Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cleaning up the mess....

I recently found this quote from a web page dedicated to vulture shamans and vulture as a totem.

"Each place and location has its own power and potency. By raising our consciousness about the Geo-Cosmic specificity of gravity, light, magnetism, solstices, equinoxes, lunar cycles, indigenous plants, animals, climate, and so forth in any given area, we can come to value the variety of diverse cultures and regions whose multiple knowledge’s all serve to enhance life everywhere on our planet. Most of these Geo-Cosmic teachings can only be acquired in the particular region in which they occur. If we are to awaken our own Shamanic abilities, perhaps lost in the mist of time, then we must attune ourselves to precisely those same forces as they manifest themselves in our own bio-regions. In some cases this may require us to learn about our region from the indigenous tribes in our area; in other cases we must set about discovering the power of the places in which we live on our own. We need not run away to other "exotic' cultures, but begin exploring our own backyards."

found here....

I was very excited to read ideas along the same lines as my own, but I was even more excited to read this on a web page dedicated to vulture shamanism.
Many years I had a dream....
I had won a sweepstakes. My father and I had to go to the bank to pick up the prize. We went into the bank manager’s office and he told me I had won a very special prize and that it was not safe even at the bank, and that he had kept it at his home. I also had won a travel bus (ahhh dreams hahah!). My father and I drove the bus, fallowing the bank manager to his home. We drove through clear cuts and federal forest land on mud roads and finally arrived at his home on a big hill within a large clear cut.
The man went into his modest house for what seemed like along time. I peaked through his windows and his house was full of dead animal parts hanging in artistic form bones teeth and horns, tanned hides... I turned around and saw that the hills and the clear cut were not hills and clear cuts but hill sized mounds of animal bones. The banker came out of his house wearing this amazing cloak of vulture feathers and a staff of bones.
He grabbed me by the shoulders and said I am a vulture shaman and now I am giving over my power to you. This is what you have won. You are now a vulture shaman.
He placed the cloak on my shoulders and handed me the staff. Your job is to clean up the mess....
My father looked over to me and said congratulations son! (Ironically my father is a janitor as was his father)
I have collected many myths and feathers of the vulture and I have shaved my head for years in honor of this bird’s medicine. I couldn't help but see allot of synchronicity in finding views like my own on a web page dedicated to the vulture.
In a way I feel that the future of shamanic practice and the new animist traditions that are forming are really an act of cleaning up the mess of this post industrial, post colonial global/consumer/monophasic/monoculture. To me shamanism and animism is very much connected with what I call emergence culture, which I have borrowed from a complexity theory term. Emergence is the process of complex pattern formation from simpler rules. We are learning the value of allowing our dominance and control over nature slide out of our grasp. We are learning once again of the value of working with nature and not controlling it. We are doing this through simplifying our lives, living with simple rules, and allowing the complexity to unfold before us like the blossoming of a spring flower. The shamanism and animism of today and the future will, I believe be completely intertwined with sustainable culture.
Bioregional animism is the attempt to rediscover the religion that comes from an intimate relationship between our own hearts and our back yard. Its aim is to reopen a dialogue between human persons and other persons, rock persons, wind persons fire persons, plant person’s animal persons and a wide variety of other beings that we share and owe our existence too, so that we can all work together as a family to create a healthy future.

A motivation I have in this project is to help redefine our basic misconceptions about the modern practice of animism and shamanism among those who are attempting to reclaim their lost shamanic roots. The thought that comes to me more and more often then not, is the image of a plant with its roots exposed drying up and in need of being reburied and then watered. Many of us, who are attempting to integrate animist cosmologies in our lives and are attracted to shamanic practices as well, need do nothing more but bury their roots in the land they live within. Which is simply the act of being one with that they are one with already? Once you stop longing for the exotic other, you begin to discover that you are part of this amazing aspect of the totality that is intelligent and aware that wishes nothing more then to work with you. The bioregion you live within will give you vision for your life and for your relations, it will give you food, shelter, ways of living, speaking, thinking, feeling, being, ways of building, problem solving, healing, the land and sky we live as an integral aspect of, even gives us our awareness. According to new cosmologist Brian Swimme illustrates so beautifully in his book The Universe is Green Dragon, we are the self reflexive awareness of the earth itself and not just the earth but the totality of existence, of the cosmos! Bioregional animism is the attempt to bring that awareness back into your daily every day life, it’s a reflection of, be here now, start were you are, and last but not least think globally act locally. According to Brian Swimme the earth had to wound it self in order to become selfrelexive. We have made horrible sacrifices through science and history to come to the point where we can have the empirical evidence of our interconnectedness, our oneness, and the intelligence and awareness of all that is. Bioregional animism is the attempt to live responsibly with our new awareness to wield this knowledge with wisdom and compassion and to heal the wound the earth had to make upon itself so that we could simply BE.