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'The Real Shaman?'
Fire Kindles the Cracked Pottery on Tribal Metaphysics, dateline 5/28/21
© 2021 James LaFond
Wednesday, May 26 (2 days ago)
“What is your definition of a real shaman... None of the academic stuff. Your sense of what that actually is...”

Ugh, this question pains me because I am unqualified to answer. Fighting questions and military history, I know right off if its in my wheelhouse or not. But shamanism is something I have never had an interest in and have only read about it in feel-good fiction [fake and geh] and in academic books [phony and lame] as part of my research into tribal life. Shamanism, like philosophy is something I have no personal interest in. However, due to two factors, I am compelled to take a rough stab at this concept:
-My desire to write authentic fiction from perspectives that are alien to me,
-My towering ego, which has decreed a mission imposed upon my lesser half by his rampant master, to pull off question and answer cycles from readers as a means of mental exercise, in a vein attempt to prove that I am not really that dumb fuck that occupied one of five seats in a special ed class, never completed a math quiz, never earned a passing grade in English and could not complete 9th grade...
[Note how I slyly inflated the apparent heft of this article through the above. That means I'm stalling and don't know how to answer this question. Fortunately, I am a noted if reviled novelist, so I'm about to make something up. I happen to be putting the finishing touches on Haft, a novel about an Ork messiah set in Middle Earth. This required a shamanic character to manage the young hero's passage from buck, to bull to Elfbane.]
In 1634 [I think, it might have been 43] when Miomoto Musashi wrote his book of Five Spheres [usually mistranslated into the rigid and imprisoning Book of Five Rings, he acted as a shaman of duelists, giving advice from beyond the hierarchy and outside of schools of dueling, to discuss five interactive spheres. Like his concepts—being used to make money by corporate schemers and climbers—and his way of two swords, counterfeited by posers and fakes and money-makers to this day, all tribal lore, including Musashi's is twisted and corrupted on contact with our sick, simpering, crawling, kneeling, grasping and begging hierarchy. It is what Civilization does, taking the shamanic figure—the guide beyond the hierarchy of society—and either deifying him posthumously and setting up a priesthood to milk his image, or bringing him in as a priest.
The shaman seeks the truth while the priest guards the truth against discovery. Priests in our society include reporters, editorialists, ideologues, news broadcasters, all academics, priests, preachers, pastors, ministers, doctors [the source and guardians of doctrine], pundits, actors, athletes making public service announcements, podcasters; and these priests may be orthodox or heretical, they could be Wolf Blitzer on CNN or Stefan Molyneux on bitchute. They are all priests by dint of investment in the power structure.
The life blood of our power structure is currency, and its great temple is the fractionary reserve pyramid predicted on the dollar bill in the eye atop the pyramid on the back of the dollar bill. Anyone that is part of what we call the money system but has evolved into a currency system, anyone who makes a living in this system, does not fit what I see as the shamanic model of guiding.
My favorite example of a shaman is found in the story of Wakashi, who at age 40, at about the year 1838, wished to become a chief of the Shoshone. Wakashi [The Rattler] a noted warrior and a son of two tribes, whose mother gave birth among his father's people, sought a second vision quest to satisfy himself that he was fit to lead, where earlier he had satisfied himself that he was fit to struggle as a man. He went to Medicine Wheel Mountain and there found two elders, one at the base of the mountain, and one that lived at the top, at an astronomical observation array of grounded rocks, which I have visited a few years ago.
The life-long hunter and outdoorsman who took me to this mountain pointed out that young men would have had to bring food and provide fire wood for these hermits for most of the year, as the mountain is snowed in from September thru June. While a modern shaman in a civilized margin will be preyed upon by individuals and municipalities, a shaman in an extended tribal setting received aid from men of many tribes in return for advice. I suspect the bearded of the two elders of being a renegade Jesuit.
These shaman were men of no nation, members of no tribe.
The keeper of the sky stones atop the mountain was further, a man of alien race, a man with a long, white flowing beard.
Wakashi showed this man the medalion given to him at birth by a shamanic-chief, with chiefs not being hierarchical ranks in such tribes, but rather a position of maximum risk leadership by consensus. This disk on a string had a buffalo on one side and a swastika on the other, the symbol of rejuvenation the world over, called “the house of whirling logs” in the Eastern Woodlands. The elder advised Wakashi, as a neutral presence accessible and unmolested by a dozen tribes, that he was fit for the duties of a chief if he would work across tribal boundaries for the betterment of his people. In our time this advice is sold as setting aside your people for all people, when in a tribal setting those who do not work across tribal lines will be isolated and wiped out. Where once shaman advised working across tribal lines for US, priests of all stripe now advise working across tribal lines for THEM at the expense of US, and the reactionary micro-minority foolishly counters that isolation is the answer. Thus, under priestly [ideological] guidance both the lefthand and righthand path leads the tribe to extinction within the false polarity.
Therefore, the shaman's key advice is to identify the polarity or current of cyclic context in which the actor seeks guidance.
Wakashi we do not hear of, because he was not killed by whites like Tecumseh or by Tribal traitors lie Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse [who were both shamanic figures]. The reason for this is simple and multifaceted:
-He was not martyred and only slain seekers are accepted as exemplars by the soul-eating system.
-He killed seven men as a chief—just went out hunting enemies as an old man to quell the young bucks angling for his position—and America can never forgive the lethal actionist unless he is a war slave or civil servant.
-The Shoshone do not feed the “rez junky” or “red Christ” image of the false American evil patriarch divine mother cosmic oatmeal cookie polarity.
-He spoke against slavery to big agra when he said, “God damn a potato” and insisted on eating wild caught meat, another sin against Geh Gaia.
-Wakashi led his people successfully into the modern age as a patriarch, in a sissy nation that only accepts feminized interpretations of Amerindian life.
Wakashi's journey to Medicine Wheel Mountain shows the success of accessing a true outsider, alternative view for advice from beyond the tribal or other social fishbowl. Likewise the corruption of shamanic visions often had upon mountains or in reclusive caves into ages long pyramid schemes that rape the human soul or simply corrupt the warrior soul, can be viewed in the legacy of Musashi. The twisting of the greatest duelist's experience of killing into masturbation over what he called “little sissy things” in the form of Musashi's work penned on that mountain above Nagasaki being turned into, phony sword flowery and corporate chicanery, is a caution that the shaman is not a permanent, soul-blocking place holder like a priest, but a unique and fleeting human vantage from beyond the normal social mechanisms, either into the world or beyond.
The shaman pairs well with the hunter and the warrior because he offers glimpses that may be used to triangulate the hunter-warrior's intuitions and experiences into successful actions, while the priest pairs well with the politician, providing mind-addling doctrine and doctrinaire hooks by which the politician can use his cunning and position to successfully manipulate the human herd.
I would have to say, that while a shaman in a small insular tribe may be a part time operator, an elder, a sometime chief, that in wider multi-tribal settings and ultimately while in the prison of Civilization, that the shaman cannot really attain and maintain authenticity unless he resides outside of whatever system of living occupied by those he advises. That said, such advice will be more effectively understood, contextualized and applied, if that shamanic figure has spent time within the system of living occupied by those he advises.
The shaman is an explorer and as such must embrace his ignorance or fall into the pit of priestly doctrine that awaits the didact.
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the greatest lie ever sold
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BigC     May 30, 2021

Hey James,

I was wondering. If you could snap your fingers and set up a boxing match between any two fighters in all of boxing history, what fights would your want to see?

JacobM     Jun 1, 2021

Very interesting read. This concept of the shaman almost seems like the concept of the taboo man. The omega.
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