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Caduceus Mercurius

Holofractale de l'hypervérité
14 Juil 2007
9 628
Here's another nice blog for y'all to disagree upon.

Modern Shamans

by Rob Bryanton

In The Shaman, we talked about the idea that shamanism deals with hidden forces, spirit worlds, and seeing things the rest of us cannot. From there, we moved to Terence McKenna, one of a great many visionaries from the latter part of the twentieth century who were interested in psychedelics as a way some have used for opening their minds up to those hidden patterns that create our reality - an idea that, for me, connects very much to trying to imagine how our reality could be shadows of extra-dimensional patterns and shapes.

By the time some are calling Terence McKenna a "modern shaman", it could be argued that we have moved beyond the proper definition of the word. Shamans, some people insist, are not part of the tribe, they are outcasts who in modern times might be the ones who end up in a psychiatric hospital under surveillance! While McKenna may not have been a "mainstream" figure during his lifetime, I think it would be stretching things to say that he was "not part of the tribe". We talked in that same blog about the ongoing controversy over whether the Native American visionary Black Elk should be called a shaman, when "medicine man" is the more correct term within his culture.

Shamans, Modern Shamans, Technoshamans...
With all that in mind, please accept my apologies if you object to the use of the word "shaman" in the broader definition I'm playing with here. When I think of the phrase modern shaman (an interesting pair of words to search for in google) I think of people who are blending modern viewpoints with ancient mysticism, sacred geometry with physics, spirituality with science. Another useful term that relates to all this is "technoshamanism". In the wikipedia article on that word we see this:

Technoshamanism is a term used to describe various methods of integrating modern technology into shamanic practice (see shamanism). Methods of doing this include such diverse disciplines as synthetic drug use, modern psychotherapy, and raving.
Technoshamans generally embrace the view that mystical experiences are at least partially biological in nature; as such, they find the use of biological and mechanical means to influence and even induce mystical states and experiences perfectly acceptable. Technoshamanism is strongly related to the modern primitive movement.


Figure 1. Framework for the application of techno-shamanism in educational research (from: ashejournal.com)

Let's look at a few people I would call a Modern Shaman, using my admittedly very loose definition of the word:

Grant Morrison
Ever hear of author Grant Morrison, creator of the critically acclaimed graphic novel series The Invisibles? Here's an example of a successful creative individual who is completely willing to talk about the usefulness of psychoactive substances in his work. He has some very "out there" theories about the nature of reality, our relationship to the fifth dimension, how consciousness is participating in all of that, and how we are all connected together: ideas that readers of my blog and my book will recognize as regular themes, but I have to admit to being completely unaware of Grant Morrison's work up to now. Clearly, Mr. Morrison and I have been exploring many of the same ideas and I would now love to read some issues of The Invisibles... and some day I'd love to hear his reaction to my original eleven-minute animation. I warn you, the following video is laced with profanities and he begins by announcing that he's drunk, but keep watching: I think this is a worthwhile video, as Grant has a unique and intellectually challenging point of view.


Alex Grey
Alex Grey, on the other hand, is someone I've know about for a while: his website is at alexgrey.com. Alex is a New York artist whose work blends psychedelic imagery with archetypal images of the body and the spirit. Like Grant Morrison's ideas, Alex Grey's art portrays imagery that seems to be plugged into many of the same memes I've been exploring with my project: multidimensional geometries, auras, chakras, and a spiritual viewpoint that embraces our connectedness are all themes found regularly in the art of Alex Grey. Here's a trailer for a movie about his work called Entheogen:


If you go to http://www.entheogen.tv you will see that Alex embraces the concept of technoshamanism, so he ties into all of this discussion very deeply.

The concept of sacred geometry comes up regularly in these discussions of the nature of reality and extra dimensions, but that's another blog for another day.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Source: http://imaginingthetenthdimension.blogspot.com

Sacred geometry eh? :wink:


2 Fev 2009
I have mixed feelings about the use of the word shaman. Words carry with them histories and feelings from all the time they've been used. For instance, when I think of "shaman" I think of a yoda-like man who lives on the outskirts of a settlement, people only visit when they have to because he's so damned weird. To me this isn't really equal to a Terrence Mckenna, Ram Dass, or a PsyTrance raver. There are strong similarities no doubt, but I just don't think "shaman" is the right word. Maybe a different word is in order? Technoshaman is pretty good, well I should say that the definition of technoshaman is pretty good, but maybe not use the root "shaman". Can't say I have anything better to suggest though, :oops:

BTW, I absolutely love "crazy" theories. The thing many people don't seem to get is that when someone proposes something that sounds completely crazy it doesn't mean they whole-heartedly believe it themselves. Terrence Mckenna used to kind of mock some of his own ideas, he really got it when it came to this stuff. Saying "what if" is a way of opening discussion and changeing the angle of thought a bit to hopefully get thinking sparked. People say "he's crazy, stay away from the crazy person" because they don't understand the place of crazy theories. This is something a shaman type mind does, not because they are crazy (man, I'm overusing that word) but because they live to think and explore ideas.

Caduceus Mercurius

Holofractale de l'hypervérité
14 Juil 2007
9 628
Regarding 'crazy theories', I never heard anyone explain it that way before, but I fully agree with you.

Though I personally don't mind words like neoshaman or technoshaman, I don't use those words very often either. If I want to refer to someone, I will just mention their name and field of research. For example Dennis McKenna is an ethnopharmacologist rather than a neoshaman. Alex Grey is a visual artist, Steve Hillage is a psytrance composer, Jeremy Narby is an anthropologist, and I'm a humble psychonaut. :)


I wouldn't agree to propose that the rave culture and shamanic culture could be fused as one. Granted as a raver I espouse as much spirit as I can but I cannot deny the fact that our lifestyles are too apart from what is "shaman"- the aborigine on a walkabout, or the tribesman walking through the amazon forest collecting medicines. That's shamanism. Despite our efforts to emulate that we won't be able to escape the American sense of modernity.


7 Août 2009
Hi Rob,

I really found this article interesting. I ended up getting lost on your blog for about an hour. Great stuff. We have a tremendous amount in common. I am also a Music Producer/ Composer (19 Gold & Platinum Creds to date) and I have also written a book on the nature of consciousness and its relation to reality, entitled "Becoming God". I would love to connect. My e-mail address is [email protected]


26 Sept 2009
I understant many people think of 'the aborigine on a walkabout, or the tribesman walking through the amazon forest collecting medicines', but I consider thant does not reveal the essence of shamanism.

Shamanism is evolving, even here in the Amazon, as everything else does. But you still lisen to those who say: there are some thing (like drinking ayahuasca for example) that you NEED to do with a Shaman.
I propose a 'crazy theorie': What if we eradicate Shamans! We must become our own shamans. We must learn how to heal ourselves. We must learn from the plants ourselves. We can even eradicate the ritual! what is DMT if not a new way of 'no shaman nor ritual shamanic experience'.

Crazy theories are aour way of evolving.


Elfe Mécanique
20 Fev 2009
actually Caduceus Mercurius I was quiet surprised by this post, call it an unexpected move.
Although I find you to be out there, in a positive way.
I have been quiet capturvated by some of your posts...........
I still think stan gloth's a fag.

rick strassman is arwersome thou, and I would like him to be in my company when I try dmt one day, pointless I know!!!! :finga:
Anyways I hope you become the person, to me, that u strive to be.

technoshasmanism, I find it reaches a large audience.

Abej^a G.

Holofractale de l'hypervérité
20 Fev 2013
6 541
elevator a dit:
I wouldn't agree to propose that the rave culture and shamanic culture could be fused as one. .

in my opinion, yes.

Georges Lapassade wrote "From the shaman to raver. Essay about trance"

we start from hippies, after that we have squats, punks ("hippies more aggressive but the hearts were aimed in the same things" said Joe Strummer), and finally we have tekno.

I read somewhere that every man is inclined to be a "man of knowledge", a shaman, and maybe it is also true.

the fact (in fact) is that the shamanism is the art of healing.
when we dance and take psychedelics, we have in front of us (also) our paranoias, and dancing we can overcome them.
to be free in body mind and soul. "under the case, everything goes!", "don't think, dance!"