Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What is a shaman today?

The work of the shaman is in service to community - but what does that mean in a culture that has lost its traditional ties? What is the community the shaman serves? This question has many answers. For myself, the community I serve is made up of those who seek out my help. Clients, students and friends - these have become the community I need in order to be of service. And yet we still lack a community in the traditional sense. This is one of those "invisible wounds" that plague us as individuals and as a society. 

Perhaps the single most important aspect of social evolution with regards to the role of the shaman, is the movement from the most important element of our culture being the clan or tribe to it becoming the individual. When we put the individual before the communal, the ties of traditional community break down. And the sovereign emerges. 

Now imagine what it might be like to develop a community of sovereigns. . . .

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