a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.



To: soc.religion.shamanism
From: (nagasiva, tyagi)
Subject: shamanism

Kali Yuga 49941018

Traditions are powerful indicators of ability, but they are not the
only tools of detection.  After all, traditions came from individuals.

...My dictionary says that 'priest' derives from
'presbyter' and that this was originally a name for 'old one'.  I suspect
that in the formal stages of the language, wisdom and age were equated
and the name got used as an identifier of important cultural information.
So at least at one point in time someone who studied Christianity could
well be a priest.  In other words they may have been *called* 'priest'
due to their study of the discipline and their appearance (aged).

I want to make it clear than when I use the term 'shaman' I will be
applying only my own mythical meaning which I have fabricated within
my experience and I do not necessarily associate this with any sort
of Tungus people or Indian people or African people.  I mean by it a
kind of 'technician' which I shall attempt to describe in my feeble way.

'Being able to do some things which other shamans can do' may qualify,
within a community, as deserving of the title (whatever the language
and role, which I'm presuming will vary somewhat), but it is somewhat
imprecise to say what you do above since 'to shaman' could include any
degree of skill.  Is an apprentice carpenter truly a carpenter?  Surely
she can do some of the job, but not all of it.  And yet when she learns
from the master crafter she is 'carpenting'.

So in one sense (limited) you are right.  Yet in perhaps a more meaningful
sense you have understated the case, since you have not yet truly defined, 
here, anything positive.  

|Much of it would depend on the tradition one follows. 

I think you focus overmuch on socialized shamanism.  I'm convinced that
there is another kind who quite possibly works for hir community yet
does so alone and is not part of a 'lineage'.  I'd like to hear what you
think of this concept.  It can't be new.

I wonder if this focus upon community isn't a leftover from an earlier
age when group-integrity was the key to personal and species survival.
I agree that it is valuable and advantageous, I'm just not so sure that
it is necessary.  It reminds me of the requirement that saints and 
mystics be within religious *traditions*.  I'm not so sure that

1) there is a big difference between these saints and mystics and
   what you are calling 'shamans'

2) shamans aren't found outside of any particular tradition.

Kali Yuga 49941019

I think that the divide between scholasticism and practitioners should
be mentioned when discussing 'vocabulary'.  In many ways the *study of
shamanism* is a academic pursuit (valuable but still academic).  Unless
you are willing to posit a sort of eclectic, global shamanism which
subsumes the various specific instances and manifests within and through
Academia (:>) then the terms are exterior to the individual traditions
or particular within certain exemplars.

'Shamanic perspective' is a fallacy.  I'm sure that there are countless
perspectives which function for shamans quite well (hey, I could be wrong).
Knowledge is only beneficial for politicians and engineers.  My hit on this
is that *some* shamans do function as bridges and this is called by many
names.  Example: RJ Stewart "mediator".  These 'higher and lower states'
are mythological referents to specific experiences of the subjective
universe, which is as much a reflection as it is the origin of what modern
materialists call 'the real world'.

...While it is true
that the shaman exists at the 'edge of reality' this need not only be
the fringes of an urban or village population (i.e. geographic).  The 
shaman just as accurately lives on the edges of a society's 
*consciousness*, existing below or within that society and 'tweaking'
it like psychotechnicians tuning up their host body; a veritable
pineal gland regulating the social endocrine system.

Kali Yuga 49941024

...I sense beings I call 'elementals' who inhabit the elemental 
planes (E/A/F/W else Chinese 5 if I'm really good :>).  These, as I know
them, are the Salamanders of the Fire Realm, the Sylphs of the Air, the
Brownies of the Earth and the Undines of the Water (sometimes I call them
Sprites for some reason).  I perceive them as conscious beings of purely
elemental energy.

Dragons are nature-wisdom-beings who dwell in a realm once-removed from my
ordinary consciousness (I call this 'the Faerie' and have enjoyed learning
to move betwixt the ordinary and Faere realms, wherein my kinfolk, the 
elves and dragons (and others?) reside).  

What I call 'the astral plane' is often a mix of emotional and imaginary
components, yet I was referring to what are called 'Psychic Attacks' such
as are portrayed in Dion Fortune's _Psychic Self-Defense_ and Crowley's
_Moonchild_.  I'm not always one for 'seeing energy' and tend to sense
it intuitively (not somatically, sonically or, as is apparently popular,
visually).  For me it is more of a reflection than a direct perception.

I also don't have much experience with what is called 'OOBE' or 'Out Of
Body Experience', what is typically associated with 'astral travel',
though I do see my sorcerous and shamanic journies (otherworldly 
expeditions into the Faerie, the latter successfully bringing to ground
the contents of the experience for the benefit of myself and my kin) as
similar in many ways.

During these journies I sometimes come upon Gates, or portals between
major sectors of the Faerie.  Occasionally there will be Guardians at
these locales, those whose job it is to provide a challenge so as to
screen out those who are not yet ready for what lies beyond.  One such
Guardian whom I engaged wrestling/mating turned out to be a dragon.

If you want me to distinguish between 'metaphor' and 'literal' I'm unsure
exactly where to draw the line.  Likely if you were to have observed any
of what I describe above you'd characterize these as 'inner experiences'
and perhaps 'imaginary', though they seemed very concrete and 'real' to
me at the time. :>  I don't consider radical objectivism to be superior
to radical subjectivism, nor to I direct my scientific worship toward the
material world.


The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races