I want to find my own shaman path. I don’t want to hijack native traditions and twist them into some New Age woo-woo parody suitable for consumption by white bourgeois Baby Boomers. I know shamanism isn’t unique to nonwhite indigenous peoples, either; the Celts and many Europeans had their own shamanic traditions, and I feel that because I’m a person of white European ancestry, it would be less disingenuous of me to work with European traditions than with other paths. I also feel very strongly that respecting native/indigenous people’s traditions means not hijacking them and making a profit from them (á la Lynn Andrews and her “Medicine Woman” books, etc.)
I have in the past done some work with Native American/pseudo-Native-American shamanic things, and while some of the work was impressive and powerful, I just didn’t feel comfortable with it. Maybe it was the people I was with-
white Baby Boomer women who, on their “shamanic journeys” found that the centaur was their Power Animal™ and the like-or maybe it was that the energy of it wasn’t quite right for me. I don’t know. So where do I go and who do I meet and what do I do to find my shamanic self? This is the question I’ve been pursuing off and on for years.