This afternoon, after looking through web pages on Shamanism and Animism on Internet, I came to the conclusion that I’m a mix of Shamanism and Traditionalism. I find that lots of people who are simply shamanic often plunge into theatrics. Their experiences are always so dramatic and expressed in such a way that it’s often over kill (my opinion of course). The difference between shamanism and traditionalism is that traditionalists are somewhat more focused on the simple expressions of magic, phenomenon, and divinity. They often don’t need to talk about it because it’s part of every day living and natural. Those sites on internet that commercialize and basically market Shamanism often turn me off. This isn’t to say that they don’t offer an accurate description of Shamanism or don’t offer exactly what they promise as healing experiences… I understood through exploring these different web pages that I look for more than a shamanic experience. I look for a way of life.
Today SO spent the afternoon with me. We talked about the Moon of Omnipotence, which refers to the full moon of last week and the cosmological influence this month. SO went to the Montreal Moonlodge last Saturday and I didn’t because of a previous engagement. Nevertheless, we both experienced the power of the Moon despite the fact that we weren’t together. Sharing each other’s stories was nice and empowering. I was glad that she stopped by to share…
When SO talked about the Moon of Omnipotence she often said that she felt intimidated by it. She didn’t feel that she understood the moon enough to be able to get a good grasp on what it was offering her. She mentioned that during the Moonlodge the Moon of Omnipotence was often discussed in relationship to other moons. MS for example who was at the Moonlodge explored the Moon of Omnipotence with the Moon of Inter-Relations because of the Blue Moon influence last December. I found this kind of exploration somewhat too deep for me. It brought me back to the concepts of Shamanism versus Traditionalism. Some people like to get complicated when looking at these different facets of the Wheel.
I explained to SO that if she was intimidated by the Moon of Omnipotence then, the topic of intimidation would continuously pop up for her this month. It was as simple as that… At first she cringed at the idea but after sharing a few of her personal stories she realized I was right. Lets hope she reads this blogs and decides to share some of her stories through the comment box… As for as I’m concerned the Moon of Omnipotence is all about who has power over who or what has power over what.
All afternoon we sat outside and we watched the birds, the dragonflies and the dog show us what omnipotence is in the kingdom of animals. The Ravens for example will raid the nests of the Starlings and Swallows.
“Now that is power!” I showed SO pointing at the Raven who perches on the roof tops calling out its quarry and baiting it insultingly until it chases the Raven away. As you watch the scene unfold you almost feel sorry for the Raven who literally gets battered by the smaller birds. And yet the real drama is happening at home base where the Raven’s partner gulps down the eggs or the newborn chicks of the Swallow or Starling who left the nest unattended.
Humans are not very different than Ravens or Cougars or Raccoons or…. The whole idea of totems is to get in touched with our inner animal but also to understand that we play unconsciously or instinctually with power with every inhale and exhale.
How do you hunt and catch your prey?
What does prey mean for us Westerners?
Prey basically implies that someone or something is desired and hunted by someone else. I watched a room full of preys and predators on Saturday while I was at a wedding celebration. At one point I watched a woman actually attract the attention of a married man who was busy in a conversation with his wife and co-workers. The way the woman chose an isolated table in the room, the way she sat, sipped her drink, glared at the man, and walked over to the bar where she made sure there was more than enough space for him to follow and bump into her was certainly worthy of a panther. 20 minutes later both the woman and the gentleman were chatting out doors away from the busy crowd. Power is in being able to use your wiles to manifest a desirable outcome.
“If you cry and you act as a victim that too is power,” I told SO, “there are ways of getting attention and getting support simply by down playing your abilities.”
I explained to SO that the Moon of Omnipotence was basically created by the Moon of Self-Value, the Moon of Drama, the Moon of Affirmation and the Moon of Welcome. You need to bring all of these moons and their attributes together to be able to understand the Goddess of Omnipotence (so to speak). There’s no doubt in my mind that the Moon of Omnipotence triggers basic themes in our lives the way all moons do.
The Moon of Omnipotence wants us to be powerful. It wants us to create and manifest. It wants us to be better and stronger than all others. It wants us to survive or be the top man or woman on the food chain. It’s not surprising that during this moon we are asked to look at illusion, manipulation, intimidation and end results. What does it mean to have power and how do we use this power? Money, status, age and gender are superficial power sources. In truth, we use emotions, thoughts, actions, reactions, words and body language every day to exercise power over one another. How do we fair in this game of power on a daily basis? Or we the ones who eat or get eaten?
“Why doesn’t the Staling or the Swallow ever stop chasing the Raven away?” I asked SO, “why don’t these birds learn and change their behaviours especially when they’ve seen Ravens raid their nests over and over again, every spring and summer?”
There are several reasons why – the Starling and the Swallows are committed to protecting their own. It makes no sense for them to defend their eggs or their chicks from within the nest. It would almost be sacrilegious. They could harm their family this way. They are also warriors. They are aggressive and quickly rattled. Their basic nature explains their behaviours. The same way that our basic nature as human individuals explains our behaviours. For example some always react to crisis with panic while others are cool and collected in the same situations. We can’t help but repeat the same attitudes and behaviours. Or can we?
With the help of the Medicine Wheel we are taught to explore and uncover the different parts of our inner community and inner realities. If we become conscious of our behaviours and our attitudes we could possibly with time come to change them. At leas that’s the basic idea.
I explained to my husband this weekend that he has the tendency of empowering women when he speaks to them. He’s 6 feet 4 and when he talks to women he either hunches his shoulders, crouches so that he could look at them from bellow, or sits down in such a way that he’s lower than they are. He compliments them and puts emphasis on their qualities and strengths. He gives them the room to speak. He also smiles and touches freely as if to reassure or give affection, support. With men he does the opposite. He stands straight, speaks more harshly, and always looks at them firmly in the eye. He doesn’t over do it on the talking and makes sure that he’s clear and to the point.
“These behaviours,” I told him, “are expressions of power.”
“Is it good or bad?” he asked almost defensively as if that’s the way we are taught to think in Western society.
“It’s neither good or bad,” I responded, “it’s just plain power.”
If we could all get to a point where we wouldn’t need guilt, shame, regret or envy to exist we could actually consciously and sincerely learn to love ourselves and others through the reality of who we are. Shamanism has a tendency of showing us this truth through phenomenal experiences. One in a lifetime time solution. Traditionalism shows us that it’s a walk, a practice or course of action and that if we commit and surrender to this cosmic process we’ll inevitably reach wholeness and wellness. Isn’t this what Christians speak of when talking about reaching the Kingdom of God?
P.S. This picture was one of many that were taken to market my son's first band right out of high school. This is one of the original band members of "i Hollywood." By the way this band no longer exists.