MichaelErlewine wrote: shamanism is a natural function of society, a reflex so to speak of our own culture. Let me explain.
The shamanic experience is the result of an individual venturing beyond the conventional bounds of society and into unknown or uncharted waters, usually the result of a psychological experience or trauma that occurs. It can be naturally induced or happen as the result of drugs or any life-changing experience. It can last for a short time or for life.
The point is that the individual finds his or herself suddenly on their own, living in a space and time that does not conform with the society around them. They are out of bounds and by definition the society around them does not know what they are seeing, what they are talking about. This is a key concept here.
Shamanism is contrasted by the fact that shamans are not empowered (for the most part) by anything or anyone other than their own experiences. The shaman is separated from society by their own internal changes, which can push them beyond conventional societal borders until literally no one understands them. They are self-separated from society by the intensity of their own experiences and in general face two choices. They either manage to stabilize and return to society or they go a little crazy (at least society thinks so) or both.
Those who fall through the cracks of conventional society find themselves on their own, alone, and they often seek out the local shaman or wise person, who at least can see where they are at because they too have passed on beyond convention. The shaman can always spot those who are coming across the edge of convention and they act like a guide to help stabilize the individual and return him or her to society or train them in accepting their condition.
by this definition, counseling astrologers (most of us) have had shamanic experiences, experiences that have thrust us (at least for a time) into a space where we learned something about ourselves of a deepling moving or changing nature, and thus we can understand and have compassion for those who suffer like we suffered, those who find their way to us, our clients.
“The biggest thing I learned (or perhaps remembered) from your heliocentric "astrology of the heart" material is that simply by my mere presence I can be a catalyst. In other words, I can stop trying so hard and trust that simply by being who I am I can deliver what it is the client needs to hear from me. That was very liberating, because goddess knows we can try so hard that we become ineffective. Often, we mostly need to get out of our own way!”
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