This is an ongoing US and global project to help enthusiasts, scholars, practitioners, and curious parties learn more about shamanic living in a contemporary culture. The space here is devoted to sharing info, experiences and opinions about all forms of shamanic expression covering shamanism's multiple permutations. Among subjects explored are traditions, techniques, insights, definitions, events, artists, authors, and creativity. You are invited to draw from your own experiences and contribute.

What is a SHAMAN?

MAYAN: "a technichian of the Holy, a lover of the Sacred." CELTIC: "Empower the people...by changing the way we think." MEXICAN APACHE: "Someone who has simply learned to give freely of themselves..." AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL: "...a teacher or healer, a wisdom keeper of knowledge... (who) takes people to a door and encourages them to enter." W. AFRICAN DIAGRA: "views every event in life within a spiritual context." HAWAIIAN: "...human bridges to the spiritual world and its laws and the material world and its trials..." QUECHUA INDIAN: "embodies all experience." AMAZON: "...willing to engage the forces of the Universe...in a beneficial end for self, people, and for life in general."

-- from Travelers, Magicians and Shamans (Danny Paradise)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

WisdomKeepers Excerpts-- PART ONE

Here are some excerpts from the book "Wisdomkeepers, Meetings with Native American Spiritual Elders", which contains several interviews with important figures from a number of tribes. I have focused on text and wisdom that would best be suited for this blog:

"If you know my song, you know Charlie. Everyone has a song. God gives us each a song. That's how we know who we are. Our song tells us who we are. And there are other songs, different songs for different things, some for dancing, some for singing, some for healing. Every sickness takes a different song. You tune the water drum different for each song, Little person inside you tells you what song to sing. Little person comes from God, teaches Charlie the song he knows. You got to hear the little person to learn the songs."

When Charlie was 32 or 33, he got his healing song. Charlie lay down on his back on the ground, hands out. In the vision, the Creator came down, like a big light. There's a light coming out and he's got angels all around him, all made of light. The Creator came down and touched me here on my hands, then He taught Charlie his healing song, He taught me how to heal. he showed me how to use the eagle feather to find the sick place in a person. He told me: 'sing the healing song then build a fire. Take a burning coal in your hands. It won't burn if you pray right. Then take the heat out of the coal into your hands, and then rub the person's body in the sick place. Put your hands in water and do it again. Do it seven times. The sickness will go away if the Creator wants."

--Charlie Knight, Ute Medicine Man

"There is no word for 'nature' in my language. Nature, in English, seems to refer to that which is separate from human beings...It is foolish arrogance for humans to think themselves superior to all the life-support system. How can one be superior to that which one depends for life? Humans have invented marvelous technologies. The result has been that parts of the world live in unnecessary and debilitating surplus while people in other parts of the world are dying for lack of food, water, and shelter. Priorities need to be directed so that peple who have plenty need not feel shame while others hunger and die....

I would argue the whole concept of Nature be rethought. Nature, the land, must not mean money, it must designate life. Nature is the storehouse of potential life of future generations and is sacred...Spirituality is our foundation."

--Audrey Shenandoah, Onondaga Tribe

God gave us medicine to share with people, but if the White Man gets his hands on it he'll charge you a great price and will let you die if you don't have it. God's medicine is free. We don't give money to God. We give him our prayers, our thanks. And sometimes we give Him the only thing that's really ours: our flesh, our pain. That's what the Sun Dance is all about--giving God our flesh, our pain, and--never forget--a prayer of thanks.

--Matthew King, Lakota Tribe

The spiritual heritage of Native American people is here--it has not been extinguished. I believe the spiritual fire still burns and is beckoning for America, indeed, the world, to some closer, to listen, to learn, and to share in its warmth and comfort."

I, as a spiritual Indian man, am convinced that it is time to reach out to my white brothers and sisters and to share with whomever wishes to partake of what we, the indigenous people of this land, still have. It is time that the buckskin curtain be drawn back. It is time, I know it."

--Eddie Benton-Banai, Ojibway

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