Image by matt.searles via FlickrI am listing several characteristics of a neighborhood shamanic practice to better understand my own ruminations around this topic:
Tendencies (not hard-fast rules) of a Neighborhood Shaman...
-- Individualizes a healing intervention for each being, place, or situation at hand; does not go by a recipe book (even if familiar with several)
-- Re-directs the current energy-flows and patterns into a one-of-a-kind shamanic shifting process instead of attempting to fit symptoms or signs into theories or formulas
-- Shamanizes indirectly (yet cleverly) catalyzing and facilitating purposeful change through arts and entertainment with symbolic, mulit-level songs, dances, and stories and little or no direct advising or suggesting
-- Draws from the natural and social support present in ordinary reality on the block or around the corner rather than seeking the exotic or weird or faraway as remedies (through nothing is off-limits)
-- Draws and adapts from (but takes care not confuse) diverse fields of knowledge and practice whenever and however it serves the present purpose, without adopting set-in-stone canons of dogma, or belief systems, or paradigms
-- Views problems and challenges first as the natural consequences of changeable behaviors and longstanding habits (on many interconnecting levels physical to spiritual) rather than deep-seated pathologies or fatal flaws
-- Focuses most upon changing what can be changed here and now and going forward rather than untangling past complexities (because a "change the things I can" and leave the rest for a while approach deepens awareness steadily and brings unconscious content to consciousness as needed and allows A LOT to be untangled and rewoven by Spirit and Spirits anyway, in harmony with the healing intention at hand)
-- Seeks and works to activate and enhance healing and transforming solutions already present within the presenting being, place, or situation
-- Develops her own techniques and methods
-- Works locally on behalf of the Earth and whole universe; most concerned with transforming this world for the better rather than transcending ordinary reality; shamanic shifts now by now, here by here, case by case, radiating healing outward through all space and time from this self and this neighborhood
-- Opens and keeps open a neighborhood center and circle as a conducive environment for all-of-the-above to happen on a small scale, day by day
Other approaches to shamanic ways may overlap or blend with this and one another: Traditional (seeking a direct link to indigenous spirituality or religion), New Age (merging with a blend of magical, mystical, metaphysical, and 'complementary and alternative' transforming and healing systems), Mainstreaming (aiming for recognition or licensing within the western medical model), and Large Group Awareness Training (the workshop and 'intensive' circuit).