Ok, so I suck at English.
Now, I’m no shaman – not even close. But I did read about this to some extent, and coming from a mixed bloodline myself – I find myself smoking my pipe more than usual for some reason.
But… I do think many who claim that title aren’t shamans – that title is given by the community and elders of that community – not one claimed for oneself.
Hell, even if my own tiny town did claim me and I enacted that role for their benefit – sure, that’s one thing (that’s a fly’s chance in Hel’s domain..) but mostly I see that there is no community of their own, no years of gaining practical wisdom… Nothing? They go to classes or workshops and poof? They’re instant shamans? I do tilt my head at this – such a title is one earned I think, not bought. But shit, what do I know? I’m just a smithy that got a ‘C’ in college English for fuck’s sake – and I’m sure it shows too.
Now, before you jump to conclusions – I am not claiming to be anything but an asshole out in the boonies that works with spirits, one deity, and my Ancestors. That’s pretty much it – besides all the extras that come with that alone. But, no special spiffy titles, no claims to fame, no bells or whistles. I’m just an asshole out in the boonies doing what I do.
On one point – I think the idea of building new tribal-like societies is awesome, our little ‘pack,’ or communities in which we can foster and grow our own identity with one another – such as the various Asatru ‘tribes,’ that are growing on the Front Range, and the Celtic ‘Tribes,’ that are being fostered a little to the south. I think the idea is wonderful – especially the ones taking this in an American context- you know, keeping it local. Honoring where they came from while understanding they are in fact.. Americans.
I don’t know how the Native Americans feel about this – but look at it this way: At least they’re trying to remember and honor their own Ancestral roots rather than invent a story of some such and dance in a buckskin chanting while claiming this or that was because of <insert spirit or God name here>.
No, no ‘gospel of Arta,’ sorry. Well – unless it involved Blackberry liquor. Now… There might be something… I insert my wink here.
One little tribe I met was actually doing this group-learning for the Gaelic language with folks back in Ireland, and speaking to one another within their group in that learned Gaelic. I think that’s pretty damned cool, if not a damned good start. Hey, at least they’re giving it a damned good go if nothing else. These folks are building a firm, solid community however small, but still – kudos!
I have met some now, that sell, market, or otherwise make their religion as a product. I’m still not entirely sure how to feel about this – part of me says ‘Hey, that’s the time’s baby,’ the other is ‘Uh, this is our faith, our ‘sacred’ ….’ So, I dunno yet.
I took my own store out of that – now it’s just a crafts store, and I will be adding cell phone holders, book covers, and other odds and ends that if you want to make them religious – it’s your private prerogative. Until I flesh this out entirely, anyway… I dunno yet myself.
But there are some who thrive on followings, and… I twitch. They don’t seem too concerned with helping anyone but themselves, and maintaining that level of following. Again – I twitch.
But even my own self being a spirit worker in BFE, my role is one of service, and humility – despite my abrasive assenine tendencies. I do get irked by ‘leaders,’ or ‘wise ones,’ who have a brand name, and a cult following – I dunno, maybe it’s because I was physically hung by Evangelical Christians twice that makes me twitch when I see followings and store inventory… Could be I suppose.
Sages and Mages –
Now, I can’t shake too many sticks here since I’m trying to be a Hermit my damned self. But, why would I approach a Sage or Mage (depends on who you ask) for my own human concerns to a person that is so detached from humanity? If I have real world problems, I’d like someone who’s living here too, as well as in the other worlds to understand – maybe I’m too literal, that could be. Someone who has dealt with this or that, or is dealing with this or that – from health to love, evil spirits to money trouble is someone who I think can understand why I’m asking in the first place.
Someone who is detached and focused on a ‘higher pursuit,’ might be so detached that a practical answer might not be something they offer. Granted, their pursuits aren’t bad or anything, just.. Not practical in my opinion.
I’m not saying a 30 year old isn’t capable of being a ‘wise man/woman,’ I am skeptical of it’s probability. I’m 30, and I feel more and more of a moron the more I learn – it’s very humbling, and definitely keeps my ass in check.
I do wonder about all this though – I truly do.