Shamanism is not a religion. It is the call of Mother Nature sounding across the Universe. By cleansing the doors of our perception, we may hear her Song. Her voice unites women and men sharing the world’s most ancient system of awareness and healing.Morena Luciani Russo
[..] From the very beginning, women have contributed to the creation of language and culture, enacting rituals within each single human community, and not just in terms of reproduction/procreation. An in-depth study of female Shamanism shows that it does not dwell within a transcendental dimension, but is rooted within the body of women, and relates to the cycle of life, death and regeneration, inspiring societies that are peaceful and egalitarian, where the sacred is experienced in daily life, and in close contact with nature.From the volume “Donne Sciamane, Shaman Women”.
The states of ecstasy shared by such communities have guided and instructed their vision of a society that was free of religion, free of institutions, and felt no need for any absolute truth based upon some revelation. Life was conceived as Mother, and the Mother was conceived as Life, experienced in all of Natures forms, from the tiniest insect to the mightiest mountain, in all of her most beneficial and most terrifying aspects. Women were cherished and honored as her emanation, and their gifts to the community were respected. Men honored Life, and were proud to be at her service, far from succumbing to the cruel laws of accumulation and warfare.
These were the Goddess cultures. They were matriarchies, based upon the belief that Mothers, both ancestral and physical, are the origin of the world:
Matri-arkè: in the beginning, the Mothers, in the beginning, Mother Earth.
And such are the matriarchies that still continue to exist throughout the World, providing examples of how the complex issues of social, economic and political organization of human community can be approached in a creative and egalitarian manner (1).
It should be kept in mind that this is the context within which Shamanism is rooted, and that Shamanism is still thriving amongst some of the native communities that nowadays appeal so much to those westerners that crave for a spirituality that is not institutionalized.
At present it is of the utmost importance that women should recover their own sacred dimension, learning to kindle their Shaman powers, just as men must find their way back to the Mother in a cosmic sense, rediscovering a Masculine that learn again how to honor the Feminine. The world we live in today, based as it is upon the presumed values of capitalism and dominion, is no more than the acme of a development that began thousands and thousands of years ago, starting with the genocide of the ancient European and Mediterranean populations, and progressively leading towards the oppression of women, and the demonization of their spirituality. It is a patriarchal world, suffering, according to Lama Tsultrim Allione, from an instability caused by the absence of female wisdom.
Female wisdom is nurtured by a form of spirituality that is oriented towards the Earth and the cycles of Nature, celebrating collective rituals that lead us back towards a reality that is alter-centric rather than ego-centric. It is further implemented by a heightened attention and awareness regarding the stereotypes and models that patriarchy has forced upon women, thus conditioning sexuality and family life in the first place, and then all other aspects of social life. It is essential that we free ourselves from these stereotypes once and for all.
That forest which we have been taught to fear, its tender and ferocious animals, bringing both Life and Death, access to the Underworld, and descent and regeneration, are all part of the Feminine path, a path that does not come about brandishing false promises, but requires both empirical knowledge, intellectual and historic awareness, as well as an amount of esthetic insight and intuition. BabaYaga will teach us how to stand unabashed, and free ourselves from all unnecessary burdens, and the Nymphs inspire us with delight and tenderness.
(2) Dee Poth, La Sapienza della Dea, Ed. Psiche 2