I would say the vision quest offers more direct access to the Animal Powers than Christianity does; for in our civilization we have cut ourselves off from the roots of our instincts. Christianity in the thirteenth century still maintained this primitivism, the source of its vision; it had found its mind, seized the greek thought, an achievement the aboriginals never could match.
See? This proves again that Christian thought melded many other spiritual beliefs together in some cases. Exactly my process. On page 180 of Christian Mystics a quote attributed to William Everson says that Jesus was the first true Shaman. Whether you believe it or not, whether it’s sacrilege or not is beside the point. There are those who believe it to be the case. Your belief system influences your worldview. There’s that pesky Law of Attraction rearing its head again:
your thoughts, your belief is what creates your world. If you believe it, then it is true in your paradigm.
Should you be interested in following a Shamanic blog, I highly recommend checking out my friend, Carla Goddard’s Shaman Medicine Woman. Our paths and thoughts frequently connect. The two of us have a tendency to sometimes write about the same things without the other knowing.
Shamanism is a very old practice. According to Crystalinks:
Shamanism is a range of traditional beliefs and practices that involve the ability to diagnose, cure, and sometimes cause human suffering by traversing the axis mundi and forming a special relationship with, or gaining control over, spirits. Shamans have been credited with the ability to control the weather, divination, the interpretation of dreams, astral projection, and traveling to upper and lower worlds. Shamanistic traditions have existed throughout the world since prehistoric times.
Shamanism is based on the premise that the visible world is pervaded by invisible forces or spirits that affect the lives of the living. In contrast to animism and animatism, which any and usually all members of a society practice, shamanism requires specialized knowledge or abilities. Shamans are not, however, organized into full-time ritual or spiritual associations, as are priests.
Just as early Christianity has taken from various belief systems such as Shamanism, I’ve melded some of Shamanism into my own worldview, specifically shaman belief that each of us has an animal guide that is always by our side. How can we find our own animal? Look at your life and determine what qualities you possess, then look for those same qualities in the animal world. Maybe you identify with a specific animal
from an early age. A wolf? A dolphin? If that is the case then research the animal you most identify with. Look for qualities you share with your animal. This MAY JUST be your shamanic animal.
My animal guide? It’s a wolf. I’ve known this since before I was sixteen. I’ve always been infatuated with wolves. If you look at What’s Your Sign and specifically the Wolf Totem, the first thing that stands out to me is:
The Wolf is a representative of deep faith, and profound understanding.
Anyone who knows me either virtually or in reality knows how deep my faith is. The wolf is also loyal. Ask any of my friends and I guarantee they will say that I am loyal, sometimes even to my detriment. I share so many other qualities with the wolf. Too many to list here. I have a Shamanic Category at Wisdom and Life should you be interested in seeing a bit more on the topic.
Do you know your Shamanic Animal?
Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.