Taken from The Weavers of Light by Kerry Henwood (2021, p. 17)

For the next few days of my 460-day challenge, I am going to select words of wisdom from the 100s of books that I own. I have always been an avid reader and I also love to refer to books at random to receive the wisdom of the words that are present on the page. May you receive these words with the same joy that I discover in finding them.

If you really want to help this world, what you really will have to teach is how to live in it Joseph Campbell.

“In traditional communities, past and present, shamans serve not simply as healers, but as the stewards and protectors of the land and their people. They also participate as respected members of their communities’ governing bodies. At the birth of a child, the shaman is called to welcome the new soul to this world, and upon a community member’s death, they are called to support the soul as it continues on its journey. In many ways, they hold, and are, the heart and soul of the community.

But as Western cultures developed across time, the holistic worldview embodied by shamanism was replaced by the Cartesian paradigm of mind-body dualism, which profoundly changed the way that human beings relate to each other and their world. With these changes, the role of the shaman also underwent a massive shift, especially in the West, where faith in reason and empiricism triumphed. Western culture came to view reality as a rigid, bounded phenomenon. Yet despite these profound changes shamans have continued to provide services to their communities, serving as mediators between the human and spirit worlds as messengers, healers, counsellors and teachers.”

The resurgence of shamanism in the West is a call to the sacred and ultimately the goal of all shamanic work is to release anything that keeps human beings from honouring our oneness with all creation and embodying the divine light that is our birthright and essence.