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View Diary: Ancient Ireland: The Druids (84 comments)

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  •  The transformation of shamanism (22+ / 0-)

    I have long thought that the spiritual (and healing!) professions and offices of complex, larger-scale societies should be thought of as having grown out of the shamans of preceding smaller-scale societies. This is obviously an old idea, elements of which can be found in Frazier's Golden Bough and such. And it's tempting to over-interpret it and fall into the trap of thinking that cultures and societies evolve in some sort of predictable fashion. But regardless, clearly the druids had many practices that tie them to shamanism, especially animism and the ability to transform into animals. They would be essentially just one step removed from shamans.

    "I understand, Mr. Spock. The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity."

    by brainwave on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:54:48 AM PDT

    •  That's because shamanistic cultures (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ojibwa, greenearth, marykk, RiveroftheWest

      ...shared many of the same origin tales and ways of doing things.  Who taught sacred geometry all over the world at roughly the same time period? People just figured this stuff out on their own, independently?  That's what all ancient observatory sites have in common, as you mentioned, is the same simple geometry that was felt more than shown on paper.

      Courtesy is owed. Respect is earned. Love is given. (Unknown author, found in Guide to Texas Etiquette by Kinky Friedman)

      by marykmusic on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:30:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very interesting comment (11+ / 0-)
      I have long thought that the spiritual (and healing!) professions and offices of complex, larger-scale societies should be thought of as having grown out of the shamans of preceding smaller-scale societies.
      In my graduate training as a therapist, I did my M.A. thesis comparing the worldview and practices of shamanism to different modern schools of psychology, and their various techniques and approaches to therapy.  

      It struck me that the parallels are many.  As one man, who was a Christian minister, shamanic practitioner, and licenced therapist put it to me:  "It's just a matter of translating the metaphors."

      Talking to various anthropologists, and especially visiting and taking part in the ceremonies in a nearby Indian lodge, had a HUGE impact on my own practice.  I would say that my approach to counseling -- (and a good deal of my success as a counselor) -- is as much based on the worldview of shamanism and Buddhism as it is on any scientifically-based psychotherapeutic schools I learned of academically.

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