One of the challenges of writing a blog about shamanic work is getting the balance right about what and how much to share.There is a saying of magic shared is magic halved. I’m also aware that to someone who has not come across shamanism before there is no context through which to view the work, leading to possible misinterpretations. Yet for me shamanism is vital to all of us, and I want to allow people to see what it can do. To do that means that there needs to be some sharing of the magic.
Take for example my last post Battle for my life, the lovely feedback I got did often express how open I had been about something very personal. When I wrote it I was concerned that sharing magic would diminish it, but it also felt important document what felt like an important step in my personal shamanic journey. I did use the mechanism of a poem as it allowed for more freedom of language and metaphor. I also didn’t reveal who my allies are – although those who know me will be able to guess fairly easily. It felt vital to show that seeing a shamanic process fully through and fully expressed, when in my normal culture I would have stopped it in it’s tracks. Giving permission to fully express things no matter how uneasy it makes us feel is part of being a whole person. This is part of the shamanic path, and part of the great healing that shamanism offers.
I’m also aware that we live in a culture that wants to dissect every little thing and feel that every little part is explained. This process does destroy magic. If sharing magic leads to people trying to understand it from a logical /rational / reductionist frame then it does reduce it’s power. So if someone wants the details of who is who and exactly what happened then the answer has to be “No”. One of the main aspects of shamanism is that it is an experience, a direct revelation from the spirit world to that individual. It therefore transcends rational thought and rational experience. It is also direct to the individual involved. We don’t have a common framework for understanding metaphor and we are different people. Therefor a revelation for me will be different to yours and have a different meaning to me than it would to you. It is the individual relationship with spirit that is the strength of shamanism.
The best way I think I can express it is like this. The book of revelation in the bible was a direct to one man who wrote it down. Many christians now use that revelation as a direct revelation to them. One “story” applied to many people – the principle that one size fits all in spiritual terms. A journey for me may be very similar in imagery to the book of revelation but it’s meaning is meant for me. One “story” applied to one person – this allows for an individual direct relationship with spirit. I may chose to share the journey, and others may then gain from it’s telling but it’s not for me to say how they interpret it or what they should do following it’s telling. It is for each individual to find their own route and their own path.
This is why learning the skill of journeying is such a vital tool for anyone on a shamanic path. Enabling oneself to have direct communication with the spiritual realm, I believe to be the key to spiritual development. I suspect that this is different to indigenous shamanism, when this work was done through a shaman. But we are now in a very different world so it makes sense that the principles of shamanism are expressed in a different way.
Blessing to you all.