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6 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2008 - 1:31AM #1
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
I had asked a similar question on the CR board, but since they are sort of related...

How do you all feel, as Shamans, about charges of "Plastic Shamanism" especially from First Nations groups? Have you ever experienced this charge? How would you respond to such a claim?

Keep in mind that I'm not trying to offend anyone, I'm just curious ;)
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2008 - 2:25AM #2
Wolfscout1
Posts: 85
Since Shamanism is a global concept before most faiths came into being and from nearly every region ancient mankind has dwelled..  I do not feel it is a First Nation Only issue.  I'd personally pay it very little attention.  I do not call myself a NAI Medicine person, Nor do I call myself a Siberian Shaman.   I do say I am an eclectic shaman Urged to do so by something higher than me.  It's that simple.   As long as I serve through my efforts to be a tool of the Divine and my intentions, actions and deeds promote and seek wellness of my fellow man.. I am doing what one should do.
It's a path I walk respectfully and with great humbleness.
~ Larry  ~//~ Wolfscout.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 27, 2008 - 10:02PM #3
Kay404
Posts: 174
Hi, Gorm Sionnach,

Welcome to the shamanism board!  It’s been way too long since I’ve been to the CR (Celtic Reconstruction) board.  Thanks for reminding me of it!

I don’t claim the title of “shaman,”  but since I’ve been practicing shamanism for over 20 years I have many times been accused of being a “plastic shaman.”  My introduction to shamanism came through Michael Harner, who founded core shamanism and the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (www.shamanism.org), and I have many times talked with people who considered him a plastic shaman, as well. 

My response is always to talk with those who are willing to listen.  I try to learn why they think of me and/or Michael Harner as a plastic shaman, and I tell them about my own practice (which incorporates elements of Celtic tradition, as well as elements directly from the spirits) and about Michael Harner and core shamanism.  Often, once they learn that neither Michael Harner nor I claim to be teaching or practicing Indian ways, they are willing to listen and find out more about what we do believe, practice and teach. 

Of course, there are some connections between core shamanism and North American Indian ways.  Michael was first initiated into shamanic practice by South American Indians, who use entheogens, such as Ayahuasca.  It was a Lakota holy man in North America who taught Michael that it was possible to journey without entheogens, by using the drum, and it was the Coast Salish of the Pacific Northwest who taught him the term “power animal,” among other things.  Of course, as he continued to learn about shamanism throughout the world he discovered that many traditional cultures use the drum – among Siberian shamans, for instance, the drum is called “the shaman’s horse.”  The drum is one of those basic, core elements of shamanism that shows up in many cultures throughout the world, and so it became a central element of core shamanism. 

On the other hand, there are some elements of North American traditions that do not occur in shamanic traditions in other parts of the world – sacred ceremonies such as the pipe ceremony.  Those are specific to certain tribal traditions, so we do not use them or teach them in core shamanism.  The sweat lodge is a little bit more complicated, since traditional cultures in other parts of the world had similar traditions…  but the specific sweat ceremonies of North American are unique, and core shamanism does not use or teach them.

Of course, there are other things sometimes associated with “plastic shamans,” but one of the most significant is claiming to practice or teach Indian ways – something I don’t do and Michael Harner doesn’t do.

Bright blessings on your path,

Kay
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 27, 2008 - 10:13PM #4
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
Thanks for your answers, i find them rather informative. It has recently occurred to me that perhaps this thread would have been better on the "discuss shamanism" board. Although, having perused the discussion boars, I have found that they are not quite as active as the main community boards. Again, I don't wish to offend anyone, its just a line of inquiry...:)
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2008 - 6:49PM #5
Whisperingal
Posts: 25,009
Gorm---hi--and welcome.

If this is not too personal a question--can you explain your name?

I don't know Gaelic--but it seems as though it might have a specific meaning.

Again--if this is too personal please do not feel the need to answer.

In any event--good to see you here.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2008 - 4:36PM #6
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
[QUOTE=Whisperingal;859182]Gorm---hi--and welcome.

If this is not too personal a question--can you explain your name?

I don't know Gaelic--but it seems as though it might have a specific meaning.

Again--if this is too personal please do not feel the need to answer.

In any event--good to see you here.[/QUOTE]

If I had a prize to give you, it would be yours... you are officially the first person from beliefnet to ask me what it means.:D

It is Gaelic for Blue Fox, the 'Pagan' name I adopted about a decade or so ago, when I was but a young, dewy eyed pup and fresh into Paganism, as "Pagan names" were all the rage I went along. The name just sort of stuck with me, and I use it as my 'web' name. When I found myself as a CR, I just changed it to its Gaelic counterpart. Now you know, which I have been told is half the battle...
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2008 - 8:50PM #7
Whisperingal
Posts: 25,009
GS--hi and thanks! That's really cool.

Is "Sionnach" the part that means fox?


btw--if you like art at all you might want to google the artist Franz Marc  (German painter in th Futurist art movement in the early 20th century who was killed in WW1.)

I think you'd really like his animal paintings--start with "Fate of Animals" and you'll see what I mean.

If you have trouble finding his work online--just let me know and I'll find some for you.


Sending good thoughts for you.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2008 - 9:59AM #8
Bearsky
Posts: 340
I just admit it!  "Yes I am a plastic shaman"...and I go about my life.  Life is too short to argue with meatheads of whatever ilk.  Dennis

PS My friends over their know me....other folks are free to choose the color of the glasses they wear to judge throurgh.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2008 - 2:26AM #9
Tenlionz
Posts: 1,792
[QUOTE=Kay404;854795]Hi, Gorm Sionnach,

Welcome to the shamanism board!  It’s been way too long since I’ve been to the CR (Celtic Reconstruction) board.  Thanks for reminding me of it!

I don’t claim the title of “shaman,”  but since I’ve been practicing shamanism for over 20 years I have many times been accused of being a “plastic shaman.”  My introduction to shamanism came through Michael Harner, who founded core shamanism and the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (www.shamanism.org), and I have many times talked with people who considered him a plastic shaman, as well. 

My response is always to talk with those who are willing to listen.  I try to learn why they think of me and/or Michael Harner as a plastic shaman, and I tell them about my own practice (which incorporates elements of Celtic tradition, as well as elements directly from the spirits) and about Michael Harner and core shamanism.  Often, once they learn that neither Michael Harner nor I claim to be teaching or practicing Indian ways, they are willing to listen and find out more about what we do believe, practice and teach. 

Of course, there are some connections between core shamanism and North American Indian ways.  Michael was first initiated into shamanic practice by South American Indians, who use entheogens, such as Ayahuasca.  It was a Lakota holy man in North America who taught Michael that it was possible to journey without entheogens, by using the drum, and it was the Coast Salish of the Pacific Northwest who taught him the term “power animal,” among other things.  Of course, as he continued to learn about shamanism throughout the world he discovered that many traditional cultures use the drum – among Siberian shamans, for instance, the drum is called “the shaman’s horse.”  The drum is one of those basic, core elements of shamanism that shows up in many cultures throughout the world, and so it became a central element of core shamanism. 

On the other hand, there are some elements of North American traditions that do not occur in shamanic traditions in other parts of the world – sacred ceremonies such as the pipe ceremony.  Those are specific to certain tribal traditions, so we do not use them or teach them in core shamanism.  The sweat lodge is a little bit more complicated, since traditional cultures in other parts of the world had similar traditions…  but the specific sweat ceremonies of North American are unique, and core shamanism does not use or teach them.

Of course, there are other things sometimes associated with “plastic shamans,” but one of the most significant is claiming to practice or teach Indian ways – something I don’t do and Michael Harner doesn’t do.

Bright blessings on your path,

Kay[/QUOTE]
I am First Nationz Apprentice under the supervision of a Chickasaw Alikchi or Medicine Man, I have watched Kay and she iz no plastic Shaman, She doez not claim to be of the First Nationz nor doez she claim to teach NDN medicine. In fact she makes a point to say she iz not NDN and makes sure no one else iz doing so, She simply practices her method of Holistic belief and Spirituality. You must remember my Friends, when you say the word Shaman you instantly set your self apart from Native American practice, AZ there are NO Native American Shaman. We are Medicine Men Horn Doctors and Alikchi and many other wordz from various dialects, but none are Shaman az Shaman roots are from Mongolia, not the Americaz. Kay iz regarded AZ a guardian warrior and defender of First Nation beliefs. Ten Lionz
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2008 - 2:42AM #10
Tenlionz
Posts: 1,792
[QUOTE=Wolfscout1;851019]Since Shamanism is a global concept before most faiths came into being and from nearly every region ancient mankind has dwelled..  I do not feel it is a First Nation Only issue.  I'd personally pay it very little attention.  I do not call myself a NAI Medicine person, Nor do I call myself a Siberian Shaman.   I do say I am an eclectic shaman Urged to do so by something higher than me.  It's that simple.   As long as I serve through my efforts to be a tool of the Divine and my intentions, actions and deeds promote and seek wellness of my fellow man.. I am doing what one should do.
It's a path I walk respectfully and with great humbleness.[/QUOTE]

Shamanism iz not just a First Nationz issue because there aren't any Native American Shaman, so it iz not a global concept, it iz a modern catch all term used with inaccuracy and disregard for the personal libertiez and beliefs of thoze which practice holistic medicine and belief. And I believe the word you were looking for iz "Humility" not humbleness.

Ten lionz
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