dodger_bird (dodger_bird) wrote in psacsu,

Shamanism lecture

Joseph - I know I gave you my notes to post, but then I realized that I could do it a lot easier as I already have them on my computer so all I have to do is cut and paste. So here's more or less what I covered tonight in the lecture:

Shamanism Lecture
I Animism
belief that everything has a spirit
(just animals just natural stuff: animals, plants, rocks, etc EVERYTHING)
goes very nicely with Shamanism

II What is Shamanism?
practice, not religion
different kinds found all over world; different names in different cultures
Definitions: a shaman is a healer of relationships: between mind and body, between people, between people and circumstances, between humans and Nature, and between matter and spirit.
an experiential growth process and involves becoming the master of your own initiation
“one who is excited, moved, or raised” – Lewis, 1971
“one who knows” – Diozegi
“A shaman is a man who has immediate, concrete experiences with the gods and spirits; he sees them face to face, he talks with them, prays with them, implores them – but he does not ‘control’ more than a limited number of them.” – Eliade
“A master of spirits”
Many more definitions

III Methods:
Song, chanting
drumming, rattles
the Soul Journey (“out of body experiences”)
observers are participators

IV How to start?
usu people 1st become interested in a religion or culture, then begin learning about that kind of shamanism
there’s a lot of information about shamanism, but not a lot about a specific kind of shamanism – esp Native American shamans
According to Andrews, 3 ways to become a shaman:
inheriting the profession
a special calling
a personal quest:
“The first step is the overcoming of preconceived notions and limitations” – Andrews
seeing through the illusions of our lives
sense of not truly belonging to reality
“The second step in the shaman quest is building a bridge between our world [and] the more subtle realms of life.” – Andrews
unfolding our intuition, creativity, and creative imagination
learn to visit the heavens and the underworld by means of an axis

V What do Shamans do??
heal or harm people
influence the weather
influence the availability of game
foresee the future
all comes back to healing relationships

VI Healing
through change in perspective
shaman must 1st heal him/herself before can heal others
shaman doesn’t actually heal others
facilitates a change in perspective/world view
allows “patient” to heal him/herself

VII Story about Inuit (Arctic Unicorn, Nancy Luenn)
tribe on Baffin Island
current angakoq disappeared
young woman Kala began having visions
she began seeing the spirits – she followed the spirits
she helped save a lemming spirit
lemming spirit became a helper, took her to the sky
Kala saved a narwhale spirit
narwhale spirit became friend
her family shunned her b/c she was spending too much time day dreaming
Inuit hunt narwhales, caribou
Game disappeared; tribe had to move on to find food
they couldn’t find food anywhere
Kala had to go into the sea, to visit the Mother of Beasts
narwhale spirit friend took her to the hut of the Mother of Beasts
after several tries, Kala is able to release animals again so her people can eat

Shamanism is a way of life
uses nature to help

Nature walk:
too cold to do together
next time you're outside, look at wildlife
observe what it's doing and interactions
what does it mean to you?
research it and find out how it pertains to your life!

Shamans through time, edited by Jeremy Narby
Spirit Song, by Mary Summer Rain (and the rest of the series is good, too)
Urban Shaman, by Serge Kahili King, PhD
books by Ted Andrews: Animal-Speak, Animal-Wise, and Nature-Speak

Hope this helps. Please post on the yahoo group if anything's amiss or you have any questions. I don't understand Live Journal, so I'll probably never look on here again. :D
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