I've witnessed people abusing the "look I'm wounded, this is the mark of a Shaman". Sigh. It takes more to be in a race than a pair of running shoes. Wounds are a starting point, an entry way to the shamanic path, but they are not the path themselves.
I believe that the "requirement" for the shamanist/Shaman to be crippled madperson is BS. Part of finding the shamanist’s power is to overcome the wounds that are present. The shamanist is asked to rise above the physical for periods of time. This includes thirst, hunger, physical ailments and mental ailments. In illustration, one purpose of a vision quest is to test the seeker so they will find strength and abilities beyond their normal reserves. The inclusion of a wound in a future shamanist’s life is part of this process.
Wounds come in many forms. Some are visible and others are not. I believe that the the ones that are not readily apparent can carry more power/challenge than any physical condition. Walking with a limp does not compare to soul numbing depression. While physical wounds are easier to observer to catalog, they speak little to the personal power that a person connected to the allness of the world must carry. The interrelation of the shamanist/Shaman to their world tests the physical, mental and emotional. Being connected is both a salve and a burden. Wounds have their place to create the Shaman, but to hold them as a benchmark of ability misdirects perception of the Shaman’s true potential.
A Shamanist's Wounds
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