[identity profile] lupabitch.livejournal.com
Bird Cards by Toerien and van Dobben

A totem card deck that focuses specifically on birds and has some fantastic artwork--review at the link above!
[identity profile] lupabitch.livejournal.com
I figured since cultural appropriation is a topic of interest (and controversy) among shamans, shamanists, and animists, that I could crosspost this here--please let me know if it needs removal.

Our first order of Talking About the Elephant: An Anthology of Neopagan Perspectives on Cultural Appropriation arrived on the doorstep this morning! (In fact, that was the first thing Taylor told me when he woke me up today.) For more information, click the link above.

This is my very first anthology that I've edited--I'm excited at how well it turned out! Cultural appropriation is one of those things that really doesn't get broached in the neopagan community very often, and just as when I came up with the idea for this anthology last year, I'm hoping that this book will help spark some discussion.
[identity profile] lupabitch.livejournal.com
Another book review--expect more of these over my break. Click the link to read the full review:

Modern Shamanic Living by Evelyn C. Rysdyk
[identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_intropy_/
In many indigenous cultures, an important part of being a shaman is supporting a particular community and serving in some way. There are few (if any) genuine shamans here, but that does not mean that we do not or cannot feel inspired to give back to the community.

How important is the idea of service to what you believe? Is some form of service something you aspire to? Something you practice? Something you'd like to practice? Animism or neoshamanism often carries with it a philosophy of deep respect for and sense of connection to the world around us. How does this philosophy translate into actions for you? What specific ways have you found to give back to the world around you or help your community? Is there anything you'd like to be doing that you aren't doing?

If there are any other lifestyle changes you've made because of your beliefs that don't quiet fit under the heading of service, this might be a good place to mention them too.
[identity profile] lupabitch.livejournal.com
Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind edited by Roszak, Gomes and Kanner

I'm posting this here because, IMO, ecopsychology is animism for Western cultures. There are countless parallels between traditional animism and ecopsych, and some ecopsychologists integrate core shamanism and other spiritual practices into their therapeutic techniques. At any rate, it's something that I think any animist should consider reading. (Click the link to read my full review.)
ext_58493: (kodama)
[identity profile] firehauke.livejournal.com
I'm working on a story, that involves shapeshifters, humans, and the Seelie/UnSeelie courts. Takes place in the relative future...

I am hunting information on shape shifters - not just weres, but selkies, swanmays (I know, so D&D), any creature in legend that was known to alter shape from one (animal) to another (human).

Cross posting to a few places.
[identity profile] lupabitch.livejournal.com
Earthway: A Native American Visionary’s Path to Total Mind, Body and Spirit Health by Mary Summer Rain - so did I agree with those who label Mary Summer Rain a plastic shaman? Click the link to read the full review

Spiritual Tattoo: A Cultural History of Tattooing, Piercing, Scarification, Branding and Implants by John A. Rush - a really interesting in-depth look at body modifications as spiritual practices, historically and today
[identity profile] lupabitch.livejournal.com
Click the links to read the review:

The Shamanic Drum by Michael Drake - a core shamanic perspective on drumming, journeying and more
[identity profile] lupabitch.livejournal.com
How important is the death-rebirth initiation, in your opinion, to being a shaman in a non-indigenous tradition? Specifically the experience (in journeying/altered state of consciousness) of being eaten by animals, or otherwise disassembled? Does this motif still hold true in a culture where we're generally detached from nature? Can other things substitute--deconstructing the self through survival of mental illness/trauma, way of life being completely uprooted, intense self-reflection, etc. and then rebuilding the self through therapy and other healing means? Or might the death be of another sort--I've heard of people "experiencing" deconstruction through the dissolution of the body into atoms.

Is it the death-rebirth motif that's important, or the end result (recreation of self with greater sensitivity and awareness?), or both/other?

Two things

Sep. 10th, 2008 01:26 am
[identity profile] lupabitch.livejournal.com
First thing--I checked with [livejournal.com profile] moonvoice, who said it was okay to post this. I am putting together an anthology regarding animal sacrifice in neopagan and other modern spiritual practices; the call for essays may be found here. While shamanism doesn't necessarily include animal sacrifice, I'm trying to collect a good selection of essays, both pro and con, since it's one of those topics that doesn't get talked about--but needs to be. (Also, I am still accepting essays for the animism anthology until Nov. 1)

Second, as I've been getting more into journeying, I've noticed there are some distinct differences between journeying and guided meditations, which I talk about more here. (The short version is that journeying is more intense, and I have a lot less control than I do in guided meditation.) Has anyone else noted significant differences between one and the other? Or do you consider them one and the same?
[identity profile] moonvoice.livejournal.com
Basic Rules/Laws of the Otherworlds

1. Never give your true name (the name given to you by birth, or a name gifted to you by gods). Do not expect to be given 'true names' by others either.

18 more behind the cut )

So, do you have anything else to add? Do you agree or disagree? Do you (as I do) feel there are exceptions to some of the rules?) Do you feel that you work by an entirely different set of rules - and if so, why?
[identity profile] lupabitch.livejournal.com
(X-posted a few places; thank you for your patience, and for this little bit of promo space! I promise to keep it short and return to my usual book reviews and occasional commentary. If this needs to be removed, please let me know.)

I'm pleased to announce that my newest book, DIY Totemism: Your Personal Guide to Animal Totems, just arrived on the doorstep! Would you like to bypass prefabricated totem animal dictionaries and rehashes of the same trying-but-not-trying-to-be-like-the-Indians material? Click here for details!
[identity profile] leaves1.livejournal.com
I thought I would share a sort of practice I've been inspired to do, both by being called by the local river, as well as inspired by a practice from the Bön tradition.

I live in western North Carolina, and we have been having a drought - nearly no rain for the past two month until yesterday - thanks to Hurricane Fay dispersing over this area. Drought conditions actually began last summer, with some recovery over the winter, but overall precipitation has never really caught up.

For the past month or so, I'd really been missing water - not as in rain, but bodies of water... lakes I guess... I didn't realize I'd miss the lakes I'd always been around in Wisconsin and Minnesota (where I'd lived most of my life) so much when I moved down here, but there you have it. So I got a strong call to visit the French Broad River - which had hit a record low - about a week before I heard about the record low. It was a visible shock.
Read more... )

Hi!

Aug. 26th, 2008 11:29 pm
[identity profile] cloversix.livejournal.com
Just poking my head in even though I'm unbelievably tired, haha. I don't know why I didn't join this community earlier. I don't know what the heck was up with that.

Anyways, Hi! I generally go by Elodeer on the internets. I'm all sorts of crazy, but I've generally decided on the name "Moondancer" for the spirituality/religion that has come to rest on my shoulders. And by rest on my shoulders I mean I pretty much sat down one day, outlined everything I believed in, and then built up a religion around it. It's got a lot of shamanism, a lot of spirituality, a ton of animism. But it's not really just one of those things. Except maybe spirituality.

Er.

Anyways.

I work with all manner of deities, land spirits, animal spirits, totem-like entities, guide-like entities, i-don't-know-what-you-are entities...I work on healing, and I'm trying to learn to be patient and listen to the Earth and all that hokeypokey.

Hrrhuh. So yeah. I'm not really an expert or nothin, but I'm happily forging my own path. I figured I could give or gain some insight here, and since it's run by the lovely and totally awesome [livejournal.com profile] moonvoice, well, srsly, why stay away?

So yep. That's me. I'm completely loopy right now. Ready to go to sleep. Word.
[identity profile] darkmage7777777.livejournal.com

I joined this group for the reason that being that its all that I am for (animals have spirits I think, and spritality is fun). right in the group description also brings up some stuff I recently found out and would like to inquire others about, plastic shamanism and general scammers and people doing what some call misappropriation of culture and all that stuff. And I didn't even know about allot of the stuff going on till a few weeks ago (and though leo Rutherford and carlos castiana are a-ok people and sources for knowledge).

It all started with me just trying to find a good book on shamanism! So I asked in one place
http://community.livejournal.com/neo_shamanism/10979.html and also Lupa has a list of some of the few books she has reviewed (among the hundreds she has reviewed) floating around some places. 
     

intro

Aug. 23rd, 2008 10:13 am
[identity profile] leaves1.livejournal.com
Greetings and happy to join this community. I've looked over some past posts and I like the topics in this group.

I definitely consider myself an animist, and I think I always have. I think the life force, or soul, can be sensed in all biologically living beings (in spite of that sensitivity usually being deadened in modern so-called "civilized" cultures), and I also think that other forms made up of all the elements have their own form of consciousness as well, which can also be sensed. An ongoing learning for me is cultivating that kind of sensitivity.

I would also say that I'm a Pagan, though I've never really become engaged in any particular group. I think part of that is that my view most closely resembles the Buddhist view of life, which often I don't think is shared by a lot of Pagans (which is fine) but it makes connecting difficult. On the other hand, I have had the opposite experience with Buddhists - even thought they may consider themselves green or nature-friendly, etc - there is often more of focus on the other tenets of Buddhism that to me leave out the more Pagan aspects that I'm interested in.

Interestingly, I have found a form of Buddhism that meets both ends of my own spiritual spectrum, which is the Bön tradition of Tibet. Bön was the original indigenous tradition of Tibet (before Buddhism was introduced from India), and it also encompasses all the major tenets of Tibetan Buddhism. It openly retains, however, the more pagan, animist, and shamanistic aspects of the indigenous culture (for instance, one of the teachers I know just led a soul retrieval retreat this past spring). This has made for an interesting history, because the mainstream Tibetan Buddhists have persecuted the Bön people for being "not Buddhist"/ supersticious / magicians / etc (similar to the prejudice you find in other areas of the world of the mainstream religion toward the indigenous peoples). Things are changing for the better in that regard - for instance the Dalai Lama has recognized and supports Bön as a legitimate tradition - but from what I hear prejudice still exists.

Anyway, the reason I'm getting into the detail is that I would like to post some of what I'm doing in my own life that is within and inspired by the Bön tradition. It seems to me that there are also a lot of similarities with Native American views, which I am also attracted to, but respect from afar, as I am of European descent. I am also interested in the pre-Christian religions of both Germanic and Celtic peoples, and for the moment I don't really do any kinds of practices associated with those, but am open to that as well.
[identity profile] xi-o-teaz.livejournal.com
I've recently been reminded of a tendency of some to try and seek out their Totem Animal. They will often seek this out under the phrasing "My Totem", which tends to imply a Singular Entity that has always been, and will always be, with the individual in question, often to the exclusion of other "lesser" Totemic Spirits. To be fair, this sort of belief structure is often found in all manner of Human endeavors. Thelemites are seeking out their (one) True Will, many Ceremonial Magi seek out their (singular) "Holy Guardian Angel", many seek out "The One True God", whilst the more romantically inclined seek out their "Soul Mate", etc.

I think that seeking out and believing there to be only a singular (pinnacle?) "answer" to any of the above quandries--or anything else in this seemingly infinite universe--is unnecessarily limiting one's selves to a much more narrow range of Results than might otherwise be possible. To return to more concrete examples in my own personal Animistic Practices, I have found that a wide variety of Animal Powers have enriched my life with different relationships with them all (not unlike my relationships with "real life" people). Crow has been everpresent since I can remember, but has never seemed to get too close--he stays within sight, but out of reach, as it were. Mother Bear has always been a protective presence in my life, whereas Coyote is more recent (not until I was 24ish), although he & I seem to resonate more intimately within one another. I.e., Bear has been with me my whole life, whereas Coyote could be said to represent me since I was around 24. But I have phases where another Animistic Spirit either comes to me or I call unto hir. I also find that I still have somewhat of a connection (a "Gift from the Animal Spirit", as some would say) with those whom I've worked for perhaps several months (a phase of my life), or others who seem to come and go--like Elephant.

I guess my point--if I have one--is to not Limit your options. If you pursue each Relationship with each Animal Power (etc.)--each on its own Individual terms--you will find the Relationships to be much richer and more rewarding. And even if there is such a thing as a "singular answer" for any of the above-mentioned, I think that this "truth" will become self-evident quite quickly, even adopting this more open-ended approach.

If we are all truly Reflective of the Infinite Cosmos (as above, so below), then we shouldn't limit ourselves with only Identifying with a single anything, but rather, we should embrace the Infinite that we are the Manifestation of.


X-posted
[identity profile] lupabitch.livejournal.com
Nine Worlds of Seid-Magic by Jenny Blain

An academic exploration of seithr (a form of Northern European shamanism) from someone who is also a practitioner--click link for full review

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The Animist

November 2012

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