Shamanism

Convictions, morals, other societies and religions.
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RaktaZoci
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Re: Shamanism

Postby RaktaZoci » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:06 am

Nokkonen wrote: But, in a way, I've gone through some kind of an initiation in my spiritual life that was akin to dying and being renewed into another kind of a creature. I just don't feel like that had much to do with shaman's spirits, although I've never been very sensitive to invisible spirits in any case.
I'd see this as a straight comparison to mortification.
Nokkonen wrote: What comes to entheogens, they have historically been very much part of the deal with shamanism. I believe that they might not be the answer to modern practitioners since our understanding on human consciousness has evolved while at the same time, traditional understanding on the spiritual realm has disintegrated. It can cause problems if one can't face their demons while on hallucinogens and there is no guidance for doing so. Traditional societies had, and some still have, strictly supervised and ceremonial ways of doing drugs, and I don't believe that drugs are necessarily awesome and safe to use without professionals guidance. I don't condemn drug use as such, however, and my own journey back to mental and spiritual health was greatly aided by it.
We had quite a thorough discussion on the matter in the last Nebukadnezzar lodge meeting. I can see how there are different points of view to this, even though, as you well know, I am very anti-drug myself.
I don't judge others though, and I understand that these kind of substances could aid an individual, as you say, IF the effects can be controlled and the mind focused enough. I do believe, however, that this can be very much related to the person in question and wouldn't exactly recommend this kind of experimentation to anyone, atleast not with a proper guide and/or mentor who understands both the pros and cons of the situation.
Nokkonen wrote: Anyway, could anybody recommend some good and reputable introductory books to modern shamanizing?
My dear friend Thuleia is very knowledgable on the subject. Her website can be found here. Particularly this was a recommended read..

Also, any books by Johannes Setälä could be recommended. Info can be found here, for example.
die Eule der Minerva beginnt erst mit der einbrechenden Dämmerung ihren Flug.
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Heith
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Re: Shamanism

Postby Heith » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:28 pm

Nokkonen wrote: Anyway, could anybody recommend some good and reputable introductory books to modern shamanizing?
Well, I have never had the pleasure of reading a genuinely good book on the subject. This question is a interesting synchronism as I just wrote in a letter to someone that I don't think any writings on shamanism can be taken that seriously due to their subjective nature. If you have studied this academically, you probably are aware of the theories and ideas around, not to mention having a much sturdier background knowledge for the subject than the majority of people who name themselves shamans or shamanists.

It is true that often the experience overlaps with that of the others when I have partaken into a drumming where other people are present. For example, during their journey, everyone sees or glimpses the same animal. I have also noticed that when people begin to expect to see a certain thing or to experience things in a specific way, they most likely will. An example of this could be that during a drumming, someone had seen a wolf and assumed this had something to do with me. I believe they base this on my appearance and sour attitude that day, and believe that my "spirit animal" (or spirit form / guide) would be a wolf because they thought I was "wild". The same also tends to happen when people know one another well, and are becoming familiar with each other's reports concerning their experiences during drumming.

There's of course a huge difference between light visualisation / thinking in pictures and actual trance states. I have lost consciousness of my body only once, during which I met a dead relative in the shape of an animal who showed me how they were wronged. I was later able to discover this to be true, which was a secret in the family that only two people know, neither of which had ever told this to me. It is of course possible that I have heard this as a child and forgotten, and it only just came back to me during this state. Be that as it may, I received knowledge & it may be that I will never have this kind of mind state again, and I am fine with this. Trances should only be sought for a solid reason anyway.
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Jiva
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Re: Shamanism

Postby Jiva » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:39 pm

RaktaZoci wrote:
Nokkonen wrote:What comes to entheogens, they have historically been very much part of the deal with shamanism. I believe that they might not be the answer to modern practitioners since our understanding on human consciousness has evolved while at the same time, traditional understanding on the spiritual realm has disintegrated. It can cause problems if one can't face their demons while on hallucinogens and there is no guidance for doing so. Traditional societies had, and some still have, strictly supervised and ceremonial ways of doing drugs, and I don't believe that drugs are necessarily awesome and safe to use without professionals guidance. I don't condemn drug use as such, however, and my own journey back to mental and spiritual health was greatly aided by it.
We had quite a thorough discussion on the matter in the last Nebukadnezzar lodge meeting. I can see how there are different points of view to this, even though, as you well know, I am very anti-drug myself.
I don't judge others though, and I understand that these kind of substances could aid an individual, as you say, IF the effects can be controlled and the mind focused enough. I do believe, however, that this can be very much related to the person in question and wouldn't exactly recommend this kind of experimentation to anyone, atleast not with a proper guide and/or mentor who understands both the pros and cons of the situation.
Well, I guess it might be worth noting that psychologists/psychiatrists in the 60s used LSD (when it was still legal) for therapy under controlled circumstances similar to the ones you mentioned. But then, from the little knowledge I have, this is definitely different from what shamans used to do as it seems like it’s much closer to ‘self-help’ rather than anything philosophical or religious. Not that there is anything wrong with this, I just think it’s a key difference. From a New Age point of view it’s not difficult to see why they switched the emphasis beyond merely acclimatising shamanism to modern political correctness: if there were no shamans around, why not do it yourself? Like I said, this reverses things though, as it’s the patient getting intoxicated rather than the psychologist which, as I understand it, would be a general summary of traditional shamanic practices.


Something else I’ve completely forgotten to mention that I'm randomly going to now is that there is a popular theory that the development of ancient Greek philosophy was given its impetus by shamanic beliefs from Central Asia. But yeah, that’s about all I can say, just thought it might be interesting :P.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
Nokkonen
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Re: Shamanism

Postby Nokkonen » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:45 am

Update! I finally dabbled with Shamanistic practices by participating in a workshop that our "traditional wisdom" group offered. I actually found out that drumming was pretty powerful aid in journeying. I haven't done much "pathworking," (as it's called in witchcraft traditions) in a long time because it hasn't been easy or satisfying to me, but with a live drummer and dedicated time, it was a very good experience and I love the fact that the things I saw actually were able to surprise me.
Jiva wrote:From a New Age point of view it’s not difficult to see why they switched the emphasis beyond merely acclimatising shamanism to modern political correctness: if there were no shamans around, why not do it yourself? Like I said, this reverses things though, as it’s the patient getting intoxicated rather than the psychologist which, as I understand it, would be a general summary of traditional shamanic practices.

Right! Usually it was the traditional shaman who got high, but I also talked with this old grandma from a village in Far East Russia who told that she got shamanic treatment for an emotional problem in which she was the one who ate fly agaric while the shaman kinda lead them through the experience. In anthropological literature that's not the usual case at least in the North, but perhaps it occasionally happens. I'm wonder if shamanism is an evolving technique everywhere and not just in the West.
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Heith
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Re: Shamanism

Postby Heith » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:08 pm

Nokkonen wrote: I'm wonder if shamanism is an evolving technique everywhere and not just in the West.
I'm rather certain that it differs from area to another, and as traditionally the shaman often took on a apprentice, they would learn the knowledge from this older shaman. I also guess that some shamans get further than others (well, that's sort of obvious) and peoples' temperaments tend to also matter. I do think that generally, the use of psychedelics was something that the shaman started after years of training, but perhaps in this case as the shaman has "mastered the mushroom", they can master the situation of that makes any sense.

Nice to hear you had a powerful experience! Live drumming is much better than recorded ones, but the chemistry of the group really needs to fit mine or I never get any results.
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Sebomai
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Re: Shamanism

Postby Sebomai » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:56 am

I am going to a three hour class on Sunday led by a scholar in far Northeastern Asian shamanic practice. Focus on Siberia and Mongolia, some places relatively untouched by modern "civilization" and it's "liberating" effects, hah. I'm so excited, this is a subject that I've long been fascinated by but unable to find reputable sources of info. I'll report back here afterwards!

And I now incorporate a small drum into nearly all my rituals. Its trance-inducing abilities is stronger than any drugs I've ever used. I think the most powerful effect on me is the removal of inhibitions it has. I can be reserved in ritual settings, if I feel something I must do is a little awkward for me, and drumming lets me go all "Skyclad" and chant with my entire being with no self-consciousness at all. That is a pretty incredible effect for someone whose entire existence could be defined as self-consciousness!
Nokkonen
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Re: Shamanism

Postby Nokkonen » Thu May 07, 2015 11:33 pm

Sebomai wrote:And I now incorporate a small drum into nearly all my rituals. Its trance-inducing abilities is stronger than any drugs I've ever used. I think the most powerful effect on me is the removal of inhibitions it has. I can be reserved in ritual settings, if I feel something I must do is a little awkward for me, and drumming lets me go all "Skyclad" and chant with my entire being with no self-consciousness at all. That is a pretty incredible effect for someone whose entire existence could be defined as self-consciousness!
There really seems to be something very powerful about live drumming. I was able to journey easily with a live drummer, but it seems much more difficult when having a mere recording to listen to. I feel like Im making that stuff up more when Im working with a recording, whereas wiht a live drum, I was just able to let visions unfold with the vibrations washing over me. Now I need to get me a drum and learn to drum for myself.

Sebomai, Im interested in hearing about the lecture if you have the time to write about it!
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Noname
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Re: Shamanism

Postby Noname » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:27 pm

Something I consider completely overlooked is the Finnish cultural heritage. In a way while there were dedicated shamans/sages, every member of the household participated in magic rites / rituals. When a house was build, a spirit was welcomed to it. When we hunted we sacrificed and gave our respects to the elders of the species we were hunting, and made sure if they are hunted their spirits can freely return to their origin. We considered everything sacred, and worth either sacrificing or respecting for. When a sauna, to which to us was a ritual of cleansing, the ancestors were allowed to sauna first. Which makes me believe we only did not believe in cleansing of ourselves, but allowing continuous participation of our ancestors in our life, as witnessed by placing plates and foot on the table for the dead. All these rites and behavior made our lives intertwined with the spiritual world, and they have not forgotten. My family had multiple of these rites incorporated to our lifestyle, just out of cultural heritage, and I believe still it influenced me greatly. I still follow every rite in hiding (thanks to today's social behavior models), and attempt to connect myself with all the spirits. This topic is difficult to discuss in English, as language is immobile and Finnish language, and their meaning for spirits varies depending on the target. Yet still I find myself deeply connected with the land, the past and the spirits, not only they are a great teacher, but there's the unexplainable sense of connection that is absent without them.
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Heith
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Re: Shamanism

Postby Heith » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:56 am

Noname wrote:Something I consider completely overlooked is the Finnish cultural heritage. In a way while there were dedicated shamans/sages, every member of the household participated in magic rites / rituals. When a house was build, a spirit was welcomed to it. When we hunted we sacrificed and gave our respects to the elders of the species we were hunting, and made sure if they are hunted their spirits can freely return to their origin. We considered everything sacred, and worth either sacrificing or respecting for. When a sauna, to which to us was a ritual of cleansing, the ancestors were allowed to sauna first. Which makes me believe we only did not believe in cleansing of ourselves, but allowing continuous participation of our ancestors in our life, as witnessed by placing plates and foot on the table for the dead. All these rites and behavior made our lives intertwined with the spiritual world, and they have not forgotten. My family had multiple of these rites incorporated to our lifestyle, just out of cultural heritage, and I believe still it influenced me greatly. I still follow every rite in hiding (thanks to today's social behavior models), and attempt to connect myself with all the spirits. This topic is difficult to discuss in English, as language is immobile and Finnish language, and their meaning for spirits varies depending on the target. Yet still I find myself deeply connected with the land, the past and the spirits, not only they are a great teacher, but there's the unexplainable sense of connection that is absent without them.
Well, I don't think it overlooked, just not something that is internationally not so well known. In some ways I am glad of this, that the greedy paws of new age and the like have not yet done to this subject what they have to, for example, the Norse tradition.

It is true that in each family, members partook into what could be considered as magic rituals. This was a very every day thing, but there was quite strict rules on what was considered men's, and what women's, magic. I actually have a article that touches on the subject on the upcoming Unseen Fire, and so does Vanadis. I won't say much more yet, as the publication isn't out; will make a proper announcement in a few weeks.

Actually, most of the things you mention is something I touch upon on my article, so I will not discuss further at this point, in hopes that you will be intrigued to read my text! :D

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