Plastic Shamans and Carpetbaggers

August 13, 2009 § Leave a comment

From New Age Fraud and Plastic Shamans:
“Native people DO NOT believe it is ethical to charge money for any ceremony or teaching. Any who charge you even a penny are NOT authentic.”


Likewise druidry. If it is coaching for spiritual healing it is impossible to ask for money if all you do is set up a safe open space for them with lots of natural connections possible, to heal themselves in, and yourself to ease the transformations the person chooses to make. And I specifically use the word “coaching” because real healing works on several levels, depending on the person.

For instance, I am hesitant at using any “psychic handhealing” as such practices heavily rely on a placebo effect and may actually make matters worse because having quickly self-healed the illness, people are unlikely to change patterns that co-created the illness. Even when using a direct rewiring, a person can easily drop back to old patterns if the new patterns aren’t practiced and integrated afterwards.
So. We are in full agreement. Not only would it not be ethical, it wouldn’t work either.

Skill transfer

And sometimes healing requires transferring skills and abilities to increase one’s power with, so that patterns can (more easily) change. For such work we can be paid for our time and energy, depending on the context, and not necessarily in monies ~ debet/credit statements on paper. If only so that the person requesting it makes a commitment and doesn’t waste our time and energy.

Sacred secrets

Also from the same “plastic shamans” site: “It was decided, from March 9th, 2003 and forward, there will be no non-Natives allowed in our sacred Ho-c’o-ka (our sacred alters) where it involves our Seven Sacred Rites.”


Gosh, though our wheels seem related (similar), how different from druidry *that* is.

True, we do have initiations that cannot be done before having gained (or woken up) certain other knowledge first, but we do not exclude based on genetics, sexual preference, or religion, simply because we have experienced that it doesn’t work. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. We’d like to make some other, new, mistakes.

Druidry is more like nature philosophy than a religion. And so are its rituals. If druidry does have a focus on discerning “carpetbaggers” and “plastic shamans”, it is focused on and goes something like this: Ancient Celtic Druidry and Racism??? We fight the enemy within.


“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” — Terry Pratchett

Ásatrú is officially a religion, and on occasion somewhat more closed for certain rituals, but not because of “others” being “foreign”. Such rituals are simply private and concerns only close relations. And rituals and ceremonies are not kept secret. Anybody can do it if they dare. Ásatrú appreciates and encourages curiosity and learning experiences, yet emphasizes guarding our open-mindedness by critical judgment from those that claim to know “secret choreographies”, and from carpetbaggers, plastic shamans, and space invaders.

My 2 cents

Maybe the differences are just institutional and traditional. I don’t disgruntle anybody the right to close ceremonies or teachings off, even if I could. Tribes, orders, groves, individuals, do their own thing. Their own control. And the Pipes have every right, for we each have to mind our own tensors and the directions we dance in. Regardless of form, may we be response-able for that what comes back to us as a result of our choices.


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