• Once again, magic and sports don’t mix. According to Siberian Times (July 1), shamans invoked the ancestors to aid Russia’s team in their World Cup match against Spain. As a result (?), Russia won 4–3. But then they lost to Croatia a few days later and are now out of the tournament. Those ancestors, so fickle. (See also, magic and politics).
• Still on Russian shamans: Now they are seeking official recognition as a “traditional religion.”
For the first time ever, the shamans of the Russian Federation have come together and elected “the supreme shaman of Russia” – Kara-ool Dopchun-ool, head of the Kyzyl Local Religious Organization of Shamans – done so by an almost unanimous vote (115 out of 166 votes) and called for official recognition as a traditional religion of the country.
And there is a “United Council of the Shamans of Russia.” How do you think that that will turn out? Is herding shamans like herding cats? Still, it is an interesting bid for greater legitimacy.
• Can occult studies make you crazy? Or just a little unbalanced?
Over the years, as I’ve studied this subject, I’ve encountered a fair number of cautionary tales. People who become unduly interested in psychic phenomena – interested to the point of obsession – can find their mental health deteriorating, their relationships fragmenting, and their social status undermined. Of course, obsession is a bad thing regardless of its focus, but I suspect that it’s easier to become obsessed with the paranormal than with, say, stamp collecting. Something about this field of inquiry tends to draw people in and make them vulnerable to harm.
Read the whole thing. Was Arthur Conan Doyle driven over the edge? The article references The Trickster and the Paranormal, which is one of those “every esotericist should have this book” books. You can end up “one foot over the line,” it’s true.
5 thoughts on “Pentagram Pizza: It Resembles the Shaman’s Drum”
Perhaps it’s not people going psycho because of their interest in the occult, but more like people who are mental becoming obsessed with the occult, and therefore exacerbating an already unbalanced mental state.
It sounds like you are saying that there is nothing potent in occult studies, but that any problems are due to pre-existing mental conditions. Would that be a fair summary?
Well, yes. That’s not to say that some people can’t be “unhinged” by studying the occult. I had my own “episode” when I was much younger after studying the “occult”, then realized the problem was not the occult, but other factors surrounding me. Once I got that straightened out, any further study of the “occult” turned out to be looking at Reality from a more interesting point of view.
My college-time introduction to shamanism involved watching an ethnographic film about a group of men residing the the far Northern Regions of Scandinavia. They first collected the urine of reindeer that had eaten psychoactive mushrooms. Then, they drank, first, the reindeer urine, and, second, their own urine.
The reason for this being that the psychoactive substances passed unaltered through bodies both reindeer and human. But did alter, at least, human consciousness and spiritual acuity.
As I recall the film, the men proceeded to drink one by one. But there was no suggestion of much hierarchy distinguishing the members of the group. No initiatory degrees, lodges, councils, chiefdoms, or the like.
Shamanism was depicted by this film as every shaman could belly up to the bowl and drink like the rest. Equal and Earthy!
I did not, at the time, foresee this complex shamanic practice rooted in reindeer, psychoactive mushrooms, and urine sharing dispersing through the then small constellation of Pagan communities.Mostly because it was nearly impossible to come by reindeer in the lower 48 states.
Success to the Russian shamans in their quest for religious recognition. Shamanism, like so much else, changes with our times.
It has been my experience that studying the occult and paranormal comes with risks. But not always the risks that you get warned about. Like so many other human endeavors, building skills and skillfulness in matters of the occult and paranormal takes time, requires planning and effort, and brings about changes.
Sometimes, an individual has only so much talent and ability.
Sometimes an individual has only so much time and energy to devote to such activities. Sometimes, there are plateaus, or declines, vacations, or dropping the enterprise..
But, mostly, I suspect it’s the changes that may unsettle and disrupt an individual in the course of studying the occult and paranormal.
What I got shown, in practice, early, early, in my own skill building was how to stay connected, grounded, and safe–in spite of changes. Even so, the edge is there, and I’ve almost gone over it many, many times.
Occult, paranormal, magical endeavors include bumps, bruises, breaks, scars, and incapacitation.
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