Eh, depends, met a couple of them, they are a big part in the culture on this side of the planet. Since the western influence is high, these shamans & their practices being looked down upon to be hoaxers & people who associated with them are to be seen as morons.
Depends on the culture I guess, I don't see any shamans here need any drugs, might got to do with Hindu influences, it's always citing hymns or meditations. As how valid or legit they are, depends on the topic you're discussing with them, some research into the beliefs would help. Not so long ago I've met an oracle, oh how he lied his ass off just to get me to pay him, it was pretty funny to me to see how desperate he was. Imagine a puppy scratching your leg, begging for food. But change the puppy into a wrinkle old man with brown lens sunglasses.
So per your question, no, you're not alone to think like that.
Drums and joik(a type of singing) as far as i know.
"A noaidi or noaide is a mediator between earthly world and the spirit world. The noaidi use a Sami drum and a domestic flute called a "fadno" in ceremonies. The traditional Sámi chant—the joik—was used in ceremonies where a noaidi fell in a trance, left their body, and transcended to the divine world of "saivo" where they negotiated with gods, spirits, and forefathers to improve the fate of their group."
There are still real live indigenous shamans. I've watched National Geographic footage of one of the Mexican tribes that uses peyote in their rituals lead people through a walk while on it. There are still numerous Native American tribes that use the psychedelics, and in order to do this stuff properly according to the beliefs, you need someone to guide you through the process. Hell, even if you hang out with folks who do LSD for mainly recreational purposes, people try to provide guidance and support in order to prevent bad trips and so on.
I've also read Artaud's account of using peyote with the Tarahumaras in Mexico in the 1930s. They are still around, if I recall, and still using peyote in their traditions. I believe the Mexican government allows indigenous use of entheogenic substances for religious purposes, though don't quote me on that.
I don't see that drugs should have to be necessary to "walk in the spirit world." There are lots of methods for getting there, and mystical schools explicitly against the use of drugs. I am of the opinion that drugs can be a valid way of getting you there, but a lot of the Western drug culture has a different orientation that is not always supportive of this. But then, I think there are plenty of people into the use of psychedelics who are.
You know what i wanna know, what the European shamans used to get there?!? We know there where shamans in Europe. I read of them in sagas so the Norse had them. And our fellow da on here said he had them in his country. What did those guys use?!?
I'm afraid I don't know a lot about European shamanism. I would assume it's similar to the practices of some Native American tribes and others I know about, where ecstasy or mystical states might be induced through fasting, sleep deprivation, or ritualized movement and sound. Also, there are plenty of things besides hallucinogens that could be ingested for the sake of inducing these kinds of states. We don't know a great deal about what all the mystery cults in Greece entailed, but we can assume that wine played this sort of role in the Dionysian mysteries.
It's worth noting that genuine shamanistic use of psychoactive botanicals are highly ritualized, and takes place under specific circumstances for specific reasons. It's not a "Oh wouldn't it be fun to contact the spirit world!" kind of thing.
I thought I implied that, but yes, I know that in that context it's very different from your drug buddies making sure you don't flip out. Still, I think some of the rituals serve a similar function of preparing the individual so it's a more positive, controlled experience.
Solum-IpsumFeatured By OwnerJan 25, 2013Hobbyist General Artist
Drugs open the mind. They don't open it specifically "upwards". One can have "miraculous", "dreamlike" experiences while dwelling in not the superconscious, but the subconscious.
The spiritual integrity of the shamanic tradition has probably corrupted a lot, and has approximated the hollowness of any dead religion. Ecstatic traditions aren't very safe for today's spiritually blind humanity who are slave to their emotions.
Solum-IpsumFeatured By OwnerJan 25, 2013Hobbyist General Artist
Well, some people do try it in a proper way... for example, in my country, some try really hard to revive our ancient folk shamanism (something similar to the Mongolian kind). The problem is that even though the techniques and cultural elements can be brought back, the mindset of people has changed, and we have become more indirect, rational and term-based in conceiving thoughts. We have to interpret ancient symbolism because it isn't obvious and self-explanatory. I mean, we look at an eagle and see a bird, a vertebrate or a predator... not the subtle principles it represents, as it used to for North American natives a millenium earlier.
Strange to bring up mongols, some still live like their ancestors did. They are nomads and live in those yurta things. I am guessing there, amongst those guys a real shaman might still exist?!? I mean, if i was to ever go questing for one, that's where i would start. Are you from Hungary?(looked at you r profile), i had no idea you guys used to have shamans :s
Solum-IpsumFeatured By OwnerJan 26, 2013Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, I'm from Hungary. Our people took on Christianity a few hundred years after we have spread across the Carpathian area (officially on the turn of the millenium in 1001). Historians usually say that this was a necessary compromise for our survival, but honestly, our ancestors have been at the gates of the Vatican earlier, and we could raze it to the ground at that time if they really were as barbaric as people tend to think.
However, I believe that when looking at shamanism, we should treat it as something that is – though legitimate – no longer works for us that easy, due to the reasons I've elaborated earlier.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you've never taken ayahuasca or a large dose of psilocybin mushrooms. If you had, you'd know they can produce some of the most profound changes in experience available to the human mind, and are often incredibly informative and spiritual. While not a shaman myself, I do practice a spirituality with a keen focus on these entheogens and the usage thereof, and I find your conflating of this kind of practice with people who are 'junkies' both incredibly insulting, ignorant and utterly laughable. These are not fun drugs, they are teachers. These are also not addictive, one doesn't become an ayahuasca junkie or a psilocybin mushroom junkie. Ultimately, your statements here a not only fallacious and ignorant, but also insulting. They betray a lack of understanding for the culture you speak of.
To get to the good stuff, you are faced with your own bullshite. You have to go through the pain of facing yourself as you are, and be able to both accept and move past it to come to any greater understanding. (My husband holds shamanistic beliefs, with the intent to become more, if we receive the opportunity.)
Is there such a thing as a real shaman? Because last I checked, anthropologists couldn't agree on what a shaman or shamanic practice is. It's really more of a fluffy catch all term - so much so, that I couldn't tell you what it's a catch all term for, as what you describe is only one of the practices hailed as shamanic.
I do feel inclined to point out however that drugs and certain psychological disorders really do alter the state of mind, and I have no doubt that at least some of them induce a state of transcendence (the state in which psychic/spiritual things are real.)
Also, if you have some idea that "real" shamans are indigenous people who take herbs for a spiritual journey to protect their tribe, they can't be extinct as there are still such groups living outside so-called civilization.
What the hell is a "real" shaman? I can think of at least two primitive animistic traditions whose shamans used psychoactive drugs as part of their religious practices (them being the Huichol Native Americans and the Tatars). History notwithstanding, I still don't believe there is such a thing as a "spirit plane" or whatever, or that doing drugs will accomplish anything but get you high. Ignorant, primitive tribesmen of course had no knowledge of how hallucinogenic drugs work, so they explained them like they did everything else: they made up explanations and made it their religion.
Though, this raises the questions as to why you would have thought there is such a thing as "the spirit plane", why it would be possible to "reach" it, and why you're so concerned about the authenticity of the shaman community in the first place.
Um, no, in this context, "ignorant" means ignorant. With our medical science, we know that psychoactive drugs work by upsetting the chemical processes in the brain. When the regions of our brain that account for sensory perception are so disturbed, so too are our sensory perceptions. That's all there is to it. Primitive tribesmen don't know this, so they make up stories of how certain plants are "magical" and have the power to transport their consciousness to another plane of existence. It's a nonsensical explanation with no basis in reality.
I saw this story a few years back on how stone age man was using a plant (or was it a mushroom?) with antibiotic properties. And yet it took us how long to find it again? Ancient man was amazing, and a lot more clever then modern man wants to give him credit. I guess the thought so much time passed and he(modern man i mean) is actually inferior in every way to ancient man is just to scary to accept.
Preposterous. The Egyptians didn't even have a working grasp of chemistry. They may have had some clever herbal medicines and certainly knew how to stitch cuts and set bones, but they were far from modern-level. There is no way they could have understood the chemistry of the brain.
Then surprise me. Were the Egyptians able to treat cancer with a high-energy proton emitter? I think not. Were the Egyptians able to isolate viral antibodies to create vaccines? Not likely! What on earth makes you think the Egyptians could match our modern physicians?
Don't you get it? Forums are for discussion, but when I tried asking you a few questions and raising counter-points to your original posts, you brush me off with "I have my reasons." If you don't intend to answer my questions, you have completely defeated the purpose of making a thread. Now, will you answer the questions of my original reply, or are you content to waste my time?
Hey, the spirit plane may exist. We as humans have not even discovered a cure for the common cold. A couple of years back it was one of the 10 killers in the usa along side cancer. There is still a lot of stuff to discover out there. Cause i met a some one a couple of years back, this women did not say she was a shaman but she sure looked and acted like one. Made me ask questions... I did not answer the first time cause it's a long answer and most people don't like long answers... Also you keep mentioning the fact i am wasting you're time... what is it so important that your doing over there, so important that you must get right back at it? 0_o i must know!!! Also, try and not get angry with me. You seem very upset, i am just being me, not trying to annoy or waste your time. You know, if you get so angry for no reason eventually you will get an ulcers, and it is not as fun as it sounds, just saying.