Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Developing the Postmodern Shaman in the Male Psyche

The task of the post-modern Shaman/Magician initiation is more challenging than ever before in human history – and more important for the human future: our very survival as a species depends on it.

From Robert Moore and Douglas Gillettes' book, The Magician Within,  here are seven ways men can develop the shaman, better known as The Magician in the realm of the four primary masculine archetypes:

1. Schedule into your life times of retreat and reflection on a regular basis. Consider it life-maintenance to keep your energy and development on track. The magician/shaman must have time to re-energize.

2. Begin to work toward finding and ritualizing your own Sacred Places and times for inner work. Do you have an altar in your home? Special retreats away from home?

3. Work toward a disciplined utilization of dream interpretaion and active imagination (see Robert Johnson’s excellent book Inner Work). I use The Inner Guide meditation to develop and ongoing relationship with my wise man within.

4. Begin to keep a personal Journey as an ongoing container for your work. Don’t like to journal? Consider starting a blog.

5. Find an ongoing men’s group that is seeking to develop masculine potentials in its members and that is not afraid to experiment with creative ritualization. The Mankind Project is an excellent place to start. For keeping one grounded, there's no better place than a mens' group.

6. Defy those that would shame your intellectual abilities or who would seek to limit the scope and/or depth of your studies. Claim the two-million-year-old mind that is your birthright!

7. Keep your “bullshit detector” in good working order. In the coming years, you will need it like never before.

Mature shamans in the future must seek the wisdom and vision to be EarthShamans. Anything less will be a betrayal of our species.

Photo by DrugArt


Anonymous said...

All great points--thanks for the reminder and the encouragement!

Bob Wuest said...

Gary, I take issue with your use of the term "shaman" here.

Historically, the shaman is the nominal spiritual leader and healer of the tribe. The tribe's intermediary between the visible and invisible worlds.

Even in our post-tribal society, there is a need for shamans (though their role looks way different). Very few among us are called to this work, and take on the deep course of life study and practice necessary to call oneself a shaman.

So I resist use of the term "shaman" as a substitute for Moore's "Magician" in referring to a well-defined masculine archetype. A man expressing Magician energy CAN be outward as well is inward. By definition, a man expressing as a shaman MUST express outward as well as inward -because of his responsibility to his tribe (or clients, in the post-tribal role).

My stuff. Take it or leave it!