the feminine shamanic tradition
I finally finished the paper for my class on Female Shamanism today. The topic was shamanic initiatory experiences. I used the latest research from Barbara Tedlock which is far more encompassing then Mircea Eliade's outdated Shamanism book. She speaks of the feminine shamanic tradition as being a path in which women, and sometimes men, are birthed into shamanism, as opposed to dying into shamanism in the masculine tradition. She backs it up with many excellent examples.
I explored the stories of four women including my mother's and my own. I looked for experiences that follow the pattern of feminine shamanism as defined by Tedlock. One of the conclusions I came to is that since the 1950s when Eliade's book was published, women as shamans has been overlooked, submerged, and unrecognized. Looking through the lens that Tedlock offers, suddenly I realized there are women healers, psychics, and artists walking the path of feminine shamanic tradition in Western culture. Not everywhere but they are there which is a very comforting thought to me.