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The Shamanic Underworld


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#1 ChaosTech

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:35 AM

The Shamanic Underworld is our earliest concepts of another realm besides the material. Probably because when the body dies it is (usually) buried underground, and so the soul when it dies finds itself in an underworld, because in life it knew that's where the living put the dead.

Another reason, could be evolution of the soul. In prehistoric times, the karma of most human beings was fairly young, and so "primitive." The higher astral vibrations were unknown of, and so during an OBE, before or after death of the body, the astral double or etheric body which housed the consciousness, went to the lower planes.

Energetically, the cosmos during it's beginning half was journeying downwards, towards the void, and only after reaching where things should have gone still (stasis), the moving changing energy that is everything, found it didn't stop, but bounced backwards towards the source, creating the second wave of the cosmos, where energy is moving back towards the source.

The earliest and most remote Shamanic cultures usually describe the early world of the first peoples and or even before humanity, as having a dream like quality. Superhuman feats were common, and this time of myth was described as being when everything was very young.

This makes sense, as the early times are about massive energy, and so amazing possibilities, where as the later times are a slower more formed flowing energy, where limitations like the laws of physics, have the upper hand.

Anyway the Shamanic Underworld, was the abode of the dead. Dark monsters also lived here, as nature dying was warped and mutated. These creatures usually hate light, as it burns or blinds them or other unconfortable sensations.

The dead were divided into two primary types. Ghosts and Wraiths or Banshees. Ghosts usually were quite human like, but often forgetfull, and seemed "lost." They were translucent in form, and resembled the lifeforce when it was thin like spider's silk.

The Wraiths or Banshees though, were malevolent and tortured souls, who were twisted often by entropy and dark in appearance, and spacious in shape. They often were seen feeding on the lifeforces of the freshly dead, and tried to drain or kill the living by their cold touch, to which shamans were called to repair the energy or vital body, by getting back "organs," or pieces of the soul, which the shades had taken.

Naturally, also the evil souls dwelled in the Underworld, and even bad natured animal souls, and were often twisted in form, and greedy and angry in nature. These too were seen as sometimes attacking the living. It is these spirits which were later to be called demons and devils, and made the great tortures and rulers of the underworld, and the evil among men.

Hell is different from the Underworld, as it is a place of tormet, verses death and dying and destruction. The Egyptians, Chinese, Norse, Mesopotamians, and others, had legends of Hell. In all cases it was a special place of the underworld, where the damned dwelled, not merely the dark or dead.

Anyway, as people began interacting via magick with the dead, and exploring nature, they came across the Upperworld, or the Heaven(s). Soon it was realized that the righteous souls, and powerful shamans came to live here, skipping the underworld when they died or explored duing an alive OBE, and these became the first gods, devas, angels, and other aerial spirits.

Dispite civilization and time, the Shamanic Underworld is much still the closest truth to what actually lies in the lower astral, today, but many do not know this, as they are taught the lower planes are just dangerous and a place of evil and so the Hells.

Shamans, Necromancers, Mediums, and others who deal with the dead have a different story to tell, and it's infact the lower astral we first inhabit and explore when we die, and we do not immediately "go to Heaven." Though we may have immediate visages of it, as the higher planes open up and send light down below to guide the dying or astral traveller.

Edited by ChaosTech, 25 February 2012 - 07:38 AM.



For nearly 20 years I meditated on and studied that which has no name, but is absolute, infinite, beyond both small and large. Finally one day I realized the limits of my sentient consciousness. It has all power over whether we are it or dual. There is no choice of the nondual, for choice is dual. Just be, live, do what you will, with love and wisdom. As Hermes said, in a time yet unborn, all shall be one, and one shall be all. True enlightenment has nothing to do with attainment. It's an inner peace, that there is nothing to be done, I call it surrender to the Spirit.

#2 Shadow-Gnostikoi

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:13 AM

Where do you get your information from? One would believe that you witnessed the early periods of the world in person.
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#3 ChaosTech

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:14 PM

Just from studying history books, anthropology books, and a bit of astral projection. No I can't time travel........yet. ;)


For nearly 20 years I meditated on and studied that which has no name, but is absolute, infinite, beyond both small and large. Finally one day I realized the limits of my sentient consciousness. It has all power over whether we are it or dual. There is no choice of the nondual, for choice is dual. Just be, live, do what you will, with love and wisdom. As Hermes said, in a time yet unborn, all shall be one, and one shall be all. True enlightenment has nothing to do with attainment. It's an inner peace, that there is nothing to be done, I call it surrender to the Spirit.

#4 Caliban

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:04 AM

Which culture are you talking about? The indigenous Siberians who are the Shamans which originate the word? How can you discuss the dead in the context of Shamanism without talking about the Ancestors? A major omission.


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#5 Q789

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:25 AM

"Energetically, the cosmos during it's beginning half was journeying downwards, towards the void, and only after reaching where things should have gone still (stasis), the moving changing energy that is everything, found it didn't stop, but bounced backwards towards the source, creating the second wave of the cosmos, where energy is moving back towards the source.:"

Chaos Tech could you give us some references for this please?- i have never read it.

I note you mentioned that the old world(or younger world ) had a dream like quality. That is strange you say that as the Australian Aborigines call it 'the Dream TIme'. My threory, is that the astral planes where different in those days- for reasons i will explain.

Have you ever stopped and thought that these 'superhuman feats' where in fact people with sophisticated technology? I agree with Van Danikan, that those myths and stories by many many culutres, where in fact historical records. So, with that in mind, flying around the place is not so 'superhuman'. -- sor t of takes the fun out it doesn't it?..... but you sure as hell get more explanations.

Caliban, can you find me a reference to the Siberians who originate the 'word'? I am sure that many Shamans around the world claim to have the first spoken word.
Oh and yes a major Omission. but worth reading.

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#6 Q789

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:27 AM

Oh and Chaos, whre did you get the 'hates light' theory and 'burns them'???

#7 TheSeeker

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:07 AM

@Q789
What he meant was that shaman is a Siberian word that specifically refers to indigenous healer/spirit workers from that particular region.
vis. "Shamanism," by Mircea Eliade.

#8 ChaosTech

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:29 AM

Quote

"Energetically, the cosmos during it's beginning half was journeying downwards, towards the void, and only after reaching where things should have gone still (stasis), the moving changing energy that is everything, found it didn't stop, but bounced backwards towards the source, creating the second wave of the cosmos, where energy is moving back towards the source.:"

Chaos Tech could you give us some references for this please?- i have never read it.

I haven't read it either. From my own studies of how the beginning is also the end (Alpha & Omega), as it's next to the timeless, (Infininity), which exists forever having no beginning or end. Also the reaching close to absolute nothingness (The Void), but failing to become it, instead turning around and travelling back upwards, comes from my own reasoning, but I've found studies in philosophy and quantom science, that confirm there is no such thing as true stasis, or non energy/movement, just a point where energy slows so much, it begins speeding up again in reverse. Look up the "Zero Point Field," for more information in science, and the problem of non-existence in philosophy.

Quote

I note you mentioned that the old world(or younger world ) had a dream like quality. That is strange you say that as the Australian Aborigines call it 'the Dream TIme'. My threory, is that the astral planes where different in those days- for reasons i will explain.

Have you ever stopped and thought that these 'superhuman feats' where in fact people with sophisticated technology? I agree with Van Danikan, that those myths and stories by many many culutres, where in fact historical records. So, with that in mind, flying around the place is not so 'superhuman'. -- sor t of takes the fun out it doesn't it?..... but you sure as hell get more explanations.

Caliban, can you find me a reference to the Siberians who originate the 'word'? I am sure that many Shamans around the world claim to have the first spoken word.
Oh and yes a major Omission. but worth reading.

Technology is gained through the experience and circumvention of natural evolution and devolution. I do not believe the first sentients were technological, but instead highly magical. There is a last age where technology though is supposed to become so sophisticated and complex that it is controlled like the simplicity of magic. Alpha to Omega, Beginning to End (like a circle, where one begins right next to it is where it ends, thus why they are simular).

The word Shaman like the word Mana, Magic, etc, comes from certain cultures, but simular ideas and roles are worldwide. I wouldn't get lost in semantics, when it's clear that whatever you call primitive sorcerers, they are all labeled a certain term because they are closely simular.

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Oh and Chaos, whre did you get the 'hates light' theory and 'burns them'???

From my own workings with the beings of the darkness. Something which naturally moves slow, is severely if not utterly changed, even destroyed, by fast moving energy.


For nearly 20 years I meditated on and studied that which has no name, but is absolute, infinite, beyond both small and large. Finally one day I realized the limits of my sentient consciousness. It has all power over whether we are it or dual. There is no choice of the nondual, for choice is dual. Just be, live, do what you will, with love and wisdom. As Hermes said, in a time yet unborn, all shall be one, and one shall be all. True enlightenment has nothing to do with attainment. It's an inner peace, that there is nothing to be done, I call it surrender to the Spirit.

#9 Morrigan

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:15 AM

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Etymology

The word "shaman" is based upon the Tungusic word "šamán", which was used to refer to certain magico-religious specialists by the Tungusic-speakers of eastern Siberia.[5] The Tungusic term was subsequently adopted by Russians interacting with the indigenous peoples in Siberia, first appearing in print in 1672, in the published memoirs of the exiled Russian churchman Avvakum.[6] This word was then introduced to the English-speaking world by the Dutch traveler Nicolaes Witsen in his 1692 book Noord en Oost Tataryen, which detailed his travels among the Tungusic- and Samoyedic-speaking indigenous peoples of Siberia.[7]

{5} Mircea Eliade, Shamanism, Archaic Techniques of Ecstacy, Bollingen Series LXXVI, Princeton University Press 1972, pp. 3–7.



It is amazing what a Google search will find.


Quote

The word Shaman like the word Mana, Magic, etc, comes from certain cultures, but simular ideas and roles are worldwide. I wouldn't get lost in semantics, when it's clear that whatever you call primitive sorcerers, they are all labeled a certain term because they are closely simular.

Uh huh. While this does covers the reason the word Shaman is used to describe various but often similar cultural traditions. The issue raised with your original post was that you made a blanket statement concerning shamanic practices and their underworld without connecting these experiences to any particular culture. Whose underworld are you talking about? You refer to this underworld as the place of the dead..yet numerous culture have different and often contradictory theories of the underworld.

Also bringing in cultural specific spirits (such as the banshee) and differing underworlds, further muddies the point. Again are we talking about Siberian shamans? If so why do you speak of banshees? Are you discussing a general idea of what shamanism and underworlds are across numerous cultures? If so you might want point to specific evidence where the cultures share traits.

Like Eliade does here:

Quote

There are many variations of shamanism throughout the world, but several common beliefs are shared by all forms of shamanism. Common beliefs identified by Eliade (1972)[4] are the following:

Spirits exist and they play important roles both in individual lives and in human society.
The shaman can communicate with the spirit world.
Spirits can be benevolent or malevolent.
The shaman can treat sickness caused by malevolent spirits.
The shaman can employ trance inducing techniques to incite visionary ecstasy and go on vision quests.
The shaman's spirit can leave the body to enter the supernatural world to search for answers.
The shaman evokes animal images as spirit guides, omens, and message-bearers.
The shaman can tell the future, scry, throw bones/runes, and perform other varied forms of divination

Edited by Morrigan, 26 April 2012 - 02:20 AM.

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#10 Caliban

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:00 AM

In Haitian Vodou, the world of ancestral spirits is conceived of being beneath the ocean. In some Central American cultures, it was thought of as a previous world where human beings had lived before the present age, and seen as subterranian. The Mabinogion doesn't see Annwn as underground - it's just there, a neighboring land that you can reach unexpectedly during a hunt.

All of these might be approached by techniques currently lumped together in contemporary Western culture as "shamanism". Each are entirely different, and interactions with them obey different protocols. Shamanism may be a convenient label to slap on the latest Animal Allies / Natural Rhythms paperback featuring cover art by Susan Seddon Boulet (who is amazing - look her up), but it is unsatisfactory when talking about particular, distinct practices.

My working cosmology, which is adequate to my needs, isn't really anyone else's. Describing how I interact with it and what I experience and what that accomplishes for me may give others an idea of how they might go about their own work, but that work will be their own. It certainly won't be Carlos Castaneda's, or Rober Bly's, or Sitting Bull's - however genuine their spiritual life may have been to them, and however tempting it is to call it all Shamanism.

Am I making sense? I honestly can't tell.


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#11 ChaosTech

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:30 AM

What I describe in my underworld analysis, might best be put as "neo-modern-occult-westernized-shamanism," or simply new ager mythos. It's a round about analysis of the shamanic cosmology, not specific or careful to all the various shamanic cosmologies past and present which cover the globe. I probably should have just put this in the Chaos Magic topic, as such home brewed cosmologies are more accepted there. I didn't because I believe such neo-shamanic cosmologies, have a place in this topic, as they are still very shamanic in essence and feel. That is they are raw and primal and the result of more analysis and vision quests (astral projection, scrying, clairvoyance, etc), of the comos, than the more in depth you will find in paths like witchcraft and ceremonial magic. I've read a few books on modern shamans, both the self appointed "neo," types and traditional ones from where they are still practiced, and real shamans verses the anthropological, historial, and archaeological scholarship about them which are very culturally sensitive, are not like this, but very universal in their language. Very different than paganism or the great monotheisms, and their myths, cosmologies, and theologies and philosophies, which are very technical and don't have a bare bones nitty gritty magic is universal in practice feel like true shamans do.


For nearly 20 years I meditated on and studied that which has no name, but is absolute, infinite, beyond both small and large. Finally one day I realized the limits of my sentient consciousness. It has all power over whether we are it or dual. There is no choice of the nondual, for choice is dual. Just be, live, do what you will, with love and wisdom. As Hermes said, in a time yet unborn, all shall be one, and one shall be all. True enlightenment has nothing to do with attainment. It's an inner peace, that there is nothing to be done, I call it surrender to the Spirit.

#12 Amur

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 04:29 PM

Been tortured in the shamanic underworld for 9 years straight. The initiation period is soon to shift to becoming over. Was an epic win in all ways....
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#13 blackanimism

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:17 AM

I love going into the shamanic underworld. It can be weird, unpredictable, and bizare but its what I normally do. Being a non-ceremonial type has brought me into some strange places. When you meet the dead this way it can be really jarring too, not so much dangerous just very intense.

#14 Roland Deschain

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:46 AM

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don't have a bare bones nitty gritty magic is universal in practice feel like true shamans do.

Have you met a true shaman? I would wager none (or not many) of us have.

Quote

the karma of most human beings was fairly young

That is fairly subjective and some don't believe in karma.


Are you writing a paper? Please cite some sources for lumping all shamans together. I doubt the Siberians had an understanding of Indian karma (unless I am missing something). Coming up with hindsight revelations does not a true statement make.

Edited by Roland Deschain, 21 May 2012 - 06:29 AM.

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#15 ChaosTech

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:08 AM

Actually I was on an Indian resorvation a few years back and noticed a man selling magical looking trickets. We got to talking and I found out he was a traditional shaman, with a family line going back eons in his tribe. So, yes I've met a shaman before, and yes they are influenced by modern ideas in occultism these days.


For nearly 20 years I meditated on and studied that which has no name, but is absolute, infinite, beyond both small and large. Finally one day I realized the limits of my sentient consciousness. It has all power over whether we are it or dual. There is no choice of the nondual, for choice is dual. Just be, live, do what you will, with love and wisdom. As Hermes said, in a time yet unborn, all shall be one, and one shall be all. True enlightenment has nothing to do with attainment. It's an inner peace, that there is nothing to be done, I call it surrender to the Spirit.

#16 Morrigan

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:51 AM

You can meet a shaman in any Occult shop....same with archmages, necromancers, witch queens, and half phoenix/ half vampire otherkin. Hell I met a level 90 warlock once...an that was the beta.

Sorry to be glib but meeting one guy on a reservation selling knick knacks doesn't validate any of the gross over simplifications your article puts forth as solid fact. I'm willing to imagine that there are numerous shaman out there who have never read a word....never mind a word of something from Eliade, Harner, Ingerman, or Deatsmen. Their practices are more than likely based in their cultural traditions and not sewn together into a syncretic quilt of cultural appropriation.

Also...

Cast Wide the Circle: Place for my musings and the occasional book review.
The Art of Stealing Fire : My Online Magical Journal
Big mountain, wide river
There's an ancient pull
These tree trunks, these stream beds
Leave our bellies full
They sing out I am going to stand my ground
You rise to me and I'll blow you down
I am going to stand my ground
You rise to me and I'll blow you down

#17 Amur

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:41 AM

Hi there, I've met myself and that guy is very very scary with a creepy death vibe that crawls over your neck in darkness while you panic as you feel it coming closer and closer to take your life away while you know there is nothing you can do about it. Not many shamans that have gone as lengthy of an initiation as I have, think those can be calculated with 2 hands that have gone through such a long initiation that are alive today.

Wherever I go with my true self signature people fear me. My parents fear me, my friends fear me, my enemies do not fear me and I fear myself.

Met a few real shamans in my life. One is younger who goes through the same things that I went through in about his age. The other was older. A shaman can easily recognize another shaman due to the synchronistic death vibe. Oh yeah was at a shaman meeting in Sweden many years ago and there were some nice shamans also, was very healing...
"Don't mind the God, beware of the owner!"





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