Master of Druidism Essay
Rev. Sue Bellworthy
This was yet another excellent course filled with so much information that it is again hard to identify any one point to highlight. Inevitably, it is the shamanic journey which has a strong magnetism, since it is the part of shamanism that is most frequently mentioned. The lesson gave a very clear description of the purposes and process. That the journey is an innate skill that simply needs practice is a fundamental point, as is the need to only journey for specific and ethically valid purposes. I have, beyond this course, done work on shamanic journeying and find it a very uplifting spiritual experience. That answers obtained through journeys are often cryptic is inevitable. There is skill in reading the portents of journeys, and there is skill in asking the correct questions. Even then, answers may be occult and may take time before they are revealed. This is the skill of the shaman. I was interested to learn that shamanic journeys have found their way into many tales and myths.
Moving back to the start of the course, I also enjoyed the lesson on the different types of shaman. There is a tendency to group all shamans together as a single group or simply to split them between Native American and "others". This lesson gave details of all shamans in great detail and dovetailed perfectly with the later lesson on the Siberian shaman.
Earlier still in the course, we see that shamanism shares with the other pagan paths the belief that everything that exists is alive. Whether this means that all contains a divine spark or whether it actually is sentient depends on the path. The shamans take the latter view and communicate with all the "people" be they "stone people", "flying people", "swimming people" or whatever. They may journey to communicate with these people and so acquire the truths that they may hold. They form "relationships" with both animate and inanimate parts of creation and view all as holy. This latter is a view that should be held more widely for respect for the earth is sadly lacking in these times. There is evidence that the tide is turning, but it is uncertain whether it will be soon enough to save all ecosystems. This lesson on the assumptions of shamanism clarified many of the questions I have previously held, questions that were not answered when I was receiving teaching from a shaman for a while. As an excellent and in-depth introduction to the practice of shamanism, this course has no competition. It has raised many issues in my awareness and has prompted me to continue further in my studies of this area, and to use the truths in my own ministry.
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