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Shamanism 
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I've been doing some research (though mainly with one source) on shamanism. After what i discovered on Animism, Totemism, and Shamanism on Norse Mythology for Smart People, I am very interested in learning it. Through a friend I realized that I have been ignorant to an entire part of our spirituality, and delving into that seems like the next thing I'm going to look into. If any of you have experience with this, advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,

-Defender


Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:33 pm
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What would you like to know?


Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:37 pm
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I would like to know anything you would like to share with me.


Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:27 am
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Well firstly I should point out that this isn't something that you can learn online or from books etc. this is something that needs to be taught (in person) from teacher to student, at least in the formative stages. Some books and sites (to a very small degree) can point you in the right direction, but learning these things from books or the Internet is pretty worthless in general.

Since I don't really know you I can't really be very specific. Firstly you'll have to learn the cosmology. By learning the Northern cosmology you will have a map to guide you through the spirit worlds.

You will need to learn the different aspects of the soul

You will need to build intense connections with the ancestors and with various wights

While the gods are important, the majority of your work will be with the landvaettir and other wights.

These things can be written about but it isn't the same as genuinely learning about them and understanding them.

The Nornir are extremely important to Seidr. Both the greater Nornir and each persons personal spirits, fylgia and so on.

I recommend that you do your best to familiarize yourself with he Eddas/Sagas/etc they have massive amounts of knowledge in them as well as secrets that can be used in practice.


What I will tell you is that this isn't an easy thing. It requires incredible dedication to learn, and can be extremely dangerous to dabble in. But it's also an amazing adventure. There is a difference between practicing this type of magic verses just being a lay religious follower. The religion becomes much more real and tangible.

It is a life long thing


Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:03 am
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Location: Vinland
The shaman, unlike the priest, has direct contact with gods. The information of priests comes from texts and other priests. The information of the shaman comes to him directly from the gods.

Study our initiation ritual. The ritual called the "Sojourn of the Brave." It is conducted alone in the wilderness. In effect, it is a shaman's initiation.


Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:21 am
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OB is correct of course, the connections you have become much more intense. You are a bridge and telephone to and for the beings of the other worlds and this one.

OB said that one of the main differences between being just a priest vs a shaman is that you receive information directly from the gods(/other things), this is absolutely true. This is one of the shamans main skills. It however is not looked well on in general (at least online). People refer to it as UPG a term I had never heard of before I began sharing things online. It means "unverified personal gnosis" a term I have seen basically be used to discount what you are saying, because it isn't found in surviving lore. But that is the role you'll play. To be a link to here and there.

If the Völva who told Odin on the 9 worlds existed today her information would have been tossed out as "UPG". It will be a challenge you'll have to meet. But over time the accuracy of your knowledge, and the potentecy of your magic, will earn the trust of those who come to you.


Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:25 pm
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Vitki,
I looked for the help of the forum because i knew that it would be best for someome who has experince to help me.

Do you mean cosmology as in the nine worlds? Because I know that.

I have been introduced to the parts of the soul, but i do need more information on it. A friend of mine showed me things written in a book about them, but i believe the book was heavily based on Ásatrú, which i have a distrust for.

I have been calling out to the ancestors for awhile, with no response. I'm not sure what else to do, but i've been very intent on knowing them.


OB and Vitki, In response to the Sojourn, I know little of that actual ritual but for many months i have been wanting to go and have a sebbatical in the woods for a few days. Just me, a flint striker, an axe, and a knife.

I did not expect it to be an easy or quick process, and i am prepared to try and learn anything you would like to teach. If you want to email me about this further, my email is halvarafljord@gmail.com (a side note, I am the blacksmith that Tyrsman contacted to get you the stuff you need. You can email me about that as well.)


Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:26 pm
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Oh wonderful! Well the first thing you really need to do is awaken the power inside yourself. There are many different ways of doing this waking the trolls is one of the main ones but it's pretty damn cold outside right now. But there are other options too.

Unfortunately I'm not very big on books on the topic of magic, with rare exception. I learned from my family and spirits. I didn't even know there were other names for the religion outside of "Asatru"/"Odinist" until I started to look for groups online. So when you say you have a distrust of Asatru themed books I'm not very sure what you are referring to.

for now you should just start giving your ancestors gifts until you learn to interact with them. The gift for a gift is very real. It's one of the biggest things I try to impart to my students. Social debt does not only extend to the physical world.

I can tell you that the more tv/YouTube/passive entertainment you take part in the harder it will be for you. The formative training is rediculously important.


Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:49 pm
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I would be eager to learn anything you know on that subject, for I know little to nothing.

What I mean about distrusting Asatru sources is that it was a movement in the US during the 70's not really a continuation of something long practiced. Plus, videos I have seen and books people have shown me make Asatru seem much less like a spiritual journey and much more like a religion. I am much more on learning from an individual than books and sites as you are. though the parts of the soul are something one of these books had, and I am very much interested in learning all I can of that, because they died it directly back to what our ancestors believed.

I will do that.

I'm sure.


Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:29 pm
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While I am not a practitioner by any means, the things I have learned from study, observation, and experience all confirm what Vitki and OB have said. Shamanism is mainly the result of personal experience. I think that taking a "sabbatical" alone in the wilderness, even if it falls short of a full-blown Sojourn, will be of great benefit...as long as you go about it with the right mindset. Many people go out for a few days for validation, to prove to themselves (or others) that they are skilled enough to do so. While there is nothing wrong, it is only by chance that a few of them are able to truly connect with the primordial energy that is there. Those that do manage to contact most often mistake what they have experienced. They speak of gaining a sense of how small and insignificant we are compared to the natural order if things.

If instead they had gone out with a desire to not just connect with nature (which in my opining is a symptom of poisoned thought since we are already connected - too many people have lost sight of that fact) but to explore and strengthen their relationship within the natural order of things, their experience would be much more beneficial.

Concerning UPG - While it is of vital importance to learn and preserve the lore, I believe it it just as vital to learn and develop your place within the weave. Each of us us different and while there are some universal truths there are many more individual situations and circumstances. I have come to be of the opinion that is why you often find contradictory information in books by different authors - one singular thing can appear vastly different when viewed from seperate vantage points. To dismiss something just because it does not conform to the viewpoint with which you hold it is to handicap yourself. Now once you have established what works for you feel free to dismiss whatever you like just do not close your mind to the fact that although we may have a common destination, not everyone walks the exact same path to get there.


Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:58 pm
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Tyrsman,

Thank you for such insight. The goal of my sebbatical has always been to connect with the gods and the ancestors, and better attune myself with the earth. I feel as a part of nature, but i feel poorly attuned compared to what i could be. The connection i feel is primarily with the stone, metal, fire, trees, and a few animals.

I am developing my place, but to me it seems your slot is never truly full until you have died and the accumulation of your deeds cannot be altered. I am very intent on expanding my own knowledge and potential, and just as you said, this is a path with many truths for the individual.


Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:04 pm
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Also, OB, where can i access the lore of the Odin Brotherhood? On the site i could not find anything beyond an overview of the inituation.


Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:08 pm
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There are several types of magic in the Northern traditions I will list and give a TL:DR about the bigger ones.

Seidr: this is the type of shamanism people in the west generally think of when the term "shaman" comes up. These people are bridges between our world and the other 8 worlds. Seidr is the more mystical of the two main branches of Odinist shamanism.

Berserker(/etc-seeker): these are warrior shaman. They devote their powers to entering into a trance of rage making them next to unstoppable (which is why the word still exists today). There are different branches of this who learn to assume the power and the form of a particular animal. The most common animals are bear, wolf, and boar.

Galdr: this is runic chanting. One of the most inaccurately and widely practiced form of Norse magic.

Trolldom: northern folk magic (think Odinist styled hoodoo) over time it has become very christianized but can be practiced in its original form still instead.

These are just very general and short explanations. I've not included more specific things like spacraft or general divinations and so on because they all use them in various ways.

Although these distinctions definitely exist, to a greater or lesser extent depending on the person they will have skills in all the various skills


Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:32 am
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I am mostly interested in Berserking, Galdr, and the traditional Trolldom. What other kinds are there? I'd like to know as much as possible about different areas before i pick what else to go into.


Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:27 am
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I know very little about Beserkers, but I don't see very much use for the skills it gives you as a westerner. It would be pretty useful out in nature though and in other less developed places.

Galdr gets the most attention due to the runes. People love the more tangible things. But people think the symbol has power unto itself. That would be true if a person trained in their magic made it, but that is rarely the case. To have a rune or bind rune be magical, you have to intimately know the power, the conscious universal force
that the rune represents. As well as be able invoke and direct it's force. Odinsson from Northern Rune's Radio puts it very well when he says "it's the power that has the symbol, not the symbol that has the power"

Trolldom is very hard to learn especially in the west. It is best taught from the spirits themselves. There are books out there but most are personal hand written books and not in English. The only one I know of in English is "Trolldom spells and methods of the Norse folk magic tradition" by Johannes Gardback. He basically compiled a bunch of post-christian Trolldom techniques from libraries and museums. I have an extreme dislike for pretty much any of the abrahamic religions. The techniques in the book are mostly Christian in tone, but that can be altered to a Odinist tone. Really though imo the only things to pay attention to are the terminologies and the techniques for gaining power and knowledge of the art. The techniques themselves in the book are a bit out dated and largely for problems that people no longer face (again mostly in the west that is) like fixing a lame horse and so on but there is a bit of everything in it


Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:07 am
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I do plan on moving to Norway someday hopefully, and I am not a 100% city dweller. I have chickens and was taught some gardening by my Grandmother, so I am not as out of touch as a lot of westerners are, though compared to people native to Germania and Scandinavia, I am out of touch.

I have done a little bit with runes. I have not made a rune set, but I have carved and blooded some runes, obviously with concentration and a specific outcome in mind. As an example, I see Hagal differently than most.

I would much rather not look at a christian source, I want to learn it the right way. Maybe this is something I will have to put off until I live in a place where I could learn it more easily.


What other branches of Shamanism are there?


Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:25 pm
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Well like I said, most of the magical styles have very large crossovers with each other. In Norse magic the two branches of shamanism are Seidr and Beserkering. As far as learning Trolldom from a non christian source your only option is directly from the spirits. The entire world has been contaminated by the abrahamic religions, regardless of where you are. That being said, it is important to be able to draw knowledge from many sources. But in formative stages you shouldn't step out of your tradition if possible.


Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:35 pm
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of course, I wouldn't want to do it any other way but traditional.


Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:41 pm
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Hail,

I am a Shaman. I don't know the specific descriptive words, resources or references from books. I have learned magick primarily through direct experience. I believe you need a teacher to learn the actual Shaman techniques. I was put through a 7 stage shamanic initiation 10 years ago based on native american shamanism. It worked. I have always been a shaman. My advice would be to meditate, spend time in nature, and pay attention to your dreams. I am the contact person in my family when it comes to the Gods, ancestors and other energies. As a Shaman you will have direct experience and contact with other beings. It is rewarding but can also be incredibly dangerous. I have died accidentally a few times, but I was brought back by spirits.

The strength you will find is profound. The rebirth if you go through the death, then reconstruction of your body can kill you. I was lucky that I called out for spiritual help and the helper spirits came. Be careful with it and take it slow. Don't run into it like a bull in an antique store. You have to be gradual and take things slowly. I've been conscious of my shamanic power for 10 years.

Runes hold power yes, but it's the power you put into them. Runes are much more then just chanting. You need to meditate on them and explore them. Give them your power, so your power will achieve your desired results. They are secret keys of consciousness. Another warning is not to get carried away by the spirits. You can lose your mind if you are not grounded. The other worlds will contact you and can become overwhelming.

I agree that gifting is very important. This reminds me I have to gift my family spirits soon for the rewards I am receiving in my life. Be aware Shamanism is more then just a new age hippy type spirituality. It is very real. Also, don't expect people to understand you and be ready for the powers and abilities you will develop.. They are strange and being grounded is important so you don't bug out.

As for Berzerker the rage is intense. I have used the Berzerk to tear people apart in fights, I have also harnessed the energy to defy the laws of physics. The Berzerk energy when properly used in a magick method can bring you any results you desire. I have never learned my shaman methods from a direct physical teacher since my initiations. The techniques will come to you naturally or in dream. Turn to your ancestors, the Gods and family spirits for guidance. They are the best teachers of the spiritual worlds.

I hope this helped and Hail to the Shaman King All Father Odin!

Bucky


Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:02 pm
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You may find this article of intetest. While not specifically about Norse shamanism I feel it may contain important clues for those wishing to know more about the shaman's path.


Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:08 pm
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