On this site and many other sites, there are discussions regarding Native Americans, Shamans, frauds, etc.
A Shaman (or the many other names applied to us) are individuals with many abilities - one of which is to travel the unseen. We actually exist in the space in between the seen and the unseen, communicating and traveling between both for a variety of reasons.
Shamans (and the like) exist in every culture on this planet. Traditionally, the Shaman was responsible for the entire community physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This individual devoted their life to the community. In return, the shaman was provided for in addition to caring for her/himself.
Make no mistake, the role of shaman is a job. An individuals entire life is devoted to this job. the idea of compensation for the job was quite different 10,000 years ago - in other words money did not exchange hands, but there was an exchange and that exchange is as important today as it was then.
I implore you, if you seek the services of a Shaman, Medicine Person etc., compensate that person for their services. While indigenous peoples may not have a custom of billing for their services, they live a life with responsibilities and bills just like you.
As to the issue of the Native Americans: There are those in the white community and in the native community that take advantage of people, defraud people. It is a human issue not a cultural issue.
Those who are not native but seek out the native culture and spirituality do so for many reasons and quite often the individual has no idea why they are drawn to this culture. Simply put, the Native Americans (the various tribes) were here for ten of thousands of years (and probably longer), this land and everything on this land is infused with their energy. In addition, many of us of the white culture have lost our traditions and cultures since our ancestors first arrived here. We are traditional and cultural orphans desperately seeking some connection. Many have retained their traditions, others have not. The disillusionment of religion has forced many out to seek other paths. While I can understand that natives feel their sacred ceremonies and rituals are being stolen, this is only truth for a few people, not the majority.
The pain suffered by the Native Americans is unimaginable for most of us. Such suffering takes generations to heal. For now, the wounds are fresh and being passed from generation to generation.
As for me: I am Shaman, I am Seer, I have lived this way for 47 years and while my experiences have for the most part been incredible and amazing, I have also experienced the other side. I have risked my life in order to care for others suffering from horrors and I will continue to do so. I do not wish this life on anyone else, but I wouldn't want to be anyone else. I do not practice Native American ritual and ceremony. My ceremony, ritual and knowledge comes from Spirit and my own Ancient memory. It most resembles the Mongolian tradition of healing so if anyone asks, I say Mongolian/Siberian Shamanism. I am white. I did not have the benefit of teachers until I reached adulthood, so for thirty years, it was me and Spirit. I have been attacked verbally by those of the native tradition. While I can understand the reasons, I will not tolerate abuse. I have never claimed to be native and correct those that assume I am.
And that is the crux of the issue: People assume Shaman, Medicine Person and all the other titles refer to Native American spirituality. The attacks occur based on that assumption. The Native Americans (all the tribes) are essentially one culture. (yes I know each has its own traditions, ceremonies and rituals, but the average person does not know this so for this moment we say one culture). There are so many others cultures on this planet. Stop assuming that it is all about the Native Americans. Have respect for each culture and yes I am speaking to the Native Americans here as well.
For me, while I have met many, many wonderful Native American Medicine People and have been fortunate to experience ceremony led by these Medicine people, I have no further interest in your spirituality. I have my own.
to the New Agers: I'm old school and I have a hard time getting you people. What with the end of the world scenarios, spiritual evolution, aliens etc - I have no idea what path you are on. I suspect you are all good folks seeking connection, health and happiness.
As was said in another discussion, sex should not be part of the equation - sex is sacred - any leader or group that defiles the sacred nature of sex (for power and control in all instances) must be avoided.
This country, the United States, is a mix of peoples, cultures and traditions. We are fortunate that we can share and experience all these cultures and traditions. Charlatans abound. It is a human issue. There is no need to separate and keep secret the cultures and traditions - in the end we are all human, we are all spirit.
this is my rant - from the shaman side - the white shaman side - 47 years and counting of this life as a shaman
Hello Mary, and thank you for sharing. I, too, have been called by the spirits to do this work and I am GRATEFUL for the opportunity to be of service in this way. It is clearly time for the caucasian race to remember their shamanic roots and their deep connection to the earth -- to change their mindset from that of domination to that of respect.
Many of us have CHOSEN to incarnate in white bodies this time around in order to better reach the caucasian people. I am like you: I have my own spirituality which overlaps many indigenous beliefs from around the world, but which is sourced to me by my own Oversoul and spirit helpers. It's not about "playing Indian" or assuming any other culture's rituals, though I am honored when I am included, and some of what I do is from memories of earlier lifetimes.
This life-work is about bridging a new cultural shamanic experience into being, and the caucasian peoples of the 21st century will have their own way of creating rituals that are meaningful to them: they may reflect a similar belief or view of the cosmos as do indigenous rituals, but they will be uniquely caucasian and unique to this time. And that is exactly the way it should be. The day is coming when those of the white race will humbly resume their rightful place as part of the circle of indigenous Elders. It's time for the Eagle to fly with the Condor again.
the terms are titles used to describe how we can assist. they are not important in the grand scheme but they certainly upset quite a few folks
There is a bigger picture here - try to see it
What are you talking about?
The anthropologists require a whole discussion of their own and then I'll really upset people.
Call me whatever you want - one of the points of this discussion is that just because a white person (or other person not Native American) calls themselves a shaman does not mean that they are practicing or interested in Native American ceremony and ritual. Further points: some whites are frauds, some are not. Some Native American are frauds, some are not.
There are other points to the discussion as well.
What do you want to know about me? (if anything at all - I am not easily offended)
Definitions define the word, it is not the other way around.
For example, Water is defined as H2O no matter what word you use for H2O in any language, as long as it is H2O it is still water as we know it.
The same is true with the word Shaman which the Dictionary defines as:
Spiritual leader: somebody who acts as a go-between for the physical and spiritual realms, and who is said to have particular powers such as prophecy and healing.
Anybody who acts as such a spiritual leader is a Shaman whether that is what they or anybody else calls them or not.
To put it in Textbook logical form:
A (word ‘Shamanism‘) = B(definition)
B(definition) = (what they are doing)C
Then (what they are doing)C = A(word ‘Shamanism‘)
Right now, name all the cultures that fall in the category of indigenous shamanic culture...
come on, name them ALL right now.