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Raven Kaldera "Northern Tradition Shaman"

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The ironic thing is, he touts himself as being a TRULY authentic, spirit-chosen NON Harnerite "shaman" and writes claptrap like Public Horses: An Open Letter To All Shamans, Would-be Shamans, And People Who Think That White People Shouldn't Call Themselves Shamans, which is itself just a fancy iteration of the Harner attitude.  The Saami DID teach the Norse some of their techniques.  This is recorded in lore, as Gunnhild konungamóðir (mother of kings) was taught by Saami (where they are referred to as "Finns") in Heimskringla, dated ca. 1230.  Archaeologist Neil Price also documents the overlap between the Saami and Norse cultures   So, as usual, a mix of falsehoods and truth to really confuse people is the mode of delivery for this modern cult of charlatanism.  Kaldera ADMITS he has no actual direct lineage from any mentors or elders and calls his knowledge "spirit-taught."

--- Quote ---What do you mean, "spirit-taught"?
The Buryat Mongols have a word for shamans who are spirit-taught - it's bagshagui. Usually this happens when the shaman's lineage or clan dies out and the spirits who have worked with them all move over to another line or clan, and pick some poor slob that they have decided would make a great shaman. A bagshagui doesn't have the benefit of the old guy in the hut to teach them. Everything has to be learned from the spirits themselves, who are wonderfully effective but extremely frustrating teachers.
Since this tradition is largely lost, I as a white American don't have the old-guy-in-the-hut benefit either. I am in the service of the Norse death goddess Hela, and she sends me to various other gods and spirits for training.
--- End quote ---

As an aside, in all I have researched about Buryat practices, I have never once seen that word "bagshagui."

His admission of all kinds of modern patchwork one-person syncretism:
--- Quote ---This web page is devoted to information on Northern Tradition shamanism. This tradition is a blend of the ancient shamanic traditions of many of the peoples of northern Europe - the Germanic, Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and a little bit of Saami, Russian and western Siberian.
--- End quote ---

More flagrant co-optation lies in his and his colleagues' use of the term "horsing", which is from the Afro-Carribean diaspora.  When I typed "deity horsing" into Google, I got Farm and Raven Kaldera are in the top four or five results.  He authored a book on the subject along with Kenaz Filan and THAT book, Drawing Down the Spirits, lands up being recommended all over the place, especially among neo-pagans.  There are so many problems with this casserole of appropriation and lurid practices, it's hard to know where to begin.  Kenaz Filan isn't without controversy either, incidentally.  There's a whole snarl of documented issues on various Voudou sites.  The mod I spoke to is quite right--culture vultures LOVE to consort together.

Now onto the "ordeal spirituality" stuff Raven Kaldera and his confederates promote.  The habitues of Cauldron Farm made a blog portraying their only the best possible light of course.
Some listed contributors are AK (this is Anya Kless, whose 'marriage ordeal' to the god Odin made the rounds on all the Heathen groups, creating a great deal of shock and disgust), Wintersong Tashlin (you can see his Google results here, and note he too is a "shaman."  Of course).  S. Reicher, a nom de Internet for Galina Krasskova, another "shaman" whose trail of garbage is.....scarily complicated and highly financially successful for her.  Her Facebook publicity Page "Wyrd Ways" is extremely popular as are her blog and her books  She calls herself "Heathen" although the mainsteam Heathen community all revile her as a niþing or outcast because of her association with Raven Kaldera and her own misdeeds.  To explain the Norse term niþing   "nobody is allowed to protect, house, or feed the nithing. The outlaw is not only expelled from the kinship, he is also regarded henceforth as an enemy to mankind."  On a large Heathen message board, Gothi Rod Landreth posted

--- Quote ---Galina Krasskova in my book is a true woeful witch, she has perverted Heathen ways, worked woe and ill towards solid Tru Folk, bragged about it to many folks in the NE region, and paints herself as a VIP of Heathenry to those outside of Heathenry to support her "legitimacy." I've sat across a table from this woman, looking at her in the face as I passed judgment of her complete unfitness to be a Gydhia when I was Clergy Coordinator of the Troth. This woman uses and hurts people for her own glory, and ego. A follower of Angrboda, and Laufrey son's dangerous children.

Any support tacitly means you support her, and *is exactly* what she wants. She and her Etin-lover kin want to muddy the waters on all sorts of theological points in and around heathenry, for their betterment!

If you wish to reference her books and say her manipulative words are good, then you are saying her actions and ways are good.

I do not advise any Tru heathen to read her or her Etin-lover kin. If one develops and understand one's "Heathen compass" that always points towards what is Tru; then when one stumbles over that which is not Tru but masquerading as such it should quickly lead them away.

We are telling new folk to stay away from these texts for a reason, Tru Folk should recognize immediately that the honeyed words are not "right."
Be Trú to the Gods and Goddesses,
Be Trú to the Ancestors, Vaettir, and your Folk,
and most importantly,
Be Trú to Yourself.
Simply be Heathen in all things.
Rod Landreth
--- End quote ---

Krasskova blogged recently about "Cultural Misappropriation" It is not as if she doesn't KNOW what she's doing.  For some reason, it's different if it's her doing the appropriating.

Another of the Blood for the Divine blog contributors is Del Tashlin, who is of course another "ordeal shaman," who "horses" various gods and performs ordeals on clients.  One of the ordeals was blogged about here and Del's role as the inflictor of the assault is acknowledged.  All these "shamans" who make careers out of sadism--pretty rank stuff.

As an addendum:  it seems that the author I found and posted about further in this thread is a good source of solid information.  Read what he has to say about "new age shamans" and the harm they do.

This all looks like a cluster of extremely disturbed people with a history of criminal activity as well as appropriation of a variety of native ceremonies.

I'm not sure I saw a link above to this post on Brian Chabot, onetime head of the Cauldron Farm militia.

--- Quote ---Interestingly, this is far from the truth because Brian Chabot is part of Cauldron Farm in MA. Now frankly this has nothing to do with his pagan beliefs---believe whatever you want here. This has to do with the fact the militia members and biker gang members still hang out at Cauldron Farm. The very farm Brian is part of and openly admits to being a part of. Thus, the point here is not the paganism but the well-known history of running girls(monarch) through Cauldron farm and other criminal activity under the umbrella of Cauldron farm. In fact, the federal file documents the white slavery--Brian Chabot was taking teenage runaways from Harvard Square in MA to NH and giving them to bikers and militia members.

--- End quote ---

There's quite a bit more in the comments. This may be getting a little off-track to focus on Chabot and his crimes but it does say something about the associates of the Farm. This is a bit more detail about the theft of military equipment.

I've seen enough to think that this thread should be put in the "Frauds" section.

This is the page where Kaldera and his associates sell their books:

Asphodel Press

In this book, Kaldera appears to believe he can write about Sun Dance, and compares Sun Dance to his sadistic sexual activities. I think this is clearly an offensive, particularly to Native peoples. It is misappropriation, racism and fraud:

Dark Moon Rising: Pagan BDSM & the Ordeal Path

"Throughout history, from the Hindu Kavadi ceremony to the Lakota Sun Dance, the Ordeal Path has been an honored spiritual road to the magic of the flesh, and to touching the Gods. Today many Pagans are discovering this path, by accident or by design. Simultaneously, many practitioners of secular BDSM are finding themselves having spiritual experiences in the middle of their most secular scenes. This book explores the crossover points between both these communities and practices, a cross-section which is growing steadily, baring controversial articles on topics as diverse as sacred pain, bondage, hook suspension, cathartic Pagan ritual, the spirituality of dominance and submission, and being the slave of the Gods."

This text sounds like he got his misinformation about Hindu and Native ceremonies via the fake ones in the Modern Primitives book, which mainstreamed the piercing and tattooing trends, and has led to many non-Indigenous people trying to imitate or create their own piercing and suspension ceremonies. Clearly this is cultural desecration of the basest sort.

Concerning abuse of individuals, this link is very troubling. It has explicit sexual discussion and will probably by triggering for abuse survivors, so be aware of that if you click through:

"He’s a celebrated writer of transsexual pornography and an author and essayist on topics like vampirism and shamanism. Or he may be your abuse counsellor."

Kaldera once again compares his sadistic harming of his sexual partners to Sun Dance and Hindu rituals. This is profoundly clueless on his part, and harmful. Then he goes into detail about sadistic sexual things he likes to do to people, and how he considers it, "empowering".

He refers to Native ceremonies as (only) something you see "in National Geographic." So while he feels entitled to (mis)represent Lakota and Hindu sacred ceremonies, he also dismisses Indigenous people as "something you see in National Geographic". He renders Indigenous people invisible and presents himself as the authority.

His attitudes about women, and what it means to be "feminised" are also disgusting. This is a partial account of what he did to a man who came to him wanting an initiatory experience:

"On the first day he was sent to sleep in a park. The next day we hosed him down, dressed him in skirts, and he spent a day forcibly feminised and we slapped him when he wasn’t learning fast enough. In the evening when he came home, three guys threw him on the floor and…. had their way with him, as if he were a woman. The first two were pretty rough but the third was gentle."

Apparently, people go to him wanting to learn about the gods of their ancestors, and wind up raped and beaten and mentally abused.

Trying to blame this sadistic behaviour on Indigenous or Hindu ceremonies is beyond misguided. It is racist and fraudulent and in at least some cases, criminal. It is good that some pagans are declaring this man and his associates outcasts. But it also looks like the more new age and appropriation-happy groups, like this one, are happy to hire him: "Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference "
(thread on them here, in Frauds:
Those conventions are full of naive, wide-eyed seekers, who are lambs to the slaughter for this type of predator.

Really, really should put this in Frauds. I don't think there is much question about these people.

Oh, I agree 100%, frauds all the way.  Kaldera and compatriots are having an event down in Maryland this October.

This presentation strikes me as particularly ironic:

Northern Religion as Indigenous Faith by Galina Krasskova and Laura Patsouris
"Galina Krasskova and Laura Patsouris will discuss and explore Heathenry as an indigenous tradition. The impact of the spread of Christianity across Europe and the attendant decimation of Northern European indigenous religious practices will be examined in light of the many challenges facing  those engaged in restoration today. A strong emphasis will be placed on reconnecting with one's ancestors as a means of making the shift from post-Conquest consciousness to a deeply rooted indigenous perspective. The workshop will examine what it means for us to be practicing an indigenous faith and how we can best root ourselves in that awareness."

Because their appropriation casserole is so *very* indigenous--and the rest of Heathenry, which views Krasskova as a niþing--would be delighted to know she is advertising this as Heathenry.  Co-presenter Laura Patsouris has family history in Cuba.  Her book Weaving Memory:  A Guide to Honoring the Ancestors was published by Raven Kaldera's on-demand press and contains rituals which are decidedly Cuban in nature for "Elevating the Ancestors."

Galina Krasskova wrote about this type of thing in her blog, acknowledging it is Cuban, *not*  northern European at all.
"My own style of ancestor working has a very Cuban flavor, perhaps because I was taught my first fumbling steps by a Cuban woman and one of her students, perhaps because so many of my colleagues also work in this style"

Krasskova's blog is such a melage of appropriation it would take a LONG time to untangle all of it.

I am FLABBERGASTED to see Jane Sibley recruited as a presenter for this "Nine Worlds Festival" but then, she's one of the co-chairs for the Changing Times, Changing Worlds conference which has ALREADY made it onto this board as another conduit for frauds

I understood Jane Sibley to be an authentic seiðkona from Norway.  I've asked her WHY she attends events and consorts with this bunch.  She said, "Raven and Galina mean well, but are misguided."  There's a statement and a half.
I do know she's friends with the other co-chair of Changing Times, Tchipakkan, about whom NAFPS moderator sky has written before---very unfavorably.

Tchipakkan is another of the people recruited to present at Raven Kaldera's Nine Worlds Festival.
One of the very sketchy places she inhabits online is   

I hope it's become apparent what a New Age neopagan clusterf*ck this all is.
It's like a never-ending sea of what a friend calls "New Age Sew-age."

Smart Mule:

--- Quote --- "From the Ordeal Path to Sado-Shamanism: Pagan BDSM." Here's the description:

From the Lakota SunDance to monastic submission, the elements of BDSM have been part of people's spiritual lives for millenia. We will explore the ways one can incorporate these varied practices into you spiritual life from the perspective of authors and practioners Michelle Belanger and Raven Kaldera.
--- End quote ---

(my bold)


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