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Raven Kaldera "Northern Tradition Shaman"

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Hello members,

I was encouraged to post by one of your mods. This is my first post and I'm quite sure the guy in the title is a lying, pompous appropriator, but collecting more information about him and his associates can only bolster the argument.  I've been aware of him for over ten years and his list of publications grows every few months--scarily so.  The as-yet unreleased Neolithic Shamanism: Spirit Work in the Norse Tradition  published by Destiny Books & due out in November is next in line. It's co-authored by one of his associates who is just as dubious.  I'll post about Galina Krasskova also--she's got a list of offenses at least as long as his.

Here's a *brief* look into the ugliness of RK's methodology.
I find his entire ethos to be foul.  The "ordeal shaman master" stuff most of all because it hurts already hurting people.

A personal blog entry by a woman afflicted with PTSD says at the very bottom:

--- Quote ---Here it is 19 years after I went to a therapist to get help for having been abused, having severe anxiety issues, and wanting to learn how to not be abused anymore. I still haven't gotten that help. But I got this story. And a lot worse. My PTSD is more severe now that I know there is no help. I cannot trust anyone. I don't think I can get better because there are no trained people to help persons with PTSD who have been raped.
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---Northern Tradition shaman Raven Kaldera recently told me that the Gods chose me as a sacrifice. "It was not personal. They needed someone to experience this and help others, and you were chosen because you wouldn't die, and most people would not have made it. You've lost your freedom because you were God-touched."
And so here I am."
--- End quote ---

This poor person, whomever she is, feels doomed because of the weird pernicious influence exerted by Kaldera.  He has an office in Fitchburg MA and takes 'clients'
Given the mental health problems of those who are drawn to him (as above) this appears a serious violation of licensure to be a truly therapeutic professional.
There was also a very peculiar interview with him at in which he was described as   
--- Quote ---an Ordeal Master who devises events to humiliate servile followers, looking to learn the limits of their strength and endurance.  He tests them by acting out fantasies of rape and torture.
--- End quote ---
He authored an entire book about BDSM rituals for neo-pagans.

Additionally he practices what he calls "Shamanic Herbalism" for money while having no degree or certification whatsoever

And, feels pretty entitled to use the word "shaman":

--- Quote ---RE: [grouchyspiritworkers] Defending use of the word shaman    
Posted By:    cauldronfarm
Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:23 am
My defense is that my Goddess told me to use it, and that I pay for it. The first reason is no defense because the sort of people who make these accusations don't believe in Gods, spirits, or their authority over people. In fact, when I relayed that once to an activist, she sniffed that if my spirits were real they wouldn't ask me to do offensive things like that. (Which just shows how little she know about how spirits really operate, and what they do and do not give a damn about.) My second reason is here:

I put time and effort into helping Reindeer Spirit, who can arguably be considered the spiritual owner of that word, because it was her people that we borrow it from. (Although it was borrowed itself from Sanskrit, so you could trace it back to India if you want, but the Hindi Gods do not claim it.) I help Reindeer Spirit by doing what I can, when I can, in little pieces, for her kind and her people. I do as much as she says I need to in order to pay for this one word.

This is my choice. It is not anyone else's. Everyone has to figure out where they stand with these things. But I can point out that I've done more for the Reindeer People than the person complaining, and that's something that usually makes them crawl off with their tails tucked between their legs.

I've gotten into arguments about the "equal pay" thing as well, usually with people who are not full-blood aboriginals but are well-meaning western-raised activists (or just pissy people). Someone once sneered, "You mean stealing Native American religion is OK if you send a check to someone's Cherokee grandma?" And I said, "Yes. If every single white person that did *anything* with Native American spirituality made it their business to make regular donations to the Cherokee grandma and her equivalents and the organizations that help them, do you know how much change that would create?" Frankly, the full-blood aboriginals tend to be down with the idea - "Make 'em shell out!" - and this has been the attitude of the native Siberians I've communicated with. The only trouble I've had from that quarter are Americans of Mongolian blood who are taking up the old ways in high dudgeon. The actual aboriginals tend to be more practical.

I know that it will eventually be my job to push the "equal pay" idea with the neo-shamanic community, and I am not looking forward to that.
-Raven Kaldera
--- End quote ---

So, here's a guy who has NO mentors or lineage, has an entire career forged from picking and choosing in best neo-pagan fashion, as well as making things up along the way; styles himself a professional spiritual sadist, dispenses pastoral counseling of questionable merit, feels entitled to co-opt words from a specific culture, and says he pays for use of it when there is no way to even prove he has done any of the goods works alleged (as if that made it right anyhow!)

What a mess.

yeah that Raven guy is a complete nut! The Norse/Heathen reconstructionist community doesnt have anything to do with him and his crew and advises others to steer clear of him. They are liars, when confronted by heathens about their practices they defend themselves by saying they are not heathen but call their path the northern tradition........but when they are at pagan events where they think heathens arent present they try to pass themselves off as authentic heathens. These people are big into the BDSM (bondage) stuff, torture and crap and try to pass it off as spiritual. Raven and his group also performed an animal sacrifice in honor of Fenris! For those not familar with norse lore Fenris is the spirit/energy of insatiable hunger/greed and the chaos and destruction that follows. What kind of people would honor something like that?!

Smart Mule:
Do you all know if Brian Chabot still heads up their militia?

No, Bella Kaldera heads the militia.
From an online profile she has: "I am now Queen of a (veryverysmall) kingdom with my beloved King Raven and Generalissimo of the Asphodel Free Pagan Militia."
Bella is in some manner of romantic relationship with Mr Chabot, however.

I have his Northern Trad. books.  What I have gleamed from them is that he practises a form of Core Shamanism with a Norse flavour.  He assumes that since we are all human beings, that all human cultures have the same elements of shamanism in them.  He claims that the Norse learnt from the Saami certain techniques.  But it goes further when he claims that Korean shamans have a tradition of "horsing deities", therefore his Northern group should have this tradition too.  Then, he claims that he practises Neolithic European shamanism.  For example, his "ordeal" shaman ideas originate with the Lakota Sundance, but he claims that they at one time must have been common to Europeans as well.

At first the reading of his books seems to be authentic, but once you start thinking about his concepts, they come across as Neo-Pagan borrowing of various Native traditions. 

Moreover, he practises "self-plagiarism".  His books are at least 40 percent material from his other books.  They are also group efforts, and the materials from other people are repeated in all his books.


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