Day six in Roderick’s book deals with the connection between Wicca and Shamanism. This is something that I have been seriously interested in for the past year, when I started looking into Core Shamanism. Roderick reminds us that in both traditions there seems to be a “calling” to the path. He says “ the powers of the shaman are those of the earth, the wind, the waters, and the fire” – the same energies used in witchcraft – and their power comes from ecstatic rituals that alter the state of consciousness – which is also what Wiccan ritual aims to do.
He also gives a little bit of information as to the difference between the shaman and the madman/madwoman. The madman cannot remain in balance; cannot remain centered; cannot properly perceive the different between the spiritual and physical realms.
The exercise for today is to contemplate a few questions:
Describe in writing your own “calling” to the Witch’s path. Take note of which of the shamanic hallmarks describe your own experience.
For me, this is a two part question. The first deals with my leaving the Church. It was perhaps when I was 7 or 8, during Lent. I don’t know if all Catholic churches do this, but St. Michael’s here in town covers all the of statues of Mary with black cloth. This deeply disturbed me, and there’s no way that I can put it into words. It really freaked me out – and I knew right then and there that this wasn’t the right thing for me. I mean, I understand the symbolism behind that, I really do, but something about it… I guess it was my first intuitive experience (that I can remember). After that, I was open to other religions and experiences.
Secondly, I came to Wicca through, of all things, a Scooby Doo movie. It was Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost; they mentioned Wicca a few times and that prompted me to look it up. I instantly fell in love and felt at home with Wicca. Looking through the list of hallmarks Roderick gives, I went through a long bout of serious depression through most of my middle school years. Also, I wonder if my childhood experiences with crows count as “traumatic incidents” which he mentions. My mother tells me often of how crows used to chase me – CHASE me – around when I went outside. She says I would be screaming and crying because they were chasing and pecking at me and she had to chase them away from me with a broom. I still to this day cannot remember this ever happening, but I wonder if I didn’t repress these memories. Sounds pretty traumatizing to me.
In what ways are you a shaman? I suppose most simply, I am a shaman because I’m a shamanic practitioner. I feel connected to the ways of the shaman – moving between words, journeying, dancing, drumming, and serving the community. It is simply something I’m called to.
In what ways are you a madwoman? At times, I have trouble staying balanced. There are times when I wish to exist only in the spiritual realms. This happens less and less often, after I overcame my depression, but still happens from time to time.