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, June 23, 2015


DUIR: Celtic reference for Oak that means :"doorway."

Just outside the south-facing back window, a white oak doorway into "world," and what is that?  And why this separation of self and world?

A cluster of white oaks, once part of a savannah ecosystem, but with young oaks beginning to rise, in close communication and nurturance from the larger "mother" oaks--already here long before me. [The first house here, next door to the West, where the inhabitant at that time found North American Indian artifacts overflowing in the creek below. And the backyard of this house being largely a sandbar for the gushing waters of the melting glacial ice of the Des Moines Lobe, some 10,000 years past.]

6/23/2015:  The Oak King has ruled the "waxing of the year with strength, courage, and endurance."  Now, in this Celtic Old Way, we enter into the waning part of the year.

For all of its age-old similar conceptualization with our post-modern, post-industrial, cybernetic intelligence, we still clings to this here and that there--so very narrow a view.

We still argue over whether or not there is a climate change that we have caused.  But there is no question that we could erase the battle and look at how we are destroying the Earth, period.

Shamanism, at its heart, is not conceptual, not a feel-good, not a healing--more of a responsiveness, more of an opening.

Why something framed as ancestral, primitive when we are inside a mass extinction of eco-diversity?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Non-Conceptual Experience

from Shaman Tube

A WAY FORWARD IN SHAMANISM: naturalist, direct, non-conceptual experience

Not listening to, as we tend to hear/see our expectations, but rather, opening, following

Even in primal cultures, tight conceptual experience is the norm, because culture tends to be conceptual (-e.g., the forest pygmy, having lived in deep forest his entire life under canopy, travels with author on the culture to the edge of the forest and "sees" a puddle [common in forest] that is, in reality, a lake).

But if we FOLLOW, and open rather than discriminate, perhaps something is offered.

Mongolian shamans now incorporated, dancing around like idiots at their convention, practicing psycho-relief, of course, cultural now--derivative rather than original, and likely degenerate, which is to say, superficial, but well-costumed, and facile at best.

Mongolia is such a deep core place for shamanism, but, really, next-to-nothing but B.S. now, like almost anywhere on Earth where "shamanism" persists.  In Mongolia, medical, religious, and nature cult phenomena: Tengerism (highest god, Tenger, god of heaven with the nasty killer Genghis Khan as the highest embodiment) or yellow shamanism, an "expressive Buddhism."  Interestingly, the shaman's drum there, often a horse skin, becomes the "saddle" that the shaman rides.