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Earth People Magazine

Volume 2 Number 5

Now Playing: 'To All My Relations'
By: Cody Sunbear Blackbird
Contact Sitting Owl for a copy

‘Young Chief Joseph’

Drawing by: Cathy (Caspar) of Meredith.

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce (Snake River area).  His native name, literally translated; ‘Thunder Rolling to Loftier Heights in the Mountains’.  See article.




Sitting Owl’s Editorial

The Power of Stories

By: Lynn V. Andrews

Maori Teachings
By: Rangimarie (Rose) Turuki Pere

Chief Joseph
Excerpts from ‘Touch the Earth’ Compiled by: T.C. McLuhan

Shamanism the Course

Their Opinions Differ and Punishment
By: Sri Chinmoy

By: Lynn V. Andrews

Maori Prayer
Author Unknown

The Most Beautiful Rose
Author Unknown


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From Readers


Hold your head up high,
Like Eagle wings in the sky.
Hush now don’t cry.
Each and everyone of us has our special place,
You my friend will go to forth base.
To better things, to dream land, over blue waters on yellow sand.
Be patient, your job’s not finished.

By: C/Moon (Pam Piccoli)

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Sitting Owl’s Editorial

Believe it or not, this part of the magazine is the hardest for me to do.  Almost every day I wake up inspired to write something here that I feel needs to be said to bring about healing for humanity and therefore our Mother Earth.  However when it comes to putting it down in writing one of four things happen.  One, I end up writing another article, two, I can’t find a way of putting an experience and the knowledge or wisdom that comes from the experience into words, three, I forget what I wanted to say, or four, after contemplating the idea over breakfast the importance of what I wanted to say dissolves into a petty detail.  But this morning I got this down before I could forget it.

Another difficulty is that I am trying to awaken, if possible, all of humanity to the truths of life, and although I am usually happy with the number of people picking up ‘Earth People’, only one hand-full of them are really looking at, appreciating and understanding what it is all about, which is life, and even then it is almost impossible for them to put this fully into living, because of the power of the fears, desires, and social duties that they are constantly being bombarded with every second of every day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that there are many people who are awake and doing what they can to heal humanity, Mother Earth, and Father Sky.  And, of course I extremely thankful and honoured to be able to help that one hand-full, as at the time of my transformation, when I first made my plea to the Great Spirit or God, I asked to help just one person, knowing that if that one truly understood what I understood then, life would be a lot more harmonious.

On a lighter note, Simon’s mid-winter, dark moon vision quest was completed, and I must say that I am proud of his patients and persistence.  Although at first he didn’t believe he was given his name, he finally realised that through many small visions or external messages, he was given a name, whether or not he wishes to use this name as blatantly as I use ‘Sitting Owl’ is another matter, as not very many people would understand or appreciate the sacredness and significance of it.  This can be a reminder to us all that the big visions and revelations that we read about, like Black Elk’s vision of the sacred hoop and its teachings or Jesus’s vision and its teachings, come very rarely and at a time when humanity is ready for it, and the little visions and revelations have great power and importance individually.

And regarding names, while sitting chatting to Ben one day I felt urged to tell him that his name had a lot to do with questing or seeking for the knowledge of life and the universe.  I said that he was probably a wolf, as in teacher, or an owl, as in knowledge and wisdom that cannot be deceived.  With that he felt the greatest affinity with the seeking and the owl bits, so has adopted the name ‘Seeking Owl’.  No wonder we get along and converse so harmoniously together.

One last important message as quoted from: ‘The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge’, which is Carlos Castaneda’s first book about his experiences learning from Don Juan, a Yaqui shaman:

“A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance.  Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it will live to regret his steps.”

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The Power of Stories

There are many types of stories, Dreamtime stories, Fairy stories, Horror stories, and Mythical stories just to name a few.  However when one looks at all these stories one begins to realise that all of them are trying to do the same thing, they are trying to express the workings of the human unconscious psyche, who’s language is symbolism and metaphors.

The first storytellers were actually the shamans, the first humans who through visions or dreams, had an understanding of the basic processes of the psyche.  As with all the deep understandings of life, and these truths about the stages that the psyche goes through during a lifetime, are only expressed in symbolic form.  Once one begins to discover the keys to these symbols one understands more about the unconscious workings of the human psyche, and thus understands life.  As a result of this understanding one finds that life takes on new and vibrant experiences, and both the good or uplifting experiences and the painful depressive ones become ecstatic.

I recently came across a book that was such a best seller that I found three people, with whom I have contact, who own a copy of the book.  It was obviously a best seller because it was dubbed as a book to empower women, and this it can do.  But although it is talking to women about the female psyche I found it described the psyche of all humans.  As I read through ‘Women who Run With the Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, I found it described in great detail some of the psychic transformations I had been through myself.  Therefore the ‘Wild Woman’ archetype that she speaks about is not only contained in female’s psyches, but also in males’.  It is the most basic of psychic phenomenon.  It is our connection to Mother Earth, who can teach us about the cycles of life, death, and rebirth.

I realised that there are only three ways to come to an understanding of these matters.  The first, and traditional way, is when the story itself is told with the depth and conviction of the ancient and traditional storytellers.  In this case the story speaks directly to the soul, which understands fully.  This, in my opinion, is the best way, however there are two problems here.  Firstly, today the stories have been so washed down changed and rearranged that only the bones of the stories are left, and in some cases the bones have almost gone too.  And secondly, the conviction of the telling has been reduced to entertainment to compete with television, or so seriously told that “You just have to believe”.  As some of you may realise I do not believe in belief, I believe in experience.  As Joseph Campbell has said:

“People say that what we are seeking is a meaning for life.  I don’t think that’s what we are really seeking.  I think what we are seeking is an experience of being alive, so that life’s experiences on the physical plain will have resonances within our innermost being and reality, so that we feel the rapture of being alive.”

The second way is very long-winded and complex, and relies on the gifted people like Clarissa, Joseph Campbell, and the one from whom both have learnt much, Carl Jung, to discuss, in detail, the symbolism of the stories.  This way speaks to the conscious mind, and as I have noticed with people who have read Clarissa’s book, they don’t always fully appreciate the connotations to life’s experiences.  Or maybe they see it as another interesting book.  If they truly understood the connotations, they would not be seeking help from people like myself; they would be out helping others learn how to live life.

This brings me to the third way of understanding life, which is through the experiences of life, which is very painful at times.  This way is through trial and error, or trials and revelations.

But the ultimate way of understanding, which is the way I finally understood, is through all the different ways.  However as my own experience shows, my society was not giving me any of the first two ways.  And it was only when my trials had got so painful that I wanted out, that I started searching, as so many are today, for the answers to life’s questions.

So I would like to try and give you a brief account of a story that I found in Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s book ‘Women who Run With the Wolves.  Clarissa gives a very in-depth break down of the symbology, but I will try to give you the main points.  The story is a story about love, the union of male and female, not only of an actual male with an actual female, but also the inner male and female within all of us.  It is a story about facing, the Life/Death/Life nature of love, the life giving, life taking away, and life renewing power of Mother Earth.  This story is from the old Inuit of the circumpolar region, and it is called:

  ‘Skeleton Woman’

A fisherman had accidentally strayed into a bay that all others knew was haunted.  His hook drifted down through the water, and caught, of all places, in the bones of Skeleton Woman’s rib cage.  The fisherman thought, “Oh, now I’ve really got a big one!”  In his mind he was thinking of how many people this great fish would feed, how long it would last, how long he might be free from the chore of hunting.  And as he struggled with the great weight on the end of his hook, the sea was stirred to thrashing froth, and his kayak bucked and shook, for she who was beneath struggled to disentangle herself.  And the more she struggled, the more she got tangled in the line.

The hunter turned to collect his net, so he did not see her bald head rise above the waves, he did not see the little coral creatures glinting in the orbs of her skull, he did not see the crustaceans on her old ivory teeth.  When he turned back with his net, her entire body, such as it was, had come to the surface and was hanging from the tip of his kayak by her long front teeth.

“Agh!” cried the man, and his heart fell into his knees, his eyes hide in terror on the back of his head.  “Agh!” he screamed, and knocked her off the prow with his oar and began paddling like a demon toward the shore.  And not realising she was tangled in his line, he was frightened all the more for she appeared to stand on her toes while chasing him all the way to shore.  No matter which way he zigged his kayak, she stayed right behind, and her arms flailed out as though to snatch him down into the depths.

“Aggghhh!” he wailed as he ran aground.  In one leap he was out of his kayak, clutching his fishing stick and running, and the coral–white corpse of Skeleton Woman, still snagged in the fishing line, bumpety-bumped behind right after him.  Over the rocks he ran, and she followed. Over the frozen tundra he ran and she kept right up.

Finally, the man reached his snow-house and dived right into the tunnel and on hands and knees scrambled his way to the interior.  Panting and sobbing he lay there in the dark, his heart a drum, a mighty drum.  Safe at last, oh so safe, thank the Gods, Raven, yes, thank Raven, yes, and all-bountiful Sedna, safe…at…last.

Imagine when he lit his whale oil lamp, there she – it – lay in a tumble upon his snow floor, one heel over her shoulder, one knee inside her rib cage, one foot over her elbow.  He could not say later what it was; perhaps the firelight softened her features, or the fact that he was a lonely man.  But a feeling of some kindness came into his breathing, and slowly he reached out his grimy hands and, using words softly like mother to child began to untangle her from the fishing line.

“Oh, na, na, na.”  First he untangled the toes, then the ankles.  “Oh, na, na, na.”  On and on he worked into the night, until dressing her in furs to keep her warm, Skeleton Woman’s bones were all in the order a human’s should be.

The man became drowsy, slid under his sleeping skins, and soon was dreaming.  And sometimes as humans sleep, you know, a tear escapes from the dreamer’s eye; we never know what sort of dream causes this, but we know it is either a dream of sadness or longing.  And this is what happened to the man.

The Skeleton Woman saw the tear glisten in the firelight, and she suddenly became soooo thirsty.  She tinkled and clanked and crawled over to the sleeping man and put her mouth to his tear.  The single tear was like a river and she drank and drank until her many-years-long thirst was slaked.

While lying beside him, she reached inside the sleeping man and took out his heart, the mighty drum.  She sat up and banged on both sides of it: Bom, Bomm!… Bom, Bomm!

As she drummed, she began to sing out “Flesh, flesh, flesh!”  And the more she sang, the more her body filled out with flesh.  She sang for hair and good eyes and nice fat hands.  She sang the divide between her legs, and breasts long enough to wrap for warmth, and all the things a woman needs.

And when she was all done, she also sang the sleeping man’s clothes off and crept into his bed with him, skin against skin.  She returned the great drum, his heart, to his body, and that is how they awoke, wrapped one around the other, tangled in another way now, a good and lasting way.

Untangling the symbolism.

Clarissa begins by saying:

"Inability to face and untangle the Skeleton Woman is what causes many love relationships to fail.  To love, one must not only be strong, but wise.  Strength comes from the spirit.  Wisdom comes from Skeleton Woman.

As we see in the tale, if one wishes to be fed for life, one must face and develop a relationship with the Life / Death / Life nature.  When we have that, we are no longer bumbling along fishing for fantasies, but are made wise about the necessary deaths and startling births that create true relationship..."

There is basically seven parts to this story.  The first is The Accidental Finding of Treasure, where our Life/Death/Life nature is accidentally pulled up from the unconscious while we are looking for some excitement.  Or discovering another person as a spiritual treasure, even though one may not realise what one has found.

The next stage is The Chase and the Hiding, which happens when we see what we really have.  This is the scary stage when we run as fast and as far as we can, but this nature is caught up in our lives.  Our ego is never ready for this moment, but our soul is.  We must bring her home.  In outer relationships Clarissa says:

"It is a time when thoughts are all jumbled together, when one makes a desperate dive for shelter, and the heart beats, not from cherishing and being cherished as much as from abject terror.  To be trapped by Lady Death! Ai!  The horror of meeting the Life/Death/Life force face-to-face!  Double Ai!"

In the next stage we must have the courage, patients and persistence to Untangle Skeleton Woman, and find out all about this nature that is within us all and that is within the other.  When we care for the not beautiful, we are rewarded.  She is the inner voice (soul), not the ego (mind).  This is when we learn and should ask ourselves; “What should I let die today?  And What should live?”

The fourth stage is The Sleep of Trust.  This is the sleep of rebirth, not of the unconscious.  This is the innocence of being free of hurt, looking through the eyes of the knowing and loving spirit, not through the eyes of the whipped dog, or an angry, wounded human.

The next stage is the Giving a Tear.  This is the tear of passion and compassion after finding the treasure, the fearful chase, and the untangling.  This is admitting to the wounds.  Uniting and letting the heart break open, not break down.  Here Clarissa says that this is the time of sharing both future dreams and past sadness, these being the beginning of healing the archaic wounds with regard to love:

"This admission feeds the Life/Death/Life nature, causes the bond to be made and the deep knowing in a man to begin. We all have made the mistake of thinking someone else can be our healer, our thriller, our filling.  It takes a long time to find it is not so, mostly because we put the wound outside ourselves instead of ministering to it within."

The next stage is the beginning of the later phases of love, within and without.  This stage is the Heart as Drum and Singing up the Flesh.  This is the singing up of new life.  When Skeleton Woman sings flesh onto her bones, the one whose heart is used feels filled with life and creation.  Here Clarissa shows her understanding of shamanism thus:

"It is told that the skin or body of a drum determines who and what will be called into being.  Some drums are believed to be journeying drums transporting the drummer and the listener (also called the “passengers" in story telling tradition) to various and sundry places.  Other kinds of drums are powerful in other ways.

Drums made of human bone call the dead.  Drums made of hide of certain animals are good for calling the animal spirits.  Drums with bells attached call child-spirits and weather.  Drums that are low in voice call the spirits who can hear that tone.  Drums high in voice call spirits who can hear that tone, and so on.

A drum made of heart will call the spirits that are concerned with the human heart.  The heart symbolises essence.  The heart is one of the few organs humans (and animals) must have to live."

The seventh and last stage is The Dance of Body and Soul.  This is the dance of unity, when we are bursting with life and joy, dancing with bliss, life, and yes death.  When we can ride the cycles of Life / Death / Life with the passion and compassion of a spiritual and love warrior.  Regarding an actual relationship Clarissa says this:

"Sometimes the one who is running from the Life/Death/Life nature insists on thinking of love as a boon only.  Yet love in its fullest form is a series of deaths and rebirths.  We let go of one phase, one aspect of love, and enter another.  Passion dies and is brought back.  Pain is chased away and surfaces another time.  To love means to embrace and at the same time withstand many many endings, and many many beginnings – all in the same relationship."

All I can say after that is that I now really do love life, and I hope that this understanding of the depth and meaning of stories can do the same for you.

Remember the fifth principle of shamanism: Love is to be happy with – what ever you have or whatever you are.

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By: Lynn V. Andrews

One day you will remember the Great Dream, and the way will become known to you.  You entered into life through the veil of the Dream, because your reason for being here must be kept secret from you until you find your way home.  You don’t know who you are, but one fine day you will remember.  It is like creation looking for itself.  You will awaken from the Dream.  Let the Great Mother rest within your spirit.  She is the universe.  She is the womb of all life.  She is the light that shines from your eyes, illuminating your daily dreams.  The possibilities you dream of will become your reality.

Dreams from the unconscious flow out of the woman’s head into daily reality.  The lotus and the butterfly symbolise transcendence into higher consciousness.  The universe at the bottom of the waterfall represents the spheres of your spirit and the life of consciousness within your sacred dream.  Have the courage to manifest your dreams in your life.

Printed with permission from:

‘The Power Deck’

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Maori Teachings

By: Rangimarie (Rose) Turuki Pere

Noa – Ordinary, natural, free from restriction.  Noa is the freeing from any quality or condition that makes a person subject to spiritual and/or ceremonial restriction and influences.  The rainbow, the whales of the oceans or eagles of the skies jibe on a sense of freedom.

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Chief Joseph

Excerpts from ‘Touch the Earth’ 

Compiled by: T.C. McLuhan

(Printed without permission)

P. 29  In the hour of his death in 1871, Tu-eka-kas, the father of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perces, reminded his son never to sell the bones of his father.  Chief Joseph describes the death.

My father sent for me.  I saw he was dying.  I took his hand in mine.  He said: “My son, my body is returning to my mother earth, and my spirit is going very soon to see the Great Spirit Chief.  When I am gone, think of your country.  You are the chief of these people.  They look to you to guide them.  Always remember that your father never sold his country.  You must stop your ears whenever you are asked to sign a treaty selling your home.  A few years more, and white men will be all around you.  They have their eyes on this land.  My son, never forget my dying words.  This country hold your father’s body.  Never sell the bones of your father and your mother.”  I pressed my father’s hand and told him I would protect his grave with my life.  My father smiled and passed away to the spirit-land.

I buried him in that beautiful valley of winding waters.  I love that land more than all the rest of the world.  A man who would not love his father’s grave is worse than a wild animal.

P. 54  The proud tribe of the Nez Perce (Pierced Nose) Indians was led by a most remarkable man named Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekht – Thunder Travelling to Loftier Mountain Heights – or Chief Joseph, whose description of the death of his father was quoted in Section 1.  His affection for the land out of which he came never ceased, and Chief Joseph was unremitting in his attempts to remain in the valleys and mountains of his birthplace.  In this passage he makes clear (as he was always accustomed to do) his sentiments regarding ownership of the earth.

The earth was created by the assistance of the sun, and it should be left as it was….  The country was made without lines of demarcation, and it is no man’s business to divide it….  I see the whites all over the country gaining wealth, and see their desire to give us lands which are worthless….  The earth and myself are of one mind.  The measure of the land and the measure of our bodies are the same.  Say to us if you can say it, that you were sent by the Creative Power to talk to us.  Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit.  If I thought you were sent by the Creator I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me.  Do not misunderstand me, but understand me fully with reference to my affection for the land.  I never said the land was mine to do with it as I chose.  The one who has the right to dispose of it is the one who has created it.  I claim a right to live on my land, and accord you the privilege to live on yours.

P. 119  In 1877, the United States government ordered all Nez Perces out of the Wallowa Valley in Oregon onto the Lapwai Reservation in Idaho.  The order was in complete violation of the agreement of 1873 which restricted the Wallowa Valley from white settlement.  Chief Joseph and his band of Nez Perces were given thirty days to remove themselves and all their possessions by General Oliver Howard.  Joseph thought this to be impossible, and asked for more time.  “If you let the time run over one day,” replied Howard, “the soldiers will be there to drive you into the reservation, and all your cattle and horses outside of the reservation at that time will fall into the hands of the white men.”  A council was held and they decided to move immediately.

The white men were many and we could not hold our own with them.  We were like deer.  They were like grizzly bears.  We had a small country.  Their country was large.  We were contented to let things remain as the Great Spirit made them.  They were not, and would change the rivers if they did not suit them.

P. 123 – 124  On January 14, 1879, Chief Joseph addressed a large gathering of cabinet members and congressmen.  He appealed to President Hayes to allow what was left of his tribe, whose members were dying by the score, to return to their old territory in the Northwest.  His appeal was ultimately successful and in 1883, a small party of women and children were allowed to go back to their old home.  Joseph was never granted this privilege and spent his remaining days on the Colville Reservation at Nespelim, Washington.  He died there September 21, 1904.

I have shaken hands with a great many friends, but there are some things I want to know which no one seems able to explain.  I cannot understand how the Government hands a man out to fight us, as it did General Mile, and then breaks his word.  Such a government has something wrong about it….  I do not understand why nothing is done for my people.  I have heard talk and talk, but nothing is done.  Good words do not last long until they amount to something.  Words do not pay for my dead people.  They do not pay for my country, now overrun by white men.  They do not pay for my horses and cattle.

Good words do not give me back my children.  Good words will not make good the promise of your war chief, General Miles.  Good words will not give my people good health and stop them from dying.  Good words will not get my people  home where they can live in peace and take care of themselves.

I am tired of talk that comes to nothing.  It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises.  There has been too much talking by men who had no right to talk.  Too many misinterpretations have been made; too many misunderstandings have come up between the white men about the Indians.

If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian he can live in peace.  There need be no trouble.  Treat all men alike.  Give them all the same law.  Give them all an even chance to live and grow….  You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who was born free should be contented penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases.  If you tie a horse to a stake, do you expect he will grow fat?  If you pen an Indian up on a small spot of earth and compel him to stay there, he will not be contented nor will he grow and prosper.

I have asked some of the Great White Chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that he will stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they please.  They cannot tell me.

I only ask of the government to be treated as all other men are treated.  If I cannot go to my own home, let me have a home in a country where my people will not die so fast….

I know that my race must change.  We cannot hold our own with the white men as we are.  We only ask an even chance to live as other men live.  We ask to be recognised as men.  We ask that the same law shall work alike on all men.  If an Indian breaks the law, punish him by the law.  If a white man breaks the law, punish him also.

Let me be a free man – free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to think and talk and act for myself – and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.

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Shamanism - The Course

Question 2  What differences do you think that there may be between shamans from traditional societies and those who have recently come to shamanism?

A shaman is a person who has the capacity, the inclination, and the desire to engage the forces of the universe and can do so in a way that results in a beneficial end for himself, for people he is helping, and for life in general.

There are many different forces that can be used for each different purpose.  Everywhere in the world has the sun and the moon in the sky, the earth beneath us, and the four directions around us and so these are the main forces that shamans all over the world work with.

Then there are other things, like beings from different planets, the stars, spiritual guides from many dimensions, the ancestors, as well as the spirits specific to places – waterfalls, mountains etc. – and spirits of plants, animals and stones.

A shaman is a teacher, healer, a wisdom keeper of the knowledge of their culture and spirituality.  The modern shaman, would probably know more about fixing his car than he does of his own language or history, and so acts as a mediator between cultures.

The call for a return to the good old days rings out over endangered rain forests, lakes empty of fish and a sick earth.  As a cultural basis, the world of the hunter and nomad has long since disappeared.  Every year dozens of tribal groups perish as the last remaining areas of retreat are cleared along the Amazon, in Assam, in Indonesia and Micronesia.  During the next few decades the tribal way of life will cease to exist for all but a few exceptions.  Our Western obsession with progress offers no room for such a way of life.  The world the ancestral shaman lived in has gone.  We live in a consumer age in a world shrunken by communication systems and an atmosphere pumped full of chemicals.  As with all forms of spirituality, shamanism is littered with charlatans and wanna-bes, however there are human beings of genuine integrity who have taken up the challenge of making this archaic wisdom accessible to the modern world.

Miguel Karlin, Amazonian tradition, teaches that a shaman is someone who can harness the powers of the universe for the benefit of others.  He may be someone with much power, but essentially he is a servant.  He works with the Creator’s creation to bring health to those that need it and wisdom to those that want it.  Miguel works with the Amazonian power plant Ayahuasca, which helps the shaman by opening up the subconscious mind.  Taking this natural psychedelic is not bout having a “good time”, but bout exploring inner space.  It is not just a plant.  It is sacred “medicine”, which can reveal itself as a powerful spirit guide.

Malidoma Patrice Some’, West African Dagara tradition, teaches a unique insight into a world in which spirits are commonplace and magic is part of daily life.  Shamanism is really driven by knowing the existence of other intelligences, achieving a direct communication with other intelligences living in other dimensions.  In Malidoma’s tradition, the most important of these are the Kontombuli – small spirit beings who regularly appear to guide and teach the Dagara.

Jamie Sams is an internationally respected Native American teacher of the Cherokee and Seneca traditions, and has a gift for presenting indigenous teachings in a way that is easily accessible to the modern world.  For Jamie, each one of us can become a shaman in our own way, by discovering and nurturing our own particular gifts from spirit.  She teaches Native American Shamanism as a spiritual path which, if walked with sincerity, can help us live in natural harmony with all of life.  The goal of shamanism is total and complete merging of your spirit within the whole and finding your place within the whole. You are still a human spirit, but you acknowledge that you have a meat body that is connected to the animals, nature, and every other part of the universe.  Jamie teaches the goal of shamanism is not to possess special magical abilities, but to transcend the self and commune with the “Great Mystery”.  And this is the essence of modern shamanism.  If shamanism has become an exercise in self-discovery and self-empowerment, such goals are not to be belittled, but to consider this as the essence of shamanism is to devalue the word and those from whom the original techniques were acquired.  When shamanism – the word, the techniques and experiences – reminds or teaches people that they are part of the living Earth, that everything around them is alive, that everything they eat has a “soul”, then it is being respected.

People are rarely considered by their community or themselves to be shamans until they have been “killed, torn apart and put back together again” by Other-world beings.  This is not casually approached or lightly suffered, it is perceived to be a serious, dangerous and potentially fatal undertaking.  Shamans are distinguished from their neighbours not by their beliefs but by the intensity of their experiences.

With modern shamanism, to be “torn apart” is the “break-down” of present psychological structures.  This is important as a pre-requisite to entering the shamanic way, old unproductive conditioning must be destroyed to make way for a new self.  The modern shaman may look at some sort of spiritual agenda to enable them to look at themselves and attempt to heal curtain psychological wounds, and therefore shed their former human nature.

The shaman is a healer.  Balance, both inner and outer, gathers together the supernatural powers of the shaman.  A diffused and unbalanced state of mind would turn these powers against the shaman himself.  The art of the shaman consists in healing, which he affects by guiding the patient to the sphere of the Sacred and letting him experience his human nature as a totality, a whole.  In this way, the energies of the patient are deliberately re-weighted and brought into harmony with each other.  With man of the older races, there existed a simple philosophy to life which was to share with and to live in harmony with everyone and everything around us.  There existed a more simple and yet continuing belief that the one force of energy flows through all existing things and therefore they must be in balance in everything we would choose to do, which is important for one who practices shamanic healing.

Shamans have needed to adapt to the modern world, and today hold vision quests, drum workshops, sweat lodges, many various workshops in all areas to empower yourself and transform your life.  Medicine Crow, Delaware shaman, here in Australia uses Rainbow journey meditations, drums, rattles and ancient knowledge to provide life direction and understanding of traditional ways, meet your animal guides and learn how to utilise nature for guidance.

I met my teacher, Michael “Katene” Naera, Maori shaman, through attending his workshop, “The Power Within”.  A couple of weeks later he rang me to ask if I’d like to do my Reiki Masters and I was most welcome to stay with him and his wife.  Beautiful people and friends.  Even though born in this lifetime as an Australian, I have always had a fascination for Maori mythology, spirituality, and feel privileged that Mike teaches and shares his culture with me.  If I could sum up mike’s teachings in a few words; his words that come to me immediately are: “Pure Intent.  Keep it simple.” 

Shamans in this modern world teach about going back to the pure simplicity of our lives, going back to the roots; spirituality; life empowerment through finding our own “inner shaman”; becoming whole; learning the ways of love, peace and harmony, and seeking the good path in life; showing respect for our Earth Mother and all that dwell upon her.

Sitting Owl's Comments on Question 2

Generally anything not commented on here is true and well explained, according to my own knowledge and experiences.

However, Shamanism has little to do with capacity; everyone has the capacity; and inclination is desire.  It mainly has to do with accepting the call, not using society’s anti-depressants or other diversions and cover-ups when spirit starts calling.

One must be very careful about speaking of ‘beings from different planets’ and ‘spiritual guides from many dimensions’.  Although it may be what is acceptable to pass the exam, most people I have met that talk about these things confuse them with symbolic images from their personal unconscious.  I will always hasten to ask, “What is your personal experience, and how might this image relate, symbolically to it?”

The world that the ancestral shaman lived in is the same world as today, if one can see outside of one’s society to the natural world, Mother Earth may be trying to shake off some ‘flees’, but she is the same old Mother Earth, with the same old cycles.  Yes a modern shaman may, and in my case do, know a lot about fixing cars, but that does not stop me or other modern shamans knowing anything about anything else.  Remember that all the past experiences from all times are locked in our cellular memory.  We all know absolutely everything, the only difficulty is accessing the information, and that is the whole idea of shamanic and spiritual techniques, practices and rituals.  The shaman is a mediator between cultures and worlds because he/she has experienced and therefore has knowledge of these different cultures, worlds, or states of consciousness.

I think you mean ‘other spirits’, not ‘other intelligences’, as everything, both manifest and not manifest, have a capacity of intelligence, as a spark of that which most people personify as God.  And I would like to know what you mean by ‘other dimensions’, hopefully you mean these other states of consciousness.

The goal of merging the two pairs of opposites is like Jung’s Individuation process, the cycle of changes as one gradually makes conscious that which was previously unconscious.

The shaman’s death as an archetype has been well explained, however it individually takes many forms, eg: my own death was in the form of seriously considering suicide after spending most of my life not understanding that I was being ‘Called’.

Most of the rest of your discussion is good, and I won’t go into Medicine Crow and the other workshops being offered that may bring empowerment to some, but usually at a cost, not only financial, but also costs that most aren’t even aware of existing.  But that is another discussion in itself.  And as you have said, there are some charlatans and wanna-bes out there, and after all who really does know who’s who?

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Their Opinions Differ

By: Sri Chinmoy

The mind says: Love is sex.

The vital says: Sex is love.

The heart says: Love is love.

The body says: There is no such thing as love.

The soul says: There is nothing but love.


By: Sri Chinmoy

Doubt is self-punishment

Faith is self-enfoldment

Fear is self-punishment

Courage is self-refreshment

Division is self-punishment

Unity is self-enlightenment

Hate is self-punishment

Love is self-fulfilment


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By: Lynn V. Andrews

Much of what you see in life is an agreement that something is in fact true.  To develop power, focus on one aspect of your life.  This could be your career, a sport, or some endeavour that you have a passion about.  Become an expert.  In the process of becoming an expert, you fine-tune your whole being.  You collect the important parts of yourself, and you begin to live the life of a warrior.  Rid yourself of attitudes that are not essential to your task.  Collect your energy and focus your power on wondrous and magical acts: let the shell of your consciousness rise out of the ocean of your subconscious mind.  It’s just a matter of focus.

The magnificent shell coming up out of the depths of the ocean, of the unconscious, symbolises the spiralling primordial power rising out of the depths of our consciousness and into the reality of the conscious mind.  The snowy mountains represent higher consciousness on the horizon, and the sphere in the sky represents universal knowledge.

In order to have true focus in your life, you need to have balance between the conscious and the unconscious minds.  For focus to endure, you need strength and wisdom.

Printed with permission from:

‘The Power Deck’

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Maori Prayer

Kia mora te marino, kia whakapapa pounamu, kia tere ai te karohirohi I mua tonu I o koutou huarahi. 


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The Most Beautiful Rose

Author Unknown

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read 
beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.  
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown, 
for the world was intent on dragging me down.  

And if that weren’t enough to ruin my day, 
a young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.  
He stood right before me with his head tilted down 
and said with great excitement, “Look at what I found”.  

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight, 
with its petals all worn – not enough rain, or too little light.  
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play, 
I faked a smile and then shifted away.  

But instead of retreating he sat next to my side 
and placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise, 
“it sure smells pretty and it’s beautiful too.  
That’s why I picked it, here Its for you.”  

The weed before me was dying or dead, 
not vibrant of colours, orange, yellow or red.  
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.  
So I reached for the flower, and replied, “Just what I need.” 

But instead of him placing the flower in my hand, 
he held it mid-air without reason or plan.  
It was then that I noticed for the very first time 
that weed toting boy could not see: he was blind!  

I heard my voice quiver, tears shone like the sun 
as I thanked him for picking the very best one 
“You’re welcome”, he smiled and then ran off to play, 
unaware of the impact he’d had on my day.  

I sat there and wondered how he managed to see 
a self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.  
How did he know of my self-indulged plight?  
Perhaps from his heart, he’d been blessed with true sight.  

Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see 
the problem was not with the world the problem was with me.  
And for all those times I myself had been blind, 
I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that’s mine.  

And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose 
and breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose 
and smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in his hand 
about to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.

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