Core shamanism

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Lily
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Core shamanism

Postby Lily » 05 Aug 2004, 13:30

Has anyone got experience with the teachings of Michael Harner et al?

Core shamanism seems devoid of any cultural ties, I think, which circumvents some of the problems with indigenous peoples that have recently been discussed. Is this approach worthwhile?

Has anyone ever heard of Felicitas Goodman?
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Postby Frank MacEowen/SOLASDANA » 06 Aug 2004, 09:20

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Lily
I have very little personal exposure to the work of Michael Harner, as most of my experiences with shamanic spirituality have been in indigenous contexts, but I have many dear friends who have studied for many years with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and I know a handful of people who are or have been faculty who are very good. I think the point you raise is key in terms of cultural appropriation issues. Shamanic methods have been used by every culture. My understanding of the work of the FSS is precisely to explore the universal human leaning toward nonordinary reality in such a way that it does not borrow from other cultures, but rather puts tools in the hands of people so they can chart their own course, their own directions. I also recommend Caitlin Matthews' book Singing the Soul Back Home, and Tom Cowan's Shamanism As A Spiritual Practice for Daily Life. Likewise, if you ever have a chance to spend some time in Ireland I recommend the work of Martin Duffy and the Irish Centre for Shamanic Studies (http://www.shamanismireland.com), which explores a blend of Holotropic Breathwork (which can be VERY powerful and intense), Core Shamanism, but also primal Irish visionary-earth tradition (which would and does classify as shamanic work). Felicitas Goodman's work on trance postures is excellent. Deep Peace, Frank MacEowen

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Lily
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Postby Lily » 06 Aug 2004, 09:41

Thanks for your advice. The people who recommended Felicitas Goodman are, well, "experienced" in experiences at the fringe of consciousness so I wasn't sure whether that strand would be workable for me.

I am not so impressed with Tom Cowan, I read his book "Shamanism and the celtic spirit" and there was a bit too much "make believe" or fantasy in it... it that one good? I feel more like trying Matthews.
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Lily


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Postby Frank MacEowen/SOLASDANA » 06 Aug 2004, 10:25

Lily

Thanks for your thoughts. I think the thing about Tom's Fire in the Head book is that he is tracking what we might call "the shamanic archetype" and how it might or might not be woven in with different aspects or expressions of the wider earth-based European spirituality. I've definitely heard some people take issue with aspects of the book, but what I try to remind people about that book is that it came out several years ago. So, if you look at this domain fifteen+ years ago it was a cutting-edge book in that it was seeking to unveil some of the shamanic dimension to Celtic tradition, culture, etc. As an author myself (The Mist-Filled Path, The Spiral of Memory & Belonging) one of the things that I've come to realize is that once you write a book, the book itself is unchanging. It is a static snapshot of a process that was unfolding at that time. However, the author keeps moving forward on the path; keeps growing, shifting, changing, sometimes even growing to disagree with or taking issue with one's own conclusions made a decade before. C.G. Jung was infamous for this. I perceive Tom in a similar light. Fire in the Head represents a particular spirit of inquiry that Tom was engaged in at that time. A lot happens in 20 years. ;) Deep Peace, Frank

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Postby copperbeech » 27 Sep 2004, 18:07

Frank, you are very insightful and well-spoken =)

i have studied with FSS, and while i truly value the relationship i have with the primary teacher i have had there, i am not interested in pursuing any of their long-term studies--which to be honest, may very well be the basis of my feelings in my next statement. i feel there is something vital unaddressed in the core approach to shamanism that does not resonate with me, and that is in part the creation of sacred space, holding it, and using it. maybe they address that in the longer term programs--i dont know. but i have gone through all but one of the weekend programs, and it has yet to come up. they teach collections of techniques, which are incredibly useful. for someone who is on a shamanic path and not just interested in expanding techniques in spiritual growth--in other words someone who works with Self and others in a shamanic capacity, not just Self--i have needed a fuller education in shamanic work. i also have felt that some of the approaches in not only what they teach, but how they teach, are fear-based, which feels to be the result of a corporate approach to teaching something incredibly not.

if you want to write me off list (or on) i would be glad to share more with you about my experiences with FSS. in short, it is a worthy place to start a shamanic education, but for me has given me the tools to seek more elsewhere.

be well!
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Postby Lily » 27 Sep 2004, 20:35

i feel there is something vital unaddressed in the core approach to shamanism that does not resonate with me, and that is in part the creation of sacred space, holding it, and using it. maybe they address that in the longer term programs--i dont know.

i also have felt that some of the approaches in not only what they teach, but how they teach, are fear-based, which feels to be the result of a corporate approach to teaching something incredibly not.
well the creation of sacred space is what we learn in OBOD, and I would not want to change that, in fact I would feel uncomfortable now that I have grown used to "my" method.


can you explain the "fear-basedness"?
the rest of your statement, gee I guess that was over my head :)
bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

Lily


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Postby copperbeech » 27 Sep 2004, 20:53

can you explain the "fear-basedness"?
the rest of your statement, gee I guess that was over my head :)
general examples--they are not hip at all to working with insects as guides, especially spiders, flies... they also are not fond of guides being snakes or even general reptiles. it is as if the rules according to their teaching overshadow the spirit of the experience. the emphasis is on limiting in the event of 'harm' rather than on opening and teaching to hold sacred space. there is also a consistent deferrment to authority (FSS teachers/founders) over experiences that come up in the classes. i find those methods to be fear-based, rather than able to hold compassion for the whole experience. and i also kinda felt like some of the techniques had ben dumbed-down. just a feeling--nothing concrete for me to base that on in my own reaserch. almost like the 'tribal' had been stripped of the shaman.

truly just my 2 cents.

hope you are well Lily!

and i LOVE your tree spirit icon! it is awesome =)
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Postby Wolfwalker » 28 Sep 2004, 00:08

How can it be shamanism if strippeed of sacred space, either external (place-locative) or internal (the "grove within" as one of my obod friends refers to it as)... To the shamanti, all space can be sacred... that is to say, if need prevails, it may be made so. Second point though is that the essence of shamanism is to go beyond the physical anyway... While a person may require a place for them to feel attuned to their inner self and to step onto the bridge between physical and spirit world, this is not a given...
In meditation I do not have to be locative to a place that I feel 'grounded' to, thopugh I often am in such a spot. I am as likely to feel the separation of myself if I am in even unfamiliar surroundings and meditating. Many of my spiritual experiences come from the tribal medicine experiences or sweats of First Nations brothers and sisters here in North America... it has been my priveledge to expand this further by my studies through obod, and the discussions of others, from other tribal backgrounds as well as druid shamanti...
Fear cannot be a base for freedom in the crossing of realms, other than in the fith-fath to escape danger, which will also involve shape-changing. It is fear of unknown things that blocks one from stepping outward into their path most times. seeking thew counsel of an elder... not someone who says 'fear the dark side Luke' but one who walks the walk, not merely talks the talk; One who you know and hqave good cause to trust, who if they say, "do not walk that way"... you may be sure they have a reason and they will share as much of it as you need to know.
We already have too many nuagers running around unleshing powers into this world by their reckless ignorance of the reality of what lies beyond the edges of the everyday consciousness; in those cases I say we done if these teachers have sense to know and acknowledge their limitations. If more only would things would be much safer in this world. But those who project their own fears onto others and do not admit they fear it because they would be beyond their own scope of competence, ought not to be doing more than leading a siting circle grroup at a weekend gathering and listening to learned councel of others more experienced and trained than themselves.
BB, Peter
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Re: Core shamanism

Postby SeaDruid » 28 Sep 2004, 02:22

Has anyone got experience with the teachings of Michael Harner et al?
I enjoyed Michael's book "Way of the Shaman". As per his instructions I made a druming tape and acheived some interesting underworld journeys using it. I did not continue with this, but hope to pick it up again someday.

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Postby copperbeech » 28 Sep 2004, 03:31

well said peter.
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Postby SeaDruid » 28 Sep 2004, 18:36

I'm astonished to just find out today that both Michael Harner and Tom Cowen are teaching (different) weekend workshops just a couple of miles from me in early Novemeber. I'm going to have to count my pennies and see what I can attend.

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Postby Powers » 30 Mar 2005, 03:35

I have studied with Tom Brown Jr who teaches Grandfather Stalking Wolf's information. It is devoid of any cultural background. I find this very powerful as you can adapt it to your cultural reference and your personal tastes.

Reading the board I would say we must remember "everyone" is on a journey even your instructors. When we heal or continue a new journey, we will redefine ourselves and thus we will change our view of the world. Even Tom Brown has personal issues. Bottom line is to follow your inner compass of the heart and you journey will be groovy.

Last comment on Core Shamanism. An oak tree in North America and an oak tree in Ireland will have different medicine powers because of the complex system of soil composition, weather, community of trees etc. This difference gives them their traditions but their spirit is still an oak.

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Postby Wolfwalker » 30 Mar 2005, 17:45

Good point.. an Irish potato grown in the peat and an Idaho one grown in the rougher soil of the North American west, DO taste differently.
Peter
Love people and use things, NOT use people and love things...


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