Is Shamanism Real?

I love the Internet. It has completely changed the way we communicate with one another, and created open doors for ideas and interactions that we couldn’t have dreamed of a few decades ago. When previously I’d have had to write you a letter or produce a flyer to let you know what I was thinking or what classes I am offering, now I only need think about it for a few moments, hit the keyboard, and you are informed and I’ve communicated. Another thing I like about the Internet is that I can read what you are thinking, as you wend your way to my web site. I’ve invited Google, in the form of Google Analytics, to tell me how people arrive at my web site. So it tells me a lot of general, not specific, information about who is looking at my site and how they found it. For example, I can see that my average viewer spends over 3 minutes reading my site. And I’m glad of that because one purpose of my site is to help you understand healing, coaching, Reiki, shamanism and the possibilities they offer for your life. Another thing it tells me is how you, my anonymous reader, might have arrived at my site through a Google search. And those are the really intriguing bits of information Google feeds to me. The most fascinating Google search that brings you, dear Reader, to my site is this: Is Shamanism Real? I like this question because it is what I asked, myself, for several years. As I intently studied shamanism and began a shamanic practice, I found great joy in it. But I asked myself at least daily: is this real, [...]

Setting Out

I’ll confess right up front that I’ve struggled to get to this spot, my first blog post. And I’m not even talking about my usual struggle with semi-colons versus commas, Arial versus Verdana or even my titanic passes through the thesaurus looking for the word that perfectly describes the nuances of my idea. I mean that I’ve struggled for years to give life to this web site, this simple bare-bones statement of who I am and what is my work in the world. And I’ve struggled for weeks with the text of this first blog entry: what new is there to say about the struggle of beginning? Modern life and technology has made it possible for us to regularly engage in the act of setting out. The kinds of settings-out our ancestors engaged in were epic and huge, requiring tremendous acts of courage, expenditures of time and resources, and even the consumption of human lives. Migrations and explorations are the stuff of our history: entire continents, people and cultures “discovered” halfway around the world; the flight into space; the journey of our species to become one human race through all of our wars and peaces, disasters and triumphs. I can’t help but contrast these epic efforts with the ease with which we modern humans can simply open an electronic space and create something entirely new where nothing existed before. And yet, despite this ease, I have still experienced a great reluctance in this stepping out, this setting out. When I’m stuck in a process, I sometimes like to ponder the cultural understanding of that process, and so I often begin my process of getting unstuck with the dictionary. And this time, I find that Webster’s [...]