It’s easy to think that the shadowy world of the shaman is long gone, faded into the dust of tribal societies and nomads of the past.
Ceremonial practices that were devised to welcome or banish are perceived as the superstitious concerns of people whose cultural ecologies have long since been crushed by the steamrollers of progress and modernity.
…WELCOME or BANISH?
It seems to me that these are two directions that so many of us are still very much preoccupied with.
I WELCOME:- infinite wealth, international success, endless joy and happiness, serious muscle power, eternal beauty, more instagram followers, faster pizza delivery and creative inspiration.
I BANISH:- Disease, poverty, persecution, rejection, ridicule, harassment, black magic, curses, online trolls, politics, impotence, crime and punishment, accidents, mishap and failure.
Human beings have a long habit of swallowing the bitter pill of obeisance to supreme beings of all kinds of configurations. Nature spirits, Gods and Goddesses, the Church, the Crown, the Lord, the Chief, the governing authority, the Company, the thug, the team, the media and the holiest-moliest, greatest grail of all… personal net worth.
Many intermediaries of the supreme beings that we’ve historically paid homage to, pretty quickly cottoned on to the idea that symbols and icons were a very effective way to ‘inspire’ faith and keep our attention fixed always on the faith. We wore talismans, amulets and guardian tokens of our faith – around our necks, written upon our skin, reflected in our clothing, our hairstyles, and in our habitats. We treasured the icons of our allegiance and we decorated our lives with the evidence.
We wore animal parts to honour the great spirits of the land and the skies above, we made sacrifices and we prayed to the soul of the herd whose meat we depended upon, we tattooed our bodies with the tribal symbols of our faith, we donned crucifixes (more sacrifice) and stars and moons (more skies above), we filled our lives with the coloured stripes of the teams we cherished, we paid our tithes, we paid our taxes, we voted for the head honcho, we went to work and we upheld the company motto until we fell apart from old age and exhaustion. We watched the news (religiously), and we paid attention to keeping our prescribed fashion apparel fresh. We sported whatever we were told was hot, hip and happening today. Labels mattered. Yesterday’s clobber was totally unacceptable. We poured sweat and blood into investment portfolios and we checked the rear mirror of our phones every 2 minutes, just to tally our popularity and inject a little more spiritual feeling into the digital chasm of constructed identity. We counted and compared likes and follows against each other, and we stoked the fires of hell with our jealous rage and sullen despair at the sheer injustice of it all. More than anything, we sacrificed individuality in order to follow and copy and emulate and replicate and duplicate and be just like
The Temple of Wealth Now is flourishing. Materialism has captured us in the glare of oncoming headlights. People of the world are hurting from the sheer brutality of avarice and all of its slippery minions.
I’m asking daily, ‘how did I get so sucked into the slipstream of greed, where rapacious affluence is the fastest game in town, a rat race that tempts and seduces and glitters with golden promises? What dark magic is this?’
Promulgation of the faith of ‘must-get-more-stuff’ is delivered daily at the pulpit of Brand Power. Humans have long been conditioned to worship the Emblem, Trademark, Crest, Insignia, Seal, Brand, Logo, Label and Symbol. And we are addicted to buying and buying and buying. We can’t seem to stop the yearning, we cannot slake the hunger. We are caught in the net.
Snapped by the jaws of Maya; the sorceress of illusion and trompe l’oeil.
Imagine a world of people hypnotised by variations of the circle, the square and the triangle, each symbol artfully arranged to signal to our unconscious minds a code that whispers –
I am a talisman of potency and power. Only I can truly enhance the reach of your allure and lead you to greater success. Only I wield the power of desire. Become one with me.
In the interest of keeping it real I just want to say that am a very ordinary person, and an independent artisan. My products have no more or less brand power than a fresh loaf of crusty bread bought from the local baker. No more or less prestige than the excellent auto service provided by our local mechanic, Greg, a true shaman of ancient wisdom dressed in greasy overalls. He’s as dependable as day following night in the great dance of mystery; where billions of life forms are klomping about on a planet that hurtles around the sun in a dazzling display of wonders far greater than I will ever truly understand. I thank my lucky stars for the miracles of a great mechanic and fresh crusty bread. And I thank you, my teeny tiny group of generous, benevolent and loyal customers who keep my art alive. Please don’t buy more perfume than you need, and if you really do need it and just can’t afford, write to me, tell me, and we’ll figure out a different way to trade. Compassion, generosity and human connection are the best companions on the journey. Bless you x