Reflections of a Modern Shaman
The word ‘Shaman’ traditionally conjures images of a figure costumed in feathers or furs and rattling bones or beating a drum. Modern shamans do not necessarily look like the tribal Shaman who came before them but the calling is the same. Shamans take on the responsibility for healing souls of their tribe.
Today we are in great need of soul healing but we are also in need of tribal connection. We are much further from our tribal origins than many of us would like to acknowledge. In tribal cultures, the most important unit is the tribe as a whole, while the individual is relatively insignificant. In our post-tribal culture, the individual is predominant. This cultural shift has left a hole that needs to be healed. The need for connection and community is as primal as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food. In the west, we like to think of ourselves as relatively immune to the sway of those around us while we each pursue our personal destiny. This is more likely a story we like to tell ourselves than what really happens.
In studies of mammals from rodents to humans the data suggest that we are profoundly shaped by our social environment and that we suffer profoundly when our social bonds are threatened or severed. We are meant to be connected to each other.
Much of the healing work of modern Shamans is to help individuals connect with one another and with the one. We encourage you to reach out and connect to others. Pay it forward. Commit random acts of kindness. Join groups. Create groups. Smile at strangers. Hug others. If you are already connected to a supportive tribe, reach out to others – maybe those who do not look like you or with less in common with you for their sake and for your sake.
Join the Shaman tribe.
Make a decision to heal yourself and others in and through community. We are meant to heal in community.
Our need for one another is our greatest vulnerability and our greatest strength.