Shamanism is not a belief system. It is based on personal experiments in altered reality, what we ‘see’ or ‘know’ is based on personal experience during Shamanic journeys to other worlds. It is not a doctrine; there are no rights or wrongs, and the only way to know whether or not your mind is playing tricks on you is to find out if what you saw works in ordinary reality. It is both lonely and frustrating for a beginner, let me tell you! The buck rests with you and there are no gold stars for good behaviour.
The practise of Shamanism is a method, not a religion. It co exists with established religions such as Buddhism or Lamaism. One of my favourite artists, Meinrad Craighead, used to be a Benedictine nun at Stanbrook Abbey in England, but her paintings portray her journeys to the spirit realms and her meetings with the Great Mother and the divine feminine. She is a fabulous Shamanic painter.
This is an image of ‘Crow Mother and the Dog God’ , the cover of one of her books.
I’m learning how to translate images from my journeys more directly into my clay. It worries me because I want to get it right – but in many ways I’m only doing what everyone else is doing for where else does inspiration come from, if not from the Spirits?