Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison
greensh

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Media Resonance

I'm currently researching the topic of 'shamanic magic'. My studies have found matching meaning with what would seem to be an unlikely source. The second show of third "Doctor Who" series is entitled "The Shakespeare Code". I found powerful corollaries to my shamanic studies in this bit of media entertainment. This is not really a surprise though. I hold that media entertainment is this society's form of myth. The mystical workings of reality are woven into our seemingly fanciful stories, just as it has forever been for other cultures.

An early theme of my shamanic studies is that world consists of vibrations. Control/influence of vibrations can affect the world. Another underpinning of the shamanic experience is that the shamanist has a relation with their environment. This extends from both the passive connection to everything and a purposeful understanding of how the shamanist interconnects with their surroundings. From the elements of vibration and connection come forms of healing and manifestation, known by others as magic.

The synopsis of "The Shakespeare Code" From Wikipedia.org:
The Doctor takes Martha on her first trip in the TARDIS. Arriving in Elizabethan England, they meet William Shakespeare, who is writing his play Love's Labour's Won. However, evil, witch-like Carrionites plot to end the world by placing a code in the new play's closing dialogue. Shakespeare will have to give the performance of his life in order to save the Earth.
The story, authored by Gareth Roberts, began with a lute-playing suitor being consumed by the witch-like Carrionites. The story line emphasized how the Carrionites, lead by Lilith, were not witches. The Doctor explained that the Carrionites produce their "magic" through an ancient science based on the power of words. Trapped for an eternity, the Carrionites had escaped their prison by 'new...glittering' words. They were on earth to open a portal for the remainder of the Carrionite race. To this end they manipulated architect of the Globe Theatre to build it with fourteen sides. The Doctor and Martha happened upon the scene the day before the Carrionites were to trick William Shakespeare to place worded code in his new play, "Love's Labour's Won". The Carrionites nearly succeeded, but were foiled when Shakespeare improvises a short rhyming stanza but is stuck for a final word. Martha comes up with "Expelliarmus" and the Carrionites — together with all the extant copies of Love's Labour's Won — are sucked back through the closing portal.

Where are the shamanic parallels? These are the ones I see:
  • The magic was instead an 'ancient science'.

  • Words had power. Some words only had power once, at the time they were first spoken.

  • The environment had been modified to facilitate the opening of the portal.

  • The magical items where also scientifically grounded (i.e. DNA manipulator that looked like a hex doll)

  • The scheme of the Carrionites was ended because of another's understanding of their system.
The largest mythic inferences I saw were that vibrations and a relationship with the environment are the keys to both the shamanist and the mythic Carrionites in this media tale. Also, an advanced understanding of the world masqueraded as magic.

The Doctor Who story does present a cautionary note for the shamanist. Shamanism is both general and specific. The principles are general to many. The individual, particular practices are specific to a few. Those who are work within a system are bound by the system. The users keep secret their names, songs and other forms of vibration. The lesson here is that specific practices of the shamanists are guarded to both maintain their effectiveness and protect the shamanist from the interference of others.

In fabled correlation, an equal understanding of the power of vibration undid the plans of Carrionites. An example of this is that the Doctor's mere use of the word "Carrionite" banished one of their murderous number at a key point. This application only worked once, the word's power removed once spoken much to Martha's chagrin when she attempted the same later. In the end, the original and magical words of both Shakespeare and Martha undid all the malevolent schemes of the antagonists.

I believe that vibration, relationships, and an advanced understanding of the world are the beginnings of 'shamanic magic'. I look forward to exploring more both in my studies and in my entertainment.

Literary trivia... Shakespeare is credited with adding two to three thousand words to the English language including 'assassination', 'eyeball', 'leapfrog' and 'gloomy').
Tags: magic, shaman
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