An encircled equidistant cross set above Brigid's Knots, found at Killaghtee in County Donegal, Ireland. Image from Irish Megaliths (see link below).
An encircled equidistant cross set above Brigid’s Knots, found at Killaghtee in County Donegal, Ireland. Image from Irish Megaliths (see link below).

“Being a Christian shaman involves a radically different way of participating in everyday life. It means that you will sacrifice rarely questioned cultural habits and understandings in favor of honoring innumerable unspoken mysteries.” ~ Brad Keeney, Shamanic Christianity

My guess is that ‘Shamanic‘ and ‘Christian‘ aren’t two words most people would expect to find paired together.

But if you’re aware of the roots and byways of both, it makes perfectly good sense.

With the insight from Brad Keeney shared above, you can substitute your own spiritual tradition for ‘Christian’, if you honor another spiritual tradition, or even that sort of devoted commitment in a way that you don’t identify as religious or even spiritual at all.

And you can substitute ‘indigenous soul’ or ‘mystic’ for ‘shaman’ . Various cultures, languages, and traditions had, and have, various words for those with that gift-set and vocation, even as they share some common ways of seeing, being, and practicing.

That out of the way, I really appreciate Keeney’s focus on the Christian tradition and its ‘indigenous soul’ root-wisdom, which is one of my own long, deep interests and traveled pathways.

What he writes, though, is true for any of us who has chosen to honor and truly live into — to practice into, or (genuinely endeavor to) ‘walk the talk’ — of our spiritual, shamanic, mystic-nature, or indigenous-wisdom, and thus be graced by gifts of and from “the innumerable unspoken mysteries.”

But one reward of that path comes from the Elves of Merry Play. Read on …

Bacchante, c. 1892, by Frederic, Lord Leighton.
Bacchante, c. 1892, by Frederic, Lord Leighton.

Keeney goes on to write this:

“Christian shamans dream sacred visions and feel the ecstatic currents of spirit flowing through their bodies. They get there like the mystics of old — through loving God and praying without end.”

“Mystics and shamans are the same in their devotion to God and in their encounters with the sacred gifts of the Holy Spirit. Christian shamans go further and encourage themselves to reenter the everyday with a transformed posture …”

“The Christian shaman enters the everyday with the spirit of radical experimentalism. No challenge or difficulty is big enough to not be teased inside and out. In the shamanic world, everything is turned around, reversed, deliberately misperceived, tinkered with, and thrown to the elves of merry play.”

And that spirals right back around to the “Holy Divine as Merry Trickster” that I mentioned in an early-2016  Blesstival Series post, Well-Fed Roots and Sacred Ground, featuring an excerpt from Keeney’s Shamanic Christianity book.

Follow the link if you’ve not already seen it (or can benefit a fresh Blessing-Bath).

May we all be visited by the “Elves of Merry Play” and the Holy Divine as Merry Trickster (because it’s good to have a few well-etched laugh lines along with those initiation-earned silver hairs gained along the path of radical experimentation into innumerable unspoken Mysteries!).

Tricksterishly Yours,

Jamie