What do you think of the secret society of magicians vs. the "shaman" role in many societies? Do they reflect fundamentally different conceptions of what magic is and what its role should be? For those of you who believe in magic, do you think either of these is more worthwhile than the other?
What's your opinion of the booming popularity of things like "neo-shamanism," and how do you think spirits feel about all these strangers suddenly blowing up their phones after they were mostly left alone aside from the occasional ritual summoning for like 150 years?
I do not like the .be silent sbout your Work" aspect of occultism. I very much prefer the idea of being a shaman/"granny witch" who is looked to for answers by the commuty etc to being a self-serving emotional recluse.
Yeah. Actually, some forms of magic were quite openly accepted even in Christian Europe for a very long time. The idea that "witches" were being burned left and right is largely a myth, though it did occur on occasion when someone was believed to have been engaging in sorcery (defined as malevolent magic intended to harm others).
I'm sorry you're lonely.
A lot of people do need guidance or they're lost on their own, and the consciousness of society should be directed towards beneficial things instead of it being unfocused. I'd say that is more worthwhile than personal magic although all too often it's misused to channel obscene amount of energy to a small group at the cost of the majority. The knowledge is really the same and it's only the application, internal or external, that is different, aside from the intentions.
And any spirits are probably liking the windows into the current world.
The main difference between shamanism and the classic wizard archetype is mainly a geographical issue. Back in the day, different regions taught magic differently. Shamanism came from the Germanic peoples and classic wizards came from the Anglo Saxons. Or whatever predated them. Shamanism and magicians are basically the same thing but serving different goals and using different schools of magic.
>What do you think of the secret society of magicians vs. the "shaman" role in many societies? Do they reflect fundamentally different conceptions of what magic is and what its role should be?
I believe shamanism is the better thing.
Neo- shamanism is a bastard. It depends on the spirit and the person. Some will be delighted to have more souls to lead to ruin. Some will be truly joyed to have more souls to revealthe truth to. I thinks that's generally the only two things. Unless they are unworthy then the spirits will be disturbed to be disturbed.
The "secret society magicians" (aka initiates of various orders/schools/lineages) typically don't train specifically for magical abilities. They train for higher attainments such as gnosis, freedom from being bound by karma/astrological influences/elemental energies, etc. In the process, they often develop their abilities ("siddhis") naturally as a result of their practices, and sometimes the more famous initiates throughout history have performed miracles to help people. The reason many orders in the past have kept things secret is for two reasons: in the past they may have been persecuted, and because many people are not ready and would harm themselves/others with them.
Shamans are typically not all that highly attained, themselves. They typically are just following a tradition of teachings containing a few "low magic" practices that have slipped through the secrecy of an occult lineage that used to exist in their region, or that have been discovered by luck/accident. They usually use external tools/ingredients/plants because they don't have mastery over the vital/astral energies themselves.
As for shamans being more "humanity-serving" than magicians/initiates, it's all a matter of perspective. Ultimately, the best way to serve and assist in the spiritual growth of the human race is for you yourself to achieve liberation and therefor add to the number of adepts who go on to help teach humanity. The people who have made the greatest contribution towards teaching/helping others have been initiates, not shamans (people like Jesus, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Pythagorus, Plato, Zoroaster, and many others.) Shamans may help temporarily alleviate small, discomforting issues for people, but that's a small fish to fry on the greater scale of serving humanity.
With regards to 'be silent about your work'
I believe it to be a misunderstanding from the occult. One should be silent about their journey. The work they put in to be where they are. Expectations are a hindrance. The journey is personal. No two paths are the same. Talking about your work can create expectations about another's self-journey. a hindrance for them when you should be helping.
The knowledge gained is useless except when in practice. Teaching useless knowledge is a useless act. Unnecessary in itself. The dangers of the work can be shared, for example; but not the work itself. Wisdom, not knowledge is needed. Guiding, not Directing.
For real self-discovery to occur, one must be seeking it. Not have it laid out for them by another person.
The role of a shaman is one of an interpreter and story teller. Shamans are they ones who can see the deeper truths of reality. They interpret the signs and use their abilities to benefit the community.
Were someone to overcome their emotional reclusion, that person would have a deeper, more thorough understanding of their emotions and feelings of isolation. Helping the community foster stronger relations with one another. Telling about the work in seclusion doesn't benefit the community, using what you have learned during that time does.
Able to see all of reality through metaphors, the shaman's role is the artist shaping the community's soul both collectively and individual. As would a leader-king role shapes the physical body of the community.
Reality is a story for them. Reading, and having read the story, it isn't right to talk about the read. It wouldn't be fair to spoil the book, or create unnecessary expectations. Reality is a story everyone ought to enjoy.
shamanism seems to be defined by journeys and relationships with the great Other as well as intellectual/spiritual/emotional well being of a community or tribe
the English words magician or "magick" are unfortunately drenched with Crowley and Luciferian flavors and the blood of virgin's wallets, most or all understood forms of it could be better described as just "European rituals" or something else entirely
>Shamanism came from the Germanic peoples and classic wizards came from the Anglo Saxons
"shaman"-ism is academically limited to the nomadic aboriginals of Asia and the Americas though all cultures practice some form of ritualized social conscious altering or exploration
if by "classic wizards" you mean caricatures of Merlin that is a recent (Renaissance art/Celtic Romanticist revisionism) invention, but wizard and shaman translate to similar but different things
far before then the anglo saxons would have been germanics peoples and thus part of something akin to what is today called "druidism" and
we have very little available written information about the spiritual practices of Europe before Christianity because telling your territorial foes that you hired a warlock to summon birds that led you to a cave with a bunch of magical swords is more cryptographically effective than advertising your knowledge of trade routes and metallurgy
>"secret society magicians"
you mean politicians with comically unfortunate sexual fetishes and drug addled psychic trolls
I'm sure Jesus (and most great adepts) could easily do anything that a shaman could do, and probably without the use of external tools.
And of course I'm just assuming when we say "shaman" we are talking about the typical "witch doctor" type of person who might know which herbs effect certain healing, whichs incantations might cause certain states of mind, etc, via memorizationa nd tradition, but won't understand the true underlying causes of these things like an initiate/adept/magician would. And when we say "magician" I am assuming we mean real, hermetic-type magicians, yogi's, etc. and not angsty teenage chaos magicians or new age wiccans.
And of course there are people who are both magicians/initiates and shamans, especially in certain traditions such as Tibetan, South American mystery traditions, etc. But some traditions such as the Platonic schools, most Indian lineages, esoteric Buddhists, etc. have frowned upon the "low magic" (even if used to help people in mundane situations) and therefor don't have as much of a shamanic aspect to their culture.
If i were to specify i'd say it's the same work only Shaman do it locally and personally, and secret societies are working together to mold things on a larger scale, to an outcome that appears a little questionable but maybe, just maybe, someone will get it right this time.
>you mean politicians with comically unfortunate sexual fetishes and drug addled psychic trolls
You're not wrong that these people exist but I was giving OP the benefit of the doubt and assuming he is referring to genuine magicians/adepts and genuine mystery schools.
Not so. Choices indicate character and being in a secret society indicates significantly negatively imo because.
>because telling your territorial foes that you hired a warlock to summon birds that led you to a cave with a bunch of magical swords is more cryptographically effective than advertising your knowledge of trade routes and metallurgy
>implying that (bird-cave) was not true?
>I'm sure Jesus (and most great adepts) could easily do anything that a shaman could do, and probably without the use of external tools.
He also did use stuff to do it though like when he took dust, spit in it and rubbed it on the guys eyes and cured his blindness after.
Your definition of shaman is far less than mine. Your think and know lower of shamans than myself. Shamans can use siddhis, tell herb spirit to do its work without the physics presence, duck out intoxication without physically touching and other stuff more and less weird and wonderful. I know it.
Not all shamans are that powerful though or spiritually realized. Neither still are magicians.
A shaman that can use siddhis is basically also a magician then, in my opinion. But at that point it's probably just more a debate over how we are defining the words "shaman" and "magician".
And of course there is a lot of overlap between magicians and shamans. Many magicians still perform shamanic-type stuff as a "hobby" I guess, even if they've transcended the need for it.
In my view, and based on what I've seen is typically thought of when one thinks of "shamans" or "magicians", I would say that full magical training encompasses the lesser mysteries and the greater mysteries. Shamanism represents a practical mastery of the lesser mysteries.
Your understanding of shamans (in the anthropological sense, where it's often used more broadly than referring to the specific societies from which the word "shaman" originated) is pretty flawed, I think. They're generally respected in their communities not only as being able to help the sick and so on, but also as wise and able to commune with the spirits. In many cases, they go through an ordeal when they're young, and then rigorous training, both from an older shaman and from the spirits themselves. It's not just a matter of learning a few tricks and helping out where you can, though certainly there have been people who've done that.
I feel if you read some books about real Shamans you would change your mind and raise your regard of the shaman class. There are ones who allow themthemselves to be called shaman who are definitely of the higher masteries.
Those shamans would certainly fall under the category of magicians or yogis then, even if they are "shamans by trade" and perform shamanic services or are referred to as shamans in their native language. But you're correct, I will admit that I was using the "average" shaman (which is more like a witch doctor or herbalist) in my earlier comparisons. There certainly may be a few rare shamans out there who have reached some of the higher attainments by their own experimentation, without being formaly initiated into a lineage/mystery school.
What I'm saying to you is that the majority of shamans, by virtue of living in communities that took their roles seriously and encouraged them to learn, are/have been much better at what they do than you're giving them credit for.
There have been thousands of societies where they had local healers and basically everyone believed in them. You can't even know for sure that the world outside your head exists. Being an empiricist is silly.