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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in shaman

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
A Loving Work Day

Just came across this June 2013 piece I’d never shared. Now seems the time to share it, though I don't know why.

Amidst distractions—fears making my thoughts scurry in multiple directions, people attacking in hopes of distracting themselves with turmoil, forms promising to be essence, delusions masquerading as passions—I light a single candle. Simple altar. The Friend adds a stone.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Chaplain as Shaman

I wrote the essay below back in 2013 in an effort to explain my work as a chaplain and tie that work into my "earthy" spiritual roots.  I have recently started training in shamanic practices and find what I wrote below even more true now than when I wrote it a couple of years ago.  I hope to be able to continue to explore the similarities of shamanism and professional chaplaincy.

I'm not going to pretend to be an expert in Shamanism.  In my spiritual journey I've only touched upon shamanism; however, what I do know about shamanism gets me thinking about the similarity between shamanism and chaplaincy.  What I know about shamans is that they are typically considered a type of "wounded healer."  A shaman must have been sick to understand sickness.  A chaplain is like this too.  A chaplain deals with the spiritual and emotional pain of others.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    There is a scene in the Bible where King Saul is outside and a group of prophets comes down the mountain with sistrums and tambour

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Marketplace Is Sacred

 The following is adapted from my new book A Sacred Marketplace: Sell without Selling Out or Burning Out. Mysticism + Marketing = Sales.

The marketplace is sacred. It is where community gathers. 

I love the world of spirit. I am happy in it. I am also incredibly happy in the marketplace. It is where I get to share from my heart and soul. It is where I get to connect with other humans.

The marketplace is sacred. I am almost in tears as I write this because I am so deeply moved when I work with my students: When we are working together, we are in the real. We are discussing our actual lives, true feelings, soulful dreams, honest needs, terrible doubts, night-sweating terrors, dizzying triumphs, and more.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Journeying to the Realm of the Dead

Ancient Minoan civilization was part of a widespread Bronze Age cultural group that encompassed much of the Mediterranean. This included the Cyclades, a large group of islands off the southeast coast of Greece, just north of Crete. At the center of the Cyclades is the island of Delos, which was sacred to a number of the Aegean Bronze Age societies, including the Minoans. In fact, it figures prominently in the Theseus-and-Ariadne myth.

The Cyclades had their own culture that included a unique art style: small figurines carved out of white marble, with a simplistic style that looks almost post-modern. The photo above shows the most widespread type of figurine, a female figure with her arms crossed over her abdomen, the left above the right. Some male carvings in a similar posture have been found, but by far the majority are female. The interesting thing is, they all come from Cycladic graves.

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Note: I'll be back to the Hero's Journey next time, but this topic came up on the Facebook "Magickal Community and Education" group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/MagickalCommunityEducation/). Rather than simply posting my thoughts there, I thought they'd make a decent blog post. I look forward to everyone's thoughts.

_____________________

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  • Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker
    Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker says #
    And thank you! I appreciate this-- and I'll modify accordingly.
  • Piper
    Piper says #
    Thank you, This is nicely done and avoids most of the baggage that surrounds this issue, I do have 1 thing to add, your statement
At the Root: The Shaman's Journey Trance

Throughout time, shamanic practitioners are known for their ability to enter an altered state of consciousness, called a “journey trance”, and visit other worlds. These initiated, trained and chosen spiritual leaders practice as mediators between community members, the spirit realms and the natural world. Understanding the mechanisms for how energy moves, how illness operates, and how healing is bestowed are all the domain of the shamanic practitioner. 

A lot falls under the umbrella of the shaman. Many get caught up in web of all the different directions one can go in the study of shamanism. It is important to come back to the foundation from time to time and realize that in the root of the practice springs forth much of what shamanism has to offer.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Book and a Cat

Continuing my story of my personal journey on my heathen path, I continued to learn various magical basics, not exclusively heathen. During the early 1990s, I studied the book The Way of the Shaman, and met a lynx. 

 A quote from my memoir, Greater Than the Sum of My Parts:

      “I worked through the exercises in a little paperback book called the Way of the Shaman.  From it I learned to read auras.  At first I had difficulty with the concept of aura reading, but then I figured out what it really was.  Learning aura reading is training one’s intuition to give information in visual form.  The color spectrum is capable of carrying more shades of meaning in a single data point than is a gut feeling.  It’s like trading Morse code for a videophone.  After that it was only a matter of practice, and in a few weeks I went on to the next exercise in the book.”

I had already connected to a spirit animal, cats of various species, but after reading that book, I went on a trip to Montana and connected powerfully with a lynx. The excuse for the trip was wildlife photography. I connected profoundly with an animal spirit that united the Native totem spirits, the Eastern martial arts animals, and the heathen bersarkrgangr animals, although I would not know about the martial of bersarkrgangr for another few years yet.

I photographed the lynx jumping over a log. The photo accompanying this post is one of the pictures of that very lynx, which I took on 35mm slide film. 

 A quote from my memoir: 

     “The lynx got tired and sat in the shade a while, panting, its cream and red-brown fur a liability in the summer sun.  It was not much bigger than my own cat at home, and I had to remind myself that it was not in fact a domestic cat and I should not pet it, despite the temptation.   As I stood watching the lynx, it looked back at me with spring green eyes.  I did not let myself physically move to touch it, but my feelings went out to it, to her, I realized, perfect hunter, emblem of every cat spirit I had ever known, from the lion roar of shenai practice to the little house cat spirit in the field on my first day at college.  She united the big cats and the small, the tiger of martial arts with the sweet kitten who comforted me when my father died.  I forged a connection with Lynx, not just this lynx but the archetypal Lynx.  She united within me all the cat spirits I had seen and heard, every catlike instinct I possessed, and something more, something hidden deep within.”

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