By: Ancient-Wolf Dances-as-Bear Bison-of-the Moon Lion-of-Elyon Devaraka
What is Shamanism
Before we can discuss what specifically it means to be a Shaman within the Dran Rashar, we must first discuss what Shamanism is as a cultural phenomenon amongst all of the human race.
The term Shaman comes to us through Anthropology's recognition that all or most primal cultures have certain religious practices in common and have similar spiritual leaders by many names. Anthropologists adopted the word from a Siberian people, but the word has roots which have been traced back to Sanskrit in India. While most people think of Inuit or other Native Americans when picturing a Shaman, Shaman can be found throughout the world on every continent which humans inhabit and amongst every primal human culture of this Age. Shaman can be of any gender, including ambiguous or altered gender in some cases, so the term is neither masculine nor feminine and can be used by anyone called to that path.
It takes a very special person to be called to the path of a Shaman, and only the strongest among those called will ever become a Shaman. Many who receive the calling will never make it to be a Shaman. It is a very rough path to take, and no one comes out of it without battle scars. Many who begin the path of a Shaman will soon abandon it because of how rough it can be, or they may simply go insane and stay insane.
The hard times faced by one who is called to be a Shaman often begin early in life. Those who are called to such a path have usually overcome great personal obstacles whether it be orphaning, medical issues, or some other personal tragedy from which one has had to draw upon the Divine in a great way in order to get through it. Then, when one realizes one is on a Shamanic path and is initiated by the Spirit world, one goes through a period of Initiatory Illness, which one may never come out of. It is always best if this initiation is done under the supervision of another Shaman, but sometimes there is no other Shaman to supervise and it just happens when the Divine deems it is time for it to happen.
The initiatory illness is marked by madness and other disorders of the brain. Many cultures do or used to separate the newly initiated Shaman from the tribe, either in the wilderness or a special village or hut away from the people, for a period which was often as much as two years. This separation allows the Shaman to go through their initiatory illness without endangering the tribe or making fools of themselves in the eyes of the people, and allows the Shaman time to be with the Divine and the spirits without interruptions. While the illness may be enhanced by methods of seeking altered states of consciousness, these things are not its cause. Its cause is the sheer overwhelming abundance of the experience of touching the Divine and the Shamanic realms. These experiences are always a lot for the human brain to process, and it takes time to achieve that Shaman's balance between the Shamanic realms and the physical world. People who have had to overcome great adversity in their own lives have often touched these realms in some small way already, and have gained the proper wisdom, humility and lessons needed to prepare them for these realms. Thus, it is people who have triumphed through immense trauma, physical and/or emotional, who are most often called to be a Shaman. One South American tribe describes one's first Shamanic journey as having one's bones taken out one by one, counted, numbered, then put back together." It is worth noting that the tribe who says this is also one who is known to use the bites of venomous ants to induce an altered state of consciousness, so perhaps there's another reason for this painful description. In reality, no Shaman should ever discuss their first journey nor their initiatory illness phase with anyone other than another well-trusted Shaman, nor would anyone who has not experienced it even have the capability of beginning to understand such things.
To the Shaman who makes it, everything was more than worth it. There is a joy in that calling which cannot be expressed in words because of its greatness. Those who make it through their initiatory illness rejoin the people, if they were separated, and take on the role of a Shaman. Shaman are the kindest, most forgiving, most understanding and often the wisest form of priest you will ever meet. Shaman have learned the importance of living firmly in this world, while maintaining a very strong connection to the spirit world and seeing everything and everyone through the eyes of the Divine. Shaman also know the fullness of the value of fun and humor, and almost never at another's expense (there are some Shaman who use humor to teach a lesson, and it will sometimes be at the expense of the student.) There is a certain balance which a true Shaman does not need to struggle to maintain, because it is a natural balance. A Shaman who does not embody these characteristics is not a true Shaman, even if such one was called to the Shamanic path. Only the strongest are ultimately called a Shaman. A Shaman wakes and sleeps in the realms of the Divine, the Shamanic realms. The Shaman's role within the tribe is akin to the role of any priest or priestess, with some additional duties as well. The Shaman is the one who intercedes with the Divine for the most important matters. In many cultures anyone can pray to the Divine for most matters, but if one really wants to make sure to get the attention of the Divine they consult the Shaman. The Shaman is also the one consulted when one wants a clear answer back from the Divine, and the one who makes the best use of tools of divination such as cards, crystals, runes, urim and thummim, etc. While anyone can ask a question to the Divine, it is the Shaman who hears the answers back most clearly. This Divine Clarity comes through the trials a Shaman must face, which causes a strong connection between the Shaman and the realms of the Divine. These are the realms the Shaman walks in waking visions and in dreams, and they are realms for the Shaman alone. A Shaman sacrifices much of a so-called "normal" life for this ability to hear the Divine, but this sacrifice of "normality" comes naturally to the Shaman. The people a Shaman serves, in turn, support the needs and desires of the Shaman, both for livelihood and for materials for their work.
The Shaman is the healer of the people, often using advanced knowledge of herbs or other natural substances along with intense prayer, directed energy from the Universe and the Divine, and ceremony to perform seemingly miraculous healings. Charms, talismans and the like may be constructed and given to people for specific protections against harmful influences, or even against disease itself. Again, because the Shaman does all of their work to support the rest of the people of their tribe's or nation's spiritual needs, the people gladly, generously support the Shaman's physical needs for food, water, shelter, gathering of herbs, etc., including seeing to the Shaman's recreational needs to varying degrees. The people are glad to give of their best to the Shaman, to assure that the Shaman will be at his or her strongest and best and assure the best work for the people from the Shaman. Shaman are not called, anointed nor appointed by the people, they are called by the Divine alone, and if a people mistreat or fail to care for their Shaman they will lose them and will then lose out on many blessings. Some groups of people have gone decades without a Shaman born to them because of their wickedness, and have always suffered greatly for it. A Shaman doesn't choose the next Shaman, he or she only recognizes if someone among their people has been called by the Divine and the Spirits to be a Shaman for their people.
While the people who witness a Shaman’s work often view what a Shaman does as “magic,” “magical,” or “miraculous,” the Shaman simply views it as working with the natural forces of nature and the Divine. The Shaman doesn’t mind that others think of it as magic, but the true Shaman will never use such things to show off. The Shaman has too much respect for the forces with which Shaman work to ever abuse them in such a manner. Besides, it is feared that if one does too much “showing off,” even a Shaman may lose favor with the Divine.
Not all Shaman are immediately recognized by the people to whom they are called to serve as Shaman. When one goes through initiatory illness without proper guidance and without being properly separated from one's people during that time, one is often going to make gaffes which will lead others to have poor preconceptions about them for all time. In addition, if a people have not had a Shaman in a while, such as in many modern cultures or when the Judeans lost the Levites and then the prophets for a time, they are not apt to recognize a person's transition and transformation into a Shaman. Thus, many who are legitimate and powerful Shaman are often overlooked, much to the detriment of the people to whom they are called to serve as a Shaman.
It is those who were/are Shaman during this Age who will be important guides, like Angels, for all humanity to the wonders of the next Age which will soon be upon us. While the role of Shaman has morphed into the roles of priests, ministers, spiritual healers, medicine men and women, divinators and psychics, and those known by similar titles from around the world, the Shaman is very much alive in today's culture, and one who has wisdom can come to recognize the true Shaman within any religious or cultural context. Of course, not all who hold these roles and titles are Shaman either.
The Dran Rashar Shaman
Not every person who is Dran Rashar is called to be a Shaman, but all Dran Rashar are on a Shamanistic path. This means that all Dran Rashar study Shamanism and look to the Shaman (often called High Priests and High Priestesses) of the Dran Rashar for guidance. The Shaman amongst the Dran Rashar is akin to the Shaman of any group of people in that we perform all the same services. In addition, the Shaman of the Dran Rashar are also keepers of the deepest mysteries of the Dran Rashar, as only those who have successfully navigated the road to being a Shaman are able to comprehend and fully handle the depth of these mysteries. In fact, some of these mysteries are known and guarded by a few Shaman who are not also Dran Rashar.
Among the Dran Rashar, a Shaman is always well versed in the spiritual practices of many cultures and religions. This study is done so that the Shaman may help the greatest range of people, and so that the Shaman has the deepest and broadest understanding of the Divine which is possible for a human being. A Shaman, Dran Rashar and all others, recognizes that there is always more to learn, always more room to grow, and always more Love and Wisdom to give and receive.
While some Dran Rashar Shaman may use methods such as controlled breathing, we will not do anything which permanently damages the brain or permanently alters perception, and we stay away from man-made and/or refined chemicals. Most Dran Rashar Shaman do not need any aid other than calling upon the Divine to achieve an altered state of consciousness, and many choose to forgo any other means of achieving that state with the belief that they then have a purer experience. No Dran Rashar Shaman should ever enter an altered state of consciousness without the guidance and supervision of another of our Shaman until they have had training in these matters and have become ready to journey alone.
There is a period of Initiatory Illness with Dran Rashar Shaman, as with any Shaman, and this is also why even very few among the Dran Rashar ever are called to the specific path of Shaman. It is vital that any Dran Rashar who has been called to the path of Shaman seek out a Shaman of the Dran Rashar for guidance both in order to navigate the perils of the path and to gain the most from the journey of a Shaman of the Dran Rashar. Only a Shaman of the Dran Rashar is able to help another Shaman of the Dran Rashar, because it is only such a Shaman who has access to the mysteries needed to help such a one. Those of you who may be Dran Rashar, but who are not called to be a Shaman would do well to seek out the Shaman of the Dran Rashar as well, so that we may help you better understand who you are and who we are that you may fulfill the fullest potential of your destiny. It should always be remembered that Dran Rashar do good and seek Holiness and Love, not just because we're told it's the right thing to do, but because it is the smart thing to do. Thus, we gather ourselves together to see these Holy ideas spread and grow throughout the Earth.
We are called to serve the spiritual needs of all of humanity, not just other Dran Rashar, and so the Shaman of the Dran Rashar also regularly perform services to the general public. These services may include psychic readings using a variety of traditional Shamanic tools, blessings of many sorts, spiritual and energy healing**, weddings, ministerial funerary services, spiritual counseling, classes, seminars, retreats, and many other services normally performed by various religious leaders. Many of these services are offered free of charge or for a donation according to your heart and your means, while others may have a minimum requested donation. Shaman do not charge for healing services, spiritual counseling, talismans, herbal recommendations, or other such services; however, since the Shaman is a Shaman around the clock and typically holds no other job, generous and loving donations to support the livelihood and ministry of the Shaman are always needed and appreciated.
If you are interested in learning more about the Dran Rashar and the classes or other services offered by our Shaman, or if you otherwise need to contact a Dran Rashar Shaman, please e-mail Shaman "High Philosopher Priest" Ancient Wolf at: AncientWolf@DranRashar.org You may also find many tools and resources on our website at http://www.DranRashar.org **Spiritual and energy healing is intended to compliment modern medicine, not to replace it. Dran Rashar Shaman are not also an M.D., unless otherwise specified by an individual Shaman. Our goal is to minimize your need for other medical intervention.
The word Shaman comes from Siberia, but Shaman exist in all human cultures on Earth, and can be of any gender.
Those who have triumphed through hardships are often those called to be a Shaman.
A period of madness or brain sickness is common in the first few years after a Shaman takes their first Shamanic Journey. Many prospective Shaman never recover from this sickness.
All the risks and the pains of their trials are worth it for the Shaman who passes through the sickness and comes out enlightened and connected to the Divine. Such a Shaman has a clarity of thought for which others may only strive and hope.
The Shaman is the priest, healer, and spiritual protector of the people in the Shaman's community.
The people who benefit from the Shaman's services always share abundantly with the Shaman to assure the strength and tranquility of the one whom they rely on for so many things.
If people disrespect their Shaman they will have no more Shaman born among them for a time according to the will of the Divine.
People do not elect or appoint a Shaman, the Divine appoints one or more Shaman to the people. One cannot choose to be a Shaman unless the Divine is calling one to be a Shaman.
Shaman are the masters of Divination, using cards, runes, crystals, urim and thummim, smoke, fire, and many other tools. A Shaman uses these tools in conjunction with the Shamanic realms.
Shaman do not consider what we do to be "magic," but we don't mind if others see it as magic. A Shaman never "shows off."
It is difficult for a Shaman to be effective in their home town if they were not separated from the people during their initiatory illness. It is also difficult if the culture in which the Shaman is raised isn't one who has seen a true Shaman in a while.
Shaman of this Age will be important guides in the next Age, like Angels.
Not all Dran Rashar are called to be Shaman.
Dran Rashar may call the Shaman by many titles, such as Medicine Man/Woman, High Priest, Curandera, Goethe, etc..
A Shaman is the keeper of the deepest mysteries which others cannot begin to fathom, and is the one who wakes and dreams in the realms of the Divine.
Dran Rashar Shaman prefer to journey into the realms of the Divine without using Earthly tools.
We study a variety of Spiritual knowledge from a variety of paths and perspectives in order to be able to help the broadest range of people.
Those who are called to the Shamanic path among the Dran Rashar benefit greatly by seeking out another Dran Rashar Shaman for guidance and assistance. We must always support one another.
The Dran Rashar are called to minister to people of all spiritual paths, and our Shaman offer services to many.
Dran Rashar Shaman are full time Shaman and rely on the generosity of those who come to them for spiritual services. The Dran Rashar Shaman typically doesn't have another job or source of income.
Questions for Study (all answers can be found in the document or the study notes. Questions are not necessarily in order.)
1. How many continents have had Shaman?
2. What is the phase of madness experienced by a new Shaman called?
3. True of False: The people of a village decide they need a Shaman so they appoint someone to be the Shaman who they think fits the description.
4. True or False: A psychic reader might also be a Shaman.
5. True or False: The Shaman of the Dran Rashar are the only ones who know any of the deep secrets of the Dran Rashar.
6. How did the South American tribe mentioned in the article describe a first Shamanic journey?
7. True or False: Spiritual and energy healing from a Shaman is a cure all replacement for modern medicine.
8. How does a Shaman pay for food, shelter, and entertainment needs?
9. Is a Shaman ever playful?
10. How important is humor to a Shaman?
11. Name 2 divination tools listed in the article.
12. What will the role of Shaman of this Age be in the next Age?
13. Bonus question: Do Shaman live primarily with their minds on the spiritual world or primarily on the physical world?
Questions for further discussion (You'll have to think about these ones and discuss them with your friends who've read this document.)
1. Name 3 modern day Shamanic people. Challenge: Name 5.
2. Is H.H. The Dalai Lama a form of Shaman? Why or why not?
3. Was Yeshua (Jesus) a Shaman? Why or why not?
4. Challenge question: Find the name of the South American tribe referenced in the article based on the little information provided.
5. Name 3 Divination tools not listed in the article. Challenge: Name 5.
6. Was Mohammed a Shaman? Why or why not?
7. Do you know anyone who is a Shaman? Do your friends?
8. Are you called to be a Shaman?
9. Name 5 names different people have used to describe the role of a Shaman, pick 5 not listed in the article or the discussion notes.