collapse

* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry  (Read 4136 times)

hlewagastir

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 205
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« on: September 13, 2012, 03:38:51 am »
Hey folks,

I recently attended a Viking Age Reading Group on the university which had, among a lot of good stuff, some talk about the trancework in the sagas which were labled "shamanism" by several of the participants.
Academics can be wrong too of cause.

Anyway, I want to ask you guys if you think we should use the term, when dealing with Norse sources, to lable some of the rituals and trancework and characters, or should we lable it as trancework, souljourneys and so on instead?

Nachtigall

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Sep 2011
  • Posts: 287
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 05:15:24 am »
Quote from: hlewagastir;73760
Hey folks,

I recently attended a Viking Age Reading Group on the university which had, among a lot of good stuff, some talk about the trancework in the sagas which were labled "shamanism" by several of the participants.
Academics can be wrong too of cause.

Anyway, I want to ask you guys if you think we should use the term, when dealing with Norse sources, to lable some of the rituals and trancework and characters, or should we lable it as trancework, souljourneys and so on instead?

 
Wasn't it common though, to use the term "shamanism" when referring to all practices of this kind, not limited to Siberian cultures? Eliade's work comes to mind, among others, which also talks of "Greek Shamanism", "Norse Shamanism" etc.

Holdasown

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2011
  • Location: West Virginia
  • Posts: 398
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 7
    • View Profile
    • Blog
  • Religion: Norse/Germanic Polytheists
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 09:45:55 am »
Quote from: hlewagastir;73760
Hey folks,

I recently attended a Viking Age Reading Group on the university which had, among a lot of good stuff, some talk about the trancework in the sagas which were labled "shamanism" by several of the participants.
Academics can be wrong too of cause.

Anyway, I want to ask you guys if you think we should use the term, when dealing with Norse sources, to lable some of the rituals and trancework and characters, or should we lable it as trancework, souljourneys and so on instead?


Shamanism is a pretty accurate description of what they are doing so I am not sure why the word would not apply. Especially if those who are honoring the Norse gods/goddesses are calling themselves that.

Owl

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 587
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 24
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Other
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 11:39:32 am »
Quote from: Nachtigall;73764
Wasn't it common though, to use the term "shamanism" when referring to all practices of this kind, not limited to Siberian cultures? Eliade's work comes to mind, among others, which also talks of "Greek Shamanism", "Norse Shamanism" etc.

 
Exactly.  The term shamanism is often used by the 'intelligensia' (for want of a better word) to describe a group of activities.  Some people find this offensive, but it seems to have become common usage - and by PhD"s not just Joe Blow - over the years.  And really, if you cannot use that term, what term DO you use that is readily recognizable as referring to that group of activities?
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

Nyktipolos

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • *
  • Posts: 1498
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 12:13:37 pm »
Quote from: Owl;73793
Some people find this offensive, but it seems to have become common usage - and by PhD"s not just Joe Blow - over the years.


Just because a word is in common usage does not make it any less offensive to the group it is offending.

Plus, there are a number of words like these that people are actively trying to dissuade others from using.

Quote
And really, if you cannot use that term, what term DO you use that is readily recognizable as referring to that group of activities?

 
We've talked about this on the old before. You might try searching up "technician of the sacred" and "liminalist". Of course, people are free to come up with their own terms.

I've hit a point, personally, where what many white, western pagans today call shamanism is their own thing with an appropriated name. It has very little true links back to the Siberian shamans besides a name and a general commonality with what's called "core shamanism" today.

I have similar feels about totem/doodem.
"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." - Sarah Williams
On the Rivers

hlewagastir

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 205
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2012, 12:16:40 pm »
Quote from: Ula;73790
Shamanism is a pretty accurate description of what they are doing so I am not sure why the word would not apply. Especially if those who are honoring the Norse gods/goddesses are calling themselves that.

Shamanism might apply to some of what Odin is doing, but otherwise I don´t really see it in the sources... And Odin is a god (of death) not a shaman.

Quote from: Owl;73793
And really, if you cannot use that term, what term DO you use that is readily recognizable as referring to that group of activities?

Trancework? Souljourneys? Call it Volvaism?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 12:21:18 pm by hlewagastir »

Maps

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 703
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2012, 12:43:19 pm »
Quote from: Nyktipolos;73799
Just because a word is in common usage does not make it any less offensive to the group it is offending.

Plus, there are a number of words like these that people are actively trying to dissuade others from using.


 
We've talked about this on the old before. You might try searching up "technician of the sacred" and "liminalist". Of course, people are free to come up with their own terms.

I've hit a point, personally, where what many white, western pagans today call shamanism is their own thing with an appropriated name. It has very little true links back to the Siberian shamans besides a name and a general commonality with what's called "core shamanism" today.

I have similar feels about totem/doodem.

 
I agree that "shamanism" as an academic term is more a categorical label and used as a point of reference for other cultures, but that ultimately the culture's word for the practice is what should be used because they are all ultimately unique. They don't all work with the same symbols, the same tools, the same spirits, the same religio-cultural systems, etc.

Using "Norse" as a qualifier doesn't really help, IMO, so I fully endorse the idea of using a word that's relevant to Heathens and the cultures it draws from in naming this set of practices if it didn't have a name already.

Holdasown

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2011
  • Location: West Virginia
  • Posts: 398
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 7
    • View Profile
    • Blog
  • Religion: Norse/Germanic Polytheists
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2012, 05:23:35 pm »
Quote from: hlewagastir;73801
Shamanism might apply to some of what Odin is doing, but otherwise I don´t really see it in the sources... And Odin is a god (of death) not a shaman.



Trancework? Souljourneys? Call it Volvaism?


Whatever.

iulla

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2011
  • Posts: 157
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2012, 05:54:54 pm »
Quote from: Maps;73805
I agree that "shamanism" as an academic term is more a categorical label and used as a point of reference for other cultures, but that ultimately the culture's word for the practice is what should be used because they are all ultimately unique. They don't all work with the same symbols, the same tools, the same spirits, the same religio-cultural systems, etc.

Using "Norse" as a qualifier doesn't really help, IMO, so I fully endorse the idea of using a word that's relevant to Heathens and the cultures it draws from in naming this set of practices if it didn't have a name already.


This.

The word "Shaman" comes from the Evenki language of people who lived in area of Siberia (and other languages), and it's a word that describes their beliefs.  To use it to describe the practices of other cultures - whether or not they are similar in nature - isn't exactly right.  I agree that we should try and use the words from each culture.

And when modern pagans go around saying "I'm a shaman!", that gets my goat :/  Unless you were born into that culture and underwent the initiations (for want of a better word, help me out here!), you aren't a shaman.  A shamanic practitioner, maybe, but not a shaman.
dum spiro, spero

Lucus Antiquus:  my religious blog

SunflowerP

  • Host
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Posts: 8576
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 307
  • Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
    • View Profile
    • If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough
  • Religion: Eclectic religious Witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: sie/hir/hirs/hirself
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2012, 06:39:10 pm »
Quote from: Maps;73805
I agree that "shamanism" as an academic term is more a categorical label and used as a point of reference for other cultures, but that ultimately the culture's word for the practice is what should be used because they are all ultimately unique. They don't all work with the same symbols, the same tools, the same spirits, the same religio-cultural systems, etc.

 
And for exactly those reasons, it's an outdated academic term, at least in fields like anthropology that deal directly with it.  Current practice (so I understand from Catja) is to use the word(s) used in the culture in question - there's much more emphasis on understanding cultural practices by understanding how they fit into that culture, and far less emphasis on using comparisons with other cultures.  Trying to understand the practices of Culture A by saying, "Hey, Culture B does something a bit like that!" really isn't very efffective; it's superficial at best and can be very misleading.

It's entirely possible for academics who are in fields that don't deal directly with it to not have got the word, though - an academic is only an expert in their own field; in fields not their own, they're just another layperson.

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
"Nobody's good at anything until they practice." - Brina (Yewberry)
My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

Trollkarl

  • Sr. Newbie
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Posts: 14
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2012, 10:13:13 pm »
Quote from: hlewagastir;73760
Hey folks,

I recently attended a Viking Age Reading Group on the university which had, among a lot of good stuff, some talk about the trancework in the sagas which were labled "shamanism" by several of the participants.
Academics can be wrong too of cause.

Anyway, I want to ask you guys if you think we should use the term, when dealing with Norse sources, to lable some of the rituals and trancework and characters, or should we lable it as trancework, souljourneys and so on instead?

As with so many things, the term is both accurate in the gross sense, but inaccurate in the specific.

We should encourage the use of more culturally and linguistically accurate terms of art, for which there are no exact translations, rather than relying on such inaccurate and baggage-laden terms such as "shamanism" and "witchcraft".

I try to use specific terms of art such as seið, völva, galdʀ, trolldomʀ, etc. They require additional explanation, but they are not only more precise and without incorrect associations, but the explanation in and of itself becomes an opportunity to teach.

Frankly, terms like "shamanism" and "witchcraft" are ultimately sloppy and inaccurate, especially when applied to Nordic magical practices. I'm not at all concerned with who might be offended by the use of the terms; they are adults and if we stick to the specific terminology that we need, they can weed out the rest who insist on using terms like "shamanism" loosely. Not my job to police others on their behalf.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 10:17:33 pm by Trollkarl »

hlewagastir

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 205
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2012, 03:04:35 am »
Quote from: Ula;73824
Whatever.

 
:whis:

Quote from: Trollkarl;73865

We should encourage the use of more culturally and linguistically accurate terms of art, for which there are no exact translations, rather than relying on such inaccurate and baggage-laden terms such as "shamanism" and "witchcraft".

I try to use specific terms of art such as seið, völva, galdʀ, trolldomʀ, etc. They require additional explanation, but they are not only more precise and without incorrect associations, but the explanation in and of itself becomes an opportunity to teach.

Frankly, terms like "shamanism" and "witchcraft" are ultimately sloppy and inaccurate, especially when applied to Nordic magical practices.


Agreed.

My main problem with the term is that all the practices you mention are radicallly different from actual shamanism.

Quote from: SunflowerP;73840

And for exactly those reasons, it's an outdated academic term, at least in fields like anthropology that deal directly with it.  Current practice (so I understand from Catja) is to use the word(s) used in the culture in question - there's much more emphasis on understanding cultural practices by understanding how they fit into that culture, and far less emphasis on using comparisons with other cultures.  Trying to understand the practices of Culture A by saying, "Hey, Culture B does something a bit like that!" really isn't very efffective; it's superficial at best and can be very misleading.

It's entirely possible for academics who are in fields that don't deal directly with it to not have got the word, though - an academic is only an expert in their own field; in fields not their own, they're just another layperson.

 
That might have been the problem. There were a lot of historians at the meeting but no anthropologists (and only an undergraduate in religious studies).
It would not surprise me if fields where the religious interaction with society are more important than the religion itself can be behind in things like this.

Holdasown

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2011
  • Location: West Virginia
  • Posts: 398
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 7
    • View Profile
    • Blog
  • Religion: Norse/Germanic Polytheists
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2012, 10:10:20 am »
Quote from: hlewagastir;73882
..


Let's be real honest, when it come to Heathen practitioners anything remotely UPG is shunned and in some cases called false outright. If a person identifies themselves as a shaman or shamanic practitioner then I am not going to call them a liar or false. That is arrogance.

I know some are more specific with the terms they use and some choose shaman due to their practices since it's not seidr or galdr by definition.

hlewagastir

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 205
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2012, 09:29:17 pm »
Quote from: Ula;73896
Let's be real honest, when it come to Heathen practitioners anything remotely UPG is shunned and in some cases called false outright.

 
In discussions on historic heathenry, and/or heathenry in a historic context, UPG is generally not give as much weight as well supported arguments.

Quote
If a person identifies themselves as a shaman or shamanic practitioner then I am not going to call them a liar or false. That is arrogance.


I´m also glad anyone in this thread has not done any of that...

Quote
I know some are more specific with the terms they use and some choose shaman due to their practices since it's not seidr or galdr by definition.


People can practice Core shamanism and traditional shamanisme as much as they like IMO.

Holdasown

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2011
  • Location: West Virginia
  • Posts: 398
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 7
    • View Profile
    • Blog
  • Religion: Norse/Germanic Polytheists
Re: Shamanism and the term "shamanism" in Heathenry
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2012, 04:42:52 pm »
Quote from: hlewagastir;73963
In discussions on historic heathenry, and/or heathenry in a historic context, UPG is generally not give as much weight as well supported arguments.



I´m also glad anyone in this thread has not done any of that...



People can practice Core shamanism and traditional shamanisme as much as they like IMO.


Sure they have several times. It's ok I am withdrawing from this SIG as far as posting and will keep my posts on the gods to an appropriate place.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
13 Replies
1053 Views
Last post September 28, 2013, 10:04:36 pm
by blackwolf696
12 Replies
4248 Views
Last post December 26, 2013, 10:37:22 pm
by RunningWolf
29 Replies
3516 Views
Last post May 27, 2017, 04:54:17 pm
by MamaThistle
6 Replies
1260 Views
Last post May 21, 2015, 11:46:51 pm
by ranetree
0 Replies
2748 Views
Last post November 27, 2019, 05:16:42 pm
by ehbowen

Special Interest Group

Warning: You are currently in a Special Interest Group on the message board with special rules and focused discussions.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 37
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall