Tribal vs. Modern

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     Shamanism has made a great surge in recent times. It is a topic that seems to stir the primal longings deep within our souls. We often hear of the dimensional transformation of 2012 as the Mayan & other indigenous calendars speak of a new age. This brings many of us to the point of discovery as we search for the true meaning of life. As we take this journey, we inevitably cross paths with Shamanic philosophies. Then, for many, the journey ends since we are unable to find a Shamanic teacher because of the way our lives are structured in modern society.

     As we feel this increasing "pressure" to make the "connection," we find that we need an appropriate filter to understand the ancient teachings. This search takes us to the merging path of integrating ancient wisdom with contemporary living. What does "Shamanism" mean to a new generation of soul seekers?

     Let's examine Shamanism from two schools of thought: Tribal & Modern. Listed below are some of the more common differences between the two. Even though it is not an exhaustive list, it will provide a starting point for filtering our contemporary ways of thinking. Who knows, you may be the Shaman waiting in the shadows, because you thought there was only one way?



Tribal Shamanism Modern Shamanism
1. Other names: traditional 1. Other titles: cross-cultural

2. Tribal land: sacred places

2. Any place

3. Tribal language

3. Language - many cultures

4. Closed or secret - tribe only 4. Open to all - collaborative
5. Tribal beliefs 5. Varied beliefs - many cultures
6. Tribal traditions - from elders 6. Modern traditions - manycultures
7. Time - flexible 7. Time - limited & full of schedules
8. Rituals - can use sacrifices 8. Rituals - sacrifices may be illegal
9. Natural Herbs/medicine - knowledge from elders

9. Natural Herbs/medicine - limited knowledge & may be illegal

10. Lifestyle - supports     participation in physical ceremonies

10. Lifestyle -restricts participation in physical ceremonies

11. Ceremony - tribe only plays 11. Ceremony - everybody plays
12. Shamans - birthright or           apprenticeship 12. Shamans - emerge from many walks of life & experiences 

13. Shamans' needs - provided by tribal members

13. Shamans' needs - fees or donations, usually money






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