Universal Life Church Seminary
Rev. Sharon Elain Sutton
Master of Shamanism program Written by Bishop Pat
What I have learned from this program
My people go way back to the Tennessee Native American Cherokee Wolf clan Indians. My Great Grandfather was the chief. His wife was a Shaman Medicine Woman. So I have always been curious and that's why I took this Master of Shaman program.
I have learned that there is a lot of discussion and opinion on what a shaman is. The word itself is rooted in the word šaman from the Tungus people in central Asia. The shaman, is a mystical, priestly, and political figure emerging during the Upper Palaeolithic period and perhaps going back to Neanderthal times, can be described not only as a specialist in the human soul but also as a generalist whose sacred and social functions can cover an extraordinarily wide range of activities. Shamans are healers, seers, and visionaries who have mastered death. They are in communication with the world of gods and spirits. Their bodies can be left behind while they fly to unearthly realms. They are poets and singers. They dance and create works of art. They are not only spiritual leaders but also the judges and politicians, sacred and secular.
They are familiar with cosmic as well as physical geography; they know the ways of plants and animals, and the elements. They are psychologists, entertainers, and food finders. Above all, however shamans are technicians of the sacred and masters of ecstasy. The ancients knew and experienced that there is an energy normally invisible, which connects all that exists, and they lived with the knowledge of this energy and how to use it. This concept of the inter-relationship and understanding that man is a part of nature, not separate to it. "What befalls the Earth befalls all the sons of the Earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself."
Animism is the belief that everything has a soul or spirit, an anima in Latin, including animals, plants, rocks, mountains, rivers, and stars. Animists believe each anima is a powerful spirit that can help or hurt them and are to be worshipped or feared or in some way attended to. Animism is a primitive religion whose adherents have for thousands of years deified animals, stars, and idols of any kind, and practiced spiritism, witchcraft, divination and astrology. They use magic, spells, enchantments, superstitions, amulets, talismans, charms, or anything that they believe will help to protect them from the evil spirits and placate the good spirits that are found everywhere in everything.
This course has helped me in my own spiritual path. Like the elements of animism are present in many false religions including Hinduism, Mormonism and all New Age cults. False religion always teaches in some way that the spirit within human beings is really God and the practices of the religion will help us to realize this and develop the god-spirit so that we, too, may be God. This is the same old lie Satan has been propagating since the garden of Eden when he tempted Adam and Eve by telling them "you shall be as God".
The Bible states unequivocally that there is one God and everything else, from the angels in heaven to the grains of sand on the beach, was created by Him. Any religion that teaches there is more than one god is teaching a lie. Before Me there was no god formed, and there will be none after Me and I am the Lord and there is no other; besides Me there is no god. The worship of false gods, who are really not gods at all, is a sin God especially hates because it robs Him of the glory that is rightfully His. A check of any Bible concordance on the subject of idolatry will show how many times God forbid the worship of false gods.
In addition, the Bible strictly forbids the practices of the animists. A man or a woman who is a medium or a wizard shall be put to death; they shall be stoned with stones, their blood shall be upon them. Such practices are open doors for demons to enter into the lives and souls of people who are deceived by the lie that is animism. The Bible condemns those who practice such things in very strong terms: abominations to God, stone them to death, the fire shall burn them.
As with all false religion, animism is simply another scheme of Satan, the father of lies. Yet many throughout the world are being deceived by the adversary, the devil, [who] walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Through this program I have learned much about shamans some good some bad. But over all I'm glad I took the study program It has been very informative.
Reverend Sharon Elain Sutton
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