Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Shamanism in modern society

This is the follow up to the blog I posted yesterday

For more than 10 years I have trained in shamanic techniques. Apparently I am highly sensitive and have a talent for contacting spirits and working with them. So it was great fun for me to explore the different worlds, in various ritual settings. What I was looking for most of all was to learn, to know and to understand. And along the way I made some friends in the non-daily realities, who showed and taught me some amazing, some frightening and some beautiful things.

I gave up on my shamanic expeditions when the Goddess – The Lady with 10 000 Names – demanded more and more of my time and energy. So for the last 2 or 3 years I just offered my stone readings and some healing with the help of my otherworldly friends, without hardly ever travelling over to them. I simply maintained these friendships with greeting them regularly and giving little presents at their altar in my house temple.

So I've gathered a lot of knowledge and expertise, and I have ancient, faithful friends who come to me whenever I invite them. And that's it. This is all at the moment.
I worked so hard to get there, but now I'm here, I hardly use anything of all the things I learned.

On Facebook I'm member of some groups discussing shamanism and I meet other shamanic practitioners now and then, IRL or online, but I seldom feel a connection.
Western neo shamanism seems to be all about personal experience. Wonderful trance journeys, amazing mushroom/ayahuasca trips, awesome sweat lodges, hugging power animals, personal healing and a lot of big drums (size does seem to matter here) and feathery accessories. Ah, I forget to mention the drum circles, drumming for Mother Earth, while having a good time getting high. I'm sorry to go a little overboard with sarcasm, but I want to make a point here.

Neo shamanism is about the individual, who wants to feel good, who wants to have a special experience, who wants to work through some personal shit, or who just wants a little ego boost by feeling different and special. When I browse websites of shamanic practitioners here in Holland, all I find, boils down to personal development and healing, mostly through costly workshops and trainings.

Traditionally shamanism is not about “me! me! me! I like it, give me more, cause it feels so good!”
Traditional shamans have their place in a community, not necessarily a comfortable place, but it is an important one. They negotiate with the Spirit world for the well being of the whole community and the land, they restore balance where needed and they are keepers of the places that are sacred to their people.

But where is my community?!
Who wants me to appease the Spirits, or to ask advise from the ancestors?
Who is waiting for me to restore the energetic balance in the land? Who is waiting for a sacred place in this overcrowded country, where every square meter has economical purpose?
The only place where I really, really tried ,is now a shop, selling vintage soccer gear.

When I watch, for instance, videos about Korean shamans, doing large public ceremonies in the middle of Seoul, my whole being is stirred. This is what I have to do! The things I learned are not (just) for healing individual people and they are for sure not to make me feel good. (Although communing with my Spirit helpers does feel good, most of the time.) I have to do something useful with my knowledge, I feel my helpers are waiting to finally get to work with me.

But what and where remains to be seen. As long as there is no community to work with or for, I feel there is not much I can do.
All I can do is ask for guidance and give a shout out to the shamanic community, hoping there are some others like me, who want to take their shamanic work up a level.

No comments:

Post a Comment