Why do I call myself a Shaman. I'll tell you why. I have been taught the manner and the means to do prayers, blessings - sometimes with a form of dance, other times with a form of what I call the holy language.
These are words and sounds which have very benevolent impact on all life forms. It is a language that precedes our times here on Earth and it only comes forth from me during the time of these dances.
I'm using the term - dance as a description of what I do at times but it is more like something you might see done in T'ai Chi for example, though there is motion forward - though very slow.
Also there are other reasons I use the term Shaman for myself. I have been taught how to do blessings, as I say, and how to say special prayers through years and years of training. One such form is the prayer blessing, I have also been taught this. This involves a great deal of benevolent energy which activates, supports, nurtures and can, when done in the exact, best and most benevolent way, transform all into a more gentle benevolent existence.
I have been taught how and when to use transformation gently and benevolently and I feel good about the results. Transformation can only be accomplished through the agreement of all. All must be served and the result must serve all benevolently.
All these things and more I have been taught and the most important thing I've been taught is that my job is to be of service and it is to that end that I dedicate myself.
So sometimes, as you know for those of you who have done these things, it's not just what you say but how you say it. You have to have certain intents - meaning that you have to have the feelings in your body that desire something for yourself, your friends, your family or more likely most of the time - for others.
You have to also have a sense of service to the global community and that community might encompass a great many beings, most of whom you don't really know personally and/or whom you'll never meet - so it requires a great deal of unconditional love.
I am not trying to say that this is something that others cannot do for I feel that we are all born with this unconditional love and we learn by our exposure to culture and those around us that we cannot always safely show this and in some situations we even forget how to demonstrate it but there are other situations where it comes out in ways that cannot be restricted.
Most parents know what that's like - to love a child even when they do something they're not supposed to - you still love them don't you? Of course you do.
I am suggesting that only as an example you understand - but it's true, it's real. Our dogs and cats and other pets love us unabashedly, unashamedly and we love them the same way even when they do things we wish they wouldn't.
It's this kind of love which is really necessary. A devotion to being in service of all the needs of all the beings that you can help.
As a Shaman one learns that one is always on call but of course you do have your needs. You'll need to eat, you'll need to sleep and you'll need to keep up your energy and strength as best you can.
There will be times when people will require your help. You will know because you will get a feeling - oh I need to say this or I need to do that.
I am not talking about something that is used to control people - never that. I'm not talking about something that is intended to be manipulative - never that. I am talking about something that functions through prayer, blessing and occasionally dance as I've referred to it that supports all life in the most benevolent way.
I am not trying to say that I am some wonderful being. I am saying that I have received this training and it is way to extensive to go into here but I am giving you the basics of the description that may fit other people who are identified as being Shaman or Shamans and in some cases there are other definitions but in time you will find those definitions here on Knol or other places but for now I felt it was important to give you a general idea of what a Shaman is according to my experience and perhaps also covering a little bit of the experience of others.