Monday, May 14, 2007

Classic Shamanism and Why I'm Here

I'm new here. My interest is in classic shamanism (as practiced by indigenous peoples)--not to copy but to learn from.

I believe shamanism is rooted not just in the Earth in general but in working with the land spirits of a particular place. Generally the people who have lived in a place and worked with the land where they live for generations are the experts on the spirits of that place.

So I think we have to make our own shamanic practice, tailored to where we live. Spirit is our best teacher but it sure helps to be able to learn from others.

I read The Way of the Shaman when it first came out, and being by nature an animist, I was very interested, but I couldn't seem to get started. Later I studied with students of Leroy Anderson, and a little with Leroy himself. That's how I got started journeying.

In 1992 I co-taught a 10-week class on experiencing shamanic energy. Then I took a couple of FSS courses.

Now I lead a shamanism Meetup group that meets once a month to journey together and do shamanic work, such as guiding the spirits of the dead to the spirit world. We use ecstatic trance postures and experiment with other sounds for journeying, as well as drumming.

I've started a web site to answer questions asked by members of the group and to put the things we do into a framework, to give people some background.

There are a few dozen pages there now, but I expect the site to keep growing steadily. Please stop by if you are interested, and let me know what you think. There are a couple of buttons you can click to send me an email. I'm open to suggestions and very grateful when people tell me about typos!

Web sites are good for presenting a lot of information in an organized way, but lately I've felt the need for something more informal and interactive as well. I hope this blog will be it.

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