Do you learn shamanic knowledge best from a teacher or direct from the Source – whatever that may be…?
Do you choose traditional teachings, and if so, which tradition?
Maori, Hawaiian, Siberian, North or South American, African, Australian, European?
Do you choose a tradition you feel ‘drawn’ to?
Here is how it is for me – there’s a time and a place for both kinds of teaching and they can support and confirm each other:
If I choose to learn from a teacher, (having found out something of their background, training and experience), I bear in mind that they (and I) are human.
They will be teaching from the best of their ability, from their training and experience and in the light of their values and beliefs and these may be different from mine. So:
- My aim is to learn ‘how to’ details, so that I can follow the instructions, practice as long as necessary and test the results for myself.
- The whys and wherefores: beliefs, theories etc., are interesting background and material to consider. If they are ‘essential’ to learn or do something, I want to know why, and then what I would need to do and for how long, in order to have direct experience/ confirmation of this.
If I choose to learn from spirit guides, plants, animals, minerals etc., then I still want to know their provenance. I still want to know ‘how to’ so I can test it and why, so I can consider it.
If I choose to learn through my own activities and experiences, I have to bear in mind my own filters, blind spots, level of experience and human characteristics.
Coming back to shamanic teachings and different traditions – I think there are universal principles and practices to shamanic work, and there are specific belief systems, traditions and practices. In my view the latter belong to the specific culture, tradition, society and location on the planet where they originate and in most cases this is the only place where they are truly fitting and relevant. Therefore I teach the underlying and universal principles, which can be used by anyone and fitted into their own belief and value systems.