Revival of Shamanism in Taiwan
Pressure to assimilate into mainstream society and the spread of Christianity led many of Taiwan's 14 recognized indigenous tribes to forsake their own traditions. Now, with aid of Taiwan's Council of Indigenous People, Executive Yuan, tribes are working to regain their traditional cultures and languages, including the practice of shamanism. Read the article, from Taiwan Today online. Submitted by Timothy Flynn, Three-Year Program graduate, Royal Oaks, California.
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Baniwa Shamans' School in the News
Snuff-Jaguar Shaman Manuel da Silva (center) talks of traditions at the inauguration of the Shamans' House. Robin Wright is at the left. Photo by Michel C. Wright.The establishment of the Shamans' House of Knowledge, part of the Baniwa Shamanic Revitalization funded by FSS, has made the news in an article "School for Shamans to Save Culture from Extinction." This kind of recognition is a validation of the work of the Foundation and we are grateful for your support, which makes it possible to aid endangered indigenous shamanism and FSS Living Treasures like Mandu da Silva. Thank you to Dr. Robin Wright, FSS Field Associate, for bringing this important effort to our attention. Read the article, from Treehugger.com.
SUBMIT NEWS: We invite you to submit news about shamanism for our readers. Please submit no more than a few brief paragraphs, including the source of the news item to the Editor.
Core Practices in the Shamanic Treatment of Illness
This article is a classic description of the use of core shamanic methods to treat the spiritual aspects of illness, such as soul loss, loss of personal power or guardian spirits, and spiritual intrusions. Originally intended for inclusion in a textbook on complementary and alternative medicine by other editors, which was never published, it was written to help physicians understand shamanic healing work. Read the article by Michael Harner, Ph.D., and Sandra Harner, Ph.D. Copyright ©2000 Foundation for Shamanic Studies, Shamanism, Vol. 13, Nos. 1 & 2, pp. 19-30
Note: Each issue we plan to post on the website or provide a link to an article or other media with useful information about shamanism or shamanic healing. Check the Articles section for several varied perspectives on shamanism and shamanic healing, many from past issues of Shamanism and the Shamanism Annual, the Foundation's scholarly journal -- one of the exclusive benefits of the Circle of the Foundation.
Asking for a Cure
Healing requests come to me via email from various shamanic healing groups. Sometimes people request that we "envision" or "visualize" wholeness or pray for or "send light" for a person's restoration to health. While these modalities can certainly help in healing, they are not shamanic practices.
The shaman works with the helping spirits – powerful, all-knowing, compassionate beings – asking his or her helping spirits for healing for a client (at his or her request or with their permission). In shamanism, these spirits are brought or sent by the practitioner directly to the client to perform the healing. I think of it a bit like interceding on a client's behalf with a specific top-notch doctor with whom you have a personal relationship, asking this expert to go to work directly on the patient.
As shamanic healers, we need not worry about knowing what to do for the client; the spirits are the specialists and they know what is needed for the person's healing. We also need not be concerned about asking for a complete cure; the spirits will do what is best for the person's soul. Our task is to connect strongly and deeply with our helping spirits, which requires time and training in most cases, so that we have earned the privilege of calling upon them when there is a need. Then, when we call upon the spirits with the intention to help ease pain and suffering, miracles can occur and people are cured – healed in the truest sense of the word – which means that they are "made whole."
&ndash Susan MokelkeGo to start...
NOTE: "Healing Words" contains helpful practices, ideas and suggestions from shamanic healers, answers to questions of concern to those practicing shamanism, and inspiring stories. FSS presents them as a service to the shamanic community without endorsement; as always, each shamanic healer is responsible for using these ideas in a responsible and ethical manner. If you would like to SUBMIT A HELPFUL TIP, email the Editor. (A few succinct paragraphs, please.)
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Editor: Susan Mokelke
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