Author Topic: RE: Dime Store Shamans?  (Read 1099 times)

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Offline CatManDo

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RE: Dime Store Shamans?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2011, 08:49:33 AM »
Dear lisa,
sounds like you are feeling irritated, perhaps angry? because you value
respect for native traditions, as well as authenticity, and you believe that
sharing spiritual wisdom and healing should be motivated by compassion not

I just happened to finish watching the documentary "In the Light of
Reverence" (which features three tribal nations, the Hopi, the Wintu, and
the Lakota , and their struggle to protect three sacred sites that are
central to their understanding of the world and their spiritual
responsibilities to care for their homelands.) the movie carefully
juxtaposes the conflicting views of most white culture regarding land,
especially private property and mining rights and recreation rights. At one
point in the film, some of the native speakers express irritation about New
Age folks who have flocked to sacred sites like Devil's Tower after it
became popular in ET movie. In an extended interview in the special features
section, Lakota Vine Deloria, Jr, says he started out frustrated with new
Agers, but after several experiences with such folks, be came to realize the
authentic deep spiritual hunger that many whites feel, and he saw that they
have few ways in white culture to satisfy that hunger. He grew to a deeper
sense of compassion for so-called New Age folks and expressed it's not clear
how to best balance needs of native traditions with the real spiritual
hunger of many whites.

Speaking from my own experience, in 1999, I learned of shamanic rituals
called Trance Dancing (thru Wilbert Alix) and ecstatic dancing (Gabriel
Roth). I felt an immediate resonance and knew I needed this in my life. I
took weeklong (not just week-end :-) trainings with both Alix and Roth,
which cost several thousand dollars and learned to facilitate trance dance
rituals. I spent over thousand dollars on music equipment. Early on, I did
have the hope that offering dancing rituals, along with other services,
might finally help me leave a job that I felt trapped in. but I quickly
realized that was totally unrealistic. I never even got close to breaking
even for my costs, nevermind all the hours that I put into preparing for and
offering events. And my largest events were all offered free. I realized
that this dance was so important to my healing that I simply needed to share
it with others.

In my experience, many people feel trapped in jobs that are not fulfilling.
So I can understand the motivation of wanting to try to make income in an
area like shamanism that feels more authentic. At the same time, if one's
draw to shamanism is genuine, I've come to trust that eventually one will
come to face the role of money and livelihood and how it integrates with
one's spiritual values.

Perhaps one benefit in the growing number of shamanic practitioners is that
we now have so many choices that it's easier to find those who have deeper
roots and more genuine motivations.

With deep respect and curiosity,

Native American: