Documentary - Shamans of the Global Village

Steve Taylor-Bryant watches the documentary Shamans of the Global Village thanks to Raindance Film Festival...

I don't know other cultures as well as I should. Maybe I'm too wrapped up in my own life, maybe I don't have the time, maybe all I have is excuses for not trying. This is why I love my non fiction books and documentaries so much. I get a glimpse into the lives of others and a short education on other ways to live. I always thought of Shamans or medicine men to be things of fantasy, the con-men of their day all dressed up in feathers and beads with maracas and chants but not actual doctors, not practitioners of medicine like we in the western world have come to be so dependant on. I was wrong, very wrong in fact, and Rak Razam has opened my eyes to the practice of medicine in all walks of life.

Shamans of the Global Village is an ongoing documentary series online and examines the way medicine is viewed around the world and each episode concentrates on a certain individual or way of practising medicine. In this first episode we meet Octavio Rettig in Mexico. Octavio is a trained doctor, the kind of GP you probably visit more often than you need to yourself, and was helping the community he lived in, sometimes seeing a hundred patients a day. He felt trapped by the workings of modern pharmaceuticals and branched out into a brand of medicine he felt more comfortable with, that allowed his patients to work on their own health as well as way of life, whereas here in the west we tend to rely on the doctor and the tablets. His use of The Sonaran Desert Toad was at first a very strange concept for me to get my head around but seeing Rettig in action has at least opened my mind to different possibilities. Am I truly convinced from one episode of the series that the Shamans are a true alternative to my western doctor? No ,I'm not. I think it would take a serious re-education of everything I know or a life changing event for that to even start happening but I can tell you one thing I got. I'm calm. I'm calmer now than I have been in a very long time. Just listening to Rettig was a calming influence, he got inside my head and laid some goodness there that wasn't apparent to me before I pressed play. The commentary from Rak Razam is also a very calming influence. He speaks in a very measured way that sometimes reminds of a hippy from a film but has an educator's authority about it that seeps into your psyche.

The learning is spot on IF you can open your mind even slightly to another way of doing things. If you can't it's still a fascinating insight into a world we don't learn about in our western schools very much. It's about indigenous people, yes, but it's also very good for your own health.

I watched this first episode of Shamans of the Global Village as it was tasked to me as a job of work for the site I write for. I'm so glad I have the job I have because my own failings and excuses explained in my opening statement wouldn't have led me to seeking out this outstanding series. The second episode will be watched, and a third, but not for review purposes. They will be bought and paid for from my own pocket as I go on a journey of education and calmness of my very own. I don't know if I'll believe any more than I do now come the end but I feel I'll be a better person for trying and Shaman only want you to feel better.

More information on Shamans of the Global Village can be found on their website here.

Image - Shamans of the Global Village
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