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Guest Heron-Feather

A Brief Introduction To Shamanism.

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Guest Heron-Feather

In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired.

In the pursuit of Tao, everyday something is dropped.

 

Less ans less is done

Until non-action is achieved.

When nothig is done, nothing is left undone.

 

The world is ruled by letting things take their course.

It can not be ruled by interfering.

 

Tao Te Ching Vs 48

Edited by Heron-Feather

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Guest Soror_Candesco

Thank you for that intro, always interesting to read about other people's beliefs and you raised some v interesting point. Im especially interested in the lucid dreaming aspects - do you have any recommendations for good books on more about this kind of thing?

:o_weeping:

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cern

'The mantra of the pointless ‘know it all’ critic is that one can not be a ‘shaman’ unless one comes from the tribes that use that specific word.'

 

Oops. This might apply to me. Less in terms of the word itself and more in terms of coming from a culture that has indiginous shaman (regardless of the word used). I tend to prefer the term neo shaman. I feel it is more respectful to the indiginous culture. But I don't really have a problem with others using the term for what they do. I can only really speak for myself.

 

I find it interesting that you are linking Taoism in with your understanding of shamanism. It is a link I would concur with. I began investigating the Taoist connection when I was studying Tai Chi. I can certainly see some parallels in worldview.

 

'Equally, those who claim that a shaman ‘must’ be someone who supplies a social service to a group, is equally wrong. A shaman does not ‘serve’ a tribe. A shaman finds a role, an equal part of the group, yet his path is personal. The path of the shaman is to be alone in the boundless.'

 

This too I agree with. Although the statement does not mean that the shaman cannot or should not take on a role of service to the community through the use of the techniques they have developed.

 

'What does a shaman seek knowledge of? Some things I won’t tell!'

 

Good move. Especially on the internet.

 

This is a very good personal perspective on shamanism! Thanks for posting it.

 

BB

 

Mike

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Guest Amberlady

An interesting post, but what is your take on the role of the Shaman as an aid to hunting? As has been said a shaman had to have a role within the tribe, within small groups there is no place for someone who claims to converse with invisible beings, these types of beliefs only appear in larger communities where life is not a constant battle for survival. Most anthropologists consider Shamans important to pre-hunt rituals where they may have attempted to enter into the minds of the prey animals to learn their where about or into hunting animals such as the wolf in order to gain some of their skills, as aid to this they would wear the skins of the animals they wanted to connect with. These rituals probably did evolve into the Shaman most recognise today, as hunting became less important, the tribe would have more time for religion and invisible gods, it figures that shamans would see the writing on the wall and switch from communing with animals to becoming messengers of the gods.

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weatherwitch

Interesting read Heron :)

 

Amberlady makes an excellent point about the anthropologists :)

 

One thing I was thinking is that a true hedgewitch, (not hedgewitch as in the name meant by some to mean a self iniatiated wiccan) works between the worlds as normal, and they don't see it as shamanistic, just a normal part of their path. I do trancework as part of my work but don't consider it shamanistic :ph34r:

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Guest Heron-Feather

If men are not afraid to die

It is of no avail to threaten them with death.

 

Tao Te Ching vs 74

Edited by Heron-Feather

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Guest Heron-Feather

The Tao of heaven does not strive, and yet it overcomes.

 

Tao Te Ching vs 73

Edited by Heron-Feather

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cern

I have known true hedgewitches refer to themselves as walkers between the worlds. That is very much a term used to describe the shaman. It has been suggested to me that traditional witchcraft is the european version of shamanism. Looking at indiginous cultures the world over, shamanic practise crops up in the historical practsies of pretty much everywhere. When we speak of the old religion, there is some evidence to suggest that shamanic practises have probably been carried out since neolithic times. Now I'm not about to suggest that this evidence doesn't contain a heavy dose of conjecture. ;) But I believe there is something in it.

 

Picking up on the neolithic aspect as a part of comments about hunting, the walker between the worlds would enter into a shamanic state of consciousness in order to approach the spirit of the animal being hunted. My experiences of the other worlds would suggest that the spirit of the animal, lets say a boar for ease, would be the spirit of boar (that is all boars) not a boar. The shaman would ask that Boar offer the flesh of one of its representatives in the physical world for the benefit of the people in the community/family. The reward would be honouring of the boar and recognition of its sacrifice. That seems to be the way it works in shamanic cultures today, and if cave paintings are anything to go by, it could be suggested that this is what happened in neolithic times too.

 

The shaman could also be seen to hunt the spirit of plants as a means of healing. This, in the other worlds could be as dangerous, if not more so, than hunting for physical creatures. There are other hunts and battles that also occur in the other worlds. The shaman takes on a number of roles. Spiritual warrior, healer and sage being the main ones. The warrior aspect should not be overlooked.

 

BB

 

Mike

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Guest Amberlady

I

have known true hedgewitches refer to themselves as walkers between the worlds

 

I thinks you mean walking on the Edge and it something most witches experience. Unlike shamanism a witch does not normally use trance to view the unseen, they are simply aware of things that everday people are not, this is walking on the Edge. Like a lot of mythology surrounding witchcraft this term has often been taken to mean more then it does.

Edited by Amberlady

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cern

Amberlady,

 

I thinks you may be right. :o_thwak: But the folks I have spoken with have recognised some of the things I do with my shamanism. As Heron feather suggested with 'In fact, just thinking and bold spirit are enough to achieve it, although many refuse to believe that this can be true.' the trance state is not entirely essential. Although, if I'm honest, that extra perception does involve a shift of consciousness. Just not one that requires the traditionally perceived drawn out methods of entering into a trance state.

But maybe I'm still taking things a step further than you (or they) were refering to. I suppose I can still only really speak for my own experiences and say this is something I do, and seemed to be what was being suggested by the hedgewitches I discussed the process with. Perhaps I was misunderstanding what they were saying.

 

This would make an interesting study though. However, I feel I might have difficulty in this myself. I seem to have drifted from easy contact with the pagan community I was linked with through other activities I am engaged in. Oh well. Perhaps for the future.

 

BB

 

Mike

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Guest Heron-Feather

Knowing ignorance is strength.

Ignoring knowledge is sickness.

 

 

Tao Te Ching vs 71

Edited by Heron-Feather

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cern

Hmm, well most of my warrior activity involves healing. But then, I suppose that might be perspective again. When searching for soul fragments it is not unknown to come across obstruction by something (spirit animal or otherwise) that cannot be reasoned with. That requires some form of struggle. Dependant on how hard that struggle is will be the employment of power animal allies. But I've found that I can often shapeshift in order to achieve the same ends. Once the battle has completed though, it is then possible to retrieve the soul fragment.

 

Mind you, I was completely stumped recently. I tried to help a guy who has regular epileptic seizures. Once I got to the otherworld and began approaching the area where the soul fragments were I came across a 'wall' of some thick sticky gunk (can't think of a better word to describe it) that resisted anything I threw at it. Power animals did not seem interested in helping out. The message I got was that the soul fragments did not want to return. I discovered from the guys mother that he had said he had felt the work, but didn't want to lose the seizures as he had been having them for such a long time he couldn't imagine what life would be like without them and that scared him. So more work on the mundane is called for before I try again.

 

Sometimes you might need to do battle with entities that are trying to cause a fragmentation. That requires some slightly different tactics. I shan't go into those here though. Slightly more advanced than 'basics'. :rolleyes:

 

Hope that helps.

 

BB

 

Mike

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Guest Heron-Feather

The Ancient Masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.

The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.

Because it is unfathomable,

All we can do is describe their appearance.

Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.

Alert, like men aware of danger.

Courteous, like visiting guests.

Yielding, like ice about to melt.

Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.

Hollow, like caves.

Opaque, like muddy pools.

 

Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?

Who can remain still until the moment of action?

Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.

Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.

 

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching. Verse 15.

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Guest horsethorn

Heron-feather, is this really the right place for literary tai chi practice?

 

My feeling is that your signature says more about the topic: shamanic practice begins with an internal struggle - a description often used is the 'wounded healer' - sometimes a near-death experience or major illness, which is the external expression of this.

 

This brings you to a knowledge of yourself, which is the source of all spirituality (and magic). It also allows you a relationship with your deities & guides/power-animals.

 

I am still unsure if what most people think of as shamanism is rather the use of some shamanic methods instead (journeying, for example) and whether to practice 'shamanism' requires the whole process of symbolic death and healing internally - sometimes not by choice!

 

regards

ht

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cern

Sometimes, as in my case, it can be through an emotional trauma. Got to be a pretty life altering one though. It helped that I was already following a pagan path somewhat related to shamanism at the time I suppose. The symbolic death was twofold. My attachment to the emotional relationship and an incredibly deep exploration of self. Essentially I was taken apart and put back together rather akin to waylands smithy.

 

Wounded healer is right. The thing is that you keep receiving the wounds so you know how to restore the system. That introduces you to information supplied by animal guides (plant allies too) and gives you the skills to be able to work in the same landscape for others.

 

Whilst Taoism is not necessarily directly related, there do seem to be some connections in some areas of shamanic and Toaist practise. I don't think the Taoist quotes hurt.

 

BB

 

Mike

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Guest Moongazer

So far, I am confused. The thread was started by Heron feather with the title - a brief introduction to Shamanism, and yet all Heron feathers posts contain is verses from Tao Te Ching.

 

How is this an intro to shamanism ? :)

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Guest Kalianah

It was, originally, an introduction to Shamanism, but then Heron-Feather went through and edited all of his posts to be verses from Tao Te Ching.

 

You may notice that Heron-Feather's "Group" is now Outcasts, rather than "Residents" like the majority of us :D

 

Edited for a typo, which vastly changed the meaning of what I was trying to say :)

Edited by Kalianah

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Whisperedwind

:o_nono: :D

 

Yeah, pet peeve, really annoys me when someone start a post ,

 

on a certain topic and to me this didn't have anything to do with paganism or

 

really shamanism.. arghh

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Wodeborn

Thought I;d ressurect this

 

what I shamanism from a Shamanic viewpoint...its a bloody complex question I can tell you and this is going to be confusing as it is not written from the head but the heart...this is in essesnce me

 

 

what It isn't - or shall I say for me what it isn't, is getting high through alcohol, drugs, sleep deprivation or meditation to get in touch with an animal spirit which will guide you perhaps merge with you on some mystical journey of self discovery

 

My path has not been found as such, I have not converted from a major religion of choice to a pagan path, I have always been like this, I have always been able to do this and always seen spirits - and a bloody hard time of it I had at school I can tell you

 

Most of my time is taken up moving spirits on and healing the damage to the landscape, buildings, spaces that often others have done by playing with things - don't get on high horses because I don't (although may be wrong of course) think that the people here would be so intrinsically self centered to meddle so badly

to me it is an awareness of the huge universe around, of our responsibilities to ourselves, others, animals and the planet itself, the Shaman should (yes Should but they dont always) keep the balance in mind

 

My shamanism is centered on an intrinsic belief that everything has a spirit, a force, a vitality that can be seen and felt, and healed, and moved on / passed over, spoken to, learned from, comforted, drawn comfort from and generally embraced as an aspect of the glorious whole that is creation

 

 

My Shamanism centers upon speaking to spirits, usually human spirits, and in this role I help them to ease the reasons why they are still here on our vibration of existence, and help them move on. Spirits can (not always and it is a topic all of its own which I may include later if interested\) through the nature of themselves and the way that the energies interact cause melancholia and sickness and even death

 

Animals too have spirits and I see them regularly - usually they are pets lurking around their former companion bringing the same unstinting affection that they did in life

 

Nature has spirits and I see these less frequently, but feel them most, as though wen walking in a forest one feels the forest breathe, the tree spirits laugh and the water spirits play

 

One major element of my practise is the out of body travelling, remote viewing and remote healing...or some would say meddling...I do not have totemic animals it is always just me, it always has been just me.no wolves, no eagle spirits,,,just me

 

 

thought I'd just see if anyone else of a shamanic way may care to tell of their way

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Earthdragon

Hi Wode,

 

Thanks for sharing that. I like from the heart...

 

Our tradition has a shamanic side to it and what you describe resonates in general with the way I relate to the world. I don't see spirits in the way you do though. I have seen nature spirits and met with a character from the Otherworld who I perceive to be a Druid-guide. I'm sure there is much more awaiting me on my path.

 

The thing that interests me from a first reading of what you describe about your path is your notion/ perception of balance - where do you think this comes from? Has it changed over the years. Is it based on reading/working with others or is it purely from within?

 

ED

 

 

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Wodeborn

everything I have learned has come from within or my spirit helpers

 

everyone has the ability to open up and find that huge universe, everyone has the ability to contact spirits, and yes they will be there keping a weather eye out for you, guiding you as best they can to nudge in a positive direction - but the choice is always up to you...and yet sometimes the situation is such that all they can do is stand by you and give love and reassurance through an ordeal

 

Balance...interesting

 

when I was young I didn't give a damn..power was there to be used and abused...and I admit I did because I could

 

but as I got older I seem to have become more philospohical and asking important questions about why do something rather than can I do something, looking at consequences rather than showing of because hey how cool's this then

 

Its rather strange..my abilities now dwarf what I could do as a youngster, and yet because of balance I do less...but what I do is more powerful...there is more available because it is not continuously depleted and as ever one must give back in some way...my way of giving back is usually healing the land by passing on the trapped/confused and ridding it of imposed negativity

Edited by Wodeborn

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Finn Mac Morn

Wodeborn, I have found your two posts absolutely fascinating. Do you have a blog or anything like that so that I may read more ??

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Earthdragon

Here here ;)

 

I think , Wode, I know what you mean by doing less. Funny also in that it links to the Taoist parts of this thread which was posted years ago. Wei wu wei etc...

 

In terms of being depleted or not - do you mean that you feel that you use your own energy or do you channel it?

 

ED

 

 

 

 

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Wodeborn

Finn

 

no sorry...I keep what I do fairly quiet, but as the general tone towards Shamans seems to be one of looking down the nose at doped out wierdos with a wolf fixation i thought i'd put a few bits down, besides i thought there is nothing on shamanic practise on the boards, so nowhere for shamanic practitioners to have a talking place, and thought t would be good if we could exchange ideas

 

much of what i do i cannotr talk about, it involves people who largely do not want the world to know that they had or have a spirit problem, it wouldn't make for good reading...today i went to xxxxxxxx and spoke to xxxxxxxxx about xxxxxxxxx. I am quite prepared to talk techniques in a broad sense if anyone has a problem or is interested, but in truth each case has its own solution, sometimes i stumble around until i find it, people are good at keeping things hidden that they dont want people to know - even when they want gone of an attachment....sometimes it is the land, and that requires an offering and a journeying to find out what is wrong...sometimes i cannot help, there are things beyond me, there are personal attachments that in some deep way the person does not want removed....there are people which I describe as victim tattooed on the forehead who, as soon as one attachment is broken, another takes its place, and then there are those who dabble, who get sorted out and told to stop dabbling who then immediately start dabbling again - cant help there

 

 

in truth i act as a conduit and a roadie preparing the way for greater spirits to come through and do the work

 

ED..

 

it;s both my own and the channeled energies...but both deplete me when used....if you go into a church there is a feeling, it is because over perhaps centuries people have given their prayers there, it has become embued with energy, it is walking into the presence of the polarity of light of positivity of high energy levels

 

then there are places where people have dabbled and taken..the i wants - give me - the summonings...here when one walks in there is a coldness, an unease, shadows flit just out of vision, the energy is lower it has been depleted and one is in the presence of darkness, of low energy and of negativity

 

my own energy is used mantaining my protections and getting things ready for the full force to come - and believe me when i say it is truly draining, and when the force comes through, it too is strangely draining leaving one light headed, exhausted but generally "better" about the place - although highly emotional, i often sit and cry to release what is in truth too much for anyone to bottle up and cope with

 

keeping myself in balance means lots of time alone and being quiet, keeping nature in balance means healing the wounds as above - for if one takes without giving there is a hole and that fills with negativity, and like a picked sore it never gets better

 

sorry this is all being written "from the hip" no script, no notes, no structure and so is liable to wander

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Finn Mac Morn

Once again very interesting and informative Wodeborn.... thank you.

 

As someone who is relatively new and still exploring everything Pagan, I love to read as much as I can. Just about everything interests me, but sometimes something will resonate with me, as your writing seems to have.

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Earthdragon

Wode

 

Thanks for your openness. Lots to explore when I have some time.

 

Best

 

ED

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Moonhunter

my own energy is used mantaining my protections and getting things ready for the full force to come - and believe me when i say it is truly draining, and when the force comes through, it too is strangely draining leaving one light headed, exhausted but generally "better" about the place -

 

Where does that force come from? I have channelled a couple of times. The one that was intense and conscious was from two gods. I could "see" it as it passed out of me, but didn't feel much while it happned - to focussed on the task.

 

After, I collapsed and couldn't move for a long while.It wasn't a bad feeling...just physically exhausting. How long does it take you to recover and do you use any techniques or aids? I had to recover some of the energy from the object it had passed into, and then go and put hands and naked feet on wet grass for a while. that meant I could move and wasn't trembling any longer, but still very drained. It still took a couple of hours to recover.

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Wodeborn

my own energy is used mantaining my protections and getting things ready for the full force to come - and believe me when i say it is truly draining, and when the force comes through, it too is strangely draining leaving one light headed, exhausted but generally "better" about the place -

 

Where does that force come from? I have channelled a couple of times. The one that was intense and conscious was from two gods. I could "see" it as it passed out of me, but didn't feel much while it happned - to focussed on the task.

 

After, I collapsed and couldn't move for a long while.It wasn't a bad feeling...just physically exhausting. How long does it take you to recover and do you use any techniques or aids? I had to recover some of the energy from the object it had passed into, and then go and put hands and naked feet on wet grass for a while. that meant I could move and wasn't trembling any longer, but still very drained. It still took a couple of hours to recover.

 

 

ok...another one swinging from the hip

 

the energy comes from everywhere...it is the very nature of the universe, it is the power of stars and the power of life-force...nothing is ever destroyed it becomes energy - or a being of consciousness within that energy

 

you have to remember to protect yourself beforehand - rather like standing on a rubber mat before turning the electricity on..and remember that there will be an attempted expansion of the energy column so you have to brace against the energy around you - and push back, a rigid mental control is vital..and I find I cannot hold the visualisation too long as it constantly shifts and pushes back and tries to escape......it has to be closed before it can escape or one creates a door....that's usually what I am trying to get rid of rather than create

 

if its really bad I get overwrought..(Langley Hall for example saw me hyper manic and depressed within seconds again and again and again...and then the nightmares of what I see). - if I pass spirits I get left with emotions that cannot be handled and usually burst into a confusing mix of laughter and tears at the same time...sometimes the spirits "merge" briefly as they pass as though to say thank you - and there is extreme love suffusing

 

but to reach "normailty" it may take a week of being quiet......earthing to the ground is always good...ps I rarely wear shoes - even when walking outdoors in the yard or the lane - or even working on the bike - I like to feel the Earth

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Guest Fire Oak

Hi there

 

As a shamanic healer I thought I'd just stop by and introduce myself here.

 

I also learnt from my own guides (and still am) not from going in courses. In my case though my path opened for me as an adult.

 

I journey at will and when working spend a lot of my time walking the line, a foot in both worlds, neither here nor there but equally can be either 100% in non ordinary reality if needs be.

 

I'd agree about the need to build your own power and protect your energy before working with others though. It's so important to be strong and grounded for shamanic work.

 

Great to have a space to share.

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Finn Mac Morn

I didn't know that such things as Shamanic Healers existed....... told you that I was still learning ;) Im finding all of this fascinating. I understand that you cant go into specifics detail, but general information about what you do.. and why, would be great.

 

 

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