The Shaman of today is transformed. We live in a world of massive mega grocery stores with 1,000 different types of mustard; you can purchase a car and have it delivered without leaving your home; news and current events are flashed on the TV the instant it happens; and now, Global policy takes root in 280 characters. Of course the Shaman has changed. The world has changed.
Shamans, by their very nature, are adapters. Adapting to the environment either externally or internally. Different regions of the world shows the differences of the Shamanic Path. A Mongolian Shaman enters into the Path with violent spirits dismembering the recruitee from their own “personality” where all that’s left is bones. They are then rebuilt in according to the Mongolian ways. While a North American Plains Indian will take a Vision Quest, without any psychotropics, and will be given information about themselves, what to place in a Medicine Pouch and how to call on Spirit Guides in times of trouble. Then they sit with a Shaman Elder for a period of time allowing the Wisdom to enter their own Spirit.
There are many “traditionalist” who will disagree with my viewpoint that Shamanism is a living, growing organism suited for adaptation. Some feel, and will heatedly argue, it’s only for indigenous people living in the indigenous world. The modern Shaman of today is a Global Shaman and has changed and adapted with the times. The teepee is now a 3 bed 2 bath hopefully with a finished basement and a view. The cave is now a treatment room or basement set up for meditation, visionary and healing work. The horse is now an automobile with 5 speed transmission and 4 wheel drive. We are no longer bound by the boundaries of our living conditions. From Atlanta I can be in Siberia, where the term “Shaman” originated, within a day. I can watch a sunrise with a grits and eggs breakfast on the North Carolina coast and have dinner with poi, pig and lomi salmon that same day at a native Hawaiian sunset luau. In reality, with the use of Live Streaming, we can be in multiple places around the world AT THE SAME TIME all from the comfort of our chosen home.
A phrase I often say is; “the world needs more Shamans.” In reality, we need more Global Shamans. One who is boundless in time and space. One who is unrestricted by the rules set up by the “ruling class.” Ones who are free to think, say and act in ways in alignment with Great Spirit and Great Spirit alone. Yes, there are rules of life we all need to be in attendance to. Driving on the proper side of the street is but one of many. As I see it, rules come down to one thing. The “Golden Rule.” Stated many ways by many religions and Spiritual practices but essentially; “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The Global Shaman borrows the wisdom of all the ancestors of all nations, synthesizing this wisdom and making it their own without separation of any race or religion. After all, if we truly believe “We Are One” then the wisdom of the African Shaman fits perfectly in the mind and body of the Norwegian Shaman which congruent with the Shaman from the suburbs of Atlanta. Intention, integrity and compassion is the creed of The Global Shaman. There is no time to argue the intellectual delicacies of what a Shaman is or is not. Leave that to the critics. Instead, there is work to do in this world. “People saying: “It can’t be done,” are always being interrupted by somebody doing it.” ~ author unknown.
The Global Shaman may wear blue jeans, not a loin cloth. They may wear a gown with glistening jewels and pearls and not a mask of a scarecrow. Or they may wear a chef’s coat or yoga pants. That doesn’t make them less a Shaman. It makes them responsible citizens of the world. Ones who care to help this world we call home, a better, more livable place, are truly The Global Shamans. And yes, if you just look around … we DO need more Shamans in the world. On the bright side, our society has returned to an ancient technique of storytelling as evident of the 40,000 year old cave paintings. We now have emojis! ;-)