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The Shamans of Your Life
|by Milton Redman|
Magic words can be like mind candy. They feel good when you hear them and bring up thoughts and sights of magical places. We all have our own private words that do this....just as we all have our own preference for candy...some like Tofu with Raisins while others, like myself, prefer triple fudge Sundaes with sprinkles on top and a cherry on the side to make sure we get our daily serving of fruit.
I have to admit I have my favorite words too. The ones that make me see that magical image of far off places and things I'd love to experience, or be a part of. I ran across one today and as always I was carried away. But today was a bit different....For some reason I went beyond the dream and went into the word itself. What I learned was an eye opener for sure....
The word was Shaman. When I hear Shaman I always see an old Indian, his face lined with the wrinkles of wisdom and timelessness, Dancing around a fire and calling forth the great spirit to bless and guide his people. Or I see an Eastern Mystic who climbs a rope that is attached to nothing and charming the snake that kills with one bite. For me the Shaman was someone with a spirit greater and deeper than I would ever know. A gift if you will, to those of us seeking a higher understanding...
So today as I dreamed of the image and drifted off to that special idea I held....I also got out my dictionary, which is as old as time itself, and looked up the word. This is what I found:
Shaman: (Noun). A mystical person who uses magic for the purpose of curing the sick, Divining the hidden, and controlling events.
At first that seemed about right to me. but then a few glitches began to appear, and then several others...And suddenly the word Shaman took on a whole new meaning. Almost in a flash what I had held as out there and beyond me came home, and I found Shamans that I'd never even known existed.
That's right. Grandmothers.
I'll be the first to admit that there a few Grandmothers that are not involved in the lives of their grandchildren. I personally haven't met any but I'm sure they exist. And good lord do I remember mine....And the definition of Shaman fit her to the bone....
"A mystical person who uses magic for the purpose of curing the sick."
My Grandmother could do that in a heartbeat. It didn't matter what anyone had she could tell them something or another that would help, or cure, whatever ailed them. And the magic that flowed from her was unreal. If my brother or sisters or any one of my cousins came down with a fever or cough she would stretch the sick one out on the bed and slap some Vicks Jelly on their chest and some on their upper lip and maybe a cool rag across their forehead and it always seemed she said a prayer as she was doing it. It always worked too. If we had been able to stand the smell of the Vicks I'm sure we'd have all stayed in bad health just to be the center of her attention. And it wasn't just her....I can attest to this as I have been a witness many a time...and a recipient in my younger days too....
A grandmother can make pain vanish with just a kiss. Instant pain relief, its got to be magic. On many occasion I'd come in the house and be crying cause I scraped my knee or hit my head, and my Grandmother would come over and hold me in her arms and kiss the boo boo away and the pain would be gone.
Just like that. I've seen my children's grandmother do the same thing to them as well, and many other Grandmothers have done it too. I know, I've seen it with my own eyes. I'd just like to see one of those eastern mystic rope climbers try and do a miracle as great as that!!!
And the next part of the definition is even better.
Divining the hidden
Superman would need glasses if he had to do an eye test against a Grandmother. They can not only see thru walls but right thru the stories you make up to try and keep them from knowing you and your cousin was up to no good. I'd begin a story of part truth and mostly lies and before I'd finish the second sentence I could see in her eyes she wasn't buying it....and she would glare down at us with what had to be contempt. And my lies would get bigger and bolder as my cousin began to whimper. I'd be sweating bullets as I tried to save the hide of us both and still she would glare until somebody broke.....and in the end there was no doubt she knew the whole truth before she even called us up before her.
But Grandmothers also know when your hurting inside and when a talk is better than a kiss. They can slap a sort of Vicks jelly on the soul of a teenager who's heart has been broken for the first time. It still smells just as bad but helps just as much.
We each have those hidden parts of ourselves that we know are own private secrets. And our Grandmothers know them too. And love us enough to keep them secret.
And controlling Events
Now this is an area where there is a lot of diversity in the Shaman Grandmother....Its just a matter of her own personal style.
Some grandmothers are nothing short of the General marching off into war as they set up family events and say who's to be where and when. Others have a more subtle approach, giving out idea's and suggestions that the younger generation had better damn well follow. And many others just go with the flow and still have it their way, In that strange shamanistic way of theirs.
Magic doesn't mean you have to make airplanes disappear or cards jump out of the deck. It means you can make someone else better, take away pain with a kiss, pull a smile from the one that's down and give love to the world so it will be better.
I now believe Grandmothers may be the greatest Shamans who ever existed.
I know I give thanks for mine.
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