Over the years my writing online at Therioshamanism.com and elsewhere has wrapped itself around abstract concepts and theoretical discussions, stories and anecdotes and personal experiences. Here I’d like to have a little spot where I focus more on the how-tos, a sort of casual teaching blog. I’m a naturalist pagan, so look for some ways and means of working with the denizens of nature, spiritual and otherwise! (If you like what you see here, please feel free to visit http://www.thegreenwolf.com for more info on my books, online writings, etc.)
Oh, all manner of things! Rocks and bones and potted plants and tubes of paint and antlers and bits of wood and other natural ephemera, just to name a few. But what’s it doing here on PaganSquare?
Historically I’ve reserved most of my how-to writing for my books [http://www.thegreenwolf.com/books.html], and my blogging and articles have generally centered more on spiritual issues and concepts, personal experiences, and the like. But I do get a lot of people writing to me asking how to do such-and-such practice, or work with this or that spiritual entity. So I’d like to make this more of a center for that sort of writing, and I am open to suggestions.
Of course, you may need a little context, so here are some of the things I work with:
--Animal, plant, and fungus totems: These are the archetypal beings that watch over a given species; rather than individual spirits, they’re more akin to godforms. So, for example, I wouldn’t just be working with a gray wolf spirit, but the totem Gray Wolf, who is made of the experiences and qualities of all gray wolves, as well as that species’ relationships with other beings (including humans). Animal totems arethe best-known, but they led me to do more work with the other beings in the spiritual ecosystem, including fungus and plant totems. Please note that I am not following any indigenous traditions, but instead a path I’ve spent the better part of two decades formulating; I use the term “totem” out of common familiarity and a personal attachment to it, but mine is a distinctly neopagan totemism.
--(Neo)shamanism: Again, rather than indigenous traditions, I am creating a shamanic practice based on my own place within a nonindigenous American cultural context. I don’t use drumming and journeying as much as I used to; my focus is more on enhancing roles already found in this culture that are analogous to shamanism [http://therioshamanism.com/2011/05/12/so-you-want-to-be-an-american-shaman/]. However, I still have people asking me for advice on how to journey and engage in other practices, so I’d like to share material on that here as well.
--Skin spirits and other sacred art: Since the mid-1990s I’ve been incorporating hides, bones, and other such things into sacred artwork and costumery. I have a particular emphasis on eco-friendliness, salvaging things when I can, and making sure nothing goes to waste, not even the tiniest bit of thread. My artwork is a devotion to the skin spirits, those spirits that once wore the hides and bones and other sacred remains. It’s a way to give them a better “afterlife” than being a trophy or status symbol, and it allows me to connect with the wilderness in yet another unique way.
I may throw in some other topics here and there, all based on helping readers to create or enact certain things, but those are the main three. If you’re looking for more cerebral discussions on things like bioregionalism and cultural appropriation, or my adventures in hiking, head over to my other blog, Therioshamanism.com.