The Shaman exists in multiple cultures around the world. But many people often forget about the existence of the Shaman in ancient tribal Europe. And so they don't associate the Shaman with Paganism.
So what is a Shaman? The Shaman is the bridge between worlds; between light and dark, between Heaven and Earth. He is the traveler of the Otherworld and the Underworld. He seeks after visions for the knowledge of how to heal the world and the people around him.
He sees the Divine in all things. His friends and allies include not only humans but also plants, animals, rocks, winds, waters, fire, stars, and other life forms. He commune with the Source some call "God" as both Mother Goddess and Father God, for both aspects are necessary for the Unity.
So what does all this mean for men in Paganism? Where does this role fit into the scheme of things? Paganism, to me, has always been about duality, but for a long time Goddess and women have taken precedence over God and men.
The Shaman has the power to shift the pendulum back the other way towards a more balanced view of the Craft and the world. Too long the High Priestess has been given the monopoly of knowledge and of leadership in the Craft and Paganism, when both man and woman should have been given equal precedence in leadership.
But the Shaman is not the priest nor the spiritual warrior. More a guide than a commanding force, although he speaks with great power. Although he heals this is not is primary role, the Healer focuses more on the world right around him and the Shaman is often times more concerned with the world as a whole. More a follower of the will of the Creator than he is of his own individual wants and desires.
Just an FYI this site will be going down for maintenance in the next couple of hours. Should be up by tomorrow. I apologize for any incovenience.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The Pagan Shaman