queenofillusion (queenofillusion) wrote in sorgitzak,
queenofillusion
queenofillusion
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shamanistic craft

Been thinking a lot lately about the Shamanistic aspects of the Craft. Part of that stems from reading Emma Wilby's book about Isobel Gowdie. (highly recommended!!!)

I've known a lot of people who got initiated/involved in the Craft, only to go a bit crazy. I know that one of the axioms that I was trained with is that...when you go through that shamanic crisis you either come out the other side 1. a shaman 2. crazy or 3.dead (meaning you don't return at all). No one I know has NOT come back alive from the shamanic crisis, but I think that its a fine line to walk between shaman and crazy. I think that danger never goes away.

Part of the issue, I feel, is that our general community (meaning non-pagans) don't support shamans in their midst. There is little structure to figure out when someone is a shaman and when someone is crazy, or when one has slipped into another. There is "hearing voices" that are helpful and that don't make it so that you can't function and there is "hearing voices" where you end up not being functional and can even be harmful to yourself or others. Is that the fine line? Functionality? Practicality? Usefulness?

If you hear voices (say, of your spirit familiars) and these voices are useful to yourself or others and don't ask you to jump off bridges or hurt people...and you hold down a regular job and are a functional member of society, how is that crazy? Yet, many counselors would not appreciate or understand if you told them you heard such voices. Perhaps, we NEED pagan-spiritual counselors out there, the same as there are Christian counselors?

The other part of the issue is that our pagan community does not support this either in general. How many pagan paths have structures in place to support and understand shamanic crisis and the aftermath? Native paths have Elders who know when something is right and when something is not...they support that which is truly shamanic and can see when it is something else.

Can we find a way to put these support structures in place? Can we find the clues from our pagan past to see how they used to do it? Can those structures work today? Or do we need to build new ones based on the past?

Veronica
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