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Thread: What kind of shamanist and how do you experience spirits?

  1. #11
    Cannibal Rights Activist Ophidia's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of shamanist and how do you experience spirits?

    Quote Originally Posted by MercuryHalo View Post
    On another note I am asking how people experience spirits in regards to how do they come to you and in what form? Is it unusual to me as it is to anyone else that my spirit is a lion...and has been this way for a good handful of years. Yet I have never been to africa or anywhere the lion was indigenous?
    When you think about it, we're all from Africa, way back when And there were lions in Europe during the Pleistocene.

    I think guides, totems, etc. come to us when needed, or choose us because they are interested in us, or we can do something for them. I think it's a little silly to pick your own totems/guides - you can ask a spirit for help, or try to work with them, but if they don't like you or aren't interested in you, then no amount of pleading or insisting will force them into reciprocating. Sometimes, some of the more charismatic ones, especially tricksters, will lead an unwanted person into nasty predicaments on purpose just to teach them a lesson about being too demanding.
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  2. #12
    Newbie MercuryHalo's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of shamanist and how do you experience spirits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophidia View Post
    When you think about it, we're all from Africa, way back when And there were lions in Europe during the Pleistocene.

    I think guides, totems, etc. come to us when needed, or choose us because they are interested in us, or we can do something for them. I think it's a little silly to pick your own totems/guides - you can ask a spirit for help, or try to work with them, but if they don't like you or aren't interested in you, then no amount of pleading or insisting will force them into reciprocating. Sometimes, some of the more charismatic ones, especially tricksters, will lead an unwanted person into nasty predicaments on purpose just to teach them a lesson about being too demanding.
    This is interesting. I remember a few years ago I was just really ignorant...more so than I am now. Obviously I still don't know much, but I remember trying to contact spirits, to connect with them. I'd meditate and actively ask my spirit guide to show himself. He never did for a long time but I did see a red fox which was incredibly unusual. I was on the bus on the way to school and when I try to get others to see no one else saw it. Obviously the fox is a trickster and his message seemed irrelevant at the time. Given your post though it makes more sense. How interesting. The spirits definitely work in mysterious ways.


    and to the post previous of yours...that is my struggle and the struggle with most metis people. Because of the damage outsiders have done in the past those who should be considered insiders aren't any longer and it is beyond our control that our "right" to the culture has been stripped away indirectly. I have been taken in with a native family, i was basically one of them, i was there for their pow wows, we'd go fishing on the rez together, i'd be there and pray with everyone else and respect and witness their ceramonies. it was great but I no longer live there and have lost that connection. Although I get what you are saying...I feel like the native beliefs arent REALLY shamanism but that's just a title people have given them recently for sake of organized religion.

  3. #13
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of shamanist and how do you experience spirits?

    Quote Originally Posted by MercuryHalo View Post
    .. and to the post previous of yours...that is my struggle and the struggle with most metis people. Because of the damage outsiders have done in the past those who should be considered insiders aren't any longer and it is beyond our control that our "right" to the culture has been stripped away indirectly. I have been taken in with a native family, i was basically one of them, i was there for their pow wows, we'd go fishing on the rez together, i'd be there and pray with everyone else and respect and witness their ceramonies. it was great but I no longer live there and have lost that connection. Although I get what you are saying...I feel like the native beliefs arent REALLY shamanism but that's just a title people have given them recently for sake of organized religion.
    Bolded mine. I hear that from a lot of Native Americans. They say Shamanism is a white word and does not properly say what their beliefs are and are not. Even medicine as it is used is a White word which also does not properly say what their total spiritual and life beliefs are.
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    Cannibal Rights Activist Ophidia's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of shamanist and how do you experience spirits?

    'Shamanism' has become an umbrella term, much like 'Paganism'. We use it so we know what we're talking about, lol.
    The forum member formerly known as perzephone. Or Perze. I've shed a skin.

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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of shamanist and how do you experience spirits?

    Quote Originally Posted by MercuryHalo View Post
    Although I get what you are saying...I feel like the native beliefs arent REALLY shamanism but that's just a title people have given them recently for sake of organized religion.
    That's because native beliefs AREN'T shamanism. Native beliefs are native beliefs. Some of which happen to have elements and practices that resemble practices written about by Michael Harner and his associates.

    'Shamanism' is a modern (and very non-native Western) term which derives from the Tungus word that certain tribes of Siberia used to describe their spirit workers. Anthropologists observed these spirit workers... then observed other spirit workers and healers of other cultures and noticed that some of the practices were similar. So they started calling ALL spirit workers, healers, psychopomps and medicine men/women 'shamans'. Then Michael Harner wrote a book detailing all the practices and techniques that he had noticed various 'shamans' from various cultures doing... and posited that if we strip the cultural context from them (cultural context = belief, tradition, mythology, society etc) then we have a set of core techniques and practices which can be called 'shamanism' and practiced by anyone, anywhere.

    Shamanism isn't a belief system. It's a set of techniques.

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of shamanist and how do you experience spirits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophidia View Post
    'Shamanism' has become an umbrella term, much like 'Paganism'. We use it so we know what we're talking about, lol.
    I think that is part of the problem. We collectively have allowed it to be dumbed down because we don't say "NO, That is Not what it is!" So in paganism its reducing intellectual level of education even as Anthropology and other formal sciences resists its continued usage as a global description and concept. But in the ever growing pagan practice of do what you want and don't upset anyone, it gets more and more corrupted. Sadly very similar I think to what is now happening with much of HooDoo, VooDoo, Voudun, Santeria, etc as the disapora practices have become the new buzz word for the pagan crowd.

    Then to say, it's so we know what were talking about as a subject, that's the greatest slam I think regarding just how much it is becoming nothing vice actually being a reflection of certain traits, gifts and cultural influences.
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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of shamanist and how do you experience spirits?

    Quote Originally Posted by monsno_leedra View Post
    I think that is part of the problem. We collectively have allowed it to be dumbed down because we don't say "NO, That is Not what it is!" So in paganism its reducing intellectual level of education even as Anthropology and other formal sciences resists its continued usage as a global description and concept. But in the ever growing pagan practice of do what you want and don't upset anyone, it gets more and more corrupted...
    LOL - I think if people wanted a Pope to tell them whether they are or are not what they say they are, they'd just become Catholic.

    Thinking for one's self is unlikely to reduce anybody's intellectual level.

    Quite the opposite, in fact.
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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of shamanist and how do you experience spirits?

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    LOL - I think if people wanted a Pope to tell them whether they are or are not what they say they are, they'd just become Catholic.

    Thinking for one's self is unlikely to reduce anybody's intellectual level.

    Quite the opposite, in fact.
    If they were thinking for themselves i'd agree but the way the very words Shaman and Shamanism are being watered down and presented in so many 101 books they appear not to be thinking at all. Much less asking questions about it beyond what the latest pagan author is saying.
    I'm Only Responsible For What I Say Not For What Or How You Understand!

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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of shamanist and how do you experience spirits?

    Quote Originally Posted by monsno_leedra View Post
    If they were thinking for themselves i'd agree but the way the very words Shaman and Shamanism are being watered down and presented in so many 101 books they appear not to be thinking at all. Much less asking questions about it beyond what the latest pagan author is saying.
    Ah, well, I understand that.

    But you'll never stop dumb from being dumb - any attempt just encourages dumb.

    They're no worse than the wanna-be Buddhists who think wearing yellow robes, shaving their heads, and burning incense makes them Buddhists, or that meditating will teach them to levitate. And Buddhism actually has well defined precepts...
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

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    Cannibal Rights Activist Ophidia's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of shamanist and how do you experience spirits?

    To me, it's the difference between 'trees' and 'elm, pine, oak, birch, palm, etc & so forth, ad nauseum'. Shaman, pagan, African Diasporic religions, trees - the pluralistic terms are used for brevity's sake.

    When a person generally speaks about 'shamanic techniques' or 'shamanic practices', most people who are familiar w/alternate spiritualities basically understand that the person is referring to indigenous pre-Christian practices or the priesthood of indigenous tribes. There are a multitude of differences between how a Cree practices their spirituality vs. how a Sentinelese practices their spirituality vs how the Surma practice their spirituality, and if I was talking specifically about the Cree or Inuit or whichever people, I would use more specific terms. I feel that a person can talk about 'animals' without diminishing the importance of 'bees', and the same goes for shamanistic religious practices.
    The forum member formerly known as perzephone. Or Perze. I've shed a skin.

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