Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Shamanic Practice

Most people find the shamanic practices of Native Americans so similar to Witchcraft. Shamanism -- it is spirit - earth - based ancient cultural beliefs. Shamans (wise women, medicine women) were called upon to mediate between mortals and spirits. They would ask spirits to provide or predict during both light and dark periods. Peoples held festivals to celebrate planting, growing, and harvesting, and thus acknowledge the spirits. The most powerful spirits were associated with constant aspects of nature: day and night or light and dark, the Sun and the Moon, the four seasons, and the aurora borealis. Conflict could arise between the extremes-for example, betweenday and night or ice and fire. Some event might mean that the spirits are at peace and in accord with nature. Others could be interpreted as challenges to the natural order-influenced by evil spirits.