Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Initiation and Black Hole Birth Discovery

I posted this yesterday, and today I rewrote it. Now it is just a little closer to expressing what I was intending...

Some themes and topics around relgion, initiation, and shamanic ways have been circling and circling inside, and I have felt anxious to come to some crossroads, where I can shift again and spiral further inwards on my questioning quest for knowledge of Freedom, Peace, and Healing. When I began studying shamanic ways, I understood that it was an endlessly open way, a black hole birthing a gateway ahead of me into the mystery school of my life, my own steeper sideroad, off of the beaten, traditional, initatory path of the western inner ways of gnosis I had been trudging.

Our little church-circle and school (before any of the shamanic outreach) started a number of years ago, within an unorganized covenant of companionship, and weekly get togethers of a few of us around Milwaukee, who had been unable to grok the symbols and correspondences of any of initiatory paths we had stepped onto - or who had even given up questing. We centered ourselves around freedom, against the background of personal uncertainties, and based everything upon sovereign individualism, faithful companionship, and agreeable covenanting. We mainly agreed to be there, and be there for one another.

Gradually, I began to gain a real, beginning grasp into the infinite dimensions of the mysteries of two and three as one. Before this, I had been initiated through a group process, and initiated myself over and over. Yet I did not really see the worlds within worlds under starry space, or shake the web of correspondences of dreams and human myths, or hear and remember anything of the lesser and greater (let alone greatest) Mysteries of the universe.

The last major crossroads where I rested a while was that seemingly random, chancy, coming together of traveling companions. It was for me clearing where I could see the stars yet begin to look for a peculiar rock to lay my head upon for a night or so, to dream something really new. Suddenly a teacher of shamanic ways appeared in my life dream and opened my eyes and opened new possiblities for shifting and spiraling further inward.

When I joined in the revival of shamanic ways a few years back I was a beginning stage initiate of the western inner tradition - yet I was bogging down, because I had not grokked the source of the mysteries. What I was attempting to practice was still only a filled out, more mature version of the religion I grew up within. And even this opening of the unabridged version of the Judeo-Christian way seemed to close in on me, and appeared to be just a more complicated canon of complications. Yet, for quite a while, I kept going around in cycles, without even coming to a dead end where I might hope for a break through.

One day, after flyers appeared in a local bookstore I found myself signing up for a shamanic workshop. The several shamanic workshops I attended over the next year or so, were all held indoors in ironically comfortable facilities, and most of my fellow wounded healers were women, eagar to reclaim lost power and reconstruct old earth-based spiritual practices. I began to consider shamanism to be more of a feminine spiritual path, and only recently read that professional anthropologists had been treating it academically as mainly a guy thing. Now, I understand that shamanic ways approach recreative andogyny, in diverse ways.

One of our circle kept attending shamanism workshops, because she could stand to. Understanding that shamanism was what she been experiencing, with varying degrees of awareness, all her life, she could take what she needed from those events and leave the rest in peace. She kept sharing as much as possible from the workshops with the rest of us. My study of shamanic ways has continued at quite a distance from workshops, though I attend shamanic circles when I can. This teacher and my other teachers are companions journeying the way in their ways, who keep showing me the power and possibilities in core shamanic ways of direct individual revelation. They teach ways to avoid settling down in traps of literalism, or stopping at any limits of excessive definition. I read and re-read many books, too - on shamanism and on many things. And now, I quest around the WWW, too.

In our school we do not publish anything that even comes close to debunking anything others are doing, so I will jump over most of the interior and conversational discussions I have been engaging in.

My attention has lately been drawn, while searching for more teachings and interesting links, to many of the many, many, initiated shamans who advertize shamanisms all over the internet. This perplexes me, for once initiated into the mysteries, a quester has no real choice keep going until the end - and then keep voyaging beyond the end.

Many shamanic questers seem to be backing away from this recreative uncertainty, or falling into the cyclic and recyclic patterns of published belief systems and conventionalized rituals, usually learned by rote, or recieved from authoritatve experts in faraway places. Even as the teachings of every lively spiritual practice-way now appears to herald the advent of another planet sized earthchange, universal shift, or end of all things as we know them, many shamanic practioners seem to be heading away from the exciting edge they, too, are predicting, retreating back into exotic jungles and faraway deserts...and visiting us here in our cities every so often, to publish books while travelling the workshop circuit.

(Yet, I really do know, deeper down, that this all works together toward even greater than dreamed of blessings.)

Shamanic practice ways brought me to the horizon of my unique black hole, caught still birthing a way of marvels before me, out of life and light collisions, for journeying to the center of the universe, and going beyond. It took a long time for astronomers to capture the sight of one black hole being born. If I do not shift my attention from things I do not yet understand in the ordinary world, back to my shamanic Quest, I will stay stuck with whatever stuff is spinning around just inside the rim of this black hole - and having come in here, there is no real way of turning back.

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