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InvisibleZen Peddler
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spirits of the forest - druidism?
    #2335396 - 02/14/04 08:44 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

My friend lives up in the foresty hills and was telling me about a religious group that are conducting rituals at night deep in the forest with lots of banging drums. When an old guy asked them they said that they were followers of the forest spirits. Couldthis be some modern druidic cult?


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Invisible2Experimental
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Re: spirits of the forest - druidism? [Re: Zen Peddler]
    #2335428 - 02/14/04 08:58 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

before modern religion as we know it apreared somewhere way back when I dont know when, people had more primative means demonstrating spirituality. The ancients worshiped the stars in much clearer skies then we see today, the druids and bards worshiped nature and the life cycle, and the ancient shamans and tribal herb witches contacted the spirits though means of hallucinagens. as far as having to do much with your post? i'll leave that to you


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OfflineSquatting_Otter
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Re: spirits of the forest - druidism? [Re: Zen Peddler]
    #2335952 - 02/15/04 02:12 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

I could see a bunch of hippies sittin' in the woods explaining to curious older people that they are hangin' out with the forest spirits. Could be interesting, but they could be joking with him, or they could actually be following the forest spirits, but who knows what that means.

I generally stay away from that kind of stuff. People choose these kind of paradigms for strange reasons, and in my experience it has more to do with image than any honest belief. But then I'm probably just jaded because I grew up in an area full of modern day wanna-be shamans and druids. The vast majority are simply lazy, self-obssessed, and looking hard for a way to rationalize their existence. They choose to play the role of a holy man, but.. doesn't fool me. Or most people.


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InvisibleZen Peddler
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Re: spirits of the forest - druidism? [Re: Squatting_Otter]
    #2356907 - 02/19/04 10:46 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Interesting post and one that i thoroughly agree with. Although I cant help but pick the possibility of orgiastic rites being pracised by this group. Chances they are some try-hard, misguided and self-indulgent individuals but mushrooms have a way of convincing me that orgiastic behaviour is very good - especially along busy urban streets.
I wasnt actually aware that any religious group in ancient europe used hallucingens - atually the evidence used to suggest this is quite weak. Mandrake and datura were almost certainly used in ancient Rome, but the tuetonic orders were scared of thunder, let alone plants that made you trip and they worshipped Wotin (odin) and other Norse gods.and had banished druidism to the english isles by 400AD. The history of thise who lived in europe before then is questionable.


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: spirits of the forest - druidism? [Re: Zen Peddler]
    #2357867 - 02/20/04 04:11 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

There are theories that tribal cultures in northern Europe consumed fly agaric mushrooms, among them the Berserk cult, although they seemingly never discovered the power of the psilocybe semilanceata which also grow rich in these areas


I have by the way some good fly agaric shrooms in my freezer, but havent had the stomac to eat them yet.


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There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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InvisibleZen Peddler
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Re: spirits of the forest - druidism? [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2358186 - 02/20/04 07:55 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

There are indeed those theories that amanita muscara had a direct impact on the norse bezerkers. This was not a cult, but part of their religious system which was basicallypart of the glorification of fearless combat and reward in valhalla for those who feel in battle.


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: spirits of the forest - druidism? [Re: Zen Peddler]
    #2358211 - 02/20/04 08:16 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

The way I have understood it, the Berserkers was sort of a cult, the fearless elite shamistic warriors of the norse tribes (The Berserkers was not part of the norse mythology as such, but skilled warrior-"monks" sharing the same belief that the rest of the norsemen; that dying a honorable death in battle would lead them straight to Valhalla).

The name Berserk means something like Bear-coat, as they supposedly carried Bearskins as clothing.

A more radical theory is that through shamanistic rites they morphed into the image the bear. That would indeed have been scary :oogle:


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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InvisibleZen Peddler
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Re: spirits of the forest - druidism? [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2358220 - 02/20/04 08:22 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

There was nothing shamanistic about their activities. A shaman is one who communicates with the 'otherness' or what ever conceptualisation was used by their people to gain insights into the future - or to heal or other tasks. None of these were served by the bezerkers - these were often young men who walked into battle as if drunk and sometimes without any clothing.
There is no specialisted cult because their belief system is intrinsically the same as their rest of their society - from where their ranks came.


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Offlinestara
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Re: spirits of the forest - druidism? [Re: Squatting_Otter]
    #2358240 - 02/20/04 08:35 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

People of modern materialistic world try to find the meaning of life not to touch anomie so love'em brother and it's obvious that they're looking for sth or someone to direct them.We can be those who direct them in the right way.It's so easy as they need it.


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InvisibleZen Peddler
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Re: spirits of the forest - druidism? [Re: stara]
    #2358296 - 02/20/04 09:00 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Yawn... Who would want to lead a mass of self-indulgent insignificants whose whole revolves around some simplistic world-view constructed on a joint that appeals to a bunch of people who would rather hide from the real issues and problems with the current scheme of things.
I suppose that through the opening of mass media people are now in a better informed situation to question their fundamental belief-systems than ever before. But most of these people are dumb, and just want to justify their lazy and redudant lifestyles


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: spirits of the forest - druidism? [Re: Zen Peddler]
    #2358501 - 02/20/04 10:32 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

OK, I see that there are different opinions on whether to call the berserker-rage shamanistic in origin, although the experts all seem to define the berserkers as a cult :smirk:


http://www.thetrot.org/resources/kveldulf/spaecraft.html


Elements of the shamanic complex also appear in the historical Germanic world, though in scattered form. The ability not to be harmed by fire and iron and to show other amazing physical capacities appears as part of berserkergang, but here the trance-state is directed wholly towards battle. Magical healing is common, but usually associated with galdr-magic, as in H?vam?l, Sigrdr?fum?l.


http://www.hum.gu.se/arkiv/ONN/1997/ONN.04/0168.html

> Please bear in mind that many scholars hold alternative views of
> berserks. The shamanic interpretation of Old Norse religion which is
> currently fashionable seems to see them as initiates of some kind of beast
> cult. However, as the sagas record that they could not control when the
> rage came upon them, this seems dubious. Another interpretation sees
> their condition as some kind of mental instability. I am sure that fellow
> onn'ers can remind me of the name of the berserk whose nine sons were also
> berserks, suggesting a hereditary problem.


There seem to be several schools of thought, as you say. It becomes even
more difficult since the term berserk was also used to simply refer to a
"crazy" person.


However, again, as a shamanic practitioner, I would have to disagree with
your decidedly unscholarly commentary here. There is no "shamanic"
interpretation as you imply. If there was, I'd likely know about
it...there are, however, people who assume that "shamanic" is a catch-all
phrase referring to anything primitive, superstitious or incomprehensible.


At best the berserker cult, if there was such a thing, would have been
more likely classified as a warrior society and not shamanic per se. The
account of Odin's abilities found in the Ynglingasaga suggests that Odin,
if he were a cheiftain and had the abiltiies, could have been a shaman
according to the definition and complex identified by Mircea Eliade in his
seminal work, _Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstacy_. He also
mentions the possiblities of psychtropic plants and elements, found not
only in shamanism but other spiritual, magical and even cultural
conditions.


However the identifying factors such as iron and fire not being able to
harm the warrior while in this excited or state of altered consciousness
is entirely consistent not only with shamanic abilities exhibited around
the world, but with practitioners such as yogis. Icelandic law held
friends resonsible for someone who "went berserk" if they couldn't control
the individual they were to pay any weregild.



A "berserker" rage can be imposed on someone, which would certainly
associate it with seidhr and the ability to make someone "go crazy."
Seidhr as being related to shamanism, and the brewing of medicines and
extracts (which the word does refer to in Modern Icelandic I understand)
is something that can't be ignored, but at the same time shouldn't be
over-emphasized. In my opinion the psychotropics mentioned would not in
themselves provide any kind of berserker rage or abilities, however they
might begin a process of altered states of consciousness that would allow
the warrior to reach a desired state of battle rage. The American Indians
had similar rituals and also had their form of berserkers, as do other
cultures.


The "ability" or tendencies for berserker rage likely did run in families
or was hereditary. That alone would make a consideration of those who
claimed descent from Woden/Odin to be consistent with the continuation of
a berserker tradition. Likewise the aid of "supernatural" beings that do
seem to be associated with brewing and ritual drinking is a little too
broad to be dismissed so casually.


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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InvisibleZen Peddler
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Re: spirits of the forest - druidism? [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2362058 - 02/21/04 02:06 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Interesting post and well researched. I can now see your points.


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