I’ve been discussing with the spirits what the time after my six months will bring. Looks like there’ll be a lot more foundation-building in store, which is just fine by me. I’ve been erring on the side of caution with this endeavour. Perhaps a bit too far, but having seen so many would-be shamans skimp on things like learning cosmology and getting to know one’s spirit guides and helpers before leaping headfirst into shamanic work, I want to make sure I don’t do the same thing. Plus I want to build more self-discipline, and this is a great way to do it. In fact, I think that’s one of the main reasons we’re focusing so much on taking a lot of time with this; I am not the most disciplined person. I do a lot, but it’s not always organized. This path asks for a certain amount of discipline and organization that I need to acquire before I can be a practicing shaman.
Most likely the six months after the Spring Equinox will be spent improving my relationships with my existing helping spirits and totems; I’m not sure if it will involve meeting new ones. I suspect the emphasis will be on working with who’s already here, though I can’t completely rule out the possibility that someone else may step up in the meantime. I’ll just have to see how it goes.
Beyond that, I’ll probably spend a certain amount of time after the second six months just exploring the Otherworld, getting to know the lay of the land, and practicing various journeying techniques. My progress there will most likely determine when I can actually start serious shamanizing. Of course, this is all conjecture at this point–we’re all just going to see how I do in my second six months. Everyone (myself included) seems pretty confident in how I’ve handled my first six months up til now; there’s still six weeks to go, but so far, so good.
There will, of course, be the chance to opt out at my ritual in March. I haven’t completely ruled it out, especially because I’ll get a good explanation of what to expect if I accept. However, should I choose to continue, I feel that I’ve gotten a pretty firm foundation thus far. The fact that I’ve made it four and a half months without giving up or losing interest is, believe it or not, impressive for me. Not that I’ve never been able to commit to anything, but simply that historically I haven’t been that interested in anything particularly formal.
I’m a different person now, though. I’m more grounded than I was, and more patient. This has been a really good experience for me, and I want to be able to use the tools I’m receiving to help others grow and heal as well. If therioshamanism can help me, then why shouldn’t it be able to help others?
Nothing wrong with foundation building, it’s integral to all the work you do afterwards, and it’s something you can always go back and add to later, but getting some real good groundwork done (as you’re doing, and will continue to do) will set you in awesome stead later.
“but having seen so many would-be shamans skimp on things like learning cosmology and getting to know one’s spirit guides and helpers before leaping headfirst into shamanic work”
Oooer, I’m going to count myself super lucky here. Lol. I haven’t met too many people who have skipped on this stuff and yet still consider themselves to be serious shamanists; if I had met more, I’d probably be angry. Lol.
But seriously, I agree, for a start, getting to know spirit guides/helpers familiarises you with basic things like otherworld etiquette, offerings, and with more complicated things like learning which spirit helpers are suited for what tasks.
“The fact that I’ve made it four and a half months without giving up or losing interest is, believe it or not, impressive for me.”
*nods* I agree with this. Before you started on this path, it seemed that you didn’t have as much focus as *you* would like on your spirituality and your path. It wasn’t that you had no direction, but that perhaps there were too many directions and not enough time / space / energy etc. to devote yourself to all the things you were interested in.
I think the levels of focus and concentration that you’ve shown on your journey over the past few months has been very admirable and inspirational for beginners or even experienced spiritualists who are beginning a path in shamanism. 🙂
Honestly, just by keeping this blog you are helping people. I’ve been inspired to be more serious about my spiritual path and pursuing subjects I’m really intestested in by your journey. Thank you. 🙂
Ravenari–The groundwork has been really, really good for me. It’s also made the spirits more confident in my ability to shamanize; while I’m still working to be more consistent, I’ve come a long way in the last few months. As to the skimping neoshamans, maybe I just have bad luck? 😉
Stormwolfen–I’m glad I’ve been able to help! That’s one of the main reasons for this blog. Being able to read others’ path stories helped inspire me a lot, and I figure it’s something good to keep passing on!