COG Newsletter c/o Dave Norman 19 December, 1986 PO Box 60151 Chicago, IL 60660 Gentlefolk

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COG Newsletter c/o Dave Norman 19 December, 1986 PO Box 60151 Chicago, IL 60660 Gentlefolk: I reject the Thomas Morton Alliance's declaration of injustice for the following supremely important reason: SHAMANISM DOES NOT BELONG TO THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLES OF THIS CONTINENT, ANY MORE THAN IT BELONGS TO ANY ONE PEOPLE. How, therefore, can there be theft involved? In Mr. Gustafson's accompanying letter, he urges witches to seek their own roots. Our earliest roots ARE shamanism. The Ice Age caves of the Pyrenees are evidence, as well as the partnership with nature spirits, work in trance, and ecstatic dancing that have LONG characterised Wiccan practise. The stories of Lleu, from ancient Wales, and Odin on the Tree, from Scandinavia, are depictions of shamanic initiation and vision-questing. Shall we say that because our Ice Age ancestors were practising shamanic techniques before the ancestors of the American aboriginals got to this continent via the Bering land bridge, that they stole the techniques from us? Not hardly. It is as ridiculous a supposition as the Alliance's that we stole from them. The techniques of shamanism have never been limited to any one people, any one continent. They are as old as humankind, as universal as the spread of humanity. The World-Tree's scions are seen not only in the posts and poles of the Pacific Northwest, the pole of the Sun-Dance, the Chilean machi's REWE, but also in the Siberian cosmic tent-pole, the Norse Yggdrasil, the druid's oak (whose name in Gaelic means "door"), the Maypole. I agree that the "tuition fees" for many "shamanic workshops" are excessive. But if the Alliance will take a few moments to examine the clientele, the people who most often attend such workshops, the Alliance will find that the audience is composed primarily, not of Wiccans, but of up-scale new-age dilettants (dare I say yuppies?). This is reinforced by the cost of the workshops; only the up-scale sorts can afford them. How many wealthy Witches do you know? I resent the Alliance's association of witches with theivery and oppression. Witches were oppressed in Europe centuries before European contact with this continent, and continue to suffer persecution in this country; the Alliance certainly has no corner on the oppression market. And in the end, the spirits will speak to and deal with whom they will, irrespective of race. The Alliance's self-righteous recriminations get nobody anywhere. I suggest that if the Alliance is interested in preserving the purity of their traditions, that they work with and correct those sponsors of classes with whom they have difficulty, rather than slinging politically-correct but ineffective mud. Blessed Be. Siobhan (of Firestar, Berkeley)


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