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Apr. 9th, 2007 @ 11:37 am A Shamanic Checklist Revisited
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I was a big fan of the Inca Medicine wheel when I first started my shamanic walk. This particular wheel was talked about in the books of Alberto Villoldo and Erick Jendresen. I am still a big fan, seeing a lot of wisdom in this interpretation of the directions and it has had a greater impact on me than the NA interpretations.

lupagreenwolf recently wrote an excellent personal blog about plastic shamanism and cultural appropriation. One of the commentators posted a link to an excellent checklist contrasting core and classic shamans. Another commenter mentioned that lists can be useful, but they can create division. This got me wondering. Early on in my shamanic path I used the Inca and Toltec material to create a checklist of what a "modern shaman" was. This checklist is probably about seven years old now. This is NOT an official South American shamanism or Toltec shamanism list, nor is it an attempt to define a functioning Shaman, hence I would probably rename it to say, "Are You a Potential Shamanist?" So, with that change, I submit my list. Please provide feedback on where it is weak or what can be added. This is a simple list that does not claim a totality of definition. I'd like to see how this early statement of understanding measures up against my peers' experience. Thanks!!!

Are You a Potential Shamanist?
Below is a checklist summarizing some traits in the Shamanic tradition:
  1. Have you energetically removed yourself from the restraints of the past?

  2. Have you energetically faced death and are at ease with the reality of a world beyond the physical?

  3. Have you learned the symbolic language of the mystical?

  4. Can you achieve altered states of consciousness?

  5. Do you travel between the spirit world and the physical world?

  6. Do you use your skills in service to your community?

About this Entry
Flute - Kokopelli
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Date:April 9th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
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I like the "potential" qualifier; much better than "Are you a shaman?" ANd I like this list--especially the last one. People forget that the shaman/medicine person/etc. wasn't just in it for hirself.
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Date:April 9th, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC)
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I've read, and believe myself, that a shaman/Shaman who does not serve somebody, particularly a "community", is merely another sorcerer, magician, witch or energy worker. These are noble unto themselves, and share many traits with the shaman, but service is a key separating component. A shamanist, one who is on the shamanic path, may not have an active full-time community recognizing them as a Shaman, but the shamanist is still called to service on an as-needed basis.