Thursday, 11 September 2008

Shamen and healers

I am posting this, fully cognizant that today is 11 September. I could say so many things -- the horrific nature of the attacks, the number of lives lost, the number of families, altered forever. However, nothing I say, no matter how heartfelt, can make it better. Nothing I say can turn back time, or reunite families. I can be sorry, though. Reality is sometimes cruel; but, I suppose we must move forward.

I would like to talk about my interest in Shamanic cultures, such as those that exist within the Native American community, and in other populations, throughout the world. I shall readily admit that I don't know as much about this, as I would like to. Also, there are many others, who are far more knowledgeable than myself. However, I have read quite a bit about Shamen; and their role as healers within their own tribes. In many cases, they have an intricate knowledge of the healing properties of various plants and substances. They are sometimes called 'medicine men', too.

The Shaman could be anyone in their community, providing they had the mental toughness and the knowledge required. Often, the Shaman someone who had inside into the frailty of the human spirit. Certain powers and abilities were attributed to them exclusively.

Only they were allowed to use and give access to the vision-inducing plants, such as Peyote. Only spiritual healers were permitted to have knowledge of the spirit world. In some communities, those who were considered to be spiritually or physically hyper aware, abnormal, more sensitive were better candidates for the position of spiritual healer.

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