Manataka American Indian Council


 

 

 

New
Shamanism

By Jim Path Finder Ewing

 

 

 

What Standing Bear Moore says in his Seventh Message is true:  There is a new wave of spirituality arising across the land.  Many of these new Rainbow Warriors are learning the old ways of the shamans. 

But, it is a new shamanism, called "core shamanism," incorporating many ways of thought, many ways of being, as diverse in individual expression as the colors of the rainbow.

It is a study of all of the various medicine ways of the world, the old ways of every culture, seeing which are the same in each and teaching those methods to young  people.  Workshops are being held across the nation and in other countries to share what has been found.  

The visions and ideas are being shared via the Internet and groups are forming, where people in communities across the land join in each other's homes to practice ancient ways through drumming circles, shamanic journeying, healing ceremonies and practices.

A group sponsoring these workshops is the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, with an Internet site http://www.shamanism.org/

In core shamanism, practitioners are taught how to journey into non-ordinary reality, the world of the shaman, using the drum and the rattle.  They are taught how to find their power animal in non-ordinary reality, how to help others to heal.

Through practice, these new shamans can learn distance healing, healing of the Earth, blessing homes, crops and businesses, accessing the spirits of a place, helping souls enter the afterlife, divination, finding life purpose, recovering lost objects, recovering stolen souls, spirit dispossession.

These practices are not new, but having them taught again is a major modern trend.  Probably the three most commonly used shamanic healing practices involve:

1) Loss of a person's guardian spirit (loss of "luck," protection from unfortunate events, illness).

2) Suffering a spiritual intrusion (energy is drained, diverted or blocked; depression, anger or a physical ailment can be the result of a spiritual intrusion).

3) Soul loss: loss of life force (feeling apart from life, depression/suicidal, addiction; post-traumatic stress syndrome (PST); excessive grief/mourning).  

In the times when American Indian tribes lived in harmony with the Earthly Mother, the role of the medicine man or woman was not only accepted but essential in any community.  These healers not only treated the physical wounds of the people but the spiritual wounds.

They could see the "real" reality of disease that caused the disease and help the sufferer heal it.  For the healer doesn't heal.  Only the Creator heals.  The whole person -- body, mind and spirit -- must be addressed for true healing to occur.

This new/old way of healing is growing in America and around the globe, expressed in many ways.  It includes new interest in Chinese medicine and in Eastern, Asian and  American Indian practices.   America Indians have much to teach this new generation.

The power of Western civilization has been widespread -- and devastating -- leaving shattered cultures in its wake. We now know that war doesn't determine who is right, only who is left to say they were right.

Many of the old ways of Americans Indians have died out.  But a few powerful teachers have seen the need to share their visions to keep the flame alive.  In the 1930s, Black Elk revealed his teachings, including holding the Sacred Pipe, building the sweat lodge, and crying for a vision.

Many of his Sioux brothers criticized him for sharing those secrets. But Fools Crow, another Sioux medicine man, has defended the practice of teaching others, saying: "The survival of the world depends upon our sharing what we have and working together.  If  we don't, the whole world will die."

Frank Fools Crow (1981)

Because of the courage of these men, and others such as Rolling Thunder and Lame Deer, the old knowledge will live on.  The power of ancient ways never dies; it only waits for willing hearts and respectful minds to attune to it.

There is a yearning, as Lee Standing Bear says, a new way of being but too many young people do not know precisely what they are striving for, and so they have turned hither and yon.

They must be told that wisdom is here, where their feet kiss Mother Earth. The late Mad Bear Anderson, an Iroquois, saw this yearning in the 1970s.  And he saw the essential role the America Indian could bring to creating a new and better world.

He said: "The Eastern religions represent spirituality that looks inward.  The Western religions represent spirituality that tends to look outward.  We are the people whose spirituality is of the middle. We stand for the sacrality of Nature, for the sacred ways of the Earth. Therefore, we can be mediators between East and West, reminding the others that Nature is holy and full of the Great Spirit."  Alas, he did not live to see his dream became reality.

It should be the duty of all people of spirit to share their knowledge freely with all truth seekers.  The survival of our planet depends on it.  In America, materialism and money culture throughout the 1980s and early 1990s reigned supreme, even spawning a mantra that "Greed is Good."   To young people who grew up in this culture of the past 20 years, the effect has been "Greed is God."

With their cell phones, stocks, 401(k)s, multi-tasking, etc., the society of the "dot.com millionaires" in their 20s and 30s are still fueling the giant money culture of America, with little or no appreciation of the land and of the spirit.  This could be for despair.

But there is another side to the new world emerging.

People of spirit are finding each other through this new way of global communication, the Internet, and are sharing their knowledge. Thus, they are accelerating the message of the old ways and are shaping not only a new consciousness, but a new world.  

I can sit in my home and sing songs and drum, knowing that my words cross the universe and connect me with those of like spirit living and dead.

Great healing can be done in concert with other brothers and sisters elsewhere throughout the globe.  We are all spiritual beings in human form who can find each other in the heart of Mother Earth beating through the drum.  But many people have not opened their eyes to the real world underlying the illusion of "things" around us.   For them, this new way of messaging, the computer, can give visions they can see.  

As Standing Bear says, now is the time for the Thunderbird to rise again.  As Mad Bear saw, the Red Road is the middle road, the way to incorporate all the spiritual teachings of the Earth.  It is essential that all people of the rainbow add their lights to the emerging consciousness.

The spark of the Creator within each of us is all colors in one. Together, as pieces of the rainbow, we can create a new world reflecting the Great Mystery's eternal light.

Mitakuye Oyasin!

 


[Jim Path Finder Ewing is a MAIC member, Reiki Master and shamanic healer in Lena, MS.  Check out his website "Healing The Earth/Ourselves"]

 


 

SHAMAN 

A novel by Noah Gordon

Robert J. Cole, the doctor and hero of The Physician, left an enduring legacy. From the 11th century on, the eldest son in each generation of the Cole family has borne the same first name and middle initial, and many of these men have been blessed not only with their ancestor’s diagnostic skill but with a “sixth sense.”Now, in Shaman, the scene shifts to the 19th century… We meet Dr. Robert Judson Cole, fleeing from his native Scotland for the New World to practice medicine in Boston and to learn the healing powers of the Sauk Indians. And we follow the career of his son, Robert Jefferson Cole — Shaman to everyone who knows him — and his family as they are drawn, along with the rest of America, into the conflict between North and South. By turns tender and gritty, Shaman is a family saga of epic proportions: a vivid depiction of two physicians and the women they love, of brutal murder, and of medicine as it emerges from the dark centuries. Winner of the James Fenmore Cooper Prize for historical fiction. July 2001, Soft Cover, Paperback, 652pp. $ 14.95

Proceeds from book purchases go to support the nonprofit, cultural, educational and religious purposes of the Manataka American Indian Council.  Thank you for your support.


THE WAY OF THE SHAMAN: Tenth Anniversary Edition

This comprehensive anthology contains writings vital to all the major non-Western religious traditions, arranged thematically. It includes colourful descriptions of deities, creation myths, depictions of death and the afterlife, teachings on the relationship between humanity and the sacred, religious rituals and practices, and prayers and hymns. Mircea Eliade, a recognized pioneer in the systematic study of the history of the world’s religions, includes excerpts from the Quran, the Book of the Dead, the Rig Veda, the Bhagavad Gita, the Homeric Hymns, and the Popol Vuh, to name just a few. Oral accounts from Native American, African, Maori, Australian Aborigine, and other people are included. Harper Collins, October 1990. Soft Cover, 208pp.  $ 22.95

Proceeds from book purchases go to support the nonprofit, cultural, educational and religious purposes of the Manataka American Indian Council.  Thank you for your support.

Notice: Occasionally books may be discontinued or out of stock without prior notice. With written permission, your order may be filled from the 'shelf'.  Shelf books are new, but some may be slightly discolored or sale tags may be still attached. Fulfillment rate: 98.6%.

 

 

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