“It takes a stomach that has been trained by years and years of abuse by chemicals that would make your average tough man cry”. Says Kay , talking of ayahuasca and shamanic experience today.
Hey – I have just such a stomach, you know –cast iron, impervious to huge quantities of chemicals through long abuse. But I don’t need the ayahuasca experience, either – I’ve already had it.
It seems we once lived in a better balance with such entheogens, and used them as aides to exploring our conscious interaction with the universe.
Today we use them as entertainment. Pah.
The making of a Shaman is always accompanied by a death and rebirth sequence, which may or may not include sacred dismemberment along the way, but which always results in a creature newly made in some way; whether recompiled from the inside out or the outside in seems to be a matter of cultural taste.
Here in South Africa, young black males are anxious to undergo the symbolic death and rebirth of traditional initiation which includes being cast out upon the wilderness in all one’s nakedness and being re-assimilated into the tribe through the surrogate womb of a blanket –all presided over by the male tutor of course, and naturally unavailable to females.
My own Shamanic death and rebirth I’ve outlined in an earlier post, and it certainly involved dismemberment of my soul. The re-memberment has been slower and is ongoing.
Meanwhile, Mahud has been looking into some aspects of dismemberment as a sacrament.
Osiris is the deity form who springs immediately to mind of course-his dispersal into fourteen pieces being highly symbolic of the lunar/solar mythology as well as outlining very clearly the role of sacrificial totem – a role played out by Dumuzi, Attis, Dionysus, Appolonius, Bran/Brun and the Christ in various cultures and times.
They delineate a possible path in each of our lives- showing us one of the ways we may take to complete our soul journeys in this incarnation.
This is an important role of myth –the stories we tell ourselves to help our re-membering.
I am profoundly appreciative of the fact that I was allowed to do this, this time around. It has dilated my eyes- as Pratchett says of the dark, it is then that “..our eyes open wider”.
I bless my endarkment, then, as a route to understanding the nature of the light.