Saturday, August 15, 2009

Altars, masks and fetishes

For shamanic ceremonies, I always build an altar. It is part of the process of recreating the energy of the space and putting up spiritual protection for the participants.

On the altar are always a lot of animal fetishes, both the stone-carved Zuni kind and the ones I have empowered by using them, as described by Hal Zina Bennett in some of his books. I also usually wear several animal fetish necklaces.

People ask me about all those things, and most of them are shocked when I say they are fetishes. Apparently Americans only know of the word fetish from the derivative psychological term, sexual fetish. So they do not know what I'm talking about, but it sounds naughty.

I am always having to explain the meaning of the word fetish. So I wrote an article about masks and fetishes for my Houston Shamanism Examiner column.

African sacred masks are sometimes fetishes, and Europeans and Americans usually completely misinterpret their purpose, so I discussed masks in the article, too.

You can read the two parts of the article here:

Please stop by, take a look, and tell me what you think. There are photos, illustrations and interesting links, too.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Meditation and Shamanic Journeying Are Not the Same Thing

I just posted an article about the difference between meditation and shamanic journeying at Houston Shamanism Examiner

There is scientific evidence that meditation and shamanic journeying take place at different levels of brain function. Medical researchers hooked up seasoned meditators and indigenous shamans to electroencephalograph (EEG) machines.

They found that the meditation takes place at the alpha brain state, while shamanic journeying by real shamans takes place at the theta level.

To read the rest, go to the Shamanism Examiner web page. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Drums and Shamanic Journeying

I just posted a couple of articles on my new Houston Shamanism Examiner column on drumming for shamanic journeying and on how to choose a shamanic drum.

I hope you will take a look. Please comment with your thoughts and experiences.