General Introduction To Shamanism

“Green Man”

This is a chapter in my book “Compassionate Tarot Companion”.
The book’s overview with download & 2 chapters … {-here-}
All blog posts that are chapters … {-here-}

ITEM A: Gender:
.. Adults of any physical or mental gender can become shamans, but children cannot.
.. In fact, there have been some cultures where MOST shamans were gender non-standard.
.. And for some individuals, becoming an adult is their threshold to becoming a shaman; which, in Human instinct, gives you very big responsibilities to your community.

ITEM B: Some terminology:
.. I distinguish between “Shamanism”, which i think of as a religion;
.. Versus “a shaman”, whom i think of as a minister (any gender) of that religion.
.. As in most religions, people who are not shamans can “practice Shamanism” and/or “believe in it”, and (unless they have a violent aggressive practice of it,) should be left alone to do so.
.. I like that terminology.
.. By the way; The word “shaman” is from Native cul­tures of Northern Asia, where 20th Century European Anthropologists “discovered” Shamanism, and argued all their own arguments about it.
.. In most of North Asia it was eradicated, remaining in that region now only on its fringes, such as Korea.
.. On the other hand, Genghis Khan did Shamanism, and conquered most of Europe.

ITEM C: Africa
.. There is a very interesting theoretical question, whe­ther the oldest religious traditions of Africa, called “Animist”, also should be called Shamanic.
.. After years of thought, i conclude they should.
.. Therefore, in my opinion:: Ancient East Asia, South Asia, Australia, Europe, both Americas, Pacific Islands and the Arctic; Their oldest humans: all Shamanic.

ITEM D: Submissive?
.. The work of a shaman is extremely action-oriented.
.. (We’ll get to submissiveness in a moment.)
.. Look; If i say “Prayer Life”, what comes to mind for you?
Half an hour in a chair?
Got something memorized??
Brought a knee pad???
Want a scented candle????
What a punk.

.. In a shaman’s Prayer Life:
You step out on a landscape in a different reality,
(might be the interior landscape of your body)
infinite landscape with preternatural Beings,
and you go there for A Specific Purpose,
to somehow obtain A Specific Good,
for a specific person, or your entire community,
then bring it back.

ITEM E: About Shamanic “Medicine”
.. Morality here is topsy-turvy from there, where guilt and innocence just have little relevance to matters at hand.
.. And this concept of Shamanic Medicine is a vague but VIVID visual metaphor:
.. “Medicine” is Goodness as a glowing healing substance,
which you MUST be competent to find and to handle.
.. And to do that you MUST become good yourself.
No guilt or innocence involved, you improve
morally for immediate practical purpose!
To improve your job performance!
.. But that’s a very vague guide to human life.
Like: What is moral or immoral in such context?

Here’s an answer:
.. Imagine a low-tech low-waste human subsistence life;
Where: Killing to feed a family can be good;
Destroying wastefully is always evil.
Human instinct says that.

ITEM F: Finally we’re onto Submissiveness
Let’s do a thought experiment about religion:

1: Suppose we somehow know the whole history of reli­gion, okay? Write down a list of all Major Religions. Use any reasonable way to say which are major.

2: Beside each one, summarize its message to Humans.

3: Now add check boxes: “Non-Submissive” / “Submissive”.

4: Well, obviously for Shamanism you circle and under­line “Non-Submissive” that you wrote in bold italics.

5: Finally i’ll estimate there’s ONE other religion on your list where you MUST check “Non-Submissive”!
And i am referring to BUDDHISM!
?Why Buddhism? you ask.

You’d see this studying Buddhist theology, but no need.
.. Just read its Founding Story!
.. As you might know, there’s LOTS of Buddhas, same idea as the multitude of Christian Saints;
.. But there is ONE Original Buddha, in imitation of whom all the others are named:
.. GAUTAMA Buddha!! .. That’s the foundation story:
A youth came of age, stepped out to the world, and found astonishment.

If you read that, i think you’ll agree:
.. Maybe you too?

(- Here is the end of this blog post.-)

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