American Shaman

And Lupa has yet another excellent literary offering, this one on how to incorporate a shamanic practice with American culture and cultural roles:

The key in finding these roles is to look at the function of the shaman or similar figure in the cultures in which they are found, and then find roles in this culture that function similarly on some level. This is not a particularly animistic culture, and most people think the concept of spirits is either evil or insanity. Therefore there is only a relatively small slice of Americans who would be willing to consult a “shaman”. However, it’s still possible to fulfill the functions of a shaman while in a profession more commonly accepted here.

I’m not very inclined toward shamanism myself, but I find the notion of adapting a shamanic practice to modern American roles very fascinating. Lupa offers some good comparative roles for shamanism, but how would a magician, witch, or pagan priest engage in a similar undertaking? I think that many of the professions/callings Lupa mentions would apply to those as well, but what other ones might be applicable?

A friend of mine suggested that barbers and bartenders would make good magicians, because they know the local news and gossip. I’ve thought that waiting tables or working as a cook/chef might fulfill a similar role, as it helps provide comfort.

I’d be interested to hear other ideas about this.

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