Becoming Shaman: Breaking BadFebruary 1, 2011
Somewhere along the line, the seeker may find another path which opens up – the solitary training and practice of Shamanism.
~ Carol Leigh Rice, Silk Road Visions
I do not know when the path of Shamanism opened up. I only know that having come this far, this is the path I have worked, walked and stumbled along. A personal via dolorosa – for much has been distressing, difficult and filled with sorrow. Yet having arrived at Golgotha, the illusion of having suffered, of having sacrificed, of having blistered hands bristling with splinters; falls away and leaves on a stream.
The conditions of being human – symbolically presented within the legends and mythologies, tall tales and droll tales, creation rambles and destruction brambles – contain the anecdotes and antidotes to what ails and assails us in this modern world. Stories beyond time, words between spaces ~ I have learned to enter the infinite continuum and Be Humbled. To drop to my knees and see the importance of my own insignificance and the significance of the importune.
There are patterns of conditioned belief, genes of dysfunction and core values developed by earlier generations that are encoded within the cellular memory of the ovum and spermatozoa that becomes us. Randine Lewis, author of The Way of the Fertile Soul writes:
The egg that is now me used to be inside my grandma! That’s right – the egg that became me spent five months inside the womb of my grandmother as my mother and her ovaries were developing during her pregnancy. And the eggs that became my children developed during my mother’s pregnancy with me! Doesn’t that just send you back in time!
We are naturally time-travellers and in the hobbyfying pursuit of ancestry and genealogy, we organically engage in a self-healing process without conscious knowledge of that which we do. There is nothing on this Earth that the Higher Self cannot work around or adapt to facilitate a shamanic process of healing; of tonifying one’s inherent intuitive capabilities. The tonifying happens when we are having the most fun ~ serious play.
Within the broader global history, there lies our up-close and personal history and within the exploration of my parentage, the blood-lines of ancestors whose genetic, soul and karmic memories are distilled and concentrated in this unique configuration of cells and carbon, that is me: I learned I was not becoming shaman – I was learning how to use my abilities, to refine them. There was a lot of attuning, adjusting, and tweaking going on, and at times, plain old thumps on the side of the set, to get a better reception.
It has taken me years – decades – to get past the trance of social, religious and family conditioning while simultaneously experiencing shamanic cycles of growth, on a largely solitary path occasionally punctuated with study, training and aquirement of qualifications in arenas of medicine, mystery and metaphysics.
At no time during those periods of external training was I conscious of the path of Shamanism beneath my feet. I believed I was following a path towards another occupational designation that I believed – wanted – to be a vocation. There are subtle nuances between occupation, vocation and avocation – between the words, in the spaces, lies ones authentic potential. Or could that be, ones potential lies about the authenticity of the path simply for the attainment of information and skills one will need for later on.
It was my avocation – a minor or occasional occupation, a hobby – that resulted in shamanism being a done deal – the cat’s in the bag, the bag’s in the river.
Could it be that it is our avocations, those minor occasional “callings” of diversion or distraction that are our veins of gold? Not the tasks that we think we should be doing, those Terribly Important Tasks that we are distracted or diverted from – but that which is the distraction/diversion that we call “procrastination”. How eloquently we deny our soul and use a five-syllable word to resist the wisdom of our Higher Self, that says:
Pssst kid…..over here. Here, here…not there. Psst….psst. No…no…I’m not pissed…..it’s psst….here, over here!
There is no world more self- and soul-abusing than Pro-cras-ti-nation: a peanut brittle sticky toffee-coloured word. Full of nuts.
Instead of slicing your Selves with this cat-o’-nine-wails, explore that avocation – that activity, hobby, do-nothingness – which you perceive/believe is the diversion, the pesky distraction, the not-as-important-as-what-you-think-is-more-important; the Bad Thing.
Do not explore the why. Consider the what. What is that thing you do? Procrastination is not action, is not inaction: it is Condemnation. Judgment. Punishment. Addicted to pain, we are.
That thing you do is not unimportant, is not importune, is not insignificant.
Break the habit
Break the addiction