood altering plants are used for sacred reasons, not recreational. Often, when there is a mental narrowness that impedes the achieving of non-ordinary reality, the sacred plants open the door and provide a entry. Future entry can then be achieved through other means. 4) Auditory aids to altered states . Drums, chanting, and music serve the purpose of bypassing the logical, language side of the self. It is known that the auditory aids activate all brain centers, opening states of consciousness suppressed in ordinary conditions. 5) Spirit Allies . These represent a combination of logic and intuition as man reaches for symbols of a unified order of things. The spirit allies can be part of ourselves, and also part of that universe outside of our brain. There are some common characteristics of altered consciousness. The shaman voluntarily enters and controls the duration of the altered state. During the altered state, the shaman may communicate with others. And finally, the shaman remembers the experi ences at the conclusion of the altered state.

Tools of the Shaman


I want to speak to the tools and rituals that are used by the shaman. Traditionally, and by practice, shamanism is a complex system of beliefs which includes the knowledge and belief in the names of the helping spirits in the shamanic pantheon, the memory of certain texts (sermons, shaman songs, legends and myths), the rules for activities (rituals, sacrifices, the techniques of ecstasy) and the objects, tools and paraphernalia used by shamans (drum, stick, bow, mirror, costumes, etc.). The expression of all of these elements are determined by the tribe/group that the shaman operates in. The student of shamanism will be exposed and taught according to the tribe/group they instructed through. There is a trap here. When the tools and rituals of the shaman are seen as dogma, that is, a fixed set of rules, the shamanic path becomes a dead -end. This trap is laid by the teacher. Custom, tradition, and ceremony are just tools for a spiritual path. Onc e the basics are learned, a person must walk their own path. The teacher who holds a properly prepared student to fixed ways is holding them to a dead thing. Anyone who has the tools and follows the path of others will only meet a dead end and pain. There is a trap that the student sets for themselves. In this modern world everyone wants things too fast without taking their time to learn the tools before setting out on his or her journey. There is

a danger for those who do not learn the tools of their group fully and try to walk a spiritual path. They will be thrashing aimlessly in the dark and will eventually hurt themselves and others. Tools have power, and there is responsibility in their power. Teaching will follow a set pattern not because it is dogma, but instead because of consideration to the maturity of spirit and knowledge of the student. The trap of the teacher and the student are shared by all mystical schools. However, the teaching and learning of shamanism is more endangered because of the uniqu ely individual path and experience of the practicing shaman. In summary, shamanism is ultimately a method, not a religion with a fixed set of dogmas. People arrive at their own experience, deriving conclusions about what is going on in the universe, a plac e that is "just the way things are". There is the following writing from an ancient Chinese parable: "Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek instead what they sought ."

Conclusion
This paper is presented as an introduction to the shaman ic spirit and path. As the Native American peoples would say: there are many medicines and all are valid. Everything and everyone is a teacher. The shamanic existence honors the wisdom in all things, and bows in reverence to the reality of man, nature and spirit while simultaneously embracing the same reality as a brother and equal. The modern spiritual path holds man in too high esteem, and can neither bow nor embrace the expansive existence that is all around it. Bow and embrace as you seek what the men o f old sought.

Are You a Modern Shaman?


Below is a checklist summarizing the inherent traits in the Shamanic tradition:

Have you energetically removed yourself from the restraints of the past? Have you energetically faced death and are at ease with the reality of a world beyond the physical? Has suffering provided a means to remove some attachments to the "real" relationships, mortgages, or generally what people think you should be doing? Have you properly learned the symbolic language of the mystical? Do you have your own tool and ceremonies that working tools on your spiritual path? Can you achieve altered states of consciousness? Do you travel between the spirit world and the physical world? Do you use your skills in service to your community?

Bibliography:
"Shamanism", compiled by Shirley Nicholson The Shamans Doorway: Opening Imagination to Power and Myth" by Stephen Larsen "The Vision" by Tom Brown Jr.

Mythology: Doorway of the Shaman

-= 02/06/99 Hazelthorne Discussion =-

An examination of the role of the shaman begins with an understanding of the myth. Myth is the shamans power base as it sustains the drive and power of the shamans service to himself and others. Literal Functions of Myth

Euhemerism: myth is successfully distorted of the real. Natural: explanation is earnest attempt to explain the mysterious. Wish Fulfillment: myth is not as the world is, but as we wish it to be. Social Emanation: structure is echo of the community social structure
These theories are all alike in that they attempt to provide a complete explanation of myths function. While they apply to a portion of the whole, it is difficult to accept only one of them as the sole function of myth. In their attempt to define all, they fulfill the role of the scientist. As we shall see later, this is a role that the shaman does not embrace. Joseph Campbell suggests a model that is much for flexible, allowing for multiple functions of myth:

Mystical function: waken and maintain sense of awe and gratitude. Living mythology: offers image in accordance with the knowledge of the times. Validate, support and imprint norms of a given specific moral order. Guide the individual stage-by-stage in health, strength and harmony of spirit.
The 2nd and 3rd functions are associated with orientation, while the 1st and 4th are associated with psychological guidance. Mythology, as its most basic level, works on two assumptions: the universe is all alive (animism) and the universe responds to our wishes (egocentricity). These themes are present in all of us during the early childhood years. The mythic identity is very strong at that time, but it is gradually replaced with rational processes. In the "primitive" or ritually oriented society, the mythic type of consciousness is engaged and brought into the social group. Mythic meaning and social meaning are brought together, as the community becomes "mythological instructed". In demythologized society, myth is repressed and surfaces through fantasy and dreams when the consciousness is taking time off. When the intelligent quota drops, we become more mythic creatures. Modes of the Mythic Experience:

Primary Meaning: pre-analysis encompasses sacred beings and events Secondary Meaning: verbal definitions and logic applied to experience reality based things and events.
Mythic imagination prefers presentations in form that touches inner primary meaning, and does not accurately reflect and describe reality. In the presence of primary meaning, consciousness changes tracks. It is no longer interested in labeling, categorizing or manipulating the universe. Instead it stands in speechless contentment to behold the cosmic mystery. In this role, the meaning of myth is to be experienced. This is representative of Campbells first function of myth. "In these things I behold naught save divine power" Navajo Indian Song of Sacred Awareness: In beauty I walk With beauty before me I walk With beauty behind me I walk

With beauty above me I walk With beauty above and about me I walk It is finished in beauty It is finished in beauty Ramakrishna: "Whatever I saw I worshipped". Myth is understood when one enters an "altered state of consciousness". Myth may be the trigger or catapult to the experience. An example: a festival of masks and lights draws in a person, and then alters the person so they can experience the primary meaning. When the ritual mask is used, we know a person is behind it, but choose to experience the apparition of the mythical being. Five Stages of Mythical Engagement:

Mythic Identity (Possession). The mythic imagination is activated with little or no relationship to actual properties of "outer reality". In practice, Saints dont eat, the non-reality based schizophrenic is hit by the unseen car, and the oracle is possessed. Mythic Orthodoxy (Religion). The mythic imagination and "outer reality" are held in fixed relationship. Revelation hardens to dogma. Objective Phase (Science): Man imagines mythic imagination can be removed from outer reality. Suspended Engagement (Meditation). The "meaning" aspect of the mythic imagination is deactivated in an attempt to achieve "contentless experience". No mythic hypothesis is accepted. Mythic Engagement (dialogue, transformation and renewal). The creative capacity of mythic imagination is activated and engaged. Its guiding function is utilized for self discovery and creative transformations of the personality. Assertions about the ultimate nature and outer reality are not made, rather learnt truths are recognized as psychological. The ability to return to the world of "common sense and normal experiencing is retained.
Tapping the Mythic Identity: Oracles or Schizophrenics? The function of religious experiences, meditation and inward questioning spring from an experience of mythic identity that that comes unasked. It may take its form from unconscious problems, fragments of systems and past history. Lacking a "symbolic musculature", the individual may become psychotic, as all parts of the unprepared psyche are "supercharged". When taping the primary level of mythic identity, the following states may be achieved based on acceptance by society:

Orthodox acceptance: appointed local seer, oracle or saint. Unorthodox popular acceptance: prophet, evangelist, radical reformer. Unorthodox unpopular acceptance: madman ignored and locked up.
The definition of mental disorder is made on the society level. An orthodox or popular unorthodox mythic identity carries a transpersonal message. The core of the mythic identity is valid for the individual and others. Some questions that may be asked to determine the "validity" of the mythic identity are:

What does the particular belief mean for this particular individual?

How does it function in the context of the rest of his life? Is what appears to be a transpersonal message good for everyone, or maybe only meant for the individual?
When a mythic identity is personal instead of transpersonal, a state of personal mythic seizure occurs. A wonderful example is the story about Ram Dass (Richard Albert) visiting his brother in a mental institution. The brother was a ward because of his belief that he was Jesus Christ. Ram Dass, dressed in full Hindu guru garb, was outwardly the odd-man. His brother looks at Ram Dass, and in a moment of clarity, asks "and why am I the one that is locked up?" Consider that for the average person, their idea of God is coterminous with their private vision of perfection, and their conception of the Devil must always resemble their own personal fears and loathing. The more entangled with personal problems, the more subjective and purely private someones mythology must be. Paranoid schizophrenia is most difficult to cure of all schizoid disorders: the paranoid projects their psychomythology on the outside world, entirely losing the ability to differentiate projection from actuality. Hence, the intensely personal mythic identity is more likely the institutionalization rather than messiahship. When one or more person believes, there becomes a religion. When a religion is formed, ideas previously thought fanciful are embraced. Some examples are: . earthly paradise is here, but located under the earth . last judgement will fall stars and open tombs . teenagers are world messiahs Possession Possession is one of the purest forms of mythic identity. Ego is suspended. Entity is recognized as personification appearing in local mythology. In the non-mythic culture, schizophrenia becomes possession, and the answer is exorcism. Possession is a religious experience that may entail tests to confirm the sincerity of the individual (strong drink, walking on or handling blades). Religious possession is cultivated and ritualized, and may often be bound in an orthodox mythical tradition. One is "mad" in the service of the community, with their ritualized approval. The Shamans Vocation: The shaman is the archetypal technician of the sacred, and his profession is precisely the relationship between mythic imagination and ordinary consciousness. Conventionally, there are two different ways to be called:

Hereditary ancestors were shamans. A "lesser" shaman that is designated by the social community. Spontaneous "vocation" (call or election) and such a shaman is believed to be called by the spirits. A "greater" shaman designated by a supernatural order of power.
The spontaneous vocation of the shaman may begin with the shaman becoming extremely nervous and withdrawn. Is this a cuddling of the psychological ill? The difference lies in that both the sick man and the shaman are projected into a vital plane. This shows them the fundamental data of human experience, that is, solitude danger and the hostility of the surrounding world. The shaman is not only a sick man at this point, they are above all a sick person who has been cured, who has succeeded in curing themselves. The initiation can be very harsh. The illness removes the past reveals the "data of human existence" while the ritual initiation (plunged into freezing water, slashed with quartz knives, left to fast alone) brings the shaman fact to face with death and beyond. The shaman must "attain to intimacy with the supernatural by visions of death". The old must die so the new can be reborn. Another interesting element is that death is a sacrifice the blood sacrifice by the shaman unites him with the sacred order of being, beyond dimension of this or that person in their particular body. The world religions of Tibetan Tantrism, Buddhism, and Christianity all share an element of blood sacrifice. There are some common themes to the spontaneous initiation of the shaman.

Vertical movement of spirit. Visions of vertical caves, rainbows, and birds are often featured. Acquisition of "helping spirits" or supernatural beings shaman gains power over the spirits that came to eat his flesh or challenged him. The violence of the encounter is attached to the power gained. While the gaining of the spirits does not require violence, there is always an element that transcends the normal. Attainment of vision: seeing in darkness (3 rd eye) or seeing into hidden things, future or secrets of other men.
The shaman plunges into the realm of the primary mythic identity through the realm of archetypes. The structure of the primary experience is mediated by the local mythic symbols that functions a kind of mythological vocabulary. Through the vocabulary the individual may better understand and relate their own experiences, and may also transmit their import to others. In this capacity, the shaman is the "technician of the sacred". A shaman can see things others cant. In our culture, this is a symptom regarded as a psychotic episode. Yet, the shaman is not psychotic. He is a fully functional member of his local social order, and is amongst the most intelligent and creative people of the community. The issue with our society is that there is little symbolic vocabulary, no grounded mythological tradition to make our own experiences comprehensible to us. No senior shamans are there to ensure that our dismemberment is followed by a rebirth. Shamanism and Dreaming The Iroquois have a relation to dreaming that is shared across the shamanic spectrum. Some philosophies that are shared are:

The dream is recognized as the only available access or key to inner life, and this inner life is as real as waking consciousness. Dreams are recognized as possessing a meaning within the ordinary chaotic and incomprehensible surface one must go beyond the this appearance. The dream and inner life are symbolic of what "goes wrong" in man dreams are the key to therapy. Enactment of dreams is all-important as the therapeutic method.
In the application of dreams to therapy, there are three types of illness:

Problems caused by natural events Those caused by witchcraft/sorcery Those that are psychic and caused by resentment of the inner self, whose basic needs are not being met.
Dreams are used as the oracle for ritualizing the primary mythic identity. Black Elks vision is a good example of the "big dream or vision". Black Elk was recognized for his calling after the dream of a ritual using horses came to him in a "dream". The shaman is the full-time specialist who ensures the doorway between the mythic imaginings and the daylight world is kept open.

The Priest, Scientist and Yogis


The Priest Belief and Orthodology (Stage 2) Mythic identity is ecstatic but unstable. The ecstatic vision asks us for enactment in the objective world, and the mythic identity leads most often, even when we dont want it to, to orthodoxy.

A monotheistic and heavily orthodox belief system exerts a powerful stability and organizing effect on the psyche. This same stability holds myth as being literally true or not true at all. There is no room to turn ecstatic experience inward it is instead projected outward. When the established orthodox is in decline, a substitute is sought to save us from madness. If the substitute is also approached in the literal ways of the past, the results may be dire. An example of this is the person on the drug high believing they can fly, and falling to their deaths. The polytheistic orthodox allow the psyche a polymorphous perversity. Sharp distinctions between good and evil are harder to find. The Scientist Phase Three Science is any theory or belief which proposes to interpret or explain the totality of things. When there is no religious orientation (phase 2), the religious archetype is still active but remains primitive, and is thus attached to any life activity or belief that assumes a central role for the individual. A religious intensity is given to the non-religious function. Some people keep a convenient split between science and religion while others experience alienation, depression and the existential emptiness. Science orthodoxy makes the mythic orthodoxy impossible and creates what we what we call "myth". Science provides a baseline, outside all other beliefs are regulated to the fictional "myth" definition. Science and myth need not be antagonists. Events in this world are metaphors for an ultimately more real, sacred order of being, ciphers of a psychological language. Yogi Suspended Engagement (Stage 4) Yoga is the prototype philosophy of disengagement. Its basic assumption is that when man has truly recognized that being, as he experiences it, is a mirage. Then his only recourse is to seek liberation from the state of mind that remains fascinated under the spell of illusion. It is the intentional stopping of the involuntary movements of mind substance. The way of the shaman captures something vial for our own tradition that the yogi has missed or forgotten. It is the technique of relating to, rather than vanquishing, the living substance of ones psyche.

Myths of Relationship and Integration


The great shamans see beyond the myths that are heaps of broken images or our own limited spiritual sight that seems unable to penetrate beyond the personal level. The collective myth is fragmented, dismembered, and the responsibility of finding a meaningful place within the universe falls back onto the individual. When past shamans were dismembered by their encounter with primary mythic identity, as we are now, the looked forward to the process of recreation. Our task is daunting given the far flung mythic images devoid of an official structure to lend cohesion. Some themes that may be used for recreation:

Whole Earth Whole Body Dialogue: The Two Serpents of Aquarius The Sorcerers Apprentice
Whole Earth Whole Body The best myths speak to your inner and outer levels. In this theme, the larger (world) and the smaller (us) must be healthy and integrated for the whole to be healthy. The ills we feel are from a part of the system possessing a "little vision" and overstepping its part of the relationship, making moves in a unilateral manner. The result is war, ecological crisis, cancer or psychosis. The "little vision" is a product of outer myth, a myth that gives it power and justification. Where did the outer myth originate? One location is the biblical expulsion form the garden of Eden a result of patriarchal legal principles. The other myth is much older. The Babylonian myth features a masculine god, Marduk. Marduk slays Tiamat, the Mother Goddess, when he sides with the new gods. From the corpse of Tiamat, Marduk creates and orders the world. This was a departure from past myths (matriarchal) as the mail god does not give birth or create, except as a consort to the goddess. Secondly, it is the male god who was previously slain as the hero. Through his sacrifice, he is absorbed by the mother and reborn. The ecology movement now sees the horror that results from slaying the mother. As we are connected to the earth, her dismemberment is ours as well. Our aggression must be turned inward, to ourselves, body and psyche. Our body is the only thing we have complete claim to. During this fight we regain the sense of

connectiveness with out physical selves, and it is projected to a connection to the outside. We regain the stewardship over ourselves and the world an awesome responsibility of caring for planet that has been placed in our hands. Dialogue: The Two Snakes of Aquarius Dialogue is impossible during unilateral action or authoritarian action. This courts disaster as we forsake dialogue on every level of human relationship: man/nature, man/other men, man/himself, man/woman, and parent/child. The Aquarian age, during which mythologies emerged, is typified by two lines undulating in parallel with each other. The Piscean Age, whose two millennia of conflict has been obvious enough, has two forces that are parallel but turned away from each other. The lines are dialogues: spirit/matter, conscious/unconscious, man/women, innocence/experience. During the first two stages (identity and orthodology), primary imagination has been dominant. Proclamations of shamans, possessed oracles, and edicts of popes had been taken in importance over the reasoning of man. Consciousness, reason and self-determination is disadvantaged. In the other two modes (science and suspended engagement) the principles of consciousness is declared against the unconscious. This is achieved by discipline and resistance to myth. Science is the result of outward vision, yogi the result of inward vision. The directions are opposite, but there is a similarity in method: both make desperate attempt to argue the naturalness of life. In the extreme, both lead to its own kind of fanaticism and sterility. As we embrace these, what can be done? The answer is a method of transcendent function. Transcendent function involves both the turning inward of attention (yogi) and the treating the inward as "other" (science). The relationship is a dialogue with the inner "other". A combination of introvert and extrovert is formed. What is the thing that dialogues? The thing is something born out of the relationship. This is the new technology of the sacred: the fifth stage of mythic engagement. Psychology is one avenue: "that branch of knowledge that deals with the human soul, that knowledge of the mind which we derive from a careful examination of the facts of consciousness; the nature of the mind. The result: the explorers of the psyche now take up everything from Zen macrobiotics to astral travel all disciplines with a psychological and mystical gist. There is no longer a narrow concentration as we flirt with yoga, astrology, tarot, macrobiotics and palmistry. Through this journey the psyche has been developing a mystic vocabulary for inner dialogue. A lower and upper dialogue is formed. The lower is vain, shallow and controlling, and largely exists because of a lack of dialogue. In essence, it is the definition of evil. The upper is open and responsive to wishes, a conduit of knowledge. To transcend the lower, a dialogue and struggle to penetrate the mysteries ensues. When successful, we achieve the dialogue of the upper and our view of who and what we are is profoundly changed. The Sorcerers Apprentice The technician of the sacred relies upon the myth to change he does not manipulate reality directly. The secular technician manipulates reality directly, and tries to exclude commerce with myth. The scientist is a magician of a powerful order. The scientist fast becomes the madman, as he has lost contact with his nature, his own and those around him. He is the magician of the daytime world. The sorcerers apprentice is on a quest to learn again the mechanics of the mythic imagination, to acquire the technology of the sacred. Witchcraft is an example is again flourishing. The tendency is to learn from a teacher versed in the vocabulary and dynamics of a particular mythic system. Book Resources: "The Shaman's Doorway" - Stephen Larsen

The Inca Medicine Wheel


Sean Green

7. The Shaman 8. Consciousness 9. The Medicine Wheel 10. South

11. West 12. North 13. East

1.0 The Shaman Who is the shaman? In the simplest definition, a shaman is one that is connected with Nature, both the physical and the spiritual. The Western world has separated itself from nature, set itself apart from the plants and animals, only evaluating the experience of Natures influence instead of living it. The shaman may operate in a realm that is to a dream what a dream is to waking consciousness. The shaman can become a power animal, acquire another form, and move through Nature with impunity. Power animals are important to the shaman. Power animals are energies of Nature, elemental spirits we personify as animals. We connect with them as we merge with a force of Nature. It becomes a manifestation of an archetypal energy in time and space. Primitive consciousness personifies them as animals, and they assume that form when we connect with them. Power animals are simple forms of energy, but are powerful beings. Just as the spirit guides connect us with the spirit world, we connect the power animals with our world. And they connect with us with nature. They are connected to our chakras. They may be hidden, or there may be more than one per a chakra. There are two kinds of people in this world: those who are dreamers and th ose who are being dreamed. The shaman is the dreamer, and the master and guardian of themselves. The shamans task is to strengthen their life force, expanding the envelope of energy that surrounds the human body and vitalize it. This is done by accumulating personal power. There are acts of power, acts of confrontation with spirit, with Nature, with the unconscious mind, with life. The knowledge that we are spiritual matter is fundamental to the shamanic experience. If one learns during their lifetime to separate themselves from the physical body, to experience

themselves as "beings of light", to learn the spirit flight, one may die consciously, die to the flesh, and born into the spirit, a spirit that has already been met and claimed. If one does not die consciously, ones energy body returns to the "Great Pool of Consciousness". 2.0 Consciousness The world of the shaman happens in the spaces between things. The shaman plays games with consciousness, awareness games. Consciousness is a determining factor of reality. The outcome of an event is influenced by the observation of the event. A curious meditative state created by watching oneself watch oneself. One strives to achieve a duality of self that is engaged in the act and the self who is aware of the first selfs reality and can describe it as it happens. It is almost a way of stopping thoughts, stopping time. The shaman knows that there is a sea of consciousness that is universal even though we perceive it from our own shores. All can stand at the shores and have an awareness and a world we can share, but seldom seen by any. The shaman is a master of this world. He lives with one foot in this world, the shore, and the other in the water, the world of the spirit. If consciousness is energy, and our energy comes from the same source (that which casts no shadow), if we all come from the same biological ground, is it any wonder that there is a level of consciousness that is common to all things? An individual can learn the skill of accessing these unconscious realms, enter and engage reality on a fundamental level. We must disengage the spirit body from the biological and heal it. What is the energy, the consciousness, the Divine? Mankind has proposed the following messages: The Christian bible, The Buddhist creed, The Cabala, The Upanishads. These relating consciousness is the principle of myth and religion. They are only intermediaries, and stand between us the experience of the divine. Things can be known but not told. All notions of God are blasphemies. To perceive the unconscious, it is a matter of shifting ones perspective and looking at something from an unaccustomed dimension. We must find our own ritual, we must find our own ceremony, our own access to the realms of consciousness that exists within and without. A shaman has their own mesa, a collection of power objects though which one engages the forces of Nature. It is the center of ritual. A mesa can be simple or complex. They represent tools that cleanse and bring balance to our body and the energy field that surrounds it. Only when the body, mind and spirit are in balance can the shaman make a real act of power. There are three experiences of the sixth sense: To see light energies, perceive anothers condition, sometimes their past or their future possibilities, know thing automatically without learning them. To perceive from a point of view that is practically omniscient in its simultaneous use of the five senses. To perceive an abstract condition humanitys impact on the environment. 3.0 The Medicine Wheel The journey of the Four Winds, the path of the Medicine Wheel, is a journey into Eros, the feminine, the intuitive mind, the place of myth and dreams. Most of the human species is living under the dictatorship of logos, the patriarchal, rat ional mind of the last half of the second millennium. There is no specific formula for transformation within the shamanic tradition. There is a concept of the Medicine Wheel, but the lessons learned and the skills acquired along the way are not dependent upon specific places of power. Shamanism is not a religion; it is not a regimented system of devotion. It is an attitude, a personal discipline, a state of mind. One can never finish the wheel. The medicine wheel is a circle, a great spiral. Many who travel along the Medicine Wheel become seduced by its power. Few complete the circle, commune with the ancient ancestors and their knowledge of the North and overcome their power in the East to become persons of knowledge, children of the Sun. The person of powe r casts no shadow, as does the Sun.

4.0 South: The past is normally assembled in bits and pieces, avoiding those things that cause us pain, seeking to recreate the things that bring us pleasure. Remembering reframes the past and justifies our present. It is conscious, and subject to embellishment. In reality, individuals are at the mercy of the past. The traumas of the past still prey on our fear of the present. The joyous events feed the desires of the present, limiting our future as we seek to recreate th e substance of the desires. This holds true for the family, tribe, nation , culture, and the species. There comes a time when one must encounter the past. For those who are dreamed, this occurs at the moment of their death. For the dreamer, the person of p ower, this moment takes place alone, before a fire, when he calls upon the specters of his personal past to stand before him like witnesses before the court. The person is a bundle of loose ends. The past keeps us bound to an image of ourselves. We must place ourselves in the fire that will consume the past, but it will not burn us. Instead our personal history will be erased. The individual must gain control over their destiny, separating themselves from the larger groups of people. The person of power confronts the past. He hears testimony from the specters. They are dismissed, and he is acquitted. The person of power has no past, no history that can claim him. They cast their shadow aside. The past is shed like a snake sheds its skin. Knowledge can only be had when one can exercise power over destiny, and our destiny is a daily victim of our past. Spirit cannot grow when the dead flesh of the past clings to it. We must bring no history to our study of shamanism. The Vision: Past is seen (serpent). We shed our personal self, shed the self that is an outcast from the Garden and condemned to travel naked, hungry, and unloved by Nature. When we free the spirits of the past, they find peace and no longer feed on our present. We gain an energy body. The Experience: I shed my past like a snakes skin. I enter a state of consciousness a ream of awareness within which the most significant events and people in my past are manifest before me. They are then dismissed, and I am free from their grasp. 5.0 West: Fear is a volatile emotion. Nothing robs the mind of its power as fear. One does not face death by creating experiences that bring you near to death. Death is the greatest act of power to the shaman. Unordinary reality, the spirit flight, is a journey beyond death . To learn how to die is to learn how to live. If one is claimed by life, one can never be claimed by death. The person of power spends a whole life learning how to die. The shaman is a spiritual warrior with no enemies in this or the next, free from desir e and fear. Desire is formed by our experiences of the past, and the fear of death haunts our future. The Shaman is twice-born, once of women and once of earth. The way of the West, where the warrior faces the jaguar, the spiritual warrior frees himself to live his present fully. When death comes upon him, it will know him and he will know the way. The West is where the body and the spirit part. By dying consciously, the shaman may leave this world alive. By dying consciously we maintain individuality after death. The body is a vessel of spirit, of energy, of consciousness. When one dies consciously, one leaves behind the vessel and identifies with what the vessel contains: the divine/God/life force/energy. This is the difference between tonal and nagual. Th e spirit is an orb, a luminous ball of light. At the time of the passing of our vessel, we make the final journey to the West. We make this journey alone. The Vision: Strength to face death (jaguar). One goes to meet ones death and step beyond fear. By fa cing death and learning the spirit flight, we identify with the transcendent, immortal Self, we free ourselves from the grip of fear and claim our lives to the fullest, for we can no longer be claimed by death. We face the unknown, that we fear the most. Fear. We gain the Nature body, an etheric one. The body of the jaguar.

The Experience: I confront fear. Fear lives in the future and our greatest fear is death. We fear what we do not know, and by experiencing death we learn to maintain awareness and identity after death. If I am able experience myself as a being of conscious energy as a Children of the Sun then Death becomes a doorway only. It loses its menace. It is a phase in an infinite lifetime. 6.0 North: North is a place of ancient masters, grandm others, grandfathers. It is the place of the nagual. When named, the nagual is thought of as: Infinity The ayin, the divine nothingness of the cabala Looking into the eyes of the Lady behind the veil and see the birth and death and destiny of the universe. Blackness of infinite hollowness It is none of these, and may be experienced as these. The way to the North is in the belly and the heart. It is not in the mind. To imagine it in the mind is to contaminate the North. When we rationalize the things ephemeral, when we intellectually frame the metaphysical, the thinking brains version of the divine is just another mask of God. To speak the name of God is to name the unnamable, to carry a concept of the Divine within our heads is to carry a shield bet ween us and the experience of the Divine. The awakening of ancient memories in the North is not the individual remembering. It is rather stepping through the crack between worlds and taking a place among the twice born, those who have conquered death. They are those who have done battle with the archetypes and the forces of Nature to become persons of knowledge. They are our ancestors, the trustees of Earth. The Vision: Way of mastery (ancient masters). The Feminine, Eros. Where we claim the lineage of men and women of knowledge. The place of androgynous mind, the creative principal that we personify as God, the union of Sun (masculine) and Earth (feminine), from which all life claims a common ground. Sex. We gain an astral body, one that has a lifetime of t he stars. The body of the ancient masters. A mystical body. Wisdom of the universe. There are few shamans of the North few true persons of knowledge. Many who tread this path stop along the way and are content to be healers and medicine people; they beco me masters of the South or West. They are not master shamans. The Experience: I journey to acquire the wisdom of all those who have journeyed before me. The North is not easily understood, as it is not something that is understood; it is experienced, and e xperiences seem limited. It is inaccessible to any who seek it encumbered by preconceptions or fears the past or the future. 7.0 East: According to legend, the eagle path in the East is the return to ones tribe. In the East the individual accepts the gift of vision and the task of exercising that vision to create a better world politically, ecologically, and personally, to dream the possible future. The shaman assumes full responsibility for who we are becoming and influences destiny by envisioning the possible. Destiny is not something over which you seek to gain control. Control of ones destiny is an oxymoron. A man or woman of power can influence destiny. In the East one learns to dance with it, lead it across the floor of time. The Vision: Call upon power animals, acquire skills to work with the world, cast no shadow, leave no tracks (eagle). The way of the visionary, whose task is to overcome pride and self -aggrandizement, to envision the possible human. The place of nonviolence in a world divided by s truggle. We gain a casual body. The thought before action. That which exists before the fact. Creative principle. The eagle body. The Experience :

The East is the most difficult journey. In the East I learn to reconcile all that I know with the world in which I live. I call upon power animals, acquire skills to work with the world, cast no shadow, leave no tracks just as the Eagle leaves no track. Book Resources: "The Four Winds: A Shaman's Odyssey into the Amazon" - Alberto Villoldo and Eirk Jenresen "Island of the Sun: Mastering the Inca Medicine Wheel" - Alberto Villoldo and Eirk Jenresen

The Suffering of the Shaman


By Sean Green 5/10/01 Introduction Suffering is a tool that is used in the testing and attainment of a shamans power. Suffering through self-deprivation (fasting, lashing, etc.) are practices that are held by many belief systems. The topic of suffering is a worthy one for any spiritual path, and this paper will focus both broadly on these spiritual ramifications while touching on associati ons that are specifically shamanic. The material presented in this paper is drawn heavily from the works of Carlos Castaneda. He presented the four enemies of the person of knowledge in his first book, THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN: A YAQUI WAY OF KNOWLEDGE. The material on petty tyrants can be found in Castanedas later books. Several words have been substituted for the cohesion of this paper. Self-importance has been replaced with ego and warrior has been replace with shaman. The overall purpose of this paper is to give an overview of how the shaman overcomes the trials and tricks of an mundane spiritual existence to become a shaman: one who sees and serves the unity of all things. The Four Enemies of the Shaman The shaman, as a person of knowledge, faces four enemies that can disrupt the shamanic path. The first enemy of a shaman is Fear. A terrible enemy which is treacherous and difficult to overcome. It remains concealed at every turn of the way, prowling, waiting. And if the shaman, terrified in its presence, runs away, his enemy will have put an end to his quest. Once a shaman has vanquished fear, they are free from it for the rest of their life because, instead of fear, they have acquired clarity of mind which erases fear. And thus the shaman has encountered the second enemy: Clarity. That clarity of mind, which is so hard to obtain, dispels fear, but also blinds. If the shaman yields to this make -believe power, they have succumbed to his second enemy and will be patient when shaman should rush. And the shaman will fumble with learning until they wind up incapable of learning anything more. The shaman must defy clarity and use it only to see, and wait patiently and measure carefully before taking new steps; they must think, above all, that clarity is almost a mistake. And a moment will come when the shaman will understand that his clarity was only a point before his eyes. And thus he will have overcome his second enemy, and will arrive at a position where nothing can harm the shaman anymore. It will be true power, the third enemy of shaman. The shaman at this stage hardly notices his third enemy closing in. And suddenly, without knowing, the shaman will certainly have lost the battle. The enemy will have turned the shaman into a cruel, capricious person. The shaman must defy his power, deliberately. They have to come to realize the power that has seemingly conquered is in reality never his. The shaman will reach a point where everything is held in check. They will know then when and how to use his power . And thus the shaman will have defeated the third enemy. The shaman will be, by then, at the end of the journey of learning, and almost without warning the shaman will come upon the last of his enemies: Old age. This enemy is the cruelest of all, the one that won't be able to defeat completely, but only fight away. The shamans desire to retreat will overrule all his clarity, his power, and his knowledge. But if the shaman sloughs off his tiredness, and lives fate through, the shaman can then be called a m an of knowledge simultaneously a master and servant of the shamanic vision, if only for the brief moment when they succeed in fighting off his last, invincible enemy. That moment of clarity, power, and knowledge is enough.

The journey through the enemies of the shaman is an analogy of the affect of personal ego as the shaman walks the medicine wheel. The South holds fear of the past. The shaman is called to remove links to the chains of the perceived traumas and pleasures in the echoes of what has been. Only then can the shaman be as a child, and have the healing laughter of spirit of the child. The ego fears removal of the past, and fear is the result. The West holds the knowledge that all things must past, and that death and transformation a necessary element of the shamanic path. While we know death comes in small changes at every moment and a larger transformation when we pass, the ego would hold this knowledge in a place of false clarity. The ego feeds false assurance that all is known, that there is m ore than enough time, and that there is no need to hurry. The ego lives in this place, and presents the enemy of clarity. Mystical knowledge and abilities reside with the influence of ancestors and the elders in the North. The ego, seeking to sustain itself in this place, pacifies the shaman with visions of power used for the egos ends. The male and female meet in the North, and here they blend to androgynous mind, the creative principal that we personify as God, the union of Sun (masculine) and Earth (feminine), from which all life claims a common ground. The use of the power by the influence of the ego prevents this union and chains the shaman to be little more than a tyrant. And lastly the East, a place of returning to the tribe with knowledge and abilit y, is a place that few tread. The knowledge and power gained in the other directions are seen as gifts and tools, and not seen as the goals of a lifetime. They cannot be seen as goals, for the fourth enemy, old age, is not influenced by knowledge or power. The ego would like to use knowledge and power to battle old age as a last attempt to sustain itself. The shaman answers the call of Spirit to share and serve, and in this place of no-ego, the shaman finds their true place in the web of life even as they s eem to give way to the last enemy. The Ego What is this thing called ego that exposes the shaman to four deadly enemies of the spiritual path? Ego is our greatest enemy. It stands between the shaman and unity with Spirit. While the shaman serves the whole of Spirit, and seeks to maintain harmony and balance, the ego only serves itself. So what is ego? Ego is the part of ourselves that defines the "me". The ego a tool for survival and is the core of everything that is both good and rotten in us. Without ego, a person could not truly say they are an individual with preferences, fears, needs, and dislikes. With ego strongly in play, a person cannot feel harmony in the place of unity with all things. Ego weakens us by creating offense at the deeds and misdeeds o f our fellow men. Whether our ego sees an individual as master or slave, the ego requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone. Ego can't be fought with niceties. Ego is not something simple and naive. The ego has many survival tactics as seen by how it takes positive attributes and transforms them into enemies of our spiritual growth. Dualism is the foundation of ego. The establishment of "ME" creates the separation between "US" and "THEM". There are things to hate and things to love. There are things far from us and things close to us. All of these, love and hate, far and near, are contrary states to unity. Adoration and pride are the products of self ego and group ego. Doubt is the product of reality and non-ego. Doubt is the product of awareness and is the place where the shaman exists. There is awareness and true power within this place of doubt. Doubt is the key to defeating the four enemies of the shaman. As the forces of fear, clarity, power and old age move in to trip the shaman, the response is one of "maybe that is it, but there is inherent wholeness in the unity of things and the harmony of the universe." The ego lead perceptions cannot exist in this light of divine oversight and love. If adoration is incorrectly equated with love, and adoration with the highest forms of ideology, those that you consider terrorists are the most loving people you know. When we see someone as a terrorist we can say "They are attached to a selfish idea that is destructive." This is very insightful. Now consider the truth of ego comes from this: I am an ass, you are an ass People are all terrorists in that their own ego born out of survival and the need to feel good. Terrorists have something else in common. They have approval, appreciation, and attention in their society. Appreciation and attention are an addictive drug given to us when we are very young. Ego was instilled in us when we were very young, and as spiritual adults, it must be harnessed

instead of seen as master. The shaman takes strides around the Medicine Wheel and harnesses the ego to make magic and become magic. Suffering as a Initiation The past shamans knew of the four enemies, and they knew the price that the tribe would pay if a shaman did not faithfully move through the Medicine Wheel. Suffering presents the future shaman as somebody who is willing to walk the path more then they wish to live and that everything they own, even themselves, is sacrificed and dedicated to the path. This is very much along the lines of hazing in institutions involving people depending on each other. A person must prove their willingness to put the individual ego aside for the good of the group. The future shaman is putting aside their ego, and avoiding the ills of the ego, for their community or tribe. A stro ng ego, one that spawns the four enemies, will hurt both the shaman and the group the shaman is sworn to serve. Traditionally the shaman must "attain to intimacy with the supernatural by visions of death". The old must die so the new can be reborn. The sha man must cure himself of the initiatory suffering, and only afterwards can the shaman cure the other members of the community. Guides, spirits, allies, power animals, and other helpers are gained as the shaman puts their own ego aside and says "I need to be healed". The healing comes from the world beyond, the very world that the shaman will later walk as a participant and partner with the forces that lay there. Initiatory suffering is also a path for the modern shaman. Pleasant experiences make life deligh tful, but there is no change. This is not the shamanic path. Painful experiences lead to growth. This growth occurs through understanding. Understanding through awareness of pain will allow the modern shaman to break the attachment that causes the pain. Fo cused observation reaps the rewards of suffering. This breaking is not a separation, but instead it is the ceasing of the grasping of illusions the modern shaman must evoke and pursue. Suffering as an Omen Suffering is a sign of being under the control of ego. Suffering is useful because it points to falsehoods and clashes with reality. Becoming sick and tired of it all pushes us to the point of getting relief to get out of situations. Suffering is a doorway to awareness. For the shaman, the experience of s uffering is a sign of being unaware and not open to Spirit. Suffering is useful because it points to falsehoods and clashes with reality. Suffering is a path to the shamans awareness. Suffering is a result of being disconnected from the unity of nature, and at the same time it is the guide to removing those things that keep the shaman from achieving the unity of physical and spirit that is their path. As an omen, suffering takes place on both the physical and spiritual levels. Indeed, a physical pain is the sign of a misbalance in the spiritual. The physical ailment can result from an individual disconnect from the harmony of the divine or it can be a local manifestation of a larger group disconnect. In either case the shaman sees the omen and treats it on a level (individual or group) as training and Spirit dictate.

Suffering as a Teacher

We have already said that ego is our greatest enemy. Shamans make every effort to eradicate the crippling ego from the their lives, for without ego we are invulnerable to suffering. To get rid of the ego that is rotten requires a masterpiece of strategy. Those on the spiritual path fight ego as a matter of strategy, not principle. The petty tyrant is part of a masterful strategy with suffering as a teacher and guide. A Petty Tyrant is a tormentor, someone who either holds the power of life and death over shamans or simply annoys them to distraction. The petty tyrant is a clever device for the shaman, for it not only gets rid of self importance; it also prepares the shama n for the final realization that impeccability with the unity of things is the only thing that counts in the path of knowledge. What turns human beings into petty tyrants is precisely the obsessive manipulation of the known. Anyone who becomes victim of their ego and joins the ranks of the petty tyrant is defeated. To act in anger, without control and discipline, to have no forbearance, is to be defeated. Humor was the only means of counteracting this compulsion of human awareness to take inventories and make cumbersome classifications. Petty tyrants take themselves with deadly

seriousness, while shamans do not. Inventory taking is the realm of the ego and not the realm of the shaman. The shaman takes no inventories and makes no judgements of distinctions. I nstead they see life with humor and an understanding that separations, when view with the wisdom of discernment, are the illusionary covering in front of the whole. If shamans can hold their own in facing petty tyrants, they can certainly face the unknown with impunity, and then they can even stand the presence of the unknowable. The average man's reaction is to think that the order of the statement should be reversed. The average man believes that one must face the unknowable before facing the unknown, but that's not so. The path through the medicine wheel is a path of the unknown, and it leads to the awe inspiring realm of the unknowable. The idea of using a petty tyrant is not only for perfecting the shamans spirit, but also for enjoyment and happiness. Even the worst of petty tyrants can bring delight, provided, of course, that one is a shaman. The mistake average men make in confronting petty tyrants is not to have a strategy to fall back on. Shamans not only have a well thought out strategy, but are fr ee from the entanglements of ego. Shamans always have a chance to recuperate or retrieve and come back later. What restrains their ego is that they have understood that reality is an interpretation we make. Conclusion This paper was focused on the shaman, ego, and the four enemies of the path. I feel that the material presented is valid for many paths with the substitution of another word (warrior, saint, seeker, etc.) in place of shaman. The information provided is applicable to any belief system that holds that there is a unity of all things. The necessity of sustaining the balance within and without depends on the removal of these distinctions. This removal is accomplished by harnessing of the me as a adoption of a divine we with no ego-driven them present. Embrace the we of unity as you overcome your own inward spiritual enemies along your own path.

The Lessons of the Shaman


By Sean Green 6/14/01 INTRODUCTION The purpose of this paper is to explore how a shaman becomes a shaman. What ar e the teachers and teaching methods that a shaman encounters as they develop their identity? The information shared will be applicable to many spiritual paths as we are all seekers, and the teachers are often same and merely wear different masks. If the lesson is how to be a shaman, then the question must be asked "what is a shaman?" A shaman lives in and understands the unity of life as it is expressed in the physical life and the planes of existence beyond. The shaman very much feels the physical, and see s it as a place of service. However, the physical is seen as a portion of all that there is. It is the schoolyard where we begin our lives. The rest of life, in its recognition of unity, is open -ended as it is lived consciously and freely. Heather Hughes-Calero writes that the shaman lives as a Soul in a physical body rather then a physical body/mind with a soul. This differentiation is very important as it conveys a wonderful freedom in the statement "all is spiritual". If all is unity, and all is spiritua l, than unity is spirit. The shamans life is based on these principles. Heather also writes that, what is phenomena to the uninitiated, is only a matter of reality to the initiated, and we are limited only by our perceptions. Do you perceive from the Soul or from the mental? Where are your perceptions? Before I read the above words of Heather, the teachings of Rolling Thunder and Tom Brown conveyed to me the sense that the magical is the reality of the ignorant. The shaman experiences the same reality as an everyday thing. The magical is possible because it is natural. Aleister Crowley is credited with saying that every act done with intent is magic. This is true, but many of our discontented and disconnected intentions are harmful and destructive. The sham an mixes in an understanding of the spiritual connectiveness to make every intention not only magical, but healthy and natural in its effect.

How does a person learn to be a shaman? How does a person learn the soul connections? This paper will explore a few facets of this wondrous puzzle. Pay attention. There is a shaman in all of us. THE SOUTH AND THE WEST If magic is considered to be the wondrous creation of things and events (energy), magic is a matter of intent (wishing), and we are all capable of doing magic, why isnt life wonderful? Why dont we relate to the seemingly abstract notion of spiritual unity as we work our own magics? The answer is found in the South and West directions of the Inca Medicine Wheel. The Inca Medicine Wheel is a mandala, a model, of growing shamanically. The directions of South and West address the reshaping of our lives from the mundane existence of the body/mental. Fully half of the wheel talks to healing our lives so we can transform the magical to the ordinary. The transformations of our lives are the first lessons a shaman must face. These lessons were harsh and life threatening to shaman apprentices of the past. Pain, physical deprivation, isolation, and mental torment were applied to those who wished to be shamans. Only those who passed these trials could walk on and seek the natural rewards of their path. The Medicine Wheel reveals the purpose of the suffering, and offers some surprises for modern seekers. The lesson of the South is to achieve freedom from the fear of th e past. The past represents the attachments to ideas, lifestyles, habits, opinions, traditions, and motivations that are given to us by society. The fear originates for what would happen if the attachments are not obeyed. What if we are not like our fathers and mothers? What if we do not conform? The harsh lesson in the South is that the past holds the shaman from being in the present. The past was perfect in its own moment, and the expressions of the past may have been genuine in their own place, but they are only malignant intruders in the present moment. Both the pleasure and the pain of the past hold us prisoner. The bars of our cell keep us from feeling the spiritual unity of the present moment. The bars are formed from the fear of pain and the fear of loosing pleasure. Grudges and addictions are put aside on the path of the South. The purity of the moment appears as the burdens are shed. The muddy puddle reveals its inherent clarity as the mud is removed and put in its proper place. Grudges and additions fear and longing are not destroyed. Instead they are recognized and put aside. They are brought forward from their hiding places and purged in the light of self-acceptance. The purging is similar to turning on a light in a dark room. The darkness vanishes. The only substance that the past has is what we give it. Once the power of grudges and addictions are removed, the clarity of mind is achieved. The fear of the future remains. This is faced in the West. The little deaths and the big deaths hold us paralyzed. The present moment is held prisoner to what could be. Change is seen as the enemy. The ultimate change, the passing of the body/mental, overshadows what is happening NOW. The lesser entities, those of everyday change, harass us and wear us down. The combination of the ultimate change and the lesser changes rob the future shaman of unity. Why? Fear of the future places the shaman in the same place that the fear of past transported them to. The revealing light of the West is the experience of death . We voluntarily experience, with love, acceptance, and understanding, the small and large changes of life. When experienced and accepted, either in actuality or symbolically, the deaths/changes of the future no longer have power over us. The fear is removed as we are born again in a continuous fashion. It is not enough to be born again once. Instead we offer ourselves to die and rebirth at any moment. This makes the moment. This defines the moment. When the present moment is no longer based on the moments of the past, and only recognizes past moments as having their own past rightness, and there is acceptance that the moment will pass away and be reborn, than all is in unity. The unity of the moment, the spiritual, and all things, is embraced. Fears are selfish. Fears originate from disconnection from the universe. If we accepted that everything was connected, had purpose, and was spiritual, there would be no fear in the horrific or awe in the wondrous. There would only be acceptance of our place. The light of this acceptance is the light that dispels the darkness of grudges and addictions. The same light dispels the fear of the future, for all is seen as having a time and place. Fears rearrange the universe. The new fear based arrangement may have little resemblance to what is really there. It is naturally unsettling to think we have a map of a town, and find that nothing is where it should be. Our sanity is doubted, and the resulting distrust of the map - our sense of unity with the universe shuts us down as we

run in smaller and smaller circles. Eventually fear convinces us that the small circles of our lives are reality, and we are lost. The ever restricting bindings of fears are illusionary. They have only the substance that we give them. They are only what we put intention into. They are the magic that we are creating now. They are the destructive magic that predominates our lives. How do we change this? What lessons does the shaman have that can guide us? The shamans of old embarked on harsh initiations that forced the recognition of the illusion. Through pain and deprivation the phantom shadows were dispelled. The shamans were forced to give up supporting the fears if the shaman was to survive the initiation. The shaman would fail, indeed, perhaps lose their lives, if they hung onto the fears. All of their strength was needed in the moment of the initiation in its apparent cruelty and hardship. Just as the fires of the melting pot separated the dross from the pure metals, the suffering of the shamans initiation removed the fears of the past and future. Only the purity of the moment remained. THE INITIATION The shamans first learning experience is preparation for, and then experience of , the initiation. The initiation addresses the fears/attachments of the past and future. The initiation is the proving ground for the soil that magical workings, based in practical understanding, will grow. Are these initiations practical, or even possible, in todays age? I would submit that our modern times rival the initiations of the past. We must initiate. We are given the challenge to either throw off the fears or die a living death. The death we face is more horrific than any death the shaman faced in initiations of old. They were faced with the lost of the physical, while we as a society are faced with the death of our souls. The fight to regain spiritual unity is a painful experience, filled with as much drama and pain as the initiations of the past. There is a certain amount of pain when we are disconnected and not know it. To be aware of our disconnection, and not be able to achieve it, can be maddening. This madness can bring people to take their own lives in a variety of ways suicide, gluttony, addictions, abusive relations, and so on. The benefits of a success ful initiation are wondrous, and the person becomes a valuable asset to lead others along the path. Training and initiation of the past took many years and was a solitary event with experienced guides. Our modern society is not one of waiting and cultivati ng. We rush about. The rushing of a modern initiation increases the probability of perceived failure, thus leading to actual failure. Spiritual initiations have a component of despair and loss. Those who have walked the path before are there to tell the initiates that it is normal. They cannot reduce the pain of the initiate, but they can keep the fragile soul on the path. A combination of hurrying our initiations and the lacking of experienced guides can be devastating in our modern age. There are answers. The universe can and does provide guides for the seeker. However, be warned that the guides cannot heal the pain of the initiate. If they do heal the pain, the initiation is postponed and the seeker may even be returned to the starting point. THE TEACHERS AND THE LESSONS Who will guide us in this modern age? Who are our teachers that will prepare us, and then guide us, through the initiation and beyond? The answer lies in the goal of the shaman: unity of the spiritual. If the spiritual is the lesson, and a ll things are spiritual, than all things are our teachers. All things are my teacher. All things includes all the events and people that are encountered. The judgement that an event or person is not worthy of being a teacher comes from fear. So, the acceptance of the concept that all are teachers moves the shamanic student away from fear and further along the path. The crass, ugly, bigoted and hateful are seen as teachers. The wiseman and the simpleton are held in equal reverence for what can be learned. Ho w is this possible? Each teacher has a different lesson. Every lesson has its own time, place, and goal. No lesson is more valuable than another when the goal of understanding and living unity is achieved. Gaining from a teachers lesson is a matter of being fully present to receive the message. We must be ready to receive the message of a lesson, and ready to honor the teacher of the message in their own divine clarity of the moment. This is done by withholding judgement, and listening to the connecting truth that is presented. The horrors of mankind are legion. Atrocities are common. Even in the dictators that direct the sufferings, and the grand suffering they inflict, there are lessons and the dictators are teachers. The lessons may be about the lack of compassion that a disconnected living produces, and may point to our own disconnections. Judgement of a wrong is often merely a projection of that impurity

that lies within ourselves. The person that condemns the killer holds seeds of death in their own soul. Recognizing these seeds by recognizing the condemnation is a valuable lesson, with the killer being the teacher. With the lesson learned, the killer is seen through eyes that come from a soul that has let go of that small piece of death. The lesson lea rned, the killer is no longer a teacher about carrying death within us. They transform into a teacher of compassion and forgiveness. A new lesson replaces this one in the next moment and so on. Each moment has its own teachers and its own lessons. The teac hers change roles; the lessons change directions. The only thing that does not change is the students ongoing acceptance of the new teachers and the new lessons. The stability of the moment, in the face of changing faces and events, is a testament to the growth of the shaman toward achieving the unity of spirit that is the shamans marking. SPIRIT ALLIES AS SHAMANIC TEACHERS The modern shaman does need wisdom and guidance that our modern society seems to not have. The answer to this absence, indeed one that shamans have always had, is that of spirit guides and allies. A willingness to look beyond the physical enables the shaman to tap into beings that have knowledge and wisdom. These beings exist within the expanse of what the shaman calls reality, but outside of what could be considered physical reality. The allies cannot be measured or recorded, but they are very real to the shaman and those who can see beyond the veil of the five senses. How does one contact a ally? Cultivation of the six sense, the third eye, the intuitive factor, holds the answer. What are these things? Are they magical? No. Instead of expanding our senses, we are instead merely recognizing a sense that was there all along. The spirit world, the elemental world, or whatever you wish to call that place of otherworld allies, was always there. The shamanic student is merely like the blind man who is seeing for the first time. The blind man seeing for the first time is a valuable analogy. It expresses the thrills and dangers of expanding the perception of the universe. The blind man, while always living in the same world that they can now see, does not readily recognize the dangers that were there all along. Fascination with the colors may put common sense aside and the newly sighted man may w alk into traffic, not knowing what a truck looks like. Their safeguards are down and the same, but new, world becomes potentially harmful when precautions are not made. This is the place where a trusted spirit guide comes in. The spirit guide is like the p erson who tells the newly sighted man what a truck looks like, what fire looks like, what different drinks look like. Their guide has knowledge about the "new" surroundings that can benefit the shaman and keep them from harm. Spirit allies come in many forms. They can be angels, elemental spirits, ancestral spirits, animals spirits, people spirits, and non-human spirits. The word entity, guide, helper, keeper, and so on can be substituted for the word spirit in the previous sentence. The energies are simila r if not identical. The type of spirit ally is dependant on the intent of the shaman. The culture that a shaman comes from can predispose them to animal guides. Another culture may seek angels, while another may seek elemental spirits. The shaman attracts the spirit allies that they seek/intend. Is one spirit ally better than another? No. They have their own relative strengths and weaknesses as people do. Some embrace the idea of spiritual unity more than others, but all are valuable as teachers. A shaman will recognize when a spirit ally is not longer useful. Indeed, sometimes the spirit ally will recognize this before the shaman and the spirit ally will leave by their own free will. Another spirit ally will then come. THE MAGIC BEYOND The path of the shaman in this paper has moved through the South and West of the Inca Medicine Wheel. They have faced the fears of the past and the future. All things are seen as teachers and everything in their life is a potential lesson. They have gained spirit allies to the ir cause. All of these things require, foster, and promote their unity with the universe and the spirit that is that universe. What now of the magical abilities of the shaman? What of the healing and the divination? What of the ability to do the impossible manipulate weather, transport objects, walk through objects, read minds, create illusions, float, fly, and more? These magical abilities have nothing to do with magic. They are very ordinary events that are merely very improbable to those who dont have the knowledge and the intent.

The shaman first and foremost sees and honors the connection of all things. The shaman understands that other bodies that exist energetic, astral, etc., and understands the workings of all of these bodies and the forces that act on these bodies. With this knowledge, practice, and understanding, the shaman can do their "magic." The writings of Rolling Thunder were very instructional to me in this concept. He said that there was a time and place for everything. Everything alre ady exists, and the shaman merely creates a situation in which the event may occur. The shaman must have knowledge of the timing, qualities, and dynamics of the event. The shaman must have practiced the knowledge with an intent to succeed. And finally, the shaman must understand. Understanding is the act of connecting with spirit. Understanding brings the knowledge and the practice to a place of manifestation in the proper time and place. The improbable ordinary occurs, and magic is seemingly performed. Ritual is the gateway to making the improbable ordinary manifest, but ritual without understanding is like shooting fish with a gun. If there are few fish in the pond, or the fish swim deep, the gun will have no effect. If there are many fish in a pond and th ey are close to the surface, the gun fishing will probably succeed. The shaman uses ritual with understanding. Ritual without understanding may have dire consequences. In the fishing analogy, the dire consequences manifest in a really mad sea serpent coming out of the water and eating the unprepared fisherman. How do we avoid the sea serpents of life? Do not rush the magical side of shamanism. It will come in time. Seek connection with spirit and the understanding will follow. The dazzle of the magical is merely window dressing to the goal of becoming whole with the universe. There is a saying that magic is in the air. To the shaman, the air is magic. The people, animals, rocks, trees, spirits, and everything else is also magic. All things become ordinary in this sameness of magic, and all share the divinity of the moment. CONCLUSION More could be said about shamanic teachers and teaching methods. One day I will write a paper that speaks to specifics of shamanic teaching. It is enough for now to take in what has been presented in this paper. I am a beginning seeker myself on the shamanic path, and I have merely seeing the outlines and shadows of the path ahead. My own allies have given me revelations. Their advice is to listen to myself and seek the wisdom in the moment. It is not an easy path, and the obstacles I place in front of myself seem great. These obstacles will pass as I learn, do, and understand. Do the same in your life. Namaste!

The Nature of Magic


2001 By Sean Green The Way of Magic The term "magic", whatever the spelling, has been used in many practical and fanciful ways. It is seeped in ritual and mystery. The many ways that magic is described clouds the basic definition of the word: Magic is the act and outcome of intent and focus. With this definition one can both perform magic and say that magic happens. Act and outcome are easily understood. The crux of magic, what makes it really work or not work, is the intent and the focus applied. As an exploration of intent and focus lets work with an analogy of dropping a ball. The act is the releasing of the ball and the outcome is the ball falling downward. This sounds very simple. However, there are many variables. These include the initial velocity of the ball, the initial trajectory, the physical qualities of the ball, and the media that the ball is falling through. These can be broken down into even smaller designations. Assuming that air is the media that the ball is falling through, the temperature of the air and the wind speed can affect the ball dropping depending on the weight, initial speed, and composition of the ball. Gravity (or lack of it) will determine the speed and direction of the fall. So, in this analogy, weve seen the simple dropping of a ball become very complicated. This is t he nature of intent and focus in the workings of magic.

While the precise working of magic is illustrated to be difficult to calculate, the general nature is very easy. Another statement can be suggested: Every act and thought done with intent is magic. With this statement Ive created a reality that every purposely performed action, those actions done with intent and focus, is magic. The creation of the previous sentence was an action of magic because I considered my words and put them down. Some thing was created, and that sentence was the creation. The ripples from your reading the sentence and considering its meaning is also a magical result. This has broad ramifications. Most every thought and action becomes a form of magic, and magic is removed from the occult and fantastic as it is placed into everyday life. Consider another analogy. A person calls your name and motions you to come to where they are. You do so. Is this magic? Yes. They performed magic on you. How is this different from summoning an earth elemental? Summoning an element is an action of calling them to where you are. Their name is called. When done properly they arrive. The keyword here is properly. The Workings of Magic We will continue the analogy of calling a person. If a person is not in a room with us, and we call their name, will they come? Perhaps not. If they are out of the range of our voice they will not hear us and cannot respond. What if we shout or use a megaphone? We would be heard across a larger area. What if they were in a different town? We could use a telephone and they could come. The use of the telephone requires we know their number and requires that they be available to receive the call. There is the possibility that the person is deaf and cannot hear us even if they are in the same room, or they may be capable of hearing and choose to ignore directions. Considering the potential difficulties in calling a person to come to your side, what of the summoning of an elemental? First they must be a "real entity. They must b e available, and we just have the means to communicate to them. Lastly, they must have the desire to come when the command to arrive is given. What do the calling over of a friend and the summoning of an elemental have in common? The person creating the magic has:

Awareness of their surroundings who/what is there and where The knowledge of how to communicate The understanding of how to combine the awareness and knowledge A relationship with person/elemental that will facilitate a response
These four building blocks are just as necessary while operating a microwave, driving a car, operating a VCR, or drawing down the Moon. The harmonious or effective combination will make things happen. The improper combination will result in nothing happening, or worst, an unwelcome outcome. Lets work with the analogy of the microwave. Putting a metal dish in a microwave, the incorrect awareness of the surroundings, can be very dangerous. The microwave must be programmed for the appropriate amount of time; this is the knowl edge part. Lastly, the person working the microwave must bring together the awareness (proper dish, food) and knowledge (correct amount of time) to properly heat a dish. What about the relationship? If the person cooks beets and they dont like beets, than their properly executed magical act still has an unwelcome outcome. The Outcome of Magic Magic, both mundane and esoteric, typically has an outcome. The exertion of energies without an outcome it is not possible. Every action has a reaction. It is not pos sible to work magic and not have a result. The reaction may not be readily visible in the same moment and place, but it is there. The outcomes of magic ripple through the physical, energetic, and spiritual planes. All of these are not visible to use. We have a hard enough time seeing what is really happening in the physical plane. The less visible planes of energy and spirit can hide a battleship to unseeing eyes. The theory of karma comes into play here. If karma is the reaction of the universe to our acti ons, than every act of magic not only has a result, it also has a karmic reaction. What is karma? Karma

comes from the root kri, "to do". The principal is based on the idea that actions determine your destiny. One becomes good by good action and bad by bad action. Each karma, or action, generates a vibration that continues to vibrate in the mind. These vibrations are subconscious impressions. Like attracts like. Love attracts loving acts; malice attracts malice. The attraction and reaction is non-judgmental, and does not involve the operation of morality or a single divine judgement. So magic results in both the outcome desired (hopefully) with a dash of karma thrown in. The outcome is visible, and the karma is much less visible. An example of this is throwi ng a rock into a pond. You see the splash and the ripples on the surface. In murky water you dont see what is happening under the water. Dynamite thrown into the water makes a big splash. Later the dead fish float to the surface, killed by the shock waves underwater. The initial splash is the outcome and the dead fish are the karma. The effects of karma may linger long after the outcome of the magic is felt. Indeed, the original act of magic may be long forgotten while the subtle workings of karma are still affecting us. An example of this is that fishing may be very poor for years to come after we dynamite the local fishing hole. Magic has results both seen and unseen. The results will affect the person working the magic, the object the magic is directed toward, and all things around the magical working. Everything is connected whether the bond is seen or unseen. While the seen effects of magic are a concern, the unseen should be considered also. In the microwave analogy, it is nice to produce a dish we lik e (not beets!), but it is equally important not to use a microwave with faulty wiring, and thus burn down the building at some point in the future as the wiring is damaged by each use of the microwave. Because the wires are hidden behind the wall, we dont know if the day of destruction will be immediate or sometime in the distant future. Given the ramifications of our actions, do we choose not to perform magic? Is this possible? No. Unless we are a vegetable, we do perform acts of intent. Indeed, the act o f becoming a vegetable so we will not perform magic would be an act of magic, and it would have rippling ramifications that would make mute our personal future nonaction. The Ethics of Magic Magic will be performed. What can we do? The answer is to perform our acts of magic in an ethical fashion. Volumes of books have been written about ethics, and each group has their own interpretation of what is proper ethics. I would suggest two approaches. The first would be to consider the Golden Rule : Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This rule appeals to the selfish ego side of our human natures. It puts in check many of the destructive tendencies of the ego. It is a simple rule, one that is driven more out of survival than compassion. The ego tells us to behave ethically from the fear of itself being hurt. This is not a bad thing. Indeed, it is one of the most basic survival tools we humans have. The second approach is more compassionate and more difficult. It asks us to put aside our selfish egos and instead see things from a divine and spiritual point of view. This is simultaneously very difficult and very easy. We all have sparks of divine god in us. We are capable of knowing what the right action is. However, this voice may be very quiet compared to the ego. The right action may not be compatible with the correct action called for by the ego. This is applicable for what would be considered good and bad actions. It is compassionate to know when to be good and when to be bad. Sometimes, with divine oversight, we are asked to do things that are viewed as bad. How is the challenge of compassionate divine oversight accomplished? Listen to the divine spark through intuition. Put the ego aside and ask "what is the correct path?" The answer may surprise yo u. A principle that is difficult for the ego to learn is when not to do "good". Healing is an act of magic. Healing is not always appropriate. Sometimes people are suffering for a reason. A healing that is done at the wrong time will be harmful to the ener getic or spiritual growth of the person even while their body recovers. The immediate outcome of a healed body is not important compared to the harm done by the arresting or restarting of a spiritual journey prompted by the suffering. Experienced healers learn to listen to their intuition or their guides on when to heal and when not to heal. The ego would say, "I would like to be healed if it were me." The divine self says, "it is not time." Which is more important? Is it the need to survive or the need to act through a divine plan at the apparent detriment of survival? This is an age -old question, but as we are spiritual beings having a

human experience instead of human beings having a spiritual experience, the answer is clear. When we are in harmony with the divine, survival is a harmonious part of the divine plan. The use of magic clearly asks for much responsibility. Living is magic, and living asks for the same responsibility. One cannot say "this is mundane living and this is an act of magic." The two a re inseparable. Their togetherness gives us power. Every action and thought has tremendous potential of power behind it, and tremendous responsibility to the ethics of all things. The Tools of Magic The fluid execution of magic results from the combination of awareness, knowledge, understanding, and a relationship with the universe. These are all necessary for gaining the outcome we desire. These guide us in choosing the time, place, tools, and actions that we perform our magic in and through. All things have a time and place. Actions are easier in a particular time and place. When we move ourselves far away from that time and place, things just dont turn out that way. Most plants grow well with water, sunshine and good soil. This is a generalization. There are some plants that require, and indeed thrive, on very little water. Some plants need lots of sun and some need lots of shade. Plants have different soil requirements. Some plants need to be planted in the Spring and some need to be planted in the Fall. A gardener learns what each plant needs, and through the application of this knowledge, they grow healthy plants. The same is true with any act of magic. The person performing the magic must know:

What Why Who When Where


This presents magic as being very mechanistic. This is not the case. There are variables of chaos and hands of incomprehensible divinity in all actions. A person cannot understand or anticipate all of the variables of the material, energetic and spiritual. Magic is instead only part mechan istic. The other part operates on faith. A good analogy is the throwing of a dart. While all variables can be taken into account and factored into the throwing action, at some point you must let go of the dart. Technique, faith, and a bit of fate come toge ther as the dart moves toward the board. Perfection is not achieved by iron fisted control. It is achieved by careful preparation and then letting go with trust. Adjustments can be made in preparation and lessons may be learned from past experiences. The true master of magic, and indeed life, learns that the trick is not in doing something right, but in not doing it at all. The rightness will follow. In this Eastern word twist, the action is still performed, but it is done in that place where the divine is in control while ego merely observes. There is not a duality of incorrect and correct. Instead there is a transcendent place of what is through the reason that it is the only thing that can be. Conclusion Most people perform magic by ritual mixing of tools, thus create a combination of vibrations that are sympathetic to the outcome of the magic. Positive energies produce positive results. Negative energies produce negative results. The results are weighed on a universal scale, with the quite hidden and subtle hand of Spirit determining the relative affects. Magic, and the life from it derives, is very powerful. The visible effects may be manifest powerfully or with little force. The invisible effects are also there, and it could be said that the less visible the visible, the more powerful the invisible. Work your magic with ethical responsibility. Do so with understanding. May the divine powers bless your workings and may you receive the results you wish.

Introduction to Altered States of Consciousness


2001 By Sean Green Shamanism: A journey of the soul Shaman: A practitioner of shamanism Introduction The purpose of this paper is to review the concept of what consciousness is, how consciousness is altered, and how the shaman uses the shift. What Is Consciousness? For purposes of this discussion, consciousness can be loosely defined as: The waking perception of objects, events, and time. Contrasted with consciousness is the subconscious. Our subconscious is a hidden mind just as perceptive of things. Our awaking mind struggles for a language to share information. This gap is bridged during dreams, hypnosis and meditation and other methods of achieving altered consciousness. Altered consciousness is very much awake and real. The altered perception is shifte d from the "norm". This is an interesting thought. When the new and unusual becomes a normal day of life, it becomes part of the everyday reality of the consciousness. So, it would be beneficial to further explore the definition of altered consciousness. However, at its root, altered consciousness defies fixed definition. It is instead something that is experienced. The triggers for this experience are what we will explore further. Altered consciousness is very strong when the conscious and subconscious minds communicate with each other. Their dialogue forms the basis of this shifted perception. The reality of the moment is derived from the conscious and the alternate reality from the subconscious. The combination is like the Temperance card in the Tarot as a new, real reality is formed. The Nature of Reality What is reality? If consciousness both waking and subconscious are viewing reality, what are they viewing? The answer lies in the thought that the world of the shaman is very much like the world of the child. In the childs world everything is alive and everything responds to their desires. They are connected to all things, or at the least, they desire to be connected. The mythology of childhood, the stories and entertainment, support this way of thin king through everything in the world talking and interacting. Journeys to other realities and communication with the inhabitants of those realities are common. Magic is the norm when the hero or heroine of the story is in danger. This is the waking world of the child. This world is later transformed to a more practical world. A world of predictable mechanics is introduced, and believing is seeing. A thing must be demonstrated as "real" before it can be believed and integrated as part of the consciousness. The world of the child and shaman works in an opposite way from the mechanistic predictive world. They see what they believe. The world is the outcome of what the conscious wishes to perceive. Instead of a dead world that is measured, the shaman has a live world that responds to the desired measurements. Here magic is possible and will happen. This is the magic of the shaman and that of modern quantum physics in juxtaposition. We in the Western cultures live in a world that unknowingly straddles the adults and the childs thinking. We want to believe everything is cause and effect, but at the same time life continuously manifests through our conscious thoughts and subconscious thoughts. People and events work out how we perceive them to be. A happy outlook results in a happy day. A sad outlook results in a sad day. We loose track of this and measure the outcome, unaware that we had a hand in creating it. When we measure the outcome, and ignore the triggers, we become victims and loose power. The manifestation of events in our lives become the pawns of outside forces. A viscous cycle begins as we believe in a destiny directed by things "outside" of ourselves. The reality of the situation is directed by our thoughts and the perception is rewarded with a matching outcome to

those thoughts. This reinforces the perception of victimhood, and the cycle builds until we are seemingly powerless. The magic of the childs thinking is subverted by the adults thinking. Why does this happen? It happens because we are not awa re of the power that our thoughts have. We are not aware that the world responds to us. The ego, that part of us that builds a "safe" reality, builds a box that our intellect and emotions are trapped. Does this mean that the magic is gone? No. The true, alive, and responsive reality is outside the box and has never left. It only waits for we, as adults, to rediscover it. The Magic of Reality What does it mean to rediscover the magic in life? How does one rediscover the magic? The answer is through altered consciousness. We have glimpses of the magic even as we are in our boxes, but our ego moves us away from the windows and directs us to be safe in our victimhood. The subconscious mind is put in a dark corner of the box, or more likely, it is locked outside. The shifting into altered consciousness reunites the waking and asleep minds. The secret to the reunion is that the boxes of our ego and victimhood build are merely illusions. They are unknowing, sleeping application of the magic of life. The box of ego i s melted away when we grasp the altered consciousness. We dont have to walk out the door because the box was never really there. The box and its door were only present when we chose it to be present. The combined conscious knows that it sees what it belie ves. Our realities are only limited by belief. Belief is only limited by imagination. Magical imagination lives outside of fear and embraces all that is known to be possible. Is the limitation of imagination what we know? This is where the subconscious mind gives a hand. The subconscious mind easily taps into ancient archetypes, channeled material, spirit guides, and all other forms of energy, form, and communication that are just out of sight from the conscious mind. The subconscious mind provides or augme nts the knowledge of the conscious mind. The conscious mind does take many cues from the physical surroundings. The society around a person has much to say about how things work, when they work, and where they work. This is both very powerful and it can also be a detriment. A culture that is rich in a magical mythology can give a very healthy and vibrant frame for the subconscious to fill in. The restrictive culture stunts the subconscious, providing little room for it to blossom and grow. There are also layers to a society. Society is parents, authority figures, and teachers. Society is what we learn through our own studies and those directed by others. How does self -taught knowledge relate to the layers of society? The materials used are a product of the s ociety. If the subconscious mind is not providing information, all we can know is what has been already recorded. The subconscious mind provides new fuel for learning. The subconscious mind transcends the layers of society. The Path to Altered Consciousness If a state of altered consciousness is active when the subconscious and conscious minds are working together, how do we arrive that that state? The first step is very easy: believe that it is possible. Believe that information can come from unseen places . Believe in divination, channeling, spirit guides, omens, prophecies, time travel, astral projection, and all other manner of subconscious things. Believe in the magical and those things of the altered conscious. You will then see what you believe and the cycle will be upward instead of downward. Belief is reinforced by tools that are part mundane and part real. The tarot is a good example. The cards are only pieces of card stock. However, they provide a tool to connect to the synchronicity of the universe. The cards provide a means of looking through the veil that separates worlds and energies. The printed card stock becomes a magical tool as it taps into the intuitive energies and archetypes that are ever present and waiting to be contacted. Knowledge can do the same thing. Knowing color associations, names of angels, rituals of invocation, and so on, gives the user tools to connect to the altered consciousness. The shaman is taught a potentially complex system of beliefs which includes the knowledge and b elief in the names of the helping spirits in the shamanic pantheon, the memory of certain texts (sermons, shaman-songs, legends and myths), the rules for activities (rituals, sacrifices, the techniques of ecstasy) and the objects, tools and paraphernalia used by shamans (drum, stick, bow, mirror, costumes, etc.). The expression of all of these elements are determined by the tribe/group that the shaman operates in. The student of shamanism will be exposed and taught according to the tribe/group they instructed through. We have our own metaphysical belief structures that are just

as complex. While these are not are traditionally "shamanic", they do have a tremendous power because they are OURS and they are there for us to use as we alter our consciousness. Tools and knowledge are just parts of the path of altered consciousness. They should not be thought to be the journey or even the destination. There is a danger here for the growing shaman or anybody on a spiritual journey. There is a trap here. When the tools and rituals of the shaman are seen as dogma, that is, a fixed set of rules, the shamanic path becomes a dead -end. . A person who says, "I am a Master", has come to their dead -end. This trap is laid by the teacher. Custom, tradition, and ceremony are just tools for a spiritual path. Once the basics are learned, a person must walk their own path. The teacher who holds a properly prepared student to fixed ways is holding them to a dead thing. Anyone who has the tools and only follows the path of others will not discover the living expression of the altered consciousness. There is a trap that the student sets for themselves. In this modern world everyone wants things too fast without taking their time to learn the tools before setting out on his or her journey . There is a danger for those who do not learn the tools of their group fully and try to walk a spiritual path. They will be thrashing aimlessly in the dark and will eventually hurt themselves and others. Tools have power, and there is responsibility in their power. Teaching will follow a set pattern not because it is dogma, but instead because of consideration to the maturity of spirit and knowledge of the student. The trap of the teacher and the student are shared by all mystical schools. However, the tea ching and learning of shamanism is more endangered because of the uniquely individual path and experience of the practicing shaman. Shamanism, or any practice of altered consciousness, is ultimately a method, not a religion with a fixed set of dogmas. People arrive at their own experience, deriving conclusions about what is going on in the universe, a place that is "just the way things are". There is the following writing from an ancient Chinese parable: "Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of ol d; seek instead what they sought ." In summary, to achieve a state of altered consciousness one must first believes it can be done, finds tools (cultural and self) and then uses the tools instead of being used by them. Conclusion Altered consciousness is the connection of conscious and subconscious. Interestingly, this connection itself can be subconscious and the results can box a person into victimhood relative to the world. The shamanic student or the student of life recognizes this and dissolves the boxe s of the ego. They live in a growing state of awareness. In this awareness the world responds to their wishes. The synchronicity of the inner and outer working together in harmony is recognized. Power is aided by tools and knowledge that link worlds and en ergies. The tools and energies are not the destination, and outcome for the shaman is a topic for another paper. Be content with knowing that there is a process and the process is very flexible. The process of altered consciousness only asks for one thing: Believe.

Appendix Altered Consciousness: Non-Ordinary Reality


The shaman communicates with the spirit world in a state of altered consciousness. This altered consciousness has been referred to as "non-ordinary" reality by Carlos Castaneda. While the shaman is in a state of non-ordinary reality, the realness is identical to that of ordinary reality. The methods may be used separately or in conjunction (i.e. a sweat lodge). The methods of achieving an altered consciousness are varied, with the shaman using the method(s) that are culturally accepted. These methods include: 1) Shifting of Awareness through meditation or will . The shaman shifts into the alternate reality of thought, form, and energy by moving their center of focus. The physical body of the sham an may or may not remain in the original location, but the mind and spirit of the shaman moves to a state of altered consciousness. This is commonly practiced by the Western world under the guise of "psychic abilities". A shamanic journey to Upperworld and Underworld is an example of this shifting of awareness. 2) Physical or sensory deprivation . The shaman undergoes fasting, no sleep, and darkness. The

focus of all of these is to remove the outward contemplation, turn thought inward toward another reality. The removal of the outward world provides a clear and open pathway to other realms of thought and energy. Dreaming is a very mild example of the transition achieved in these states. 3) The use of sacred plants . Culturally accepted mind/mood altering plants are used for sacred reasons, not recreational. Often, when there is a mental narrowness that impedes the achieving of non-ordinary reality, the sacred plants open the door and provide a entry. Future entry can then be achieved through other means. 4) Auditory aids to altered states . Drums, chanting, and music serve the purpose of bypassing the logical, language side of the self. It is known that the auditory aids activate all brain centers, opening states of consciousness suppressed in ordinary conditions. Drumming is a common tool for opening the shaman to journeying. 5) Spirit Allies . These represent a combination of logic and intuition as man reaches for symbols of a unified order of things. The spirit allies can be part of ourselves, and also part of that universe outside of our brain. Engaging spirit allies is like strapping on an auxiliary form of transportation. The shaman is aided in their travels by an energy that is perceived to be outside of themselves.

Shamanism-General Overview-Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Summary: This FAQ contains a general overview on shamanism. It should be read by anyone interested in understanding the what is meant by shamanism and what differentiates shamanism form other forms of ecstatic experience

NOTE: The following general overview of shamanism is not intended to be the last word or the definitive work on this subject. Rather it is, as its title implies, intended to provide the participant or reader with a set of guidelines that will familiarize them with the general use of the terms shamanism, shaman and shamanic in the trends, study and practice of historic, traditional and contemporary shamanic experience. The word 'shaman comes to English from the Tungus language via Russian. Among the Tungus of Siberia it is both a noun and a verb. While the Tungus have no word for shamanism, it has come into usage by anthropologists, historians of religion and others in contemporary society to designate the experience and the practices of the shaman. Its usage has grown to include similar experiences and practices in cultures outside of the original Siberian cultures from which the term shaman originated. Thus shamanism is not the name of a religion or group of religions. Particular attention should be paid to the use of qualifying words such as "may" or "usually". They indicate examples or tendencies and are not, in any way, intended to represent rigid standards Table of Contents: 1. Terms used in this FAQ

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

What is shamanism? What is Shamanic Ecstasy? Becoming a shaman The role of trauma in the development of a shaman The relationship between shamanic traditions and culture The role of Shamanic Ecstasy The origin of the term "shamanism" Roles of the shaman Reasons for this FAQ What recommended books are available on shamanism? What useful books are available about Siberian, Central Asian, Finno-Uralic and Arctic shamanism? What useful books are available about Celtic Otherworld Tradition? What useful books are available about nontraditional contemporary shamanism? What useful books are available about shamanism among Native Americans in North America? What useful books are available about shamanism among Native Americans in South America? What useful books are available about African shamanism? What useful books are available about shamanism in South and East Asia? What useful books are available about Shamanism and Ethnobotany?

1. Why were the terms used in this FAQ selected and do they have special meanings. There is an extensive literature about shamanism that has been compiled since the late Eighteenth Century. Like any field of study and religious practice, shamanism has developed a specialized vocabulary. Please note that some of the words used in the material that follows are drawn from scholars who have a solid background in shamanic studies and may have meanings that are specific and less general than is often the case in popular usage. Consulting a good dictionary should clear up any points of confusion. 2. What is Shamanism? Shamanism is classified by anthropologists as an archaic magico-religious phenomenon in which the shaman is the great master of ecstasy. Shamanism itself, was defined by the late Mircea Eliade as a technique of ecstasy. A shaman may exhibit a particular magical specialty (such as control over fire, wind or magical flight). When a specialization is present the most common is as a healer. The distinguishing characteristic of shamanism is its focus on an ecstatic trance state in which the soul of the shaman is believed to leave the body and ascend to the sky (heavens) or descend into the earth (underworld). The shaman makes use of spirit helpers, with whom he or she communicates, all the while retaining control over his or her own consciousness. (Examples of possession occur, but are the exception, rather than the rule.) It is also important to note that while most shamans in traditional societies are men, either women or men may and have become shamans. There are a number of relatively common practices and experiences in traditional shamanism which are being investigated by modern researchers. While the older traditional practices are ignored by some researchers, others have begun to explore these older techniques. The emergence of the new field of the 'anthropology of consciousness' and the establishment of Transpersonal Psychology as a "Fourth Force"

in psychology have opened up the investigation of research into the nature and history of consciousness in ways not previously possible. Outside of academic circles a growing number of people have begun to make serious inquiries into ancient shamanic techniques for entering into altered states of consciousness. Traditional shamans developed techniques for lucid dreaming and what is today called the out-of-the-body experience (oobe). These methods for exploring the inner landscape are being investigated by a wide range of people. Some are academics, some come from traditional societies and others are modern practitioners of non-traditional shamanism or neo-shamanism. Along with these techniques, the NDE or near-death-experience have played a significant role in shamanic practice and initiation for millenia. There is extensive documentation of this in ethnographic studies of traditional shamanism. With this renewed interest in these older traditions these shamanic methods of working with dreams and being conscious and awake while dreaming are receiving increased attention. The ability to consciously move beyond the physical body is the particular specialty of the traditional shaman. These journeys of Soul may take the shaman into the nether realms, higher levels of existence or to parallel physical worlds or other regions of this world. Shamanic Flight, is in most instances, an experience not of an inner imaginary landscape, but is reported to be the shamans flight beyond the limitations of the physical body. As noted in this article, the Call to shamanize is often directly related to a near death experience by the prospective shaman. Among the traditional examples are being struck by lightening, a fall from a height, a serious life-threatening illness or lucid dream experiences in which the candidate dies or has some organs consumed and replaced and is thus reborn. Survival of these initial inner and outer brushes with death provides the shaman with personal experiences which strengthen his or her ability to work effectively with others. Having experienced something, a shaman is more likely to understand what must be done to correct a condition or situation. Post-Shamanic: While shamanism may be readily identified among many hunding and gathering peoples and in some traditional herding societies, identifying specific groups of individuals who might be called shamans is a difficult task in more stratified agricultural and manufacturing based societies. A society may be said to be PostShamanic when there are the presence of shamanic motifs in its traditional folklore or spiritual practices indicate a clear pattern of traditions of ascent into the heavens, descent into the netherworlds, movement between this world and a parallel Otherworld, are present in its history. Such a society or tradition may have become very specialized and recombined aspects of mysticism, prophecy and shamanism into more specialized or more 'fully developed' practices and may have assigned those to highly specialized functionaries. When such practices and functionaries are present or have teplaced the traditional shamans found in historical or traditional shamanism the use of Post-shamanic is appropriate. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) (August, 1995) More specifically, a society may be said to be Post-Shamanic when

at least 6 of the following 8 conditions have been met: a. Shamanic ecstasy is still present, but light trance techniques are also used to access the Otherworld. b. Agriculture and some forms of manufacturing/crafts have replaced hunting and gathering as the primary basis for the economic life of the community. c.The society has developed a highly stratified social structure and very specialized occupations. d. Religion and spiritual methodology has become more fully developed and can no longer be properly referred to as 'archaic'. This is expecially important for rituals, ceremonies and ecstatic techniques which had traditionally been the domain of the shamans. e. Mystical ecstasy and unitive visions have become at least as important esoteric experiences and doctrines as shamanic ecstasy, ascension and descent in the religious and spiritual life of the community. f. The shaman is no longer the primary escort for the souls of the dead into their place in the next world (psychopomp). This role generally either passes onto the priestcraft or clergy to perform through ritual, is an object of individual or group prayer, or is beleived to be done by gods of guardian spirits, angels or demons. g. A professional clergy is present which regulates the religious life of the community. h. Other forms of healing, divining and counseling are present have replaced shamans as the primary source of such services. Post-shamanic motifs are found among many Indo-Eruopean, Asian, African and some native peoples of North America. The use of Post-Shamanic as a term makes examination of these parallel traditons and possible survivals of earlier shamanic traditions easier. 3. What is Shamanic Ecstasy and how does it compare with other forms of ecstasy? From the Greek 'ekstasis', ecstasy literally means to be placed outside, or to be placed. This is a state of exaltation in which a person stands outside of or transcends his or herself. Ecstasy may range from the seizure of the body by a spirit or the seizure of a person by the divine, from the magical transformation or flight of consciousness to psychiatric remedies of distress. Three types of Ecstasy are specified in the literature on the subject: a. Shamanic Ecstasy b. Prophetic Ecstasy c. Mystical Ecstasy Shamanic ecstasy is provoked by the ascension of the soul of the shaman into the heavens or its descent into the underworld. These

states of ecstatic exaltation are usually achieved after great and strenuous training and initiation, often under distressing circumstances. The resulting contact by the shaman with the higher or lower regions and their inhabitants, and also with nature spirits enables him or her to accomplish such tasks as accompanying the soul of a deceased into its proper place in the next world, affect the well-being of the sick and to convey the story of their inner travels upon their return to the mundane awareness. The utterances of the shaman are in contrast with those of prophetic and mystical ecstasy. The prophet literally speaks for God, while the mystic reports an overwhelming divine presence. In mysticism, the direct knowledge or experience of the divine ultimate reality, is perceptible in two ways, emotional and intuitive. While these three varieties of ecstatic experience are useful for the purposes of analysis and discussion, it is not unusual for more than one form of ecstasy to be present in an individual's experience. However, it can be argued that, generally speaking, there are three perceptive levels of ecstasy. a) The physiological response, in which the mind becomes absorbed in and focused on a dominant idea, the attention is withdrawn and the nervous system itself is in part cut off from physical sensory input. The body exhibits reflex inertia, involuntary nervous responses, frenzy. b) Emotional perception of ecstasy refers to overwhelming feelings of awe, anxiety, joy, sadness, fear, astonishment, passion, etc. c) Intuitive perception communicates a direct experience and understanding of the transpersonal experience of expanded states of awareness or consciousness. While the physiological response is always present, the emotional response may or may not be significant when intuition is the principal means of ecstatic perception. Some have argued that beyond the intuitive state there is a fourth condition in which the holistic perception exceeds mental and emotional limitations and understanding. The ecstatic experience of the shaman goes beyond a feeling or perception of the sacred, the demonic or of natural spirits. It involves the shaman directly and actively in transcendent realities or lower realms of being. These experiences may occur in either the dream state, the awakened state, or both. Dreams, and in particular, lucid dreams, often play a significant role in the life of a shaman or shamanic candidate. ---------------------------------------------------------------------TRANCE STATES (or whatever title you want to give it) (The following edited extracts from a paper wrtten by Joseph Bearwalker Wilson in 1978.It describes some theory of the trance state as it applies to shamanism.) copyright, 1978, 1995 by Joseph Bearwalker Wilson

(bearwalker@netonecom.net) (Reprinted by permission of the author.) In order to journey to the other dimensions of existence a shaman induces an altered state of consciousness in himself similar to a state of self-hypnosis. While in this shamanic trance he is in complete control; able to take his consciousness and subtle bodies into nonphysical reality where he visits the heavens and hells of existence, communicates with and controls spirits, gains information, retrieves souls, and makes subtle changes in reality which may affect the physical world. A classical, and fairly accurate descriptive definition of hypnosis is "a condition or state of selective hypersuggestibility brought about in an individual through the use of certain specific psychological or physical manipulations of the individual." The key words here are "selective hypersuggestibility." A hypnotherapist uses that selective hypersuggestibility in order to help bring about desired changes in an individual. On the other hand a person practicing shamanic techniques uses that state in order to fine tune his or her senses in order to see, feel, hear, and smell more vividly while traveling in the other worlds. The lighter trance states feel like those times when you are reading a book, or watching television or a movie, and are so engrossed that you are not aware of your surroundings. The deeper trances feel similar to how you feel when you are first waking up in the morning. You are aware that you are awake, your imagery is vivid and dreamlike, and you feel relaxed, calm, and good. The ability to attain a and control a trance is the result of cumulative conditioning and mental training. A weight lifter trains himself by practicing daily. He begins by lifting relatively light weights and progresses to heavier and heavier ones. Eventually he is able to lift a 200 pound weight above his head with relative ease. By working in this manner he has trained his muscles to respond according to his will. After he has reached his goal he can maintain the ability by practicing only two or three times per week. If he stops practicing entirely his muscles will gradually loose their conditioning and strength and, after a time, he will no longer be able to lift the weight. By reestablishing a routine of practice he will bring his ability back to where it was. This same principle applies to the trance state. You train your mind to respond in accordance with your will in order to produce the ability to develop a deep trance. This is done by daily practice. It may take some time and effort to establish that ability, but once you have it you will be able to maintain it by practicing only once or twice per week. If you stop practicing entirely your ability will gradually lessen. Like the weight lifter you will need to begin a more regular practice in order to reestablish your abilities. When you go into any trance you gradually progress from ordinary consciousness into deeper levels. It's convenient to have a means of measuring the depth of your trance, so the paragraphs that follow outline some of the symptoms found at various depths. For convenience sake I've divided the depths of trance into four major sections, and,

using terms borrowed from the hypnotic sciences, called them the Hypnodial, Light, Medium, and Deep trance states. In the Hypnodial Trance you progress from ordinary consciousness through the following steps: feeling physically relaxed, drowsy, your mind becomes relaxed and you may feel apathetic or indifferent, your arms and legs start to feel heavy, you may have a tendency to stare blankly, and have a disinclination to move your limbs. As you border this and the Light Trance your breathing becomes slower and deeper, and your pulse rate slows. In the Light Trance you progress to a reluctance to move, speak, think or act. You may experience some involuntary twitching of your mouth or jaw, and sometimes of the eyes. You will feel a heaviness throughout your entire body and a partial feeling of detachment. You may also experience visual illusions. As you border this and the Medium Trance you recognize that you are in a trance, but may find that feeling hard to describe. In the Medium Trance you definitely recognize that you are in a trance and may experience partial amnesia unless you consciously choose not to. By giving yourself the proper suggestions you can make any part of your body insensitive to pain, and can experience the illusions of touching, tasting, and smelling. You will be more sensitive to variations in atmospheric pressure and temperature changes. As you border this and the Deep Trance you may experience complete catalepsy of your limbs or body. In other words, if your limbs or body positions are changed you will leave them in the new position until they are changed again. In the Deep Trance you can have the ability to open your eyes without affecting the trance. You will also have the ability to control such body functions as heart beat, blood pressure, digestion, and body temperature. You can make your body and limbs completely rigid. You will be able to recall lost memories and experience age regression. Here you can vividly experience the sensation of lightness, floating, or flying. You can also experience both positive and negative visual and auditory hallucinations both while in the trance, and, if given the proper suggestions, after awakening from the trance state. (A positive hallucination is when you are told that you see something that is not there, and you see it. A negative hallucination is when you are told that you do not see something that is there, and you do not.) In this state you can also stimulate dreams and visions, both during the trance state and (upon proper suggestion) later in your natural sleep. Each depth of trance has valuable uses. For example, in the Light and Medium Trances you can learn to begin practical shamanic journeying so that you can see, hear, touch and smell experiences in the worlds which border ours. In those trance states these journeys will feel similar to a fantasy or daydream and you may wonder if it is real, or just your imagination. As you train yourself to deepen the trance the journeys become more vivid, until, in the Deep Trance, they look and feel as though they are taking place in physical reality. Copyright (c) 1978, 1995 Joseph B. Wilson

Joseph Bearwalker Wilson (Bearwalker@aol.com) -------------------------------------------------------------------4. How does one become a shaman? Some have wondered if the experience of shamanic ecstasy or flight makes a person a shaman. Generally speaking, most would say no. A shaman is more than someone with an experience. First, he or she is a trained initiate. Usually years of enculturalization and training under a mentor precede becoming a functioning shaman. Second, a shaman is not just an initiate who has received inner and outer training, but is a master of shamanic journeying and techniques (shamanic ecstasy). This is not a casual acquaintance with such abilities, there is some degree of mastery of them. Finally, a shaman is a link or bridge between this world and the next. This is a sacred trust and a service to the community. Sometimes a community that a shaman serves in is rather small. In other instances it may be an entire nation. A lot of that depends on social and cultural factors. One becomes a shaman by one of three methods: a) Hereditary transmission; b) Spontaneous selection or "call" or "election"; c) personal choice and quest. (This latter method is less frequent and traditionally such a shaman is considered less powerful than one selected by one of the two preceding methods.) The shaman is not recognized as legitimate without having undergone two types of training: a) Ecstatic (dreams, trances, etc.) b) Traditional ("shamanic techniques, names and functions of spirits, mythology and genealogy of the clan, secret language, etc.) The two-fold course of instruction, given by the spirits and the old master shamans is equivalent to an initiation." (Mircea Eliade, The Encyclopedia of Religion, v. 13 , p. 202; Mcmillian, N.Y., 1987.) It is also possible for the entire process to take place in the dream state or in ecstatic experience. Thus, there is more to becoming a shaman than a single experience. It requires training, perseverance and service. 5. What is the role of personal crisis or trauma or crisis in the selection or development of a shaman? A common experience of the call to shamanism is a psychic or spiritual crisis, which often accompanies a physical or even a medical crisis, and is cured by the shaman him or herself. This is a common occurrence for all three types of shamanic candidates described above. The shaman is often marked by eccentric behavior such as periods of melancholy, solitude, visions, singing in his or her sleep, etc. The inability of the traditional remedies to cure the condition of the shamanic candidate and the eventual self cure by the new shaman is a significant episode in development of the shaman. The underlying significant aspect of this experience, when it is present, is the ability of the shaman to manage and resolve periods of distress. 6. Does the presence of an active shamanic tradition necessarily mean that

the society itself should be deemed "shamanic"? No, not at all. The presence of shamanism in a nation or a community does not mean that shamanism is central to the spiritual or religious life of the community or region. Shamanism often exists alongside and even in cooperation with the religious or healing practices of the community. 7. What is meant by shamanic ecstasy and what role does it actually play in shamanism? The ecstatic technique of shamanism does not involve itself in the broad range of ecstasy reported in the history of religion. It is specifically focused on the transpersonal movement of the consciousness of the shaman into higher or lower realms of consciousness and existence. Another aspect of shamanism is that compared to other spiritual traditions, it is a path that the individual walks alone. While much of the focus of shamanic studies has been on the shamanic complexes of north and central Asia, shamanism is a universal phenomenon, not confined to any particular region or culture. 8. What is the origin of the word "shaman"? Shaman comes from the language of the Tungus of North-Central Asia. It came into use in English via Russian. 9. What are the usual roles of a shaman? In contemporary, historical or traditional shamanic practice the shaman may at times fill the role of priest, magician, metaphysician or healer. Personal experience is the prime determinant of the status of a shaman. Knowledge of other realms of being and consciousness and the cosmology of those regions is the basis of the shamanic perspective and power. With this knowledge, the shaman is able to serve as a bridge between the mundane and the higher and lower states The shaman lives at the edge of reality as most people would recognize it and most commonly at the edge of society itself. Few indeed have the stamina to adventure into these realms and endure the outer hardships and personal crises that have been reported by or observed of many shamans. 10. Why was this FAQ written? This FAQ was originally written to support a new Usenet newsgroup, 'soc.religion.shamanism'. The purpose of this newsgroup is to provide a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas, views and information about historic, traditional, tribal and contemporary shamanism. This FAQ is intended to provide a useful general overview of what 'shamanism' actually means and what it is in practice. In doing so, it has focused on shamanic ecstasy as being at the heart of shamanic experience and practice. Many other aspects of shamanic experience are encountered in the journey toward that center. Likewise, much is also experienced in the journey out from that core experience. 11. What recommended books are available on shamanism?

(Items denoted by * are currently in print.) *1. 91-21838. Ashe, Geoffrey. Dawn behind the dawn: a search for an earthly paradise. Geoffrey Ashe. 1st ed. New York: H. Holt, 1992. viii, 274 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL311 .A74 1991 *2. Christman, Brian. Music & Trance in the Shamanic Universe. (Orig.) Redwood Seed. 1993. 44p. pap. 3. 75-901516: Crookall, Robert, 1890- Ecstasy: the release of the soul from the body. 1st ed. Moradabad: Darshana International, 1973. 163 p. ; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1389.A7 C649 *4. 91-115619: Eliade, Mircea, 1907- Shamanism : archaic techniques of ecstasy. London, England: Arkana, 1989. xxiii, 610 p.; 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 E42 *5. 91-21073: Flaherty, Gloria, 1938- Shamanism and the eighteenth century. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, c1992. xv, 320 p. : ill.; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 F53 1992 6. 89-45567: Goodman, Felicitas D. Where the spirits ride the wind: trance journeys and other ecstatic experiences. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, c1990. xii, 242 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1389.A7 G66 1990 *7. 82-132245: Grim, John. Reflections on shamanism: the tribal healer and the technological trance. Chambersburg, PA: Published for the American Teilhard Association for the Future of Man by; Anima Books, c1981. 16 p. 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: E98.R3 G74 1981 *8. 92-53905: Halifax, Joan. The fruitful darkness: reconnecting with the body of the earth.1st ed. [San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, c1993. xxxi, 240 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL624 .H26 1993 *9. 81-67705: Halifax, Joan. Shaman, the wounded healer. New York: Crossroad, c1982. 96 p.: ill. (some col.); 28 cm. London: Thames & Hudson, 1982, 1987. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 H33 1982 *10. Harner, Michael J. Hallucinogens & Shamanism. Oxford University Press, 1973.. xv, 200 p. illus. 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL65.D7 H37 *11. 90-44703: Heinze, Ruth-Inge. Shamans of the 20th century; with contributions by Charlotte Berney [et al.]. New York: Irvington, 1991. xx, 259 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 H418 1991 12. 90-175691: Hoppal, Mihaly and Sadovszky, Otto von, edited by. Shamanism: past and present. Budapest: Ethnographic Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Los Angeles: International Society for Trans-Oceanic Research, 1989. 2 v.: ill.; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 S4915 1989 *13. 94-43549: International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing (11th: 1994: San Rafael, Calif.) Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing: held at the Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, California, September 3 to 5, 1994/ Berkeley, Calif. : Independent Scholars of Asia, c1994. p. cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 I55 1993

*14. 94-2722: International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing (10th : 1993: San Rafael, Calif.) Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on the Study of Shamanism & Alternate Modes of Healing: held at the St. Sabina Center, San Rafael, California, September 4 to 6, 1993; Berkeley: Independent Scholars .of Asia, 1994. p. cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 I55 1993 *15. 92-47429: International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing (9th : 1992: San Rafael, Calif.) Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing: held at the St. Sabina Center, San Rafael, California, September 5 to 7, 1992 / Berkeley, Calif. : Independent Scholars of Asia, 1992. ix, 323 p. ; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 I55 1992 *16. 92-6776: International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing (8th : 1991: San Rafael, Calif.) Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing: held at the St. Sabina Center, San Rafael, California, August 31 to September 2, 1991. [Berkeley] : Independent Scholars of Asia, c1991. vii, 354 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 I55 1991 *17. 92-50127: Kalweit, Holger. Shamans, healers, and medicine men. 1st ed. Boston : Shambhala, 1992. x, 299 p., [8] p. of plates: ill.; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 K35813 1992 *18. 87-28842: Kalweit, Holger. Dreamtime & inner space: the world of the shaman / 1st ed. Boston : Shambhala Publications ; [New York, N.Y.] : Random House [Distributor], 1988. xvi, 297 p. ; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 K3513 1988 *19. 95-20517: Lewis, I. M. Religion in context : cults and charisma/ 2nd ed. New York : Cambridge University Press, c1996. p. cm. *20. 86-40405: Nicholson, Shirley; compiled by. Shamanism: an expanded view of reality edited by 1st ed. Wheaton, Ill., U.S.A.: Theosophical Pub. House, 1987. xxiii, 295 p.; 21 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 S48 1987 *21. 96-32504: Noel, Daniel C. The soul of shamanism: western fantasies, imaginal realities/ New York : Continuum, c1997. p. cm. *22. 95-24568: 1995. p. cm. The Performance of healing / New York : Routledge,

*23. 92-5415: Ripinsky-Naxon, Michael, 1944- The nature of shamanism: substance and function of a religious metaphor. Abany, N.Y. : State University of New York Press, c1993. xi, 289 p.: ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 R52 1993 *24. 85-1107. Rouget, Gilbert. [Musique et la transe. English] Music and trance: a theory of the relations between music and possession. Gilbert Rouget ; translation from the French revised by Brunhilde Biebuyck in collaboration with the author. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1985 . xix, 395 p.: ill ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: ML3920 .R813 1985

*25. 92-46586: Sansonese, J. Nigro. The body of myth: mythology, shamanic trance, and the sacred geography of the body. Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions; [s.l.]: Distributed to the book trade in the U.S. by International Distribution Corp., c1994. p. cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL313 .S326 1994 *26. 95-169033: Shamans and cultures. Budapest: Akademiai Kiado; Los Angeles: International Society for Trans-Oceanic Research, 1993. xi, 301 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: GN475.8 .S47 1993 *27. ocm27-490807: Siikala, Anna-Leena. Studies on shamanism/ Helsinki: Finnish Anthropological Society; Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1992. 230 p.: ill.; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL 2370 S5S66 1992 *28. 93-246913. Thorpe, S. A. Shamans, medicine men and traditional healers: a comparative study of shamanism in Siberian Asia, Southern Africa and North America. S.A. Thorpe. 1st ed. Pretoria: University of South Africa, 1993. 146 p. ; 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 T48 1993 *29. 86-31810: Villoldo, Alberto. Healing states. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987. xvi, 207 p., [8] p. of plates: ill.; 21 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: RZ400 .V5 1987 *30. 94-72921: Vitebsky, Piers. The shaman. 1st American ed. Boston: Little, Brown, c1995. 184 p.: ill. (some col.) ; 21 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: GN475.8 .V57 1995 *31. 89-48642: Walsh, Roger N. The spirit of shamanism; Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1990. p. cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5.W35 32. Witchcraft and sorcery of the American native peoples / edited by Deward E. Walker, Jr. ; preface by David Carrasco. Moscow, Idaho : University of Idaho Press, c1989. xi, 346 p.: ill., maps; 26 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: E59.R38 W58 1989

12. What usrful books are available about Siberian, Central Asian, Finno-Uralic and Arctic shamanism? 1. 91-22-00863-22: Ahlback, Tore. Saami Religion: Based on papers read at the symposium on Saami religion held at Abo, Finland, 16th 18th August 1984. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1987. 293 p. LC CALL NUMBER BL 980 L3 2. 78-313734: Backman, Louise, 1926- Studies in Lapp shamanism. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1978. 128 p.: ill.; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL980.L3 B34 *3. 1. 95-127754: Circumpolar religion and ecology: an anthropology of the North. Tokyo : University of Tokyo Press, c1994. xiii, 458 p.: ill., maps ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: GN673 .C57 1994 4. 89-77158: Balzer, Marjorie M., ed. Shamanism: Soviet Studies of Traditional Religion in Siberia & Central Asia. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, c1990. xviii, 197 p.: ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 S492 1990 5. Blodgett, Jean. The coming and going of the shaman : Eskimo shamanism and art : the Winnipeg Art Gallery March 11 to June 11, 1978. Jean Blodgett, Curator of Eskimo Art. [Winnipeg]:

The Gallery, [c1979]. LC CALL NumBER: E 99 E7 B6585 1979 6. 15-13480: Czaplicka, Marie Antoinette, d. 1921. Aboriginal Siberia, a study in social anthropology, Oxford, Clarendon press, 1914. xiv p., 1 l., 374, [2] p. 16 pl., 2 fold. maps. 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: GN635.S5 C8 7. Dioszegi, Vilmos. Popular beliefs and folklore tradition in Siberia. Edited by V. Dioszegi. English translation rev. by Stephen P. Dunn.. Bloomington, Indiana University, c1968. (Series title: Uralic and Altaic series ; v. 57). LC CALL NUMBER: GR345 .D513 8. 79-300802: Dioszegi and M. Hoppal., editors. Shamanism in Siberia. Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1978. 531 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 S49 9. 70-398375: Dioszegi, Vilmos. Tracing Shamans in Siberia. The story of an ethnographical research expedition. [Oosterhout] Anthropological Publications [1968] 328 p., 24 p. of photos. 20 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370 .S5D513 *10. 83-47834: Grim, John. The shaman: patterns of Siberian and Ojibway healing / Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c1983. :xiv, 258 p. ill.; 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 G75 1983 11. 70-864890: Hatto, A. T. (Arthur Thomas) Shamanism and epic poetry in Northern Asia, London, University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies), 1970. [2], 19 p. 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 H37 12. 86-161648: Saami pre-Christian religion : studies on the oldest traces of religion among the Saamis / Stockholm : Universitet Stockholms : [Distributed by] Almqvist & Wiksell International, c1985. 212 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL980.L3 S22 1985 13. 93-215323: Hoppal, M. & Pentikainen, J., eds. Northern religions and shamanism; Budapest : Akademiai Kiado ; Helsinki : Finnish Literature Society, 1992. xv, 214 p. : ill.; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL685 .N678 1992 14. 85-672605: Hoppal, Mihaly, editor. Shamanism in Eurasia. Gottingen: Edition Herodot,. c1984. 2 v. (xxi, 475 p.): ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 S487 1984 *15. 96-10824: Kharitidi, Olga. Entering the circle: the secrets of ancient Siberian wisdom discovered by a Russian psychiatrist/ 1st ed. [San Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco, c1996. 224 p.; 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611 .K48 1996 *16. 95-9141: Leonard, Linda Schierse. Creation's heartbeat: following the reindeer spirit. New York: Bantam Books, 1995. p. cm. *17. 92-16453: Merkur, Daniel. Becoming half hidden : shaminism and initiation among the Inuit/ New York : Garland Pub., 1992. xi, 364 p.; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: E99.E7 M52 1992 *18. 94-36777: Mousalimas, S. A. The transition from Shamanism to Russian Orthodoxy in Alaska / Providence, RI : Berghahn Books, c1995. viii, 254 p. : map ; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: E99.A34 M68 1995 19. 88-46031: Pentikainen, Juha. Kalevala mythology. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, c1989. xix, 265 p.: ill.; 25 cm.

LC CALL NUMBER: PH326 .P4613 1989 *20. 96-28497: Shamanic worlds: rituals and lore of Siberia and Central Asia/Armonk, NY : North Castle Books, 1997. p. cm. *21.95-46624: Shamanism and Northern ecology. Hawthorne, NY: Mouton de Gruyter, 1995. p. cm. 22. 79-322371: Siikala, Anna-Leena. The rite technique of the Siberian shaman. Helsinki: Suomalainen tiedeakatemia: Akateeminen kitjakauppa [jakaja], 1978. 385 p.; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: GR1 .F55 no. 220 *23. 92-169420: Symposium on the Saami Shaman Drum (1988: Turku, Finland) The Saami Shaman Drum: based on papers read at the Symposium on the Saami Shaman Drum held at Abo, Finland, on the 19th-20th of August 1988. Abo, Finland : Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History; Stockholm, Sweden : Distributed by Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1991. 182 p.: ill.; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: DL42.L36 S96 1988 13. What useful books are available about Celtic Otherworld Tradition? (Note: There are also a number of other materials available on contemporary and traditional celtic practices by John and Caitlin Mathews and R. J. Stewart.) *1. 92-53909: Cowan, Thomas Dale. Fire in the head: shamanism and the Celtic spirit / 1st ed. [San Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco,; c1993. 222 p. 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL900 .C69 1993 *2. 94-33811: Matthews, Caitlin, 1952- Encyclopedia of Celtic wisdom : the Celtic shaman's sourcebook; Shaftsbury, Dorset ; Rockport, Mass.: Element, 1994. p. cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL900 .M466 1994 *3. 94-25153: Matthews, Caitlin, Singing the soul back home : shamanism in daily life / Shaftesbury, Dorset; Rockport, Mass.: Element, 1995. xxi, 246 p.: ill.; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611 .M3788 1995 *4. A Fairy tale reader : a collection of story, lore and vision / chosen and edited by John and Caitl'in Matthews ; foreword by R. J. Stewart. London; San Francisco, CA : Aquarian/Thorsons, 1993. *5. 94-22046: Matthews, John, The Celtic shaman's pack: exploring the inner worlds; Shaftesbury, Dorset ; Rockport, Mass.: Element, 1994. p. cm. *5. 92-169131: Matthews, John, The song of Taliesin : stories and poems from the books of Broceliande / London: Aquarian Press, 1991. 192 p. ill.; 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: PR6063.A86325 S66 1991 *6. 91-45736: Matthews, John, The Celtic shaman : a handbook / Rockport, MA : Element, Inc., 1992. p. cm. *7. 91-140644: Matthews, John, Taliesin : shamanism and the bardic mysteries in Britain and Ireland / London: Aquarian Press, 1991. 357 p.: ill.; 22 cm. 8. 88-132275: Naddair, Kaledon. Keltic folk & faerie tales: their hidden meaning explored. London : Century, c1987. 269 p.: ill.; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: MLCM 91/03322 (G) *9 Stewart, R. J. The Living World of Faery.Glastonbury, Dorset: Gothic Image Publications, 1995. ill.: xxi, 218 p , 23 cm..

*10. 91-46470: Stewart, R. J., Earth light : the ancient path t11 transformation: rediscovering the wisdom of Celtic and faery lore. Rockport, MA : Element, 1992. p. 23 cm. *12. 92-32310: Stewart, R. J., 1949- Power within the land: the roots of Celtic and underworld traditions, awakening the sleepers, and regenerating the earth. Shaftesbury, Dorset ; Rockport, MA: Element, 1992. xxiii, 163 p. : ill.; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1552 .S75 1992 14. What useful books are available about nontraditional contemporary shamanism? The following is a list of some materials available on contemproary nontraditional shamanism? (Please note that the following books may also contain useful information about tradtiional or historical aspects of shamanism.) *1. 84-20748: Achterberg, Jeanne. Imagery in healing : shamanism and modern medicine / 1st ed. Boston : New Science Library, Shambhala ; New York: Distributed in the U.S. by Random House, 1985. viii, 253 p.: ill.; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: R726.5 .A24 1985 *2. 91-55334: Arrien, Angeles 1940- The four-fold way : walking the paths of the warrior, teacher, healer, and visionary.1st ed. [San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, c1993. xviii, 203 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611 .A76 1993 *3. 94-162087: Brown, Tom, Awakening spirits/ Berkley trade pbk. ed. New York : Berkley Books, 1994. 217 p.; 21 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL624 .B638 1994 *4. 96-22341: Cowan, Thomas Dale. Shamanism as a spiritual practice for daily life / Freedom, Calif.: Crossing Press, 1996. p. cm. *5. 95-32363: Cruden, Loren, 1952- Coyote's council fire : contemporary shamans on race, gender, and community / Rochester, Vt. : Destiny Books, c1996. p. cm. *6. 94-35159: Cruden, Loren, The spirit of place: a workbook for sacred alignment. Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books, c1995. p. cm. *7. 87-32233: Doore, Gary, compiled & edited by. Shaman's path: healing, personal growth & empowerment. 1st ed. Boston: Shambhala: Distributed in the U.S.A. by Random House, 1988. xii, 236 p. ; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 S525 1988 8. 81-15771: Drury, Nevill, 1947- The shaman and the magician: journeys between the worlds. London ; Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982. xii, 129 p.: ill.; 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 D783 1982 *9. 95-18506: Espinoza, Luis. Chamalu: the shamanic way of the heart. Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books, 1995. p. cm. *8. 89-46444: Harner, Michael J. The way of the shaman; 10th anniversary ed., 1st Harper & Row pbk. ed., San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990. xxiv, 171 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: RZ401 .H187 1990 *10. 94-144219: Hughes-Calero, Heather. Circle of power / Sedona, Ariz. : Higher Consciousness Books, 1993 137 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: MLCM 94/13514 (B) *11. 91-73187: Hughes-Calero, Heather. The flight of Winged Wolf:

1st ed. Carmel, Calif. : Higher Consciousness Books, 1991. 159 p.: ill.; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1999 .H379 1991 *12. Hughes-Calero, Heather. The Shamanic Journey of Living as Soul. 1st ed.; Carmel, Calif.: Higher Consciousness Books,1994. 144 p.: ill.; 23 cm. *13. 89-82151: Hughes-Calero, Heather. Woman between the wind. 1st ed. Carmel, Calif.: Higher Consciousness Books,1990. 156 p.: ill. ; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: MLCM 92/13881 (P) *14. 90-56447: Ingerman, Sandra. Soul retrieval: mending the fragmented self.1st ed. San Francisco, Calif.: HarperSanFrancisco, c1991. xii, 221 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL65.M4 I45 1991 *15. 93-4429: Ingerman, Sandra. Welcome home : following your soul's journey home. 1st ed. [San Francisco, Calif.]: HarperSanFrancisco,. c1993, 187 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL65.M4 I453 1993 15. 86-28856: Jamal, Michele. Shape shifters : shaman women in contemporary society / New York : Arkana, 1987. xx, 204 p. : ports. ; 20 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL458 .J36 1987 *16. 93-48357: Keeney, Bradford P. Shaking out the spirits : a psychotherapist's entry into the healing mysteries of global shamanism. Barrytown, N.Y. : Station Hill Press, c1994. vi, 179 p.: ill. ; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611 .K33 1994 *17. 90-39839: King, Serge. Urban shaman. New York: Simon & Schuster, c1990. 256 p.; 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 K58 1990 *18. Larsen, Stephen. The Shaman's Doorway: Opening Imagination to Power & Myth.. Barrytown, N.Y.: Station Hill Press, 1988. xii, 258 p.: ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL304 .L37 1988 *19. 92-195879: Meadows, Kenneth. Earth medicine: a shamanic way to self discovery. Shaftesbury, Dorset ; Rockport, Mass.: Element, 1991. xi, 333 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1622.U6 M43 1989 *20. 92-194584: Meadows, Kenneth. The medicine way: a shamanic path to self mastery. Shaftesbury, Dorset ; Rockport, Mass.: Element,1991. xx, 228 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1622.U6 M44 1991 *21. 91-37142: Meadows, Kenneth. Shamanic experience : a practical guide to contemporary shamanism. Shaftesbury, Dorset; Rockport, Mass. : Element, 1991. 196 p.: ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611 .M42 1991 *22. 92-56408: Mindell, Arnold. The shaman's body : a new shamanism for transforming health, relationships, and community. 1st HarperCollins pbk. ed. [San Francisco, CA]: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993. xvi, 236 p.; 21 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611. M56 1993 *23. 95-12177: Natale, Frank. Trance dance: the dance of life. Rockport, Mass.: Element, 1995. p. cm. *24. 91-58922: Noble, Vicki. Uncoiling the snake: ancient patterns in contemporary women's lives: a snake power reader. 1st ed. San Francisco, Calif.: HarperSanFrancisco, c1993. xv, 189 p.: ill.; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611 .N63 1993

*25. 89-45959: Noble, Vicki. Shakti woman: feeling our fire, healing our world: the new female shamanism. 1st ed. San Francisco, Calif. HarperSanFrancisco, c1991. x, 255 p.: ill.; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL625.7 .N63 1991 *26. 91-42561: Roth, Gabrielle. Maps to ecstasy: teachings of an urban shaman. San Rafael, Calif.: New World Library, 1989, 1992. p. cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 R67 1992 *27. 90-29017: Scott, Gini Graham. Shamanism & personal mastery: using symbols, rituals, and talismans to activate the powers within you.1st ed. New York : Paragon House, 1991. xiii, 284 p. ; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1611 .S39 1991 *28. 95-166791. Tucker, Michael. Dreaming with open eyes: The shamanic spirit in twentieth century art and culture. San Francisco: Aquarius/ HarperSanFrancisco, 1992. xxiii, 432 p., ill., 25 cm. LC CALL NumBER: BL2370.S5 T83 1992 *29. 94-30646: Warter, Carlos. Recovery of the sacred : lessons in soul awareness; Deerfield Beach, Fla.: Health Communications, Inc., c1994. p. cm. *30. 90-55404: Whitaker, Kay Cordell. The reluctant shaman : a woman's first encounters with the unseen spirits of the earth. 1st ed. [San Francisco, Calif.]: HarperSanFrancisco, c1991. viii, 296 p. ; 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL73.W45 A3 1991 15. What useful books are available about shamanism among Native Americans in North America? 1. Hultkrantz, Ake. The North American Indian Orpheus tradition; a contribution to comparative religion. Stockholm, 1957. 339 p. 25 cm. Series: Ethnographical Museum of Sweden, Stockholm. Monograph series, publication no. 2. LC CALL NUMBER 98.R3 H82 2. 92-18476. Hultkrantz, Ake. Shamanic healing and ritual drama: health and medicine in native North American religious traditions. New York: Crossroad, 1992. LC CALL NUMBER: E98.R3 H825 1992 3. Johnson, Ronald. The art of the shaman. Iowa City, Iowa : University of Iowa Museum of Art' 1973. 32 p.: ill. 26 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: E78 N78 J636 *4. 94-41813: Knab, T. J. A war of witches : a journey into the underworld of the contemporary Aztecs / 1st ed. San Francisco : HarperSanFrancisco, c1995. 224 p.: ill. ; 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: F1221.N3 K53 1995 5a. Park, Willard Zerbe. Shamanism in western North America; a study in cultural relationships, by Willard Z. Park. Evanston and Chicago, Northwestern University, 1938. viii, 166 p. 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: H31. N6 no.2 5b. Park, Willard P. (Willard Zerbe) Shamanism in western North America; a study in cultural relationships, by Willard Z. Park. New York, Cooper Square Publishers, 1975. viii, 166 p. 24 cm. Reprint of the 1938 ed. published by Northwestern University, Evanston. viii, 166 p. 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: E98.R3 P23 1975 6. The Shaman from Elko : papers in honor of Joseph L. Henderson on his seventy-fifth birthday / [editorial committee, Gareth Hill, chairman ... et al.]. San Francisco : C. G. Jung Institute of San

Francisco, c1978. 272 p.; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: RC509 .S53 *7. 95-24157: Wardwell, Allen. Tangible visions: Northwest Coast Indian shamanism and its art. New York: Monacelli Press, 1995. p. cm. 16. What useful books are available about shamanism among Native Americans in South America? *1. 95-35703: Ayani, Jessie Estan. Kintui : visions of the Inca Shamans. 1st ed. St. Paul, Minn.: Galde Press, 1995. p. cm. *2. 96-13120: Gray, Andrew, The last Shaman--change in an Amazonian community / Providence, R.I.: Berghahn Books, 1996. p. cm. 3. 91-42609: Portals of power: Shamanism in South America. Eedited by E. Jean Matteson Langdon and Gerhard Baer. 1st ed. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, c1992. x, 350 p.: ill., map ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: F2230.1.R3 P65 1992 *4. 95-41259: Reichel-Dolmatoff, Gerardo. Yurupari: studies of an Amazonian foundation myth. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions, 1995. p. cm. 5. 81-103991: Spirits, shamans, and stars: perspectives from South America. Editors: David L. Browman, Ronald A. Schwarz. The Hague; New York: Mouton, c1979. vii, 276 p.: ill.; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: F2230.1.M4 S68 *5. 94-108851: Mattei Muller, Marie-Claude. Yoroko : a Panare shaman's confidences / 1st ed. Caracas, Venezuela : Armitano Editores, 1992. 165, [3] p. : col. ill. ; 31 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: F2319.2.P34 M38 1992 *6. 94-34600: Villoldo, Alberto. Dance of the four winds : secrets of the Inca medicine wheel / Rochester, Vt. : Destiny Books, c1995. p. cm. *7. 94-34598: Villoldo, Alberto. Island of the sun : mastering the Inca medicine wheel / Rochester, Vt. : Destiny Books, c1995. p. cm. *8. 87-10643: Wilbert, Johannes. Tobacco and shamanism in South America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. xix, 294 p.: ill.; 25 cm. Series title: Psychoactive plants of the world. LC CALL NUMBER: F2230.1.T63 W55 1987 9. 89-20493: Witchcraft and sorcery of the American native peoples. Edited by Deward E. Walker, Jr.; preface by David Carrasco. Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho wress, c1989. xi, 346 p.: ill., maps; 26 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: E59.R38 W58 1989 *10. 87-10643: Wilbert, Johannes. Tobacco and shamanism in South America. New Haven: Yale University Press, c1987. xix, 294 p.: ill. ; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: F2230.1.T63 W55 1987

17. What useful books are available about African shamanism? *1. 95-37708: Arden, Nicky. The spirits speak: one woman's journey into the African spirit world of the sangomas. 1st ed. N.Y. : Henry Holt, 1996. p. cm. 2. 89-205906: Culture, experience, and pluralism : essays on African ideas of illness and healing. Uppsala : Academiae Upsaliensis; Stockholm, Sweden: Distributed by Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1989. 308 p.: ill.; 24 cm.

LC CALL NUMBER: GN645 .C85 1989 *3. 95-157: Hall, James. Sangoma: my odyssey into the spirit world of Africa. New York : Simon & Schuster, 1995. p. cm. 18. What useful books are available about shamanism in South and East Asia? *1. 96-43233: Bernstein, Jay H., Spirits captured in stone : shamanism and traditional medicine among the Taman of Borneo / Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1996. p. cm. 2. 55-28909: [Ch'u, Yuan] ca. 343-ca. 277 B.C. The nine songs; a study of shamanism in ancient China London, G. Allen and Unwin [1955] 64 p. 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL1825 .C45 1955 3. 86-183798: Covell, Alan Carter. Folk art and magic: Shamanism in Korea. Seoul, Korea: Hollym Corp., c1986. 216 p.: ill (some col.); 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2236.S5 C68 1986 4. 83-81487: Covell, Alan Carter. Ecstasy : Shamanism in Korea Elizabeth, N.J.: Hollym International, 1983. 107 p.: ill. (some col.); 26 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 C68 1983 5. 78-27500: Harvey, Youngsook Kim. Six Korean women: the socialization of shamans. St. Paul: West Pub. Co., c1979. xi, 326 p., [8] leaves of plates : ill.; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 H36 6. 87-37256 Heinze, Ruth-Inge. Trance and healing in Southeast Asia today. Bangkok, Thailand: White Lotus Co.; Berkeley [Calif.]: Independent Scholars of Asia, 1988. ix, 406 p.: col. ill.; 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2370.S5 H42 1988 7. 84-244601: Korean folklore. U.S. ed. Seoul, Korea: Si-sayong-o-sa Publishers; Arch Cape, Or., U.S.A.: Pace International Research, c1983. viii, 312 p.: ill.; 23 cm. *8. 94-2375: Lee, Jae Hoon. The exploration of the inner wounds--Han. Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, c1994. ix, 188 p.; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF575.H26 L44 1994 9. 82-133339: Lee, Jung Young. Korean shamanistic rituals. The Hague; New York: Mouton, c1981. xvi, 249 p.: ill.; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2236.S5 L43 1981 10. 87-71271: Shamanism: the spirit world of Korea / Berkeley, Calif.: Asian Humanities Press, 1988. 190 p.; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2236.S5 S48 1988 *11. 94-23024: Maskarinec, Gregory Gabriel. The rulings of the night: an ethnography of Nepalese shaman oral texts. Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c1995. p. cm. *12. 92-23545: Desjarlais, Robert R. Body and emotion : the aesthetics of illness and healing in the Nepal Himalayas. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, c1992. xii, 300 p.: ill., map; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2033.5.S52 D45 1992 13. 88-40440: Mumford, Stan. Himalayan dialogue : Tibetan lamas and Gurung shamans in Nepal / Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, c1989. xii, 286 p.: ill.; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2034.3.G93 M85 1989 14. 81-52908: Peters, Larry. Ecstasy and healing in Nepal : an ethnopsychiatric study of Tamang shamanism. Malibu, Calif.: Undena Publications, 1981. 179 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.

LC CALL NUMBER: DS493.9.T35 P47 1981 15. 76-902895: Spirit possession in the Nepal Himalayas. New Delhi: Vikas Pub. House, c1976. xxviii, 401 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL482 .S64 *16. 90-42659: Walraven, Boudewijn. Songs of the shaman: the ritual chants of the Korean mudang. London ; New York : Kegan Paul International, 1994. x, 307 p. ; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL2236.S5 W35 1994 19. What useful books are available about Shamanism and Ethnobotany? *1. 94-75331: DeKorne, Jim. Psychedelic shamanism: the cultivation, preparation, and shamanic use of psychotropic plants / Port Townsend, Wash.: Loompanics Unlimited, c1994. vii, 155 p.: ill. (some col.); 28 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BF1623.P5 D45 1994 *2. 95-5643: Cowan, Eliot. Plant spirit medicine. Newberg, Or. : SwanRaven, c1995. xvi, 185 p.; 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: F1221.H9 C69 1995 *3. Harner, Michael J. Hallucinogens & Shamanism. Oxford University Press, 1973.. xv, 200 p. illus. 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: BL65.D7 H37 *4. 92-50768: Plotkin, Mark J. Tales of a shaman's apprentice: an ethnobotanist searches for new medicines in the Amazon rain foresti. New York: Viking, 1993. x, 318 p., [8] p. of plates : ill.; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: F2230.1.B7 P56 1993 paperback and audio cassette editions pending

soc.religion.shamanism-Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Summary: This FAQ contains the charter for soc.religion.shamanism, details of submissions policies, and frequently asked questions culled from the articles that have appeared in the newsgroup. Contents I. Who are the moderators of soc.religion.shamanism II. Submissions address and mailing list III.The Charter of soc.religion.shamanism IV. Why is this news group in the soc.religion hierarchy? V. Where does the word "shaman" come from and how does it relate to "shamanism"? VI. Submissions Details VII. Comments on Etiquette VIII. Comments on Flames IX. Reader comments on shamanic terms and concepts *************************** I. Who are the MODERATORS? Skip Watson (ciaran@aldhfn.org) (resigned) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Al Billings (mimir@io.com) (resigned) Iraj Mughal (iraj@gnu.ai.mit.edu) (resigned) II. WHAT IS THE SUBMISSION ADDRESS AND IS THERE MAILING LIST ACCESS? Submissions/postings for soc.religion.shamanism should be sent to: srs@alumni.caltech.edu Administrative material and queries should be sent to: srs-request@alumni.caltech.edu III. CHARTER of soc.religion.shamanism

1. PURPOSE The purpose of soc.religion.shamanism is to provide a forum for discussion and exchange of questions, ideas, views, and information about historic, traditional, tribal, and contemporary shamanic experience. Everyone is invited to take part in this discussion by sharing views, ideas, opinions, experience and information about shamanism. 2. BACKGROUND Technically speaking, Shamanism is classified by anthropologists as an archaic magicoreligious phenomena which the shaman is the great master of ecstasy. This view of shamanism is further detailed in the Shamanism-General Overview Frequently Asked Questions (which is available in news.answers). The distinguishing characteristic of shamanism is its focus on an ecstatic trance state in which the soul of the shaman is believed to leave the body and ascend to the sky (heavens) or descend into the earth (underworld). The shaman makes use of spirit helpers, which he or she communicates with,all the while retaining control over his or her own consciousness. Most importantly, shamanism as a spiritual practice focuses on the personal experience of the shaman. Everything that a shaman does depends upon this experience. Without it, there is no shaman. In contemporary, historical or traditional and nontraditional shamanic practice the shaman may at times fill the role of priest, magician, metaphysician or healer. Personal experience with and knowledge of other realms of being and consciousness and the cosmology of those regions are prime determinants of shamanism. With this knowledge, the shaman is able to serve as a bridge between the mundane and the higher and lower states. The shaman lives at the edge of reality as most people would recognize it and most commonly at the edge of society itself. Few indeed have the stamina to adventure into these realms and endure the outer hardships and personal crises that have been reported by or observed of many shamans. For more information see the shamanism-general overview FAQ, which has been posted to news.answers. In addition another FAQ, soc religion.shamanism FAQ, will be regularly posted to once this group has been created. 3. MODERATOR POLICIES Anyone with an interest in shamanism is welcomed and encouraged to post articles to soc.religion.shamanism. (See additional details below.) Moderators will only return submissions that violate this charter. Any returned article will have an explanation attached to it about which charter provision was violated. There shall be one to four moderators for soc.religion.shamanism. The newsgroup will be subject to conventions of network etiquette. In practice, the moderators will reject personal attacks (flames) directed at individual posters, similarly inflammatory attacks directed at religious institutions, and articles which use offensive language. These guidelines are intended to regulate only the tone of the discussions, and not their contents. This instruction is not intended to limit discussion and debate. Vigorous discussion and criticism are encouraged, flames are not. Repetitive postings (such as multiple responses to one request for a book reference) may also be rejected. Any rejected article will be returned to the sender with an explanation. Administrative communications, comments and inquiries should be mailed to the moderator(s) rather than being posted to the group. >From time to time a moderator may choose to give up his or her duties as a moderator. In such an event the moderators should select a suitable replacement. The retiring moderator may take part in this selection if he or she has not yet given up their responsibilities as moderator. 4. SUBMISSIONS GUIDELINES Guidelines for submissions will be regularly posted to news.answers in a soc.religion.shamanism Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Readers of soc.religion.shamanism submit articles to the moderators by email. The initial moderators will be Skip Watson (ciaran@aldhfn.org) (*Note, this moderator is currently inactive.) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Note: since the original vote additional moderators have been added as provided for by the terms of this charter. They are: Al Billings (mimir@illuminati.io.com) (currently inactive) Iraj Mughal (iraj@gnu.ai.mit.edu) Submissions/postings for soc.religion.shamanism should be sent to srs@alumni.caltech.edu A current list of moderators will be included in a soc.religion. shamanism Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) article to be posted to soc.religion.shamanism and selected 'answers' newsgroups. Administrative matters will not be discussed in soc.religion.shamanism administrative comments and inquiries should be sent to: srsrequest@alumni.caltech.edu 5. COMMENTS ON ETIQUETTE See the FAQ shamanism-general overview FAQ, which is regularly posted to news.answers. It is also recommended that the articles on network etiquette posted to news.newusers.questions be read. For information concerning excessive flames and personal attacks see above comments. For information on network etiquette please refer to the following documents, among

others: Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Usenet ********************************** IV. Why is this news group in the soc.religion hierarchy? There have been some questions raised about the name of this newsgroup The topic of soc.religion.shamanism is 'shamanism.' It is in the 'soc.religion' hierarchy. While shamanism itself is not a religion, it is a religious practice. This was the appropriate hierarchy for discussion of shamanism. (deane@netcom.com). V. Where does the word "shaman" come from and how does it relate to "shamanism"? The practice, study and experience of the shaman is not limited to any single cultural group. There has been some question about this raised outside of soc.religion.shamanism. The word 'shaman' is from the language of the Tungus of Siberia. It is variously 'shaman', 'saman' or 'haman'. Among the Tungus it is both a noun and a verb. The Tungus themselves have no word for 'shamanism'. It is something that is done by a shaman. It is by no means the name of their religion or of anyone's religion. That being said, there is no provision in the charter of soc.religion. shamanism for the general discussion of native religion. That is, as it has been pointed out elsewhere, a very broad topic. The focus of this newsgroup, according to its charter is much more tightly focused. All submissions should keep that in mind. (deane@netcom.com VI. SUBMISSIONS DETAILS: A. At USENET sites that provide automatic mailing in support of moderated newsgroups, posting to soc.religion.shamanism will transparently mail the article to the moderators. At other sites articles will need to be mailed explicitly to the moderators. B. The moderators attempt to handle each incoming article in a timely manner, either posting it publicly or responding to its author privately within four days of receipt. If a post has resulted in neither of these actions after four days, it should be assumed that one's site is not configured to support submissions to moderated groups, and the article should be resubmitted by mail to the above address. C. Please provide a signature with your name and correct e-mail address (preferably in Internet format) at the end of your article; do not rely on the article header's From: field to identify you, as this will not necessarily contain your correct e-mail address. (This language is taken from the soc.religion.bahai faq.) VII. COMMENTS ON ETIQUETTE The following suggestions are offered for your consideration before posting. A. An option in requests for specific information (how do I reach someone, where is this quotation to be found, etc.) is to ask explicitly that all replies be mailed directly to the poster, who may then post a summary if it is of general interest. This would result in only 2 messages (or perhaps just one) being seen by all subscribers, which could be desirable in some contexts. Likewise, responses to such requests may, in some cases, be most appropriately addressed just to the original poster. B. Please use line lengths of no more than 70. This keeps your text within the 80 character per line limit of most terminals, in both your initial article and in any follow-up articles, where it is customary to prefix each line of quotation from another article with a few additional characters to indicate the material is quoted. Please be merciful to email mail systems by limiting articles to 50 KiloBytes in length. Posts that exceed this limit should either be pared down or subdivided; or one could submit an announcement of the item instead, asking that readers respond via private mail in order to obtain the actual item. (Note: some email gateways have only an 8K gateway!) C. If you quote a previously posted article, please limit the amount of quoted text that you include. One may generally assume that readers have already seen an article to which one is responding. Therefore, you need only quote as much as required for establishing a context. D. Please choose your Subject: heading carefully! E. If responding to an earlier article, it is not best to respond to each paragraph therein. Rather, if there one statement that succinctly summarizes the earlier viewpoint, use that or a paraphrase instead. F. It is useful if articles are written in such a manner that it is relatively easy to discern fact from opinion. G. A signature statement is not considered to be a part of the article submitted. Percedence for this is found in net etiquette

where it is standard practice that excessively long signoff statements (more than four lines in length) are not considered goo practice> and as such are not a part of the body of an article. Signoff which are excessive or violate a section of the charter for the newsgroup will be removed by the moderator rather than returning the article itself to the user for charter violations. VIII. COMMENTS ON FLAMES: The newsgroup will be subject to conventions of network etiquette. In practice, the moderators will reject personal attacks (flames) directed at individuals, similarly inflammatory attacks directed at religious institutions. For point of reference, this charter will define a flame as the following: offensive insults on ones intellect, mentality, physical appearance, race, and other human characteristics. Flammatory attacks on institutions would be comprised of the following: offensive and degrading slurs aimed at the institution which includes the parameters defined under flame above. Offensive and degrading language aimed at a person, people, and institution will not be acceptable. Mild profanity will pass the moderators if it is not offensive or inflammatory. This will allow for open and free discussion although without extreme flames. Moderation will be relaxed. These guidelines are intended to regulate only the tone of the discussions, and not their contents. This instruction is not intended to limit discussion and debate. Vigorous discussion and criticism are encouraged, flames are not. (rsahebi@netcom.com) Note: Send comments to srs-request@alumni.caltech.edu Keywords: shaman, spirit, soul, siberia, harner, meadows, native, dreamtime, ecstasy, journeying, otherworld, sacred, axis-mindi IX. Reader comments on shamanic terms and concepts There are a number of terms which are used frequently in discussions about shamanism. The following comments, in being attached to the soc.religion.shamanism-Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are not intended to be interpretations of either the charter or the Shamanism- General Overview. They are comments which have been extracted from articles posted to soc.religion.shamanism discussions. For a detailed and specific overview of shamanism, please refer to Shamanism-General Overview-Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). All items contained in this section of the FAQ are reprinted here by permission of the authors, who reserve and retain all rights to them. (Copyright c1995 by Dean Edwards, Stef Jones, Jilara, Jane Beckman, Ann Albers and others.) ---------- Shaman: A master of archaic techniques of ecstasy. (Eliade, 1951). This mastery of shamanic ecstasy (flight) is the heart of the shamanic experience. It is the cornerstone of the shamans experience and practice. Not all shamanic techniques and experiences are ecstatic, however, the ecstatic journey is the primary and distinguishing technique of shamans worldwide. A shaman is a trained initiate who maintains a tradition of walking between this and other worlds (while in a state of ecstatic trance known as shamanic ecstasy shamanic flight) and then acts as a bridge between the worlds. He or she then uses the knowledge thus gained when working in the community or with a client. Activities of shamans in addition to shamanic flight may include divination, control over the elements,soul retrieval and escorting the souls of the recently deceased to their place in the next world (psychopomp). A shaman may also be able to see, hear or send messages or messengers over great distances or even fly to distant locations in ecstatic trance or through shapechanging. They may also assist their communities by obtaining the cooperation of animal and nature spirits whose assistance makes possible a more productive hunt, harvest, catch of fish or the protection of herd animals from predators. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) One who enters altered states of awareness and communicates with spirit guides to bring back information or healing (definition borrowed from Harner!) Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Shamanism: The religious psychic and spiritual practices of a shaman, and of the helpers, apprentices and crafts and community activities which support, assist or interact with the shaman in his or her work as a shaman. In a strict sense, shamanism has also been defined as the traditional religious systems of the native peoples of Central Asia, Siberia and the circumpolar region of the Northern Hemisphere. The term has also been applied more loosely to similar religious practices found in other areas of the world. (See also Neo-shamanism, Pseudo-shamanism and Post-Shamanic.) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Shamanism is a system for psychic, emotional, and spiritual healing and for exploration, discovery, and knowledge gathering about non- material worlds and states of mind. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Historical Shamanism: Traditional native systems and traditions of shamans and shamanism which existed in the past. Historical shamanism is believed to extend back many millennia and to be among the oldest human religious and spiritual practices. (See 'shamanism' for additional information.) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- Contemporary Shamanism: The practices of contemporary shamans and of the apprentices, assistants, helpers and clients under their instruction or of those individuals involved in working with or otherwise assisting the shaman in his or her work. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- Traditional Shamanism: Native traditional practices of those who have acquired the ability to move into and perceive other worlds by means of Rarchaic techniques of

ecstasyS and of the apprentices, assistants and helpers under their instruction and others who otherwise support, assist and work with shamans as they work in their communities. (For additional information see 'shamanism'.) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Shamanism as practiced and handed down for centuries in a specific native or aboriginal culture. Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Non-traditional Shamanism: Often at least loosely based on one or more traditional shamanic systems, non-traditional shamanism is usually a hybrid of ecstatic techniques of shamanic journeying and other aspects of contemporary psychological, religious and spirituality. Rather than attempting to continue a pre-existing tradition, the non-traditional practitioner focuses on utilizing the ancient techniques of the shaman in ways appropriate to a modern audience. Some of the resulting systems and practices can no longer be properly called Tshamanism.U The proposed term TPost- ShamanicU is intended to address such gray areas as well as more fully developed systems and practices which contain shamanic elements. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Engaging in shamanic practice (i.e., entering the altered states, healing, communicating with spirit guides) using methods that haven't been passed down in the traditional manner (i.e.from master- to-apprentice) and/or aren't necessarily part of one'scultural heritage Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Neo-shamanism: A movement which has grown out of a combination of environmentalism, popular anthropology and a growing desire for more open non-institutionalized forms of religion and spirituality. Since the early 1970's it has been gaining adherents in many western and (more recently in) former communist countries. Each individual is believed capable of becoming their own shaman usually under the instruction of a shamanic instructor or counselor. These new shamanic practices, termed 'neo-shamanism' by Piers Vitebsky, (Ph.D., anthropologist and head of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, England), in his book, The Shaman, (1995), have been influenced by popularization of certain aspects of Native American religious practices including spirit helpers and power animals. Among the leading instructors in the neo- shamanic movements are Michael Harner and Kenneth Meadows, authors of various books and who offer workshops and courses of study. Michael Harner is an anthropologist and a founder of The Foundation for Shamanic Studies (,now located in Marin County, in northern California. In neo-shamanism, the states range from light altered states of consciousness to deep trance. Usually drumming, rattling or tapes are utilized to assist in inducing these 'shamanic states'. As is the case with Non-Traditional Shamanism, many aspects of Neo- Shamanism move far beyond what may properly be called shamanism. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) The recent revival ofshamanic techniques in urban Western culture. (cf. neo-paganism) ? Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Pseudoshamanism: A term applied to non-ecstatic visionary traditions such as those found among many Native Americans in North America. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- Core Shamanism: A term used by Michael Harner and others associated with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. As with 'Shamanics' (see below), Core Shamanism seeks to identify and make available, to a wider contemporary audience, the core techniques of the shaman as they have been used for millennia in cultures around the world. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- The Harner Method (self counseling): There are two keys to doing shamanic work: 1. Achieving an altered state of consciousness The state of consciousness that allows you to access non-ordinary reality is one in which the waking mind is distracted or tuned out. There are many ways to achieve this: repetitious sound or movement, hypnosis, heat, sensory deprivcation, psychotropic drugs, maintaining a specific posture, lucid dreaming. The method I (and most Harner-method advocates) use most frequently is repetitious sound in the form of a steady drumbeat. 2. Maintaining an intention Shamanism is really a system of healing or obtaining knowledge, and it seems to work best when used for that purpose. Journeying tends to work best if it's undertaken on behalf of another person. In some cases, however, one can journey on one's own behalf, especially if one has a specific intention in mind. Journeying just for the purpose of "poking around in non-ordinary reality" doesn't seem to work as well for most people. The best way I have found to maintain an intention is to write down or otherwise keep in mind a specific question or purpose as you begin your journey. Recommended reading Michael Harner, The Way of the Shaman, 3d Ed., Harper & Row: 1990 Sandra Ingerman, Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self, HarperSanFrancisco, 1991 (See also Shamanic Healing) Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Shamanics: A term used by Kenneth Meadows which focuses on many of the essential elements and practices of shamanic experience and states of consciousness. The purpose of this metaphysical approach to shamanism is to make these essential aspects and experiences of the extraordinary available to people living ordinary lives. These have been removed from their "social, religious and cultural contexts. Similar to Harner's Core Shamanism, it makes use of drumming, rattles and tapes to induce a type of mental traveling or 'Journey' into other realms and altered states of consciousness. deane@netcom.com (Dean Edwards) Kenneth Meadows defines Shamanics as: "A personal development process which incorporates the essence of

universal shamanism - the ancient wisdom of the visionaries and 'Wise Ones' of many cultures and traditions into a Science of living for Modern Times that is the most practical of all metaphysical systems. A way of experienced and revealed knowledge that is motivated by the Spirit enabling individuals to relate to Nature and come into harmony with the totality of their own being and find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in their own lives." (Kenneth Meadows, Where Eagles Fly, pages 240-1, 1995.) ---------- Techno-shamanism: The use of technology to enhance and enter into shamanic 'altered states of consciousness'. These range from the hemispheric synchronization of the Monroe institute which uses a binaural beat and following frequency response to other forms of electronic stimulation of the nero-muscular system and the use of bio- feedback, EEG and PET scans, other neuromuscular monitoring devices or stimulation by chemical agents artificially synthesized in a laboratory. Any or all of these may be used to monitor and assist in inducing ecstatic deep trance states found in traditional shamanism. This is a popular term and is not yet found in literature about shamanism. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) The belief that new information technologies such as the net can be used in the practice of shamanism (?) Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Shamanic Tradition: Systems of religious and spiritual practice of shamans become traditions over time which are passed on from shaman teacher to shaman apprentice. These usually contain the a specialized knowledge and understanding of the lore of the community being served; recognizing the presence of Spirit and of natural and elemental forces, guiding, helping, ancestor and teaching spirits; blessings, charms, wards and ceremonies; methods of divination; the means for creating or obtaining the costume and equipment necessary for the performance of shamanic responsibilities, initiatory rites; and techniques of shamanic flight and access to other realms and states of consciousness. In addition, there are some aspects of these traditions which may also be learned in dreams or while in trance state or from direct observation of Nature and of life in the community. In some instances, a community may be without a shaman to pass on these traditions. When this occurs and direct instruction by experienced shamans is not possible, the new shaman must reacquire the continuity of the shamanic tradition from dreams, inner journeys and observation as the primary sources of his or her training. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) The practice of shamanism within a particular culture. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Siberian Complex: The native cultural traditions of Siberia, an the Finnic peoples of Norther Europe. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------Circumpolar Shamanic Tradition: The native traditional shamanic systems and practices of shamans of the Arctic and Subarctic regions. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- Post-Shamanic: While shamanism may be readily identified among many hunting and gathering peoples and in some traditional herding societies, identifying specific groups of individuals who might be called shamans is a difficult task in more stratified agricultural and manufacturing based societies. A society may be said to be PostShamanic when there are the presence of shamanic motifs in its traditional folklore or spiritual practices indicate a clear pattern of traditions of ascent into the heavens, descent into the nether- worlds, movement between this world and a parallel Otherworld, are present in its history. Such a society or tradition may have become very specialized and recombined aspects of mysticism, prophecy and shamanism into more specialized or more 'fully developed' practices and may have assigned those to highly specialized functionaries. When such practices and functionaries are present or have replaced the traditional shamans found in historical or traditional shamanism the use of Post-shamanic is appropriate. (See ShamanismGeneral Overview for more information.) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) (August, 1995) Also, there are many places where "other forms of healing, divining, and counseling are present" and co-exist with "strict" shamanic practice, for instance in many Native American traditions. (Rather like the way some tribes had different types of "chiefs" for different roles in the community.) Jilara (jane@swdc.stratus.com) ---------Guardian Spirit: A spirit which protects, instructs or assists a shaman (or other persons) while journeying, carrying out shamanic responsibilities or training. Encounters with these numinous beings may occur in trance, dreams, visions or in observing and interpreting the events and circumstances of daily life. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Guardian Spirit: An entity associated with the safety of a place or person. Many forms of Japanese kami associated with sacred sites are also guardian spirits. Individuals or families may also have guardian spirits, which may or may not be the same as spirit guides. Guardian spirits are often not identified with a particular shamanic practitioner, unlike spirit guides. Jilara (jane@swdc.stratus.com) --------- Spirit Guide: An entity which provides guidance or answers in non-standard conciousness. It may teach, protect, or merely advise. Spirit guides are usually attached to particular individuals on a personal basis. Sometimes, a spirit guide may be an ancestor or relative. Jilara (jane@swdc.stratus.com) (See Spirit Guardian.) Spirit Guide: Spirit helper who helps you achieve your "higher purpose" and who assists you in a variety of other functions; teaching, healing, helping others with their higher purpose, etc. Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Tutelary Spirit: A spirit which instructs a shaman or other person. This

may be done in visions, dreams, trance, other altered states of consciousness, or through observation and interpretation of daily life. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) (August, 1995) One who teaches or gives other guidance in spiritual exploration. This may also include setting the individual on quests, rather than strict "teaching." Jilara (jane@swdc.stratus.com) ---------- Spirit Teacher: A spirit or energy being that acts as a teacher for a person. Can be contacted shamanically. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) Sometimes, the Teachers are ancestors or "spiritual ancestors" (think of the Black Elk lineage). (This last is the method of transmission for the traditional geisha shamanic heritage in Japan.) Jilara (jane@swdc.stratus.com) ---------Spirit Helper: A spirit, often subordinate to the shaman who assists him or her in understanding or carrying out shamanic responsibilities and practices. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) (August, 1995) An entity who provides guidance or suggestions, but more as an equal than a teacher. Usually animal spirits. Jilara (jane@swdc.stratus.com) Spirit helper whose primary function is to guard your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual well-being Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Power Animal: A spirit perceived as taking an animal form which instructs, guides and protects an individual or shaman and usually becomes closely identified with the individual concerned. Unlike the clan or group totem, this is a distinctly personal relationship with an individual or collective animal spirit-being. The presence of a power animal is thus unique to an individual, rather than being shared by a group, family or clan. (Others in the group, may also have the same power animal.) These spirit beings are prominent in many shamanic and non-shamanic Native American traditions. In such traditions, both shamans and non-shamans may have power animals as spirit guides. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Michael Harner defines a power animal as: "a spirit being that not only protects and serves the shaman, but also becomes another identity or alter ego for him." Michael J. Harner (The Way of the Shaman, 1980, 1990; page 43.) Power Animal: An animal that has a particular trait or affinity connecting it to a person. It may be "just" an animal, or an embodiment of all the spiritual traits of that animal, such as Coyote as trickster. Jilara (jane@swdc.stratus.com) A spirit or energy being, usually perceived in the form of an animal, that acts as a protector for a person. The spirit can be contacted shamanically and asked questions, honored, etc. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) Power Animal: Earth energy that is part of your soul-cluster; represented in the sacred dream as an animal; the essence of the animal that is part of your energetic make-up Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Nature Spirit: A spirit which embodies the essence of an elemental of natural force. Such spirits may be encountered in this world or while journeying in other alternate realities and states of consciousness. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Entity associated with a natural force or spirit of place. Most Japanese kami are nature spirits. Jilara (jane@swdc.stratus.com) The spirit of a place or living being (such as a tree) in the Middle World (earth). Can be contacted shamanically. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) Nature Spirit: Spirit/essence/energy of a plant, animal, or mineral Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Spirit Wife/Husband/Spouse/Lover: A spirit who engages the shaman in an inner sexual relationship and may even become the personUs numinous spouse. This is a frequently encountered motif in both Siberian Shamanic Tradition and Celtic Faerie Lore. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) An entity whose spiritual significance is expressed through the shaman or chosen individual. (For instance, ancient Celtic kings were "wedded" to the manifestation of the forces of the land, often expressed as a white mare.) Jilara (jane@swdc.stratus.com) ---------- Totem: animal spirit that is among your mythological ancestors Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) Totem: A plant, animal, natural force or material which is identified with a specific group or clan. Totems may have a particular importance in connecting the people with the land on which they live. A totem may thus be understood as being a group badge with sacred connotations. A totem, such as the Bear in many of the Northern Circumpolar Traditions, may be seen as an actual or spiritual relative or ancestor of the family, clan or group. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) A "spirit clan" symbol. Jilara (jane@swdc.stratus.com) You also can't harm your clan totem--one of the big Irish heros (Fergus MacRoy, if memory serves) got into real trouble because he was served stewed dog, and ate his clan totem unknowingly. And in a lot of systems, you can't marry someone who has the same spirit totem, as this is a taboo stronger than an incest taboo. Jilara (jane@swdc.stratus.com) ---------- Totem Place/Totemic Site: A location (most often) without specific boundaries around a central site which has ritual or mythical importance and a connection between the group and the its totem. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) --------- Totemism: A system of practice, belief in or use of totems. (See Totem.) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com ---------- Soul: In shamanism, soul is the life force of a person, animal, plant, or anything which exists on any plane of being. A soul may be any of the bodies or sheaths in which this life force dwells as well. Thus, the physical body may sometimes be referred to as the 'animal soul'. The astral, mental or spiritual bodies may also be referred to as soul in discussions and literature about shamanism. As the individual life force, soul may be lost or drained away in part or in whole. When this happens an

individual is affected with some psychic or physical illness or other malady and a shaman may attempt to retrieve the lost life force. If enough of this life force is lost or stolen by another a person may experience serious and debilitating illness or even death. The Latin word for soul, ANIMUS, may be interpreted as meaning Tbreath of heavenU or breath of SpiritU. This bears some similarities to many traditional shamanic views of Soul. Soul may also be defined as the indwelling individualized spiritual essence, a divine spark, or unit of awareness. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) IMO, soul is an entity that projects portions of its consciousness into space time; we call these portions personalities, i.e., Ann is one personality of the soul to which I belong. Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Mystical Ecstasy: In the ecstatic experience of a mystic, unitive visions or union with Spirit, God or the Divine is the characteristic feature. This is in sharp contrast to shamanic ecstasy. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) (August, 1995) The state of blending with cosmic consciousness; a merging with the God/Spirit/u niversal energy Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Shamanic Ecstasy: The ecstatic experience by which the shaman journeys into other realms, both higher and lower than this realm, as well as to parallel regions sometimes known as a middle earth or to distant areas of this world. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Shamanic Ecstasy: I like your definitions here, but feel that I experience shamanis ecstasy when I am bathed in the radiant-loveenergy of my guides Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) A term used by Mircea Eliade and other early researchers of shamanism for the altered state of consciousness achieved by the shaman during shamanic practices. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Shamanic Flight: The journey of a shaman while in trance into other realms of being or distant regions of this world. (See Shamanic Ecstasy) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Altered state of awareness where the shaman travels to other times, places, or d imensions Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) Shamanic Flight: Another term for "Journeying" Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Journey/Journeying/Journey of Soul/Soul Travel: The journey of the individualized life force of the shaman or other person experiencing some form of astral, mental or soul travel. This may, in a broader sense, also apply to the larger journey of Soul as it moves through each lifetime and from life to life. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Altered state of consciousness in which the shaman visist the "realities" or worlds, or dimensions, in which the energies we call guides live. Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) Shamanic journeying is an altered state of consciousness wherein you enter a realm called "non-ordinary reality." By journeying, you can gather knowledge and perform healing in ways that are not accessible in ordinary waking reality. rney." Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) In shamanism, a part of one's consciousness/spirit/soul seems to leave one's body and travel elsewhere to contact spirit helpers to gather information or perform healing. (One still remains in control of one's body.) This process is called "journeying". The experiences one has in this state are called "a journey." Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Ascent of Soul/Ascension: The experience of the consciousness leaving the physical body and ascending into the heavens. Shamanic journeys are often very similar to those found under 'ascension' or 'the ascent of soul' or to the 'descent of soul'. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) In Harner style shamanism, we say that the soul travels to the upper world or the lower world -- perhaps this is another way of saying that? Ascension is also a Christian term, though. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) Descent of Soul: The conscious descent of soul into the nether- world, Underworld, hells, or other lower realms, usually via descent into the Earth. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- Shamanic Healing: Healing via shamanic methods such as journeying,working with spirit helpers, extraction, soul retrieval, etc. Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) Shamanic Healing: Healing which is done by a shaman. Such healing may be physical, psychic or spiritual. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) (August, 1995) Shamanism can be used to perform spiritual/psychological and sometimes physical healing on a person (or sometimes an animal or place). This process is called shamanic healing. Shamanic healing usually involves (*) a journey or series of journeys to determine what forms of healing are necessary; (*) a journey to contact the spirit resources necessary for the healing; (*) a ritual to perform/ honor the healing. Shamanic healing works best if it is performed by a shaman on behalf of another person rather than on oneself. This is not because only a shaman is "qualified" to do the healing, but because the spirit world responds well to the loving act of a person's performing a healing on behalf of another. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) (developed from the Harner method) In the system of shamanism that I work with, there are four aspects to psychic/emotional/spiritual health. If there is a problem with any of these aspects fails, shamanic techniques can be used to help restore strength. Note that shamanic healing may not cure physical or psychological illness, but it may help one gain psychic energy that will allow one better to handle illness. Shamanic healing therefore is best used in conjunction with other treatments, not as a substitute for them. 1. Connection with a power animal 2. Retaining one's life essence 3. Free flow of emotional and physical energy 4. A sense of purpose (See The Harner Method) Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Shamanic

Counseling: Shamanic consultations, healings and soul retrievals are conducted during counseling sessions in which an experienced shaman or 'shamanic counselor' journeys to assist the patient or 'client' in remedying a physical, psychic or spiritual condition or situation. In many of these sessions, the client may be instructed in the techniques of shamanic journeying so that he or she may serve as their own shaman. (Vitebsky refers to such egalitarian access to the sacred as "spiritual democracy.") When it is the client, rather than the shaman who is primarily responsible for journeying, the shaman or counselor may journey as well. In Tsoul retrievalU the shaman or shamanic counselor does the journeying and retrieval of the lost or stolen life essence and then usually assigns followup work to the client. (See also Neo-Shamanism) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Shamanic counseling as taught by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies involves a counselor experienced with journeying whoteaches the client how to journey, find his/her power animals and teachers, and find out the answers to his/her questions by consulting these spirit helpers. The counselor aids in teaching how to journey and how to interpret journeys, but does not provide advice directly as some traditional psychotherapists do. However, some psychotherapists use shamanic counseling techniques in their practice. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) Harner's shamanic counselling involves a person journeying and reporting on the journey, then interpreting the journey with a counsellor to answer specific questions, or solve specific problems. Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Soul Loss: The loss of the spiritual or psychic energies of the life force of an individual. This may be due to lack of discipline, trauma, by the individual experiencing this loss or by actual theft of this vital essence by another person. Such theft may not be conscious, but may also be due to a lack of personal discipline, distress or concern with the effects of ones physical, emotional and mental conduct. Such loss of life force may result in physical or psychic illness or distress. (See also Soul, Soul Retrieval.) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) A portion of the soul's essence/energy becomes fixated on a specific point in space/time, usually a point in which there wasgreat emotional charge. This portion is lost to the "eternal now" because it's focus is on the past Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) Soul Loss: A part of one's life essence can leave one's body during a trauma of short or long duration. Usually it comes back after the trauma has passed, but sometimes it gets lost. If parts of one's life essence are lost, one can feel depressed or experience other spiritual, psychological,or physical problems. (See Soul Retrieval) Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com)) ---------- Soul Retrieval: The retrieval of lost or stolen life essence or psychic life force of an individual by a shaman or shamanic counselor. (See also Soul Loss and Shamanic Healing.) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) A shamanic healing ritual whereby a shaman journeys on behalf of someone who may have experienced soul loss. The shaman retrieves the life essence that was lost and returns it to the person. After the soul retrieval, the person is responsible for learning about the life essence that has returned and how it can help the person change or get what s/he wants. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) The process of re-focusing the lost soul essence on the present. Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Psychopomp: A spirit or individual or divine entity which accompanies the soul of the recently deceased to a place in another world. Hermes is an example from classical antiquity of a post-shamanic psychopomp. This is a common motif in shamanic traditions. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Refers to the shamanic practice of making sure that souls separated from the body in death make it to the right place in non-ordinary reality. (Sometimes if a person dies suddenly or dies in a state of confusion or senility, the soul does not realize that it has been separated from the body and needs to move on.) Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Shamanizing: The experience of the shaman working while entering and experiencing shamanic ecstasy, usually in a ceremonial setting. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- Call (shamanic): Shamans are 'called' by Spirit, Soul or by spirits to become a shaman. This may occur in a number of ways. A person may experience physical trauma or psychic distress or from a direct or indirect experience in dreams, spontaneous trance states, or by the invitation of Spirit or of spirits. Physical distress may include such events as a fall from a height, being struck by lightening, or a serious fever or illness, or other near encounters with death. Dream and trance initiations and experiences with spirits are also common experiences of being called to become a shaman. Sometimes psychic distress may be experienced as sudden and significant mood swings or periods of lengthy melancholy, loss of affect, incoherency or even loss of consciousness. The Call may also come from deep within, from the higher core essence of the prospective shaman. When signs of shamanic tendencies are recognized by other shamans or members of the shamans family, clan or community, the individual who appears to have been 'called' may be advised to seek training and begin to gather the necessary equipment of a shaman which is appropriate to that community and cultural milieu. Some may chose to avoid this Call to become a shaman, others may deliberately seek it out. (See Shamanism-General Overview for additional information about becoming a shaman. See also Shamanic Sickness.) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) --------- Shamanic Sickness: When someone is called to become a shaman this Call is often accompanied by

a period of physical or mental distress or illness. A potential shaman may then elect to avoid that calling or may decide to seek training and begin to shamanize. (Among the Tungus of Siberia, from whom the word 'shaman' originates, the word is in fact used both as a noun and as a verb. In English, the verb form is 'to shamanize'.) The first task the new or prospective shaman must face then is to master his or her own condition and this experience becomes an essential part of what resources may thereafter be drawn upon when shamanizing or engaging in shamanic healing or other activities. The personal experience of those shamans who do encounter such an initial period of 'shamanic sickness' is characteristic of the role of personal experience in the way of shamans worldwide. Overcoming this initial period of illness or distress, when it is encountered, and which may be brief or last for many years, provides shamans with the type of experience which is considered absolutely necessary for their work as shamans. As self therapy, it also enables the shaman to participate in the day-to-day life of the community (which may not have been possible while in the throws of Tshamanic sicknessU. (See also Call.) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------Shamanic Initiation: There are both inner and outer initiatory rites and experiences in traditional shamanism. Initiation may come in trance or in a dream. The manner in which the individual is called is in itself a form of initiation. Dreams of being cooked, boiled and consumed are one common initiatory dream. The internal organs of a shaman may be removed and replaced with more spiritually attuned ones or the shaman may be infused with the power of his or her tutelary spirits or of Spirit itself. Other forms of inner initiation range from the terrifying to the sublime. The acceptance of a shaman by the community is often another form of initiation. There are also certain ceremonies or ritual practices or journeys which the shaman may be expected to undertake before being considered to have been fully initiated as a shaman. (Significant treatment of this Shamanism-General Overview for additional information.) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Initiation to me involves a quantum leap to a new level of energy or awareness; the method differs among cultures, but I believe the essence of initiation is the same; the initiate proves he/she is ready for the new level of awareness and the shaman then proceeds to energetically "bump" the initiate up to that new state. Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Great Shaman/Celestial Shaman: This numinous figure is found in various shamanic traditions, particularly in Siberia and Central Asia. It may be identified as a specific spiritual entity or even with the northern Pole Star (the peg in the sky or the nail of heaven.) The Great or Celestial Shaman is the highest source of shamanic initiation. (There seems to be some parallels with Post-Shamanic Sufi tradition of the Qutb, which is also identified with the Pole Star.) Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- First Shaman: The first shaman may be either a reference to the Celestial Shaman, a mythical first shaman in this world or to the first shaman of a tribe or people. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- Runesinger: In historical Finnish shamanism a runesinger was a singer of charms and sacred chants. This has parallels with the old traditions of Galdr among the Germans and Scandinavians and of bardic, 'glamour' or faerie music lore among the ancient Celts. The sacred aspects of this ancient sound tradition have also influenced contemporary literature such as in the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- Shapeshifting, Shapechanging: A motif frequently encountered in shamanic practice. There seem to be three distinct types of shape- changing. a. The way in which an inner body appears. This may be called soul or spirit shifting, because it involves the movement and shifting in appearance of the image of someone or something as they appear inwardly in spirit form. b. When it is the spirit form which can be physically seen. The person shapeshifts and can change how they appear to others while in spirit form. c. Actual physical shapeshifting. There are also stories of bilocation in which a person may appear in more than one location at the same time. This is not necessarily a shapeshifting phenomenon, but may also involve shapeshifting. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) In non-ordinary reality, in journeys, a shaman can take on forms other than his/her own body. This might be called shapeshifting. Some people believe that powerful shamans can take on other forms in ordinary reality too. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) In old days, transforming your energy into a different physical form; I believe a modern version of "shapeshifting" occurs when we alter who we are around different people. I used to say that the best corporate leaders were the greatest "shapeshifters"; they could speak into any listening and dance with any situation Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Axis Mundi: The Axis of the World around which the Earth and the heavens rotate. Long a synonym for Spirit, the Axis Mundi has been represented as a great mountain, a tree, a pillar, a column, and a rod or staff of power, Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- World/Cosmic/Universal Tree: A symbolic representation of Spirit as the axis mundi or center of the world. With its roots deep in the Earth and its uppermost branches reaching out into the heights of the heavens, the World Tree symbolizes the presence and flow of Spirit upon which shamans and other esoteric practitioners are said to ascend and descend in their journeys. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Universal symbol for the connection between heaven and earth Ann Albers

(albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- World/Cosmic Pillar/Column: A symbolic representation of Spirit as the axis mundi or center of the world. The World Column is often portrayed as the link between Earth and the heavens. This connection is symbolized by Polaris, the northern Pole Star. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- World/Cosmic Mountain: A symbolic representation of Spirit as the axis mundi or center of the world. The World or Cosmic Mountain, like the World Tree, has its foundations deep in the Earth and its heights in the Heavens.This Mountain of God is a common motif not only in shamanism, but also in various religious traditions around the world. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- The Sacred River: Another representation of Spirit, the river may be both seen and heard. It represents the flow and presence of Spirit in the varied realms of the heavens, the Earth and the Underworld. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Metaphor for the flow of life/Spirit Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- The Pole Star: In Siberian shamanic tradition, the northern is sometimes called the peg in the sky or the nail of heaven. It is the visible point in the sky where the axis mundi connects the Earth with the heavens. It may also represent the Great or Celestial shaman, just as it does the Qutb of (the post-shamanic) Sufi traditions of Islam. According to Siberian traditions this also represents the Great Celestial Shaman and may even represent a initiatory state in which the Great Shaman may, on rare occasions, be represented by an actual physical shaman. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- Otherworld/Faerie: The realm of the Tuatha de Danann and other fantastic races and creatures in Celtic lore. This has very strong parallels with shamanic otherworld traditions. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- Non-Ordinary Reality: In the Harner Method of shamanic journeying, this is where the person journeys to during a session. These alternate realities are described as a higher, middle and lower world. Non-ordinary realities parallel the existence of this world. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) ---------- Ordinary Reality: Normal everyday reality and the physical world and universe. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) Concensus reality of third-dimensional form Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) ---------- Lower Earth/Netherworld/Underworld: These may be lower parallel regions which are otherwise similar to this world or dark, shadowy realms or hells. In the case of such regions as the Celtic Underworld, these lower Earths may not have a sun to produce light, but rely on light which is naturally emitted by the land itself. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) "Lower World" is a term used by Harner and associates to refer to the part of non-ordinary reality that one reaches by journeying through a tunnel. Usually power animals and wisdom about the body and physical aspects of existence can be found in the lower world. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Middle Earth: Middle Earth may be either a parallel physical world or this world itself. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) "Middle World" is a term used by Harner and associates to refer to the non-ordinary aspect of the world we live in. One can journey in the middle world. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Upper Earth/Upper World: The heavens are the traditional upper worlds of most traditions. These range from the actual Sky to higher planes of existence extending into the heart of God. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) The dimension/sphere of existence where entities that appear to us as more humanoid or angelic, or simply energetic appear. Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) "Upper World" is a term used by Harner and associates to refer to the part of non-ordinary reality that one reaches by journeying upward (perhaps by climbing a tree). Usually teachers and wisdom about emotional/spiritual/philosophical aspects of existence are found in the upper world. Stef Jones (stef@netcom.com) ---------- Dreamtime: The original state of being; the energetic template or dimension which underlies and affects all physical form. Ann Albers (albersa@aztec.asu.edu) Dream Time: Among Aborigines of Australia, this is the time and realm of the foundation, the beginnings. Everyone lives out their lives in a relationship with this state. Time from this perspective is viewed as being circular, like the breathing technique employed when playing the Digeridoo. This is the archetypal or primordial state from which creation was formed. Thus, time is very different than time in the normal outer world. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) W.F.H. Stanner described the Dream Time as "the common but not universal way of referring to the time of the founding drama.... two complementary emphases stood out in the doctrine of the Dream Time: the fixation or instituting of things in an enduring form, and the simultaneous endowment of all things--including man, and his condition of life-with their good and/or bad properties. The central meaning was clear. Men were to live always under that foundation.? (W.F.B. Stanner. Religion, totemism and symbolism. In Aboriginal Man in Australia, edited by R.M. Berndt and C.M. Berndt. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. 1965, pages 214-215.) ---------- The Dreaming/Dreamings: The Dreaming is the continuing relationship which exist between traditional Aborigines of Australia and the beginnings and life in the Here and Now. It is a continuing experience. Dean Edwards (deane@netcom.com) W.F.H. Stanner writes that the Dreaming "is represented as a continuing highway between ancestral superman and living man, between the life-givers and life, the countries, totems and totem-places they gave to living men, between subliminal reality and immediate reality, and between the

There-and-Then of the beginnings of all things, and relevances of the Here-and-Now of their continuations. (.H. Stanner. Some aspects of Aboriginal religion. Colloquium 9(1): page 23.