13 February 2010

Urban Shaman

In tribal societies, the shaman would cover him/herself with animal clothing to symbolism transformation from a human form to an animal one. This was to change the perceptions of the participants of rituals to think in different realities. In shamanistic societies, animal spirits take on the role of transformer and dispenser of wisdom. In modern day societies, we have individuals that provide urban residents with transforming visions to go from the present to a future reality. The first step for urban transformation, is to make citizens and decision-makers dream. It is unfortunate that these leaders are not as prevalent as would be desired. Elected and non-elected officials (such as urban planners) confuse and keep obsololete ideas and actions churning interrelated vortexes which are losing their energy. Such is the case with many urban issues including energy, the environment and social justice in urbanized areas. There is a need for “urban shamans” who “dance” the visions of a new reality so that cities can again be dynamic places and the engines of social, economic, and political change.

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