We are meditating on the state of mother earth and our democracy in the broader context of the wonders and gifts of Earth and of the emerging call to shamanism which draws its energy from acknowledging the sacredness of the earth. Recall Thomas Berry’s statement that we need “fewer priests, fewer professors and more shamans.” I meet more and more people in our day who are responding to a shamanistic-like vocation. They rarely seek traditional seminaries to train in.
Very often in the life of a shaman there is a powerful shock or rupture or breakdown that initiates a breakthrough. In creation spirituality language, that means a deep via negativa experience resulting in a deep via creativa experience that can also result in a profound via transformativa experience. The wounded healer emerges.
Is coronavirus and the January 6 insurrection and the recent votes to veto an investigation into that insurrection following on four years of an authoritarian, narcissistic and lying president amidst the denial about climate change and the efforts to sabotage democratic elections in America forever enough to initiate a kind of social shamanism on a large scale?
Can we take advantage of all this dying to enter into the place of loss, rupture and shock to derive a new energy and vision from it just as shamans do? Have we experienced enough shock and rupture and breakdown in these days of coronavirus fatalities to trigger a breakthrough for our country and put it on a road of sanity and more fealty to the constitution of the United States, imperfect that it is?
Maybe this is why Thomas Berry alerted us to the need for a shamanistic revolution. Can the human race “wake up to justice” as Hildegard of Bingen puts it? It is a time for all hands on deck. Time to bring our passion for justice and love of the earth and all her creatures to the table. And our passion for democracy too.
The very dark forces we are up against in government at both state as well as national levels are on the rise.
So too are dark forces in religion such as are named in the revelatory book by Frederic Martel and which we can see in the corrupt and fascist papacy of JP II and his chief inquisitor Cardinal Ratzinger, and of the perverse canonization of Junipero Serra, colonist extraordinaire, and the recent Vatican document forbidding priests to bless gay unions and in the lies from the Vatican that because “Jesus did not ordain women, therefore the church can’t.”
The truth is that Jesus did not ordain men or women—the priesthood is a second century thing. It often happens that when a movement is launched by a charismatic leader, after he or she dies there is a struggle that can take generations to determine how to organize and create structure that honors and implements that person’s vision. Such was the second century priesthood and it, not Jesus, excluded women.
See Matthew Fox, A New Reformation; and Matthew Fox, in Hildegard of Bingen, a Saint for Our Times, “Wild Woman and Shaman Proclaiming Wisdom, Creativity, and the Holy Spirit,” pp. 81-96.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you sense shamanism on the rise?
A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality & The Transformation of Christianity
A modern-day theologian’s call for the radical transformation of Christianity that will allow us to move once again from the hollow trappings of organized religion to genuine spirituality. A New Reformation echoes the Reformation initiated by Martin Luther in 1517 and offers a new vision of Christianity that values the Earth, honors the feminine, and respects science and deep ecumenism.
“This is a deep and forceful book….With prophetic insight, Matthew Fox reveals what has corrupted religion in the West and the therapy for its healing.” ~Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography
Hildegard of Bingen, A Saint for Our Times: Unleashing Her Power in the 21st Century
Matthew Fox writes in Hildegard of Bingen about this amazing woman and what we can learn from her.
In an era when women were marginalized, Hildegard was an outspoken, controversial figure. Yet so visionary was her insight that she was sought out by kings, popes, abbots, and bishops for advice.
“This book gives strong, sterling, and unvarnished evidence that everything – everything – we ourselves become will affect what women after us may also become….This is a truly marvelous, useful, profound, and creative book.” ~~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism.