Monday, February 7, 2011

Food for Thought

This is a very different topic for me and generally I don't put thoughts like this together, so I'm sort of surprised that I came up with this.  Now I imagine that some sociologist would give this a title like Traditional Shamanic Imagery in the Media - An Overview or some other long winded and uninspired title.  But really, this is just food for thought.

This all came about yesterday I was busy knitting and got to thinking.  My son was watching the Simpsons Movie and I realised that there is more to this than meets eye.

Homer, while he plays the fool most of the time, has had some very enlightening experiences.  In the movie, his family leaves him and he's left with nothing.  He is then given guidance from a native elder and has what can only be described as a shamanic experience complete with a dismemberment and a coming back together.  The elder referred to it as an epiphany which could be taken as a matter of semantics.  Homer is torn apart by the trees until he realises that in order to save himself he has to save the town of Springfield. 

This isn't even the first journey he's taken.  In an episode of the show called The Mysterious Voyage of Homer, he eats some super hot chili and wanders in the desert where he see a butterfly and meets a coyote voiced by Johnny Cash.  Now it's been a long time since I've seen this and I can't recall exactly what it was that he learned on this journey. 

A common thread in Shakespeare's work, yes the Simpsons and Shakespeare do go together, is that of the fool.  The fool isn't as dumb as some may originally think.  The fool, usually appears in Shakespeare works as the speaker of the truth.  He or she points out the obvious while those around him/her who are "smarter" can't say it due to social constraints or because they really don't get it.

How else is Homer the "fool"?  He leads the life that many of us crave; he's been married to Marge for over 20 years despite his faults and short comings, has been employed by the same company for as many years, his kids love him even though his parenting skills are less than lacking at points, and he knows that there are lots of things he doesn't know and isn't embarrassed to admit it.  Sounds like he's not nearly as stupid as one may think.

Think that this just stops with a couple episodes of the Simpsons?  Not even close.  Yesterday was the most sacred of sporting holidays with the Super Bowl being shown to millions of people world wide.  Of course with that many viewers, advertising is especially important and pricey.  If you watched did you see this commercial Hyundai: Relax ?   Watch it to the very end.  Hhhhhmmmmmmm. Go find your spirit animal? 

There is certainly something in the air making this very accessible to the general public or is it a insult to traditional beliefs?  Is this good or bad? It isn't my place to judge.  It's just as I said at the beginning...Food for Thought.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Very Busy Week

Now that the holidays have come and gone I've been re-bitten by my searching bug.  I've done a lot of research over the last seven days and have never felt better.  The more that I find out the more energized and happy I feel.  It really seems to be a great thing and that I'm at the start of my path.  I can even visualize myself on a path in the woods with one veering off to the left and one to the right.  With a big sigh and some trepidation I am taking my first step onto the path less chosen.

I will start at the beginning of last week.  Needing a bit of a mental break from children and hubby I decided to take some time for a little retail therapy..and buy groceries.  I always seem to be doing that but that's besides the point.

I decided to make an impromptu stop at the book store and like always found myself in front of the the "New Age" section.  I was looking for the book Forbidden Archaeology which wasn't there.  I then stumbled across the book Shamanism for Beginners by James Endredy.  I picked it up and thumbed through the table of contents.  I found the title Becoming a Shaman and instantly flipped to the corresponding page.  There it has a short list of how one may become a shaman.  None of them applied to me so I put it back on the shelf. 

I was happily browsing the rest of the books and selected another.  Then I decided that I was going to buy James' book after all.  I did, took it home and started to read the next day.

It has been one of the most helpful books I have read in an awfully long time.  Among the information he imparts, one of the sections gave me more than I could of hoped for.  My last entry to my blog consisted of my stones that I have had for ages.  Finally, someone who could help me with this.  He refers to them a tekas and gave a brief description of the various types that are out there.  He also referred to them as khuya.  Another great piece of information to part with.

This subsequently led to online searches where I actually found some information on khuya stones on the internet.  While none look quite like mine, I did learn that the majority of them come from Peru and are usually from sacred sites.  Some also consider the stones to be for healing (I kinda had a gut feeling about that) and that they resonate at a lower frequency and impart some sort of help or power to facilitate with this.  They can be held on parts of the body that need healing or used in the ritual somehow.  At least that is more help than I had for the last 20 years or so.

I've also been doing some other research online and have found some pretty good sites that others may find helpful.  In particular I found another apprentice shaman and her blog  Her story is very inspiring and while I haven't gone through the entire thing yet, what I have had time to read has been wonderful.

Another site that I've found, and probably most other healers have found, is the  People are very forthcoming with what they share.  There is everything from personal accounts, to shamans helping shamans, to people looking for help from shamans and more.  It's one of the most active forums out there in regards to the whole shamanic process.

What I have come to realise, and knew from years ago when I first started looking online for this, is that the internet is NOT where the shamanic world likes to be.  This may be a good place to glean a small amount of information and to begin to get in touch with others, but generally speaking it's still done in a very traditional way.  It's in person and up close.  Of course, there are those out there who seem to be in it for the money.  I still feel healing needs to be a pay-it-forward sort of deal.  One of the best things I ran across was someone who said I'll help you and my fee is $25 but you have to give it to someone who needs it.  I LOVE that!  After all, no one payed to get their inherent talents so you shouldn't "charge" to share them with someone else.

So the search continues.  I'm filled with even more questions than when I started and still don't know what I'm supposed to be doing.  Maybe the shaman thing isn't the way to go, but it's the closest thing I have to "feeling" right that I have come across.  I imagine there will be more to come.