Posvätná ženskosť a autorita: rodová stratifi kácia neošamanských skupín

Tatiana Bužeková


In all western countries neo-shamanic groups share an important characteristic: statistics demonstrate signifi cant prevalence of women. On the other side, neo-shamanic groups have an inner power dynamics related to gender. Some authors argue that in small religious groups without charismatic leaders strong personalities may appear charismatic and occupy positions of high status. Such gender dynamics have been historically associated with a positional advantage to males, although in such settings charisma might be decoupled from gender
characteristics that tend to disadvantage women. The article presents the results of research conducted in a neo-shamanic group in Bratislava belonging to the FSS (Foundation for Shamanic Studies). In this environment charismatic authority has been for a long time absent: according to the concept of core shamanism, being a shaman does not mean to have a ‘gift ’ and
a leader is usually represented as a person who is just more skilled than other group members.
However, during recent decades there was a process of group stratifi cation that resulted in a formation of new groups and an emergence of male charismatic leaders who initially did not represent themselves as charismatic. Current male leaders’ self-representations usually refer to inner qualities related to a combination of the particular stereotypical gender characteristics.
I argue that this image corresponds to (1) intuitive way of knowledge/ emotions related to female characteristics and (2) an active position of urban shamans related to male characteristics.
This combination follows from the specific ideology of urban shamanism as a kind of alternative healing aimed at the transformation of individuals and the society.

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