Formerly titled: Christian Shaman / REPLY to Steve's Comment on the Post Above
The comment box on the post above Prayer Warriors Needed! Annual Bohemian Grove is NOW in Session http://bethanymagdalene.blogspot.com/2013/07/prayer-warriors-needed-annual-bohemian.html only allows a limited amount of characters so I'll have to create a new post here in order to reply.
(Steve asked why I call myself a Christian shaman in the description box on this blog).
First, I want to thank you for taking the time to check out the blog and to make a comment, I pray that you will be blessed for doing so.
I just want to state for the record that at this point in my life I am nothing but a humble follower of Jesus, all of my fancy lingo and playing with words aside. Ultimately, serving Jesus and doing/discerning God's perfect will for me every day is all that matters.
But, God gave me a gift for writing and a playful spirit so there is still a lot of that on my blog from over the years.
I refer to myself as a Christian shaman because I am a good deal American Indian. On my mother's side I am a seventh generation Mormon. As a seventh generation Mormon I have inherited the "magic world view" of the early Mormons (D. Michael Quinn). As a Native American I use a part of my brain everyone on the earth used anciently but is seldom used in contemporary American society (see Brother Marcus, a Christian minister to the Indians of Pine Ridge, South Dakota - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cfp-radio/2013/07/12/the-hagmann-hagmann-report - he also discusses Christ's visit to the ancient Americans ). I am also descended from African - Americans, Jews, and the British Isles.
From my perspective / Holy Spirit led study combined with a graduate level study of anthropology and religion it is my opinion that that the laws of magic are part of a larger body of spiritual laws that are no less scientific or real than the scientific laws that we acknowledge in our secular society. In my understanding there is also no difference between magic and religion.
Llewellyn's Encyclopedia definition of magic:
According to the famous occultist Aleister Crowley, magick is "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." ... In fact, Crowley... says that "every intentional act is a Magickal Act." If you follow his line of reasoning, there is a great deal of validity in what he says, although it is not what we are seeking at this time. We need to make the definition of magick a bit longer: Magick is the science and art of causing change (in consciousness) to occur in conformity with will, using means not currently understood by traditional Western science.
Allen Greenfield adds:
Aleister Crowley used to say that the correct magical operation for leaving a room is turning the doorknob and pushing the door. -- Secret Ciper of the UFOnauts, p. 70.
It is easy to spot the misuse of such laws in the practice of black magic in our society today such as the rituals at the Bohemian Grove (not to mention the underground ones so prevalent in our society that we don't see).
But unless you know enough about the laws of magic it may surprise some that Jesus Christ's Atonement was also based on spiritual laws that put that act squarely in the realm of magic and in my opinion Jesus' Atonement was the ultimate magical act and therefore Jesus was the ultimate magician. But as the Creator of the Universe how could he not be? As the creator of the video game how could he not beat the game?
The final lynchpin that really sealed this understanding for me was in the last few years when I was watching C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (animated, American version, 1979 - Watch on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/user/847ChicagoGuy/videos) after watching it a million times when I was a kid. My family used to have this version on videotape. The British Isles are also one of the few places left on earth where a magic world view has managed to survive.
There is a section in the middle of the film where Jadis the Witch thought that they had successfully used the laws of magic to kill Aslan and boy was she surprised when he killed death with death. Then there is another section after Aslan's resurrection talking about the laws of "deeper magic."
Jadis, The White Witch: "Does that fool Aslan think he can rob me of my rights? He knows the deep magic better than that!
Have You forgotten the deep magic?
Aslan:Let us say I have forgotten it. Tell us of the deep magic.
Jadis: Tell you?! Tell you what is written on that table of stone?! Tell you what is written in letters deep as he spear is long on the trunk of the World Ash Tree? Tell you what is engraved on the sceptre of the Emperor Beyond the Sea? You at least know the magic which the Emperor put into Narnia at the very beginning! You know that every traitor belongs to me as my lawful prey and that for every treachery I have a right to kill!
Beaver: Oh, so that's how you came to imagine yourself as a queen - because you were the Emperor's hangman!
Aslan: Peace, Beaver!
Jadis: That human creature is mine! His life is forfeit to me! His blood is my property!
Buffalo: Come take it then!
Jadis: Fool! Do you think your master can rob me of my rights by mere force? He knows the deep magic better than that! He knows that unless I have blood, as the law says, all Narnia will be overturned and perish in fire and water!
Aslan: It is very true. I do not deny it.
Susan: Oh Aslan, can't we do something about the dee magic? Isn't there something you can work against it?
Aslan: Work against the Emeror's magic? Fall back, all of you, and I will talk to the witch alone.
I have settled the matter. The witch has renounced the claim on your brother's blood.
Jadis: And now who has won?! Who has won?! Fool! Do you think by this you would save the human traitor? Now I will kill you instead of him as our pact was.. And so the deep magic will be appeased. But when you are dead what will prevent me from killing him as well? Understand that you have given Narnia to me as well - forever!
You have lost your own life and you have not saved the human! In that knowledge - despair and die!
ASLAN IS KILLED.
Jadis and her minions: The cat is dead! The fool lies dead!
Susan and Lucy: Oh no! What are they doing to him? What does this mean? More magic?
The Ressurected Aslan returns: Yes, although the witch knew the deep magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge only goes back to the dawn of time, but id she could have loooked a little farther back - in the stillness and the darkness before time dawned - she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had commited no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead the table would crack - and death itself would start working backwards!
Ceremonial magician, Kenneth Grant, writes about "the magical significance" of the Fall of Adam and Eve in chapter 7 of his book, The Nightside of Eden. So maybe we should not be surpirsed that the antidote to the Fall would require the ultimate magical act.
In 1970 Isaac Bonewits graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in magic. His senior thesis was published as a book called, "Real Magic." http://www.dailycal.org/2014/03/17/looking-isaac-bonewits/
If you read Bonewits' cross-cultural study of the laws of magic it is easy to see the magical laws underlying Jesus Christ's Atonement, which could be classified as an act of "sympathetic magic." http://www.amazon.com/Real-Magic-Introductory-Treatise-Principles/dp/0877286884
There is a lot of overlap between shamans and magicians. If Jesus was the ultimate magician and His Atonement, the ultimate magical act...and if Jesus was the ultimate healer (shamans are also usually healers) then Jesus must have been the ultimate shaman.
So a shaman is just another word for a spiritual / religious practitioner usually to a community of people in a traditional, tribal society. Many scholars of religion and anthropology have done cross-cultural studies of magico-religious practitioners and seen patterns of similarity that are sometimes classified under the generic term "shaman" which is a Siberian word for the earliest spiritual technicians of their ancestors (who just happened to be female by the way. The earliest shamans around the world were all female. Male shamanism is a later development).
One of the common features of shamans from many cultures is that they are often set apart in some way from a young age or birth. So regardless of whether there is formal training available to them from their tribe it is ultimately the divine that chooses them to begin with by marking them in some way whether physically or through intense life or death events surrounding their birth or youth. Anyway, all I am trying to say is that if the shaman is benevolent he or she is probably usually chosen by God (and there are evil ones, not necessarily chosen by God, although it's possible, people have their free agency).
Anyway, there are a lot of aspects to this cross cultural phenomena, so not being exhaustive, I would say that shamans are engaged in activities such as healing, revelation and prophecy for their community members. Some evil shamans use black magic to harm others.
Shamans live on the borders of consciousness, they are bridges between worlds, they have been to the spirit world and back. They have often survived horrific trauma (such as Joseph Smith) which gave them certain mental and spiritual abilities. In the last few hundred years, shamans are often mixed-bloods, which makes those shamans a bridge between cultures as well.
The above paragraph also describes my life. When I look back on my life (43 years) I see classic shamanic patterns, abilities and experiences. I see how God has used me in a shamanic capacity on this earth. It is not a badge I wear; not a title or occupation or a shingle I hang out. I think that it is more a state of consciousness, as well as being engaged in certain activities at God's behest.
Although I have to say that God and the Holy Spirit have given me training through the academic work I have done in reconstructing the ancient ways of our ancestors, European and Israelite included. And I believe that it was the Spirit of Elijah (as taught in the Mormon traditions) that was responsible for restoring this knowledge and this consciousness to me and the impulse for creating the unique academic programs that I have had the blessing of participating in since they were at cutting-edge schools that acknowledge the spiritual dimension and where I was able to research and write freely.
I think that it is possible for God to use someone in a shamanic capacity whether one is traditionally trained or not, or even whether one is conscious of it or not. Sometimes there is also a genetic aspect to it and the office and calling and spiritual gifting can be passed through the generations. I am certain that this is true for me as well.
A shaman is also often adept and called upon in the capacity of spiritual warfare. So it is interesting that you should ask this question on the Bohemian Grove article. I have been under heavy spiritual attack since I was a child by the demons, principalities and powers referred to in Ephesians 6:12 and have learned how to use the Lord's power and authority in good old fashioned charismatic Christian spiritual warfare. Ultimately it is my use of the power of God that brings to my mind the image of a Christian shaman.
Your question is particularly interesting because the subject of my PhD dissertation is to be the first biography ever written on a woman named Essie Parrish. She was the spiritual and religious leader of the Pomo Indian people from coastal Northern California roughly from the 1950's through the '70s. Also synchronistic that their territory is near the Bohemian Grove.
She was a healer, a "dreamer," a prophet and a famous basket weaver. Some call her a shaman. She was also a Mormon. She once had a dream about the Book of Mormon prior to LDS missionaries appearing on the scene. As a result, this led to the conversion of a large percentage of Pomo to the L.D.S. Church. To this day a large number of Pomo people are still active in the L.D.S. Church. She also had an "adopted" sister named Mabel McKay who was also a shaman, or sucking doctor (as was Essie), a dreamer, and a basket maker. She also joined the L.D.S. Church and there is a famous book written about her called "Weaving the Dream" by Greg Sarris. It's an extremely entertaining and educational book. Really well written, all of Greg's conversations with Mabel.
So there are actually Mormon shamans and Christian shamans. I have posted some of my symposium papers on the subject below:
Ancient and Contemporary Female Shamanism in Biblical and Mormon Traditions: Women's Prophetic Drumming Tradition
Emma Smith as Shaman
The Once and Future Bee Priestess
Dr. Beckstead's Sunstone paper - The Restoration and the Sacred Mushroom: Did Joseph Smith Use Psychedelic Substances to Facilitate Visionary Experiences?
I have also come across this interesting example of Christian spiritual warfare which resembles shamanism in other cultures. One cross-cultural idea in shamanic traditions is the idea that trauma can create "soul loss" or "soul fragmentation" and a shaman is able to go into other realms to locate soul fragments and restore them to a person's soul which results in healing, restoration and greater wholeness and vitality.
Psychiatrist, Bern Zumpano, M.D. includes this similar practice in his book Spiritual Warfare Prayers (I have used this on myself and others with noticeable results):
PRAYER FOR RESTORATION FROM SOUL FRAGMENTATION
In Romans 7 and 8, St. Paul refers to the soul as the mind, will, and emotions. In Romans 12:1, 2 he tells us that we must have a renewed mind in Christ. The mind is the soul, according to scripture. When you see people who have mental disturbance or impaired mental function after trauma, defilement, demonic oppression from any cause, or from a possession, scripture states the soul has become fragmented.
Indeed, practicing experienced witches even boast about projecting their souls into the mind of vulnerable individuals and “stealing” soul fragments. Satanists can do this also. I once ministered to a young man who escaped a satanic cult and became a born-again Christian. He moved out-of-state in order to escape those who were controlling him. In his new location, he was able to discern that the satanists had projected themselves by soul-projection (what occultists call astral travel) into the living room of his home where they would talk to him in his thoughts and tell him that they were waiting for him to return and that they believed that he would come back to them. He was even able to recognize the voice of the individual person that he knew was projecting into his thoughts.
Occultists even claim to be able to take soul fragments and to keep them in captivity in jars or bottles. To say the least, the Christian believer who becomes experienced in spiritual warfare and in dealing with the chaotic world of Satan and the demonic, will quickly come to realize how bizarre and unusual it is, if not surrealistic in human terms. The best discussion that I have seen on soul fragmentation, and the scriptural basis for soul fragmentation, is in the writings of Pastor Win Worley, whose entire church is dedicated to the deliverance ministry. Let us suffice to say that the importance of soul fragmentation is to recognize that it is probably a consequence of all major spiritual or demonic attack and involves demonic oppression or possession. There is a scriptural basis for it and it has myriad causes (Ps.7: 2; Ezek. 13: 20). The important thing is that as part of renewing of the mind, or as part of healing or immediately upon completion of deliverance, the soul fragments need to be retrieved and reintegrated into the person’s soul. This is done by commissioning angels of the Lord Jesus Christ to go forth to do so, through the spirit of power and might of the Holy Spirit.
Pray something like this:
“Father, in Christ Jesus’ Name, I commission warrior angels of the Lord Jesus Christ to go forth to retrieve all soul fragments of (name of person), wherever they arc, to take them by force, and to cause them to be immediately returned and reintegrated into the soul of (name of person), all through the spirit of power and might of Your Spirit, for your glory, Father, and all in Christ Jesus’ Name. I call all soul fragments back and restored, and his/her mind renewed, all in Christ Jesus’ Name. Warrior angels and watch angels of the Lord Christ Jesus, go forth immediately to cause this prayer to be, in Christ Jesus Name.”
Many people who appear and behave in a lost and forlorn manner from demonic oppression, or from trauma of any kind, may need to have this prayed over them. The time that passes afterward, and the fruits of persistenteffort will certainly reveal if it was necessary. The believer who ministers this type of prayer should do so discreetly, even in the absence of the person being prayed for, in order not to further traumatize the person at a time when they are emotionally and spiritually still vulnerable. Prayer for discernment, seeking the Lord’s guidance, will provide revelation as to when this is needed.
Hope this begins to answer your question. If you have any more let me know.
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