The reluctant Shaman 1

I was born between two cultures. My family holds both blue eyed scandinavian and brown eyed Eskimo blood. I entered this world in a manner showing that I had chosen the heritage from my Eskimo and Shaman family.

This dates back in generations. My mother knows the power and wisdom of the plants. She too is a Shaman, and my great great great grandmother was a seer  receiving messages from spirit  which was written down. Back then she was the creator of a new religion. That did not please the christian authorities and they destroyed her work.

Christianity was first brought to Greenland a thousand yeas ago by the vikings. Red Eric arrived to Greenland with his wife Tjodhild, a true christian. He was not, but she convinced him to convert by denying him sex till he became a believer. He did and he did build a church for her, the first christian church in North America and the smallest. It can hold only two people:

Nordhil kirken

But the christian religion lost hold in the population and many years passed. About 300 years ago Danish priest Hans Egede came to Greenland to colonise this big Island on behalf of Denmark and to mould the Eskimo people into good Christians.

They received him in their usual friendly manner, but leaned that he did not understand nor tolerate their culture and way of living, and so they kept from the Christians the true traditions and cultural wisdom, and till now it has never been revealed to the outer world. Officially Greenland is christian today.

I grew up in this divided culture where the Danes are regarded as higher beings and the Eskimo as lesser. My family is of mixed blood and I enherited the looks of my Eskimo ancestors. I was brought up by my grand parents, and my blue eyed grand mother did not approve of her Eskimo oldest grand son, and so at dinner parties I had to dine in the kitchen with the staff. She did not acknowledge me as part of her family. That hurt badly.

My grandfather loved the Eskimo and he gave me a unique education allowing me to spend summers with their best hunters and Shamans. I loved that and i learned so much. And the rest of the year I spent hours with my Eskimo elder friends, listening to their stories and wisdom. I felt at home there. They truly loved me.

But I also experienced how they were treated and how their culture has been taken from them – not in a violent way but in a more soft spoken way that has been probably more devestating than what has bee seen in colonies of other countries.

I was in many ways priviliged when I grew up. I was educated in Denmark – I traveled a lot and like so many others in Greenland, I lived with the ambiguity of the two cultures.

My family held two traditions – as merchants and as priests. I became both, but at the same time my Eskimo heritage grew inside me, and I leaned to respect it more and more. I learned to appreciate how truly amazing we are and about the wisdom and skills we hold and preserve for the world: We are the future for a world with a beautiful balance between human beings and nature, should humanity chose this inspiration.

Once I was reminded of my identity as Shaman. I had finished my eudcation as a teologian and I was in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland. My neighbors had a row, and the woman declared that she wanted to see the priest – me – and left the appartment.

Then I heard her partner shout after her: “He is not a priest, he is a Shaman!”

I know that it was Spirit talking to me – I was guided to pursue my true life path and that was not in a christian church.


1 thought on “The reluctant Shaman 1

  1. Pingback: The reluctant Shaman – part 1 | Qisuk

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