Shamanism and the New Age
2022-08-30

As part of the greater Contemporary Spirituality umbrella, I ask if holding a space for the spiritually questing within an extremely inclusive Shamanic practice would be welcomed?

Sha'Yo Lai, a 21st Century Crone

In the spirit of celebrating diversity, I believe that the answer is YES.

Shamanism – a rose with many names

I believe Shamanism is as old as humankind. Certainly, cave drawings and ancient burial sites have been uncovered that depict some kind of shamanistic practice. Climatic difference aside, indigenous and tribal peoples across the globe share some basic tenets of the ‘unseen world’ – all of creation, and how they connect with it.
In traditional practices, a shaman or medicine person assists in that connection whether for spiritual development, community wellness or healing. It is Nature-based in its core.

We respect our ancestral teachings and let me re-assure you that no cultural appropriation is taking place as all traditional cultures have links to shamanic practice albeit called by a different name. Here in the West, we strive to honour the origins of any of the techniques and practices used if they are not from our direct lineage and/or culture.
As one of my teachers, of the Huna tradition, so generously said, “Credit who you will, as long as the spirit is moved”.

Today, more and more people are turning to nature to find connection, meaning, and a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves.
In the modernity of our times, it may be described as a way of navigating our life experiences within a Nature-based Spirituality. It values the individual’s journey and guides a consciously and deliberately mindful existence.
Its goal would be ‘Universal Connection’ by navigating the deeply ‘Personal’.

Shamanism really can’t be described as a Faith because one isn’t required to believe in anything, until you’ve walked it for yourself. There are a few premises: - that everything in Nature has a consciousness or if you prefer, a state of ‘being’, of some kind; that we can learn how to tune in and connect with such consciousness in the pursuit of meaning, resilience and sustenance.

“Maybe this has happened to you: You’re on a hike through a grove of trees and the sunlight comes through the branches in beams, warming your skin, and all of a sudden you know you are a living thing, part of the ecosystem around you.
Or you reach a mountain peak and are in total awe of the view below and how nature reveals itself to be a metaphor for life, over and over again—you have to endure physical and mental challenge in order to shift perspective and see transformation; there is no constant except change, whether that’s the weather or the people you are in relationship with.
Or, you plant seeds in your garden, water and tend to the soil, and witness growth, harvesting the final product with gratitude and reverence for the earth that made your meal possible.” (Yogajournal.com)

If you feel drawn to this, then you invite yourself on a spiritual quest where your practice will inform you as you go along. In a nutshell, we ‘DO’ in order to ‘KNOW’.

I have grown up in enough racial and religious diversity as to experience and develop this first hand.

Don’t ask me how we did it, but our Traditional Knowledge, Wisdom and Energy Work didn’t seem to conflict with the various organised religions in my families’ lives. Having said that though, I don’t think my mother admitted to her priest that she also had a local Medicine Man.

So, what am I offering?

In the spirit of supporting diversity, I believe I can hold a space for those who may be spiritually questing under the Contemporary Spirituality and New Age mantle.

I believe that the New Age movement has had some very bad press and has been portrayed as little nutty, of little substance and not to be taken too seriously. It may be true that the yearning for Connection has led to a type of supermarket of spiritual consumerism. But let’s not confuse ‘exploring’ with ‘dabbling’. Most of all though, let’s not judge.

I’m offering an attentive ear for those who may want to talk about their own spirituality, perhaps the conflicts they may experience in their lives.
The Multi-Faith Chaplaincy has a big heart and a warm embrace. If you allow it, it can be a place of nurturing for anyone and everyone regardless of your personal flavour.

So, if you want to talk about your twenty-first century spirituality in a confidential, non-judgemental, and wholly, inclusive ‘field’, my contact details may be found on the MFC website.

We ’DO’ in order to ‘KNOW’.

For those who already are on the path of Shamanic development, I would like to offer monthly gatherings at the MFC.

  • I hope to offer Shamanic Journeying using the Shaman’s Horse.
  • If appropriate, I would be keen to offer Conscious Connected Breathing Practice for those who may feel a little ‘stuck’.
  • Join me in the prayer of Dance, for this truly can offer opportunity for divine connection. Simple tonal dance may blossom into Ecstatic Trance or multi-wave rhythm dancing or even Whirling if enough hands go up.

These are not ceremonies for absolute beginners, so if that’s you, we might have to talk about a simpler start for you.
Though I don’t plan to ‘teach’ I can be an effective guide, a Pathfinder and offer a variety of signposts.

My heart’s personal passion though lies with Women’s’ Mysteries Teachings – teachings of the Moonlodge and of the Moonpause – our natural menstrual cycles and Menopause

Expectations.

These gatherings will be offered free of charge. I consider them to be my ‘Give-away’. But in keeping with Shamanic tradition, an exchange will be expected: - a show of respect, manners and good intention.

Walk with Spirit. Welcome all Two-leggeds: - Shamanic practitioners, apprentices, questers, Pagans, Reiki healers, Energy workers, Mediums, Crystal healers, Wiccans and Witches, Pipe Carriers and Lodge Pourers to name just a few… if you would like to join me in Prayer and Ceremony, get in touch… All My Relations.

Feel free to start a dialogue below, it’s good to talk…...

Published by StaffNet, University of Aberdeen

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