Shamanism is a dimension of human experience that can be found in every culture in any age. It can be observed in a variety of forms, ranging from a fundamental spontaneous experience, derivative culturally shared practices, or as veiled motifs of spiritual, medical, artistic, scientific, and psychotherapeutic interventions.

Paradoxically, as shamanism becomes more culturally shared, it may become less authentic—less culturally challenging—and degenerative. Provoked by an experience of everyday life as a sort of “half-truth,” shamanism is a method that focuses on the erroneous belief in a separation of human life from nature. Shamanism focuses specifically on remaining alert to the creatural dimensions of human life that can be overridden by cultural, socio-psychological dimensions of everyday life.

Shamanism is an expression of an enduring wild state to remain alert to the changing conditions of existence and integrate into the natural world that continues to design and express human life across the long run.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Drum Sings Sky Down

Lance Kinseth, Calling Down Moon, 48x48”


Drum’s vibrations obviously pulse through us, but they are far more than drum’s.  In that way in which a wave is the ocean, these vibrations are Sky-sized.

Endless Sky, containing Earth and galaxies and Cosmos, comes down.

Sky is already here, inside mass, inside us and the surrounding space, and unbound in the holy river and sea.  The trees and mountains are Sky.

Drum forms a pathway for the essentials of Sky to come down or for you and I to go up.

Raven and Crow are two of the essentials—faces of Sky.   Raven and Crow are present, even already inside us, and yet—like Sky—are touchless.

Perhaps one time Moon or Raven comes down and perhaps in another time we go up to Crow, and still more magic: we do not move.

If we are lucky we sense them and we interact with them.

If we are even more lucky, a time will come when they are known to be us.

The atmosphere is the essence of their bodies and of your body as well.
And yet, we spend most of our time in a world that does not exist, that we contrive, and call this very real reality of Sky a “dream.”

Sky is our very existence in each moment and, in its vast, unending formless form, that which designs us and expresses us.  Our most real scientific measures are saying this to us.

Our hands are Sky’s hands. 

Sky is the body of spirit that extends out beyond galaxies and cosmos. 

We exist deep inside spirit as a congealed form of energy to fit the local conditions of existence. 

We are not little pieces of spirit. 

There is no end or beginning to us, no separation, no previous life, no coming and going, no ending and beginning. 

The differences that we feel—such as what I choose to eat or how you dress—are real, but small and narrow expressions of our identity and of our limits. 

A fish is river-shaped; a blossom is the tilt of the Earth toward the sun.

And were we to get hold of it, opening a pathway into Sky can optimize us, attune us to the longer reaches of ourselves, bring us into harmony, and heal and sustain us. 



WHEN SKY SWEEPS DOWN in drum sound, all is transformed.  Be it far northern Eskimo kilaut or Koryak boubin.  Drum’s vibration sweeps sky into the present moment.

Do you seek it’s wisdom?

Sky is more than space above landscape.  Sky is the farther reach of landscape.  Earth is in it, as well as star—Sun—and Milky Way Galaxy that contains Sun as a small obscure star, and all galaxies and the farthest reach of cosmos, that unknown terrain of universe or universes and/or more.

And Sky is the immanent form of Raven and Crow that can seem ghost-like to us, appearing to wear the appearance of thin air.   Spirit-Beings are not really spirit-beings in the catholic sense, not real this thing or that thing, not really something either exclusively outside or inside, but rather, are manifestations of inseparable, interpenetrating Sky.

When Sky sweeps down, as Sky endlessly does, but typically so far outside our consciousness, Raven/Crow/Moon sweeps down.  In drum sounds, Sky sings and comes down or we fly out to meet Raven/Crow.  When we leave the world that we have contrived, we find ourselves inseparable an in a world where self and landscape are no more or no less than facets of a whole.  We look at our experience contriving parts and miss the elephant.  It is like trying to cut the river into parts to see the river.  Sky is the horizontal and vertical terrain in front of our senses as well as the literal atmosphere above us that presses into us as our very breath and our very sensing as well.

And perhaps if we are lucky—if we are “called” into such consciousness—Raven/Crow/Moon open this inseparability.

Spiritually, we are likely to imagine the landscape as separable from ourselves, either as a stage-set in which we act out a rather brief temporal life before entering a more spiritual, transcendent “heaven” or as a landscape of “come-arounds” in which our soul moves across life spans though a variety of forms. 

Shamanically, however, landscape—that is far more sky than solid mass as its physical and spiritual essence—is god-like, and we—deep within it, ensouled rather than a separate soul—are expressions of this godliness.

Not just for aesthetic pleasure, awareness that everything that is landscape is in us brings us inside is this very deep reality to optimize each moment.  

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