The Myth Of The 2 Week Master - Redux

I had a whole different post ready to go, when this great article came across my wavelength this week. It really addresses what I was saying in the 2 previous posts on The Myth Of The 2 Week Master. Please read the article first:

Selling the Sacred: Get Your Master's in Native American Shamanism?


What is important here is respect. Respect for the native/tribal/indigenous traditions. And in today's society, respect has often been thrown away. You can't just read a book, or take a course, and become certified in any sort of tradition. Yes, you can learn some things, but that's only skimming the surface. And by doing that, “It’s cultural trespassing.”




A Crow sweat lodge—Museum of the American Indian

The other side of things is that it takes years and years to apprentice and learn these things. “Practicing ceremonies without understanding is dangerous,” she said [Swift Hawk]. “We see so many deaths.” And there have been deaths, like in sweat lodges (New Age Guru Guilty in Sweat Lodge Deaths) and other forms of traditional ceremonies.

If you really want to learn things, then you need to find someone who is an elder and willing to take you on as an apprentice. You just can't spend a weekend at a camp and come home with a framed certificate on your wall.

By respecting others and their traditions, you also respect yourself.

~ MB




Chop Wood | Carry Water | Play Gongs

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