Shamanism in a word


Being called a Shaman can be unnerving at times because it means many things to many people.

Shamanism includes things like kundalini energy or the experience of the chakras (especially the 6th, aka the third eye) and auras. It's the seat of imagination, intuition, and what is often termed energy work. It's also the home of The World Soul (Anima Mundi).

This realm is often encountered through the use of entheogens or in (genuine) Pentecostal experiences: e.g. speaking in tongues, bodily ecstasy (aka holy rolling), and so on. While shamanic consciousness is by no means solely reducible to these phenomena, they do constitute an important set of core elements in the shamanic tradition. In the Western world many of these phenomena like auras and chakras are typically thought of as New Age. And certainly there are those who would label themselves New Age who are connecting to those forms of experience. New Agers however don't have a monopoly on such experience--these are simply domains of possible experience available to all.

Human beings (traditionally called shamans) have founds ways of accessing, learning from, and working with those domains for many thousands of years across the globe: from aboriginal Australians to The Americas to the Siberian tundra to sub-Saharan Africa...and even the Middle East.

Myself and others propose that Jesus was a Shaman in its truest form.

What I find most interesting is that these shamanic forms of practice surrounding Jesus are the stories that embarrass liberal Christians the most: exorcisms, healings, and apocalyptic language. Weirdly these elements have become largely confined to much more conservative forms of Christianity like evangelicals and Pentecostals. They therefore have a bad rap. And yet when we stop running from what's right in front of our noses, the evidence is overwhelming that Jesus was a shaman.

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 © 2015 by Aya Quest