Tuesday, February 19, 2008
An Internet Clipping
...A shaman's medicine colors are black and white because he/she walks the world of Light as well as Shadow - the polarity of man's existence. Black and white also represents the balance a shaman seeks to maintain, both inside himself/herself as well as bringing that balance to his/her clients. It is well expressed in the Eastern concept of yin-yang.
Bat is the Mayan and Aztec symbol for rebirth, and the totem animal for shamanism. Bat hangs upside down in the cave, just as humans are nestled upside down in their mothers' wombs. In leaving the womb or the cave, each is forced to look at light and shadow. Bat embraces the idea of the Shaman's death. In ancient traditions, the would-be-shaman was sent to a certain location to dig his/her own grave, and then spent the night inside that grave, totally alone. The grave opening was supported by limbs, covered by a blanket, and then filled over with dirt and debris. Absolute darkness and total silence quickly cause the initiate to be confronted by his/her fears. The basic idea of the initiation was to break down all former notions of "self", and to cause the initiate to face his/her inner fears and demons. When the initiate is released from the grave, the old persona and ways of life of the one "who was put in in the ground" truly are dead and buried. A "new" person emerges, reborn, with the right BY INITIATION to be called a shaman, and to heal. During my initiation, I spent three days and two nights totally isolated within the grave, and it truly is a terrifying experience.