Are you a Shaman? Do you know any Shaman? Can I be a Shaman even though I am only 1/4 Native? How long does it take to become a Shaman? And I love the ones who inform me "I am a Shaman.' O Ryl!? I have been asked all these questions here on this site and in rl at all most EVERY Pow Wow, I get asked these questions.
Wait for it......
Wait for it.... Say this out loud real slowly....
THERE IS NO SUCH THING IN NATIVE CULTURE AS A Shaman!
There is NO word in any Indigenous Language for the word "Shaman." This is an imposition from misguided European beliefs that Native people somehow emigrated from Central Asia. The Bering Strait Land Bridge theory has yet to be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. However, Indigenous Creation stories tell us that origination started on Turtle Island or the "fifth world" (life above the earth), and not another part of the globe.
"We had no churches, no religious organizations, so Sabbath day, no holidays, and yet we worshiped. Sometimes the whole tribe would assemble and sing and pray; sometimes a smaller number, perhaps only two or three. The songs had a few words, but were not formal. The singer would occasionally put in such words as he wished instead of the usual tone sound. Sometimes we prayed in silence; sometimes each prayed aloud; sometimes an aged person prayed for all of us. At other times one would rise and speak to us of our duties to each other and to Usen. Our services were short."
Geronimo, Goyathlay (1829-1909),
Chiricahua Apache Chief
North America’s Indigenous people have an enduring heritage of connections with the natural world and universe. Native spiritual life knows that all forms of life in the natural world are inter-connected. No distinction is made between the spiritual and the secular because it is a holistic totality.
Prior to European contact, the deep knowledge of Indigenous cultures was highly developed, sophisticated, coherent and included cosmology--creation myths, accurately transmitted orally from one generation to the next, that explained the origins of Indigenous people and their relationship to the wider natural world.
Oral narratives explained the world as it was. It is also evident that the creative imagination of the storytellers had been at work and the various characters and heroes were also created to furnish amusement by their adventures and pranks. For example, Culture Hero, Raven narratives were as a result of the Northwest coast people's close proximity to this fun-loving, clever and sociable black bird.
Some Native peoples worshiped an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator or "Master Spirit." This entity was more widely accepted in post-European contact history when Native people were exposed to Christianity and its idea of a Supreme Male Being. Most tribal societies did not go so far as to 'gender' this entity, therefore Creator or Great Mystery or Great Spirit is considered neither male or female. Some tribal societies also venerated or placated a host of lesser supernatural entities, including evil sorcerers and witches who visited disaster, suffering, and death upon the world. The Tsimshian, for example, called some healers who caused physical, emotional, spiritual and mental damage, sorcerers rather than Spirit Doctors.
These are the main ceremonies I take part in and as a HEALER assist in. I have studied under Tribal Elders since I was 20 years old. I have yet to prove myself I am told. Powwows and Sweatlodges, Visionquests, Prayers, and seeking guardian spirits. The Naming Ceremony, which remembers the sacrifices of Nanabush in naming everything, requires that the Spirit Leader be asked by the father and mother to seek a name for their child. The seeking can be done through fasting, meditation, prayer or dreaming and my Ancestor spirits give the name.
My current teachings involve the Medicine Wheel. Here are some basics:
As is the case with general Medicine Wheel understandings from the Plains, the associate the four directions represented on the wheel with the four original colors of human (red, yellow, black, white). However, we place the colors directionally differently.
South: yellow people, (Asia), the color yellow, the Sun, and intellect.
West: black people, the color black, Thunderbird, and emotion.
North: white people, the color white, winter and physicality.
East: the red people, the color red, spirituality and the eagle.
I am a Cree Spirit Healer.
From what I see is that some people know and ask anything they probably have seen in movies about Indians and cowboys. And the sad is that they dont stop a minute to learn or ask about culture and history of the native nations. They just prefer the stories from the movies.
You will be a great HEALER!! I can see it from now!!
*In great and powerful OZ voice* I am the Shaman of the lollipop guild. *spooky hands* ooooooooooooooooo.
Sorry couldn't help it lol.
I love the Lolli Pop Guild dudes.
Many have asked me about them. Are the real? Have I seen one? What Magic is used to create them or to become one? They are called “Yee Naaldooshi”. Skinwalkers.
They are real.
A mortal who has gained exceptional powers of transformation, albeit at the cost of their soul, the Skinwalker is considered by Magizoologist to be a type of shape-changer unique to the North American continent.
Though the process is not well understood, Native magical lore says that the first step towards becoming a true skinwalker involves learning how to change one’s own shape. The practice of becoming an Animagi was extremely common amongst the First wizards and witches of North America. According to legend, Native wizards and witches were actually capable of taking numerous forms, depending on their need. Skinwalkers, however, take this practice one step further.
Its a secret ritual. The words for the ritual are so secret you will not find them written down any where. The ritual is passed from Generation to Generation ONLY. From Native witch to native witch where the ritual is passed VERBALLY ONLY.
If anyone claims they have this ritual written down ITS A FAKE.
Its done by a full moon. You wear the skin of the animal you want to become. A fire pit is created. Herbs are used. The words are spoken. The animal skin is wrapped around your body. And you become.
You make a bargain with a Hungry Spirit known as the evil spirit La Llorana, in return for knowledge and power. The malevolent spirit consumes part of the Mage’s soul, tearing chunks out of it and leaving behind a trace of its own dark essence, complete with a taste of its power and the spark of its knowledge.
Skinwalkers are supernaturally strong, fast, and hardy, and in full possession, at least in the early stages, all of their original magic. As they use their powers, however, the “infection” takes more and more of a hold. Consummate shapeshifters and tricksters, Skinwalkers acquire the shapes of any animal they consume. Unlike the normal transformations of the animagus, however, the Skinwalker’s shapes aren’t always natural: one might combine the fearsome size of the bear, the poisonous bite of the rattlesnake, and the eight monstrous arms of a tarantulal; Another swims the river in the form of a chitaneous shark, hard scales repelling all but the strongest of hexes, massive pincers plucking prey from the shore or passing boats with ease.
Only fire and certain ritually prepared weapons have any chance of permanently killing a Skinwalker. They are immune to all but the strongest of sorceries and can recover from virtually any wound, no matter how grave. Those who are too far gone loose much of their original magical talent (except, of course, the darkest and most perverse rituals taught to them by whatever spirit helped make them), but they replace it without abilities; flight, mesmerism, voice mimicry, and invisibility have all been reported in the lore
Do I believe in them? Yes I do.
I have a friend in Nevada , who had to do an investigation on a skin walker that was spotted so , I believe in them.too
Cool infotainment thanks for sharing!
I only heard and read bits and bits about them. Its interesting to be able to know a little more about their ways of changing and their nature.
For the past few years I have been a student. I have been learning. I will start to share some here. This will also be my story telling section when I write but for now...
Tribal Magic, also known as Aboriginal Magic, is a direct descendent of the magical practices of prehistoric man. Indeed, many of the practices, symbols and materials used in Tribal Magic seem to have remained virtually unchanged since prehistoric times; others have evolved as groups moved to a new location or made contact with other tribes.
In Tribal Magic, power is believed to exist in all things, living or otherwise; this power is often seen as alive and the source of magic. According to one member of the Wazhazhe (Osage): “All life is wakan (power). So also is everything that exhibits power, whether in action, as the winds and drifting clouds, or in passive endurance, as the boulder by the wayside. For even the commonest sticks and stones have a spiritual essence which must be reverenced as a manifestation of the all-pervading mysterious power that fills the universe.”
The Kwakiutl of the Northwest Coast believed that power is an invisible force found in all beings and objects, which can at times take on physical shape and which constantly changes. The Lakota of the Plains believe that not only does the power exist, but that any object that acquires the power also becomes wakan and should be respected.
Modern Magic practitioners may consider the idea of face paint or colored sand as being “quaint” or “primitive”, but the fact is that color plays an important role in Tribal Magic. Ceremonies will produce different effects depending upon the color of face paint, symbols, or other materials used by the Medicine Man/Woman. Color meanings differ widely from one tribe to another; an entire research paper could be devoted to this topic.
For example, among the Dineh, colors in their sand paintings usually refer to directions, and often have other symbolic meanings as well. White symbolizes the East, spiritual powers of various kinds, youth, or dawn. Black stands for the North, for old age, death, witchcraft, and night. Blue symbolizes the South, middle age, and summer, although in certain sand paintings it can also have negative meanings. Yellow stands for the West, for autumn, twilight, and maturity. Red doesn’t have a directional value, but it represents power, life, and sometimes danger.
Among Plains tribes, red often stood for blood, battle, or life; yellow for daylight; light blue for the sky or water; dark blue for mountains or victory. Green usually stood for plants; brown for the earth or sometimes for animals; black was night or sometimes war; white was snow, winter, or purity/cleanliness.
I wish I was that lucky to be able to learn the essence of the colors like that!! The hidden meanings and the difference between them!!
This is better than my Anthropology class was :)
Good read Brother. Thanks!
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