Something interesting is afoot this weekend. I’m attending a beginning workshop in Shamanism.
“What?” you might ask. “Does she think she’s Native American?”
Nope. It turns out that many cultures have shamanistic features. And, there’s a “name” in shamanism–Michael Harner–he’s brought shamanism forward in our Western culture. Here’s what the Foundation for Shamanic Studies website says:
Core shamanism consists of the universal, near-universal, and common features of shamanism, together with journeys to other worlds, a distinguishing feature of shamanism. As originated, researched, and developed by Michael Harner, the principles of core shamanism are not bound to any specific cultural group or perspective. Since the West overwhelmingly lost its shamanic knowledge centuries ago due to religious oppression, the Foundation’s programs in core shamanism are particularly intended for Westerners to reacquire access to their rightful spiritual heritage through quality workshops and training courses.
Here in the US, we sometimes mistake “religion” for “spirituality.” The sad fact is that many religions fail us mightily because they’re more focused on fundraising than on providing real spiritual food. More interested in rules than in helping us live better lives.
The shaman is in touch with nature, in touch with healing and in touch with the Divine Source–all things that interest me. When I heard about shaman and anthropologist Michael Harner, I wanted to learn more.
Who is he? HERE is some info about Michael Harner.
I hope to travel to invisible worlds this weekend.
It might surprise you to learn that I’m not a stranger to shamans and shamanic journeying.
If you don’t know what that is, neither did I at first. Shamanic journey takes us beyond reality to invisible worlds. If we’re lucky, we gain access to information that will help us make changes in our lives. It’s spiritual food rooted in long-ago traditions.
I took my first shamanic drumming journey in Utah almost 10 years ago. A Native American shaman guided me and she was excellent. Her drumming was hypnotic and I did journey–which is basically “tripping” without drugs. It was powerful. A few years later when I tried again, nothing happened, maybe because I wasn’t feeling well. And at the Afterlife Conference, shamans taught us a few beautiful rituals and helped us journey. In that large group, I was disappointed that I didn’t journey very well. There were too many distractions, including chatter by an audio guy who was seated a few rows behind me. But I’ve always wanted to repeat the kind of experience I had the first time.
So, when I found a weekend intensive–the basic workshop–just half an hour away, I signed up. I’m not sure if I’ll continue shamanic studies–I might. Or I might not.
Right now, I’m packing my shaman bag with the items we were told to bring. A rock. A bandana. A blanket. Warm socks. A rattle or drum if you have one (I don’t, so I’ll borrow). As you read this, I might well be deep into a drumming journey. Hope so.
I’ll report my experiences in a future post.
Aho! (which is used in prayers and means thank-you or amen in Lakota)