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Author Topic: Any good books on medicine wheel and Native American shamanism out there?  (Read 14125 times)
Armagh444
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« Reply #45: November 18, 2007, 11:57:45 pm »

Condescending in the extreme. Yes, I have. But never mind. I don't think it is a topic worth getting into further, as LF pointed out.

Questions are not condescension, Rose.  Questions are requests for information. 
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rose
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« Reply #46: November 19, 2007, 12:04:42 am »

Questions are not condescension, Rose.  Questions are requests for information. 

You seemed more to me like you were making demands. But honestly, I am done talking to you about this.
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  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

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« Reply #47: November 19, 2007, 07:30:16 am »

Guys,

Let's remember to discuss the issues here rather than each other, please.  Thanks.


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« Reply #48: November 19, 2007, 07:31:34 am »


I don't think your experiences are invalid.  Calling your practices Native American is not valid unless they are being practiced in a Native American cultural context.  Native American sacred traditions are generally too interwoven in the larger cultures for them to retain their Native American character if they are removed from that culture.

This is the crux of it right here.  Nobody cares if bits and pieces are adapted into people's personal systems and work for them.  (well, the very political care, but that's a vocal minority)  After all, True Things do cross cultural boundaries.  The trouble comes when people package and market these bits and sell them as if they were the whole sandwich.  People who don't know any better, and have no way to learn if they don't have the time and will to immerse themselves in the actual culture, run around calling themselves medecine workers or shamans (personally hate that word) without realizing how far from that they are.

FN-inspired, neo-FN, FN-influenced, these are all inoffensive terms, but you get people like Brooke Edwards and Dennis Renault telling people that they're selling them the complete package, against untold threats and dangers by the silly elders, and people want to believe them.  It adds a mystique and depth that they basically should be able to feel without the hype, if the system speaks to them.  People who market spirituality always adjust it to their target market, leaving out and adding in things to better tailor it.

Like I said, I have no problem with people being drawn to the FN way of looking at things.  Sincerity speaks volumes.  But just as you can't apply a wiccish attitude and system to your path and call it BTW, you should be leery of what you call the bits-and-pieces you take from other places as well.  In both cases, it's usually the foundation and the darkness that get left out, leaving an incomplete whole on an unsteady base.  When you build the new base, you have definitely stepped away from your original cultural inspiration.

It is at that point that you need to start calling it something else.  If you feel that changing what you call it is insulting to the original culture (more insulting than calling a partial thing the thing itself) then use a tribute word, like inspired, neo-, etc.)

Absent
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« Reply #49: November 19, 2007, 02:47:00 pm »

Rose,

What Armagh is saying is actually a very common position. Whether you or anyone else likes it or not, many of the First Nations people absolutely loathe the co-opting of their culture/beliefs into modern neo-Pagan systems. And many of them are going to be upfront and blunt about it. I know, I've run into a group of them who were downright nasty even though they knew I had zip interest in their religion.

This is a hot topic. Always has been.

So very, very true. The point I was originally trying to make is that those genuine and sincere Medicine People who have stepped forward, usually at the prompting of personal Vision, face a great deal of opposition and varied societal pressure from their own people. They share their Teachings even though it angers their people... and I respect them for that, and am grateful.

Justifiable anger does not make it any more spiritually acceptable to deride others for their choices and actions. Venting, sure absolutely everyone needs to vent, most especially those who have been persecuted and stripped of their culture over the years. Calling an Elder an Apple (red on the outside, white on the inside) is not an action of Unity, Respect, or Spirituality. Neither is blaming years of oppression and abuse on a single individual just because of the color of their skin. This sort of thing is truly, from what I have seen and heard during my brief time on reservations, tearing apart a noble and much beleagured Culture that can ill-afford the internal strife when they are Still struggling against severe outside pressures. There is an anthropological term, leveling, which I have seen in action too. It is terribly sad and distressing to witness in any culture, even to someone like myself who is an outsider and not heavily invested in the culture.

No matter who you are or where you are in Life, it is nigh impossible not get angry at others, not to voice one's displeasure,or even amusement in an unkind manner of whatever degree. It happens even when you work very hard as an individual to respect others' opinions, choices, etc, even when you violently disagree with their views. Simply put, there is a huge difference between expressing concern/displeasure at the choices of another and using an insult to label them, no matter how right you may be in disagreeing with their poor choices.

I do not consider myself to be white, although I recognize that as my racial background. I consider myself to be Human, and I accept all people as individuals on that same level regardless of their racial background. It does get up my nose when someone uses an insulting label on another person, whomever they may be, whatever their race or position in life... Since just over the age of one I have been puzzled as to why darn near Everyone insists on focusing on differences as bad things when I see them as such a wonder and a blessing. Nothing angers me more than catching myself even thinking about someone else with a label meant to be insulting and it is often so Easy to fall into that without thinking. I work retail and I often find myself struggling not to be pulled into this sort of downward spiral by someone else's attitude on any given day, almost as an automatic defense mechanism... but I do fight it and I do work to encourage my co-workers to keep a positive and constructive outlook.

To look at another cultural referrence, many people forget that Jesus was a Jew and condemned by his own people. Ultimately, enlightened individuals of any culture who offer Truth and Spiritual Teachings freely suffer a great deal of persecution, often from those closest to them, but from society at large too. And there are always truly deceitful people looking to profit from such angles too, because these (Truth, Religion, etc) are powerful motivations throughout the Human race. I have observed too that even though we may believe that we want nothing more than Truth, more often than not we will be angered by it, reject it, deceive ourselves into believing almost anything rather than simply accept the Truth that sits plainly before us. Fighting only causes us more harm, more pain, more sorrow... yet we do it anyway, all the while believing that Truth is all we want.

Mitake Oyasin is not the language of my family or race, but I believe in All My Relations and love them, sometimes unwillingly lol, despite the many pains, tragedies, sorrows, injustice and attrocities that we commit against each other. It is harder for me to love Humans than the Tree at my window... I feel closer to the Birds at my window than most people I interact with on a daily basis... but I strive to love them all anyway. What book is that written in? Perhaps it is more important to share our hearts than our written resources...

Wishing you laughter   
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