Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Trouble With Vampires

I remember a discussion I had with a former "friend" a few years ago; he'd said that women are lead to believe in the "Cinderella" mystique: she would fall in love and he would ask her to marry him (Prince Charming), and they would live "happily ever after". Well, I'm here to tell you that this might be the case but we soon find out that's all bullshit.

But the point I would like to focus on here is the fact that women might have shifted their ideal of Prince Charming to Edward Cullen of Twilight. Whether a fan of the saga or not, one has to admit that the entire world, especially women, are Twilight crazy, therefore, enthralled with vampires. I'm not going to go on about what we believe them to be but here is a short list:

  • immortal

  • beautiful

  • sexy

  • powerful

  • gifted

  • dangerous

I have had the good fortune to be extended an invitation from this subculture of the vampire community to "visit" them, so to speak, and learn some of their truths, (read "Vampires, Witches & Werewolves. OH MY! Part II" to find out more facts).

Yes, there is a subculture group who believe themselves to be vampires. They are not immortal, they grow old and get sick just as people do and they do not have superhuman strength although some are gifted in other ways such as psychically. Many complain of severe physical ailments such as:

  • photosensitivity

  • migraines

  • chronic fatigue

  • asthma

  • fibromyalgia

  • depression

  • ADHD

  • allergies

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • panic attacks

  • anemia

to name a few. The members on Voices of the Vampire Community board had a meeting about this recently and went into these problems.

All of the members present who complained of any of these ailments claimed that the only way they get any relief from their symptoms was to feed (whichever way was appropriate to their type of vampirism). Most of these individuals live with chronic pain and some to the point of being home bound, almost immobile.

This is not what the media and Hollywood has glamorized them to be.

Why wouldn't their image be incorrect just as everything else is portrayed?

But these are the truths, they live everyday in their own agonies and pain. Yes, some have amazing capabilities such as being able to astral project anywhere on the planet, manipulate emotions, see ghosts and the like, but they seem (a lot of them) to have a big price to pay. Not to mention the psychological rollercoaster they must go through upon "awakening", when the vampire in them surfaces and they become who they are.

But it is also very important to note that many other individuals who have never had the inclination or the thought that they might be a "vampire" also have the these gifts and abilities. We see them everyday, speak with them everyday on a normal basis albeit unknown to the common folk.

Remember, all is not as it seems.

Live well,


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Buddhism is Not a Religion: The God Problem

I am posting this because I thought it was relevant to one's search for their sense of their own spirituality. You know what they say, "take what you like and leave the rest."


Live well,

Buddhism is Not a Religion: The God Problem
Wednesday September 23, 2009
Categories: Buddhism, Hardcore Dharma
by Jerry Kolber

I am going to continue exploring where I left off last week with my question: is Buddhism a religion or a way to approach living? The ONLY reason I think this question matters is that the ideas that the Buddha presented 2,000 years ago - a path to non-violence, compassion, mindfulness, and "right" behavior - are urgently relevant to our world today, and I have encountered no other system of personal exploration that offers such a straightforward approach to liberating one's mind from a swamp of craving and grasping.

Unfortunately inaccurately calling the system we refer to as Buddhism a religion means that a huge portion of the world's population will never bother to explore the teachings, because they already have a religion. But back to why this matters. I see little likelihood that people who have not learned to at least make a real effort to be present, in this moment, have any chance of long-term implementation of the behavior changes we need to stop recklessly destroying our own mental and physical environment. Talking about "saving the planet" or "personal/communal evolution" with a list of actions to do and behavior (and lightbulbs) to change, without the tools to internally calibrate your mind to how to ACTUALLY change your behavior, is no different than buying plans for a house and a set of tools and hoping you can build it with absolutely no training or instruction in carpentry, electrical work, or plumbing. You're just going to end up making a mess of things. Buddha was careful to not present dogma, or rules, or external authority; his techniques simply create a mental environment in which you are far more free to make informed choices about your own behavior, by showing you where your own mind is stuck in habitual grooves and shining a light on the tricks of your ego.

The Buddha's teachings offer a uniquely useful way to learn to take responsibility for your own mind, your own actions, and your effect in the world. We start from the basic assumption that all acts of destruction and violence stem from desire, which leads to craving. Craving happens when you drift from the present moment, because the present moment is pure, complete, thick, and inseparable from "you". You are in the present moment, and alive, and compete - there is nothing wanting in the present moment. Leaving this moment by wanting, desiring, regretting, or fantasizing will by definition lead you to crave, to dissatisfaction, because you have left the only place in the timeline (THIS moment) that truly offers satisfaction and completion. This is what the Buddha discovered, and he offers a pathway to discovering it for yourself. It isn't religion, or new age stuff - it's hardcore, on the ground, slap in the face and wake you up to reality stuff. Most religions require that you believe there is a god or gods, said god(s) who created earth and the universe and all creatures in it, and that this god(s) also created your religion - and that following god(s) rules will lead to a good outcome in this world, and the next.

The creation myth at the center of each religion is challenging, because it takes both a broad view - God created everything; and it simultaneously takes a narrow view - THIS religion is the one true way. Even the most tolerant religions, when pushed to the edge, have to say that their religion is accurate and their creation story accurate and their description of God correct, because to say otherwise would unravel the very fabric of the religion. Buddha offers a path for anyone who seeks to walk it, regardless of other beliefs; religion sometimes offers a beautiful path, but it is most often in a gated community. This is why people fight in the name of religion - this identity with creation myth and god-identity can be so central to a person's life that it becomes impossible to tolerate someone taking an opposing view. Sometimes innocent belief becomes twisted into an idea that true allegiance to the god(s) requires destroying as many non-believers as possible. The fact cannot be avoided that with all the religions on planet Earth, most of them chosen not by logic but by birth, we essentially have numerous bloodline tribes, each with their own belief system, and not all of them (if any) can be right. Where major world religions begin with creation myths, creators, and assertions that "this religion" is the right way because that religion's creator made it so, Buddha begins from recognizing the common traits of the human condition and offering a precise, logical, almost clinical, prescription for how to overcome this basic dissatisfaction. In the process you will likely become a more compassionate, less violent, less destructive human being.

There is no creator posited in the core teachings of the Buddha - but he does not expressly say there wasn't one. You might postulate that to him, in this present moment, the human condition at this moment alone is the only thing that matters, and to concern himself with gods, creators, and the past was the opposite of what he was teaching, no different than concerning himself with how well he slept last night or whether to have red or white wine with dinner. It's not an error of omission - it's an omission of the unnecessary. Put another way, Buddhism followed to the logical conclusion suggests that you are inextricably linked with everything else in this present moment - there is no "you", there is just "moment" which includes "you" and everything else in this moment, and so you by definition are also everything that you usually consider "not you" (including, for instance, trees, beer, and God) - "you" cannot be "removed" from the present moment without making it not the present moment anymore.

And so if there is a God, it is you, even though you are not God. More to the point - you can follow what the Buddha taught, and also believe in God, or not believe in God, or not care either way - it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because it's totally irrelevant to your experience of the present moment. When you start to really pay attention to everything that's NOT happening between your thoughts, even if it's only for a tiny fraction of a second, you have started truly taking responsibility for being right here, right now, and to stop worrying about all kinds of stuff that's totally out of your control. Though Buddha's teachings migrated to and were adopted by various cultures and people throughout history - including many of us in the West today - the whole myriad of theistic and non-theistic Buddhist traditions are collectively called Buddhism.

This leads to the inevitable conclusion (because God always wins these arguments) that because some Buddhist traditions have incorporated deities and theism into the teachings, therefore only Buddhists who incorporate deities and theism into their practice are "true Buddhists" and everything else is just a light. And just like every other highly codified religion, there are Buddhist lineages that include gods, that have run into the same problems that other religions do - smacking face first against the wall of defensibility. But the fact that you can be Buddhist without having to follow one of those lineages - you can follow Buddha's teachings and believe or not believe in God - is an important point. Can you be Christian and not believe in that religions description of God?Jewish? Muslim? You cannot. Buddhism uniquely does not present a unified version of god(s) - because god(s) are not essential to the practice.

The fact that Buddha himself was careful - in a time when theistic religions were all the rage - to neither embrace nor reject the existence of god(s) is not a winning argument with those who want to dig in and label Buddhism as a religion, to the detriment of the accessibility of the Buddha's teachings. They often seem more interested in defending the particular cultural attachments that THEY have decided are "truly Buddhism" than they are in the actual teachings of the Buddha himself. When confronted by a non-Asian person with the unassailable fact the Buddha himself so precisely did not accept or reject the presence of god, they often claim racism, imperialism, even ignorance. But this does not change one simple thing. For Buddha's teachings to work, no god is necessary - no creator, no higher power - simply the desire to evolve your mind away from craving and into non-craving.

This is not a rejection of god or religion - Buddha's teaching are not theist, nor are they atheist. Though most of the people who practice Buddhism today do so exclusively (largely because of the label of religion), there is no reason to presume that his teachings are incompatible with following a religion like Judaism or Christianity. Though his teachings may lead a religious person to a different understanding of themselves and their relationship to god, I would consider that a deepening of spirituality rather than a contradiction. Because Buddhism, by default, has been described as a religion, it is unlikely to achieve the kind of widespread acceptance that the Buddha's teachings would require in order to achieve the kind of sea change our world so badly needs, from a mindset of selfishness to one of selflessness (or at least less-selfishness). I know, based on last week's response, that I'm going to get comments that start with "What a load of crap, I don't know where to begin" or "Another ignorant post from the Interdependence Project" or "Let me tell you why you're wrong".

But I'm not writing this to start a fight or to push buttons. I'm writing this because my personal experience with Buddhist teachings has been so transformative and relevant and provided so many specific tools to "build a new house" in my mind, one that is indisputably creating better conditions for myself and others on this planet. I cannot take credit for this change - I must credit practicing Buddhism for beginning to reveal something that was already within me, and within everyone. I only came to study the practice because I fortunately live in a cool spot and happened to stumble on a community who also saw the value in applying Buddha's teachings to our daily urban lives. I think it's a huge shame that his teachings will remain unavailable to so many people who could benefit from them, simply because a large portion of the Buddhist community is so attached to a label.

So before you start piling on, ask yourself this - if you are taking the position that Buddhism absolutely is a religion, and I am taking a position that Buddhism does not have to be a religion but can be practiced as one if you choose to follow a religion based on the Buddha's teachings, why does my inclusionary approach cause you such stress? And those of you that agree, or have a personal experience with an overlap between Buddhism and religion, please share your stories too.

Comments (113)
Filed Under: Buddha, Buddhism, God, Meditation, Religion, Resurgence

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Paranormal City on Demons, Ghosts, and Malevolent Forces

Good Evening, Friends,

Sorry it's been a little while since my last post, I've been waiting for the most accommodating individuals to finalize interviews I've had with them since my last blog, "Vampires, Witches, & Werewolves. OH MY! Part II" I have been very busy and loving every minute of it! I hope my next post will be coming up very shortly, "Interview With a Vampire". It will be a continuation of "Vampires, Witches, & Werewolves..."

Below, you will find a conversation I had with Charlie, a demonologist with Paranormal City out of Texas. Please follow him at @paranormal_city on Twitter. He has been working with individuals who have been possessed, homes and dwellings that are haunted and has witnessed and been involved in some of the most fascinating situations.

(The conversation has not been changed in any way, therefore, all imperfections remain).

Please read to the end, there is a listing of the "Watcher Fallen Angels" and "Arch Demons".


SO YOU KNOW I JUST WANT TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS. I am not in anyway trying to push any personal Belief or Religion on you IN ANYWAY. so i will be pure and honest in Answering your Questions. I respect your Views. So feel free to question me Further if you need.

I dont think there is no actual school for a is a field that there IS NO SCHOOLING ( you learn by Experience) ....Ha ha IS THERE? Now i do know that Certian Churches have there Ordained Ministers that Practice Excorcisms and learn thier Technic of Excorsism or Deliverance , they do study the Occult for research, For instance the Catholic church.( i am not Catholic)

I say i am Demonoligist because this is what one is Called in My field of work when i cross over to this Side (Paranormal Investigators, Ghost Hunters).....On my Side of the Spritual world i am known as a Excorsist or Deliverance Minister (THE CHRISTIAN WORLD). Yes i am a ordained Minister. I have never EVER wanted to do this Kind of work. I never wanted anything to do with the Dealing of the DEMONIC...... I was thrown into it for the Past ten years...
Broadly, three forms of demonology exist: black, religious, and academic. Black demonology is the work of Satanists, demonolaters and black magicians, they study the subject to better work their curses and other magical practices. Academic demonologists study the belief in demons found throughout the world as a branch of theology, anthropology or a similar discipline. Finally, there are religious demonologists, who study demons in an attempt to recognize their workings in people’s lives and to help people who come under their influence.
A modern religious demonologist operates very much like ghost hunters and parapsychologists. They enter homes where unexplained activity occurs documenting it in photographs, video footage, and audio recordings. The principle difference is first that demonologists are usually called in on violent cases. Again as the late demonologist Lou Gentile put it “we’re not the people you call when you hear footsteps in the hall way, we’re the ones you call when you’re in a hotel room and to afraid to go home.� While demonologists do get called into cases where only a human spirit, a ghost, is involved more often the activity is of an especially disturbing nature and needs to be removed by some means.
Originally i wanted to just work with Troubled teens or Addiction Recovery...or just Help feed the Hungry and work with orphan Kids. THATS IT!!! Then i was running into Fully Possessed Teenagers, Cutting themselfs or Angry and wanting to commit Murder. I would have teenagers tell me I feel an evil spirit in me. Little By little i was dealing with a TON and very Overwhelming Group of Possessed People. So i began Fasting and Praying for them ....ONE CHURCH CASE AFTER ANOTHER People would be set free from this. VERY POSITIVE. During this time i Learned alot about "Deliverance Technics"(EXORCISIMS) i say OJT or ON THE JOB TRAINNING.

- Do you feel one opens themself up to malevolent forces just through curiosity?
My Experience i would say most people got messed up by PLAYING WITH the OUJI boards or reading and trying to practice witchCraft......getting Involved heavy into Drugs, Invocation of Demons.. YES they opened themselfs to this Through Curiousity. If you dibble Dabble into the Dark you can get BIT.
I had PEOPLE i was dealing with that were Diagnosed by there Doctors as BI POLAR or SCHIZOPHRENIC then months Later Completely Normal. I am rushing through the Years Skipping alot of stuff.
As a Minister, I also would conduct house blessings but then people starting calling me about wierd stuff in there House or GHOST , Or Poltergiest Activity. So before i knew i was Doing house Cleansings also. YES I HAVE ALOT OF STUFF HAPPEN.....
Dealing with Demons they have names they go by so Yes i have studied alot of DEMON LIST , i have had to do research on all sorts of Demon worship and Diffrent Dieties. I am now very Familiar with all Kinds of Majic, Eastern Religion. Diffrent forms of Occults and Occult Holidays , In my Field i feel like it is wise to know what you are dealing with...... NOTHING SHOCKS ME ANYMORE....or Scares me.
Now people only Call me if the worst stuff is happening. Like getting your Hair Pulled. Getting Scratched.Feces being thrown at you from your walls . Tormenting Dreams , Objects being teleported around in your house like your Fridge is gone and now in the Basement or all your Furniture being Stacked to the Ceiling. HEARING SCRATCHING NOISES ON THE WALL, SMELLING SULFUR In the house Ect.......................... usually i show up when people dont want to go back into the house.

- Why do you think there has been a rise in reported possessions causing the Vatican to train more Exorcists?
i dont know about the Vatican why they are training more Excorcist? they do have a very good Technic they use .
i do connect in my network of Exorcist and it is true there is more rise of Demonic Cases. SHOOOOT i think i can go Full time in this Job, BUT I DONT WANT IT......
FACT there is more acceptance in Demon worship in the world today and is very much out in the open, i do know that. Here in Austin Texas , Heck go Join A Coven or Satanist group everything is cool. BLACK MAJIC or white majic, it is cool now. The sell of OUji Boards on the Rise. Everything is Excepted. Everything is in the open.

- Do you think that Satan and his demons can and do, and the angels and Archangels, ever walk the earth in human form? YES.....have i seen this YES.......Fallen Angels , we call them Principalities Ephsians 6:12.....or STRONGMAN..... Archangels No......Seen Demons YES...

- What about vampires, do you believe in them, in their existence?

- What I've read so far on vampires is it is a genetic condition, one is not "made" and they are not evil. A lot follow religion/believe in God. Do you agree?

- Do you know any vampires and if so, what kind?
yes i do believe they Exsist. Have i ever seen them NO. I have dealt with Evil Spirits within people that Claim they were vampires when they were cast out the person no longer Claimed to being a vampire only that the Spirit Entered into them by drinking Blood, DEMONS will say what ever and Lie. But i have never seen one Manifest.
I do believe they Can Shape Shift and Fly. YES I DO BELIEVE in that. IT IS PURELY DEMONIC. i have others who have had to deal with this . I believe their Stories but then they are just stories if i have no proof. BUT IN MY FAITH I DO BELIEVE.

- Are you a person of faith? in do i have Faith? or am i Christian or blieve In Jesus Christ?

- You've read my bio, you know my beliefs on witchcraft and where I come from. What is your experiences with witches.

- What kind?
Honestly the only witches i knew where my Aunts they were Catholics but at night they Practice Healing Majic, Indian Traditons , Or white Majic. The Community Called them CURANDERROS Healers......

- In your opinion, do you believe bringing these facets of our society out in the open would do harm or good? Me personally i feel it would bring more harm.Not that most of these people would want to do harm. I believe that Most Witches mean to do Good but the Supernatural Can not be Controlled, at lower levels you may be able to manupilate a situation but after awhile a price will have to be paid as you venture deeper there is danger ...It is the Doors that are opened into the Supernatural that i have seen cause Damage, Death and Destruction.

- Anything you would like to add that people would like to know? Paranormal City -What we are about? we are not here to argue Religion or Push Doctrine on anyone. we just want to RECORD THE PARANORMAL FOR OUR CREDIBITLY AND TO RESEARCH.
the Past Ten years we as a team have had alot of Experiencs and Stories, we have never Filmed or recorded our Work. So that means we can be making stuff up. So these Next 12 months we are going to Film and Record you can follow us on YOutube PARANORMALCITY ATx..... we would like to work with other Groups in the Paranormal Field and Exchange Information. In Central Texas.

- Does your faith (Pentecostal) have any documentation on the following and, if so, what?
* ghosts - YES we do , videos of Poltergiest , Posssessed homes... i have alot of PERSONAL EXPIERNCES the Past 15 yrs , dealing with all kinds of Hauntings. We have Groups that we Call CLEANERS that go in and remove these Entities. Our Methods are very Effective.
UP UNTIL recently i have been sending teams in with the Cleaners to video tape , record on film to have Evidence of all of our Findings.....IF THERE are WERWOLFS, VAMPIRES??? i believe so ! but where is the Video footage , the facts? so far they have all been stories or dreams ? i believe in them and from what i have heard from some our teams they say they have seen such things..... I BELIEVE THEM...BUT until we have facts , they are just stories. - I also believe all these things to be wicked and evil. PURE EVIL...
I'm Writting a Book Called "THE ART OF THE GREAT LIGHT"- it's our technic when we encounter these entities and Diabolic cases on how We handle it. Kind of like a manual for those who work in our kind of Field of work.
* witches- we have a TON of EX witches from all kinds of PAGAN believes ...we have WICCANS, THORS, BLACK WIZARDS , WHITE WITHCES, SHAMMANS, FORMER HIGH RANKING SATANIST , Cuarranderros , SHAPESHIFTERS,.......our Church is full of all of the Above. they are now converted FILLED WITH THE HOLYSPIRIT CHRISTIANS. AWESOME.....they play a big roll in helping me in my field of work..... they have given me great insight.... THEY are all filled with the POWER OF THE HOLYGHOST. The HOLYGHOST IS ONE SPIRIT. it acts like spirit Guide for us kinda like for a Meduim or Psyhcic uses SPIRIT GUIDE(S).
But first one must rennounce all there other spirit Guide(S) before recieveing the Baptisim of the HOLYSPIRIT (FIRE)- once you recieve it you cross over and seee the TWO OPPOSING FORCES .....YOU SEE THE ANGELIC SIDE OF HEAVEN. or what we call heaven. Then you see the Demonic side of things which they once opperated in. This is where we cant Compromise our faith.
BELOW are Children of the Dark.....all these below do exsist. actually they are alot more that have yet to be Recorded.
your ARCH DEMONS - we call these STRONG MEN- the Following are {EXAMPLES} ....... Vassago
* demons
* vampires
* werewolves * Arch Demons
* Watcher Angels (are these considered the Fallen Angels?)


Yes you can Qoute me....

Charlie has extended the invitation to anyone who has questions or comments of their own to contact him. He is the most genuine person and will treat you with the utmost respect. Please feel free to send him a message on Twitter.

Remember, all is not as it seems.

Live well,

SHAMANISM - Spirituality or Magick?

At the onset of my research into this centuries old way of life I'd already had in place preconcieved notions and ideas. While doing my research I was very surprised at certain things that came up which, now, have changed some of those notions. On the other hand some have stayed the same. The biggest difference is the amount of knowledge and insight I have gained, some quite literally fascinating.

Read on to see if your understandings stay the same or become different as to what you had before...

Live Well,



Shamanism predates all known religions and might be the basis of which all religion was built upon, although shamanism itself is not a religion. It is a set of beliefs and behaviors which allows the shaman to shift consciousness to obtain information, heal, retrieve souls, or seek for guidance from the ancestors in the spirit world. Traditional shamanism has remained unchanged over time.

Modern day shamanism has a more eclectic approach and is more in tune with the problems of the "modern world" while using the methodology of the "primitive world." According to Tom Cowan, author of "Shamanism: As a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life", the modern American shaman "...draws upon what is best in our sociey while it reforms those areas harmful to the human spirit and the health of the planet", (page 12).

The word shaman is the English translation of the word saman, which is Tungus, and mean's "to know". The Tungus are an indigenous people of Altai Mountains in Siberia. The word shaman in Tungus designates the shamanic way of life, experiences and beliefs rather than a religion. It appears as if the word saman may be a derivative of the Tibetan word for a Buddhist monk, saman.

Though there is no universal Native American word for shaman, there were nevertheless shamans. The Ojibwa Native American INdian tribe did have jugglers of the "hidden truth", called jes' sakid. These jugglers were able to speak to goods, spirits, and heal. Eskimos named their shamans angakok, who claimed to be capable of flight and they journey to the Otherworld (the Sea).

In some African cultures, the shaman is a diviner, a person who is chosen by the ancestors to be a link between the living and the dead. The Igbo tribe located in parts of West Africa named their shaman's Dibia. John Matthews, author of the "Celtic Shaman", states that the Celtic Shamans are called Geilt, meaning madman, wild, or file, meaning poets, (page 4).

The word Shaman has since come to represent all those outside of Siberian culture who practice shaman like techniques. These include witchdoctors, medicine men, Dreamwalkers, and diviners. Although the shaman goes by manty names in many cultures, it is a generally accepted term to describe somene who fits the known description but it is most important to state that it is a job, not a person.

  • A shaman will enter into "shamanic ecstasy" (a state of intense joy beyond rational thought), containing 3 main points:
    1Shamanic Ecstasy
  • Prophetic Ecstasy
  • 3. Mystical EcstasyEcstasy is a state of consciousness which is entered for onoe or more of the following reasons:
  • To engage in soul retrieval
  • To guide the sould of the dead
  • To divine answers from the spirits in regards to future events
  • To add to his personal knowledge by associating with higher beings.

There are 2 primary ways of becoming ashaman: hereditary or receiving the call. There are also 2 secondary ways of becoming a shaman: being appointed or choosing to do so of your own free will. These self-made shamans are considered less powerful than the former 2.

Extreme psychotic like episodes marks receiving the "call", usually epileptic appearing and is often confused with epilepsy. This is not confused with a mental disorder. The "call" is a temporary unbalance that the shaman experiences, and is usually brought under control once he or she accepts the call. Refusing or delaying of the call can often amount in continuing of the mental unbalance and can result in permanent metal illness if it is avoided long enough. It can also be maked by being attacked by an animal, struck by lightening or some other near death experience.

Traditional training is usually done be the current shaman, and if not available, the tribal elders. The traditional training includes the names of spirits, history of the clan (tribe); herbalist and other needed to skills to become a successful shaman.

Neo-shamanic training involves reading how-to books, attending weekend seminars, and joining shamanic schools. Neo-shamans can have an ecstatic experience and or receive the "call", though this is often not the case.

The shamanic initiation is achieved both in this world and in the next and it takes place simultaneously. This initiation is part of the "call" that all traditional shamans receive.

The true initiation of shamans all have a common theme: Ritual dismemberment and replacement organs either by spiritual means or with other matter, i.e. crystals. There is a common theme among tribal shamanic initiations:

  1. Time spent alone, away from the tribe, in the wilderness

  2. Being symbolically made to look like a corpse

  3. Symbolic funeral

  4. Descent into the Otherworld

  5. Self-induced or drug induced trance

  6. Period of training

  7. Rites of passage or torture

Public initiation is performed after a period of initial ecstatic experience or "true" initiation, and formal training with the current shaman. It is highly ritualistic, often involving physical pain and feats, and is witnessed by the tribe.

The neo-shaman, depending upon which shamanic path he/she is following will also engage in a public "type" ceremony, though this is less public than the ceremony of the traditional shaman. This ceremony can involve a sweat lodge, pubilc drumming circle or a vision quest, of which the neo-shaman will go on a weekend retreat with other neo-shamans. As we can see there is a common thread throughout shamanic "public" initiations as there are in the "true" initiations:

  1. The number nine is prevalent or a division of

  2. Some sort of assent

  3. Ritual death and resurrection

In conclusion we can attempt to define a shaman as one "who knows". A traditional shaman as one whom follows the ecstatic path and who can claim hereditary powers. Neo-shaman as someone who has a more eclectic approach and is more in tune with the problems of the modern world while using the megthodology of the primitive world. And that shamanism is the practice of the ecstatic experience and has certain beliefs and behaviors that qualify it as such.

Also, that no matter what name a shaman may go by, being a shaman is a job description, one not always wanted or asked for, but a job nonetheless. That no matter the name you choose to call yourself as long as you hold to the basic principles and beliefs of a shaman, then you are one.

Source: "On Shamanism," by Strix d'Emerys

note: source -