Explore Shamanism and Familiars

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum Explore Shamanism and Familiars

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      I want to explore Shamanism

      Here is a quote from Michael Harner, from his book The Way of the Shaman

      “Shamanism taps so deeply into the human mind that cultural belief systems and assumptions of reality are essentially irrelevant.”



        The late Michael Harner developed what is called “core shamanism” based on principles from the Americas and elsewhere, however, his work has not been without criticism from writers who have expressed concerns about accuracy and cultural appropriation.

        If you’re interested in totemic and cult animals in a British context, you could look up Charles Thomas, The Animal Art of the Scottish Iron Age and its Origins (1963). I think you’ll be able to find it online. This work explores the animal symbolism of the Pictish tribes and given that a number of Celtic tribal names seem to indicate a connection with an animal or a plant and also that there might just be some continuation between these old tribal names and later Scottish clans (some of which are occasionally described as Pictish, as opposed to Gaelic), it may well prove useful to you.



          like nature itself, spontaneously creates forms susceptible of impressing the conscious mind as beautiful. Here the human being experienced something in the creative soul akin to the cosmos. And it is here in the shared capacity to produce the beautiful that humans could first give life to a sense of affinity with that force informing the creation,

          Ryan, Robert E.. The Strong Eye of Shamanism: A Journey into the Caves of Consciousness . Inner Traditions/Bear & Company. Kindle Edition.

          “The artist and the shaman,” observe Anne Baring and Jules Cashford, “were probably one and the same, as artists ever since have consistently claimed. Through their magical power to recreate the animal on the walls of the temple caves, they—the artist-shamans—connected the tribe with the source of life that animated both human and animal, becoming themselves vehicles of that source, creators of the living form like the source itself.”23

          Ryan, Robert E.. The Strong Eye of Shamanism: A Journey into the Caves of Consciousness . Inner Traditions/Bear & Company. Kindle Edition.


            While in the west, only the state of being wide-awake is given credence as reality, in the shamanic world-view, other levels of consciousness are equally valid. The shaman deliberately alters his level of consciousness in order to be able to journey to the Otherworld.

            Franklin, Anna. Path of the Shaman (Eight Paths of Magic Book 2) . Lear Books. Kindle Edition.


              In Celtic myth, the horse goddess Epona (‘Pony’) carries a key which unlocked both the stable door and the gates of the Otherworld. She rides between the worlds at will, to carry souls to the afterlife on horseback, accompanied by blackbirds and larks. She is also a shamanic deity, who carries the seer or bard to the Otherworld. She is, in fact, the Fairy Queen who travels between the realms on her white horse. In Wales, she was called Rhiannon, whose seven blackbirds called dreamers into Fairyland.

              Franklin, Anna. Path of the Shaman (Eight Paths of Magic Book 2) . Lear Books. Kindle Edition.


                The one thing that I want to talk about is that it seems it is a quid pro quo, a give and take, when working with the gods and goddesses. I mean you get something from them, and they want something from you. I feel this way a lot about the Celtic Gods and Goddesses, but what I get from them is so valuable
                that it is worth a relationship with them. as a bard, I feel I can always pay them back with writing books and poetry, and that may be one of the reasons I seek lots of this otherworld experience. It is the kind of thing that poets, and bards would be interested in. Also, if you meet up with one of these spirit guides and don’t like it, you can tell it to go away, and that usually is that. Plus, When working with the spirit of a wolf, you are working with the overall wolf spirit and not an individual wolf spirit, as I understand it. This is all very old, and very ancient stuff. It probably is not for everyone. then there is a question is this all in a person’s imagination. I don’t think that real shamanism is in the imagination. And I don’t buy the Jung collective unconsciousness theory that we are all born with this stuff, somehow already wired in our brains, like how butterflies know where to fly. This is about entering into more that just another state of consciousness. It is about traveling in the spiritual world in order to find out information. And then, there is actual traveling in the otherworld where a person takes his body with him. So there are two kinds of travel, and there is also just a plain experiencing a non-ordinary reality while
                you are in this reality. All this is about connecting back to the source, the awen. The inspiration from the otherworld. But different cultures do see through different perspectives. Still this is all a part of exploring shamanism. I do think the more one opens his mind to the possibilities, the more likely that one will experience the otherworld, and I do think that drugs do help people see the otherworld, and are one of the fastest ways to go wow, there really is more to reality. but there are dangers in the otherworld, and a lot of evil little creatures there. Explores of the otherworld need to take care on their quest. And there are other ways to get there that don’t involve drugs. Drumming is known to work, and so is meditation. But the druids have always been separate from society, and the day to day, ordinary world is not much concerned with any of this, and the Neo-pagans are just here for a good time, and don’t really care about druidry or shamanism. So, if anyone thinks that the druids are going to become a major world power, they can relax, because that is never going to happen, and druidry will never become a main stream religion, However, Neo-paganism will, and I have found that all Neo-pagan groups are just cults, cults to ego trippers and spiritual tourist. But to understand druidry, you have to turn off your computer, and tv, and stereo, and electric bass guitar, and walk in the woods, quietly. And the main thing about druidry is that it is a way to find peace, or is it? the Shamanic world is not always a kick back and relaxed place. and the gods and goddesses are always working a bargain. But if you want to get through that arched oak door in the world tree and climb the spiral stairway, there is a price to be paid. And once you become a druid, there is no way back, except death and sickness. So, go for it, or leave it alone.


                  I feel that one of the things that is said about druids, that it took 20 years to become one, does have some reality to it. It studying druidry, the problem is the answers are not found in one book, or with one course, or with one teacher. The answers and secrets to druidry are spread out all over the place. You may learn only one little key from one book or teacher. But that key is what you need to unlock the next door. and you meet ten teachers, and read ten expensive books that all teach the exact same thing, kind of like the druid courses that go over and over, and over the Taliesin story. Still, the challenge must be taken and you must put in the work to find the answers. further, before you can become a druid, you have to cleanse the doors of perception, and get rid of all the preconditioned religion that you were force fed as a child. before you can see the faeries, you need to start opening up to the possibility that they really could be there, or you need strong drugs to open your mind. But I think it is better to not use the strong drugs because the side affects are not worth it, and because you did not really work to change your perception, but cheated, you can come away with a melted mind and completely disconnected from reality. Only to wake up ten years latter in some bar, and not remember where the time went. So, drugs are not always the way. The other ways are dancing, and listening to drum rhythms, and just going to magical places. I mean magic does not happen everywhere. Well it does, but not really. I went to the mall today and every time I went into or out of the parking lot, there was rap music coming from the cars and every song was the same basically, each song said F…K You. and if you mess with me Mothere F…..r I will F….k you over. talk about some bad vibe. But still there were flock of crows around the place, and I heard them talking and warning me to take care. I had said prayers to the gods and goddesses for protection, so I was not that worried about it. I often feel like an Urban Druid, and remember my mantra,,”If it don’t concern you, don’t mess with it.” This concept keeps me out of a lot of bad situations. I just walk away, and stay safe. Latter Dudes Spellcaster


                    The main diagnoses of illness include soul loss, where a client might have lost a part of his soul due to experiencing a trauma. Also a client might have lost some of her power, or there might be a spiritual blockage that needs to be removed. A client could also be dealing with a possessing spirit who has taken up residence in his body. In most cases there are a combination of these issues occurring. The shaman works in partnership with his or her helping spirits to diagnose the problem. The shaman works on behalf of the community to retrieve lost soul parts, to retrieve lost power, and to extract and remove spiritual blockages that don’t belong in the body.1 Shamans also perform ceremonies to lead souls of the deceased to the transcendent realms. This includes performing psychopomp work to help a client suffering from a possessing spirit. The role of the shaman is also to divine information for a client or for the community. Shamans are not simply technicians of healing and divination methods. They have always acted and still act as healers, doctors, priest and priestesses, psychotherapists, mystics, and storytellers.

                    Ingerman, Sandra. Walking in Light . Sounds True. Kindle Edition.


                      Because the practice of shamanism is a system of direct revelation, all shamans describe their experiences differently. There is no right way to experience a shamanic journey. In our culture we try to conform to the right way to practice. This takes away the meaning and the passion for the work. To keep the work spiritually inspired and fresh, you must remember that everyone who practices shamanic journeying has different ways of experiencing the helping spirits and the non-ordinary realms. Also, people have different ways of entering into the non-ordinary realms.

                      Ingerman, Sandra. Walking in Light (p. 11). Sounds True. Kindle Edition.

                      There seem to be everyday dreams that you are just going over stuff in your mind that happened, like how to deal with the nasty neighbor, And then there are shamanic journeys that are when your spirit leaves your body and goes on an adventure in the hidden worlds, and then there is also remote viewing, and I am not sure your spirit goes on a trip in that case. It get down to the idea that all things are connected or at least tied together in some type of web. I don’t like being connected to some things and make sure to stay disconnected. I think when you are in love with someone, you are more connected to them. But where is the third eye.
                      I think it is totally spiritual, and I wonder if you can get glasses for your third eye. It seems the way to get there is to relax. Getting in a relaxed mode seems to be the key to being able to go on a journey, but there is also dancing, and dressing up in animal skins, and drumming, and of course taking psychotropic drugs. Just think of all of the things that are going on around you all the time, and time is not even linear. But much of this has to do with being able to focus, and much of life does. You have to focus on what you want, and it should be something that you love or have interest in. It would be hard to play harp, if you did not like harp playing, but I am
                      Sure that the harp is the best way to take a journey to the otherworld. It is about getting to the heart and spirit of things. Like the bee spirit that is buzzing around the beeswax candle when you light it in honor of the gods and goddesses, and yes I think you should use real bees wax when casting spells. But be careful, because if you leave the candles in a hot car or shed you will come back to melted bee candle pie. I know, because I have had this happen to me. So, all things are connected, and when you start talking to the otherworld, the otherworld talks to you.


                        Now, keep up hope about this solving the global warming crisis. Remember that as druids we know that there is a great deal of interconnection in the world, so, if you think positive thoughts or act in even small ways to solve global warming it will ripple, “if my words did glow,” and they do. Your actions, even small, change the world and everyone in it. Your positive energy counts, and it is not a hopeless situation. “and let it be known, there is a fountain, that was not made by the hands of man.” You are an important person as a druid, and you are a link between this world and the Celtic Otherworld. Never feel that you can’t change things. So let’s not be discouraged, my fellowship of druids, we will save the world, we will stop global warming, and we will make this world a better place. And remember, we have the power of the Celtic goddesses and gods behind us, supercharging our positive actions. We reach out all over the world, and to the most powerful people with our prayers, and good vibes. We make a change, We make a difference. Hope, positive vibrations, we walk on the spider’s web and it vibrates all over the world, all is alive in spirit, cheer up my fellowship of druids, stay positive. Best Spellcaster

                        david poole

                          Wise words Spellcaster, thank you for sharing them with us.

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