Once up on a time, and for vast eons of it, there were just a few shamans born in each human tribe -they performed the tasks of serving people and spirit for the benefit of all. They lived slightly apart from the rest of the people, their principal relationship being with the spirit world. Their reward for this deep work of service was a knowledge, understanding of and communion with spirit that other people did not get to enjoy.
Born to fulfil the role of healer, medicine person, walker between the worlds, the shamans were recognised as children by the elders of the tribe and brought up, trained and nurtured to be who they were. One famous method of identifying the shaman child was to give them both girl and boy toys to play with. If they preferred to play with the toys considered those of the gender opposite to the one their body displayed they were considered to be twin souls, who embodied the energies of both genders. This combination of masculine and feminine within one person gave the shaman insight, intuition and power – it made them holy agents of communication with the nature spirits, ancestors, guides and elementals. They served the people of the tribe, and in return the tribe looked after the shamans.
To this very day this situation, which was once found across the world – the most famous example being the Native American Two-Spirits – continues amongst the Dagara people of Burkina Faso. Sobonfu Some, priestess and teacher of that tribe, tells us in her book ‘The Spirit of Intimacy’ that the work of Gatekeepers is essential for the well being of the whole tribe. Some Gatekeepers open the energy portals to specific spirits (eg to the elemental forces), others work with the whole spirit realm. The people who are the Gatekeepers are what we in the Western world would call gay, lesbian or transgendered. However, to define a person by their sexual activity, Sobonfu says, is to seriously limit their potential. She sees that many gay/lesbian/trans people in the West have a profound spiritual sense within them, but we exist in a culture that does not recognise who we are, does not encourage the emergence of the shaman within us, does not value the spiritual gifts we bring, and so, usually, nor do we.
In the modern world souls born to be shamans are part of the unconscious population. Unrecognised by society, the shamans get pulled into the deep sleep of unawareness that most people are lost in. Very few people in the world realise they are dreaming. The shamans no longer get to know this either unless they wake up to it for themselves. In these times, the shamans have to wake up from the inside – the people around them do not see them for who they are, do not appreciate their gifts. Today, shamans have to walk the path of unconsciousness, of suffering and delusion, amongst the people of the world, until some trigger – often an illness, addiction or other life crisis – pushes them to the place of awakening. The veils lift, the fog clears, and the shaman’s soul remembers the multidimensional reality, reconnects to the spirit worlds and becomes a channel bringing light and consciousness into the world.
The world around – family, friends, employers, doctors – may not be keen to support the shaman through this awakening. We live in an age that turns everything unusual into a pathology, wants everyone to fit into neat, defined boxes – and to serve the capitalist system. The awakening shaman may end up medicated, sectioned, shunned. The drive to find the true self, to heal and grow and emerge as who we really are must come from within, and the will to pursue the goal must be strong.
Of course there are very, very few voices out there pointing out that this path exists, that this goal is reachable. The strongest voice must be found within.
Even more tragic than society’s inability to recognise this transformation within a person, is the number of shamanic souls currently lost and confused about who they are. Medical science and psychology do not believe in us. We carry strong spiritual energies which society does not understand, and since shamans are drawn to explore altered states – an activity that is deep-rooted in our DNA, many of us end up hooked on drugs, chasing highs, chasing connection through something exterior to ourselves, not understanding that the connections already exist within us, waiting to be switched on.
Shamans also have a special relationship with Death, since they are here on the planet to communicate between humans and the spirit worlds. Shamans need to overcome the fear of death, see through the illusion of it and the ignorance surrounding it in order to fully be themselves and become channels of spirit. This, I suggest, is why HIV hit the African and Gay Male communities so hard – amongst these communities is where vast numbers of shamanic souls are being born. Oppressed and abused by the dominant hetero white male culture for so many centuries, we are the ones least involved in the earth abusing, humanity crippling, capitalist greed machine…. we are the ones born ready to create a better, fairer, kinder world, one that is connected to the invisible realms of spirit – but first we have to see through the lies and illusions of the current setup.
HIV pushed me to the edge of life. I survived 4 years with full blown AIDS. I surrendered myself to the universe, I was ready to die – but what happened was that I passed through the veils, saw the multiverse, spoke with the spirit worlds, with my angels, with the goddess. My shamanic soul awoke, effective medications arrived, my health returned and now I dedicate my life to helping others discover and nurture the shamanic calling to light and service within themselves.
In the olden days a few shamans were born into each tribe, and lived with little awareness of other tribes. Today the whole world is connected, and shamans are everywhere – for the most part still asleep, still lost in the delusion of the world, escaping into highs perhaps to escape the madness and pain they see all around them. Many shamans incarnate as gay men, but in this unconscious situation, many lives are being seriously damaged. AIDS was a very physical manifestation of crisis amongst us, one that was in a way straight forward to tackle – but now the crisis going on amongst gay men is more subtle. Men’s minds and souls are under attack from addiction, shallowness and greed. Only some of us will awaken through this crisis, others will fall by the wayside… but if gay community life was to celebrate the shamanic call within us, honour the shamans in our midst, a loud and powerful signal would go out to queer people everywhere. There is more to us than our sexuality. More to us than aping hetero concepts like marriage. More to us than hedonism and self destruction. All our searching for ecstasies and excitement can be seen as the call of the shamanic soul within us- calling us to wake up, through suffering probably, but potentially by choice, through joy, as the shamans become more visible in the world and as we come to learn that being gay, lesbian, trans, bi or queer is more than a sexual thing – it is an invitation to discover the true nature of the soul: beyond gender, beyond sexuality, beyond all labels, we exist as multidimensional beings. Only the shamans can open the gates so that the rest of humanity sees this, and until the shamans are awake and ready to serve, that will not happen.
The shaman are being called home. We are everywhere. We exist to serve and awaken the population. We bring the Rainbow Age.