Saturday, 23 August 2008
A Guide to Otherworld Guides
Anyone can gain access to the Otherworld, just as anyone can take a plane to the Antarctic. But it’s probably worth getting some information about the place and talking with people who’ve been there - and who you wish to emulate.
It’s important that you carefully choose whose information you follow. Unlike Antarctic explorers, you won’t drop dead if you mess about in the Otherworld. According to most Shamanisms you may get depressed or ill if things aren’t going well in the relationship between yourself and the Otherworld and this is likely to creep up on you rather than suddenly snap your fingers off. Everyone seems to be a shaman, with a vast and hugely populated Otherworld. It would seem that the only way in which to judge a teacher is your resonance with them.
Personally, I’m not interested in anyone who is addicted to cannabis or alcohol, who have neurosis’ around food, who seem to have no identity beyond their mysticism or who are parents to Indigo children. Out of the very many teachers out there I’m aware of a handful who are actually grounded in solid, useful practice and who care about the individuals they work with. Caitlin and John Matthews, Dolores Ashcroft Norwicki, Barry Patterson, Aeron Medbh Mara, M. Macha Nightmare.
Caitlin and John Matthews have written extensively on the soul from a shamanic perspective and offer perfect litany. Aeron Medbh Mara wrote the book of ministry, Life Rites many, many years ago. M. Macha Nightmare inspired and edited the Pagan Book of Living and Dying, a resourceful and practical book. Barry is a true blue (green?) nature mystic. Dolores Ashcroft Norwicki is a major inheritor of Golden Dawn lineage, and updated the classic Book of the Dead by Dion Fortune in her own New Book of the Dead.
You’ll have your own favourites. I offer these as a solid foundation.