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InvisibleMOTH
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Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things?
    #3240778 - 10/11/04 12:04 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I have a hard time figuring out why I've been reading that shamans abstain from sex/spices/etc, especially before using an entheogen. 

Why is this? 

I ask because I am going to be taking an entheogen this weekend, and I am finding it difficult to fast properly and not have sex. 

:confused:


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: MOTH]
    #3240975 - 10/11/04 12:50 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

It really depends on the culture. In Amazonian cultures abstinence is common, whereas in Native American cultures it was not as prevelant. The cultures that did this did so because it was believed that it was a method of retaining personal power. I feel that sharing in this manner is a way of gaining personal power for both people involved as long as it is for the correct reason(love). Fasting is good to deter nausia if you are so inclined. Skipping the meal before ingesting the entheogen is sufficient. Many cultures believed fasting was a form of purification. Fasting and abstinence is not universal in shamanism so don't feel that you need to follow this unless you feel a deep personal reason to. It is good to show respect for the entheogen by maintaining a proper setting and attitude. These are the most important things. Note: If you are taking Ayahuasca fasting is highly recomended due to ingestion of MAO inhibitors. Avoid cheese, nuts, beer, and other foods with high tryptamine content just before, during, and just after the experience. Ingesting the wrong types of tryptamines while under the influence of an MAO inihibitor such as harmaline can (though not likely)cause a cerebro-vascular accident due to the blood pressure spiking suddenly. Harmaline is a short term MAO inhibitor so the danger is very small.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


Edited by Huehuecoyotl (10/11/04 02:27 AM)


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InvisibleJellric
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: MOTH]
    #3241734 - 10/11/04 03:52 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

If you're aiming to get in touch with the spirit it helps to first diminish the "background noise" of physical awareness so that you can more easily tune in to spiritual channels. Fasting is a way of doing this. What happens is that the magnetic ties between your physical and spiritual bodies are loosened allowing the spirit to roam free.

Abstaining from sex allows you to conserve (and redeploy) the energy that would otherwise be lost while indulging in everyones favorite aerobic activity.


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I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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Offlinelovelight
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3241742 - 10/11/04 03:59 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

The times and type of abstainence in shamanic circles do vary. One of the most important times to abstain from sex in the South American cultures is whilst training to become a shaman. This can last for a few months to a year. It is believed to enhance the shaman's powers. Those who are most relentless and endure these types of boundaries are believed to have the best ability in shamanic practice. This can be for the 'good' eg. for healing, curing purposes, or 'evil', eg. casting spells to hurt or kill, if the shaman is a bewitcher. The reasons for this are to purify the body, and to give the ability to focus on the intent, as sex at this time can be seen as a distraction, wasting the body's energy and motivation. With the taking of Ayahuasca, vomitting and sometimes diarrhea are seen as positive release of toxins, so it's also related to that idea of cleansing.

As for you though, I agree with what Huehuecoyotl said:
"don't feel that you need to follow this unless you feel a deep personal reason to"

Enjoy your experience!  :grin:


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: MOTH]
    #3242042 - 10/11/04 07:47 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Unless it is sex-magick being employed, every magickal tradition that I have learned about is sexually abstinent, including the 'white magick' of the Catholic Transubstantiation of Bread and Wine into Body and Blood. The sexual energy which enters the Human does so at the Root Center (the anal-genital complex). The solitary practitioner must 'sublimate' (just like the Freudian term) the Sexual Energy into the next Center at the Solar Plexus, which is the Power Center (Manipura Chakra in Indian Yoga, and same Indo-European root for our word Manipulation). So in this instance (unlike Transubstantiation which raises the Root Center energy [Eros] to the Heart Center [Agape]), Sex Energy is utilized in the service of Power (the Magickal Will). This is the theory and practice behind sexual abstinence - the storage of psychic energy.

The use of an "Entheogen" which was your word of choice over, say 'psychedelic,' suggests to me that your intention is for spiritual/mystical usage which concern higher Centers but may enjoin the Sexual in Heart, Throat or Head Centers if used in the service of these higher motivational Centers, as in Tantric Yoga/Holy Matrimony/Hierosgamos. Orthodox priests, Tibetan Lamas and Protestant clergy do not necessarily abstain from sex except during spiritual retreat (deep, independent contemplation).


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: lovelight]
    #3242077 - 10/11/04 08:11 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

It is curious that the Amazonian tribes almost all practiced sexual abstinence during shamanic training and before shamanic undertakings, while in North America it was relatively uncommon. Fasting before a ritual that involves entheogens, though, is very common.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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Offlinethe_phoenix
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3242217 - 10/11/04 09:57 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Fasting, on top of helping with nausea, deprives your brain of nutrients and causes its function as "reducing valve" (blocking out that which is not specifically biologically useful) to lessen. As was said, having sex puts too much focus on that area of the body, and restricts the passage of "energy" to the higher and more important body centers located (the energy apparently begins at the base of the spine). This energy is also obstructed by, for example, not sitting up straight.


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Nothing is sacred!
Life is tough--thick-skinned--impenetrable--so that it can function--work--create--dance--live!


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3242223 - 10/11/04 10:02 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

when working with things "not of this world" it perhaps does not suit to have relations with people:
many become hermits and benefit from the separation from the madding crowds.
sexual competition can be very disruptive and a dominant male can become a crushing adversary to a shaman whose actions have disturbed tribal stability and status.
the emotional involvement with sexual partners can also be very draining, family psychodrama can be evoked and replayed.
but.
IMO
spiritual pursuits are better made in the milieu of life.
little distractions transcended make meditation stronger.
or they can become the object of meditation.
relations that are cultivated with awareness become the
mountain that the hermit can seek refuge in with integrity.
so
I think the old warnings can be used to heighten awreness, but the cautions are mostly to prevent confusion for weak or beginning shaman students. good concentration always thrives on distraction.
everything becomes a learning opportunity.


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Offlinedeff
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3242438 - 10/11/04 12:10 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

"little distractions transcended make meditation stronger"

Very true :smile:. This is why one should not, in my opinion, get used to only meditating in perfect conditions (silence, darkness, still body, sitting, ect.) but rather attempt to bring the awareness into the actions of everyday life. The harder the strugle, the stronger the victory :laugh:


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: deff]
    #3242524 - 10/11/04 12:46 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Agreed. While many religious and shamanic traditions hold with abstinence and fasting combined with an ascetic lifestyle, there are others that do not stress these things so much. While many worldly hangups can be distracting, being in need of the bodies proper function is distracting also. There is a time and place for depriving oneself, such as during a true vision quest, for feeling close to the spirit on a day to day basis being in a deprived state is distracting in and of itself. Most people who wish to follow a shamanic path, such as myself, do not have illusions of becoming a full shaman, but merely wish to improve their life and take responsibility for their own spiritual growth. For these people extreme methods have little value.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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OfflineGomp
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3242559 - 10/11/04 12:57 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

what is a entheogen?


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--------------------
Disclaimer!?


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: Gomp]
    #3242572 - 10/11/04 01:00 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

A hallucinogenic drug...used for spiritual purpose.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3242598 - 10/11/04 01:08 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

the word ethneogen means 'generates god within' (thnx markos)

"It is curious that the Amazonian tribes almost all practiced sexual abstinence during shamanic training and before shamanic undertakings, while in North America it was relatively uncommon. Fasting before a ritual that involves entheogens, though, is very common. "

Perhaps it has something to do with the relatively higher use of ethneogens in amazonian shamanic practice whereas in north american tribes ordeals of fasting, deprivation and pain were more commonly employed?

not sure why they would have seen sexual abstinence as beneficial to the ethneogen experience though


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InvisibleMOTH
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3242765 - 10/11/04 02:07 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Thanks everyone who replied, I really appreciate such thoughtful answers.  I originally intended to go a full week with fasting/abstinence before my experience this weekend, but upon thinking about it and reading the responses here, I will probably just do so three days before and then three days afterwards.  I feel that is good to start with, and then possibly extend the fasting/abstinance as I gain more experience doing it. 

thanks again :heart:


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: MOTH]
    #3242805 - 10/11/04 02:16 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

now when you say 'fasting' what exactly do you mean?

im not sure if 3 days with no food at all before tripping is a good idea, youd be so ravenous and weak by the time the day rolled around


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InvisibleMOTH
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3242822 - 10/11/04 02:21 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

By "fasting" I mean not eating any spices, fatty foods, meat, and taking special care that I don't ingest any MAO inhibitors.  I guess fasting isn't exactly the right word for it. 

Sorry I wasn't more clear.  :sun:


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: MOTH]
    #3242910 - 10/11/04 02:42 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

just wondering, and in that case great idea. When i trip i always 'fast' on water, green tea, and fresh fruits and veggies, usually just for the day of the trip, but ive never dealt with the super powerd plant allies that your planing to dance with, so an extra few days would be wise.


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OfflineDroz
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3243110 - 10/11/04 03:18 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

So the purpose of fasting is to remove the thought of food from your brain so your brain can open up to other things. So to the point of using an entheogen is to reach a point of focus. I understand the removal of the ego to communicate but I haven't really put an effort into communication with a human entitiy. My focus was on the monkey. I indeed communicated with the monkey and what I call monkeyism. I learned how the monkey considers the tree to be his domain and I see that everything after that is based on how i've progressed back from the stages of the monkey. I'm not sure how it happened.


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OfflineTodcasil
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3243141 - 10/11/04 03:25 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

put on your dancing shoes.


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Men look at themselves and they see flawed humans, we look at women and we see perfect
GODDESSES
Women look at themselves and they seem utterly human, when looking at men they see proud
GODS.


~Casil



:cactus:


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Why do shaman's abstain from sex and other things? [Re: MOTH]
    #3243643 - 10/11/04 05:05 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I have eaten foods containing tryptamines (cheese, peanut butter, etc...)within 3 hours of the conclusion of a Ayahuasca experience. 3 days is not really necessary if you are worried about the MAO inhibiting properties of harmaline. Harmaline is a short term MAO inhibitor. Prescribtion MAO inhibitors require MUCH more care, with activity up to 2 weeks after ingestion. If, however, your fast is for spiritual purposes ignore my post.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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