Sunday, February 22, 2015

Wheel of Wonder February 22, 2015

Is Shamanism controversial?  Apparently so, to some people.  I've recently been re visiting a great documentary by Terry Macy and Daniel Hart, from 1996 "White Shamans and Plastic Medicine People." This documentary is about white folks pretty specifically white folks in the United States of America who've received little to no Tribal teachings about sweat lodges, the medicine wheel, and Shamanic healing, and turn around and try to share this information with the rest of the world (or at least Americans).  Many indigenous people find this to be just another exploitation by the ruling class of what tribal people hold dear, and speak out soundly against the practice. Part of the message behind this documentary seems to be that this form of exploitation applies most especially to people who do this for fame and profit.  This is a very good point and certainly one worth reflecting on.  People have literally DIED from going into sweat lodges that were poorly conceived, and in sweats that were not handled correctly.
 It does make sense that if someone decides to adopt a tradition or practice they haven't been well trained in, and then they turn around and try to teach it, they are not only being disrespectful to that tradition but their mishandling of this ancient knowledge can lead misinformed followers into many problems on the path to the truth they are trying to find in the spiritual practice, some may even say it could have an ill effect on that person in particular's soul or spirit .
  One of the ideas expressed in Macy and Hart's documentary that I found worthy of note was the idea that wisdom for the good of people should be given freely to help other people, other souls, not made into a commodity that can be bought or sold, because that cheapens it, and takes its magic away.  Another idea is that money is just a material exchange of one's energy and effort, or a form of gratitude for help that was offered.  Understandably, there are expenses that need to be met in a culture that is built on currency exchange, but is being a spiritual leader really something a person should get rich for doing?  Think about the cost, the insult, doled out to others who did not get rich or famous in the process referred to above, then decide.
Does this mean Shamanism is particular to the indigenous people of  North America, and anyone else who claims to be a Shaman is just a fraud?  Shamanism and soul journeys have been a part of the Human experience since the first Human dreamed, shared, or meditated, nearly every culture the world over, has had their shamans and mystics. Shamans and Mystics still practice today.  The true question becomes what process did they go through to unlock their gifts?  Did they find them in the roots of their own culture?  Are they mediums or channels to the spirits?  This week on Wheel of Wonder we'll visit with a local healer/shaman/empath and talk about these things. Of course we'll also have the good New Age/Folk/ Independent music your used to, as that is also part of the inspiration and enjoyment of Wheel of Wonder.  Next week we're planning on having guest musicians Aradia on our March 1st show! (see artist links in margin)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Wheel of Wonder February 15, 2015

Looking at the tapestry of time as it were, following Pagan history from way back in the mythic times, when allegedly everyone was a God or Goddess, or a near relative thereof, up to the influence these myths have had on our cultures today has been an interesting experience for me this week.
  These Mythic times house the origins of the Celtic Tales of Ireland, and the Tuatha de Dannon, sometimes expressed through the book of conquests, or the Welsh tales of the Mabinogion, the tales of The Iliad, or the Icelandic Eddas. If you look into the right parts of the world,  not only are these stories carried over from these mythic times but they comprise a notable portion of entire pantheons of belief systems people still exercise their faith through today.
When I chose to be specific to the mythic times of the Celts and Messopotamians, I saw a pattern emerge.  There was a mythic, idealistic, perhaps romanticized time long ago, with people following the precepts of the cultures that grew out of this time, finding themselves suppressed by the Christian Church, killed or destroyed through war or the murderers of the Inquisition, who were acting under the orders of those who used the new church to claim power over others.
Soon, these other belief systems were believed to be stamped out.  Though they had really just gone undercover, or out of the spotlight, like a seed deep in the earth.  Eventually though, these seeds of belief,  bloomed once again, hence the new spiritualist and neo pagan movement.
The picture above is an illustration from National Geographic about what the hanging gardens of Babylon may have looked like.

It occurred to me that the arc of the pagan belief system; idyllic, jeopardized, perhaps destroyed, only to return again once these beliefs were needed again are very similar to the arc of the Human life.  We are born innocent, our world is idyllic, then someday, events occur, or people come into our life which can make us cynical, which can kill that innocent joy.  All too often it seems, our spirit suffers and we forget that we as humans are more than our paychecks, schedules, and normal 9 to 5 days.  Then we find something hopeful, inspiring, or really really interesting, and that spark of spirit and desire to move on with our lives is kindled, re-ignited awe and wonder can begin to grow again.  The interesting thing about this of course, is that our souls, our spirits, our desire to live fully were never really killed!  We just felt we had to push them out of the spotlight to get through our challenges, to survive, all the while they were just waiting to bloom again. So don't lose hope, it does all have a meaning!
 Through an arc of song I'll try and illustrate that experience this week, Sunday February 15th, on Wheel of Wonder.  Also this week, I'll share new music, ELECTRONIC music from an independent artist out of Seattle I just heard of known as Aradia.  Aradia will also be a guest on Wheel of Wonder soon, live in studio, as will a lightworker and shamanic healer I've met.  All coming soon on Wheel of Wonder.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Wheel of Wonder February 1st, 2015

Happy Imbolc!  Also known as Brid's Day and Saint Brigid's Day.  It is a time to renew one's vows and intentions for the year.  A perfect time to work on getting the Wheel of Wonder blog rolling again!  Seems I need an update on my home computer,  I can no longer access the posting function for this blog from it!  For those who are interested in Wheel of Wonder, the radio show, I will soon be on the website.
Of course, some of you wonderful people might spend more time reading through this blog, especially those of you in Australia who may not want to stay up until 3am to catch Wheel of Wonder!
Bridgit is an aspect of our threefold mother goddess, the name usually considered Irish in origin.  Brigid, of the Tuatha de Dannan, granddaughter of the good god Dagda.  She is the maiden aspect of our threefold Goddess, along with Danu, often considered the all mother of the Tuatha de Dannan, mother of the Welsh gods and goddesses too, The Morrigan, crone aspect of the Goddess of Irish myth,  Brigid, completes the triad.
Brigit, Bride, Brigantia this multi faceted Goddess is Patroness of Poets, Goddess of Healing, First maiden of the coming spring, and even the Goddess of metalworking artisans and "the forge."  Transformation and new beginnings is what this divine lady is about!  Imbolc is the time of the year, from an agricultural standpoint, when we see the foaling of the sheep, and the first growth of the coming spring, it falls half way between the Autumn and Spring Equinox.  Neo pagans use this holiday for "baptisms", rites of healing, and the renewal of their vows and intentions for the coming year.  Intentions to transform ourselves, refine our arts, and grow in to better people are all wonderful changes we can make in our lives, changes we can fuel through the fire of the Human Spirit!  Fire represents a transformational element, spiritually and physically (in some situations).  Speaking in faith and metaphor, Bridgit is the Goddess who brings the blessings of the flame from out of the dead and stagnant cold of winter and puts us on the path to renewal and new beginnings, represented by the coming of the spring and growing into the strength and beauty of the light of the spirit and the power of the summertime sun.

The picture of Bridgit posted above was a photobucket find, to visit the site, follow this link