Monday, October 12, 2009

Post-Tribal – not Anti-Tribal

I've had a few people respond to the concept of "post-tribal" as if it was a reaction against "tribal." This could not be further from the truth. While I have great respect for the various tribal traditions, "post-Tribal Shamanism" simply recognizes that, for those of us not raised in a tribal setting (with tribal values, spirituality and internal ecology) it is inappropriate for us to use some of the shamanic techniques that most clearly pertain to tribal culture. The most obvious case of this appears in the relationship between the shaman and his/her patient. In a tribal setting, it is often appropriate for the shaman to act in the absence of the patient, or even without the patient's knowledge, for the good of the tribe. In our modern culture, this action would disempower the patient, causing the power to be projected onto the shaman. This is something we should try to avoid, as this sense of personal power and responsibility is considered essential for people in our culture.