Did you know I write, too? My writing hasn’t been as prominent in the past couple of years as my artwork, in part because grad school sort of ate my writing brain. (That and I’ve been going more places than ever with my art!)
The image above is the cover for my most recent solo book published by Immanion Press in early 2010, Skin Spirits. I’ve been working with animal parts in my spiritual practice for over a decade, and this book is all about how I’ve learned to work with the sacred remains (the book includes instructions on how to make a lot of projects, too!)
(I do have a new book coming out from Llewellyn in December, New Paths to Animal Totems. Seems I can’t stay away from the writing very long!)
so… you’re not native?
this makes me incredibly uncomfortable.
I had a long convo about “neoshamanism” with a plains friend last week; or rather, i brought it up and he flipped out and ranted and then, when he caught his breath, talked about how his people’s traditional ceremonies had been outlawed.
That history makes it hard for me to cope with this neoshaman thing, at all, because so much of it seems to be grafted together from bits and pieces here and there, with an emphasis on “native” stuff which is not really native.
Believe me, I have issues with it, too, and it’s a subject I’ve thought about a great deal in my practice. I am not ignorant of the issues of cultural appropriation. I have written a great deal about it, and I edited an anthology of essays about cultural appropriation in the neopagan community.
However, a couple of my most recent essays highlight the difficulty of maintaining the balance of personal practice and greater social sensitivity. Here, these may interest you the most:
Like I said, that first link goes to the entire cultural appropriation category of my (neo)shamanism blog, but those two may be most relevant to your concerns.
At this point, I think i’m just going to sit this out. I have access to multiple and ancestral spiritual traditions and I’m not even going to front like I have any idea of what it’s like to turn to “neoshamanism” from lack.
Oh, hey, I just realized that I read your (therioshaman) blog and it was what cemented that I will never-fucking-ever use the term “shaman” to describe yourself because it was basically like “Well, I COULD find a better term, but that’d be hard so I won’t”.
Nice, uh, going with that. Just find another word- and when people go “Oh, like a shaman?” say “Technically, but ‘shaman’ actually refers to [spirit workers/whatever] in a specific ethnic group so it’d be wrong to call myself that”.
That’s okay. This whole debacle has taught me that exhausting myself to try to make everyone happy in the cultural appropriation debate doesn’t leave me enough time to tend to my own practice, and so there comes a certain point where I have to decide “This is the best solution I’ve found after a LOT of time thinking about and discussing this, and for the time being I’m going with it”. No matter what I’ve tried or suggested over the years somebody has disagreed, and it’s taught me less about “doing the right thing” and more about how much some people out there would prefer to tell others they’re wrong than to question whether their righteous indignation really is inviolable and immune to criticism.
(I’d say it’s also shown me that not everybody’s going to read my books, but hey—I already knew that one.)
ETA: I also find it ironic that I’m being criticized for cultural appropriation by someone who linked to a blog on chaos magic, a path which is notorious for shameless appropriation without reflection.
- karlen-hayes reblogged this from thegreenwolf
- vargdottir likes this
- onetwistedpixie reblogged this from thegreenwolf
- debjohnson92 likes this
- darkestrah likes this
- emwolfilie reblogged this from thegreenwolf
- switchwitch likes this
- th1rt3enmoons likes this
- everlazuri likes this
- rootandrock reblogged this from thegreenwolf
- phasesof-themoon likes this
- ormspryde reblogged this from thegreenwolf and added:
- twigthemoonchild likes this
- rambearer likes this
- bubbybobble likes this
- akoaykayumanggi likes this
- tarnagona reblogged this from wide-worlds-joy and added:
- perspicaciousembroiderist reblogged this from thegreenwolf and added:
- perspicaciousembroiderist likes this
- littlegypsyboy reblogged this from golden-zephyr
- littlegypsyboy likes this
- lengihblo likes this
- muttstter likes this
- wide-worlds-joy reblogged this from thegreenwolf and added:
- eredar reblogged this from thegreenwolf and added:
- eredar likes this
- bitchiamtheswanqueen reblogged this from thegreenwolf and added:
- thegreenwolf likes this
- pixelated-pixie likes this
- ratha-firesong reblogged this from thegreenwolf and added:
- myjourneymythoughts reblogged this from thegreenwolf and added:
- bloodyboneshaker reblogged this from hellboundwitch and added:
- post-industrial-wasteland likes this
- ratha-firesong likes this
- threedifferentways reblogged this from hellboundwitch
- hellboundwitch reblogged this from thegreenwolf
- chaosherself likes this
- golden-zephyr reblogged this from gyrwolf and added:
- gyrwolf reblogged this from thegreenwolf
- gyrwolf likes this
- nomadic-shayejou likes this
- prismpanda likes this
- hellboundwitch likes this
- hyliasnake likes this
- deathmagicness reblogged this from thegreenwolf