The Wheel Turns

January 8th, 2015

sun-spiralIt has been nearly a year since I posted last, and a lot has changed. I’ve been learning about the seasons of life through the turning of the Wheel. My ancestors have been calling me for a while, a number of years on some level. They have been speaking louder for the last couple years and it reached a feverish pitch during 2013 and 2014. You may have noticed that my posts over the last couple years have changed more toward animism and less focused on witchcraft. This will continue into the future as I am being trained as a spirit-taught Shaman.

There is a lot of controversy in the Pagan community about spirit-trained practitioners, especially Shamans. It is something I’ve struggled with as well. The traditional method of teaching is from an incarnated human teacher to student and the incarnated teacher must declare the student as theirs, and also when the student graduates. This tells the community that the new person is legitimately connected with the spirits and ancestors of the tribe or clan. Unfortunately, the lines of succession have been broken nearly completely around the world by oppression, genocide, and the invasiveness of Humanism. There are a few pockets of unbroken lineage, but even those areas are struggling.

The ancestors want to be heard. They want to help their future generations. The helpful spirits are still there and also want to help. The evil spirits still are wrecking havoc on our lives, even if we translate their work into Humanist terms, such as “mental illness” and other pathologies. The ancestors and spirits are creative in how to survive. Since they can’t continue following bloodlines or traditional teacher/student lines, they are resorting to their original method of teaching. The first Shamans were not taught by other humans, but by the spirits and ancestors themselves. They reached out to receptive people and taught them how to relate between them and humans. These first Shamans then trained future generations to create their lineage.

Unfortunately, due to how long it’s been since Shamans were taught using the traditional method, and due to the skepticism of our Humanist culture, many spirit-taught Shamans are shuns by others of their kind. Part of this is because there is no piece of paper to certify such a person. How do people know if someone is legitimately spirit-trained or if they are simply delusional? Most people claiming to be spirit-trained Shamans are simply confused people who are caught in the delusion of wanting to be “unique” and “special” in the mass of humanity. They long for a close relationship with spiritual entities to fill the void in their spiritual lives. This is a very understandable condition in our Humanist culture that is devoid of anything spiritual.

The way that I’ve come to determine if someone is authentic in their relationships with other beings is to use my ability to sense energy, as such people have a unique energetic signature, and I consult with my guides. Authentic people understand intimately that the ancestors and spirits are separate beings from themselves. They are not archetypes of their own mind, as Humanism teaches. Whether you believe in a spirit or deity does not affect their ability to exist and affect change in the world. Also, a Shaman has a story that is unusual in our culture. There is no checklist to guide you in determining a Shaman’s legitimacy (not even a piece of paper from a human teacher is proof), so it is something you would need to trust your intuition on. And that is something Humanism screams you must not do. Humanism says to never trust yourself and your intuition, but instead trust others such as credentialing agencies, government entities, licensing bodies, etc.

In my journey, I have struggled with following a tradition. I have heard from many that I should follow the tradition of my biological ancestors, which were Finnish, Swedish and Sami. Unfortunately, the Finnish and Swedish shamanic traditions died out during the middle ages. The Sami converted much later, but Laestadianism took over in the 19th century. There is no living lineage left that I have access to from those areas. Also, the land is different where I live, in America, so many of the local spirits would be different here.

I know many try to learn the local traditions based on where they live. Right now, I live near where the Miwok tribe used to live. Unfortunately the Miwoks have been gone for many years, their culture lost to history.

My wife has been called by the Mongolian and Tuvan spirits and ancestors, and this has been acknowledged by an old Tuvan Shaman who is actually from an unbroken lineage. His spirits did not say that I am called by that tradition, however.

I have come to the conclusion that at this point, I am and American Shaman. I don’t follow the Lakota tradition (which most Native American tribes have adopted as their own traditions were broken and lost). I speak with the local spirits, local to where I am. I work with a few of the Gods that transcend the local geography, such as Sun, Moon, Earth, Air, etc. I use my native English when I talk to them, as every tribe has used their native language to talk to spirits. At this point, they are pleased with that.

During the coming year, I will post more of what I learn, as I know there are many who are in similar situations to mine. I pray they may gain something from my journey.

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