Communing with the Shaman

This is my favorite season of the year, both in spirit and in weather. The air is crisp and constantly changing. The winds are loud and harsh and wet, driving me inside to hot tea and a book (or popcorn-fueled movies with friends). Jack-o-lanterns and scarecrows signal a call to retreat.

Where my body goes, spirit follows. This is when I do my deepest searching, when I begin the internal transformations that will peak during the silence of winter. Late autumn is when we gather knowledge of ourselves and the world around us, to be reflected on in the deep dark of winter and acted on with the first shoots of spring.

In the Brotherhood, we call this ShadowDance, both the season and its beginning festival day. ShadowDance is the season of the Shaman, and that means being open to hearing truths both glorious and difficult. We ask the Shaman for the gift of opening ourselves to the subtle messages of spirit and deity, for the sudden inspiration that comes from speaking with our gods and guides. We call this Gnosis, and it’s what we’re seeking when we approach the Shaman.

 

The Shaman as seen by Brother and IO Mentor Belthor

The Shaman as seen by Brother and IO Mentor Belthor

 

On the festival day of ShadowDance, we join together in spirit to celebrate the Shaman and commune with him, whether we can be together in ritual or not. For the solitary practitioner who feels called to approach the Shaman, here is a short and flexible devotional outline.

A Devotion to the Shaman

  1. Gather supplies. You will need, at the least, a candle (preferably black), a bowl for offerings, and the offerings themselves. After that you can make the rest of your altar or space as sparse or decorated as you wish, whatever feels right to you. Try another representation of the Shaman or fruits of the season.
  2. Breathe and Center. After your space is prepared, close your eyes and breathe, centering in whatever way works for you.
  3. Build an image of the Shaman. Light the candle. Focus on the image of the Shaman, or close your eyes and conjure a different image in your mind’s eye. Focus on this image in as much detail as you can using all five senses, whispering His name if you wish. Imagine how the Shaman would smell if you encountered him closely, how he would feel in an embrace, how he sounds when he speaks.
  4. Welcome and introduce. When you feel as though you have sufficiently built up the god within your mind, welcome him into the space and introduce both yourself and your purpose. You can recite stories, poetry, or prepared prayers if you desire.
  5. Listen. After you’ve said (or silently recited) any words that you feel are appropriate, quiet yourself and be open to messages, signs, or feelings from the Shaman. Remember that these won’t always be words in your ear. Messages can come in all forms, so just keep your heart open.
    1. This is also the place in this short, personal liturgy where you can incorporate any guided meditations or spell-work that you feel is needed or appropriate.
  6. Offering. Give Him offering, based if you wish on the suggestions at the bottom of this post.
  7. Thanks and goodbye. Cross your hands over your chest. In your own words, thank the Shaman for any gifts you have received, using the words “Ta kya te“, if you desire, which mean “My heart is open to you.” End with “And now I go forth, into the world, renewed by the bonds of this Brotherhood. Out of the Flames, Into the Light.”, extinguish the candle, and take a finishing breath.

Let us know if you celebrate ShadowDance in the comments!

2 Comments

  1. Posted March 9, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    This text is ԝorth everyone’s attention. Where cann I find out more?

  2. Posted March 9, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks! Just stick around the blog here, and keep an eye on our website. Throughout this year we have plans to add a lot more educational material about our beliefs and practices to the website and blog. If you’re on Facebook, you can certainly follow us there as well. If you have any specific questions that I can answer, feel free to e-mail info@brotherhoodofthephoenix.org.

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