By Hank Setala
I have seen on websites where people attack each other stating that “this person is fake” or “that person is a scammer”
I am sure that in some scenarios such claims may be valid, however, it seems that “Shamanism” has shared the same fate as modern day religion. Like many religions we see people calling out the differences and finding places to be in opposition rather than allowance.
The word Shaman originates from a specific tradition from a region of Russia. Today, the word covers that original tradition and all other native traditions.
Now when two “shamans” get together and compare notes they see that they do things much differently. In the case of a particular website, there are countless accusations of most people being fake or scammers.
The Qero Tradition
I personally practice a tradition of “Shamanism”. The tradition that I practice is the Paqo tradition passed down from the Qero Indians of Peru. Within this tradition, from village to village they can all do things differently. Depending on the level of priesthood you initiate into, you are given certain initiations but encouraged to trust your own knowing and to practice from the heart.
This culture embraces the difference offered by other schools of thought without diluting or limiting their original teachings. I suspect that if you were to find the elders of any tradition, the ones who may not even know what the internet is that we would find that they would have similar energy of cooperation, communication and even communion with people of other traditions.
So what should you take away from reading this article? Anytime you see leaders of spiritual practices in opposition ask and trust your own knowing. All that really matters is what is true for you. If each person truly makes their spiritual practice their own it will never align and agree with anyone else. What if we were to celebrate our ability to be 100% us instead of working so hard to react and resist someone else’s point of view of a tradition or spiritual practice?
If you must get drawn into a drama around someone’s authenticity ask questions. Find out what tradition they actually practice. Many people who identify themselves as a Shaman have studied with various teachers and have pulled together inspirations from across traditions. Very few are actually trained in the tradition that originated in Russia. If you ask questions you will find that much of the opposition out there is a result of one person talking about apples, and another talking about oranges so there is never a meeting of the minds.
Apples to Oranges
My inspiration to write this was a comment made to me about calling myself a “Shaman” and that true shaman never identify themselves as a shaman. In my case, I am actually a Paqo and there is no such rule, and I am being lumped in with some other rule or point of view from a tradition that has nothing to do with mine.
In closing ask questions, follow your own knowing, and if you are caring what I or anyone else believes I invite you to take a step back and ask yourself what is really true for you. My truth and your truth do not need to align or agree. If they don’t align or agree we can take peace in the fact that we can just allow the difference, and celebrate our uniqueness in finding our way home to full awareness and consciousness.