Voices from the Faculty
Shamans Serve the Community
A conversation with Adele Erle,
faculty member of the FSSE (part 1 of 2)
Adele, we are currently experiencing a series of fundamental changes worldwide. Which role do you think shamanic practitioners can play in solving our collective tasks?
Shamanic practitioners are specialists in journeying into non-ordinary reality. These shamanic journeys enable the contact with compassionate spirits, unlimited power, timeless knowledge and love. We can use this source of knowledge to find new solution approaches for our collective concerns. It takes the “involvement” of the spiritual world, the caring spirits, to solve our global crisis. We can manifest and use the knowledge and power of the spirits in everyday life. Just as important is the experience of “not being alone”, THAT affects us.
It is precisely that impact which lets us understand with our hearts that there is a reciprocity in the relationships of all things. Everything that is alive has a soul and we are connected to it; with plants, animals, humans, but also with the so called anorganic nature. Once you understand that and once you have experienced this connection first hand, there is a greater chance – actually you can no longer act differently – but to change your own behaviour for a more loving, careful and responsible approach to the world around you.
In your practice, have you found inspiration on how you or other practitioners can contribute?
Example Climate Change – I often have the feeling that the climate change is still very abstract for many people. We may realize that it is getting hotter and less rainy, but other than that, many people seem to feel little. My assumption is that this may be related with the fact, that most people have never had such an experience of conjointness. A contribution from us shamanic practitioners could be to let people feel this connection and love through their own experiences. This generates hope that a change of thinking will occur.
With “Shamanism for Inspired Local and Global Change“, the FSS recently launched a new workshop that deals with such questions, for example. What made you decide to take part in the new workshop?
The main reason was that I care about the community. In my everyday life, I notice that the importance of the community gets lost to some extent. There is less time for direct contact with my fellow human beings. Therefore, I use every opportunity to work and study in the community.
You could say that the workshop is about spiritual activism and about shamanic solutions in everyday reality. Was this approach something new for you?
No, the approach was not. Shamans around the world serve their community with healing work and problem solving. What is new, is the concrete methodology of using divination in a focused manner for collective concerns. The workshop also addresses global issues and the question of how we as shamanic practitioners can contribute to the challenges and crises that affect all of us and for which we all share responsibility.
How would you wish shamanism to change our modern community?
In my opinion, our society does not necessarily suffer from an environmental or financial crisis, but rather from a lack of love and spiritedness. I have the idea of a community in which people have the trust to engage with each other again. Telling stories, hearing each other, dancing and singing together – all of this may seem banal, but these activities have a special, healing power.
From a shamanic point of view, for me the linchpin is: We are not alone. In shamanism we communicate with the spirits, with our ancestors, we come together with and for the community. All of this creates belonging, brings joy and knowledge.
In the second part of the interview, Adele reveals what drives her personally, how she came to shamanism and which seminars particularly impressed her.
Adele Erle works in the psychosocial field and is a faculty member of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies Europe. She teaches Core Shamanic Workshops in the southeast of Austria.