After I finished The Ravens, there came this thought to paint the shaman. A shaman or The shaman, or, The Shaman? As you might know, I have been reading, listening and talking to many people over the years about the occult (hidden), esoterica (the initiated), magic (getting stuff done via consciousness) and all that goofy stuff. People join groups, cults and sects to learn about these matters and use it, fair enough. Most people want to belong, belong to a group and feel safe and cuddly too.
When in a group, many people begin to take on the group’s thinking, rituals and forms of expression including language. A wonderful book on these phenomena – Egregores – is written by Mark Stavish. Most of us want to belong and feel connected to others. I have this too, but not always or rather: not often. My goal is to disconnect and I can do this better when I let labels be for what they are, labels given by people and seen from a certain angle.
The angle comes from the egregore, the group mind or even, the mind beyond the group. The group strengthens the beliefs and lead people in a certain direction, one that is good for the group as a whole but not necessarily for the individual. People begin to believe too much they have become something, like a Wicca, a magician or a shaman. The artefacts, the words, the way of talking, sitting and all that posturing. So tiresome and boring.
So there they are, the special people who see unicorns, talk to angels, fly in saucers. All fine but these are side effects if they are true. The acid test for a developing human being is answered by a simple question:
stuff happens, what do you do with it
So you spoke to your angel, and now what? Do you continue to tell me you spoke to your angel and bombard me with all these premonitions and pseudo wisdoms? And now you followed the shaman workshop and got in touch with your inner self? Great, what do you do with that? Bore me with stories about how we lost touch with nature and that shamans can heal people? Do it but leave the angels, unicorns and shamans for what they are. You should not need any of that.
What is the shaman about? Being shaman is for a part about decision-making. It is about feeling or exploring future probabilities and then decide which is the best next step. It is not about dressing up and LARP-ing, banging a drum in a circle in the forest and drink horrible drinks. Those were the tools available back then in certain locations. Now we have our tools, or at least, have developed them if we are a true shaman.
But people want to belong and promote the group thinking. People do not like to stand alone in pitchblack-ness on the edge of what might be a cliff. A shaman would think she or he might fly, an ordinary human knows she or he will fall.