Death of the Shaman: Has the UK become a Spiritual Wasteland?

consumerism shaman
consumerism shaman
Has the West become a dead place spiritually?

I have wondered this after living in the UK for almost 40 years.  I live in London but grew up in the Midlands in the countryside.

I have lived in and travelled to different parts of the UK and everything looks the same everywhere you go. The same shops, Costa coffee shops, supermarkets, same high-streets, same love of football or rugby, same conversations, same motivations and desires e.g. buying houses – it occurs everywhere.

This is a generalisation. There are of course many open-minded people and seekers. Many people on the spiritual path, seeking a life of meaning.

And if you seek these people out, you will find them. But if you don’t, it is normal never to encounter them and to fall into the usual path (treadmill) of life, work, school, money, sports, holiday and buying houses. Buying houses is a huge favourite. And sports. And the soap drama Eastenders.

It does not surprise me that in the last few decades so many people travelled to the East seeking out gurus, masters and mentors.

They seek out what we have lost here. In truth, there should be no need for them to go to the East if we had preserved our spiritually. But we haven’t. The West systematically attacked and destroyed it and replaced it with a huge shopping centre.

Spiritual Heritage

It seems strange to say that England is a spirit-less place. England is a country with Stonehenge and other stone circles around the land.

Spiritual Decline

The British isles clearly have an unusual past with myths of King Arthur and the wizard Merlin, ghosts, fairies and the ancient druids. However, over the centuries, this spirituality has been systematically wiped out. The religion of science is predominant now. Before it was Christianity, which replaced the ancient beliefs of the Celts before. Nowadays, education teaches little about nature, the earth, the plants around us and instead focuses on preparing us for the workplace and the cult of consumption.

Stonehenge is a ruin. There is nothing energetic there anymore, whatever its original function was.

Witch Hunts

The West and especially England, for hundreds of years hunted down and killed Witches. In the years 1644 to 1646, Witch-finder General Matthew Hopkins was attributed with the execution (murder) of 300 alleged witches.

A person could be alleged a witch simply for having things like a ‘devil’s mark’ e.g. extra nipple, mole or birthmark. Hopkins techniques were adopted in America, the New World, where witchhunting continued.

All in the name of the Christ, – which is supposed to be the religion of peace.


Alleged Witches were tested by ridiculous methods – such as being tied to a chair and then thrown into water.  If they did not sink, they would be accused of witchcraft. If they floated or swam they would be executed as witches. Their choice was to either drown or be executed.

The Witch-hunters painted these ‘witches’ as servants of evil. Of these thousands of people who were executed, how many were really true servants of evil? There is different type of magic – white, black and grey. How many of these accused ‘witches’ did practice the dark arts?

Were these also our Shamans?

And how many were simple herbalists – people who knew how to speak to plants, knowing which plants contained the healing remedies for a person’s ailments? How many of these ‘witches’ practiced traditional healing methods or did things like meditation, prayer, or used  hallucinogenic mushrooms to create altered states of consciousness?

How many of these were our original Western Shamans?

By hunting and killing people who are in tune with nature, you kill the spirit of a land.

In short, we killed out shamans…

No more Shamans anymore

So this is why we have no indigenous shamans of our own anymore. Or perhaps, there are a few of the Celtic tradition around.

Certainly, there are a few who have adopted the shamanistic practices of other cultures – the Native ‘red’ Indians of the North American continent, or of other cultures.

Witch and wizard resurgence

Harry Potter and those Twilight movies probably resurrected a fantasy view of witches and wizards.

However, I assume that the true path of the witch, is very similar to that of the shaman or even the guru. It is a difficult path to pursue, full of letting go of everything that society considers important. It probably means withdrawing from society and communicating with beings in different dimensions, communicating with nature and with the spirits of plants.

But if that is too hardcore, apparently, there are some modern ‘Shamans’. Practicing in Chelsea, Kensington or Kent, who cater to high-income professionals and celebrities.

Whatever you are told, think the opposite

We think we are free. Actually, whatever you are ‘taught’ to believe, is usually the opposite.

Today, we live in a ‘rational’ world. People pride themselves on being rational, sceptical and disbelieving. Though it protects us, it also closes us off to spiritual things.

We are also all kept busy, busy, busy all the time, which stops us from being able to reflect or contemplate. Time is the most important factor that hinders spiritual growth. we have work to do or find, money to make, bills bills bills to pay, things to buy, holidays to take, parties to go to.

We reinforce the collective perceptions of this spiritual wasteland

When a person tells you they saw a ghost, naturally you disbelieve them. Deep down, you may be secretly curious – almost excited, because such tales excite something deep within. Maybe you even had your own experiences, which you don’t tell people.

Or when people talk of spiritual occurrences, you switch off. What has that got to do with work, career, status and MONEY? Nothing!

There are many dimensions in this world. As Shakespeare’s Hamlet speaks:

There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Not to worry, if you are met with blank stares when you initiate such topics, start to tell a person about your work, your holiday, the football, or a house you are buying, and all will be put to right.

We form the perceptions of children

Children are full of questions. They are learning and making sense of the world. They listen and accept everything we say as truth. It is a privileged position to be in, yet also carries with it great responsibilities.

What view of the world do we want them to form?

 – A world, where we must work to pay bills and build status. Where people’s success is defined by a bank balance, the number of zeros in it, your house and the amount of stuff you’ve paid for? A rational world, where there is no mystery, no wonderment? Where everything is explained to us by scientists and doctors and the media? And anything outside of that is to be ignored. Don’t go there. Never go there.

Where children must obey and believe everything that is fired at them through the TV, the media, school textbooks.

Who writes the textbooks? What is their agenda? Does it truly match your own? Or have you let them decide that for you also?

Spiritual death leads to ennui (a limited appreciation of the magic of life)

Ever wonder why anti-depressant use is so high. Things are so bad, they are even prescribing them to children. Depression is not the normal state of being. It reflects an abnormal situation.

The ennui is all around us. It is in those young men smoking pot on street corners, why – to fit in? To be cool? Or to escape?

To quote Withnail and I, as they are driving in London drunk. Withnail spots a sign on the road to warn drivers to slow down as it is an ‘accident blackspot’:

Accident Black Spots! These aren’t accidents. They’re throwing themselves into the road. Throwing themselves gladly to escape all this hideousness!

Or the ‘successful’ ones, that run headlong through the mill chasing success, status or money, who then in middle age, drink wine, just the same way those teenagers smoke pot.

It is all to escape, but also to try to re-capture something missing. But what?

Some people are fortunate to have a passion in their life choice, A person who speaks with enthusiasm and passion when they talk about their work or their direction in life. They are the alive ones, the lucky. They know their path.

Connecting with your spiritual self does not mean withdrawal from life or society. You are still in it, but not of it.  And importantly, it can help you find the path right for you.

Penguins are not all alike, though they may look like it.

Gut feeling

We all have a spiritual ability intact, albeit to a lesser degree. We call it the ‘gut feeling’. If a decision does not feel right too us initially and we have to persuade ourselves to go along with it by rationalising, it means that our spirit is communicating that it is not right for us.  But will we listen or continue to rationalise?

The greater difficulty is for those who are so out of balance, that this sense fires off all the time and they can no longer trust it.

The path to be a shaman

If you or I wanted to become a shaman, we would have to first break all the programming, we have been entrenched with since we were born.

If we wanted to live in a universe of oneness, we would probably have to go through an upheaval to our senses, perceptions and our understanding of how the world and society works. This can put many off. This is why, our culture is so devoid of natural shamans anymore.


Our modern-day spiritualists come over the TV screen and in self-help books. Our sanctioned spiritualists are those funded by the American money machine – The Californians and their mecca of new age and positivity.

They are behind the walls in the castle up high. They have created their own Tibet, closed to the outside and in their own bubble of “positivity”, turning a blind eye to suffering, contradiction or just plain evil because it is “negative”. Self congratulatory and speaking in buzzwords. Oprah is their God. The Secret is their Bible. The devil is Trump. What happened in Tibet by the Chinese can happen to any bubble. A bubble is no good.

The 100 monkey story

We are all in this together. I remember the 100 monkey principle from one of Deepak Chopra’s books. Though he’s one of those LA ‘gurus’.

Once a significant number of monkeys on one island learned how to wash the mud off the potatoes in a stream, to make them more edible, suddenly all the other monkeys on the other islands also absorbed the same knowledge, even though they had never met. As though there was a universal consciousness among all the animals.

It works either way. Right now, the majority of people live in the rational world. Hence this is our reality.

More Shamans, less bureaucrats please

To end this musing – we think nothing of being a catholic, or christian, jew, muslim, sikh, buddhist, atheist etc.

But we need more shamans and white witches too. More people who practice the primordial healing arts and who live it. Healing is not just about people and our souls. It is the earth too and our relationship with it.

And I don’t mean those who are practicing the dark side. There are those around.

Writing this in London, England in 2019, I know that I am far disconnected from oneness, god or even nature. And that this is the norm.

And perhaps, it is why I feel a deep sorrow within, that can not be satisfied with buying stuff or self-help books.

That is except for my book – ‘The Genki Self Health Guide’ – mine has all the answers you need. Yes buy that.

Next Post

The Myth of the English Gentleman, Football Hooligans and Why the UK needs Confucianism


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