About a Bit More and the Theories

Kindred Shamanism provides holistic shamanic healings, shamanic, rune and tarot readings tailored for each client, please see our healing page for more information.

There are also courses are available for those who want to find out more about shamanism and connection with spirit and the landscape and also understanding one’s place and role within the realms of this world and the spirit world.

A Bit About the Theory

As mentioned on the Home Page We use a mixture of Shamanic techniques that have influenced the Shamanic belief systems of Britain. Although our shamanic influences are from Celtic and Norse traditions, well what we know, as these were on the whole oral traditions, and some of what we know comes from their invaders, mainly Romans, Tacitus wrote of  the people of Germania;

They do not, however, deem it consistent to divine majesty to imprison their gods within walls, or to represent them with anything like human features.Their holy places are the woods and the groves, and they call by the name of god that hidden presence which only seen by the eye of reverence.

This quote infers that for the people of Germania the spirit of place is all around and the eye of reverence is one in a state, probably a shamanic trance state connecting with the god and spirit of place.

The Gudestup Cauldron: depicting an antlered shaman surrounded by animals, are these his spirit guides or the game on the plain. The cauldron itself is believed to be of Celtic origins but found in Danemark

The Gudestup Cauldron: depicting an antlered shaman surrounded by animals, are these his spirit guides or the game on the plain. The cauldron itself is believed to be of Celtic origins but found in Danemark

The Welsh Mabinogion has several shamanic references, including the dream of Mascen Wledig who takes an epic journey and finds the most beautiful woman he had even seen, after some pursuing, she became his wife. The dream itself is recorded as ‘dream flight’ a shamanic journey? The lady in question was Elen, an ancient goddess of sovereignty of the land. Often refereed to as Elen of the Ways and would lead the tribe and the herds of reindeer during their winter and summer migrations across Britain and possibly to Scandinavia after the last Ice Age.

Elen of the Ways, the elusive and ancient Antlered Goddess

Elen of the Ways, the elusive and ancient Antlered Goddess

Is Elen one of the links between  Proto-Celts and the Norse traditions? Elen does have a lot of correspondences with Freyja, who is in essence a shamanic nature and fertility goddess of the Norse.

In the 12th century Snorri Sturluson recorded the myths and legends of the Norse in the Eddas. The Eddas included stories of seers, in the Volspa Odin consults with Sibil who prophesies the future and tells of Ragnarok, the battle of the gods against evil and the end of this world and the beginning of a new bright world. Also in the Havamal there is the story how Odin received the Runes. (Havamal 137 to 141)

Interpretation of Odin's ordeal once hung from the windtorn to gain inspiration and wisdom from the Runes

Interpretation of Odin’s ordeal once hung from the windtorn tree (the World Tree of Yggdrasil) to gain inspiration and wisdom from the Runes

137

 I hung on the windtorn tree. Nine whole nights, spear-pierced                       

Sacrificed myself to myself above the tree. Whose root no one knows where it sprang

138

None brought me bread, none served me drink. I searched the depths, spied the Runes                          

Raised them with song, and fell once more

 139

Nine powerful chants I learned. From the wise son of Boltorn

A draught I drank of precious mead, ladled by Odraerir

 140

I began to thrive, to grow wise. To grow greater, and enjoy

For me words led from words to new words. For me deeds led from deeds to new deeds

 141

Runes shall you know and rightly read. Very great staves, powerful staves

Drawn by the mighty one who speaks. Made by wise Vanir carved by the highest rulers

This selection can be interpreted as a shamanic journey undergone by Odin. Behind the story Odin hung by one leg, a stance used by many other shamanic traditions in a trance state. The tree itself is known as Yggdrasil which kind of translates as ‘Odin’s Steed’, trees are used in many shamanic cultures as ‘Axis Mundis’ a physical element in this worldly realm to travel with into the Otherworldly realms, hence Odin travelling with the tree. He suffered pain too from his spear, and a raven pecked out an eye, the one eye give clarity and focus, a story told in other shamanic tales. In the Celtic story of Cerridwen and Taliesin, another shamanic story of shape Cerridwen and Taliesin shape shift into animals, the young Taliesin’s wise friend Morda also has one eye (although in some versions he is blind).

There are correspondences between the stories Odin receives wisdom and inspiration from the Runes and drinks the mead of Odraerir and Taliesin receives wisdom and inspiration from the elixir of life from the Cauldron of Cerridwen.

In Havamal 141 the reference ‘wise Vanir’ these are the nature and fertility gods and ones that practice shamanism known as Seidr, Freyja a goddess of the Vanir taught Odin shamanism in return for knowledge of the Runes.

Even though there are these records which gives inspiration to do what we do our practice, much of the Northern European native religions and shamanic traditions have died out as a result of religious oppression, elements of its practice have been reconstructed in modern day Druidry, Asatru and some traditional witchcraft covens, which we can compare and integrate into our practices.

As previously mentioned shamanic elements from the Americas are also used and compared with those from Eurasia. However, we are in Britain and we do use elements of our local spirituality to relate to the Spirit of Britain and the plants, animals and landscapes by connecting and channeling with them.

Native American "conjuror" in a 1590...
Native American “conjuror” in a 1590 engraving (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Due to the above statement we do compare and incorporate some Native American shamanism into our practice. As their shamanic ancestors are our shamanic ancestors, between about 15,000 and 20,000 years ago people migrated from Asia across the Bearing Straights during the last Ice Age from Siberia (referred to as the early Clovis culture), and according to some commentators they also made their way to America via the Ice Bridge, and sea from Northern Europe (according to the Soluteraen Hypothesis), this would also help to explain the incredible similarities between the Sioux and Saami bear hunt rituals. Therefore in these two instaces taking with them their religious practices and adapting them to the plants, animals and the environment of America. And the thing is some of their practice has not been totally eradicated so we borrow bits that would be relevant to Britain especially some of the healing elements.

There is also the Drumming Circle which is a group that draws upon the primeval spirit of the land, the self, animal, plant and the life force and spirit of all things. In this we raise power within each other, the earth and ourselves and in honour of spirit.This is undertaken around the wheel of the year and is held in the style of the Norse Sumbel with a drumming circle in honour of the gods and spirits of the season and then let spirit take us to where we need to be.

All this is  on the website plus more is covered in greater detail, if you would like to know more please send us a message.

There are a few concepts that are kept close to heart, and may be a attitude behind these

Nature is what it is being neither good or cruel, but it just is, its alive!

There is no excuse to dominate and abuse people, animals and nature.

Equality! No religion or theology has any greater relevance or dominance over another, or personal viewpoint, or society, or nature or the earth.

© Glenn Lane-Yule 2013

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One Response to About a Bit More and the Theories

  1. Hi Glenn
    Have read info on the website and am very interested in learning more. This seems to be the way forward for me as I seem to be working in this manner more often on my own nowadays – honouring the woods and stones more and more as I feel the way in which everything breathes and moves as one with the Earth, especially when pathworking. I will contact Julie Forest again soon to see if she can further me as well along my path. Blessings )O(

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