Vol. 32 Nos. 2 & 3
Shamanism and the Wounded West
Karen Jaenke, Editor
Vol. 32 Nos. 3 & 4
Benyshek, D. M. (2014). The Contemporary Artist as Shaman. ReVision, 32(2&3), 54-60. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.2&3.54-60
This paper explores the relationship between art and shamanism, and proposes that certain aspects of an artist’s life fulfill Heinze’s definition of shaman. I was fortunate to attend the anthropologist Ruth-Inge Heinze’s last seminar on shamanism at a Saybrook Graduate School residential conference, and it is from this seminar that the inspiration for this paper was born. During the course of her lectures and drumming rituals I began to recognize a number of distinct similarities between shamans and artists. Drawing on my experience as a professional visionary artist I share autobiographical evidence of shamanic experiences during artistic creativity. Research from psychology, anthropology, sociology, creative studies, art history, and religious studies, is also considered towards constructing an interdisciplinary and multicultural model of the artist as shaman.
Boring, F. C. (2010). Walking in the Shaman’s Shoes: A Transformational Walk with the Family Soul. ReVision, 32(2&3), 46-53. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.2&3.46-53
Family, human and natural systems constellation and constellation as ceremony may again give the shaman a place in each of us. Walking in the “knowing field” of the family constellation, we are informed by the same clarity and humility that the shaman walked in. Incorporating the universal indigenous field, smudging, utilizing circle technology, honoring dream & synchronicity constitutes an effective approach to healing the scars of trans-generational trauma. Opening a new door to vision quests, nature constellations allow participants in constellations to experience animal and natural fields as a support to family systems and soul. Shamanic traditions of animal teaching may have fulfilled an ancestral and systemic need for including the natural world in the healing of the family soul.
Grauds, C. (2014). The Spirit Doctors of Nature. ReVision, 32(2&3), 31-39. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.2&3.31-39
A shaman’s mysterious healing practices are a blend of medicine and spirit. The rainforest shamans are experts on the healing properties of the jungle’s rich plant medicines. These shamans have an intimate relationship with the healing spirits of nature and of the plants, which they summon on behalf of the patient during the healing ritual. The author, a pharmacist by education, has spent 16 years apprenticing to an Amazonian shaman in the jungles of Peru. The author shares shamanic apprenticeship stories of the healing power of these spirit doctors of nature.
Hild, C. M. (2014). Fading non-empirical healing: The reemergence of the mending mind. ReVision, 32(2), 74-82. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.2&3.74-82
Engaging Alaska Natives in discussions on traditional healing techniques and knowledge has provided a foundation for further investigation. The desire to document cultural-based skills led to a historic review of two centuries of ethnographic accounts. These observations were found to be similar to current medical practices of engaging the mental capacity of patient and healer in the act of improving well-being. There appears to be a broad spectrum of potential areas of mind/body healing that can be investigated that is firmly based in Alaska Native traditional practice. A community-based action research approach resulted in a process of multicultural engagement for learning and understanding (MELU) to utilize traditional healing techniques to complement and integrate with modern allopathic health services.
Krippner, S., Bova, M., Budden, A., & Gallante, R. (2014). The indigenous spiritual healing tradition in Calabria, Italy. ReVision, 32(2&3), 61-74. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.2&3.61-74
In 2003, the four of us spent several weeks in Calabria, Italy. We interviewed local people about folk healing remedies, attended a Feast Day honoring St. Cosma and St. Damian, and paid two visits to the Shrine of Madonna dello Scoglio, where we interviewed its founder, Fratel Cosimo. In this essay, we have provided our impressions of Calabria. Although it is one of the poorest areas in Italy, Calabria is one of the richest in its folk traditions and alternative modes of healing.
Llamazares, A. M. (2014). Wounded West: The healing potential of shamanism in the contemporary world. ReVision, 34(2&3), 6-23. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.2&3.6-23
By exploring the relationship between shamanism and the global contemporary crisis of a wounded Western culture, this article presents a general outlook of the main trans-cultural features of the shamanic worldview. It focuses on the process of shamanic healing by revisiting Lévi-Strauss’ concept of “symbolic efficacy” in the light of healing conceptions found in new holistic science. It also provides epistemological elements to reflect upon the physical and psychological suffering that we endure in Western societies, as well as the possibilities of relief in the light of shamanic knowledge. Two classical mythological characters are evoked: Dionysus and Chiron. Both embody the initiation principle par excellence of shamanic fate, and thus remind us that this worldview is also rooted in our own Western tradition.
Sarasola, C. M. (2014). Reality, invisible world and shamanism: An outlook from the indigenous worldview. ReVision, 32(2&3), 24-30. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.2&3.24-30
If we challenge the Western rational idea of reality an avenue is opened to consider alternative forms of knowledge. The author recounts his experiences as an anthropologist with the indigenous peoples of Argentina and their concept of the “invisible world.” This concept is brought into relation with shamanism without losing the perspective of the original worldview. This rests upon a different conception of reality, a great mythological corpus, and on several central ideas: totality, energy, communion, sacredness, and a communal sense of life. A path towards a cosmic consciousness is suggested, as well as the possibility that the indigenous worldview is a fruitful territory of encounter for Westerners.
Tindall, R. (2014). A quest to heal HIV with ayahuasca shamanism. ReVision, 32(2&3), 40-45. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.2&3.40-45
Amazonian shamanism is mainly associated with the visionary effects of the psychoactive vine ayahuasca, yet the practice of the Peruvian tradition of vegetalismo includes other factors such as diet (communing with the innate intelligence of healing plants) and purging (drawing disease out of the body), which allows healers to successfully treat serious disease such as cancer. In the process of undergoing such treatment, Westerners often begin to distinguish between the outcomes of a healing quest and being cured – and make their healing quest primary. This article documents one patient’s quest to heal himself of HIV through apprenticeship with the Peruvian curandero Juan Flores.
Whitmire, N. (2014). Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and The Trickster: A Case Study of Archetypal Influence. ReVision, 32(2&3), 84-94. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.2&3.84-94
Julian Assange has had a dramatic impact upon global society through his creation of the information leaking website WikiLeaks. This paper explores the cultural and social parallels between Julian Assange’s character and the trickster archetype through the examination of his interviews, biographical information, and through the articles written about him as well as those he has written himself. This examination of archetypal influence shows how an individual psychology is contained within greater contexts and how that larger framework influences through unconscious means. Furthermore, archetypal case study shows how the individual taps into and impacts the culture by accessing archetypal images invoked by the greater community.