Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The meaning of "shamanic"

I am not a shaman.  I am not related by blood or adoption to the indigenous people from Siberia, Manchuria  and central Asia.  I am not a "medicine woman" initiated and acknowledged by tribal elders of Native American descent nor of First Nations people in Canada.  Yet I work with medicine objects, and frequently write about my shamanic drums and shamanic paintings.  So what do I mean by "shamanic?" I can say what this word means to me using these four chalk pastel images, and their titles, that I made during my time studying with Martin Prechtel in the New Mexico desert.


It is shamanic to be taught by Nature.  Nature is alive.  All natural phenomena exists in both the physical and spiritual dimensions and is waiting for us to learn from it. 


 It is shamanic to be intimate with Nature and know the names, characteristics and stories associated with where I live and travel. It is shamanic to communicate with the four Sacred winds, the Directions, and the other than human creatures I meet. 


It is shamanic to have courage.  It is shamanic to be a person of honesty, humility and integrity , and to inspire others with my attempts to live a life of meaning and purpose. 


It is shamanic to be food for the Holy.  It is shamanic to send prayers at the beginning and end of each day that all may have a place to belong, that all may have good food provided, and that all may have a safe place to sleep at night.  

The inspiration for these thoughts has come from reading Honoring the Medicine by Kenneth Cohen