Ancestors, Bill Ohrmann

Ancestors, Bill Ohrmann

Here's a sneak peek of the Shamanic Class Syllabus.

With each class we will base our study of a Shamanic practice or concept in the context of a specific tribal group, branching out from a core anthropological example. Throughout the discussion we will pay attention to the lessons this alternative perspective teaches us about ourselves and our society. Throughout, we will learn how to apply these perspectives to our own lives, not as an acculturation of shamanic techniques, but as an expansion of our own consciousness through the exploration of new perspectives in class discussion, guided meditations, our own experience and voluntary readings and videos.

Other class subjects will include healing and journeying practices, folklore, legends and the importance of community in shamanic ritual as well as the shamanic roots in many other traditions.

If you haven’t registered yet, please take the time to register here! And feel free to pass this on to your friends!

I am looking forward to seeing everyone this Sunday, March 20th at 4 PM!

Class Syllabus:

March 20th, Greeting Faces

We will gather, greet and begin to cultivate an absorptive mind, playing for a bit with this new Shamanic Mask, a whole new way of seeing the world.



April 3rd, Seeing Past the Mask of the West



A general review of Shamanism as studied by the west, the questions being: What is shamanism? How has the west studied and defined it? How has our own culture and definition biased us? And how do we see through western paradigms to what the cultural practice truly is?


Optional Reading List: Conflicting perspectives on Shamans and Shamanism: Points and Counterpoints


April 17th, Shapeshifting, a Dance of Masks
A study on shapeshifting, the Shamanic tradition of shifting perspective. Many cultures the world over accept the ability to radically alter one’s own perceptions, to take on the essence of a different form. We will study the cultural perspective: the ability to experience reality in another form or shape, whether that be as an eagle in a dream or a spirit in trance.
Further, we will delve into this practice in our own journey to understand the shamanic mind. Most shamanic traditions are oral, simply by writing and reading this we are demonstrating how the Tribal Shamanic mind is quite foreign to our own. Through shapeshifting, or the epistemological acceptance that information from a radically differentiated perspective can be absorbed and used by the practitioner, we will try to further understand the Tribal Shamanic mind.

Optional Reading List: Shamanism and ritual in South America: an inquiry into Amerindian shape-shifting



May 1st, Plants are People Too
A study of ontology, intersubjectivity and interconnection. As western observers we are often aware of native myths talking about their coyote brother or jaguar father, but typically we set this aside as symbol. In many Tribal Shamanic societies, however, this belief that plants, animals and people are related is far more than metaphoric, it is a fact of life.
In this class we will reexamine the taxology and ontology that separates humanity from its environment in the west, a notion that seems foreign to most Tribal Shamanic tribes.

Optional Reading List: The Intersubjective Life of Cassava among the Waiwai
Optional Video: From the Heart of the World