I also know that some of us have the capacity to heal others, and achieve other physcic abilbities, but we have to work on ourselves to create a clear channel, or hollow bone. Few holy people have been as open about their spiritual practices as Frank Fools Crow, who allowed his powers to be written about in books by non-Native authors. Before he died at the age of 99 on Nov. 27, 1989, Fools Crow spent time in the late 1970s with Thomas E Mails, a Lutheran minister who wrote about him in several books, including the well-received Fools Crow Wisdom and Power. In it, the old man explained how he affected cures, consulted with “talking” stones to learn of future events, “lured” to him what he needed in his life, spirit-travelled, and shape-shifted. He accomplished all of this by becoming a “clean, hollow bone” through which Wakan Tanka’s (The Great Mystery’s) powers funneled through him. Fools Crow repeatedly told Mails that the more humble and unselfish a person is, the more willing Wakan Tanka and his helpers of the four directions are willing to work through them. “Wakan Tanka is concerned with human needs, and not luxuries. If we want luxuries, He has given us at birth the power to work for and obtain these,” he said. People who have rid themselves of self-serving ego, like medicine and holy people, are the cleanest bones, he explained. The cleaner the bone, the more water you can pour through it, and the faster it will run.” Fools Crow, the nephew of the visionary Black Elk, immortalized in John Neihardt’s Black Elk Speaks, explained he was able to handle the self-sacrifice of being a holy person because he possessed “a clear self image.” As a Sioux person, he was taught to understand there was no limit to what the higher powers could do through him. “What we hollow bones really become is the pipeline that connects Wakan Tanka and our community together. Wakan Tanka tells us the direction our curing and healing work must follow and establishes the kind of life we must lead. It also keeps us working at things that do not bring us much income … We have to be strong and committed to stick with this, otherwise we will get very little spiritual power and we will probably give up the curing and healing work.” Fools Crow described his life as being “filled with power” and he thought about Wakan Tanka constantly. To remain a clean, hollow bone, he refrained from arguing, gossiping and womanizing. He didn’t charge for his healing, although he accepted gifts and gratitude from people he helped. He abstained from mind-altering substances, even the peyote used in the Native American church, because Wakan Tanka could take him higher than any drug ever could. In his lifetime, he struggled to find someone to pass his medicine to because so few wanted to live morally and frugally. “While many talk a lot about wanting to do this, they do not really want to give up pleasure and material things. Also, you can tell a true medicine person from an imitator by what they ask you for in return for their help. According to where they live, everyone needs enough to live on and pay their bills. But if they ask for more than a fair payment for this, walk away from them. They are only imitators and their power will be very limited.” As a child born near Wounded Knee in South Dakota around 1890, Fools Crow was forced to quit school in the third grade so he could work and support his family. He travelled around the United States later with the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show before becoming a healer after his initial vision quest in 1903. He married Fannie Afraid, who passed away in 1954, and his second wife, Kate, died in 1988. Both wives assisted Fools Crow in his curing rites and watched over him while he spirit-travelled inside his sweatlodge. “Actually, this spirit travel I do has frightened both of my wives,” he once confessed to Mails, explaining he would sometimes remain unconscious inside the lodge for as long as two days. Fannie and Kate have had to stay with me and watch over me during this time, and they have told me that sometimes they are afraid I have died.” Fools Crow used his “mind screen” – the blackness he saw when he closed his eyes and rolled his eyes upward – to receive information from Wakan Tanka. If he saw that a patient’s organs were damaged beyond repair, he revealed to he or she that they could not be cured, but could still be healed. “Healing is a process that helps the person get rid of anger and blaming” and reconcile unfinished business in their lives, Fools Crow said. “When we are finished with the healing, the person is calm and ready, even anxious to die. ‘Die’ is not really the best word, because it suggests that it is the end, when it is really the beginning. I take them outside to pray with me, and I tell them some of the great secrets I have been shown. At night, I make them a bed under the stars, and I sit beside them for a while. As we continue to talk, I tell them to think about Wakan Tanka being up there and waiting to receive them. If they are Christians, I talk about Jesus’ saying he went to make a place for them.” Fools Crow asked people who came for curing to spend four days with him. If the weather was good, he fixed a bed for them outdoors under the trees on his property. He loved bringing people to his Pine Ridge reservation home because there was “nothing tall enough to get between us and the higher powers. So we are more conscious of them than people who live in cities are.” Fools Crow lived long enough to mediate between the U.S. government and AIM activists at Wounded Knee in 1973. At the Elder’s funeral, eulogist and AIM leader Russell Means credited Fools Crow with the peaceful ending of the famous confrontation. Fools Crow was well-loved for keeping alive Lakota ceremonies that had been outlawed by the government, and is famous for pleading before a congressional subcommittee that the Black Hills be returned to his people.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.John 14:12
During this time of the Winter Solstice I have enjoyed researching its rich history and origins in Shamanism. But I have been saddened to discover how the Patriarchal energy, that has pervaded the World for thousands of years, has distorted our ancient traditions into a celebration of superficial excess whilst also negating the role of the feminine.
This negative energy concocted the religions and customs of the West by taking elements that had previously been known in Shamanic culture as belonging to the feminine, and flipping them into the Patriarchal masculine inversion. Here I am making a distinction between the toxic Patriarchal Masculine of ego as the opposite of the true Divine Masculine of pure love which, when partnered with its Divine Feminine counterpart, both internally and in a physical relationship, creates a powerful tortodial field capable of smashing the Archontic control matrix.
This shift from the Divine Feminine to the toxic masculine has also had the effect of causing an important celebration of the seasonal calendar to turn into an opportunity for the retail industry to make greater profits. The concept of Father Christmas has become a recent symbol of our consumerist society which requires us to buy more stuff for each other as a national custom. This is a subversion of the original notion held by the ancient indigenous shamanic cultures of Siberia, Norther Norway, Finland, and the Arctic Circle.
The patriarchal energy further distorts the truth of the Winter Solstice by negating its feminine origins, using the male as the central figure: that of Father Christmas delivering gifts on a sleigh pulled by his male reindeer Rudolph. Thousands of years ago it was the female reindeer who drew the sleigh of the Sun Goddess at the time of the Winter Solstice. She was the ancient Deer Mother who flew through the darkest night with the life-giving light of the sun in her horns.
Across the British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia, and Siberia she was a revered spiritual figure associated with fertility, motherhood, regeneration, and the central theme of the winter solstice: the rebirth of the sun. It was the Deer Mother who took flight from the dark of the old year to return the light and new life.
She is the only one able to take on this role because it is only the doe who retains her antlers at this time of year; the male reindeer shed their antlers. And because of this is the female who leads the herd in winter. Therefore, in indigenous shamanic cultures it would be impossible for Rudolph to take on this role. The symbology of a male reindeer with antlers during the winter can only exist as a distortion in the false illusion of our contemporary world.
Since the early Neolithic period, the female reindeer as leader of the winter herd was honoured by the Northern people as the ‘life-giving mother’. As a symbol of her importance her antlers were placed in shrines and on altars, used in ceremonial burials, and worn as shamanic headdresses. The antlers were often depicted as the tree of life, holding birds together with the sun, moon, and stars.
Her image was celebrated in carved stone, woven ceremonial cloth, painted drums, jewellery, and tattoos and reindeer, with their antlers intact, were depicted leaping or flying through the air.
The Sun Goddess is known in Nordic countries as Beaivi and she is associated with motherhood, fertility of plants, and the reindeer. She was often depicted with her daughter in an enclosure of reindeer antlers performing a ceremony for the return of green to the land.
Other Winter Goddesses from Northern legend also flew through the skies with flying animals. The Lithuanian and Latvian goddess of the Sun, Saule, travelled the heavens in a sleigh pulled by horned reindeer throwing amber pebbles into chimneys as symbols of the regenerating sun.
It is often said that the Pagan origins of Christmas can be observed through Santa’s red and white outfit, which has its origins in the red and white amanita mushrooms ingested by shamen in order to travel to other dimensions.
But it was the female medicine healers, not the male shamen, who wore ceremonial red and white costumes trimmed with fur together with horned headdresses or red felt hats. So Santa’s outfit is another Patriarchal distortion of the feminine which takes elements from an ancient ceremonial healing tradition and turns them into superficial symbols of consumerism.
Let us remember our Celtic origins by celebrating this important date on our seasonal calendar.
In this video Alex Vitillo, a Shamanic Priestess from the UK, interviews Ngarene Stevens a Shaman and Sound Healer from New Zealand.
Ngarene talks about how she started as an energy healer developing an interest in sound healing before blending it with her Shamanic practice.
She discusses how her shamanic training has affected all aspects of her life as well as establishing healing ceremonies for the land.
Ngarene talks about her plan for 2022 to host a multi-disciplinary sound and vibration healing event to heal the land and lake near where she lives in New Zealand.
Connect with Ngarene here: https://www.facebook.com/frequencyis
Connect with Alex here: https://www.facebook.com/Mindfullyfulfillingyourdreams
I have been studying Shamanism for the past year via an apprenticeship with Scott Silverston having progressed through the three main modules: the Fundamentals of Shamanism, Shamanic Self Care, and finally Advanced Shamanic Practices.
This interview with Anne Kensho is a summary of his approach to contemporary Shamanic teaching.
He starts by talking about his own path through finance to Shamanism and other healing modalities before being guided by spirit to teach others. He says that although he was successful in his job as a Finance Director in Manhattan he wasn’t happy or fulfilled.
He says that this is a common problem with his clients who are also programmed by family and society into a life path that may not feel right. Scott says that we can sense that something isn’t right in the way we are living our lives because it will show as anger, frustration, sadness, fear, and profound dissatisfaction for no apparent reason. He calls such programmed behaviour ‘societal false agreements’ which can be cancelled and changed via Shamanic Consciousness.
Scott’s methodology is very different from most contemporary Shamanic teaching because he designates ten classes within the intermediate module to personal development. This ensures that each graduate understands how to clear their own channel and protect their energy giving them greater strength and the ability to avoid practitioner burn-out, which he says is common within the healing arts.
The Shamanic Spirit Medicine courses are also different in that they place an emphasis on the importance of spiritual grounding in order to overcome the filters that can distort our ability to take effective action when we receive spiritual guidance. He describes his approach to Shamanic teaching as Applied Shamanism which he says is the embodiment and grounding of the guidance from the spirit guides in the energetic realms.
He goes on to discuss Shamanic Consciousness which is the Australian indigenous tribal ‘Dreamtime’ a place of spiritual function and intuitive senses which all members of the tribe could access. This is something that Westerners are now cut-off from which causes blockages, sickness, and an inability to progress with life goals.
He goes on to discuss the role of the Medicine Wheel when applied to life experiences and projects and emphasises the importance of going into Winter to understand what the Harvest brought. Many people do not do any introspection when things go wrong with their relationships or projects which causes them to continue with the same cycle without learning from mistakes.
You can view the full interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nut08pPZH0
I feel saddened to be having to write this post, which is about men being triggered by women talking about the feminine in Shamanic culture. This sadness stems from the realisation that patriarchal energy is still alive and strong even in the spiritual community – and I have seen it flowing through women too.
When I read this post from a Shamanic group on my FaceBook newsfeed I felt my heart open with a really powerful resonance.
I received the realisation of looking back at a long linage of women who were in service to others and I felt fortified by that strong female heritage behind me. It felt empowering to be part of that history.
At no point did I consider that making a statement about the feminine in relation to Shamanism would be considered to be controversial by anyone. Surely my male friends would want to celebrate the feminine energy if they knew of its power?
Apparently not. It seems that some men read this post and became upset. But instead of walking away from it with the realisation that they need to go and work on their own stuff, they stopped to take the time to project their issues onto me.
The first man said ‘why not a man?’. Well my initial response was that I didn’t say that a Shaman couldn’t be a man. Indeed much of the history of Shamanism is written by men and is about men. As a female Shaman I often feel excluded by the strong masculine energy within the practice which is similar to how I felt twenty years ago as an art student walking the halls of big museums looking at the world through the male gaze.
The past 5,000 years of patriarchy have successfully edited the feminine influence from every aspect of social history so that as a female scholar one struggles to find books about women artists or Shamen written by women and focussing on feminine perspectives. The further back in history we go the stronger the male narrative becomes with misogynistic tendencies completely normalised and accepted.
I was listening to a podcast by Gene Decode last night. He is a former military man who had a spiritual awakening and is now an intuitive in the truther movement discerning what is true intelligence about current events by using his psychic abilities. A caller into Gene’s Q&A show asked why there were missing elements from both the Platonic Solids (Spheres and Toroids) and the Greek Elements (Aether, Wood, and Metal). Gene responded that the missing elements are feminine and that feminine has been disregarded by the control system because of its power. Hence we had witch hunts where it was acceptable to falsely accuse a woman, subject her to sexual abuse, and then kill her in the most horrific way as a sacrifice to Satan.
He said that if society knew the true power women hold then all the repression would stop.
Later on another post popped up on my newsfeed which again observed the role of the feminine in Shamanic practice and related it to creative force women hold. It was attributed to an article in Tom Tom magazine but the author was not mentioned.
The most interesting and least well-known aspect of shamanism is the traditional role of women, both as shamans and drummers. British scholar Geoffrey Ashe wrote that shamans were originally women, and that the oldest form of the word ‘shaman’ is gendered female. Across Asia, female shamans have been observed since the dawn of modern anthropology, and even male shamans in some native cultures around the world have worn women’s clothes and striven for an androgynous persona in ritual to better connect with the spirit world. Some of the oldest known ritual burials were of female shamans or priestesses, in areas as far apart as Germany and Israel, dated from 8,000-12,000 years ago. How women came to embody this role so early in human history isn’t known, though their ability to produce life is most likely the answer. Ritual drums were often painted red to depict menstrual blood, had symbols of the vulva, and rituals centered around fertility and fecundity.
Feminine power therefore stems from the womb and the unique female ability to create new life which in turn feeds into the healing role of the Matriarch in tribal culture. It is an older woman’s life experience and deep understanding of the body and its natural cycles and magical rites of passage from maiden, mother, to crone that brings her to the role of healer. By coming to terms with the rhythms and changes in her own body she can assist others who are experiencing the same issues. She can guide the younger woman through menstruration, pregnancy, birth, mothering, and the menopause helping her to find the lessons and gifts they bring.
This notion of feminine bodily experience as the root of healing others is echoed in the words of Jane Hardwicke Collings founder of the School of Shamanic Womancraft in Australia:
The shaman was the community healer, seer and gatekeeper between the worlds, the spiritual ceremonialist and often the midwife. She worked with herbs, dreams, symbols, ceremony, ritual, oracles and journeying in trance states to other realms for the purpose of healing and mediation for others. Nature was her guide; she understood the interconnectedness of all things.
It is likely that early tribal cultures would have found the process of gestation and birth a magical alchemical act. The ability to make another human from sperm inside the magical space of the womb would have revered the feminine in society. Men perhaps would have marvelled at the ability of their beloved to bring an heir of a blood lineage. This reverence is likely what first created the matriarchal cultures that came before patriarchy.
But I experienced anything but reverence for the feminine from a male Shaman friend of mine. When I read his response my heart shuddered with disgust for what he had written: that I was wrong. It is interesting that he was projecting his anger at me because the words I posted were not mine, they were written by a male writer. Therefore should it not be the writer who is wrong?
As a former admin on a natural health group I know how those who are Archontically controlled can deplete our energy with pointless arguing. As such I have learned to let others hold their own opinions without wasting my time giving the alternative view. If people try to argue with me now I just scroll past and feel confident in my ability to not allow others to intrude into my personal space. I hold my frequency high and am unaffected by the anger of others.
I deleted the comment and deleted the person as a friend as it isn’t the first time I have felt this intense negative energy directed towards me from him. I wondered though, what evidence is there that I am wrong? Of course in his egoic state of anger at my audacity as a female to associate Shamanism with the feminine he did not cite any published works.
So I decided to do my own research into the notion of the feminine in Shamanism and I’ve been fascinated with the research I have found – expect more from me on this topic.