Ayahuasca ceremonies are usually very structured rituals where the shaman or shamana holds the space and guides the drinkers on their journeys of discovery. The shaman is not just administering the hallucinogenic brew; he or she is also calling in their allies, banishing evil spirits, and safeguarding their immediate physical environment-playing the role of psychic bouncer. And while personalities vary, the role of the shaman in anchoring the physical and spiritual worlds is inviolate, and should be treated with respect.
The deep self has been referred to by many names over the ages. You may know it as Essence, Spirit, Soul, Source... or, perhaps by no name at all. I prefer to call it The Inner Shaman... The Inner Shaman simply waits for your sanity, that glimmer of light or recognition on your part. In short, it is waiting for your readiness to be aware of it.
Jose Luis Stevens
Cultural conditioning is like bad software. Over and over it's diddled with and re-written so that it can just run on the next attempt. But there is cultural hardware, and it's that cultural hardware, otherwise known as authentic being, that we are propelled toward by the example of the shaman and the techniques of the shaman. ... Shamanism therefore is a call to authenticity.
The shaman is a person who is able to transcend the dimensional confines of cultural existence. They know more than the people they serve. The people they serve are like children within the game of culture. Only the shaman knows that culture is a game. Everyone else takes it seriously. That's how he can do his magic.
The shaman no longer looks for meaning in life, but brings meaning to every situation. The shaman stops looking for truth and instead brings truth to every encounter. You don t look for the right partner, you become the right partner. And then the right partner finds you. It s a very active practice focused on healing.
The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man. But it is a lovely work if you can stomach it.
Robert A. Heinlein
Some religions believe that there's a hierarchy, that you don't have a connection, but you must go through the shaman or the priest or whoever the religious leader is. And that's what surprises me, that some people who find a huge value in these kinds of systems also seem to enjoy ILLUSIONS. I can't figure it out.
It is true ayahuasca that has the potential to change everything and allow you to see the world in a different way. It's just that from within the perspective of the person undergoing the changes it's also hard to discern which bits are fantasy and which bits are oracular insight. That's part of what the shaman is supposed to be there to help you figure out.
You can throw away the privilege of acting, but that would be such a shame. The tribe has elected you to tell its story. You are the shaman/healer, that's what the storyteller is, and I think it's important for actors to appreciate that. Too often actors think it's all about them, when in reality it's all about the audience being able to recognize themselves in you. The more you pull away from the public, the less power you have on screen.
What happens to the faith healer and the shaman when any poor citizen can see the full effect of drugs or surgeries, administered without ceremonies or mystifications? Roughly the same thing as happens to the rainmaker when the climatologist turns up, or to the diviner from the heavens when schoolteachers get hold of elementary telescopes.
The novel comes from a long shamanic tradition wherein the shaman-storyteller himself is transformed, no longer storyteller but a character, an animal, a god, a goddess, or a natural force that is not his everyday identity. And these moments, when the characters come alive and the author disappears, take us into another world.
Hal Zina Bennett
The shaman is a very peculiar figure. He is critical to the functioning of the psychological and social life of his community, but in a way he is always peripheral to it. He lives at the edge of the village. He is only called upon in matters of great social crisis. He is feared and respected. And this might be a description of these hallucinogenic substances.
Intent is not a thought, or an object, or a wish. Intent is what can make a man succeed when his thoughts tell him that he is defeated. It operates in spite of the warrior's indulgence. Intent is what makes him invulnerable. Intent is what sends a shaman through a wall, through space, to infinity.
I do not wish upon anyone a descent into hell. But if your life has to be turned inside out in order for you to know yourself--if the shadow of a shaman crosses your path and you turn and follow it down--I pray that you use its force wisely. I hope that you take the ultimate responsibility for your actions and that you consecrate any destruction to the rebuilding of your higher self and a more radiant life.
I mightn't be a shaman in the indigenous sense, but as a world-bridger between Western culture and the indigenous world, I knew I was playing a shamanistic role. Language was my medicine and with it I would do my best to record my awakening and help heal with my words... The journey isn't over yet.
For all the popularity of spiritual advisers in South Korea, it still shocks to see the leaders of huge public companies relying on fortune-tellers. A shaman may advise a struggling executive to move a building's front entrance, tapping the widespread pungsu belief that your luck depends on the direction of your house.
The experience of going to a theater and seeing a movie with a lot of people is still part of the transformational power of the film, and it's equivalent to the old shaman telling a story by the campfire to a bunch of people. That is a remarkable thing, if you scream and everyone else in the audience screams, you realize that your fears are not just within yourself, they're in other people as well, and that's strangely releasing.
I don't think that mass drug taking is a good idea. But I think that we must have a deputized minority, a shamanic professional class if you will, whose job is to bring ideas out of the deep black water and show them off to the rest of us and perform for our culture some of the cultural functions that shaman perform in pre-literate cultures.
Something tells me there's more than one shaman in Vegas who performs weddings. I think we're better off intercepting them at the fight.' 'But they could be getting married right now!' Ivy protested, falling into a double-time step to keep up with his pace. 'Lucky we're in Vegas, then. They have quickie divorces to go with their quickie weddings.
Wildness we might consider as the root of the authentic spontaneities of any being. It is that wellspring of creativity whence comes the instinctive activities that enable all living beings to obtain their food, to find shelter, to bring forth their young: to sing and dance and fly through the air and swim through the depths of the sea. This is the same inner tendency that evokes the insight of the poet, the skill of the artist and the power of the shaman.
If a state political organization is founded in part upon a state religion with a dogma based on one or a few 'official' prophets, then shamanism, where every shaman is her or his own prophet, is dangerous to the state. [...] Shamanism, as I said, is not a religion. The spiritual experience usually becomes a religion after politics has entered into it.
The acomodador or giving-up point: there is always an event in our lives that is responsible for us failing to progress: a trauma, a particularly bitter defeat, a disappointment in love, even a victory that we did not quite understand, can make cowards of us and prevent us from moving on. As part of the process of increasing his hidden powers, the shaman must first free himself from that giving-up point and, to do so, he must review his while life and find out where it occured.
No wonder psychedelics are threatening to an authoritarian religious hierarchy. You don't need faith to benefit from a psychedelic experience, let alone a priest or even a shaman to interpret it. What you need is courage""courage to drink the brew, eat the mushroom, or whatever it is, and then to pay attention, and make of it what you will. Suddenly, the tools for direct contact with the transcendent other (whether you call it God or something else) is taken from the hands of an anointed elite and given to the individual seeker.
There's no way to put a limit on what one may accomplish individually if the intent is an impeccable intent. Don Juan's teachings are not spiritual. I repeat this because the question has come to the surface over and over. The idea of spirituality doesn't fit with the iron discipline of a warrior. The most important thing for a shaman like don Juan is the idea of pragmatism.
I let my head fall back, and I gazed into the Eternal Blue Sky. It was morning. Some of the sky was yellow, some the softest blue. One small cloud scuttled along. Strange how everything below can be such death and chaos and pain while above the sky is peace, sweet blue gentleness. I heard a shaman say once, the Ancestors want our souls to be like the blue sky.
The particular province of the shaman is the province of soul, that which feeds our embodied life, or fails to feed it. From a shamanic point of view, the relationship with animal allies, or animals that show themselves in animal forms, is a vital part of living. We're fully embodied, with full access to our natural soul energy.
Transcendental artists are messengers. Their symbolic vocabulary originates from the infinite wisdom of higher spheres, in a non-referential time/space continuum... the way of the shaman. The presence of glyphs speaks a universal language of the soulthat transcends words. If one considers the notion of parallel realities and the plurality of dimensional realms, the premise of art as "consciousness-provoking vessel" can be viewed as an organic and natural occurrence.
A priest is a functionary of a social sort. The society worships certain deities in a certain way, and the priest becomes ordained as a functionary to carry out that ritual. The deity to whom he is devoted is a deity that was there before he came along. But the shaman's powers are symbolized in his own familiars, deities of his own personal experience. His authority comes out of a psychological experience, not a social ordination.
I believe that magic is art, and that art, whether that be music, writing, sculpture, or any other form, is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words or images, to achieve changes in consciousness... Indeed to cast a spell is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change peoples consciousness, and this is why I believe that an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world to a shaman.
If we recognize the power of entheogenic substances to open us to the universal truth and full dimension of human experience, and if we accept the role of the shaman as hierophant and psychopomp into this realm, as enacted for example by the Huichol mara'akame, we have to conclude that today in Western society we are deprived of two key resources for complete human growth. Young people, in their hunger for meaning, will still gravitate toward entheogens. The more experienced among us may try to ease their journey, but in the absence of qualified guides not all will benefit from their experience.
The elk that you glimpse in the summer, those at the forest edge, are survivors of winter, only the strongest. You see one just before dusk that summer, standing at the perimeter of the meadow so it can step back to the forest and vanish. You can't help imagining the still, frozen nights behind it, so cold that the slightest motion is monumental. I have found their bodies, half drifted over in snow, no sign of animal attack or injury. Just toppled over one night with ice working into their lungs. You wouldn't want to stand outside for more than a few minutes in that kind of weather. If you lived through only one of those winters the way this elk has, you would write books about it. You would become a shaman. You would be forever changed. That elk from the winter stands there on the summer evening, watching from beside the forest. It keeps its story to itself.
All knowledge that takes special training to acquire is the province of the Magician energy. Whether you are an apprentice training to become a master electrician and unraveling the mysteries of high voltage; or a medical student, grinding away night and day, studying the secrets of the human body and using available technologies to help your patients; or a would-be stockbroker or a student of high finance; or a trainee in one of the psychoanalytic schools, you are in exactly the same position as the apprentice shaman or witch doctor in tribal societies. You are spending large amounts of time, energy, and money in order to be initiated into rarefied realms of secret power. You are undergoing an ordeal testing your capacities to become a master of this power. And, as is true in all initiations, there is no guarantee of success. [Magician energy]
This one had come to me, though, picked me out. I thought she was trouble from the start. I don't read minds and I can't see the future, but call it instinct or experience, something was prickling my spine. You could call it something else, if you wanted: adolescence, hormones, lust. Being seventeen. That doesn't go away, however long you practice. "Hullo, " I said politely, warily. She was long and slim and very neatly put together, dark hair tumbling over denim, old worn black jacket and jeans that somehow hadn't faded into grey. They probably didn't dare. Right from the start I saw a focus in her, a determination that must go all the way through, like the writing in a stick of Brighton rock. In another world, another lifetime, I thought she'd have raven-feathers in her hair, a bear's tooth on a thong about her. She'd be the village shaman, talking to spirits, and even the headman would be afraid of her, a little... Seventeen, I told you. She was devastating to me, she was sitting at my table, and I couldn't afford her. Not for a minute. If I'd stood up, if I'd left, if I'd run away... Nah. She would just have come after me. Faster, fitter, and on longer legs. What chance did I ever have?
Siberian Plains January 1st, 2020, 2:15 AM Georgy was out for a late night stroll. A drifter, who was close to death, it was difficult to find adequate nutrition, when you were homeless. He didn't have any family, was an orphan raised by a nun in an Omsk church. He didn't believe in a God, which made him a disappointment in the eyes of those who raised him. How could he, when he was abandoned so cruelly? What God would allow that to happen? What God would allow a boy to be tossed away by his parents, left to die on the street? He'd tried to integrate into society, but everyone pissed him off. He tried to work, and was fired for being drunk on the job. He was drunk right now. He might be dying of malnutrition, but he would do it drunk! Georgy heard a strange noise, looked into the night sky, and gasped. There were people flying. He rubbed his eyes, and looked again. People still hovered above him, high up there. Did they already have jet packs invented? Was he that out of the loop? They looked to be wearing something, which billowed as they moved. Some were red, others blue, green, a few yellow. All except the figure in front, who wore one of many different colors, which flapped about. The strange thing was that they all stood upright as they moved forward. How did that work? 'Welcome to death, ' The Man whispered in his ear. Georgy flew, screaming, into the sky. A horrible burn ignited his flesh, as if fire ants burrowed out of his insides. When he looked down he noticed his body, sprawled about on the snowy ground. He felt himself pulled towards the group of flying, robed, masked people. He circled around them, and realized movement was out of his control. He stopped screaming and tried to speak to one of them. Speech was difficult, but he managed after a few false starts of simple sounds. 'Where are we going?' Georgy asked a red-robed individual. 'To kill the unworthy, and bring about the Age of the Shaman, ' the red-robed figure replied. 'Oh, is that all?' Georgy said. 'You will pay for your insolence, ' the red-robed figure warned him. In a second, it felt like his whole being was engulfed in flames. Georgy screamed, the pain unbearable. 'Twenty hours of that should shut you up, ' the red-robed figure said.
Sean M. Thompson
Ultimately, the roast turkey must be regarded as a monument to Boomer's love. Look at it now, plump and glossy, floating across Idaho as if it were a mammoth, mutated seed pod. Hear how it backfires as it passes the silver mines, perhaps in tribute to the origin of the knives and forks of splendid sterling that a roast turkey and a roast turkey alone possesses the charisma to draw forth into festivity from dark cupboards. See how it glides through the potato fields, familiarly at home among potatoes but with an air of expectation, as if waiting for the flood of gravy. The roast turkey carries with it, in its chubby hold, a sizable portion of our primitive and pagan luggage. Primitive and pagan? Us? We of the laser, we of the microchip, we of the Union Theological Seminary and Time magazine? Of course. At least twice a year, do not millions upon millions of us cybernetic Christians and fax machine Jews participate in a ritual, a highly stylized ceremony that takes place around a large dead bird? And is not this animal sacrificed, as in days of yore, to catch the attention of a divine spirit, to show gratitude for blessings bestowed, and to petition for blessings coveted? The turkey, slain, slowly cooked over our gas or electric fires, is the central figure at our holy feast. It is the totem animal that brings our tribe together. And because it is an awkward, intractable creature, the serving of it establishes and reinforces the tribal hierarchy. There are but two legs, two wings, a certain amount of white meat, a given quantity of dark. Who gets which piece; who, in fact, slices the bird and distributes its limbs and organs, underscores quite emphatically the rank of each member in the gathering. Consider that the legs of this bird are called 'drumsticks, ' after the ritual objects employed to extract the music from the most aboriginal and sacred of instruments. Our ancestors, kept their drums in public, but the sticks, being more actively magical, usually were stored in places known only to the shaman, the medicine man, the high priest, of the Wise Old Woman. The wing of the fowl gives symbolic flight to the soul, but with the drumstick is evoked the best of the pulse of the heart of the universe. Few of us nowadays participate in the actual hunting and killing of the turkey, but almost all of us watch, frequently with deep emotion, the reenactment of those events. We watch it on TV sets immediately before the communal meal. For what are footballs if not metaphorical turkeys, flying up and down a meadow? And what is a touchdown if not a kill, achieved by one or the other of two opposing tribes? To our applause, great young hungers from Alabama or Notre Dame slay the bird. Then, the Wise Old Woman, in the guise of Grandma, calls us to the table, where we, pretending to be no longer primitive, systematically rip the bird asunder. Was Boomer Petaway aware of the totemic implications when, to impress his beloved, he fabricated an outsize Thanksgiving centerpiece? No, not consciously. If and when the last veil dropped, he might comprehend what he had wrought. For the present, however, he was as ignorant as Can o' Beans, Spoon, and Dirty Sock were, before Painted Stick and Conch Shell drew their attention to similar affairs. Nevertheless, it was Boomer who piloted the gobble-stilled butterball across Idaho, who negotiated it through the natural carving knives of the Sawtooth Mountains, who once or twice parked it in wilderness rest stops, causing adjacent flora to assume the appearance of parsley.