Thursday, April 15, 2010

Part 1. Moon of Drama

**** My blog entry on the Moon of Drama will come in two instalments. I’ve set it up where you can read part 1 and part 2, one after the other. Good reading.

After re-reading this month’s blog entries I noticed that there seemed to be a repetitive theme. I certainly didn’t do it on purpose to frequently discuss how challenging it is or was for children to live with paranormal gifts. Yesterday, a student of mine who’s 61 years old approached me with some tough questions about her past and her challenges in letting go of old programming. I noticed again after we talked for over an hour that the topic that surfaced was that of “children dealing with emerging talents and abilities, and searching for caregivers or teachers to help them meet these challenges.”

Somewhere during the discussion RP mentioned that she had picked up a book on Shamans and Shamanism. She cited a few general definitions of the words shaman and shamanism and asked if I could clear up a few of her questions.

“It’s written often that a Shaman is someone that speaks to Spirit,” she stated, “and yet these days there are so many people who acknowledge having that ability. Does that mean they are all Shamans?”

Before I could answer the question, RP continued while reading her notes carefully kept on 100 plus pages of her journal.

“It’s written” she added, “that a Shaman can go into trance, do healing, and understand the world beyond the veil. It just seems to me that these are also abilities that lots of individuals on spiritual paths --- can do. I’m sure they are not all Shamans.” RP kept her eyes on her book the whole time and I could feel that there was some embarrassment or even shame moving through her thoughts. I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around it and so I listened and waited.

Finally, after a short silence because I was expecting her to go through a few more pages of her journal, she announced: “A Shaman must have been able to do something that was unique and powerful because I can’t believe people would have persecuted and killed shamans for something as little as communicating with the dead.”

“I’d like to know what made them different and why it hasn’t been written yet,” RP finally said suddenly looking straight at me daringly. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Whether she had calculated the whole discussion or not, RP had managed to send out all of the right signs in hope to manipulate a particular reaction out of me. The seriousness and vulnerability; the notes in her journal; the introduction to the conversation with a short summary of her life story, and finally, the strong and confident final question --- RP had managed to create the perfect circle or container for a teacher to teach or a shaman to appear out of nowhere.

Rather than dealing with the question itself, I asked RP if it was OK for us to look at the whole process she had just experienced through talking with me? She nodded with somewhat of a frown but accepted my suggestion with curiosity.

“Shamanism” I said, “is best defined as survival living. What makes Shamanism unique is that the people who devote to this path live according to natural and cosmological law and reality.”

I pointed out that what I saw through our discussion was a cosmological process. It’s not fair to say that everything we do, think, and act on, is mentally planned. I actually believe that the mind has a small role to play in our daily experience. From a shamanic point of view most of our behaviours, decisions, and attitudes are triggered or impacted by nature and the stars. The Moon for example is an important influence on Earth. If it can regulate the tides there is no doubt it can play havoc (so to speak) on my physical, emotional, and psychological body. Yet, before we give ourselves permission to blame the Moon for all our mood swings or our aggressive temperament, I’d like to remind everyone that how shamanism perceives man and nature is somewhat different than Western perspective.

This month (April) we’ve been impacted by the 3rd moon in the cycle which on our contemporary Wheel is called the Moon of Drama. We can give it pretty much any name as long as we understand that this moon is about “mimicking beauty.” I learnt about this moon by observing my children when they were three years old. There’s intellectually understanding the notion of “mimicking beauty” and then, there’s empirically getting it.

“Shamanism,” to told RP by sarcastically attempting to make a note of my comment, “is all about experience.” RP giggled.

Three year olds don’t have a full baggage of conditioning. For them everything is beautiful – good or bad (so to speak). A hot stove top, the opening of a VCR, dust bunnies, coloured crayons, guns and chlorine --- all of these are beautiful which for them means pleasant to all of their 5 senses. An adult may understand certain situations as dangerous but a child that age understands every experience as excitingly wonderful until they learn otherwise. Many years ago I visited with an Inuit family who let their three year old play around with a machete, the kind that cuts through ice. It was huge and somewhat heavy for a child. And still the little tyke played with it for hours, challenged by the weight and the size of it. Where a Westerner would have been tempted to take it away from the toddler to protect him, these parents laughed at the boy and his adorable, crazy faces without any worries. Where I was cringing at first, in the end I was completely comfortable with the situation.

“Programming,” I commented to RP “is at the bottom of everything we do, we think, and we believe in. Shamanism attempts to teach us that a dimension of the self (spirit) remains outside of that perspective.”

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