Thursday, September 1, 2011

Norman W. Wilson PhD--Shaman Medicine

by Norman W Wilson, PhD.
Copyright © 2011 Norman W Wilson, PhD.

During the history of the United States, we have had several frontiers: the Colonial Frontier (1607-1763), the Appalachian Frontier (1763-1812), the Mississippi Valley Frontier (1812-1840), and the Far West Frontier (1825-1890).

Of course, it has been the Far West Frontier that has caught the attention and imagination of many of our writers and movie producers. It is, the wild, wild west that captivates, and holds our romantic notions.

With the migration of people across this vast American Continent came their notions of healing the sick and injured. They had to take care of themselves. Doctors gradually migrated, some pretenders I'm sure. Among the famous and infamous were Doc Holladay (dentist), and Doc Scurlock. But what was a pioneer to do if there were not doctors around and if their own remedies failed? To whom could they turn?

The white man was not the only ethnic group to have its medicines and its medicine men and women. Native Americans had their healers. Some called these witch-doctors, but that term is generally associated with bad spells, and the dark side.

A second name, originally coming from Siberia, has been applied to Native American healers. The shaman is viewed in most cultures around the world as a powerful and spiritual being capable of calling upon the Spirit World to help him or heal the sick. And that is true of Native American shaman or shamanka (female form of shaman). In addition to calling up the Spirits, the Native American shaman has a vast knowledge of natural remedies, the use of herbs and other vegetative matter to heal.

The shaman was concerned about the total being--he didn't treat an illness without considering the mind and spirit as well as the body.

Modern medicine has finally acknowledged the importance of treating the whole person; something the shaman always did.

~~~ About Norman ~~~
* Non-fiction release: Shamanism: What It's All About
* Currently completing a series of six novels called The Shamanic Mysteries. The first, The Shaman's Quest, was released by Mélange Publishing February 2011, the second The Shaman's Transformation, was released August, 2011.
* Staff columnist at 1st Turning Point
* Reviewer for NovelSpot.Net and The New York Journal of Books
* Professor emeritus at Polk State College, Winter Haven, Florida

You can find Norman at his website, Twitter, and Facebook.

Norman is giving away a copy of The Shaman's Quest to one lucky commenter this week!  Drawing is Saturday, September 3rd at 10pm Pacific Time.  Winner will be announced in Sunday's RTW Chicken Dinner.