The First Modern Shaman

masked_healing_shamanCheck out this wonderful photo of a Lakota medicine man performing a healing ritual on a member of his tribe. Notice his healing hand has been placed directly on the sick person’s medicine chakra, the source of physical power.

Most people think shamans are only found in primitive cultures, but actually, they are all around us and always have been. Anyone who organizes ceremonies for healing or harmonization is a shaman. Our ceremonies get passed from one generation to the next and are not written in stone, but represent an evolutionary process. Shamans are active participants who follow that trail as it reveals itself.

For a person living in a tipi in a forest far away from roads and wires, contact with the natural world was the source of all shamanistic knowledge. Medicine men studied the ways of the plants and animals in order to learn their powers.

Ceremony is magic and no one has a monopoly. Most magic is based around bell, book & candle (and under “bell” I include all music and musical instruments). The most important thing about magic is that you have to believe, otherwise there’s no magic, and I think it’s evident in the picture here that the man in need of healing believes in the shaman hovering over him.

29285263A Dutchman named Jasper Grootveld (left) created the modern shamanistic movement. You can see from the picture of him at left, Jasper dressed up like a tribal shaman when performing his ceremonies, but he was not channeling the exact same vibrations as that Lakota shaman. Both shamans have great magic, but magic really only works on its particular culture, so put that Lakota in the streets of Amsterdam and Jasper in the wilds of the Black Hills and they’d both see those powers diminish.

The most important element in modern shamanism is an understanding of the corruption of our political systems. But any attempt to peer into political events is made difficult by mountains of disinfo standing directly in the line of sight. There’s more paranoid garbage manufactured than real investigative research and that’s because the people who own the propaganda systems are manufacturing garbage conspiracy to keep the real conspiracy operations concealed. Yes, Virginia, the Military Industrial Complex orchestrates war for profit, and people deep inside our National Security System profiteer in illegal guns and drugs, some of which is used to prop up the corrupt and privately-owned central banking system.

The ceremonies organized by Jasper Grootveld created the Provo movement and changed Dutch society in radical ways. That is the sort of magic a modern shaman can manifest. Jasper is the reason marijuana stayed legal for adults in Holland long after the United States pushed through the single convention treaty at the United Nations in 1961, a great insult to all the most powerful magical plants and one that must have reverberated on the astral plane for sheer stupidity. Three years later, Jasper started his public ceremonies and the Merry Pranksters invented the Magic Bus. The Pranksters (including Wavy) birthed another set of grandmaster shamans.

frontThe spark that ignited Jasper was an expose on advertising titled The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard, which was published in 1957. After reading this book, Jasper saw clearly how the tobacco companies were marketing the most dangerous product in the world, while an unknown force was holding back cannabis, the world’s greatest medicine.

Since there was a prominent statue in town dedicated to the youth of Amsterdam that had been paid for by a tobacco company, Jasper decided to dress up like an African shaman and perform a ritual exorcism at that statue, a ceremony that started with Jasper throwing a burning hoop of flames over the top of the statue.

Now it’s true Jasper briefly went to Africa and met an African medicine man, who gave him a bag of herbs and resins. But Jasper’s ceremonies were entirely improvisational and he created an entirely new form of shamanism.

This is the tradition I seek to keep alive, and it’s more about studying deep politics than the way of the animal spirits. However, the plants will always provide our medicines, and if you understand the history of cannabis, you’ll also understand why the dominant culture is so out-of-balance from greed and the profit-motive. Our country is run by corporations psychopathic in design. The CEO’s are modern sorcerers who practice the dark science of mind control.

The best way to disarm them is to do exactly what Jasper did over fifty years ago: organize ceremonies of enlightenment that expose their lies. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past 30 years or so.



Author: Steven Hager

I'm a writer, journalist, filmmaker and event producer.

3 thoughts on “The First Modern Shaman”

  1. Clearly you know little of shamanism. To state, “Anyone who organizes ceremonies for healing or harmonization is a shaman.” is as far from defining shamanism as one can be. My recommendation is to become far more familiar before you attempt to piggy-back your cause to Shamanism. To tie the use of marijuana to emergent modern shamanism is irresponsible. Plant medicines have their places, cannabis among them. But that place is predicated on their proper application by a knowledgeable practitioner. Any abuse or miss-use of any plant medicine disadvantages the user, not helps them. Tobacco, Opium poppy, Cannabis: Use it with wisdom, benefit. Use it unwisely, suffer. It’s that simple.

    1. Clearly, you wish to uphold the myths of the past rather than join my vision of the future but I’m nearing the end of my life’s journey. Twenty five years ago, I started a ceremony for healing called the Cannabis Cup and I made the code 420 a central focus of that ceremony. So, just as Jasper Grootveld transformed Holland into a more enlightened place, I played my small role to spread enlightenment about cannabis around the world. Yes, all medicine can be abused. So what’s the point? When I began organizing the first public 420 ceremonies outside of Marin country twenty years ago, I suggested that waiting until 4:20 PM might be a good idea for many and I’ve spent 25 years teaching responsible use. I guess you never heard of me Bruce? And yes, anyone who heals is a shaman in my book, no matter what dogmas they may or may not express. The magic of healing runs through many and none hold a monopoly on that power. Most of the suffering going on today is not from abuse of natural plants, but from the effects of the insane laws against them.

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