No, I don't take a swipe at New Age followers, but I do deplore the aberrations conveyed by this cult/religion as well as the psychological damage suffered by a large number of people in search of a better quality of life.
Because what New Age followers do not realize is that they do not embark on a spiritual path because they feel intimately drawn to the search for meaning. Rather, they approach spirituality as a refuge in which they imagine that all their ills and ill-being could be magically cured. But because the basic job has not been done - job that allows for real learning and self-knowledge - the awareness that leads to awakening is truncated and a new illusion is thus nourished, an illusion whose roots are identical to the original illusion that these people reject. These disciples then fall prey to so-called well-meaning manipulators who make them mistake bladders for lanterns.
There is thus a repetition, purely and simply, of the ideology proper to monotheistic religions and in our Western countries, the money of the faithful no longer fills the coffers of the Christian Church, but rather the pockets of self-proclaimed gurus who are masters only in the art and manner of plucking and abusing the credulity of suffering people. Words and traditions are more and more appropriated and diverted and everything is now a pretext for the most extreme delusions.
An example among many others: today, we no longer call ourselves therapists, we systematically call ourselves shamans without even having had an intimate experience of what shamanism is and of its practice. Today, one calls oneself a Celtic shaman rather than a Druid, a Lakota shaman rather than a medicine man, a Shuar shaman rather than an Uwishin, etc. One invents hypothetical origins for oneself. We invent hypothetical Mongolian or Siberian origins because we have vaguely heard that the word "shaman" originated in the Tungus language and that the Tungus never lived in the tropics or even in Western Europe.
No! You are not a shaman because you advocate love always.
No! You are not a shaman because you play the drum.
No! You are not a shaman because you do sage fumigations.
No! You are not a shaman because you talk to trees and animals.
No! You are not a shaman because you smoke the firecracker and you are cool.
Obviously, to point out the abuses of the abusers, to denounce the lies of the liars, to show the illusions of the illusionists, it is to register them in false and to make vacillate the fragile balance to which they cling, desperate as they are not to be known or recognized in a role and a responsibility of which they are unaware.
To be a shaman is not to surf on the New Age wave which has been raging since the end of the 60's and which has not stopped swelling since.
If you are ever led to tread the path of shamanism - for real! - know that you must first learn to heal yourself before claiming to be an actor in the healing of others. Remember that you do not have the power to heal others and that it is up to each person to heal himself or herself. The way of shamanism is a way of inner strength, a way that is rather Fire and Earth oriented, Fire to transmute, Earth to experience the incarnation and to breathe in the change necessary for evolution. The path of shamanism is a path that breaks the emotional mental barrier so dear to Westerners, this emotional mental barrier governed essentially by the elements Air and Water.
Whatever the spiritual path that attracts you, follow it in all awareness and to follow it in all awareness implies not to call shamanism what is not! Perhaps you are attracted by animism, neo-shamanism, neo-paganism or Wicca or whatever. Remember that there are many spiritual practices, that none of them is better or superior to another and remember that not all of them are systematically related to shamanism as such.
Each of us has a richness of his own and each of us has a role to play in the experience of his incarnation. But if we really want to change the world, it is essential that each of us starts by stopping lying to ourselves and consequently lying to others. We are here to live an embodied experience and it is therefore essential to confront our illusions with the structure of matter. This is the sine qua non condition to really unify ourselves internally rather than maintaining the separation within ourselves and with our environment.